Recent Water Damage Posts

Electrical Safety Tips to Prevent Injury after Flood Damage in Redwood City, CA, Homes

11/24/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers advice to help homeowners stay safe before, during, and after a water or flood damage disaster.

SERVPRO® of Palo Alto provides emergency flood damage restoration services Bay area residents can count on when flood waters cause water damage in a home or business. Available 24/7, 365 days a year, the team of certified technicians arrives in about an hour equipped with the latest restoration technology, advanced cleaning techniques, and EPA cleaning products.

The potential for electrical shock in a flood disaster is a real and present danger. Most flood deaths occur when vehicles are swept away in turbulent water, but some fatalities are caused by electrocution. Water conducts electricity, so the possibility of electrical shock is elevated whenever water and electricity are close to each other. Flood conditions make the threat of electrocution even greater.

Before floodwaters rise

Persons living in or near a high-risk flood zone can take precautions to reduce the risk well in advance of severe weather conditions. One risk-reduction strategy is the installation of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) electrical outlets. These special outlets have been a building code requirement for bathrooms for decades, but usage is not limited to the bathroom. The safety devices can be installed throughout a home at a reasonable cost and usually with no alteration. A circuit breaker in the outlet automatically trips when the plug grounds, cutting off or “interrupting” the flow of electricity.

When the risk of flooding is very high, but before waters rise to dangerous levels, take a proactive approach to immediately reduce the threat of electrocution by shutting off the power to the structure.

Below is a three-step process to make the home safe should floodwaters threaten to rise.

Step #1: Locate the panel box.

Start this process by locating the panel box inside the home. It is usually hidden in a closet or pantry. The panel box houses circuit breakers for every circuit in the structure, along with the main shut-off switch.

Step #2: Shut off the power.

This process begins by flipping each individual circuit breaker.

Step #3: Turn off the main breaker.

Once the individual breakers are off, turn off the main circuit breaker. Sometimes, the breaker box is located in the basement or outside. If floodwaters have flooded the basement or engulfed the outside panel box, do not try to turn off the power. The danger of electrocution is very high. Instead, immediately contact the utility company servicing the home to request the power be shut off at the meter.

While waiting for the utility company to act, unplug all electrical devices very carefully. Relocate the devices and other important furniture, documents, and valuables to a higher location in the home. Take great care to prevent an injury when lifting items. Lift with the knees. A lighter object, if improperly lifted, can cause a back, joint, or muscle injury.

During the flood

If flooding is in process, implement the following electrical safety measures to minimize the danger of electrical shock:

  • Avoid coming into contact with any electrical devices or appliances while standing in water.
  • Avoid touching or operating electrical devices that are wet or moist from floodwater.
  • Stay out of areas where the water level is at or above electrical outlets.
  • Beware of areas where any wiring may be underwater.

Fallen power lines create a high-risk environment. If evacuation from the structure is necessary, scan the area for downed power poles or power lines. Contact with live wires or pools of water electrified by downed power lines can be fatal.

When floodwaters have receded

Just because the water is gone does not mean the risk of electrocution has de-escalated. In reality, the risk hazards are still high. Exercise caution when beginning the cleanup and restoration. Do not enter the structure until the utility company or other professional has inspected the home or business and verified that the location is safe. Even if the power was turned off before the flood struck, do not turn it on without having the wiring inspected and approved by a licensed electrician. Then and only then should the circuits be re-energized.

Have water-damaged appliances been inspected by a certified technician? Moisture trapped inside an electrical device can cause major damage. Thankfully, some appliances can be refurbished and returned to duty. The homeowner should not attempt to use an appliance that has not been properly inspected and approved for use.

In case of a property damage disaster such as a flood, entrust the water damage cleanup and restoration process to SERVPRO® of Palo Alto. The SERVRPRO team is ready to serve homeowners and business owners suffering a flood damage disaster, burst pipes, fire damage, smoke damage, or mold damage.

For more information about SERVPRO of Palo Alto’s water damage restoration services in Menlo Park, CA, contact the damage restoration and cleaning company by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email at office@SERVPROpaloalto.com.

How a Business Can Maneuver the Difficult Insurance Claims Process after a Water Damage Disaster?

11/24/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO® of Palo Alto explains how businesses affected by a water damage disaster can resume normal business operations and navigate the complex insurance claims process.

The team at SERVPRO of Palo Alto is dedicated to getting a business up and running as soon as possible after a commercial fire damage or a water damage disaster. A burst water pipe can disrupt and possibly shut down normal business operations. In business, time is money. Here are some tips to help business owners navigate the turbulent waters of the claims filing process. The goal is to ensure maximum coverage for water damage to a commercial building.

Not all burst pipe claims are the same

Some burst water pipe claims are more costly than others. This variation in the cost of the water damage cleanup and restoration reflects the difference in the extent of the actual damage. A flooded office may only require the repair of the damaged pipe and the replacement of the carpet. A slow, undetected leak may impact not just one office but several floors of offices. In a best-case scenario where the leak only lasts for a few minutes, the mini flood can soak flooring and walls. Repairs can cause the partial or total shutdown of the business.

Many considerations factor into the scope of damage from a burst pipe, including:

  • The location of the business
  • The design and construction of the building
  • Fire sprinkler system
  • Number of floors in the building
  • The age of the structure

The location of the business

A burst water pipe is one of the most common causes of water damage in a commercial building. One of the leading causes of the ruptured pipe is freezing temperatures. A sudden drop in temperature can cause water in the pipes to expand, rupturing the pipe. Areas, where snow and ice are infrequent, may be at the greatest risk. Proper pipe insulation may have been neglected or ignored. On that rare occasion when the temperatures dip into the twenties, unprotected or exposed pipes freeze and burst, causing a massive water damage disaster.

The design and construction of the building

How a building is designed and constructed will have an impact on both the probability and scope of a water damage disaster. Burst water pipes are directly related to several common design and structural features. Water pipes in an unheated attic are at high risk of freezing during a cold snap. The failure to appropriately insulate pipes between interior and exterior walls can lead to a water damage surprise on Monday morning after a weekend cold wave. Faulty or substandard plumbing installation will become evident sooner rather than later.

Fire sprinkler systems

A fire suppression system in a commercial setting can effectively extinguish flames before fire damage is extensive. A fire sprinkler system also saves lives. A discharge from a fire suppression system can cause widespread damage, driving the flooding insurance claim to astronomical heights. Fire sprinklers emit large amounts of water under high pressure, and the overhead location and wide angle of the water discharge amplify the effects of the water damage.

