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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Help Prevent Water Damage with Four Weatherproofing Tips

1/20/2021 (Permalink)

There are many things that can impact how well a home can resist severe weather and water intrusion, 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  and water is inexpensive and not overly time-consuming. In most cases it is better to be safe than sorry, so here are some of our top weatherproofing tips so you can rest easy the next time heavy rains head your way.

Maintain the Roof with Regular Inspections

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 regularly inspecting your roof and monitoring the appearance of your shingles, you can easily determine  if roof repairs need to be scheduled.

Weatherstripping

Most people know watherstripping provides extra insulation helping to save you tremendously on your electric bills. Weatherstripping helps to seal cracks or gaps around doors and windows, which helps prevent water intrusion. Weatherstripping is easy to install and cost effective, so the benefits are well worth the time and effort.

Clean out Gutters

Cleaning out gutters helps prevent the build-up of leaves and debris and should be done at least twice a year. Regular inspections should also be performed in the interim. A few things to look for are 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 water damage to your home, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is always here to help. Contact us 24 hours a day for a rapid response.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto: Training Certifications

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

People often ask why they should hire SERVPRO of Palo Alto, in the event water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold removal, or mold remediation services are needed in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, or Stanford, California. There are several reasons. One the top is, SERVPRO of Palo Alto restoration technicians have expert training and certification necessary to treat water damage, fire damage, smoke and soot damage, and mold damage quickly and effectively.

The following is an overview of the certifications held by the damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto. These certifications assure you that retaining SERVPRO of Palo Alto to serve your water damage, fire damage, mold remediation, and smoke and soot damage needs in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Stanford is the right decision for you, your family, or your business.

ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician - This certification teaches restoration technicians the effective, efficient and timely drying of water-damaged structures and contents. Intensive hands-on training is done in order to facilitate appropriate decision making within actual home structures in order to learn how to correctly dry them down.

ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program -  This SERVPRO certification involves crew training course covers topics including roles and responsibilities, job-site processes, core products and SERVPRO equipment knowledge. Additionally, technicians are trained in water training, which covers topics ranging from basic water damage procedures, to an introduction to more advanced topics such as psychrometry and microbiology.

FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician - This certification concentrates on the technical procedures for successfully completing the restoration of a fire and smoke damaged environment. Technicians with this certification know how to combine technical procedures with a practical approach to managing the job site.

IICRC Certified Firm - SERVPRO of Palo Alto is an IICRC Certified Firm, which means several things. IICRC certified technicians set themselves apart through training, experience, and comprehensive examination.  An IICRC Certified Firm must first employ one or more IICRC certified technicians, and apply with the IICRC to become a Certified Firm. Certified Firms are the only cleaning, restoration and inspection companies listed in the IICRC locator. They also promise to adhere to the IICRC Code of Ethics, be current in their business insurance and licensee requirements, and can proudly display the IICRC logo on their company website and vehicles.

OCT - Odor Control Technician - Technicians with this certification are knowledgeable about olfaction and odor, odor sources, detection process, theory of odor control, equipment, chemical options and applications. They also know how to address odors caused from biological sources such as decomposition, urine contamination, and mold, combustion sources such as fire and smoke damage, and chemical sources such as fuel oil spills or volatile organic chemicals.

RRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation - The EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) means that SERVPRO of Palo Alto is certified by the EPA (or an EPA authorized state), and that we use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices.

WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician -  This certification shows that restoration technicians have education in the science and practice of water damage restoration. This includes extraction, basic containment and basic mold procedures. It also means that residential and commercial maintenance personnel have the background to understand the procedures necessary to deal with water losses, sewer backflows, and contamination such as mold.

The professional technicians at SERVPRO of Palo Alto pride themselves on their education and certifications. Their education allows them to take care of your property as if it were their own.

Experiencing water loss, fire loss, mold damage, or smoke and soot? Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto today at (650) 800-3448 24 hours a day!

What Customers Say about SERVPRO of Palo Alto

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto  proudly serves the Bay Area, including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Stanford, Atherton, Redwood City, and Portola Valley. We have gained the trust of hundreds of residential and business customers who have faced damage restoration needs due to water damage, fire damage, smoke and soot damage, mold growth, and biohazard cleanup. 

Our customers love us! Our multiple five-star reviews across various sites like Facebook, Yelp, and Google show how seriously SERVPRO of Palo Alto is dedicated to making it "Like it never even happened."

Here are a couple of those reviews:

Marc S. left a 5 star review on yelp.com

“SERVPRO ROCKED!  We had water damage.  Wasn't sure who to call.  Called SERVPRO one evening and they were here the next day.  Knew everything, took care of everything. provided guidance on how to work with insurance, kept my family save.

My advice:  1) Don't consider anyone else; 2) ask to work with Erik T; and 3) use all of SERVPRO's services to minimize vendors and minimize hassle with insurance.”

“SERVPRO was a true pleasure to work with. We had an emergency late in the afternoon/early evening and they came out immediately to help with the problem. They were very professional, they did an excellent job and I would recommend them to anyone. We hope not to have an emergency like we did again but if we do we will definitely give SERVPRO a call.”

— Shirley G. in Menlo Park, CA

Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto today for exceptional damage restoration service day or night at (650) 800-3448!

SERVPRO of Palo Answers the Question: Why SERVPRO?

1/15/2021 (Permalink)

We are asked: Why SERVPRO? often. Here is the answer for you.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is a locally owned and operated business. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration. From initial and ongoing training to regular IICRC-industry certification. You can rest assured our staff is equipped with the knowledge, training, and experience to restore your property due to water damage, fire damage, mold, or biohazards. With a nationwide system, no damage is too large or too small for the restoration experts at SERVPRO of Palo Alto.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto has been serving Palo Alto, Atherton, Redwood City, Stanford, and Menlo Park for more than 5 years and has helped countless clients, from homeowners to commercial property managers keep their properties well-maintained and restored.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto assists home and business owners in Northern California whose properties have suffered from seasonal wildfires and water damage. We deal with insurance companies and help people get back on their feet and back into their homes and businesses. Our mostly five-star reviews and trust from repeat clients is a testament to our commitment and expertise at water damage, fire restoration, mold remediation, smoke & soot restoration, and biohazard cleanup. Our expertly trained technicians are certified and dedicated to the customer.

Have you been affected by fire or water? Do you need fire restoration, water damage restoration or mold removal? Then call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 and get immediate assistance today!

How Palo Alto Homeowners Can Avoid Fire Damage From Space Heaters

1/6/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers ten space heater safety tips.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is a locally owned and operated damage restoration company that is known for putting customers first. The technicians specialize in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial properties after a fire, smoke, or water damage incident. They also take care of mold and mildew outbreaks in homes or businesses. No job is too big or too small for SERVPRO of Palo Alto to handle, including fires caused by a space heater or other source of household warmth during the cold winter months. The highly trained staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore any property, residential or commercial. They understand the stress and worry that comes with fire or water damage. Their goal is to help minimize the disruption and restore the property to its pre-damage condition.

Palo Alto, CA, experiences one of the most temperate climates anywhere in the United States. The Mediterranean climate means that residents enjoy sunny comfort much of the year. However, the months from November through February do usher in cooler temperatures. A cozy fireplace or the warm glow of a space heater accompanied by a toasty cup of herbal tea or hot chocolate easily remedies a late evening or early morning chill.

Because of its compact size and energy efficiency, homeowners often use space heaters to help keep a particular living area warm. There are four types of space heaters that operate through the use of electricity:

  1. Convection heaters

This type of heater circulates air through the body of the appliance, which contains a heating element.

  1. Fan heaters

This device includes an electric fan to increase airflow. It is a type of convection heater.

  1. Oil heaters

In this type of convection heater, the casing of the heater is filled with oil, which provides a more even heating. These heaters often look like the old-fashioned radiator.

  1. Ceramic heaters

This technologically advanced heater utilizes a heating element that attains a high temperature. The element is contained in a glass (ceramic) envelope.

Although these heaters are an effective way to provide additional warmth, they can also pose a fire hazard.

Fire Facts: Space Heaters

  • One-half of all home heating fires occur in December, January, and February.
  • Eight out of ten home heating fires involve space heaters.
  • One-third of home heating fires are caused by space heaters.
  • One-fourth of home heating fire deaths were due to space heaters located too close to clothing, bedding, or upholstered furniture.

Space Heater Fire Prevention Tips

These simple tips promote the safe operation of space heaters.

  1. Inspect the unit, power cord, and plug before operating the heater. Carefully follow all maintenance and operating instructions at all times. Never operate a heater that is damaged or intermittently malfunctioning.
  2. Keep space heaters at least three feet from common combustibles such as bedding, clothing, and furniture.
  3. Keep pets and children away from space heaters.
  4. Never leave an operating space heater unattended.
  5. Avoid using a space heater in a damp room, such as in a bathroom when taking a shower. The excessively moist air can cause the space heater to short, resulting in an electrical fire.
  6. Always place the space heater on a stable, level, and nonflammable surface. Do not run the cord under a rug or carpet runner where it can be damaged by heavy foot traffic or impact from an object such as a canned good, tool, or piece of furniture.
  7. Do not use an extension cord with a space heater. The extension cord may arc and cause a house fire.
  8. Plug a space heater directly into an outlet with enough capacity and a snug fit.
  9. Make sure all smoke alarms are working and are on every level of the home. Test smoke alarms monthly.
  10. Never use a stove or oven as a substitute for a space heater.

Newer space heaters have advanced technology that makes them much safer and more efficient than older units. Consider purchasing a newer space heater if the one currently being used has not been properly maintained and is more than several years old. Do not place food, paper, beverages, or cushions on top of a space heater.

In case of a home heating fire, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to help regain control of the situation quickly and begin the fire damage restoration process. For more information about fire damage restoration in Palo Alto, CA, and the surrounding area, contact the office by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com.

Types of Damage That Can Result From a Burst or Leaking Water Pipe

12/11/2020 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto makes homeowners aware of the serious water damage issues that can result from burst pipes and ruptured appliance supply lines.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is a locally owned and operated damage restoration company that is known for putting customers first. The team specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial properties after a water, fire, or smoke damage incident. They also mitigate mold and mildew from homes and businesses. No job is too big or too small for SERVPRO of Palo Alto to handle, including burst pipes that cause water damage. The highly trained staff is equipped with the knowledge to restore any property. They understand the stress and worry that come from fire or water damage. Their goal is to help minimize the disruption and restore the property to its pre-damage condition and make it “Like it never even happened.”

One of the most common causes of water damage in a home or business is burst pipes or ruptured appliance supply lines. These types of water damage incidents have many causes. Knowing and understanding the causes can help the homeowner take measures to prevent a water damage disaster.

Excessive water pressure

Water pipes are manufactured to withstand a specified amount of internal water pressure. The specific water pressure rating is typically printed on the pipe. When the water pressure exceeds the pressure rating, the result is a burst pipe, a flooded mess, and damage to personal belongings and the structure.

Frozen pipes

In many parts of the US during the winter, temperatures plunge into the frigid zone, resulting in frozen pipes that burst and wreak havoc in many homes and businesses. In those colder regions, adequate pipe insulation and heat tape are sufficient to prevent water pipes from freezing. Thankfully, most nights in Palo Alto rarely or never dip below 40 °F. From November to February, the city averages about a dozen or so nights with frost, hardly cold enough to freeze any pipes. It always warms up to at least forty degrees or more the next day. Temperatures as cold as twenty degrees Fahrenheit, almost cold enough to freeze exposed pipes, are a meteorological anomaly in Palo Alto. However, in the rare instance that temperatures plummet into the danger zone, wrapping exposed pipes with as little as one-quarter inch of newspaper will prevent pipes from freezing.

Incorrect pipework and layering

Property owners are advised to hire a licensed, qualified plumber experienced in pipe layering to install pipework and the connections. Any error in the layering process can lead to incorrect subjugation of water pressure, resulting in a burst pipe. When a larger pipe is connected to a smaller pipe, the excessive pressure from the water can lead to a burst pipe.

Aging pipes

Metal and plastic water pipes have a definite life span. Proper maintenance can extend this lifespan a few years. Corrosion degrades metal pipes, making them susceptible to breaking. Over time, plastic pipes become brittle. When pipes become vulnerable, the slightest variations in water pressure can cause these pipes to rupture, potentially causing extensive water damage.

Clogs

Clogs are a common cause of pipe breakage. Internal accumulation of coagulated minerals can clog pipes. A major clog restricting water flow can cause incredible pressure that accumulates above the blockage and results in a burst pipe or leak.

Ground movements

Earthquake Tracker estimates that Palo Alto has almost 400 earthquakes per year. This constant ground movement can rupture aging pipes and compromise newer pipes, which eventually leak or burst.

Improper pipe connections

Pipe connections are vulnerable weak links in any plumbing system. Improper pipe connections can leak or burst under extreme pressure. A trained and experienced plumber is worth the expense when plumbing installation and repairs are needed. The headache and expense of even a small water damage disaster will drive this point home.

Types of Water Damage from Burst Pipes

A burst water pipe can cause massive damage to a home or business. A burst pipe or ruptured appliance supply line can unleash a fountain of water at a rate of seven to nine gallons per minute, causing seen and unseen damage to the structure. The seen and unseen damage from burst pipes may include the following:

Damaged insulation and wiring

When cellulose, loose fill, or fiberglass become saturated and compresses, it loses some of its insulating value and must be replaced. Wet wiring can short circuit and cause a fire. Sometimes the entire wall must be ripped apart to remove and replace the compressed insulation and repair the soaked wiring.

Rotted structural materials

If unseen or left unchecked, water from leaking pipes can flow into the walls and under flooring before it is noticed. The structural damage can involve

  • Warping, cracking, and rotting of wall studs
  • Swelling, warping, and rotting of baseboards
  • Rotting of wooden support beams and sub-floors
  • Rusting of steel brackets that hold support beams in place (Rusting and compromised support brackets can lead to costly repairs that far exceed damage to plaster, drywall, and lathe.)

Mold

Even after all water-soaked materials have been dried or removed, mold can start to grow inside air ducts, walls, and even the subfloor. Mold is difficult to remediate and requires professional experience, training, and equipment, including personal protective gear (PPG), to safely and effectively mitigate. Mold cleanup is not a DIY project.

Water damage from a burst water pipe or a ruptured appliance supply not only disrupts life and causes stress, but it also can present serious dangers and health hazards. As soon as water damage is suspected or detected, call in a professional water damage restoration specialist to inspect and assess the situation before advanced secondary water damage occurs.

For more information about water damage restoration in Palo Alto, CA, and the surrounding area, contact the office by phone at (650) 800-3448.

More Fire Safety Tips for Northern California Wildfires

10/1/2020 (Permalink)

Wildfires pose a real danger to Northern California home and businesses

With the fires that are currently raging in Northern California's wine country fire safety, both from wildfires and accidental home fires, is a real concern for millions of California residents, including those in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, and Redwood City in Santa Clara County, California.

Due to a combination of reasons, including weather conditions (including lack of rain and lack of humidity), increasing temperatures (global warming), and simple human error or carelessness (tossed cigarettes, illegal bonfires, intentional fire-setting), wildfires have been increasing in number and intensity in recent years. This means that experiencing fire damage has become a very real possibility for many Californians, including those in many parts of Santa Clara County, California.

There’s also the danger of fires starting in your home from electrical shorts or kitchen fires (the most common cause of in-home fires). According to The Red Cross, “If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.” Two minutes! That’s barely enough time to grab your pets and a couple of beloved belongings and escape. Not to mention dealing with the worry about your home due to fire damage because of fires in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, or Redwood City.

Here are the top 7 ways to prepare for a home fire from redcross.org:

  • Install the correct number of smoke alarms. Install a smoke detector inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) or near the stairway to the upper level, or in both locations. Test your smoke alarm or smoke detector once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Teach children what smoke alarms sound like, and teach them what to do when they hear one. Practice with them twice-yearly.
  • Ensure that all household members know at least two ways to escape from every room of your home, and that you determine a family meeting spot outside of your home in the case of a fire.
  • Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another or cannot meet at the predetermined family meeting spot.
  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year, and at random times. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1, no matter how young.
  • Teach family members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

The Red Cross also recommends you follow these fire-safe habits:

  • Keep items that can catch on fire, like flammable clothing, paper, toys, etc. at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Smoking paraphernalia is the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. Please do not smoke. If you have to smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside, choose fire-safe cigarettes, don’t smoke in bed, don’t smoke when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches, and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.

Following these fire-safe habits won’t protect you against wildfires, but there are steps you can take to help reduce the risk of fire damage to your home from a wildfire, such as those that have recently been burning in both Northern California and Southern California.

In the last two years, over 67,000 wildfires have been reported across the country each year, many in California. Yearly, wildfires destroy over 4,000 structures, with 3,000 of them residential. As real estate development expands into forests and grasslands, the chances of wildfire-related property damage go up.  

You can’t fight back a wildfire that is encroaching on your home or business, but you can take steps to protect yourself and your property. Learn how you can help protect your home or business from a wildfire.  Keep you and your family safe and know how and when to evacuate. Learn more in the second part of this blog post, to be continued next week.

If you already have suffered fire damage and need fire restoration, please call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 for a free estimate. Our highly trained technicians use advanced equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Fall Fire Safety Tips to Protect Your Home | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

9/24/2020 (Permalink)

If you experience any property damage due to a fire, we are here for you. Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto to learn more.

While it’s true that house fires can happen at any time during the year, statistically most happen in the fall and winter months, according to the American Red Cross.

But here’s the good news: Whether you’re having fall fun around a roaring bonfire or just relaxing around the fireplace in your living room, you can take simple steps to make fire safety a priority.

Keeping Fall Fun and Safe

Many people look forward to lighting the first fire of the year in their fireplace. But before you relax in front of the fire with your pumpkin latte or hot cider, be sure to have your fireplace and chimney checked out by a professional. You’ll have more peace of mind if you know that your chimney or fireplace doesn’t need maintenance.

While you’re getting a fireplace checked out, ask your inspector to be sure any other heating systems you might use are working well, too. Fixing small issues before they become big problems can help you protect your home and family from fires.

Bonfires are another popular fall tradition. They’re a great way to gather friends and enjoy treats like s’mores. But if you’re having a bonfire, be sure there’s always someone nearby to keep an eye on the fire and help keep it under control so it doesn’t cause unexpected damage. Don’t leave a burning fire unattended in your yard.

Change Your Smoke Detector Batteries

Checking your smoke detectors a couple of times every year can help give your family a sense of security and protect them from the dangers that can come with fires. Most experts recommend having smoke detectors in all bedrooms and other strategic spots around the house, like in the living room.

When you check your smoke detectors, be sure to have new batteries on hand so you can change them out.

If you have problems remembering when you need to change the batteries in your smoke detectors (and many people do), a good rule of thumb is to switch them every spring and fall when you change your clocks.

