Recent Posts

Many Ways to Get Wet

10/16/2017 (Permalink)

There are many ways that a building can become damaged by water: Ground water flooding, rain storms, burst water delivery pipes, plumbing backups, failed/leaking water heaters, etc.

Over the years SERVPRO of Belmont/ San Carlos has responded to many unusual sources of water damage including: Punctured water beds; children watering indoor plants with a garden house; aquariums falling over during an earthquake; carpenters driving nails through hidden pipes, and the list goes on.

Perhaps the strangest water damage events that we responded to was one that happened at a three-story condominium in San Mateo. Children were riding bicycles in a parking lot next to their swimming pool and one cyclist rode into a strip of landscaping. The front tire of the bike knocked the head off of an irrigation sprinkler. A jet of water shot into the sky, higher than the building rooftop, and then arched and descended into an open condo window on the third floor.

Residents and guests at the pool gathered around the sprinkler head in awe. Who knew there was that much water pressure in an irrigation system? In short order, a resident made an emergency phone call to the property management company and in turn our emergency response water mitigation company was summoned to the location.

When our crew arrived, we were amazed to see a stream of water in the air shooting into an open window…. the one and only open window on that side of the building. Someone asked if we were from the landscaping company who could turn off the irrigation system? “No, but we can certainly stop this problem,” said I as my partner found a steppingstone in the garden and placed it atop of the broken sprinkler pipe. Sure the water was splashing around the garden, but it was no longer shooting into the condo unit on the third floor. The spectators felt rather stupid. The water had been running for 45 minutes causing about 900 gallons of water to enter the building. Later, I learned that someone wanted to call the fire department so they could bring a ladder to close the window. Other residents had said no, the fire department would charge for the service call. People can make you scratch your head in disbelief.

A few minutes later, the landscaper arrived to turn off the water and replace the sprinkler head. A locksmith arrived too, so we could be let into the affected condo units. The water had also wetted a unit on the second and first floor directly below the third floor “source” unit. Much less damage would have occurred if the spectators had been more resourceful. Sometimes people become shocked or overwhelmed by the circumstances. That’s one reason we’re here when you need us. We’re SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos.

Contents, out of sight out of mind.

10/10/2017 (Permalink)

Cleaning Contents, out of sight out of mind. Safe and secure storage vaults.

What happens if you experience a property disaster and your personal contents (dishes, furniture, toys, electronics, etc.) have to be removed from the damaged dwelling to clean the items, or to expedite the property repair? Where do they go? What happens to them? Your contents may be out of sight, but they are definitely not out of your mind.

At SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos, we provide a written contract about our pack-out services. It includes a content pack-out inventory list with photos of each of the contents. During the pack-out process, contents will be sorted for storage, for cleaning or perhaps disposal.

Once they arrive at our secure and climate controlled cleaning and storage facility located in Hayward, California (near the San Mateo Bridge), the appropriate work will be performed, which may include: drying and a variety of advanced treatments to remove soot, bacteria and odor. Items that were ruined by the property disaster event will be cataloged, photographed (again) to assemble a “non-salvage report.” Then the damaged items are set aside in a holding area for disposal, which will only happen after an authorization to dispose order has been received from an insurance adjuster, the content owner, or another agent. I each case the owner will be in final control of the disposal process.

Salvageable contents will be cleaned and properly packed into boxes to be placed secure into wooden vaults. Large items such as mattresses and sofas will be wrapped in packing blankets (and plastic sheeting) to be stored flat on a shelving system. This prevents warping.

A content inventory list is available in electronic format to keep track of the contents. In the end, the contents will be safely waiting in our facility for return to your restored property.

At SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos we have also provide these services for commercial clients such as: medical clinics, restaurants, offices and government facilities. We are prepared to help when and where you may need us.

SERVPRO Training House

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage SERVPRO Training House SERVPRO Headquarters has a fire cleanup training building.

SERVPRO Industries, Inc., one of America's largest franchise systems provides training for 1,700 independently owned and operated franchise locations.

SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos owners learned how to perform fire cleanup at the SERVPRO training house at corporate headquarters.

The two story home is "smoked up" with a variety of different types of smoke. (There are at least four basic types of smoke and each is cleaned with slightly different cleaning agents.) Certain materials when ignited produced different gases and soot. Each major type of soot presents cleaning challenges.

Participants in the training classes perform hands on cleaning. They use the techniques and cleaning agents innovated by SERVPRO. This assures better results when a SERVPRO franchises and their technicians respond to a local and "real" fire.

Bed Bugs are Horrible Critters

10/4/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Bed Bugs are Horrible Critters Vampires aren't the only blood suckers.

Bed bugs are a big problem for anyone who is infested by these tiny blood sucking creatures. They are also a huge problem for commercial and income property owners who discover they are in their property units.

In some cities such as Oakland and San Francisco, the burden of the cleanup cost may fall upon the landlord. Fair or unfair this risk exists for many income property owners.

While SERVPRO of Belmont  / San Carlos is not licensed to cleanup kill bedbugs or any other pest we can certainly perform post bedbug cleanup. We know how to cleanup the mess and remove the chemical residues following the treatment process. We also know how to see if the treatment was performed properly. 

Our cleaning technicians are trained and skilled in looking for any signs that some of these little critters may have survived the pest control company's processes.

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos has cleaned up the aftermath of bedbug infestations for several years. We have worked on the Peninsula, East Bay and the Central Valley performing this service. We have worked with several property management and senior care providers who have had their lovely properties invaded by bed bugs. (This is not a social class issue... any property from shack to mansion to high-rise can be affected)

We know good pest management companies who can help kill these rascals.  We can be reached at 650-591-4137.


10/2/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation MOLD Mold caused by moist air from HVAC system vent.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems are designed to control temperature and some are capable of reducing indoor humidity (condition the air).

HVAC systems can malfunction causing them to become breeding grounds for mold. HVAC systems can also be damaged by fire or water problems. Water can get into HVAC ducting, especially air delivering ducts that are installed under floors and in ceilings. 

This photograph shows how a flooded air duct spread moisture and moldy air onto the baseboards, wall and into the room.

A scope (plan) to cleanup the mold included removing contaminated ducting and replacing it with new ducting. SERVPRO knows how to remediate even the most complicated mold infested environments. When HVAC systems are part of the problem, we have expert cleaning methods to provide the solution to correct the indoor air quality.

Hail Storms

10/2/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Hail Storms Hail damage can be intense.

As climate continues to change, hail storms could happen in California. After all, there have been water spouts and tornadoes in recent years. Perhaps we will never see hail storms of the magnitude that are experienced in Oklahoma or Texas. When regions of the country experience weather anomalies, the storms can cause significant damage, even if they are less intense by scale. The reason for this is that the plants and trees and the geography have not adapted for unusual weather. A simple freeze in Wisconsin does little damage. The same freeze in Florida would ruin millions of dollars in crops.

A significant hail storm in California would damage delicate plants and trees not to mention roofs that are not designed with hail storms in mind.  As climate continues to change the chances of being impacted by unusual weather also increase. SERVPRO is ready to mitigate property damage no matter the source.

Commercial Fire

9/20/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Fire A fire at a commercial establishment can be costly.

Commercial Fire Damage in Belmont is Restored By SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos.

One of a business owner's worst horrors is a fire event to at their commercial property. However, this nightmare becomes an ugly reality all too often! While dealing with a commercial fire can be challenging and stressful, knowing how to expedite and optimize each component of the restoration process can save you money and a headache. Learn more about the steps you should take to restore your business by reviewing this short outline provided by SERVPRO:

Call Your Insurer
Once your commercial property is subjected to fire, call your insurer. In some cases, your insurance agent can help you locate temporary accommodations where you can continue conducting business transactions while fire damage restoration is on-going at your commercial property. The insurer will send out an adjuster to document the fire damage and to monetize fire damage restoration. Ask for a highly recommended company to promptly restore your property. 