Number of floors in the buildings

The physical properties of water are such that it will spread across floors, seep into porous materials, and stream into the lowest regions of a building. Water from the burst pipes contaminates everything in its path. A flood originating on an upper floor of a hotel, apartment complex, or office building may result in the owners having to replace lights, flooring, drywall, and carpeting on every lower floor affected by the water.

The age of the structure

An older building is subject to greater risks of flooding from burst pipes. Plumbing materials have a limited lifespan, and with age, the risk of a pipe burst increases. The costs associated with cleanup and restoration also tend to be elevated.

A failure in one section of the plumbing may indicate an imminent catastrophic failure of the system. The entire system may need to be replaced. The water damage restoration and repairs must meet current building codes, and this code compliance could be very costly.

Below are several important steps to take when a burst water pipe causes water damage in a business or commercial building.

Before a property damage disaster strikes, take time to understand the terms and conditions of the property damage insurance policy. The best time to work through this document is before a property damage disaster occurs. If needed, set up a consultation with an insurance agent to discuss the policy in detail. Focus on these three elements:

  • what losses are covered by the policy
  • what events will trigger coverage
  • which, if any, coverages may be extended in a large-loss situation

In the event of a water damage disaster, take the following steps:

Step #1. Shut off the water flow to the burst pipe. This step may be as simple as turning off the main valve. In some instances, the services of a professional plumber may be needed.

Step #2. Notify the insurance company. Strict guidelines must be followed regarding prompt notification of losses. Early reporting allows the claims process to commence as soon as possible.

Step #3. Before any cleanup or restoration, document the extent of the damage with pictures and video. The goal is to capture the condition of the property damage immediately after the flooding occurs.

Step #4. Prevent further damage to the building.

Begin any reasonable or necessary flood mitigation, such as cleanup of standing water and drying procedures to prevent further losses. Do not make any permanent repairs until an insurance agent has inspected the damage.

Step #5. Complete and file the claim.

The claims process can be challenging, requiring extensive documentation, including an inventory, past and projected income estimates, and receipts for out-of-pocket expenses. Keep a copy of the claim.

The solution for dealing with a water damage disaster

A water damage disaster from a burst water pipe disrupts normal business operations. The goal is to get the doors open and the products or services flowing as soon as possible. The cleanup and restoration process and the insurance claims process are distracting and time-consuming. The solution is to call in the property damage professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto. Crews arrive in about an hour. A trained technician inspects and assesses the damage. A detailed and well-documented estimate (including photos and video) is presented to the customer. The industry-standard estimate meets or exceeds the rigorous demands of the insurance company. Cleanup and restoration begin without delay, as delays can lead to advanced secondary damage such as mold.

For more information about commercial water and fire damage restoration and cleaning services in Sunnyvale, CA, contact SERVPRO® of Palo Alto by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email at office@SERVPROpaloalto.com.

The Three Principles of Water Extraction in Water-Damaged Homes and Businesses

8/9/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto helps property owners understand the important role water extraction plays in the water damage restoration process.

The team at SERVPRO of Palo Alto is trained, certified, experienced, and well equipped to handle any size or type of water damage disaster, 24/7, 365 days a year. Water damage comes from many sources. For instance, water intrusion from a flash flood or a roof leak can cause serious structural damage to Atherton, CA, homes or businesses. A sewage backup or a tub overflow can cause localized damage in the bathroom. However, a burst water supply line from a household appliance can flood a home with thousands of gallons of water in just an afternoon, and tens of thousands of gallons should the leak go undetected over the weekend, or worse, during the week-long vacation. When water is everywhere, professional equipment and expertise are necessary to extract the water and begin the drying and dehumidification. A rapid response from the water damage restoration company and the quick removal and cleanup of the bulk water are essential to prevent greater loss, advanced secondary damage, and structural damage.

When a home or business is flooded by an external water intrusion such as a flash flood or by an internal water release such as a burst pipe or supply line, the puddled or pooled water must be removed as rapidly as possible. As long as this bulk water is present, it is being absorbed by flooring and structural timbers. The water is also wicking into sheetrock, drywall, insulation, upholstery, and furniture. Floors buckle. Baseboards swell and must be replaced, and sheetrock must be cut out and replaced as well. Furniture finishes are ruined, and fabric colors fade. Removing the bulk water is paramount to halt the advancing destruction.

Water extraction is the phase of the water removal process in which excess or standing water is evacuated from the structure. Restoration professionals specializing in water extraction strive to minimize water damage by removing as much of the water as possible as quickly as possible. Eliminating the bulk water reduces the risk of permanent damage to the structure and its contents, prevents mold growth, and accelerates the restoration of the property to its former condition.

The Water Extraction Process

Water extraction is complicated, involves special equipment, and requires knowledge, expertise, and competency in the application and operation of the equipment. The extraction process has several vital components necessary for the successful removal of the water.

#1. Halt the flow of water into the damaged structure.

The flow of water must be halted at the source. If the roof has been compromised, it must be tarped to prevent water from leaking into the home. If the washing machine supply line has ruptured, the valve must be shut off and both hoses replaced.

#2. Mechanically evacuate bulk water.

The removal of standing water must be achieved to move to the next stage of water extraction. Portable wet vacuums and high-capacity truck-mounted vacuums remove visible, puddled water. High-volume water pumps remove pooled water in the basement or disperse standing water away from the foundation of the structure. Professionals are aware of lurking dangers such as electrocution from damaged or faulty wiring and take the necessary precautions.

#3. Remove hidden water.

Upon successfully eliminating visible water, the hidden water must be removed. Residual hidden water in carpeting, behind walls, in ceilings, and under floor coverings must be removed and the surfaces must be dried to prevent further damage and potential mold growth.

Trained and experienced professionals have special water extraction tools and advanced moisture-detecting technology to address hidden water. Failure to remove water and reduce moisture to acceptable levels can lead to further damage and costly repairs in the future.

Once the bulk water and hidden water have been removed, powerful dehumidifiers and rapid-spin fans will attack the remaining moisture that has been absorbed by wood, carpeting, sheetrock, drywall, furniture, and electronics. Some items will need specialized, individual attention from specially trained technicians.

In severely damaged homes or buildings, other measures must be taken to mitigate the water damage. Unsalvageable carpet and upholstered furniture must be discarded. Flooring may need to be replaced, and portions of drywall and sheetrock may also have to be removed and replaced.