<h2re-here-if-you-need-us">We’re Here if You Need Us

If an accident happens at your home this fall and you need help restoring fire or smoke damage, you don’t have to look far.

Our team is always ready to help you if a fire damages your home. Local experts can guide you through the fire restoration process and help get your home back in top shape.

We’re here to talk with you 247 if you need to learn more about our fire restoration process.

California Firestorms Info Links | SERVPRO of Palo Alto

9/16/2020 (Permalink)

Stay safe during Northern California wildfires!

With unprecedented firestorms burning all over the West Coast, including here in Northern California, it's vital to have information at your fingertips about wildfire location, air quality in your specific location, wildfire resources, and safety tips.

Here's where you should go to keep yourself informed and your family safe:

California wildfire map

CAL FIRE
Fire.ca.gov

Air quality information

EPA & partners
Airnow.gov

Wildfire preparedness & safety information

CAL FIRE
Readyforwildfire.org

Wildfire safety tips & information

FEMA
Ready.gov/wildfires

Wildfire response resources

Cal OES
Wildfirerecovery.caloes.ca.gov

Response.ca.gov

Satellite imagery of areas impacted by fire

Maxar technologies on Google Crisis Map
Google.org/crisismap/2020-california-wildfire-imagery

With the sheer magnitude of the current wildfire situation in our area and all over the western United States, please keep yourself informed. And if wildfires do affect your home or business, don't hesitate to call SERVPRO of Palo Alto for 24-hour fire restoration service! Call us at (650) 800-3448.

What You Should Know about Water Damage | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

9/8/2020 (Permalink)

Our team is always ready to help you after busted pipes or other water related issues. SERVPRO of Palo Alto is the water restoration expert.

When you think about water damage, you probably think about thunderstorms, floods or other natural disasters. But most water damage in American homes is caused by the things we rely on to keep our lives running every day.

That’s right. Things like your appliances, plumbing and sewers (or septic tanks) are far more likely to cause water damage to your home than storms are. According to iPropertyManagement, a website that advises landlords and property managers, water damage that isn’t related to severe weather is the second-most common claim homeowners file.

What does that look like in dollars? In 2017, insurance companies paid out $13 billion in water damage claims.

Protecting your home

So, what are the common culprits causing water damage in homes? This list covers some of the top offenders.

The appliances in your kitchen can cause significant water damage. Dishwashers and refrigerators (specifically the ice maker) can flood areas when they malfunction. A slow, gradual leak that may go unnoticed at first can cause big damage later. But there are steps you can take to keep an eye on these possible issues.

Every few months, you can remove the plate at the bottom of your dishwasher while you’re running a cycle and look for leaks. You can check the supply line for your ice maker when you pull your refrigerator away from the wall to clean it.

Plumbing problems are another common cause of water damage. In general, plumbing pipes have a long lifespan. But you can watch for possible leaks by keeping an eye on your water bill. If it’s unusually high, there may be an issue. You can also pick up a water leak detector. Some of them even have apps for your phone.

Water heaters are another common culprit. The best way to prevent damage from your water heater is to replace it as needed. Depending on your model, most water heaters can last 10 to 20 years. You can check your water heater’s age by taking a look at the unit. It’s usually noted underneath it.

What happens if you can’t catch the leak?

Even the most diligent homeowners can sometimes miss a leak. Accidents happen. And when they do, it’s important to have your home professionally cleaned to protect you and your loved ones from mold and other issues that can arise after a water leak. That’s where our team of experts can help you.

Our team is always ready to help you after busted pipes, water heater leaks or appliance malfunctions damage your home. We’re here to talk with you 247 if you need to learn more about our water restoration process.

Get Your Home Ready for Severe Weather | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

8/27/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is here to provide you with a rapid response. Contact us right away if you experience any storm damage.

You can’t control where a storm hits. But there are steps you can take to be sure your home is in the best shape possible to weather severe storms.

The National Weather Service has some great tips for making sure your home is ready for storms. They recommend:

Keeping the trees near your home trimmed and healthy. Tree limbs overhanging your house can fall during a storm. And having a dead tree near your home can be risky during heavy wind. It can damage your roof, the siding on your home, and break windows.

Ensuring your gutters are clean. This is a good way to help keep your roof (and the rest of your home) safe from water damage. Keep in mind that cleaning gutters regularly also protects your home over time.

Securing loose items and closing doors and windows. If you have time, this can help save both these items and your home from damage.

Other Ways to Prepare

If you want to know more about getting your home and family ready for severe weather—including the types of weather threats that are common in your area, visit ready.gov.

The information on ready.gov comes directly from the Department of Homeland Security. It’s a good source for general information about storms and emergency planning. Plus you can download their app to your smartphone for real-time alerts about severe weather that might affect your town.

During severe weather, every minute counts. So having real-time alerts is a good way to help keep your family members and pets safe. If you’re out of town, the app will send alerts that apply to wherever you are.

Cleaning Up After the Storm

Hopefully, your family will never be hit by a storm. But if you are, it’s important to get your home professionally cleaned. Why? Because expert cleaning can help get your family’s home back in order quickly. Plus, if there’s water damage, it can help protect you against mold later.

If your home sustains damage due to a storm, you can count on us to help. We’re here to talk with you 247if you need to learn more about our storm restoration process.

Ask the Right Questions to Pick a Storm Restoration Team | SERVPRO® of Palo Alto

8/7/2020 (Permalink)

Choosing the right restoration company is crucial to getting things back to normal. Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto to set up an appointment.

When there is severe weather in the area, it can be alarming to experience—but if your area sustains damage, it is even worse. The severity and expenditures associated with storm damage are more serious than many realize, which is why we always advise doing your research before making a decision when it comes time to pick a restoration company.

The company you choose is so important to your overall recovery experience. As it is generally a stressful time, working with a company that provides you with peace of mind will make a huge difference in how smoothly the process proceeds and how quickly your damages are resolved. To help you decide on the right company for you, we have a few tips.

Your Guide for Choosing a Restoration Company After Sustaining Damage

Have you checked on their reputation? When you invest money into your home, you want to be certain you are making a wise choice—and restoration is no exception. Scammers often surface after bad storms to take advantage of those who have sustained damage, so doing your own research is vital. Make sure your chosen company is active in the community and is considered an industry leader in restoration to be certain they are a good choice.

Do you know how they handle sudden rushes in businesses? Storm damage is quite unique because of just how suddenly it can occur and how much of an area it can impact. While you are deciding on a restoration company, make sure to choose one that can provide good service even when they get inundated with sudden requests. With our national SERVPRO® partnership, we are enabled to seek backup whenever we need it in order to provide the same level of service regardless of the extent of damages.

What happens if I have an after-hours emergency? It is rare that storm damages will occur at a time that is convenient, but it can occur at the worst time possible. Because storms do not follow a strict workweek, we do not either. You can get in touch with us any hour of the day or night to report your damage, and our emergency response team will spring into action regardless of the damages.

When you have damage from a storm to your home or commercial building, you can always depend on us to handle it. Contact us at any hour to see our exceptional service in action.

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

7/24/2020 (Permalink)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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 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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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!

Quality Fire Damage Restoration Services for Bay Area Homes & Businesses

12/14/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto restores fire damage in Bay Area cities like Palo Alto

Damage caused by a fire is devastating for home and business owners in the Bay Area, particularly in Palo Alto, Stanford, East Palo Alto, and Menlo Park. It’s a stressful and confusing time, so you’ll need caring experts to guide you through this crisis, from beginning to end. Our damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always handle your home and belongings 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 by 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 and efficient 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, so you can enjoy your home again. SERVPRO uses the latest damage restoration 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 today!

Fire Damage to Your Bay Area Commercial Property? Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto!

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Let SERVPRO of Palo Alto help you after a fire at your business

Fire damage on your commercial property can be emotionally and financially devastating.  At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we understand that every hour spent in the cleanup and fire restoration process of your business means lost revenue and productivity. This is why SERVPRO of Palo Alto is a trusted emergency restoration company that will walk you through the entire process by dealing with your insurance company as well as your preferences for your business restoration.

After a fire occurs, make sure to notify your insurance agent so you can begin itemizing your losses. You want to be sure to understand your options and go over your policy carefully in order to make the right decisions. We will help you through your insurance paperwork and manage your property’s fire restoration process from start to finish. Our goal at SERVPRO of Palo Alto is to have your business restored quickly and efficiently.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto gives you access to IICRC-industry certified technicians.  Our highly trained staff have several years of experience assisting business owners just like you with excellent service. Regardless of how the fire began, or what materials exist in the affected area, you want to have the right company for the job. Restoring your property after a fire damage, can be a lengthy and confusing process. For these events, you will need professionals that are on your side to walk you through the necessary steps to restore your property. We will treat your property as if it were ours, with respect and care.

To increase the chances of having your business restored successfully, trust SERVPRO of Palo Alto to cleanup and restore your commercial property. Our SERVPRO of Palo Alto professionals, have the resources to help you take control of your business again. We provide fire restoration & smoke restoration (remediating smoke damage or soot damage). Have questions about fire, smoke, or soot damage to your business? Call us today at 650-800-3448.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Customer Testimonial

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

Expert Technicians Take Care of Water Damage

No one wants to need our damage restoration services. If we are helping you, it means you have had a smoke damage or water damage from things like a candle or a toilet overflow. But, SERVPRO® of Palo Alto is here to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

A recent customer had this to say, “Through the whole process SERVPRO® of Palo Alto has been outstanding. Very helpful, one of the greatest teams to work with.” We know that you hope never to need our services, but we hope that we can make the process of water restoration, fire restoration, smoke and soot restoration, or mold mitigation as painless and as easy for you as possible.

Water damage is never fun, but SERVPRO® of Palo Alto is here to assist you 24/7, 365, so call us at 650-800-3448.

Common Causes of Water Damage

12/9/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Can Help With Water Damage

Water damage can occur when excess water begins to pool in areas where it shouldn’t. There are many different factors that can contribute to excess water that can cause water damage. When you are aware of what may cause water damage, you can take precautionary measures to help ensure you take the proper precautions against a leak or flood. Plus, you'll also be able to spot a problem as soon as it becomes apparent and minimize the chance of any additional damage. The more quickly you notice the problem, the less work a water damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Palo Alto will have to do to restore your home or business.

Causes of water damage include:

  • Bursting or leaking pipes
  • Issues with the plumbing system
  • Buildup in areas prone to collecting water, such as crawl spaces, attics and basements
  • Faulty or malfunctioning household appliances
  • HVACs (Heating, ventilating and air conditioning units) issues
  • Natural disasters and other weather-related water problems

If you have a water damage event at your home or business, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 today!

Pride in Our Work

12/7/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Takes Care of Water Damage

When it comes to damage restoration, SERVPRO of Palo Alto has proudly been serving the Bay Area, including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Stanford, Atherton, Redwood City, and Portola Valley for over five years. In that time, we have gained the trust of hundreds of residential and business customers who have faced damage restoration needs due to water damage, fire damage, smoke and soot damage, and mold.

As an IICRC Certified Firm, SERVPRO of Palo Alto IICRC certified technicians set themselves apart through training, experience, and comprehensive examination. An IICRC Certified Firm must first employ one or more IICRC certified technicians, and apply with the IICRC to become a Certified Firm. Certified Firms are the only cleaning, restoration and inspection companies listed in the IICRC locator. They also promise to adhere to the IICRC Code of Ethics, be current in their business insurance and licensee requirements, and can proudly display the IICRC logo on their company website and vehicles.

Customers love us! Our multiple five-star reviews across various sites like Facebook, Yelp, and Google show how seriously SERVPRO of Palo Alto is dedicated to making it "Like it never even happened."

Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto today for exceptional damage restoration service day or night at (650) 800-3448!

SERVPRO Offers Quick Assistance to Homeowners

12/3/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Takes Care of Residential Water Damage

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 expert team at SERVPRO 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. 

If you ever experience a water damage event, call us for quick assistance to prevent further damage!

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

How SERVPRO Can Help You Recover After Fire Damage

12/3/2019 (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 damage. At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we treat our customers with empathy and respect. Call us at 650-800-3448 today!

SERVPRO Can Help After Tragedy

12/2/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO Technicians Trained to Clean Biohazardous Substances

Experiencing the loss of a loved one can be emotionally devastating. And it is especially tough when you lose your loved one due to suicide or homicide. 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.

SERVPRO is there for you to help make the process as easy as possible, considering the difficulty of such situations. 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.

Choosing a Reliable Restoration Company in Palo Alto

11/5/2019 (Permalink)

Northern California Firestorms

We hear the question: Why SERVPRO? often. And we have the answer for you.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto has been serving Palo Alto, Atherton, Redwood City, Stanford, and Menlo Park for five years and has helped countless clients, from homeowners to commercial property managers keep their properties well-maintained and restored as needed.

Currently, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is assisting home and business owners in Northern California whose properties have suffered from the extensive wildfire season. We are dealing with insurance companies and helping people get back on their feet and back into their homes and businesses. Our mostly five-star reviews and trust from repeat clients is a testament to our commitment and expertise at water, fire, mold, and smoke & soot restoration. Our expertly trained technicians are certified and dedicated to the customer.

Have you been affected by the current wildfire season and need fire or water restoration? Then call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 and get immediate assistance today!

Water Damage Restoration After Fire

10/29/2019 (Permalink)

Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto for water and fire damage

With the current fires occurring in Northern and Southern California, not only will the property owners will have suffered fire damage, but they will also suffer water damage from the firefighters' efforts to put out the fire.

When you experience fire damage compounded by water damage, you need a top restoration company like SERVPRO of Palo Alto. Our expert technicians will be out to your property within hours to minimize damage and set up proprietary equipment to get your property and your life back on track as soon as possible. We even work directly with your insurance company to give you one less headache.

If you experience fire and/or water damage, call the experts at SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 today! We will be with you every step of the way.

Prepping for a Palo Alto Power Outage

10/17/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Can Help with Damage Caused by Power Outages

The American Red Cross encourages that each household and car have a preparedness kit, but sadly only 51.5% of US homes reportedly have an emergency kit ready. Here at SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we’re passionate about preparedness. As we head into the 2019 storm season, we recommend homes and businesses prepare power outage kits for the instance they find themselves without power.

Kits should include things like water, canned food, a can opener, flashlights and batteries. Food and water rations should be enough for each person in your household or place of business for 5 days.

To start a power outage kit, grab an old backpack or duffle and add in plenty of bottled water, battery-operated radio and clock, flashlight for each member of your household including extra batteries, non-electric can opener, list of emergency phone numbers including family and friends and a first aid kit.

September was National Preparedness month, and SERVPRO of Palo Alto recommends that learn more about how to prepare for disaster.

Should disaster, like water damage from a dishwasher leak or pipe break, affect your home, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto today at (650) 800-3448.

Small Leaks Can Cause Big Damage

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Takes Care of Water Damage Due to Leaks

When you think of water damage, the first thing that comes to mind is an image of severe flooding with cars floating down the street and a basement fully immersed in water. Rain and flooding do cost business and home owners tens of millions of dollars in repairs annually, but a slow and persistent water leak can also lead to catastrophic damage if not addressed in a timely manner. Here are the consequences of allowing a slow leak to continue.

Structure Damage

Your home relies on wood and metal materials. Water can weaken wood and corrode metal. Over time, this weakening can lead to floors buckling and walls and ceilings collapsing.

Sheetrock is also prone to water damage. The gypsum materials in sheetrock can act as a sponge, drawing in the water and weakening the walls. This is also prime breeding ground for mold growth.

Untreated brick and concrete are also susceptible to damage. Continued exposure to water can cause cracks and erosion. If the water freezes and then thaws out, the damage left can be severe, requiring expensive and extensive repairs to the foundation.

Flooring and fixtures

Water can weaken the backing of your carpeting and rugs and make them more susceptible to damage. Additionally, carpeting is not intended to get wet and can attract mold, mildew and insects when it is not dried out right away.

Constant leaks can also cause corrosive damage to metal fixtures such as sink and shower heads. The constant water can cause decay over time to rubber gaskets and cause the water pressure to decrease.

In the bathroom, an unattended leak can lead to loosening tiles in your shower or countertops. Leaks in the kitchen can lead to buckling floors and discoloration.

Mold & Other Pests

When water is allowed to remain stagnant for any period of time, it begins to attract mold, insects and germs. If a wet environment is allowed to remain in your home, airborne pathogens and mold will be attracted to it.

Financially Devastating    

Water damage becomes especially expensive when attempting to sell your home. It’s better to be proactive now, than to wait until the 11th hour when your home is already on the market. Home inspectors are trained to look for water and mold damage and will document their findings, no matter how big or small, in their pre-sale inspection report. Potential buyers can use this report to offer substantially less than your asking price or, worse yet, abandon the deal altogether because they feel the home is too much trouble to repair.

Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto, serving Palo Alto, Atherton, Redwood City, Stanford, and Menlo Park in the Bay Area

When your home has water damage from flooding or leaks, we have the expertise and equipment to properly restore your property. Our experience and scientific approach to water removal and water cleanup enable us to properly dry and restore your property. The restoration process begins when you call us. Our representative will guide you through the crisis and may ask several questions to help us better understand the situation and dispatch the appropriate equipment and resources. We determine the scope of your water damage at this stage. We inspect and test to determine the extent of damage and how far the moisture has traveled to ensure proper and complete restoration. Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto today at (650) 800-3448 to get the process started!

Types of Smoke and Fire Damage in Your Palo Alto Home

10/14/2019 (Permalink)

With fire damage, comes smoke and soot. Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. SERVPRO of Palo Alto's 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 SERVPRO of Palo Alto Today at (650) 800-3448 for 24-hour service, 365 days a year!

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is an IICRC Certified Firm

10/11/2019 (Permalink)

Choose an IICRC Certified Firm like SERVPRO of Palo Alto

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration, and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke, or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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 to restore your property.

If you experience water damage and need help right away, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto for help today at (650) 800-3448.

Wildfire Danger Cuts Off Power to 800K Customers in Northern California

10/9/2019 (Permalink)

PG & E Power Outage

Because of firestorm danger, Pacific Gas & Electric is shutting off power to about 800,000 customers across Northern California to try to avoid wildfires caused by winds damaging power equipment, a historic move.

The first power cutoffs, which is expected to affect 513,000 customers, began shortly after midnight in several counties around Sacramento, amid strengthening winds and continued to roll out into the early morning hours.

The blackouts will affect 34 counties in Central and Northern California, including Santa Clara county. Cities like Palo Alto, Atherton, Redwood City, Menlo Park, and Stanford, areas that SERVPRO of Palo Alto serves. It would be the biggest power shutdown so far as utilities across the state attempt to reduce wildfire risk due to heavy wind. Utilities malfunctions have been tied to some of the state’s most destructive fires, including last year’s Camp fire, which devastated Paradise, Calif., and the 2017 fires in Sonoma and Napa Valley.