In addition to calling your insurance provider, you'll need to get in contact with a fire damage restoration company like SERVPRO. An inspector will be dispatched to survey the fire damaged property, develop a restoration plan, and provide you with a CCIS report. This Contents Claim Inventory Service will specifically document damages to the structure and the contents--including all business-related items. SERVPRO is an approved vendor for over 300 insurance companies, property management firms, and government agencies. We can work in cooperation with your insurance company to expedite the fire damage restoration services. We can help you with the claims process, and the paperwork while minimizing your expenses.  

The fire damage restoration process is contingent upon the extent of damage to the building and the business assets.
• property assessment
• cleaning
• drying, water removal
• sanitation
• deodorization
• content restoration, document drying
• odor removal
• smoke removal 
• vent cleaning
• air duct cleaning

Getting The Best Restoration Services Available
We can offer the following attributes to ensure a rapid return to preloss conditions for your commercial enterprise.
• IICRC-certified professionals, with corporate and franchise training
• excellent customer service, communication from start to finish with guaranteed results
• fair pricing
• a good reputation
• cutting edge equipment
• advanced methodologies

Call SERVPRO For Expedient fire damage restoration in Belmont and the surrounding area.
We respond immediately to assist you in restoring your commercial property to working order. We are faster to any size disaster. Our goal is to compete swiftly the fire damage restoration, with minimal expense to you and reopen your doors for business. "Like it never even happened."

24-Hour Emergency Fire Restoration Service

SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos knows that fire damage can happen any time, so we’re ready to respond 24/7 —including holidays. Belmont, San Carlos, and Foster City are communities we proudly serve. Call us for help. (650) 591-4137

Prompt Restoration for Water Damage Saves Money

9/18/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Prompt Restoration for Water Damage Saves Money Don't wait too long to respond to water damage. Time allows the problem to spread.

Foster City Water Damage Cleanup Is Urgent

Water damage can leave lasting results if not dealt with quickly. Water can be peaceful and pure. It is soothing and relaxing. Water is necessary for life. It gives life to plants and humans. However, water in the wrong places can be devastating, and if left untreated, becomes a significant problem. 

Howerer, Water Damage Lowers Home Value.The resulting damage from water intrusion is unsightly and impossible to hide without professional restoration. This may mean drying and repainting surfaces or demolishing and replacing building materials such as drywall. A home inspector will see the damage that stems from your unrestored water damage issues. This can lower your property value. 

Water Affects the Structure of Your Home because Wood is a sponge for water. Standing water on the floors in your home can wick into walls. The longer that water sits the more damage it will cause. It will warp and cup hardwood floors and lift the laminate from manufactured wood flooring. It doesn’t take long for wood to become vulnerable to mold. Mold can cover wooden or plasterboard walls and floors. A small amount of standing water, or hidden moisture, and warmer temperatures make the perfect recipe for mold to grow. Mold can cause health effects. 

Water Damage Can Destroy Electrical and Plumbing Systems, Walls, and Ceilings
Water can damage electrical circuits and cause shorts, requiring an electrician to address these problems. A professional must inspect all of your wiring and your electrical panel. Water can cause drywall to swell or become brittle forcing discarding while also helping to prevent mold growth. It can corrode or rust pipes which lead to more leaks. Undiscovered or un-repaired water leaks can escalate into larger issues involving unnecessary water damage and expenses. That small drip that you are not dealing with right now could be a costly leak in 6 months. Undetected dripping water can lead to degradation of your concrete foundation. This could leave your home structurally unsafe. It can destroy metal structures, trusses, and even home insulation. Damage to insulation can lead to mold and cause energy bills to increase because the outside elements can more readily enter the structure. 

Water Contaminates Your Home
Flood water is contaminated. It can be dangerous to your health. The EPA categorizes this type of water as "Black water ." Chemicals, fertilizers, organics, and fecal matter residuals can remain long after you have cleaned up the water; too hazardous for a Foster City homeowner to attempt this cleanup. SERVPRO of Belmont San Carlos experts can sanitize and deodorize the house. The best way to eliminate the danger is with professional help. Call us for your water damage restoration and we will return your property to its preloss condition "Like it never even happened."