Technicians using advanced cleaning techniques and EPA-approved products clean, disinfect, and sanitize affected surfaces. The entire structure is deodorized. Odor neutralization eliminates odors and leaves the home smelling fresh and clean. No overpowering fragrances are used to cover bad smells; instead, the sources of odors are addressed. All through the process, technicians conduct tests to measure humidity and moisture. The tests ensure the customer’s property has been thoroughly dried and all issues are resolved.

When a water damage disaster strikes, trust SERVPRO of Palo Alto to quickly regain control of the situation and begin the water damage restoration process. The office can be contacted by phone at (650) 800-3448 or by emailing office@SERVPROpaloalto.com

Restoring Home Libraries and Collections after a Water Damage Disaster Has Occurred

6/10/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers tips for the care and preservation of home libraries and provides water damage restoration services if the collection suffers a water damage disaster.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides water damage restoration and contents cleaning for water-damaged home libraries and collections. For the homeowner who has suffered a water damage disaster that has affected a prized collection, it is comforting to know that competent, skilled, and certified restoration professionals will be handling the cleanup and restoration of these valuable contents.

Californians love collecting. Motivations are varied, including the prospect that the value of the collectibles will dramatically increase as time passes. Rarity and antiquity (the age of the item) are a factor in the value of the collection. Some people create collections as a hobby simply because they enjoy the hunt. Some of the most popular things Californians collect include coins, movies, video games, books, music CDs, stamps, rocks and gems, key chains, dolls, and sports cards.

A collection of mass market paperback novels may have little or no value. On the other hand, out-of-print, rare, or vintage books could be worth a fortune. A shoebox full of old baseball cards may have a rare rookie card worth thousands of dollars. A large collection of comic books may have great sentimental value, while only a couple of the items have any real monetary value.

Restoration of Water-Damaged Libraries and Other Collections

National Park Service archivists, who preserve some of the most valuable books, documents, and other antiquities in the history of America, explain the challenges of dealing with water-damaged books: “Wet books and papers are some of the most fragile items to be salvaged from a home or library after a flood. Paper loses strength when it gets wet, and books suffer damage due to swelling. Additionally, mold may begin to grow when objects are left damp for approximately 72 hours.”

Preventative Measures

SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers advice on how to prevent damage to a personal book collection and how to clean up and restore materials should they suffer water damage. Preservation of a prized personal library or other collection begins with taking proactive steps to prevent water damage. Here are some tips to safeguard collectibles.

Tip #1: A cool, dry, dark environment is best for books and other paper documents. Mold loves moisture and warmth, and direct sunlight can fade printed materials.

Tip #2: Handle books with clean, dry hands or gloves. Dirt and oils can stain books or accelerate deterioration.

Tip #3: Keep food, pets, post-it notes, paper clips, and rubber bands away from books and documents. Food attracts destructive pests. Pets chew on books. Post-it notes, paper clips, and rubber bands can degrade or stain pages and book covers.

What to Do When Books Suffer Water Damage

Some water damage disasters are beyond human control and are unavoidable. Follow these tips when dealing with books that have suffered water damage.

Tip: Take immediate action when a water damage disaster occurs in the home, even if books and other paper collectibles are not directly affected. Close off the library from the rest of the house. The additional moisture will be absorbed by the dry covers and pages of the books if moisture levels are not quickly reduced with dehumidifiers or rapid spin fans. Place a room dehumidifier in the collection room to keep moisture levels low.

Tip: Monitor for signs of mold and mildew. Mold thrives on organic matter such as books, and a mold outbreak in the reading room could develop in as little as 24 to 48 hours.

Tip: Turn to book, document, and photograph cleaning and restoration specialists.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides document restoration services with the understanding that a home is the heart of a family. The SERVPRO restoration specialists strive to restore water-damaged contents such as books and documents endowed with precious, priceless memories. The team at SERVPRO of Palo Alto has helped restore legal documents, family heirloom Bibles, and other important mementos for homeowners in Menlo Park, Stanford, and Palo Alto.

Books, documents, and photographs that have suffered water damage must be handled with extreme caution. Not all items can be fully restored to pre-damaged condition. The SERVPRO team, however, is able to save many books and documents from being ruined by water damage.

The type of documents and the severity of the water damage determine which of the following options best fit the restoration needs: air-drying, dehumidification, freezer drying, vacuum freeze-drying, or vacuum thermal drying. These state-of-the-art technologies make SERVPRO of Palo Alto proficient in book and document restoration.

To learn more about water damage restoration in Menlo Park, CA, and the surrounding area, contact the office by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com

How to Keep Insects Out When Water Gets in Sunnyvale, CA Houses

4/29/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers tips to prevent an insect invasion after water damage in a Sunnyvale, CA, home.

The team of water damage restoration specialists at SERVPRO of Palo Alto wants to alert homeowners and business owners to the connection between water damage and a pest infestation. Spring can increase the risk of water damage due to increased rainfall and a higher humidity level.

Besides weather-related water damage, there are also other causes of water damage. Burst pipes, ruptured supply lines, leaky appliances, and poor ventilation can cause or contribute to water damage. The immediate consequences of a water intrusion include:

  • Musty, moldy odors, or worse, the smell of sewage
  • Stains on walls, ceilings, baseboards, and flooring
  • Buckling and warping drywall
  • Warping and swelling wood
  • Structural wood rot

Water wastes no time in carrying out its destructive effects. In only a few hours, ceilings, walls, flooring, furniture, and personal belongings can sustain heavy damage. If the removal of bulk water and excess moisture is delayed for a day or two, the home’s structural integrity can be compromised.

A cleanup and restoration project in a situation where the damage is extensive is disruptive, inconvenient, time-consuming, stressful, and expensive. Quick action on the part of the homeowner and a rapid response from the property damage restoration company create a best-case scenario in a situation that is already fraught with difficulties.

Another often overlooked motivation to take prompt action to begin the water removal and applied structural drying is the threat of a pest infestation.

Water-Related Pest Issues

Insects, like humans, require water to survive and thrive. A case in point is the mosquito. As recently as September of 2021, mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus were discovered in Palo Alto and Mountain View, resulting in efforts to reduce the health risk by strategically spraying insecticide to kill the pests. Infestations are more likely where moisture and dampness provide a suitable environment for the insects to lay their eggs, such as over-watered lawns and house plants, settling ponds, wetlands, and stagnant kiddie and pet pools. Clogged or unlevel gutters with pooling water facilitate the spread of mosquitoes.