The outage could last a week. Do you know if you'll be affected? Check out the outage map here.

Commercial Large Loss Restoration in the Bay Area

10/8/2019 (Permalink)

Large loss restoration at a Palo Alto business

When a commercial large loss occurs, it's important to mobilize professional help from restoration experts like SERVPRO of Palo Alto ASAP.

Our experts work with you with a sense of urgency and respect for your business's needs. We are onsite within several hours and create a plan to tackle your large loss. No matter the type of loss, our expert team at SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the resources to handle the restoration and provide guidance and regular updates throughout the process.

From beginning to end, we work with you and your company and keep you informed at every step of the restoration process to get your business up and running as quickly as possible.

We understand communication is vital, which is why we conduct initial “walk throughs” to assess the damage. We determine customer needs and goals, and communicate regularly to give you the reassurance you need to know your business is being well-take care of. At the end of a large loss restoration, SERVPRO of Palo Alto follow ups with a final walkthrough to ensure we made it "Like it never even happened."

Experienced a large water or fire loss at your business? Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto today at (650) 800-3448!

Commercial HVAC System Maintenance in Bay Area

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial HVAC System Maintenance in the Bay Area

For business owners in the Bay Area, it’s possible to overlook certain aspects of building or office space such as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC system). When these systems are not properly maintained, they can accumulate dust, pollen, and other debris.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.” It’s very important to maintain clean ducts in order to maintain a healthy environment for your business.

When these ducts are not given the maintenance that they require, the HVAC system may begin to fail and waste unnecessary energy that can cost you. Keeping your air ducts clean can save you and your business money. HVAC systems may also leak and cause water damage and mold damage that can weaken the structure of your property. These damages can produce odors throughout your business and can be unpleasant for the employees and guests.

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto for the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to help you maintain your HVAC system, extending the life of your equipment and keeping business costs down. Don’t wait to call our experts on commercial air ducts and HVAC cleaning at 650-800-3448.

Contractors Benefit from SERVPRO of Palo Alto Clean-up Services

10/7/2019 (Permalink)

Let SERVPRO of Palo Alto help with remodeling clean-up

Many homeowners in the Bay Area are remodeling or rebuilding their properties, and new housing is being created as well. Contractors have been very busy due to the current remodeling boom.

Construction and remodeling projects create a lot of debris and the work area may be a dusty and dirty mess after the project has been completed. With everything else on their plate, thoroughly cleaning a job site may be the last thing a busy construction company needs to deal with. This is the time to call SERVPRO of Palo Alto.

This work can involve much more than cleaning. All debris, boxes, nails, tape, and boxes need to be removed. Construction dust will need to be removed and all surfaces thoroughly cleaned. With our clean-up experts, we can have your remodeling job looking sparkling and ready for move-in or use by owners or tenants!

If you are a contractor who needs clean-up services, SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help! Give us a call today to discuss our construction cleaning services at (650) 800-3448.

Round-the-Clock Water Emergency Restoration Service

10/6/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Restoration in Palo Alto

Water Damage in Palo Alto

9/30/2019

SERVPRO of Palo Alto, one of the Bay Area's top water and fire restoration companies, is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, you need to take action immediately, since a delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity (and cost!) of the water damage.

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an experienced company to guide you through both the crisis and the water restoration process. SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call us, we'll ask a few questions about your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO technicians may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Palo Alto

SERVPRO of Palo Alto specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. 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 to restore your Palo Alto, Atherton, Stanford, Redwood City, and Menlo Park property. Call us at 650-800-3448 today!

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Takes Care of Your Fire Damage

10/1/2019 (Permalink)

Many homeowners in Palo Alto, Atherton, Menlo Park, Redwood City, North Fair Oaks, and Stanford who experience 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 weeks or months at a time while their homes are being completely rebuilt or will face partial reconstruction and major cleanup.

The first thing you should do after such a loss is speak with your insurance company. Educate yourself on your policy and loss coverage.

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, in addition to creating lists of your valuables can literally save you thousands when you are trying to recoup your losses and make an insurance claim on damages.

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 Palo Alto, Stanford, Atherton, Redwood City, Menlo Park, and North Fair Oaks, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will help you throughout the entire process. We 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 damage. 

At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we treat our customers with empathy and respect. Call us at 650-800-3448 if you need the best in the business when it comes to fire restoration!

Natural Disaster Preparation in the Bay Area

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Due to Storms

A tornado touching down in Davis, California reminds us in the Bay Area that we need to be prepared for what Mother Nature can throw at us at any moment. It is also a good reminder to review your current homeowners insurance policy. Although California doesn't often experience tornadoes, SERVPRO of Palo Alto reminds you to always be prepared. California has been impacted by tropical storms that have caused major flooding and property damage.

Here are some tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in order to protect your home in case of a severe storm:

  • Cover all windows with precut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect from high winds.
  • Keep all trees and shrubs well-trimmed.
  • Turn off utilities and propane tanks as instructed.
  • Ensure supply of water for sanitary purposes.
  • Keep an emergency backpack available to quickly grab if you need to.


SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers 24-hour emergency service, 365 days a year. Reach us at 650-800-3448 day or night!

How to Build an Emergency Kit in Palo Alto, California

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

What to Have in Your Emergency Kit

Basic Disaster Supplies Kit

To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.

A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water - one gallon of water per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation
  • Food - at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle to signal for help
  • Dust mask to help filter contaminated air and plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Manual can opener for food
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery

If you have an emergency and need immediate service, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at 650-800-3448 anytime day or night.

Water Damage Prevention Checklist: Before You Go on Vacation

6/6/2019 (Permalink)

Vacation Water Damage

There's nothing worse than returning to your Palo Alto, Redwood City, Atherton, or Menlo Park home from a relaxing vacation to a water and mold. You may find soggy wood flooring, moldy drywall and carpets. It's the perfect way to ruin a vacation that you just took.

But if you just take a few precautions BEFORE you go, you can avert a potentially major catastrophe and save money in water damage restoration and mold remediation and removal. You simply turn off all the relevant water valves in your home, before you go away.

good tip is to have a friend perform an occasional walk-through of your home in your absence.

Check out this water prevention checklist from your friends at SERVPRO of Palo Alto.

Water Damage Prevention Checklist

  • Check Water Supply Lines on Household Appliances

    Some of the most common causes of residential water damage can be attributed to faulty household appliances like washing machines, refrigerators and dishwashers. Check all the relevant water supply lines to ensure that there are no breaks or leaks.

  • Check Plumbing

    Inspect all the pipes in your home, especially those located under the sink(s) for evidence of leaks. If you find any leaks, no matter how small, call a plumber to quickly and efficiently rectify the problem. If there are no leaks, turn off any relevant water valves throughout the house such as those relevant to your sink(s), toilet(s) and bathtub(s).

  • Bonus Tip:

    Depending on the season, you may want to leave the cupboards open to encourage and maintain pipes at ambient temperature, thereby preventing possible freezing and bursting of pipes. 

  • Turn off the Main Water Supply Valve

    Alternatively, you can turn off the main water supply valve to your home, so as to discontinue the flow of any water through your pipes in your absence.

  • Note:

    It is imperative the every adult member of your household knows where the main water supply valve is located in your home, because water damage mishaps can occur at anytime, even when your home is occupied. Should that ever happen, knowing where the main water supply valve is will make the difference all the difference in the magnitude of potential water damage to your home.

  • Unplug electronic devices and household appliances

    In an effort to prevent a short in the electric circuit of your home, (should there be water intrusion in your absence), unplug electronic devices like computers, printers, televisions as well as household appliances like washers, dryers, and dishwashers. Do not unplug the refrigerator unless you decide to empty it out.

  • Fire Hazards

    Address any potential fire hazards, before you go! Don’t leave flammable items in your home, especially during the summer months, because if there should be a fire, your indoor sprinkler may become activated, thereby leading to water damage and subsequent mold infestation.

  • Put the water heater in vacation mode

    When you put the water heater in vacation mode, the water inside the pipes is maintained at ambient temperature, thereby drastically minimizing the chance that the pipes might freeze and possibly burst.

  • Make sure the gutters are clean

    Clogged and/or damaged gutters and downspouts act as a potential gateway for water intrusion into your home while you are away.

  • Inspect your windows

    Paying extra attention to any sky-windows, check the seals around your windows in your home. Caulk if necessary.

  • Roof Shingles

    Finally, be mindful of the fact that damaged roof shingles have the tendency to serve as a significant point of entry for water intrusion into your home. Therefore, if you spot any damage, arrange to have it repaired, before you go!

If you do happen to experience water damage, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448. We will make it "Like it never even happened."

Fire Safety Facts & Prevention Tips for the Bay Area

3/8/2019 (Permalink)

Keep safe with these fire safety tips.

FIRE SAFETY FACTS

Each year, more than 4,000 Americans die in fires, more than 25,000 are injured in fires, and more than 100 firefighters are killed while on duty. Eighty three percent of all civilian fire deaths occurred in residences. Many of these fires could have been prevented.

Cooking is the third leading cause of fire deaths and the leading cause of injury among people ages 65 and older.

Direct loss due to fires is estimated at nearly $8.6 billion annually. Intentionally set structure fires resulted in an estimated $664 million in property damage.

In order to protect yourself, it is important to understand the basic characteristics of fire.

  • Fire is FAST. In just two minutes, a fire can become life-threatening. In five minutes, a residence can be engulfed in flames.

  • Fire is DARK. Fire produces gases that make you disoriented and drowsy. Instead of being awakened by a fire, you may fall into a deeper sleep. Asphyxiation is the leading cause of fire deaths, exceeding burns by a three- to- one ratio.

  • Fire is HOT. Heat and smoke from fire can be more dangerous than the flames. Inhaling the super- hot air can sear your lungs.

    FIRE PREVENTION TIPS

    BEFORE A FIRE

    The following are things you can do to protect yourself, your family, and your property in the event of a fire:

    SMOKE ALARMS AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS

  • Install smoke alarms. Properly working smoke alarms decrease your chances of dying in a fire by half.

  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your residence, including the basement.

  • Install a working carbon monoxide detector in the common area of the bedrooms.

  • Test and clean smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year. Replace smoke

    alarms once every 10 years.

    COOKING SAFETY

    • Never leave cooking unattended.

    • Always wear short or tight-fitting sleeves when you cook.

    • Keep towels, pot holders and curtains away from flames

    • Never use the range or oven to heat your home.

      ESCAPING THE FIRE

• Have an escape plan. Review escape routes with your family.

  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut.

  • Teach family members to stay low to the floor, where the air is safer, when escaping from a fire.

  • In high-rise, never lock fire exits or doorways, halls or stairways. Never prop stairway or other fire

    doors open.

    HEATING SOURCE

  • Place space heaters at least three feet away from flammable/combustible materials.

  • Use only the type of fuel designated for your space heater.

    MATCHES/LIGHTERS AND SMOKING

  • Keep matches/lighters away from children.

  • Never smoke in bed or when drowsy or medicated.

  • If you must smoke, do it responsibly.

    ELECTRICAL WIRING

  • Inspect extension cords for frayed or exposed wires or loose plugs

  • Make sure outlets have cover plates and no exposed wiring.

  • Make sure wiring does not run under rugs, over nails, or across high traffic areas.

  • Do not overload extension cords or outlets.

    ASK THE FIRE DEPARTMENT TO INSPECT YOUR HOME FOR FIRE SAFETY AND PREVENTION

    DURING A FIRE

    If your clothes catch on fire, you should:

• Stop, drop, and roll until the fire is extinguished.

DO NOT PANIC

• Do not assume someone else already called the fire department get out of the house then call the Fire Department.

ESCAPE A FIRE

  • Check closed doors with the back of your hand to feel for heat before you open them.

  • If the door is hot do not open it. Find a second way out, such as a window. If you cannot escape

    through a window, hang a white sheet outside the window to alert firefighters to your presence.

  • Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags, bedding or tape and cover vents to keep smoke

    out.

  • If there is a phone in the room where you are trapped, call the fire department again and tell them

    exactly where you are.

  • If the door is cold slowly open it and ensure that fire and/or smoke is not blocking your escape

route. If your escape route is blocked, shut the door and use another escape route.

• If clear, leave immediately and close the door behind you. Be prepared to crawl.AFTER A FIRE

  • Once you are out of the building, STAY OUT! Do not go back inside for any reason.

  • If you are with a burn victim or are a burn victim yourself call 911, cool and cover your burns until

    emergency units arrive.

  • If you are a tenant contact the landlord.

  • Tell the fire department if you know of anyone trapped in the building.

  • Only enter when the fire department tells you it is safe to do so.

SERVPRO's Commercial HVAC System Cleaning Services

3/7/2019 (Permalink)

SERVPRO can maintain your HVAC system.

If you own a business, you wear many hats and complete hundreds of tasks on a daily basis. t’s possible to overlook certain aspects of your building or office space such as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC system) when you're busy running your business. However, when these heating and cooling systems are not properly maintained, they can accumulate dust, pollen, and other debris, causing expensive problems down the line.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.” It’s very important to maintain clean ducts in order to maintain a healthy environment for your business.

When these ducts are not given the maintenance that they require, the HVAC system may begin to fail and waste unnecessary energy that can cost you. Keeping your air ducts clean can save you and your business money. HVAC systems may also leak and cause water damage and mold damage that can weaken the structure of your property. These damages can produce odors throughout your business and can be unpleasant for the employees and guests.

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto for the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. We can help you maintain your HVAC system, which can extend the life of your equipment.

Call our SERVPRO of Palo Alto experts on commercial air ducts and HVAC cleaning at (650) 800-3448 today!

Rainstorms in Bay Area Continue

3/5/2019 (Permalink)

Rain in Bay Area

Widespread rain in the Bay Area, including in Palo Alto, Atherton, Redwood City, Stanford, and Menlo Park, continues and is expected to continue through at least Friday, March 8th, bringing at least three inches of rain.

While no major flooding is expected in the Bay Area, the weather service warned that “minor nuisance flooding may occur Tuesday night and Wednesday” given the already saturated soils.

“Rivers, streams, and creeks will experience rises, but most should remain in their banks,” the weather service wrote in its daily forecast Tuesday.

Once the heaviest downpours clear, scattered showers are likely through Friday morning, Dykema said.

A storm system coming in from the northwest could bring more rain this weekend, but at this point most of the moisture is expected to remain offshore.

Early next week, a ridge if high pressure is expected to build, which will keep the Bay Area dry at least for a couple of days.

Rainfall totals across California for the water year that began Oct. 1 are mostly above average for this time of year, including Redding (28.17 inches, or 112 percent of its historical average), San Francisco (20.02 inches, 109 percent), Oakland (15.71 inches or 100 percent), and San Jose (12.63 inches, 108 percent).

When water damage occurs due to excessive rain and flooding like we've been experiencing, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 day or night. We'll make water damage "Like it never even happened."

Protect Against Rainstorm Damage

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Santa Clara County Rainstorms

The heavy rains and horrific mudslides that devastated large swathes of Montecito in Santa Barbara County last January left death and destruction in their wake as mud and debris swept through the streets, leaving 21 people dead and thousands of homes and businesses damaged. Because all of California has experienced rain storms at one time or another (including the heavy rains last winter in Northern California, causing thousands in San Jose and surrounding areas to evacuate), water damage preparedness is essential to protecting what we hold dear.

What does this tell us, as residents of Santa Clara County, including those of us in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, and Redwood City? It tells us that we need to be prepared at all times for water damage that can occur due to heavy rains in Northern California by taking several key steps. In addition, we also need to have a reliable restoration company like SERVPRO of Palo Alto to assist in damage restoration and water mitigation after the fact.

How can homeowners and business owners protect their property from water damage in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, and Redwood City? There are several steps to take to minimize water damage due to heavy rains and winds.

First, make sure to maintain clean gutters. Clear your gutters of leaves and twigs that may have accumulated throughout the year. Do this at least twice a year, if not more. If you don’t keep your gutters clean, debris build-up slows the flow of water to the drains and leads to overflowing.

Another important step to take when safeguarding your home or business against water damage is protecting against electricity issues. During heavy rainstorms, it’s imperative to make sure that all electrical appliances are stored or moved upstairs, where water is can’t reach them. Don’t go near the fuse box and ensure that all sockets are covered and turned off. Water and electricity can cause major problems.

Next, don’t forget to check your sealant. Make sure that any gaps or holes in the sealant surrounding your doors and windows are filled in, especially if you live in an area that gets hammered by heavy downpours. Otherwise, rain will seep into the building, causing all sorts of problems requiring water damage mitigation. Inspect your sealant regularly, because regular upkeep will greatly reduce the impact of sealant erosion.

Cover air vents. As you may have already experienced, air vents are one of the most common ways that water can get into a house or business. If the forecast calls for heavy rain, or if you’re at risk of flooding, make sure that you cover your air vents from both the outside and the inside with thick plastic sheeting.

What happens if you take these protective measures before heavy rains hit and you still have water damage? Sometimes, no matter what you do, Mother Nature can still cause water damage (or mold damage due to water damage) requiring water restoration, mold restoration and mold mitigation in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, and Redwood City. Not all is lost. 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.

Here’s what one happy SERVPRO of Palo Alto customer has to say about her experience with water damage and subsequent water damage mitigation performed by SERVPRO:

“These guys are the best at what they do... I had major water damage in my house and they came in right away with a plan to address the issue.  Jessie was my project manager, absolutely wonderful and professional. He was there for me every step of the way, answered all of my calls no matter the time, could not have asked for a better manager to handle my situation.  I highly recommend Jessie and his team. Thank you guys, could not have gotten through my terrible situation without you!!” - Mary L., Newark, CA

Get your property ready for heavy rainstorms that inevitably occur in our area of Santa Clara County. Then, call us today for a quick, no-cost estimate for any water damage, large or small, that needs water restoration at (650) 800-3448.

Protect Your Bay Area Home from Rainstorm Flooding

2/20/2019 (Permalink)

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!

Commercial Rodent Droppings Cleanup

12/19/2018 (Permalink)

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)

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.

Kitchen

  • 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.

Candles

  • 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)

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

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 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)

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! 

Highly Rated Damage Restoration in Palo Alto

11/26/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is a highly rated damage restoration company in the Bay Area. Because of its dedication to both employee happiness and customer satisfaction, SERVPRO of Palo Alto has gained the reputation of being one of the top fire and water restoration companies around.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto specializes in water damage resulting from floods, rainstorms, as well from human error and accidents. No one expects their pipes to burst or their toddler to leave the bathtub faucet on, flooding the bathroom or kitchen, but it happens more often than you would think.

We also do expert work in fire restoration and smoke and soot restoration. Because after a fire, the last thing you need is to worry about how you will take care of restoring your home after a fire. Fire damage also causes smoke and soot damage. With our advanced proprietary equipment and expertly trained and certified technicians, the fire damage to your home or commercial property will be taken care of "Like it never even happened."