We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster

Immediate action is crucial when dealing with water damage. SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos is strategically positioned to be faster to any size water emergency in Foster City, San Carlos, and Redwood City. Call us for immediate 24/7 response. (650) 591-4137

Customer service in Half Moon Bay

9/15/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Customer service in Half Moon Bay William Wheeler, customer service drive.

Water Damage in Half Moon Bay & SERVPRO Customer Care

Andy and Gail in Half Moon Bay, regarding: William Wheeler and our SERVPRO team in Halfmoon Bay.

To whom it may concern,

Our Home after a hot water line in an upstairs bathroom… left hot water flowing throughout the house for 72+ hours… We were out of town and not due back in town for two additional days. Luckily our daughter and son-in-law stopped by. We have been told our house was close to a 90% loss. Our home was soaked with hot water and steam. It is an unimaginable disaster…

We would like to express our sincere THANKS for a job well done. by your employee William Wheeler… As we see it, Will is one of your greatest representative and a true asset to SERVPRO. He was professional at every turn and represented your company with great integrity. His hard work, incredible patience, concern, and ability to work well with your employees and us… were most impressive. In our mind, it went from, “Oh My God”, to ”It’s Going to Be Alright.”

His willingness to interact at each and every turn of this water damage disastor, along with the other representatives from both SERVPRO and FRSTeam, gave us a sense of calm and belief we could put it back together. We cannot be more impressed… and extend a Thank You to each and every one of them. We are months away from returning to our water damaged home. But the road ahead was made smoother by the concern and most professional handling by William Wheeler and his team. Thank You!

Most Sincerely,

Andy and Gail
Half Moon Bay

We’re Highly Trained Water Damage Specialists

SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos is a leader in the water damage industry. We have advanced training and expertise, not to mention a tremendous amount of hands-on experience. We use this training and experience to quickly dry your home and restore it back to pre-water-damage condition. We provide documentation of the drying process to validate your property is dry. Call us for 24/7 service. (650) 591-4137

Who to call when you have flood damage.

9/11/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Who to call when you have flood damage. Flood damage can happen in Foster City.

SERVPRO Restores Flood Damaged Properties in Foster City

In Foster City flood damage needs to be taken care of immediately. Ignoring flood damage should not occur. For one thing, water is a double edged sword. On one hand, it could clean and purify. However, water in the wrong places could cause damage and contamination. For one thing, it does bring down the value of the property. It will get to the point where water damage will always be visible unless you can get a professional company like SERVPRO to do the water extraction, drying, cleaning, and restoration work necessary to bring the property value back up. Among the sections of the home that are usually vulnerable to water damage are drywall and other building materials.
For a house of frame construction, water is easily absorbed. Wood is like a sponge for water. It could not only get into the timber, but it could make its way to the walls. Once in the walls, it could bring water damage to other areas of the property. Another thing that water could do to the wood is cause warping as well as cupping in wood flooring. The water can also lift the laminate of manufactured wood. Wood will also become moldy. This will result in mold covering the floors as well as walls. Particularly in the case of warmer temperatures with hidden moisture or standing water. 

Foster City flooding could cause damages to the plumbing and electrical systems. Even the ceiling can be vulnerable to damages caused by water. For homes that have faced the effects of flooding, it is important to call a professional from SERVPRO to come by and inspect every piece of the home including the plumbing and the electrical systems. If there is any issue caused by water, and there always is after groundwater intrudes on your property, then he has to remove the unsalvageable materials and possessions of the home. Contaminated Black Water from this type of flooding must quickly be extracted from the home and after drying out, sanitized and deodorized. Also, it is important to make sure that every leak is found and repaired if pipes ruptured due to the storm flooding. SERVPRO has the trained, certified IICRC technicians to tackle all flood problems and restore your home to its preloss condition "Like it never even happened."  They are very experienced and willing to provide 24/7 services to your home. To get an appointment, give them a call at (650) 591-4137.