Other moisture-seeking invaders include ants, termites, cockroaches, earwigs, millipedes, and silverfish. The pests mentioned above may quench their thirst by chewing on the water-soaked wood in a water-damaged home. If left unchecked, the tiny insects can become a huge nuisance.

Steps to Stop Water Damage and Moisture-Seeking Pests

Step #1: Reduce moisture in the home.

By keeping moisture to a minimum, the homeowner can also keep moisture-seeking pests to a minimum in the home. Efforts can include:

  • Operating a dehumidifier in moisture-prone areas
  • Opening windows in the kitchen and bathrooms bring in fresh, dry air
  • Installing ceiling exhaust fans in the kitchen, bathrooms, and laundry room
  • Quickly mopping up small, manageable spills and run a dehumidifier or fan to dry out the water-soaked area
  • Immediately repairing faucets, plumbing connections, toilets, tubs, showers, and leaking appliances

Step #2: Identify and reduce unnecessary moisture around and under the home.

Look for potential outdoor breeding grounds for insects. Ground moisture and condensation can lead to dampness in the crawl space resulting in mold, wood rot, and mildew issues. An HVAC condensate line that evacuates too close to the foundation of a home can facilitate pest infestation. A leaking spigot is a watering hole for mosquitoes.

Moisture trapped in mulch beds and bedding straw is a prime location for thirsty Palo Alto pests. Water in flower beds, flowerpots, and rain barrels provides an oasis for water-loving pests. Faulty caulking around shower surrounds and the kitchen backsplash can create a moisture problem for the homeowner.

Insufficient slope away from the foundation can lead to excess water around the exterior of the foundation. Eventually, the moisture can seep through cracks in the foundation, flooding the crawl space or basement. Overgrown shrubs near the exterior of a home can encourage the buildup of water, and the dense branches hinder the sun from evaporating the moisture.

Step #3: Call on a property damage cleanup and restoration professional when a water damage disaster strikes.

Water damage is stressful, and uninvited pests only make the situation worse. In case of a property damage disaster in a residential or commercial setting, SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers a quick response, 24/7, 365 days a year. Rapid remediation sends uninvited pests packing before they ever have a chance to settle in.

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto for more details about Sunnyvale, CA, water damage cleanup. The team can be reached by email at office@SERVPROpaloalto.com or by phone at (650) 800-3448.

How Leak Detection Factors Into Preventing Expensive Repairs From Water Damage

2/9/2022 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto urges Bay area residents to pursue effective leak detection strategies in order to avoid a water damage disaster.

Water damage repair resulting from an undetected water leak can be very expensive. A constant drip from a leaky pipe or a water intrusion in the attic every time it rains can cause wood rot, mold, and mildew. The moisture can damage electronics, cause rust, and ruin items stored in the attic. Water or moisture in the crawl space can increase the likelihood of mold and a potential termite infestation. Roaches and other insects thrive on moisture from a water leak, especially in the relatively dry climate of Palo Alto, which receives about 17 inches of precipitation per year. Early detection of leaks helps keep a home dry, healthy, and safe. SERVPRO of Palo Alto explains why leak detection is essential to avoid a costly water damage disaster.

1. A water leak is a preventable expense.

An undetected pipe leak of a few drops per second may not seem like an urgent issue, but over time, it can add up to hundreds of gallons of water. Water in the Palo Alto area is scarce and growing scarcer, and the lack of water drives the price up, putting pressure on the pocketbook. An undetected leak stresses the water supply, increasing scarcity and driving up water rates. By eliminating water leaks one household at a time, the overall cost of water is kept low. An inspection by a professional plumber can detect leaks, saving the homeowner and the rest of the community on their water bills.

2. A water leak puts the safety of the water supply at risk.

The water supply in the home or business must be sanitary and safe for the occupants. A leaking pipe provides an avenue for contaminants to enter the water supply, and a compromised water supply is unsafe for human consumption. Food preparation, washing dishes, and personal hygiene may be unsafe if the water supply is compromised. Also, a leaking sewer pipe can contaminate an entire crawl space. Leak detection measures can give homeowners and business owners peace of mind.

3. Water leaks put a strain on the environment.

Changes in the climate have stressed supplies of freshwater in the United States, especially in the western half of the nation. A growing population along the Pacific coast puts high demands on water supplies that are suitable for human consumption and general usage. On a national level, home water leaks waste an estimated one trillion gallons of water, enough water to supply 11 million households for a year. Leaking faucets can drip 3,000 gallons of water down the drain per year. Water leak detection prevents water damage and preserves the environment.

4. Delay in detecting and repairing a water leak can drain the bank account.

A delay in detecting and repairing a water leak can result in advanced secondary damage. Wood rot, mold, and structural damage to flooring and support beams can exceed the repair costs of the initial water intrusion. Insurance may not pay for damages if a determination is made that procrastination played a role in the level of damage.

5. Leak damage may impact adjacent properties.

Undetected water leaks from pipes outside the home can saturate the ground to the extent that foundation damage results.  A large-scale, long-term water leak from a water main can cause significant damage to adjacent structures. Repairs can be astronomical. A proactive approach to water leak detection can avoid a water damage catastrophe.

6. Leak detection ensures a reliable water supply for commerce and emergency services.

Concerted efforts to find and repair water leaks ensure a reliable water supply. An adequate supply of clean, fresh drinking water is a top priority for human survival and public health. Many businesses and industries require a constant supply of water to provide services and manufacture products. Without a reliable water supply and adequate water pressure, fire departments would be impacted.

7. Leak detection avoids the need to spend millions of dollars on infrastructure improvements.

An advantage associated with aggressive leak detection strategies is the efficient usage of available water. A concerted group effort maximizes the capabilities of the current water supply system. A community or water district with a culture of water conservation (limited consumption) and water preservation (leak detection and mitigation) can delay implementing further very costly expansions and additions to the existing system. In the meantime, advances in water purification technology may eliminate the need for expansion altogether.

In case of a water damage disaster from a water leak in a residential or commercial setting, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is available 24-hours a day, 365 days a year to clean up the mess, restore the damage, and handle the insurance claims process. Fast action minimizes advanced secondary damage and reduces disruptions, enabling clients to enjoy a prompt return to normalcy.