If you have a fire damage event or water damage event, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 today!

Commercial Mold Remediation at Palo Alto Restaurant

11/6/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Damage in Palo Alto

SERVPRO of Palo Alto got a call from a local restaurant that they suspected mold in one of their storage rooms. After using advanced proprietary equipment to detect the presence of mold, SERVPRO of Palo Alto determined there was mold and started on the mold remediation process right away.

Because the restaurant had previously experienced water damage that was not properly taken care of (they forgot to call SERVPRO of Palo Alto!), it created a mold situation that required mediation. The expertly trained technicians brought in their equipment and started to protect the rest of the premises from the effects of mold, in addition to keeping it from spreading and getting worse.

Mold mitigation (or mold remediation, as it's also called) in Palo Alto calls for a quick, professional response from a damage restoration company like SERVPRO of Palo Alto. Serving the Bay Area communities of Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Redwood City, Atherton, and Stanford, SERVPRO of Palo Alto gets five-star reviews for their work in water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, smoke and soot restoration, and in the case of this restaurant, mold mitigation.

If you suspect mold damage, please call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-2448 today

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Pride in Work

10/30/2018 (Permalink)

Water Restoration in Palo Alto

SERVPRO of Palo Alto has proudly been serving the Bay Area, including Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Stanford, Atherton, Redwood City, and Portola Valley for over five years. In that time, we have gained the trust of hundreds of customers who have faced damage restoration needs due to water damage, fire damage, smoke and soot damage, and mold.

As an IICRC Certified Firm, SERVPRO of Palo Alto IICRC certified technicians set themselves apart through training, experience, and comprehensive examination. An IICRC Certified Firm must first employ one or more IICRC certified technicians, and apply with the IICRC to become a Certified Firm. Certified Firms are the only cleaning, restoration and inspection companies listed in the IICRC locator. They also promise to adhere to the IICRC Code of Ethics, be current in their business insurance and licensee requirements, and can proudly display the IICRC logo on their company website and vehicles.

Our multiple five-star reviews across various review sites such as Yelp and Google show how seriously SERVPRO of Palo Alto is dedicated to making it "Like it never even happened."

Call today for exceptional damage restoration service at (650) 800-3448!

How Does Mold Remediation in Palo Alto Work?

9/25/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto takes care of your belongings.

When you discover mold in your home, there are lots of uncertainties and decisions to made. Can I take care of it myself? Do I need to hire a mold remediation company like SERVPRO® of Palo Alto? In most cases, it's best to call in restoration professionals like those at SERVPRO. They can assess the extent of the mold, propose a solution, and use advanced equipment and trained technicians to mitigate mold.

One area that is often overlooked are your possessions; your art, your clothing, your furniture and all your treasures. When your home has a loss such as fire or flooding from a kitchen fire or pipe break often times, mold can also be an issue with your possessions. Have they also been affected? They may need to be packed out for safekeeping during remediation and repairs.

SERVPRO® of Palo Alto have been helping customers since the beginning protect their treasures and family heirlooms. After a loss happens, we can inventory your contents and create a non-salvage list for those that are beyond repair, we can pack out and store your items in our secure, temperature controlled warehouse, provide a post construction clean after repairs and pack back all your contents, all to help you make it “Like it never even happened.”

If you discover mold in your home call us at 650-800-3448 for a quick and easy mold remediation process.

#SERVPROPaloAlto#SERVPRO #LikeItNeverEvenHappened #HereToHelp #ReBuildingStories

Apartment Complex Commercial Restoration Needs

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help with damage restoration to your apartment building or complex.

Property owners and managers have special considerations when managing an apartment complex or building when it comes to preventing and dealing with damage restoration.

In an apartment building, occupants share walls, often from the sides and from above and below. If water damage or fire damage occurs, it can get out of hand quickly, since water damage doesn't only affect one residence but multiple residences. You can never predict when an emergency situation will occur, but it’s in your best interest as a property manager, as well as in the best interest of your residents, to always be prepared for anything.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto has some tips for you to prevent headaches, inconvenience, and potential loss of rental income. Take these measures today to help prevent water damage in the future.

  1. Check On Aging Appliances Regularly – If the property you manage includes a fridge, dishwasher, and/or washer/dryer in unit, you should closely monitor the age of the appliances as well as routinely checking them for cracked or damaged hoses or connections. Washer hoses should be replaced about every five years. It’s a good idea to replace washers and dryers before there’s a problem. It may cost more money now, but it could save you a lot of money and a headache or two in the future.
  2. Repair Old or Damaged Roofs When It’s Dry – Don’t wait for a big rainstorm to find out that the roofing at your apartment complex needs replacing. Make routine checkups to monitor the condition of the roof at your property. Make time and room in the budget to make any replacements or upgrades necessary during the dry season so that you can avoid water damage in the wet season.
  3. Stay in Touch with Your Residents and Know When they’re Traveling – Many people go on vacations during the summer. Talk to your residents about having their water shut off while they’re gone or, alternatively, having someone check on their apartment from time to time while they’re gone. If a water leak occurs while they’re away and no one is checking in, a small problem could potentially turn into something much worse.

We're faster to any disaster

We are dedicated to responding immediately when you contact us. A fast response lessens the damage. limit further damages and reduces the cost. Our expertly trained technicians will make it "Like it never even happened."

If your home or business suffers from an emergency, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 today!

Building a Power Outage Kit

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Tips for building a power outage kit.

The American Red Cross encourages that each household and car have a preparedness kit, but sadly, only 51.5% of US homes reportedly have an emergency kit ready.

Power outage kits should include things like water, canned food, a can opener, flashlights, and batteries, including enough food and water for each person in your household for five days. To build a power outage kit, you can use an old backpack or duffel bag and add the following:

  • Plenty of bottled water
  • Battery-operated radio and clock
  • Flashlight for each member of your household including extra batteries
  • Non-electric can opener
  • List of emergency phone numbers including family and friend
  • First aid kit

Throughout the month of September, SERVPRO® of Palo Alto will be bringing tips and information on how to best be prepared in case of disasters like power outages due to storms. Should disaster like water damage from a dishwasher leak or pipe break affect your home, call us today at 650-800-3448. We serve Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Redwood City, and Stanford in the Bay Area.

SERVPRO® of Palo Alto is ready 24/7, 365 to help you when emergency strikes.

#SERVPROPALOALTO #SERVPRO #NATLPREP

Water Damaged Contents in Palo Alto

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Water damaged contents in Palo Alto.

Water damage to your contents can occur when your Palo Alto home experiences a water damage event.

Water damage can occur in your home due to many issues; a roof leak, pipe break, dishwasher overflow, and more. We often think about our home as the walls, floors, and how those can be affected and damaged from water. But there's more to water damage than just the walls and floors.

One area that can be overlooked is contents such as your sentimental treasures, family heirlooms, or that special piece of autographed sports memorabilia you waited in line for hours to get signed. So when water pours through your ceiling, soaking your favorite chair, it can be really upsetting. SERVPRO® of Palo Alto's team of trained professionals is able to clean and restore your contents to preloss condition, helping to make it “Like it never even happened.”

SERVPRO® of Palo Alto is Here To Help® when disaster strikes your home. SERVPRO has been helping clients get through disasters since 1991. We are ready 24/7, 365, so call us at 650-800-3448 today!

#SERVPROPaloAlto #SERVPRO

Tips to Prevent Mold in Carpet After Water Damage in Palo Alto

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

Moldy carpet in Palo Alto.

If you have recently had any amount of water damage in your Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Redwood City, or Stanford home, whether it's a small leak or a major flood, there is an increased chance for mold to take occur and grow. Very little moisture is necessary for mold to become harmful and start to spread. Since mold has the potential to cause various health issues, such as respiratory issues and fungal infections, here are a few tips to help prevent mold growth in your carpet after water damage.

Dry Quickly

If you've had recently experienced a flood or a leak, it is important to get the water up as fast as possible. Utilize fans to increase the effectiveness. This will not only help to dry the carpet, it will also circulate the air in the area.

Use a Dehumidifier

Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture in an area. They will make the air feel cooler and inhibit the growth of mold.

Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto

SERVPRO of Palo Alto will arrive quickly and start the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

For help restoring your home or business after a water loss, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448. We’ll make it “Like it never even happened.”

Has Your Property Suffered Fire Damage? Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto takes care of fire restoration needs quickly and professionally!

Many homeowners in the Bay Area who experience 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 thousands 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 Palo Alto, Stanford, Atherton, Redwood City, Menlo Park, and North Fair Oaks, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will help you throughout the entire process. We 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 damage. 

At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we treat our customers with empathy and respect. Call us at 650-800-3448 today!

Does your Palo Alto Home Have Mold?

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Trust SERVPRO of Palo with your mold mitigation.

As a homeowner, you want to keep your house looking great. You may have purchased ceramic tiles for your kitchen floor, bathroom walls, or hallways. To clean ceramic tiles and keeping them in pristine condition all year round is a difficult task. Tiled surfaces are not safe from mold. Water may seep through and develop mold in grout and behind the tiles. Grout materials are usually made of some porous material which can attract moisture, ultimately creating mold. Luckily, SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help with mold mitigation.

Why Stains and Molds Occur

There many reasons why stains could have developed in your ceramics. One of the reasons causing these stains are various types of bacteria that has formed under or on the tile. Preventing and treating bacteria is the best way to keep your tiles looking wonderful.

 
Behind Tile and Walls 
 
Many times, mold may not be visible to the naked eye, but a particular smell or stain can give you a hint. In some cases, mold can grow into large patches behind tiles or walls, creating large patches of growth out of sight. This bacteria may be dangerous, as these patches of mold can grow to immense sizes before being noticed.


Prevent Mold Growth 
 
Cheap or damaged grout and wall materials can lead to mold growth. It is important to apply new layers of waterproof grout to ensure that wall materials are in good shape. Make sure to pay attention to any stain or odor in order to identify the source and prevent future mold growth in the area.

Our SERVPRO of Palo Alto technicians are trained to thoroughly examine and clean mold from tiled surfaces, and to save as much of the tile as possible. If you need to get rid of your mold fast, call us 24/7 at 650-800-3448 for quick response times and quality service.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Provides 24-Hour Water Damage Restoration Service

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto takes care of your water damage!

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through both the crisis and the water restoration process. SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Palo Alto

SERVPRO of Palo Alto specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. 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 to restore your property. Call us at 650-800-3448 today!

 

HVAC System Cleaning for Your Business

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Let SERVPRO of Palo Alto maintain your HVAC.

For business owners, it’s possible to overlook certain aspects of your building or office space such as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC system).  When these systems are not properly maintained, they can accumulate dust, pollen, and other debris.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.” It’s very important to maintain clean ducts in order to maintain a healthy environment for your business.

When these ducts are not given the maintenance that they require, the HVAC system may begin to fail and waste unnecessary energy that can cost you. Keeping your air ducts clean can save you and your business money. HVAC systems may also leak and cause water damage and mold damage that can weaken the structure of your property. These damages can produce odors throughout your business and can be unpleasant for the employees and guests.

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto for the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. Remember that maintaining the HVAC system can extend the life of the equipment. Don’t wait to call our experts on commercial air ducts and HVAC cleaning at 650-800-3448.

Storms Can Cause Flooding to Your Palo Alto Home

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Prepare for power outages in Palo Alto.

After a storm or natural disaster, the aftermath can be detrimental to you both emotionally and financially.  Storm cleanup and water damage restoration to your property can be stressful without the help of qualified technicians leading the way. With storm season approaching us, rain and high winds can affect Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Redwood City, Stanford and other parts of the Bay Area. When these winter storms occur, there’s a possibly of power outages in your area due to winds knocking down electrical poles or other causes.

It is important for families to be prepared for a power outage that may last for several hours or days after a heavy storm. The National Public Service campaign, Ready Campaign, has shared the following tips regarding power outage:

Before a Power Outage:

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, casa, and first aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternate charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door is located and know how to operate it.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been establish in your community.

During a Power Outage:

  • Avoid using candles which can cause fires. Only use flashlight for emergency lighting.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors.
  • Only use generators away from your home, and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system. Consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing a generator.

After a Power Outage:

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures of 40*F (4*C) for two hours or more. When in doubt, throw it away.
  • If food in freezer is colder than 40*F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medication having spoiled.
  • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. 
  • Choose foods your family will eat.
  • Remember any special dietary needs.
  • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.

The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

  • Salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods
  • Don’t forget to pack a can opener and other utensils needed!

For more information and tips on how to prepare for and respond to an emergency visit

 https://www.ready.gov/about-us

SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. For your emergency restoration services call us 24/7 for prompt service. (650) 800-3448!

Fire Prevention Tips for Palo Alto Residents

9/21/2018 (Permalink)

Create your emergency response plan today!

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 informing our customers the importance of fire prevention with some tips from the National Fire Protection Association.

  • Do not leave your cooking unattended specially 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.

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto for more information on Fire prevention and restoration at 650-800-3448 today!

Mold Cleanup and Mold Mitigation for Your Palo Alto Property

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

Mold in a Palo Alto home as a result of winter rains

Palo Alto homes aren't immune to mold. When your Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford, or Menlo Park home is affected by mold damage, you need mold mitigation experts like those at SERVPRO of Palo Alto to mitigate mold as soon as possible.

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto to address mold remediation issues found in your home by calling 650-800-3448 today. We are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week!

Commercial Rodent Droppings Cleanup in Palo Alto, CA

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

Rodent droppings cleanup in Palo Alto, CA

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, kitchens, HVAC systems, storage closets, warehouse shelving, can all be possible areas where rodents can infest with droppings. Customers, employees, and visitors can experience 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 due to rodent droppings in Palo Alto, Stanford, Menlo Park, and East Palo Alto. 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.

SEPTEMBER is National Disaster Preparedness Month

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

Download the SERVPRO Ready app today!

Make A Plan

Mother Nature can bring us unexpected events without much warning.  That is why you can never be too careful. During an emergency, it is important to be prepared with an Emergency Plan in place. An Emergency Plan can increase your chances of survival for yourself and those around you in case of an emergency or disaster.

It is important that everyone in the home is aware of what actions to take in case of an emergency. You can find more information on how to be prepared in the link below:

https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.

SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help you develop an immediate plan of action for your home or business. You can simply download our mobile SERVPRO Ready Plan app on your phone or tablets. Whether you are a home or business owner, our SERVPRO Ready Plan can help you be prepared for whatever happens. It is important to know what to do and expect in advance to help minimize the damages that can affect your property. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile advantages consist of:

  • A no-cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Select SERVPRO of Palo Alto as your Preferred Franchise on your personalized profile.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto

(650) 800-3448

2625 Middlefield Road #557

Palo Alto, CA 94306

Download the app today

https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp

Second Floor Leaks Can Mean More Than Just Water Stains in Your Palo Alto or Menlo Park Home

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

Ceiling damage from second floor broken pipe

Some of the most common water emergency inquiries SERVPRO of Palo Alto receives are from customers who have experienced a second story leak, which has leaked to the first floor, through the ceiling which looks staining, bubbling and cracks. Whether the leak is coming from a clean water source like a sink faucet, or a contaminated or dirty water source, such as a toilet, the water damage can be severe.

Water tends to travel and is capable of causing severe structural damage, spreading to other rooms not immediately affected, causing damage to insulation, light fixtures, framing, flooring, and even furniture.

If you suspect water damage in your home in Palo Alto, Menlo Park or Bay Area property, do not ignore it, as delaying any service or further inspection could cause more damage, and the water can be concealing more serious issues.

A leaky roof, broken pipe, worn appliance, or accidental overflow can all be causes of water damage. SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides you with expertly trained and certified water technicians along with the newest and most efficient drying equipment to address your water damage. 

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto for fast and effective solutions for all water damage issues found in your home. We are here to help to your provide service to help protect your home, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. Call 650-800-3448 today!

Fast to your Palo Alto Water Damage Event

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

Palo Alto water damage

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more. SERVPRO of Palo Alto arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (650) 800-3448

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Palo Alto

SERVPRO of Palo Alto specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. 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 to restore your property. Call us today at (650) 800-3448!

Restoring Your Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event

9/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage restoration at a Palo Alto restaurant

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. Oftentimes, they're more complex than residential water damage events, 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.

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

Firestorm Disaster Preparedness

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoration in Palo Alto, CA

Firestorms (wildfires) have been increasing in frequency and intensity in recent years. They can ruin homes and cause injuries or death to people and animals. A wildfire is an unplanned fire that burns in a natural area such as a forest, grassland, or prairie. Wildfires can:

  • Often be caused by humans or lightning.
  • Cause flooding or disrupt transportation, gas, power, and communications.
  • Happen anywhere, anytime. Risk increases with in periods of little rain and high winds.
  • Cost the Federal Government billions of dollars each year.

IF YOU ARE UNDER A WILDFIRE WARNING IN YOUR AREA, GET TO SAFETY RIGHT AWAY

  • Leave if told to do so.
  • If trapped, call 9-1-1.
  • Listen for emergency information and alerts.
  • Use N95 masks to keep particles out of the air you breathe.
  • Prepare NOW
    Sign up for your community’s warning system. The Emergency Alert System (EAS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio also provide emergency alerts.
  • Know your community’s evacuation plans and find several ways to leave the area.
  • Drive the evacuation routes and find shelter locations. Have a plan for pets and livestock.
  • Gather emergency supplies, including N95 respirator masks that filter out particles in the air you breathe. Keep in mind each person’s specific needs, including and updated asthma action plan and medication.
  • Don’t forget the needs of pets.
  • Designate a room that can be closed off from outside air. Close all doors and windows. Set up a portable air cleaner to keep indoor pollution levels low when smoky conditions exist.
  • Keep important documents in a fireproof, safe place. Create password-protected digital copies.
  • Use fire-resistant materials to build, renovate, or make repairs.
  • Find an outdoor water source with a hose that can reach any area of your property.
  • Create a fire-resistant zone that is free of leaves, debris, or flammable materials for at least 30 feet from your home.
  • Review insurance coverage to make sure it is enough to replace your property.
    Pay attention to air quality alerts.

When You Lose a Loved One

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto effectively takes care of biohazards

Experiencing the loss of a loved one can be emotionally devastating, as we all know. SERVPRO of Palo Alto understands the challenges that occur for families during these difficult times and promises to be there throughout the entire process.

Some of the most traumatic situations may be a suicide, death, or crime scene. When such incidents occur, a human body begins to decompose almost immediately, causing an overwhelming situation that may become a health hazard.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto 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 effectively cleaning biohazardous substances may result in an uninhabitable home with the effects of airborne bacteria, odor, and biohazard material.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto provide cleanup services to individual families, property managers, and other commercial accounts. For peace of mind, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at 650-800-3448 to get expert help in biohazard cleanup. We will be there for you.