To learn more about water damage restoration in Redwood City, CA, and surrounding areas, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448. The office can also be contacted by emailing office@SERVPROpaloalto.com

How a House’s Plumbing Can Provide Clues About Leaks and Water Damage

12/14/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto explains how to identify signs of leakage that can be present on plumbing components.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto understands how disruptive and life-changing a water damage disaster caused by a plumbing problem in the home can be. Homeowners need to be aware of some common signs of water leaks in the plumbing system. A toilet supply line leaking one drop of water every 7 seconds adds up to about one gallon of water per week. If the supply line ruptures, the small leak can become a 200 gallon per hour flood. Imagine the surprise awaiting the family arriving home from a weeklong vacation to find their home flooded with thousands of gallons of water. An awareness of the common causes of plumbing leaks is the first step to avoiding water intrusion.

The primary cause of a plumbing leak stems from inadequate maintenance. Proper, timely upkeep will keep plumbing at peak performance. However, the homeowner needs to be aware of other causes of plumbing problems, including:

  • Product design flaws
  • Manufacturing defects
  • Improper installation
  • Exposure to harsh cleaning products

Regular inspections of exposed plumbing can detect a leak when it is small and no damage has occurred. If homeowners know the lifespan of a part or appliance, they can preemptively maintain or replace the item in order to prevent a water damage disaster.

Know the Signs of a Water Leak

Prevention of a plumbing leak starts with intentional inspections. Look for dripping water under the sink, around connections, or on the floor near plumbing. Feel exposed plumbing for slight leaks. Look for water damage in these areas:

  • Access panels to appliances, tubs, and showers
  • Under sinks and wash tubs
  • Connections and valves associated with the water heater, toilets, and appliances
  • Crawl spaces and basements

In general, cracking, corrosion, discoloration, and mineral deposits signal a problem. Below are specific examples to help the homeowner identify issues with various types of plumbing.

Copper tubing

Discoloration and the buildup of deposits are key indicators of a leak in copper plumbing. Discoloration and slight corrosion may not need to be addressed. Deposit buildup is a strong indication of an issue and needs immediate attention. Copper piping can develop pinhole corrosion, and small, localized crystals on the pipe signal a potential problem. A professional can take steps to mitigate the corrosion before more serious issues arise.

Streaks of white, blue, or green deposits on the copper pipe indicate a tiny amount of water is already seeping from a pinhole leak in the pipe. The corrosion may be a sign of a water chemistry problem that must be resolved, or it will continue to degrade the copper pipes. A water damage disaster can be avoided by taking the proper steps to remedy the hard water issues.

Braided stainless-steel supply lines

High-quality braided stainless-steel supply lines are the best way to connect appliances, toilets, and faucets to the main plumbing system. Stress corrosion cracking, a condition unique to braided steel supply lines, can develop. Rust, discoloration, and broken or frayed strands of steel hint at a problem. Quick action to replace the supply lines can prevent a massive flood. A ruptured washing machine supply line can spew five to seven gallons of water per minute.

Brass valves

Like copper tubing, brass valves are subject to the effects of corrosion. Deposits of a white, blue, or green crystal-like substance on or around the valve signal trouble. Exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals, water chemistry, design flaws, low-quality manufacturing, and improper installation factors into the failure of a brass valve.

PEX tubing and connecting parts

PEX parts are compromised by exposure to chlorinated hot water and household cleaning chemicals. Cracking and discoloration indicate potential problems. The metal fittings used to connect PEX can corrode. Regular visual inspections can identify these issues in their infancy before a water leak arises.

CPVC parts

CPVC pipes and connections are often used in home fire sprinkler systems. Exposure to chemicals and heat can compromise CPVC parts. Telltale signs of a potential problem include discoloration and cracking.

Toilets

A toilet has many potential leak points. A hairline crack in the brittle ceramic tank can enlarge over time, resulting in rotted flooring, a wobbly toilet, and a mold infestation. Visually inspect the outside of the tank for stains and discoloration.  The flushing mechanism can malfunction, allowing large amounts of water to flood into a septic tank or the public sewer system. Frequently inspect the floor around the toilet for tank and supply line leaks. Replace the flapper valve at the first sign of an issue.

Plumbing Leak Prevention and Protection Strategies

  1. Incorporate an inspection of the plumbing into the cleaning routine. Check supply lines and flooring around toilets, tubs, and showers. Look for moisture under cabinets and do a smell test for mold and mildew.
  2. Immediately repair any plumbing issues that arise. Replace supply lines, connections, and valves before they become a water damage disaster.
  3. Install water sensors or an entire leak detection system. The system can be managed from a smartphone.
  4. Know what non-weather-related water damage the existing homeowners policy covers.
  5. Pre-qualify a reputable water damage restoration company with competencies and certifications in water damage restoration and mold remediation. The company should be able to handle the insurance claim process from beginning to end.

In case of a property damage disaster in a residential or commercial setting, 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 restoration process.

For more details about Redwood City, CA, water damage restoration, email SERVPRO of Palo Alto at office@SERVPROpaloalto.com. The office can also be contacted by phone at (650) 800-3448.

How Children Can Create a Plumbing Disaster That Leads to Water Damage

11/21/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto explains some of the ways that young children can cause a water damage disaster in the home.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto is dedicated to helping homeowners recover from a water damage disaster or sewage backup. The team of professionals is available 24/7, 365 days a year, to help homeowners and businesses recover and resume life as usual without the disruptions and inconvenience that accompany a property damage disaster.

Playing with Plumbing: A Potentially Risky Pairing

An article featured by the American Academy of Pediatrics points out that playing is how young children learn.??? “Play is how your toddler explores and learns about the world as they grow and develop. As a parent or caregiver, you can support and encourage this play. Allow your child lots of time to play and join in the fun when you can! Play is how young children start to get ready for school…TIP: Make the places in your home where you spend a lot of time safe places where your child can play and be supervised easily. Give your child lots of time to explore with things like water, sand, boxes, or any other safe item that your child finds interesting.”

Toddlers are very curious. They like to taste, touch, turn, pull, open, close, listen, smell, watch, and experiment. With loud noises, moving parts, and rushing water, toilets are a source of fascination for a young child. However, serious water damage can occur if an inquisitive young child experiments with the plumbing. Listed below are some ways toddlers and young children can cause damage to pipes and other plumbing fixtures.

#1. Foreign Objects Down the Toilet

The most common toddler-induced plumbing problem is the flushing of foreign objects down the toilet. The reasons for the frequency of this plumbing problem are easy to understand.

  • The toilet is easily accessible to toddlers and small children.
  • It has the largest drain in the home and can devour toys and action figures.
  • The swirling water can be fascinating for a child to watch.

The toilet can swallow countless toys, entire rolls of toilet paper, food, clothing, hats, socks, shoes, and even pets. One small object lodged in the drainpipe can create a clog that is so severe a plumber may need to dig into a wall or excavate a pipe to dislodge the stuck items.

#2. Climbing on Plumbing Fixtures

Many plumbing fixtures are set at heights that accommodate taller people. Children who need to grab something out of their reach may hoist themselves up by a faucet or showerhead or stand on the toilet seat or toilet tank. In the process, a child may fall and be injured, and the fixtures, plumbing connections, or toilet may break or collapse. Water flows out of a broken supply line or faucet at a rate of 5-7 gallons per minute. Over a period of an hour, hundreds of gallons of water can flood a bathroom. If the child is afraid to inform a parent or caregiver of the mishap, the delay can cause extensive water damage to ceilings, walls, baseboards, flooring, and furniture.

#3. Overfilling Sinks and Tubs

A tub or sink faucet has a flow rate of four to seven gallons a minute. A standard tub can hold forty-two gallons of water just below the overflow valve. If children start the water in the bathtub without the knowledge of parents or guardians, the tub can overflow, causing a flood damage disaster.

Quick Tips for Child-Proofing the Plumbing

Only so much can be done to child-proof the plumbing. Here are some tips on how to reduce the risk of a water damage disaster or sewage backup related to the actions of curious children:

  • Do not leave small children unattended in the bathroom. Vigilance will prevent most child-related water damage disasters.
  • Install locks on the toilet lid if necessary.
  • Purchase step stools to help children reach the sink or toilet without having to climb.

When a water damage disaster or sewage backup occurs, call professional water damage restoration specialists who have the equipment, training, and expertise to remediate the damage. Water damage disasters where gray water or black water are involved necessitate that the technicians wear special protective gear to ensure their safety. Gray water and black water are harmful to humans and pets, and areas, where these hazards are present, must be professionally cleaned, disinfected, sanitized, and deodorized immediately.

For more information about water damage restoration in Sunnyvale, CA, call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at (650) 800-3448. Staff can also be reached by email at office@SERVPROpaloalto.com

What Is the Cost of Water Damage in Sunnyvale, CA?

10/8/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto informs Sunnyvale property owners of the cost of a water damage disaster. When a water damage disaster strikes, quick action can speed up the restoration process and lower costs.

When a water damage disaster strikes, quick action can speed up the water damage restoration process and cut costs. Speed is critical if the water damage disaster is not covered by insurance. Fast water removal and drying also limit secondary advanced water damage, and the reduction in the scope of the restoration project decreases the overall job cost. The homeowner is able to resume life as normal sooner rather than later.

A growing trend of rising costs for water damage disasters

At a commercial level, large water losses in excess of $500,000 from non-weather-related causes have more than doubled since 2015. Industry analysts also report that large loss water damage disasters in excess of $1 million have tripled.

On a smaller scale, but nonetheless traumatic for the homeowner, the average claim for a home water damage disaster exceeds $6,700. Research indicates that most of these residential water damage claims stem from plumbing failures. Examples include frozen pipes in colder states. However, the recent cold snap in Northern Texas demonstrated the vulnerability of home plumbing systems that are unprepared for even one night of unusually cold weather.

Leaking pipes and connections along with burst supply lines to appliances such as the washer, dishwasher, and ice maker are primary culprits. After the deductible is met, the average cost for these types of failures is $5,092 per incident. These figures are provided by the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety.

Other plumbing system failures such as corroded pipes, leaking pipes, or pipes that have been improperly installed cause water damage losses that average about $4,300 per incident. Water damage claims from a failed water heater come in at more than $4,400.

A small amount of water can result in a large and expensive water damage disaster in a home. A typical, average-sized home contains more than forty different entry points that could lead to a water intrusion should that part of the plumbing system fail.

What types of damage will insurance cover?

Some water damage disasters are covered by a homeowners policy, while others are not. It is important for the homeowner to know the difference. A typical homeowners policy issued by a reputable company will cover water damage losses resulting from the following causes:

  • a sudden water leak
  • an accidental water burst
  • a ruptured supply line to a washer, dishwasher, or ice maker
  • an overflowing toilet
  • a failed water heater

What is not covered by standard homeowners policies?

Ongoing leaking and continuous seepage are excluded from standard homeowners policies. Insurance industry experts explain the challenges related to covering water damage disasters: “Coverage for water damage follows a general rule of thumb. Water that comes from the top down, such as burst pipes or rainfall, is covered by a standard homeowners policy... Water that comes from the bottom up, such as an overflowing river, is covered by a separate flood policy that can be purchased from private insurers or the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program. In the past, most homeowners and renters policies provided unlimited coverage for sewer and drain backups. That’s no longer the case…Losses for sewer and drain backup-related events, caused by things like aging sewer systems, combined pipelines, tree roots, and sanitary main blockages, can now be covered under special endorsements to a standard policy. The rise in non-weather-related water damage is creating a flood of challenges, including rising rates and non-renewals. In California, more than 30% of companies have refused to renew policies of customers who have filed one or two water-loss claims in the past three years, according to the state Department of Insurance. Some insurers may eventually decide not to renew customers who fail to take preventative steps such as installing water shut-off systems...”

In case of a property damage disaster in a residential or commercial setting SERVPRO of Palo Alto is available to respond 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Homeowners are urged to contact the professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto before a water damage disaster occurs. Prequalifying the SERVPRO team ensures that when a disaster does occur, only one call needs to be placed to have the water damage restoration company on-site in about an hour to inspect and assess the damage and to begin the cleanup and restoration process.

Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com to learn more about water damage restoration service in Sunnyvale, CA.

How Water Damage Creates a Moist Environment That Is Attractive to Termites

8/24/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: Because termites prefer a damp environment, water damage issues can lead to termite problems. SERVPRO of Palo Alto urges homeowners to have water damage remediated as soon as it is discovered and to take steps to prevent a termite infestation.

Water damage in Sunnyvale, CA, can be accompanied by all sorts of issues, including mold and mildew growth, rust and corrosion of metal surfaces, and rotting wood. However, another consequence of water damage is a potential termite infestation. Termites love moisture. If water damage is not mitigated promptly or if a hidden water leak occurs, the water can create a moist environment that is attractive to a termite colony.

Types of Termites in California

Several types of termites can be found in the state of California. Three common types are the subterranean termite, the drywood termite, and the dampwood termite. With a typical size of about ? inch long, the subterranean termite is the smallest of the three species, but it can cause large-scale damage to a home. The Formosan termite, a subterranean termite informally known as the super-termite, is an especially destructive species since these termites can create large colonies and devour wood rapidly. One colony of Formosan termites can contain millions of these insects. This large colony size means that Formosan termites can cause damage to a wooden structure on a larger scale and in a shorter time period than other types of termites.