Football Season Fire Safety

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Fire safety during football season

Football season is here!

Benny, our SERVPRO office mascot, is ready for tailgating parties, and BBQs. But before you get started, he has some important tips for you.

Benny’s fire safety tips during this football season:

  • Make sure to have a fire extinguishers handy when grilling.
  • If at home, make sure all fire detectors are properly installed.
  • Using a charcoal grill? Make sure the coals are cool before disposing.
  • Make sure there are no flammable items nearby when cooking or grilling.
  • Never leave the grill or stove unattended.

If your home does suffer from a fire, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will be there for you. Once firefighters have cleared the premises, your property might have suffered water damage from their firefighting efforts as well as smoke and soot damage.

For fire restoration services, SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the training needed to restore your home and property to pre-fire condition. Do not wait to call us at 650-800-3448.

Benny and our SERVPRO of Palo Alto team, wish your favorite team the best of luck this season!

Northern California Firestorms

9/4/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can assist those affected by Northern California firestorms

SERVPRO of Palo Alto, one of Northern California’s top damage restoration companies (taking care of fire damage, water damage, mold mitigation, smoke and soot damage, and post-damage clean-up) is ready to assist those Californians affected by the recent fires in Northern California, including those residents and business owners affected by the following fires: the Carr Fire, the Mendocino Complex Fire, and Lake County Fire. Due to extreme heat and dry weather conditions, Northern California, once again, has been hit hard by wildfires and firestorms this summer. The Mendocino Complex Fire, in particular, is now California’s largest wildfire in history. Firefighters continue to labor for many hours to fight fire, with only partial containment. These fires are not only causing damage and loss to nature, but also causing damage and loss to business and residences. The sheer size of these Northern California firestorms has caused significant damage to property, as well as several casualties.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto restoration company, with its large number of resources, staff, and proprietary equipment, can help restore property that has been affected by wildfires. Its expert technicians, with their multiple training certifications, can handle any size job, whether large or small. SERVPRO of Palo Alto has been in business for almost five years, and in that five years, has garnered numerous five-star reviews and contracts with large companies and organizations. They are trusted to do the job right. SERVPRO of Palo Alto serves and has worked in the following cities in Santa Clara County, California: Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford, Atherton, Menlo Park, Redwood City, and North Fair Oaks.

CARR FIRE

The Carr Fire was a massive wildfire that burned in Shasta and Trinity Counties in California, United States. The fire burned 229,651 acres before it was 100% contained on August 30. The Carr Fire destroyed at least 1,604 structures (at least 1,077 were homes) while damaging 277 others, becoming the sixth-most destructive fire in California history, as well as the seventh-largest wildfire recorded in modern California history. The Carr Fire cost over $1.658 billion in damages, including $1.5 billion in insured losses and more than $158 million in suppression costs.

MENDOCINO COMPLEX FIRE

The Mendocino Complex Fire, which began at the end of July is still not 100% contained (as of September 2, 2018). It is a large complex of two wildfires, the River Fire and Ranch Fire, and was burning in Mendocino, Lake, Colusa and Glenn Counties in California. The Ranch Fire is currently burning eight miles northeast of Ukiah and the River Fire is currently burning six miles north of Hopland.

First reported on July 27, 2018, both fires have burned a combined total of 459,123 acres and are collectively 97% contained (as of September 2, 2018), while the Ranch Fire has burned 410,203 acres, surpassing the Thomas Fire to become the single-largest modern California wildfire. The fires collectively destroyed 280 structures while damaging 37 others; property damage has not yet been calculated for the fire complex, but costs are presumed to be staggering. The Mendocino Complex also cost over $176.4 million in fire suppression costs. The city of Lakeport, communities of Kelseyville, Lucerne, Upper Lake, Nice, Saratoga Springs, Witter Springs, Potter Valley, and Finley, parts of Hopland, and the tribal communities of Hopland Rancheria and Big Valley Rancheria were evacuated.

LAKE COUNTY FIRE

Lake County has experienced two separate wildfires: the Carder Fire, which burned 50 acres and was contained late July, and the currently burning (as of September 2, 2018) Kelsey fire, which as burned 36 acres so far and has prompting evacuation advisories.

Northern California’s firestorm season has been very intense this year, both in scope and length. As a result, homeowners and business owners have suffered tremendous losses when it comes to property. To help mitigate fire damage as a result of the Lake County Fire, Mendocino Complex Fire, and Carr Fire, SERVPRO of Palo Alto has assembled a firestorm team to quickly restore property to its original condition. They will also work with your property insurance company to ensure coverage and give you peace of mind as quickly as possible.

If you are in any of the areas affected by these Northern California wildfire, or if you experience fire damage in the following areas: Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Stanford, Atherton, Menlo Park, Redwood City, or North Fair Oaks, please call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448. We’re here to help! We will make it “Like it never even happened.”



SERVPRO of Palo Alto Damage Restoration Certifications

7/31/2018 (Permalink)

Damage Restoration in Palo Alto

Many people ask why they should go with SERVPRO of Palo Alto when needing water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, or mold mitigation in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Stanford, and Stanford, California over other restoration companies in Santa Clara county. There are many reasons, but one of the top ones is simple: SERVPRO of Palo Alto restoration technicians have expert training and certification in the areas needed to treat water damage, fire damage, smoke and soot damage, and mold damage quickly and effectively.

The restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto hold many certifications that are vital to quickly and properly restoring your damaged home or business, whether due to water damage, mold damage, or fire damage. No matter how small or large the job is. After all, you want to get the job done right the first time. Damage to your home or business can be a stressful experience, but when you work with the experts at SERVPRO of Palo Alto, you can rest assured that your water damage, fire damage, mold issues, and smoke and soot damage will be taken care of with as little stress to you as possible. SERVPRO of Palo Alto can also work with your insurance company directly so you can concentrate on your family or business.

Here’s an overview of the various certifications that the damage restoration professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto hold. These certifications can assure you that choosing SERVPRO of Palo Alto to serve your water damage, fire damage, mold damage, and smoke and soot damage needs in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and Stanford is the right decision for you and your family.

ASD - Applied Structural Drying Technician - This certification teaches restoration technicians the effective, efficient and timely drying of water-damaged structures and contents. Intensive hands-on training is done in order to facilitate appropriate decision making within actual home structures in order to learn how to correctly dry them down.

ECTP - Employee Certification Training Program -  This SERVPRO certification involves crew training course covers topics including roles and responsibilities, job-site processes, core products and SERVPRO equipment knowledge. Additionally, technicians are trained in water training, which covers topics ranging from basic water damage procedures, to an introduction to more advanced topics such as psychrometry and microbiology.

FSRT - Fire & Smoke Damage Restoration Technician - This certification concentrates on the technical procedures for successfully completing the restoration of a fire and smoke damaged environment. Technicians with this certification know how to combine technical procedures with a practical approach to managing the job site.

IICRC Certified Firm - SERVPRO of Palo Alto is an IICRC Certified Firm, which means several things. IICRC certified technicians set themselves apart through training, experience, and comprehensive examination.  An IICRC Certified Firm must first employ one or more IICRC certified technicians, and apply with the IICRC to become a Certified Firm. Certified Firms are the only cleaning, restoration and inspection companies listed in the IICRC locator. They also promise to adhere to the IICRC Code of Ethics, be current in their business insurance and licensee requirements, and can proudly display the IICRC logo on their company website and vehicles.

OCT - Odor Control Technician - Technicians with this certification are knowledgeable about olfaction and odor, odor sources, detection process, theory of odor control, equipment, chemical options and applications. They also know how to address odors caused from biological sources such as decomposition, urine contamination, and mold, combustion sources such as fire and smoke damage, and chemical sources such as fuel oil spills or volatile organic chemicals.

RRP - Lead-Based Paint Activities and Renovation - The EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Rule (RRP) means that SERVPRO of Palo Alto is certified by the EPA (or an EPA authorized state), and that we use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers and follow lead-safe work practices.

WRT - Water Damage Restoration Technician -  This certification shows that restoration technicians have education in the science and practice of water damage restoration. This includes extraction, basic containment and basic mold procedures. It also means that residential and commercial maintenance personnel have the background to understand the procedures necessary to deal with water losses, sewer backflows, and contamination such as mold.

As you can see, SERVPRO of Palo Alto technicians pride themselves on their education and certifications. Their education allows them to take care of your property as if it were their own.

Experiencing water loss, fire loss, mold damage, or smoke and soot? Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto today at (650) 800-3448 24 hours a day! We’ll quickly make it  "Like it never even happened."



Mold Remediation in Palo Alto

6/14/2018 (Permalink)

Palo Alto Mold Remediation

Mold can pose a serious problem to your home or business. Not only because mold can damage walls, carpet, and flooring, but because it can also affect your health in various ways. Infants and the elderly, in addition to other vulnerable population, are particularly susceptible to the harmful health effects of mold.This means that once you discover mold in your home or business in Palo Alto, Atherton, Menlo Park, and Redwood City, you need to call a mold remediation company like SERVPRO of Palo Alto to help with mold mitigation and mold remediation. Your health, and the health of those around you can depend on it.

When your home or business suffers water damage due to flooding or human error, a mold infestation can quickly start and spread throughout your property in less than 72 hours. Because mold can produce allergens and irritants, you need experts like those at SERVPRO of Palo Alto that have the extensive training and experience to properly resolve your mold issues that require mold remediation. If you’ve had water damage, there’s a chance that your Palo Alto home or business also has a mold problem. SERVPRO of Palo Alto can inspect, assess, and remediate your Palo Alto, Atherton, Menlo Park, or Redwood City property.

Did You Know?

Microscopic mold spores exist almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors, so there’s no way to remove all mold from a home or business. Read below to find out why.

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems. They can even attach to your clothes or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water, which is why you should check for mold after you experience water damage. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before SERVPRO of Palo Alto can start mold remediation, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may come back.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.
  • Basements are particularly susceptible to mold since they can flood, especially during rain storms.

The Mold Remediation Process at SERVPRO of Palo Alto

SERVPRO of Palo Alto treats each mold remediation job individually, but the general mold remediation process stays the same. Here are the steps we generally take when treating mold in Palo Alto, Atherton, Menlo Park, and Redwood City:

CALL US! - (650) 800-3448
The mold cleanup and restoration process begins when you call us. Our efficient representative will ask a series of questions to help us determine the necessary equipment, resources, and personnel we need to treat your particular mold mitigation issue.

Inspection and Mold Damage Assessment
We carefully inspect your property for visible signs of mold. We use various technologies to detect mold and hidden water sources.

Mold Containment
Our professionals use a variety of containment procedures to prevent the spread of mold. We may use advanced containment procedures like negative air chambers to isolate the contaminated area with physical barriers and negative air pressure to keep the mold spores from spreading during the cleanup process. All fans and heating and cooling systems will be turned off to prevent the spread of mold.

Air Filtration
Our specialized filtration equipment allows our SERVPRO expert technicians to capture microscopic mold spores out of the air. We utilize powerful air scrubbers and HEPA vacuums to prevent the spread of these mold spores while the mold remediation is in process.

Removing Mold and Mold-Infested Materials
The mold remediation process depends on the amount of mold growth and the types of surfaces on which the mold appears. We’ll use antifungal and antimicrobial treatments to eliminate mold colonies and to help prevent new colonies from forming. It may be necessary to remove and dispose of mold-infested porous materials, like drywall and carpeting, to remediate heavy mold growth.

Cleaning Your Belongings
We clean your furniture, decorative items, curtains, clothing, and other restorable items affected by mold. We use a variety of cleaning techniques to clean and disinfect your belongings. We’re also trained to remove odors and deodorization using fogging equipment.

Restoration
Depending on the level of mold damage, drywall, subfloors, and other building materials may have been removed. Restoration may involve minor repairs, such as replacing drywall, painting, and installing new carpet; or it may entail major repairs such as the reconstruction of various areas or rooms in a home or business. The restoration step gets your home or business back to normal.

The mold remediation (or mold mitigation) process may seem overwhelming and scary, but when you trust in mold remediation experts like those at SERVPRO of Palo Alto for service in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, and Redwood City, your mold issue will be taken care of quickly and efficiently. “Like it never even happened.”

Protect Your Home From Flooding

1/30/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can take care of water damage

As you already know, if you’re a homeowner, you have a lot of responsibility to protect your home from both natural disasters and made-made 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 in prior years, and you just never know when that might happen again. But you can guarantee on heavy rains coming when you least expect it. Here are a few tips from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety, or IBHS, that you, as a 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 doing any of the 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 do most of these actionable items and still have water damage? It’s very possible. 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 today for a quick, no-cost estimate at (650) 800-3448.

Wildfire Safety Tips for California Residents Part 2

1/3/2018 (Permalink)

Northern California Fire Damage

The new year has started, and with it should be taking proactive steps to help prevent fires - both in the home from kitchen accidents and electrical shorts to threats from outside the home that result in wildfires. The end of 2017 saw massive wildfires in  Napa Valley and Sonoma counties, Ventura county, and  Los Angeles as we wrote about in Part 1 of this blog post. Let’s learn our lesson and do what we can to prevent and minimize fire damage where we live and where SERVPRO of Palo Alto serves: Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Redwood City in Santa Clara County, California.

Because weather conditions are drier and hotter every year, and because many people are careless with their cigarettes and bonfires, fire damage in California becomes a reality for many California residents of Santa Clara county. Almost 70,000 wildfires occurred in the United States just in the last two years, destroying over 4,000 standing structures, including businesses and homes.  You can’t necessarily fight back an out-of-control wildfire that’s threatening your home or business, but you can take steps to protect yourself and your property.

In addition to the top 7 ways to prep for a home fire - which includes installing the correct number of smoke alarms, teaching children about smoke alarm protocol, having at least two escape routes from your home in the case of a fire, and practicing escaping at least twice a year - the Red Cross gives you these wildfire-specific tips that you can use in the case of wildfires in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Redwood City in Santa Clara County, California.

These are important steps you can take to help reduce the risk of fire damage and smoke or soot damage to your home from a wildfire, such as those that have recently burned in both Northern California and Southern California.

Before a Wildfire

Defend your property in the case of a wildfire. One of the first steps you limiting the fire fuel sources around your home or business.

30 Feet or less from your property

  • Clear combustible materials such as dried leaves and pine needles.
  • Cut down any tree limbs that are 15 feet or closer to the ground. This helps prevent the fire from spreading into your property’s tree line.
  • Remove any vines or vegetation that is on the side of your structure or property.
  • Store any flammable lawn furniture during the off season.
  • Choose non-flammable decor for your landscaping, such as gravel instead of wood chips.

Within 100 to 30 feet from your property

  • Create “fuel breaks” in your property. Fuel breaks can help stop the spread of a fire. Examples are gravel pathways or driveways.
  • Cut any trees branches that are 8 feet or closer to the ground.
  • Clear combustible vegetation.

Within 200 to 100 feet from your home

  • Place stacked firewood or scrap wood no closer to your property line.
  • Continue to clear combustible vegetation.
  • Plant trees far enough apart so their branches do not touch, and trim branches that do touch.
  • Prepare your home or business for a wildfire. If possible, use Class A roofing material. This includes tile, slate, or asphalt. You can also use Class B pressure-treated shingles or shakes.
  • Consider installing fire sprinklers. In some areas, fire sprinklers are mandatory for businesses.

Outside your home, make sure your garden hose is long enough have enough to reach any part of your property. Make sure that the fire department can access water sources such as swimming pools, ponds, lakes, wells, and fire hydrants.

Create an emergency escape plan. Speak to city or county officials to learn what the evacuation route is for your area, and discuss this evacuation route with everyone in your family and your employees. Ensure family members who live nearby know the route and have means of transportation. Also, sign up for emergency text or alert messages from your city or neighborhood. And importantly, don’t forget to create an emergency kit.

During a Wildfire

  • Prepare to evacuate.
  • Listen to emergency channels or follow your city’s social media to keep up on the status of the fire.
  • Keep your emergency kit handy so you can evacuate quickly.

After a Wildfire

  • Return to your home or business only when it is safe, and when officials declare it safe to do so.
  • Watch out for ash pits and hot spots. These are holes filled with hot ashes left by burned trees. Even after a fire is extinguished, small fires can flare up without warning.
  • Check your house and surrounding property for hot spots and extinguish them immediately. Also, be on the lookout for ash pits.
  • Document the damage. Take photos and video and make a written list documenting your damaged property. Contact your insurance company immediately to report the damage.
  • Call a respected restoration company like SERVPRO of Palo Alto to help mitigate fire damage, smoke damage, soot damage, and water damage quickly, professionally, and efficiently.

Wildfires are some of the most destructive forces of nature. There isn’t much that can be done to deter a wildfire’s path. But luckily, there are ways to help mitigate fire damage, smoke and soot damage, and water damage from fire-fighting efforts to keep your loved ones and employees safe.

If you already have suffered fire damage and need fire restoration or smoke and soot restoration, please call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 for a free estimate. Our highly trained technicians use advanced equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

Fire in Palo Alto Mixed Use Building Causes Water Damage

12/18/2017 (Permalink)

Mixed-use commercial/residential building hallway that suffered water damage.

Over 20 units in a Palo Alto mixed-use property that included medical offices, other commercial businesses, and residential units suffered water damage due to a sprinkler system activation.

The sprinkler system was activated due to a fire in one of the residential apartment units. Luckily, SERVPRO of Palo Alto was on the scene right away and set up air dryers, dehumidifiers, and other drying equipment to help restore the property.

Because SERVPRO of Palo Alto's highly trained technicians were on job quickly, they were able to start the water restoration process quickly, minimizing damage to the drywall and flooring in the units.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is a highly-rated water restoration company, fire restoration company, and smoke/soot restoration company. In addition, SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers cleanup services. 

For 24-7 service and free estimates, please call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 for any and all water damage, fire damage, smoke or soot damage you may experience. We are always here to help!

Fire Safety Tips for California Residents

12/12/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Safety Tips

With the fires that raged in Napa Valley and Sonoma county, and the ones that are currently active in Ventura county and in Los Angeles, fire safety, both from wildfires and accidental home fires, is a real concern for millions of California residents, including those in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton and Redwood City in Santa Clara County, California.

Due to a combination of reasons, including weather conditions (including lack of rain and lack of humidity), increasing temperatures (global warming), and simple human error or carelessness (tossed cigarettes, illegal bonfires, intentional fire-setting), wildfires have been increasing in number and intensity in recent years. This means that experiencing fire damage is a real possibility for many Californians, including those in many parts of Santa Clara County, California.

There’s also the danger of fires starting in your home from electrical shorts or kitchen fires (the most common cause of in-home fires). According to The Red Cross, “If a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape. During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives.” Two minutes! That’s barely enough time to grab your pets and a couple of beloved belongings and escape. Not to mention dealing with the worry about your home due to fire damage because of fires in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton or Redwood City.