The Connection Between Moisture and Termites

Termites are infamous for their diet of wood, but termites also rely on water to stay hydrated and to help them digest wood cellulose. As a result, moist wood is a prime feeding source for the millions of hungry termites that comprise a Formosan termite colony.

Even homes in areas with little rainfall can be susceptible to a termite infestation. Leaking plumbing or a leaking appliance, such as the dishwasher or washing machine, can soak a wood floor, creating the moist environment that termites thrive in.

Homeowners may think that they will be able to quickly spot and deal with a water leak. However, not all leaks that cause serious problems involve large quantities of water spilling across the floor. In the case of a hidden water leak, a small leak can occur in an area that is rarely inspected, and the leak might not be discovered until the water damage and a potential termite infestation have progressed significantly.

Terminix, a leader in the pest control industry, provides the following advice: “Subterranean termites, who build their colonies in the soil, are attracted to moisture. Standing water in or around your home’s foundation creates an attractive environment for these termites. Leaky pipes are not just a plumbing issue and should be addressed before creating an opportunity for termite infestation. You should also clean your roof gutters and take steps to ensure there is proper drainage around your home. Finally, check that your foundation is properly ventilated and trim back or remove any landscaping that could allow humidity to build up in your home’s crawl space.”

How to Make a Home Unattractive to Termites

Homeowners can take several measures that help prevent a termite infestation or that better prepare homeowners should a termite infestation occur.

  • Maintain downspouts and gutters, and make sure that they are properly directing water away from the foundation of the house. If downspouts and gutters become damaged, repair the damage promptly.
  • Be vigilant for cracks, gaps, and holes in the walls or foundation; termites can easily enter the home through these openings.
  • When planting bushes, shrubs, or other landscape features, take care not to plant the greenery too close to the side of the home. The moisture surrounding the plants, as well as the presence of mulch, can attract a termite colony.
  • Have stumps in the yard removed. A moist, rotting stump is an ideal home for termites, which can spread as many as 300 ft in soil. Before long, a colony that was confined to a stump in the front yard can end up taking hold in the home.
  • Prequalify a reputable pest control company to eliminate a termite infestation if a thriving colony is discovered.
  • Prequalify a water damage restoration specialist to provide rapid water damage restoration services in the event of water damage. When water damage is quickly remediated, the chances of attracting termites are significantly reduced.

For more information about water damage restoration in Sunnyvale, CA, and the surrounding area, contact the SERVPRO of Palo Alto team by phone at (650) 800-3448 or reach out to the team by email at office@SERVPROpaloalto.com

What Are Some Factors That Cause Dishwashers to Leak and Cause Water Damage?

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Atherton / Redwood City explains common reasons why dishwashers leak, causing extensive water damage in the kitchen and adjacent rooms.

Offering continuous coverage twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, SERVPRO of Atherton / Redwood City is a residential and commercial property damage restoration company serving the Redwood City, Atherton, and Palo Alto areas. Locally owned and operated, SERVPRO of Atherton / Redwood City is a leader in the restoration industry and is dedicated to serving the community with honesty and professionalism. Customers can trust the IICRC-certified professionals to handle any size or type of property damage disaster, including water damage from a leaking dishwasher.

The Magic of Modern Machinery

Modern technology has simplified life in and around the home in many ways. The kitchen has seen revolutionary advances with the advent of electricity, automation, and digital technology. The space-age technology of the microwave oven made cooking much easier. The refrigerator enabled homemakers to store food for weeks or months on end. The dishwasher removed the headache of washing mountains of pots, pans, and dishes after feeding the family or entertaining a large number of guests.

Why Is the Dishwasher Leaking?

As far as appliances are concerned, dishwashers are very reliable. Advances in dishwashing technology have reduced the amount of water required to wash a load of dishes from as much as 9-14 gallons to as little as 3-5 gallons. Washing that same load by hand would use more than 25 gallons of water. Even though newer dishwashers require less water, the appliance can still cause a major water damage disaster when a leak occurs.

Here are some of the common causes of dishwasher leaks:

  1. The door gasket is deteriorating, so the dishwasher will not seal properly.

At first, leaks around a deteriorating door gasket may be small and may appear to originate from the same location. The best solution is to replace the gasket, and homeowners who are not comfortable making the repair can hire a qualified appliance repair specialist to perform the task.

  1. The door latch is loose or damaged.

This breakdown may result in a large spill. As water leaks out of the dishwasher, sensors that measure the water level will allow more water into the system, so more water will leak onto the floor. The homeowner can replace a dishwasher door latch, but if there is any concern about taking this task on as a DIY project, entrust the repair to a competent appliance repair technician.

  1. The drain hose is loose, cracked, or torn.

Over time, the drain hose will degrade and begin to leak. If the dishwasher is older, preemptively replacing the drain hose can prevent issues before they arise.

  1. The float assembly is malfunctioning.

The float assembly monitors and determines the water level in the appliance. A malfunction in this component can cause the unit to fill with water, resulting in a flooded kitchen.

  1. The homeowner is using a detergent that is not designed for use in a dishwasher.

The guests have gone home. The kitchen is tidy. The dishwasher is full. The exhausted host or hostess inadvertently squirts standard dishwashing liquid into the detergent dispenser of the dishwasher, turns on the unit, and goes to bed. The results are disastrous. While it is nice to wake up to a load of clean dishes the next morning, running the dishwasher at night after everyone has gone to bed is risky.

  1. The dishwashing unit is not level.

If the dishwasher was inappropriately installed and is not level, water can leak out during usage. A small leak can rot out the floor under the unit, compounding the water leakage issue. A simple visual inspection or a level can diagnose this problem.

  1. The spray arm is damaged or unable to move freely.

The dishwasher makes distinct sounds, and the rotation of the spray arm is one of these sounds. The opening and closing of the intake valve is another distinctive sound of the dishwasher. When the spray arm or the water intake valve fails, water will end up on the floor.

  1. The dishwasher tub is worn out.

Over the years, the tub can wear out from exposure to detergents and the high temperature of the water. An occasional visual inspection of the tub can detect any issues.