Here are the top 7 ways to prepare for a home fire from redcross.org:

  • Install the correct number of smoke alarms. Install a smoke detector inside each bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. On levels without bedrooms, install alarms in the living room (or den or family room) or near the stairway to the upper level, or in both locations. Test your smoke alarm or smoke detector once a month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Teach children what smoke alarms sound like, and teach them what to do when they hear one. Practice with them twice-yearly.
  • Ensure that all household members know at least two ways to escape from every room of your home, and that you determine a family meeting spot outside of your home in the case of a fire.
  • Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another or cannot meet at the predetermined family meeting spot.
  • Practice escaping from your home at least twice a year, and at random times. Press the smoke alarm test button or yell “Fire“ to alert everyone that they must get out.
  • Make sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1, no matter how young.
  • Teach family members to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire.

The Red Cross also recommends you follow these fire-safe habits:

  • Keep items that can catch on fire, like flammable clothing, paper, toys, etc. at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as space heaters.
  • Smoking paraphernalia is the leading cause of residential fire deaths in the United States. Please do not smoke. If you have to smoke, take precautions: Smoke outside, choose fire-safe cigarettes, don’t smoke in bed, don’t smoke when drowsy or medicated, or if anyone in the home is using oxygen. That’s a disaster waiting to happen.
  • Use deep, sturdy ashtrays and douse cigarette and cigar butts with water before disposal.
  • Talk to children regularly about the dangers of fire, matches and lighters and keep them out of reach.
  • Turn portable heaters off when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Never leave a burning candle unattended, even for a minute.

Following these fire-safe habits won’t protect you against wildfires, but there are steps you can take to help reduce the risk of fire damage to your home from a wildfire, such as those that have recently been burning in both Northern California and Southern California.

In the last two years, over 67,000 wildfires have been reported across the country each year, many in California. Yearly, wildfires destroy over 4,000 structures, with 3,000 of them residential. As real estate development expands into forests and grasslands, the chances of wildfire related property damage goes up.  

You can’t fight back a wildfire that is encroaching on your home or business, but you can take steps to protect yourself and your property. Learn how you can help protect your home or business from a wildfire.  Keep you and your family safe and know how and when to evacuate. Learn more in the second part of this blog post, to be continued next week.

If you already have suffered fire damage and need fire restoration, please call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448 for a free estimate. Our highly trained technicians use advanced equipment to make it “Like it never even happened.”

How to Prevent Mold

11/2/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation in Palo Alto

We here at SERVPRO of Palo Alto know the kind of problems mold can cause to both people and property. Not only is it unsightly, but uncontrolled indoor mold can cause health problems ranging from mild to serious, depending on the extent of mold and on the health and/or ages of a home's occupants. If you have mold remediation needs, give us a call. SERVPRO of Palo Alto technicians are highly trained and certified in mold restoration, mold remediation, and mold cleanup. To help prevent mold in and around your house, read the tips below.

First, what is mold, exactly?

Mold is a type of fungi that lives everywhere. There are at least 300,000 mold species that can spread by disbursing spores that lie dormant until conditions are right for growth. As a homeowner, mold prevention means controlling the conditions that promote mold growth, which means keeping things dry. Mold multiplies where conditions are wet or damp, such as in a bathroom or after a flood or water leakage. If you control the moisture in your home, you hold the key to mold prevention.

How does mold affect your health?

People sensitive to mold, especially those with poor or underdeveloped immune systems (infants, the elderly, those with autoimmune disorders), may suffer minor to serious conditions such as: nasal stuffiness, eye irritation, wheezing, or skin irritation when exposed to mold. Severe reactions may include fever and shortness of breath. Some people with chronic lung illnesses may develop mold infections in their lungs, requiring long-term medical care.

Mold thrives and grows where conditions are wet or damp, so as a homeowner, the key to mold prevention is controlling the moisture in your home. With a little effort, you can help prevent mold in your basement, crawlspace, or common areas like the kitchen or bathroom. Here are some tips to keep mold in and around your home at bay.

Start indoors

  • Control indoor humidity – the ideal relative humidity is at 30 to 50, but if you live in a high humidity area, you probably need a portable dehumidifier, which can remove up to nine gallons of water a day from the air of a basement or house. However, this can cost quite a bit in electricity, so look for models with an Energy Star seal.
  • Ventilate humidity-producing appliances such as your clothes dryer and stove to the outside. It’s obvious with the clothes dryer, but stoves also produce water vapor and will increase the humidity unless vented to the outside. When buying a new stove or renovating your kitchen, a gas stove with a hood is preferable.
  • When you take a long, hot shower, keep the bathroom fan on or open the window. Use exhaust fans or open windows when cooking or washing dishes.
  • Insulate cold water pipes to prevent condensation that will add moisture to the environment.
  • Fix plumbing leaks as soon as possible and dry things like any flooring or carpeting thoroughly. Use a dehumidifier if necessary.
  • If you spot mold inside your house, clean it from hard surfaces with commercial mold removal products or a bleach solution of 1 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water. CAUTION: Never ever mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners because the toxic fumes will create a severe health hazard.
  • Keep mold prevention in mind when remodeling or decorating by avoiding the use of carpet in bathrooms and basements where they are likely to absorb moisture.

Go outside

  • Make sure the ground slopes away from the building foundation, so that water doesn’t seep into the basement or crawlspace. If water puddles around the foundation after a heavy rain, you may have a problem with leaks and potential mold formation.
  • Clean and repair roof gutters regularly. Clean gutters at least every six months--more if you live in an especially rainy area. Make sure the gutter downspouts direct water away from the house.
  • Keep air conditioning drain lines flowing well and away from the house.

Do you still have problems with mold? SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help! SERVPRO of Palo Alto technicians are highly trained to properly clean and restore your house so that it feels like home again. We are experts at mold remediation. We can make it "Like it never even happened." Call us at (650) 800-3448 for a free estimate and fast service.

Northern California Wildfires

10/13/2017 (Permalink)

Northern California Wildfires

Northern California is currently experiencing the worst wildfires in California history. Over 160,000 acres of Napa and Sonoma counties, beloved wine regions of the state, have been assaulted by over 20 fires, including the Nuns-Norbbom, Atlas, Tubbs, Pressley, Partrick, Mendocino Lake Complex, and Pocket Fires for the past week, with very little containment. The cities of Santa Rosa and Calistoga have been particularly hard hit. Over 30 people have perished, with over 400 more missing as of Thursday, October 12th, and entire neighborhoods have gone up in flames. Though no one knows how these massive fires started, one thing everyone agrees on is that life will never be the same for these residents and businesses.

The rest of Northern California--from Fresno to the Bay Area to Sacramento--isn’t remaining unscathed. Palo Alto, Atherton, and Redwood City are also feeling the effects of California wine country wildfires. Though these cities aren’t experiencing the massive destruction wildfires can bring, they are experiencing the aftermath of fire, including falling ash and soot, in addition to hazardous fumes. This means unhealthy air quality. Strong and gusty winds continue to spread smoke throughout the Bay Area as the result of these massive wildfires in Napa and Sonoma counties, and are expected to spread smoke and drive ash for multiple days on end.

With what some are calling 2017 the worst wildfire season in California history, the question remains: How do we recover? How can you and your home or business come back from fire damage, smoke damage, or soot damage?

After the Fire: Fire Restoration

Experts in fire restoration like those SERVPRO of Palo Alto have the answer. With years of experience in fire cleanup, smoke and soot cleanup, and fire damage restoration, SERVPRO of Palo Alto can make your home like new again, “Like it never even happened.”

After an economic and emotional loss such as that resulting from fire or smoke and soot damage, it’s important for individuals and businesses to turn to experts in fire restoration to restore their homes or structures quickly and efficiently.

What many don’t realize is that with fire damage also comes water damage from firefighting efforts, which is why SERVPRO experts count the following among its ranks:

  • Fire & Smoke Restoration Technician
  • Odor Control Technician
  • Upholstery & Fabric Cleaning Technician
  • Water Damage Restoration Technician

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our SERVPRO of Palo Alto experts study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration services.

And SERVPRO of Palo Alto deals directly with your insurance company to ensure coverage for your fire loss or water loss. A 24-hour fire restoration company, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will come out at any hour for an estimate, and will work day and night to help restore your home or business to its previous condition.

Residents and businesses in Sonoma and Napa Valley will have a lot to deal with once these wildfires die down, and the business of getting back to normal starts. Because of the extent of these fires, particularly in Calistoga and Santa Rosa, calling on experts in fire restoration, smoke cleanup, and water mitigation to help restore structures after fire damage and water damage is especially important.

Preventative Steps to Protect your Property

If your home hasn’t been affected by wildfire, and you want to do what you can to help protect your property from future fires, check out the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) key steps to take:

  • Thin out and maintained the vegetation around your property, by creating safety zones around your house by reducing or replacing most of the flammable vegetation.
  • Remove all combustible materials away from your house, such as firewood, gas grills and propane tanks.
  • Make sure your roof is made of noncombustible and fire resistant materials such as single ply membranes, fiberglass shingles, slate, metal, clay, and concrete tile.
  • Enclose sundecks and porches enclosed, as well as eaves and overhangs. Clear leaves, trash and other fire hazards away from decks and porches.
  • Clean out gutters on a regular basis, since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers. If used, gutter covers should be noncombustible.
  • Cover house vents such as attic vents, soffit vents, or other openings with ¼ inch or smaller corrosion-resistant wire mesh. For chimneys and stovepipes, cover using 12-gauge spark arrestors or woven wire mesh.
  • Use fire resistant house siding such as stucco, metal, brick and cement, concrete and rock. Treat wood siding with UL-approved fire retardant chemicals (though these treatments are not permanent).
  • Treat windows to reduce fire risk. Recommended are dual or triple-paned thermal glass and fire resistant shutters or drapes. Tempered glass windows and noncombustible awnings can also help reduce your risk.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is standing by to assist homes and commercial buildings in Northern California affected by the current devastating fires. Call us at (650) 800-3448 for immediate assistance for residential and commercial fire and water restoration and fire and smoke cleaning services.

Planning Halloween the SERVPRO way!

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

From all of us at SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we wish you a SPOOK-TACULAR and SAFE Halloween!

October is here, and department stores are stocking up on pumpkins, costumes, and candy to prepare for Halloween on October 31st. Halloween is an exciting holiday for most families—even pets join in for the clever costumes and trick-or-treating excitement. At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, we urge our customers who celebrate this holiday to take the necessary precautions to make it safe. Every year, Halloween fires occur, affecting hundreds of home structures due to candles, decorations, or unsafe costumes, and causing fire damage and smoke damage, requiring extensive fire restoration. Most holiday fire hazards can be avoided by taking safety precautions, and by a little extra planning to ensure this year’s Halloween remains fire-free and enjoyable for all.

The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) statistics show that from 2009-2013, an average of 860 home structure fires occurred, causing an average of one death, 41 injuries, and $13 million in direct property damage per year. These fires usually occur from flammable decoration being placed too close to a heat source. Forty-one percent of these incidents were started by candles; one-fifth began in the living room, family room, or den.

Below are some Halloween safety tips provided by the NFPA to ensure that this year’s trick-or-treating does not turn into a horror story.

  • When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long, trailing fabric. If you’re making your own costume, choose material that won't easily ignite if it comes into contact with heat or flame. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
  • Provide children with flashlights to light their paths, or give them glow sticks as part of their costume.
  • Dried flowers, cornstalks, and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
  • Use a flashlight or battery-operated candles in a Jack-o-lantern. If you insist on using a real candle, practice extreme caution. Make sure children are supervised at all times when candles are lit. When lighting candles inside Jack-o-lanterns, use long, fireplace-style matches or a utility lighter. Be sure to place lit pumpkins well away from anything that can burn and far enough out of way trick-or-treaters, doorsteps, walkways and yards.
  • If you choose to use candle decorations, make sure to keep them well attended at all times.
  • Remember to keep exits clear of decorations, so nothing blocks escape routes.
  • Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
  • Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
  • If your children are going to Halloween parties at others’ homes, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
  • Children should always go trick-or-treating with a responsible adult.
  • Remind children to stay together as a group when walking from house to house.
  • Review how to safely cross a street with your child. Look left, right, and left again to be sure no cars are approaching before crossing the street.
  • Make (and enforce) the rule that children not eat any treat until it has been brought home and examined by an adult.

Pre-planning

As part of your Halloween pre-planning, download our Emergency Ready APP to your phone or tablet to create a personalized plan in case of an emergency. The app is free and easy to use. If you have any questions or damage to your property, please feel free to call us at (650) 800-3448.

Download the app today! 

SERVPRO of Palo Alto

2625 Middlefield Road #557 Palo Alto, CA 94306(650) 800-3448

Select SERVPRO of Palo Alto as your preferred franchise.

https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp

Mexico Earthquake- Wake-up Call for Californians

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, a powerful earthquake struck the south of Mexico in Puebla State, 123 kilometers from Mexico City. This earthquake should serve as a wake-up call to all Californians, as seismologists have been waiting for a possible devastating earthquake to occur in California. The San Andreas Fault and six other significant fault zones are present in the Bay Area: the Calaveras Fault, Concord-Green Valley Fault, Greenville Fault, Hayward Fault, Rodgers Creek Fault, and San Gregorio Fault.

If and when that big one hits us, a tsunami could also be a real threat to us, and might even come through the Bay side to impact Palo Alto, Menlo Park, and the surrounding areas. Once these waves enter your home, the waters are deemed Category 3 flood waters, and everything impacted by the waves would be deemed unsalvageable.

After a catastrophic situation has impacted our community, SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the ability to rally equipment and crews to quickly respond to storm damage of any magnitude. Trust SERVPRO to restore the water damage your structure can suffer from a major storm. We can handle water damage restoration after flooding, thunderstorms, earthquakes, and any natural disaster. Our crew will take care of your restoration, water mitigation, and any mold remediation needed after a big storm. SERVPRO of Palo Alto would be one of the first responders in such a disaster, and would be there to help clean up and dry out your commercial or residential property if affected.

If you experience any kind of storm damage, be sure to call us first at SERVPRO of Palo Alto by dialing 650-800-3448.

Storms Can Cause Flooding to Your Palo Alto Home

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

After a storm or natural disaster, the aftermath can be detrimental to you both emotionally and financially.  Storm cleanup and water damage restoration to your property can be stressful without the help of qualified technicians leading the way. With storm season approaching us, rain and high winds can affect Palo Alto and other parts of the Bay Area. When these winter storms occur, there’s a possibly of power outages in your area due to winds knocking down electrical poles or other causes.

It is important for families to be prepared for a power outage that may last for several hours or days after a heavy storm. The National Public Service campaign, Ready Campaign, has shared the following tips regarding power outage:

Before a Power Outage:

  • Build or restock your emergency preparedness kit, including a flashlight, batteries, casa, and first aid supplies.
  • Make sure you have alternate charging methods for your phone or any device that requires power.
  • Charge cell phones and any battery powered devices.
  • Know where the manual release lever of your electric garage door is located and know how to operate it.
  • Learn about the emergency plans that have been establish in your community.

During a Power Outage:

  • Avoid using candles which can cause fires. Only use flashlight for emergency lighting.
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed. Most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for about four hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Put on layers of warm clothing if it is cold outside. Never burn charcoal for heating or cooking indoors.
  • Only use generators away from your home, and NEVER run a generator inside a home or garage, or connect it to your home’s electrical system. Consult an electrician or engineer before purchasing and installing a generator.

After a Power Outage:

  • Throw away any food that has been exposed to temperatures of 40*F (4*C) for two hours or more. When in doubt, throw it away.
  • If food in freezer is colder than 40*F and has ice crystals on it, you can refreeze it.
  • Contact your doctor if you’re concerned about medication having spoiled.
  • Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. 
  • Choose foods your family will eat.
  • Remember any special dietary needs.
  • Avoid foods that will make you thirsty.

The following items are suggested when selecting emergency food supplies. You may already have many of these on hand.

  • Salt-free crackers, whole grain cereals, and canned foods with high liquid content
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
  • Protein or fruit bars
  • Dry cereal or granola
  • Peanut butter
  • Dried fruit
  • Nuts
  • Crackers
  • Canned juices
  • Non-perishable pasteurized milk
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods
  • Don’t forget to pack a can opener and other utensils needed!

For more information and tips on how to prepare for and respond to an emergency visit

 https://www.ready.gov/about-us

SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. For your emergency restoration services call us 24/7 for prompt service. (650) 800-3448.

HVAC System Cleaning for Your Business

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

For business owners, it’s possible to overlook certain aspects of your building or office space such as the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC system).  When these systems are not properly maintained, they can accumulate dust, pollen, and other debris. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “Duct cleaning generally refers to the cleaning of various heating and cooling system components of forced air systems, including the supply and return air ducts and registers, grilles and diffusers, heat exchangers heating and cooling coils, condensate drain pans (drip pans), fan motor and fan housing, and the air handling unit housing.” It’s very important to maintain clean ducts in order to maintain a healthy environment for your business.

When these ducts are not given the maintenance that they require, the HVAC system may begin to fail and waste unnecessary energy that can cost you. Keeping your air ducts clean can save you and your business money. HVAC systems may also leak and cause water damage and mold damage that can weaken the structure of your property. These damages can produce odors throughout your business and can be unpleasant for the employees and guests.

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto for the experience, the expertise, and the advanced training that enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. Remember that maintaining the HVAC system can extend the life of the equipment. Don’t wait to call our experts on commercial air ducts and HVAC cleaning at 650-800-3448.

Water Main Break Floods Several Homes in Menlo Park

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto was called to respond to a major water main break in Menlo Park that affected six homes on two adjacent streets close to downtown Menlo Park, causing major water damage, and requiring major water restoration. Within one hour, SERVPRO of Palo Alto responded to two homes that were severely damaged. Upon arrival, our SERVPRO team immediately started to pump out the groundwater that had seeped through the homes' foundations. It was a disaster! There was over two feet of water in the unfinished crawlspaces of two of the homes - basically a muddy mess. Our crews worked simultaneously at the homes to get the water out as quickly as possible. We arrived after 10pm and didn't leave till after 4:30AM!

The water was extracted and pumped out, and SERVPRO of Palo Alto made sure no other potential secondary damage could occur from the standing water.

Our teams came out the next day and installed the proper equipment to dry out the framing under the homes: dehumidifiers and air movers. Over the next several days, we worked with a total of six homes that needed our help with their flooding, damaged contents, damaged drywall and flooring. Our heroes are here to help rain or shine, night or day!

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can respond immediately to your water damage emergency, regardless of the scope or size of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large-scale events and disasters.

Whether your water emergency occurs in a big-box store, a home, a condo, or a small office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the water restoration project through to its completion. Reach SERVPRO of Palo Alto by dialing 650-800-3448.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Provides 24-Hour Water Damage Restoration Service

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is available 24 hours a day for water emergencies, large or small. When you are dealing with water damage, immediate action is crucial. A delay of just a few hours can greatly increase the severity of the water damage.