How to Handle Water Damage Caused by a Leaking Appliance

When a faulty dishwasher causes a water damage disaster in the kitchen on a small scale, wipe up the water as quickly as possible. If the leak is large in scope, bring in professionals to extract the water and dry out the flooring. A water damage disaster in the kitchen can ruin cabinets, baseboards, molding, and expensive flooring. Efforts to clean up a large spill involving soapy water can result in a slip-and-fall injury.

The team of knowledgeable, certified water damage restoration technicians at SERVPRO of Atherton / Redwood City can be on the scene within an hour to inspect the damage and begin the cleanup. SERVPRO works with the insurance company and handles the claims process in order to eliminate the hassle and headache for the homeowner.

For more information about water damage restoration in Atherton, CA, call SERVPRO of Atherton / Redwood City, CA, at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com.

Three Statistics That Demonstrate How Malfunctioning Household Appliances Can Lead to Water Damage

4/12/2021 (Permalink)

Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto explains the importance of regularly inspecting household appliances that use water in order to prevent an unexpected water damage disaster.

SERVPRO of Palo Alto understands the inconvenient disruptions, stressful environment, and unexpected expenses resulting from water damage in Palo Alto, CA. The team of professionals at SERVPRO of Palo Alto offers a positive attitude, a high level of skill, and a level of customer service that set the bar high in the damage restoration industry. To ensure customers receive the best the industry has to offer, SERVPRO of Palo Alto provides up-to-date training, advanced technology, and innovative techniques to its staff in order to tailor services to the client’s needs, including water damage restoration.

Three Important Statistics About Water Damage From Household Appliances

The statistics listed below highlight the importance of being proactive when a water leak is suspected or detected.

Statistic #1: Washing machine supply lines will fail, on average, after 8.7 years.

Because washer supply lines are out of sight, homeowners often forget to replace them. Over time, the lines wear out and develop cracks, which may lead to large-scale ruptures.

Statistic #2: 75% of water heaters fail before 12 years of service.

Water heaters are not normally visible and are usually tucked away from the main living spaces in the home. Out of sight means out of mind for repairs and routine maintenance. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety rates water heater failure as one of the top causes of water damage. Water tank corrosion can lead to a slow leak or burst. Nearly 70% of water heater failures result from corrosion and lack of maintenance.

Statistic #3: On average, washing machine failures cost around $5,308 per incident after the insurance deductible.

A resulting mold infestation could add the expense of mold removal and mitigation.

Proactive Water Damage Prevention Solutions

Many water damage disasters can be avoided with a practical and proactive approach to appliance maintenance. First, when a leak is detected, it should receive immediate attention from the homeowner or property manager. If left unresolved, a small leak can cause thousands of dollars in damage to flooring, drywall, ceilings, baseboards, and support beams. Tiny leaks can cause big mold problems. Taking care of the mold issues may be more expensive than the actual physical damage to the home or business.

Second, if a leak is suspected, take immediate action to determine if the suspicion is accurate.

  • Is the water bill higher than normal?
  • Look for visible signs of a leak such as puddles of water, stains under cabinets, bubbling paint, and discolorations on walls or ceilings.
  • Listen for dripping, whining, or creaking that might indicate a water leak.
  • Feel for soft spots in the floor, warping in sheetrock, or moisture around faucets and supply line connections.

Third, anticipate inevitable leaks from appliance failures and malfunctions. Being proactive means taking time to regularly check the condition of aging appliances. This task may take only a few seconds, or it may require a few extra steps, such as removing a panel or inspecting the supply line connections of a washing machine.

If the water heater is in a closet, in the attic, or hidden in a special compartment or alcove, the homeowner may want to create a hinged door for easy access. Simply making the removal of the panel or sheetrock easier may be adequate. If the water heater is not in a pan with a discharge or overflow drain, call in a plumber to make the improvement. A leaking hot water heater can cause untold thousands of dollars in damage by the time it is discovered. If the water heater was knowingly installed outside of code requirements, there could be issues when filing an insurance claim if a leak occurs and causes coverable damage.

Being proactive also means spending money to replace appliance supply lines or other vital parts before they rupture or become defective. As the statistics demonstrate, a washing machine is a prime example of how waiting until there is a problem can result in a much bigger problem. A ruptured supply line can spew as many as seven to nine gallons of water per minute or 450 gallons of water per hour into a home. A trip to the hardware store and a few dollars for reinforced heavy-duty supply lines can avoid a water damage nightmare. Replacing the supply lines every five to seven years might seem excessive for the homeowner who has never experienced a serious water damage disaster. However, once a water damage disaster strikes, homeowners will wish that they had.

The experts at SERVPRO of Palo Alto are committed to customer service. The water damage restoration company in Palo Alto, CA, can take on the entire project, bring it to completion, and provide the necessary documentation that work has been completed. SERVPRO of Palo Alto also offers consultation and rental options for DIY restoration projects. Whatever solution the homeowner chooses, SERVPRO of Palo Alto is ready to guide the homeowner through the process.

To learn more about water damage restoration in Atherton, CA, contact the office by phone at (650) 800-3448 or email office@SERVPROpaloalto.com.

Water Damage Restoration for Belongings

1/26/2021 (Permalink)

We often think about our home as the walls, floors, ceilings, and how those can be affected and damaged by water. The home is  more than walls, floors and ceilings and water damage doesn’t confine itself to those areas. Often, sentimental treasures, family heirlooms, or that special piece of autographed sports memorabilia you waited in line for hours to get signed are affected as well. So when water pours through your ceiling, soaking your favorite chair, it can be really upsetting. 

When your Palo Alto, Redwood City or Atherton home experiences a water damage event you need a water damage restoration company such as SERVPRO of Palo Alto to mitigate and restore your home. One area that is easy to overlook is content restoration. SERVPRO® of Palo Alto's team of trained professionals is able to clean and restore your salvageable contents to preloss condition.

Whether your water damage event is due to: a roof leak, pipe break, dishwasher overflow, sewage backup, severe weather or any other reason, SERVPRO of Palo Alto will be there helping to make it “Like it never even happened.”

We are ready 24/7, 365, so call SERVPRO of Palo Alto at 650-800-3448 today!

Six Common Causes of Water Damage

1/25/2021 (Permalink)

Water damage occurs when excess water begins to pool in areas it shouldn’t. There are many different factors that contribute to excess water that cause water damage. When you are aware of what may cause water damage, you can take preventative measures to help ensure you take the proper precautions against leaks or flooding. Additionally, you'll be able to spot a problem as soon as it becomes apparent and minimize chances of 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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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!

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.

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!

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.

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!

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."

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!

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

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!

 

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.