We understand that when you call us, you may be feeling confused, stressed, and vulnerable. You need an expert to guide you through both the crisis and the water restoration process. SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the specific water damage training and experience to help you through this tough time. We specialize in water damage restoration—in fact, it's the cornerstone of our business.

What to Expect

When you call, we will ask several questions regarding your water damage emergency. These questions will help us determine what equipment and resources to bring, including how many trained SERVPRO Professionals may be needed.

Our SERVPRO Representative will ask several questions:

  • Your name and contact information
  • Your insurance information (if applicable)
  • The street address of the water-damaged home or business
  • When did the flooding or water damage occur?
  • What caused the water damage (if known)?
  • Is there electricity available (on-site)?

About SERVPRO of Palo Alto

SERVPRO of Palo Alto specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. 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 to restore your property. Call us at 650-800-3448.

Protect Your Home from a Wildfire

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

As Californians, we know the real threat of wildfires. California residents need to be more aware on how best to protect their homes from wildfires. Our wildfire risk is extremely high, especially with the severe drought conditions our state can face. According to the Federal Emergency  Management Agency (FEMA), here are some top ways to protect your property in Atherton, Redwood City, Menlo Park, and North Fair Oaks and other Bay Area cities:  

Have you thinned out and maintained the vegetation around the house?

 All vegetation is fuel for a wildfire, therefore the greater the distance between your home and the vegetation, the greater the protection. Create a 30-foot safety zone around the house, if possible. At a minimum, create a defensible space of 0-5 feet, and use noncombustible materials, such as gravel, brick, or concrete in this critical area adjacent to your home. Remove vines from the walls of the house, prune branches and shrubs within 15 feet of chimneys.

Create a second zone of 100 feet reducing or replacing as much of the most flammable vegetation as possible. If you live on a hill, you may need to extend the zone for several hundred feet. 

Are combustible materials away from the house? Identify all combustible materials outside the house, stack firewood 100 feet away and uphill from the house. Keep the gas grill and propane tank at least 15feet away from the house and place a mesh screen over the grill. 

Is the roof made of noncombustible materials? Materials that are fire resistant include single ply membranes, fiberglass shingles, slate, metal, clay, and concrete tile. Clean debris from roof since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers.

Are sundecks and porches enclosed underneath? Are eaves and overhangs enclosed? Clear leaves, trash and other fire hazards away from decks and porches, extend 1/2 inch mesh screen from all overhands down to the ground. Enclose all eaves to reduce the hazard.­

Clean out gutters regularly. Keep debris out of gutters, since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers. If used, gutter covers should be non-combustible.

Are house vents covered with wire mesh? Any attic vent, soffit vent, or other opening can allow embers and flaming debris to enter a home and ignite it. Cover all openings with a 1/4 inch or smaller corrosion-resistant wire mesh. Are chimneys and stovepipes covered with spark arrestors? Use 12-gauge spark arrestors or woven wire mesh to prevent this hazard.

Is the house siding fire resistant? Stucco, metal, brick and cement, concrete and rock are all fire resistant and should be used. You can treat wood siding with UL-approved fire retardant chemicals but these treatments are not permanent.

Have windows been treated to reduce the risk? Dual or triple-paned thermal glass and fire resistant shutters or drapes, help reduce wildfire risk. Tempered glass windows and noncombustible awnings can also help reduce your risk

Dealing with the aftermath of a fire event can be a frustrating journey. SERVPRO of Palo Alto stands by ready to help you make the fire restoration process as painless as possible. If you need us, dial 650-800-3448.

Does your Palo Alto Home Have Mold?

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

As a homeowner, you want to keep your house looking great. You may have purchased ceramic tiles for your kitchen floor, bathroom walls, or hallways. To clean ceramic tiles and keeping them in pristine condition all year round is a difficult task. Tiled surfaces are not safe from mold. Water may seep through and develop mold in grout and behind the tiles. Grout materials are usually made of some porous material which can attract moisture, ultimately creating mold. Luckily, SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help with mold mitigation.

Why stains and molds occur

There many reasons why stains could have developed in your ceramics. One of the reasons causing these stains are various types of bacteria that has formed under or on the tile. Preventing and treating bacteria is the best way to keep your tiles looking wonderful.

 
Behind Tile and Walls 
 
Many times, mold may not be visible to the naked eye, but a particular smell or stain can give you a hint. In some cases, mold can grow into large patches behind tiles or walls, creating large patches of growth out of sight. This bacteria may be dangerous, as these patches of mold can grow to immense sizes before being noticed.


Prevent Mold Growth 
 
Cheap or damaged grout and wall materials can lead to mold growth. It is important to apply new layers of waterproof grout to ensure that wall materials are in good shape. Make sure to pay attention to any stain or odor in order to identify the source and prevent future mold growth in the area.

Our SERVPRO of Palo Alto technicians are trained to thoroughly examine and clean mold from tiled surfaces, and to save as much of the tile as possible. If you need to get rid of your mold fast, call us 24/7 at 650-800-3448 for quick response times and quality service.
 

Common Places in Your Home to Find Mold Damage

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

Mold infested kitchen pantry. Don't forget to check out our Before/After photos!

Patches of mold growth are relatively common in homes in Palo Alto, requiring mold cleanup and mold remediation.

In Pantries and Refrigerators 

Food scraps can grow old and begin to rot and grow mold. This is dangerous because mold can spread across surface inside of a pantry, refrigerator, or any dark moist space. Make sure to maintain food fresh and sealed to prevent mold contamination in these areas.

Laundry Rooms

Laundry rooms are a common place for mold to grow. Laundry rooms provide many places for mold to grow and spread. Damp clothes, a humid atmosphere, and sometimes leaks or condensation around washers and dryers can result in mold formation.

In the Bathroom 
Mold Damage in Palo Alto homes grow in bathrooms. These areas provide the perfect atmosphere for mold growth: significant amounts of water, often with humid air, and dark for most hours of the day. Mold can form in cabinets, on towels and clothes. Shower curtains, plain wooden walls, tiles, and floors can be hiding bacteria. Whenever we respond to mold damage in a bathroom, we make sure to locate the source and prevent it from spreading in other areas in the home.

Behind Walls and Ceilings 
Mold patches are usually caused when a pipe leaks or bursts and dampens the wood surrounding it. This can result in mold growth that is out of view and inside the walls. Mold will spread quickly damaging and weakening your home. If you have had a recent water damage in your home, make sure to test the walls for possible mold.

For a homeowner, mold is a threat that they don't even know is there until they either see it or smell it. SERVPRO of Palo Alto is determined to remove that threat and its effects. If you believe you may be dealing with a mold problem that requires mold mitigation, call us today at 650-800-3448 for an inspection, and to get the process started.

"Do I Have A Mold Problem?" Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto to Find Out

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

Experiencing mold issues can cause headaches to homeowners, especially if contractors fail to take the necessary measures to clear the mold. Failing to properly provide mold remediation can cause mold to return.

At SERVPRO of Palo Alto, our customers’ safety and satisfaction is our priority. Our SERVPRO professionals will help you find the source that caused mold to form, and will remediate the problem using the proper steps to give you peace of mind, as well as provide you with exceptional service. Mold remediation is not complete until the source has been discovered and the mold eliminated.

When treating mold growth, SERVPRO of Palo Alto follows the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) procedures. Our technicians are highly trained to treat obvious mold growth using plastic sheeting to protect the rest of the home during remediation. For extensive mold, we use state-of-the-art scrubbing equipment to ensure mold particles are eliminated. If demolition is necessary, we remove the colonies and any porous material that has been affected.  Our technicians will follow all local regulations for disposal of removed material.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto looks for even the smallest details in the structure that may allow moisture to intrude and cause another outbreak. Our mold specialists will then disinfect the affected areas using exceptional cleaning methods and techniques.

Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto if you suspect a mold problem in your home, or if you have visible mold from a previous water damage event. If this is the case, you’ll want professionals with the training, experience, and equipment to properly resolve the mold infestation. Call us today at 650-800-3448.

Quality Fire Damage Restoration Services for Bay Area Home

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

Damage caused by a fire is devastating for home and business owners. It’s a stressful and confusing time, so you’ll need caring experts to guide you through this crisis. Our professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto will always treat you with respect and empathy, and we’ll always handle your home and belongings 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.

Cooking Fires & Safety

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause is leaving cooking unattended. Fires can happen very quickly, even if you walk away for just a moment. When cooking, it’s important to stay in the kitchen, and keep anything that can catch fire away from stovetops. Oven mitts, wooden utensil, food packaging, and towels are all prone to be caught on fire, even by a spark. If a stove fire were to inevitably occur, and you are unable to contain the fire with a fire extinguisher, quickly get everyone out of the house, and call 911 or your local emergency number! Don’t forget to take your pets with you, and close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

Use Caution with Fire Extinguishers

Remember the word PASS when using a fire extinguisher:
1. Pull the pin and hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you. 
2. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
3. Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly. 
4. Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire has been extinguished.

How to Recover after a Fire

  • Wash small wounds with soap and water to help prevent infections. Use bandages and replace them if they become soiled or damaged. If you have suffered from any injuries, have them treated by a medical professional immediately.
  • Remain calm and patiently deal with urgent situations first. Take care of yourself and your family. If necessary contact your local disaster relieve service, such as the American Red Cross or Salvation Army for shelter assistance, clothing, medicine, and other important things.
  • Check with the fire department to make sure your residence is safe to enter.
  • When entering your damaged home, be sure to wear long pants, long-sleeved shirt, closed toed shoes, safety googles, and a hard hat (if necessary) to avoid injuries from falling particles of damaged ceilings and structure.

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto when the fire department clears your property and it is safe to enter. Our advanced training enables us to get your property restored quickly and thoroughly. For any emergencies, call us 24/7 for prompt service at 650-800-3448.

Protecting Your Pets During a Disaster or Emergency Event

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

In the event of fire emergency or storm disaster, most people consider the safety of their family, but many may forget to consider the safety of their pets. According to the Unites States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires alone. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 home fires each year are accidentally started by homeowners' pets.

The American Kennel Club and ADT Security Services have joined forces to provide the following tips:

  • Extinguish Open Flames- Pets are generally curious and will investigate cooking appliances, candles, or even a fire in your fireplace. Ensure your pet is not left unattended around an open flame and make sure to thoroughly extinguish any open flame before leaving your home.
  • Remove Stove Knobs- Be sure to remove stove knobs or protect them with covers before leaving the house - a stove or cook top is the number one piece of equipment involved in your pet starting a fire.
  • Invest in flameless Candles- These candles contain a light bulb rather than an open flame, and take the danger out of your pet knocking over a candle. Cats are notorious for starting fires when their tails turn over lit candles.
  • Secure Young Pets - Keep them confined away from potential fire-starting hazards when you are away from home, such as in crates or behind baby gates in secure areas.

Emergency Pet Safety

Sadly enough, many forget to include their pets in their plan in case of an emergency. It’s important to practice your emergency plan with your family, while including your pets as part of the practice. This includes taking emergency pet supplies with you, if you are forced to evacuate. Also, make sure your pets are micro-chipped and wearing collars with updated contact information.

Comforting your Pet

A fire event can be frightening to your pet, especially with the loud sounds of fire alarms. Scared animals often react by biting or scratching. If you have pets, find them and comfort them. Handle them carefully, calmly, and gently. If you were to be separated from your pet during an emergency event, proper identifications tags or microchips will increase your chances of being reunited.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto stands ready to assist after tragedy strikes. Contact us at 650-800-3448 for any questions regarding Emergency Planning and/or Damage Restoration for your home or business.

Lightning storm strikes the Bay Area

9/14/2017 (Permalink)

On Monday, September 11, the Bay Area was hit with a late-summer storm that brought thousands of lightning strikes, rain and high winds. The strong winds knocked down several wires in the South Bay, leaving several homes and businesses without power.

With summer coming to an end, we begin to prepare for the upcoming storm season that fall may bring. These storms can potentially create numerous water and damage losses for your home or business. It is important to inspect your home or business for water damage to prevent it from creating mold or further damage to the structure.

The heavy winds of these storms can knock down trees causing severe damage to your property. Storm and flood damages require specialized techniques and adequate equipment. If your residential or commercial property is affected by a storm, you will need a company with storm damage experience and expertise. Trust SERVPRO of Palo Alto to take care of it. Call us 650-800-3448.

Locally Owned Company with National Storm Resources

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is locally owned and operated, so we are part of this community too. When you have a flooding or storm emergency, we’re already nearby and ready to help 24/7. We take pride in being a part of the Palo Alto community and want to do our part in making it the best it can be.

SEPTEMBER: National Preparedness Month

9/14/2017 (Permalink)

Download our app TODAY!

Make A Plan

Mother Nature can bring us unexpected events without much warning.  That is why you can never be too careful. During an emergency, it is important to be prepared with an Emergency Plan in place. An Emergency Plan can increase your chances of survival for yourself and those around you in case of an emergency or disaster.

It is important that everyone in the home is aware of what actions to take in case of an emergency. You can find more information on how to be prepared in the link below:

https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan.

SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help you develop an immediate plan of action for your home or business. You can simply download our mobile SERVPRO Ready Plan app on your phone or tablets. Whether you are a home or business owner, our SERVPRO Ready Plan can help you be prepared for whatever happens. It is important to know what to do and expect in advance to help minimize the damages that can affect your property. The SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile advantages consist of:

  • A no cost assessment of your facility.
    This means there is no need to allocate funds, giving you a great value at no cost.
     
  • A concise Profile Document that contains only the critical information needed in the event of an emergency.
    It will only take a little time to complete and will not take you away from current projects. But it will save a lot of time if ever needed.
     
  • A guide to help you get back into your building following a disaster.
    This can help minimize the amount of time your business is inactive by having an immediate plan of action.
     
  • Establishes your local SERVPRO Franchise Professional as your disaster mitigation and restoration provider.
    You have a provider that is recognized as an industry leader and close by.
     
  • Identification of the line of command for authorizing work to begin.
    This saves time so we can begin the work of mitigating the damage which can save you time and money.
     
  • Provides facility details such as shut-off valve locations, priority areas and priority contact information.
    Having a quick reference of what to do, how to do it and who to call provides solutions in advance of an emergency so that during the emergency you are "Ready for whatever happens."

Select SERVPRO of Palo Alto as your Preferred Franchise on your personalized profile.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto

(650) 800-3448

2625 Middlefield Road #557

Palo Alto, CA 94306

Download the app today

https://ready.SERVPRO.com/home/mobileapp

We Specialize In Flooded Basement Cleanup and Restoration!

9/14/2017 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your Palo Alto basement could flood, including: 

  • A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
  • Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
  • Storm sewer backup
  • Sanitary sewer backup
  • Foundation drainage failure
  • Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
  • And many more

Have Questions about Basement Flooding? 

Call Today - (650) 800-3448

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of Palo Alto and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

  • We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
  • We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
  • We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
  • Our Technicians are Highly-Trained  in Water Restoration Techniques
  • We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
  • Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

Basement Flooded? Call Us Today – We’re Ready To Help (650) 800-3448

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is an IICRC Certified Firm

9/14/2017 (Permalink)

We are an IICRC Certified Firm

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is an IICRC firm. The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) creates the standards for the restoration industry and provides training and certification to restoration companies. IICRC Certified Firms have the right to display the IICRC Certified Logo.

IICRC Certified Firms must

  • Present accurate information to consumers and conduct business with honesty and integrity.
  • Require a technician on all jobs who has been formally trained and passed all required tests.
  • Require a continuing education program to keep technicians up-to-date on the latest changes in the industry.
  • Maintain liability insurance to protect all parties in the event of an accident.
  • Maintain a written complaint policy and agree to Better Business Bureau or similar arbitration to resolve disputes, and accept the conclusions and recommendations of arbitration.

The IICRC Develops The Standards For The Restoration Industry

The IICRC has been the driving force in establishing the main industry standards and reference guides for professional carpet cleaning, water damage restoration and mold remediation. These IICRC standards take years to develop and require the coordination of experts in the field: manufacturers, industry organizations, insurance professionals, training schools, contractors, and public health professionals.

Every five years, the standards are reviewed and updated. The water damage restoration field changes rapidly with advancements in technology and science, and therefore the standards must evolve to keep pace.

About SERVPRO of Palo Alto

SERVPRO of Palo Alto specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. Our staff is highly trained in property damage restoration and we are an IICRC Certified Firm. We believe in continuous training: 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 to restore your property.

Football Season Is Here!

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Football season is here!

Benny, our office mascot, is ready for tailgating parties and BBQs.

Benny’s safety tips during this football season:

  • Make sure to have a fire extinguishers handy when grilling.
  • If at home, make sure all fire detectors are properly installed.
  • Using a charcoal grill? Make sure the coals are cool before disposing
  • Make sure there are no flammable items nearby when cooking or grilling.
  • Never leave the grill or stove unattended.

If your home does suffers from a fire, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will be there for you. Once firefighters have cleared the premises, your property might have suffered water damage from their firefighting efforts as well as smoke and soot damage.

For fire restoration services, SERVPRO of Palo Alto has the training needed to restore your home and property to pre-fire condition. Do not wait to call us at 650-800-3448.

Benny and our SERVPRO of Palo Alto team, wish your favorite team the best of luck this season!

Restoring Your Commercial Property After a Water Damage Event

9/12/2017 (Permalink)

Flooding and water damage events at commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large scale event, we work 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

Our 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 a water damage event. 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 to restore your property.

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

Remembering 9/11

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Sixteen years ago on this day, September 11, 2001, our lives changed forever. We can all remember as we watched the World Trade Center in New York City being stricken by planes as terrorists attacked our country. We watched the Pentagon in Washington in flames after Flight 77 crashed into the building. Near Shanksville, Pennsylvania another plane crashed into a field. It was a day of grief that will stay in our hearts forever.

Following the attacks, reconstruction of the event was an enormous task. SERVPRO Franchise Professionals were called upon to assist with the cleanup and restoration on the Pentagon. Despite of the difficulties and emotions that involved the restoration, SERVPRO completed the process of drying over 300,000 square feet of property due to water pipes bursting. In addition, SERVPRO also provided fire, soot and smoke cleanup and restoration services.

Although reconstruction was possible, the memories will take time to heal and recover from. SERVPRO of Palo Alto honors the heroic actions of those who gave their lives to help others. Firefighters, policemen, first responders, and civilians all came together to respond without hesitation to save hundreds of lives. These men and women put their own lives on the line to save others. Today and every day of our lives, we remember the innocent lives that were lost during the attacks.

Fire Prevention Tips For Palo Alto Residents

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

Create your ERP today!

Fire Prevention

Having an emergency plan in case of a fire is important in order to protect your residence or business. 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 informing our customers the importance of fire prevention with some tips from the National Fire Protection Association.

  • Do not leave your cooking unattended specially 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.

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto for more information on Fire prevention and restoration at 650-800-3448

When Storms hit, SERVPRO is PREPARED!

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

Atherton home affected by heavy rain. SERVPRO of Palo Alto was there to help!

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is dedicated to storm and flood damage restoration. Our crew is ready “for whatever happens”. Our highly trained staff use expert equipment that is efficient to restore and preserve your property.

Our crew at SERVPRO of Palo Alto are able to respond quickly with the right resources within a few hours to reduce any future damage. This is extremely important to assure that the property is dry in order to decrease the damage. Doing so will prevent further damage, which ultimately reduces the restoration cost.

When storms hit Palo Alto, we have the right equipment and resources to handle a large storm or flooding disaster. Our highly trained professionals are ready to respond 24/7 to any storm or flood emergency.

We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters.

Need Emergency Services? Call us 24/7 at 650-800-3448

Fall Cleaning is the New Spring Cleaning!

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

As fall is slowly approaching, give yourself some peace of mind and come to cozy, clean home. Perhaps you have a cooking odor that just won’t go away or carpet stains from your summer gathering. Our top-quality professional cleaning service will assist you with whatever your cleaning needs may be! Some of our services include:

  • Carpet and hard floor cleaning and care.
  • Stain removal, stain resistance application
  • Odor identification and deodorization.
  • Upholstery & drapes: wet or dry cleaning methods.

Let our specialist at SERVPRO of Palo Alto help with any cleaning services that you may need. Our crew is equipped with the knowledge and equipment to create a safe, clean and comfortable living environment for you and your family. SERVPRO provides cleaning services to residential and commercial properties. Call us today at (650) 800-3448 and let SERVPRO do all the work for you!

Are You Prepared For a Natural Disaster?

8/31/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Harvey has powerfully impacted the state of Texas causing catastrophic floods and homes destroyed. This unfortunate event caused by Mother Nature should be a wake-up call to be prepared for any natural disaster. It is also a good time to review your current insurance policy. Although California has not experienced hurricanes, SERVPRO of Palo Alto advices you to always be prepared. California has been impacted by tropical storms that have caused major flooding and property damage.

Here are some tips from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in order to protect your home in case of a severe storm:

  • Cover all windows with precut plywood or hurricane shutters to protect from high winds.
  • Keep all trees and shrubs well-trimmed.
  • Turn off utilities and propane tanks as instructed.
  • Ensure supply of water for sanitary purposes.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers 24-hour emergency response, 365 a year. Reach us at 650-800-3448

Second Floor Leaks Can Mean More Than Just Water Stains in Your Palo Alto or Menlo Park Home

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Ceiling Damage from Upstairs Broken Pipe.

Some of the most common water emergency inquiries we receive are from customers who have experienced a second story leak, which has leaked to the first floor, through the ceiling which looks staining, bubbling and cracks. Whether the leak is coming from a clean water source like a sink faucet, or a contaminated or dirty water source, such as a toilet, the water damage can be severe.

Water tends to travel and is capable of causing severe structural damage, spreading to other rooms not immediately affected, causing damage to insulation, light fixtures, framing, flooring, and even furniture.

If you suspect water damage in your home in Palo Alto, Menlo Park or Bay area property, do not ignore it, as delaying any service or further inspection could cause more damage, and the water can be concealing more serious issues.

A leaky roof, broken pipe, worn appliance, or accidental overflow can all be causes of water damage. SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides you with expertly trained and certified water technicians along with the newest and most efficient drying equipment to address your water damage. 

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto for fast and effective solutions for all water damage issues found in your home. We are here to help to your provide service to help protect your home, 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. Call 650-800-3448.

Hoarding Help for a Challenging Situation in your Palo Alto Home

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Extreme Hoarder Situation that SERVPRO of Palo Alto Helped Clean Up

Are you or a loved one dealing with a hoarder situation? Often times a family member who is ill can suffer from a hoarder-type situation, and SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help you resolve the situation with understanding and compassion. People who are dealing with a hoarding disorder deserve a trusting cleanup team who can help restore their lives to normal.

A hoarding situation required special expertise in cleaning and restoration. We have dealt with every kind of critical restoration situation and have the depth of resources to handle jobs from a small kitchen disaster to the toughest and most complex estate jobs involving toxic odors and biohazardous materials.

By listening to the family's needs and concerns, SERVPRO of Palo Alto creates a plan that everyone agrees upon, whether this involves cleaning, sorting, distributing, communicating, and disposing or donating unwanted items. We will work with your representative, trustee, estate manager, family member or even medical representative, every step of the way. Our work is not done until the goal is achieved and things are clutter free and your home is safe again. 

Call SERVPRO of Palo Alto if you need help restoring your hoarder's home back to normal: 650-800-3448.

Mold Cleanup for Your Palo Alto Property

8/23/2017 (Permalink)

Mold in a Home Caused After Winter Rains

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce allergens and irritants.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto to address mold remediation issues found inb your home by calling 650-800-3448. We are available 24 hours a day/7 days a week.

Holiday Fire Safety tips

12/13/2016 (Permalink)

Easy Holiday Safety tips

It is that time of year again, everyone! 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 some of the easiest ways to prevent fire accidents. 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.

Kitchen

  • 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.

Candles

  • 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, you may contact us at 1 (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!

 

Fast to your Palo Alto Water Damage Event

5/11/2016 (Permalink)

Flooding and water emergencies don’t wait for regular business hours and neither do we. SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides emergency cleaning and restoration services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week—including all holidays.

Faster To Any Size Disaster

Flooding and water damage is very invasive. Water quickly spreads throughout your home and gets absorbed into floors, walls, furniture, and more.  SERVPRO of Palo Alto arrives quickly and starts the water extraction process almost immediately. This immediate response helps to minimize the damage and the cleaning and restoration costs.

Need Emergency Service? Call Us 24/7 – (650) 800-3448

Water Damage Timeline

Within Minutes

  • Water quickly spreads throughout your property, saturating everything in its path.
  • Water is absorbed into walls, floors, upholstery, and belongings.
  • Furniture finishes may bleed, causing permanent staining on carpets.
  • Photographs, books, and other paper goods start to swell and warp.

Hours 1 - 24:

  • Drywall begins to swell and break down.
  • Metal surfaces begin to tarnish.
  • Furniture begins to swell and crack.
  • Dyes and inks from cloth and paper goods spread and stain.
  • A musty odor appears.

48 Hours to 1 Week:

  • Mold and mildew may grow and spread.
  • Doors, windows, and studs swell and warp.
  • Metal begins to rust and corrode.
  • Furniture warps and shows signs of mold.
  • Paint begins to blister.
  • Wood flooring swells and warps.
  • Serious biohazard contamination is possible.

More Than 1 Week:

  • Restoration time and cost increase dramatically; replacing contaminated materials and structural rebuilding may be extensive.
  • Structural safety, mold growth, and biohazard contaminants pose serious risks to occupants.

About SERVPRO of Palo Alto

SERVPRO of Palo Alto specializes in the cleanup and restoration of residential and commercial property after a fire, smoke or water damage event. 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 to restore your property

El Nino Storms Hitting Palo Alto and Bay Area Causing Water Damage

1/6/2016 (Permalink)

The first rounds of storms that meteorologists are attributing to El Nino begin pounding the bay area the first week of 2016.  The series of storms will soak the bay area including Palo Alto. We might be making use of those sand bags after all. 

The National Weather Service is forecasting 6 straight days of rain with the heaviest of rains happening midweek with predictions of rain totals from 1 to 5 inches. However, these are the first storms for El Nino in what weather experts call a 'conga line' of storms. Well we hope we can dance to that tune with the record draughts across Northern and Southern California. 

Our phone calls have been reflecting the weather, as we predicted. With flooded basements and roof leaks being our main causes of water damage this week. We have been responding to calls from Palo Alto and Menlo Park, to Woodside and Portola Valley.  

When damage occurs to you, call the professionals. We are always here to help. 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can respond immediately to your water damage emergency regardless of the scope or size of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters.

Whether your water emergency occurs in an apartment, a large estate, a small office building, or a multi-unit complex, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Can Clean Up After the Loss of Your Loved Ones: Biohazard Cleanup after Death

10/15/2015 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is experienced to deal with very challenging situations on a daily basis providing emergency services for water, fire, mold and sewage cleanup. One of the most challenging is trauma cleanup and biohazard removal after crime scenes, death and suicide. One of the most extreme, is the death of a person who has not been found for days or even longer. For the family involved, this can be a traumatizing experience. 

Considering what happens to the body after death as the decomposition process starts immediately, the entire situation can be disturbing and overwhelming. Additionally, the health hazards of the trauma scene are serious and cleanup should only be left up to professionals. A decomposing body can affect the home's safety and can be deemed uninhabitable with the effects of airborne bacteria, odor and biohazard materials. 

SERVPRO of Palo Alto has certified professionals who are experienced to safely cleanup and remove affected materials. We follow proper regulations and protocols to remove personal property and structural elements, such as flooring. 

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.

Summer is Almost Here, as Fire Season is also Approaching Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Portola Valley

9/23/2015 (Permalink)

Credit: qctimes.com

As Californians, we know the real threat of wildfires. California residents need to be more aware than ever on how best to protect their homes from wildfires.


According to FEMA here are some top ways to protect your property in Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Atherton, Portola Valley and other bay area cities:  


Have you thinned out and maintained the vegetation around the house? All vegetation is fuel for a wildfire-therefore the greater the distance between your home and the vegetation, the greater the protection. Create a 30-foot safety zone around the house if possible. At a minimum, create a defensible space of (0-5ft): use noncombustible materials, such as gravel, brick, or concrete in this critical area adjacent to your home. Remove vines from the walls of the house, prune branches and shrubs within 15 ft of chimneys.


Create a second zone of 100 feet reducing or replacing as much of the most flammable vegetation as possible.If you live on a hill, you may need to extend the zone for several hundred feet. 


Are combustibe materials away from the house? Identify all combustible materials outside the house, stack firewood 100ft away and uphill from the house. Keep the gas grill and propane tank at least 15 ft from the house and place a mesh screen over the grill. 


Is the roof made of non combustible materials? Materials that are fire resistant include single ply membranes, fiberglass shingles, slate, metal, clay and concrete tile. Clean debris from roof since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers.


Are sundecks and porches enclosed underneath? Are eaves and overhangs enclosed? Clear leaves, trash and other fire hazards away from decks and porches, extend 1/2 inch mesh screen from all overhands down to the ground. Enclose all eaves to reduce the hazard.


Clean out gutters regularly: keep debris ouf of gutters since debris can be ignited by wind-blown embers. If used, gutter covers should be non-combustible.


Are house vents covered with wire mesh? Any attic vent, soffit vent, or other opening can allow embers and flaming debris to enter a home and ignite it. Cover all openings with an 1/4 inch or smaller corrosion-resistant wire mesh. Are chimneys and stovepipes covered with spark arrestors? Use 12-gauge spark arrestors or woven wire mesh to prevent this hazard.


Is the house siding fire resistant? Stucco, metal, brick and cement, concrete and rock are all fire resistant and should be used. You can treate wood siding with UL-approved fire retardant chemicals but these treatments are not permanent.


Have windows been treated to reduce the risk? Dual or triple-paned thermal glass and fire resistant shutters or drapes, help reduce wildfire risk. Tempered glass windos and noncombustible awnings can also help reduce your risk.

Tsunami Threatens California After 8.3 Chile Earthquake

9/17/2015 (Permalink)

Photo: San Andrea Movie.

A powerful 8.3 earthquake that rattled the earth for three minutes struck the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile Wednesday, generating a 15-foot tsunami along parts of the Chilean coast. Chile is one of the most earthquake prone countries as the Nazca plate runs under the Andes beneath the S. American plate.

The tsunami advisories are in effect for Hawaii and California coasts but the strength of the waves will be concentrated on French Polynesia including Tahiti. Local officials urge people to stay off the beach and out of water in the areas of Southern and Central California including: San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego. The National Tsunami Warning Center said that tsunami waves of less than 1 foot above normal can be expected. Althouth the waves would not pose much danger to land, they can create dangerous currents to those swimming or boating in these areas.

Coastal areas nearest to the Bay Area, South Bay or Silicon Valley, including Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, Santa Cruz will likely not be affected by the waves of the tsunami. This earthquake should serve as a wake-up call to all Californians as seismologists have been predicting an earth-rattling quake to this area for months. The San Andreas Fault and 6 other significant fault zones are present in the Bay Area: the Calaveras, Concord-Green Valley, Greenville, Hayward, Rodgers Creek, and San Gregorio Faults.

If and when that big one hits us, a tsunami could be a real threat to us and might even come through the bay side to impact Palo Alto, Menlo Park and the surrounding areas. Once these waves enter your home, the waters are deemed category 3 flood waters and everything impacted by the waves would be deemed unsalvageable. 

SERVPRO of Palo Alto would be one of the first responders in such a disaster and would be there to help clean out and dry out your commercial or residential property if affected.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can respond immediately to your water damage emergency regardless of the scope or size of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters.

Whether your water emergency occurs in an apartment, a large estate, a small office building, or a multi-unit complex, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.

SERVPRO Extracts Water at Annual Event to Avoid Flooding

9/15/2015 (Permalink)

Palo Alto Holiday Party

SERVPRO of Palo Alto has been called out for the past three years consecutively to an exclusive holiday party in downtown Palo Alto to extract and pump water. The heavy rains every winter put a damper on the event and tends  flooded heavily as the event planners had been working for weeks to organize this extravaganza, setting up tents, creating a skating rink, and hauling in 20 foot tall Christmas trees.


SERVPRO was on site during the days before the big event pumping out thousands of gallons of water and extracting water throughout the party. The water was creating a mess in the middle of the affair. Luckily the rain paused for a few hours while the party was happening. The event planner that hired us was so appreciative we were there on site for them and they called three days later to hire us again on the cleanup efforts.


Locally Owned Company with National Resources


SERVPRO of Palo Alto can respond immediately to your commercial water damage emergency regardless of the scope or size of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large-scale events and disasters.


Whether your water emergency occurs in a big-box store or a small office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.  

Northern California Wildfires Rage--Leaving a Path of Destruction and Pain

9/15/2015 (Permalink)

Fires raging in California. Photo credit: Together.com.

As the fires in Lake County, Valley, Napa and Butte are ravaging thousands of acres and burning hundreds of homes and buildings to the ground. Neighboring homes are still being threatened and facing severe smoke, soot and property damage. The drought-stricken conditions and dry brush are making conditions for fire fighters impossible. The outlook looks harsh, according to California's emergency services director, "...we don't see an end in the fire season." 

Many homeowners in this devastated aftermath don't know what to do, where to begin and 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.

First thing you should do after such a loss is speak to your insurance company. Clarify your policy and hopefully your loss will be covered. One thing 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. For homeowners in Palo Alto, we 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 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
Restoration

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can respond immediately to your water, or fire damage emergency regardless of the scope or size of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters.

Whether your water/fire emergency occurs in a big-box store or a small office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion. 

Will El Nino bring wet weather to Silicon Valley this winter?

8/13/2015 (Permalink)

Meteorologists have been closely monitoring the El Nino weather pattern as more and more information is leaning towards the possibility of an extreme winter for our Bay Area. The U.S. Climate Prediction Center recently reported that the warming of sea surface temperatures and the emerging equatorial winds are following the conditions preceding some of the strongest El Ninos in California history. Last time we had such winters was in 1982-1983 and 1997-1998.

The Positive
California's drought and below average rainfall could be helped by this predicted storm. Perhaps our dams and reservoirs could reach their normal levels, we could use water without fearing citation and our plants might even be green again!

The Negative
Things could change and the weather pattern may not take hold. Forecasters are keeping a close watch, although this recent report increased to a 90% chance, up 5% from last month. If things persist we may see El Nino--then again we might not. 

If we're not prepared for the extreme weather, we could see widespread flooding and damage. Palo Alto and the rest of Silicon Valley could be hit hard. Power lines, flooding, high winds, and snow, roof leaks, surface water, ground water in your basement or crawlspace...are you ready?

It might be a good idea to revisit your homeowner’s insurance policy; do you have water damage coverage? Does it cover floods? Do you know the details of what your policy covers? A call to your agent will protect you from unforeseen costs and a real disaster, the one to your bank account. Will you need to call SERVPRO of Palo Alto. If so, our heroes are here to help, rain or shine, night or day! 

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

SERVPRO of Palo Alto can respond immediately to your water damage emergency regardless of the scope or size of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large scale events and disasters.

Whether your water emergency occurs in a big-box store or a small office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto Can Fix Your Vandalism and Biohazard Situation

8/13/2015 (Permalink)

Carpet damaged by acid vandalism in a Palo Alto apartment.

In the unfortunate event that your home is vandalized, broken into or damaged by intruders, SERVPRO of Palo Alto can help clean up your property and remove and potential hazards left behind. SERVPRO has been called several times to do emergency board-ups throughout the bay area, but recently we were called to clean up an interesting apartment break-in to a property in Palo Alto.


Most recently SERVPRO of Palo Alto was called after a home had been vandalized and a fire extinguisher had been sprayed throughout the 1500 sqft home. SERVPRO professionals cleaned the entire home with our dry cleaning methods, as well as used air purifying equipment to address all the particulates in the air.


At another home, the intruders had one thing in mind--to damage the apartment in it's entirety with acid. They left all the carpets burnt and the entire apartment damaged by pouring acid all over the carpets, vinyl floors, and appliances. This place was a disaster, and the chemicals used were a hazard.  


SERVPRO crews worked for three days to remove all the flooring remove all the appliances and clean and sanitize the property to leave it safe for repair. Since the acid was very hazardous, crews were suited in full PPE (personal protective equipment), which included tyvek suits, respirators and heavy rubber gloves. Additionally, we installed a large negative air fan or air scrubber to clean the contamination caused by the acid. We removed all the contents and disposed of them according to safety guidelines and regulations.


In addition, SERVPRO professionals are trained to provide cleanup for the following situations:



  • Suicide/death accidents

  • Homicide cleanups

  • Blood cleanup

  • Accident cleanup

  • Hoarding scenes

  • Animal waste/remains

  • Chemical spills

  • Tear gas cleanup

  • Meth lab cleanup


Locally Owned Company with National Resources


SERVPRO of Palo Alto can respond immediately to your commercial water damage emergency regardless of the scope or size of the damage. We are part of a national network of over 1,600 Franchises with special Disaster Recovery Teams placed strategically throughout the country to respond to large-scale events and disasters.


Whether your water emergency occurs in a big-box store or a small office building, we will respond quickly to mitigate the damage and manage the restoration project through to its completion. 

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

7/29/2015 (Permalink)

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 their 4 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 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. 

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