Recent Posts

Underground water flow in crawlspace

5/23/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Underground water flow in crawlspace Installing a moisture barrier to protect a building.



During periods of heavy rain in Belmont the ground water was replenished, causing underground streams and springs to flow again. (Many underground water sources dried up during the recent draught.)


One particular client of ours owns and manages a commercial property in which a small channel of water flows through their crawlspace. Engineers determined that the flow of moisture does not pose a treat to the foundation of the structure. Our company was hired to install a moisture barrier in the crawlspace. A plastic barrier was installed above the ground surface, which prevents humidity and odor from the ground water in the damp soil from affecting the crawlspace.


During heavy rains the water flows through the crawlspace at an increased rate, but the plastic barrier keeps the moisture contained. No bad odors or excess moisture affects the building above the plastic.

SERVPRO of Belmont /San Carlos provides moisture barrier installation to protect residential, commercial and industrial properties. We also perform HVAC cleaning and other environmental specialty services to protect your indoor air quality.


Understanding desiccant machines.

5/21/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Understanding desiccant machines. A big desiccant at work.

At SERVPRO of Belmont San Carlos we have both cold “coil dehumidifiers” and “desiccant dehumidifiers.” Having one or more desiccants are the benchmark of a professional mitigation company.

Desiccant-Based Dehumidification is an interesting topic. Most people are aware of “cold-coil” dehumidification, which removes moisture from the air by condensing the moisture onto a cold surface. Desiccant dehumidification relies on adsorption or absorption power of desiccants, which are substances that attract water-vapor molecules from the air. They rely on adsorptive or absorptive process.Adsorption refers to a desiccant that does not change phase as it collects airborne moisture. Most adsorbents are solids; familiar examples include activated alumina, silica gel, and zeolites (molecular sieves). We see these packed in electronics cartons.

In water damage drying application, desiccant machines are designed to collect moisture on a rotating wheel coated with solid desiccant material. As damp air passes through one section of the wheel the desiccant on that section adsorbs water vapor, making the air drier than when it entered. Wheel rotation then exposes the moisture-laden desiccant to a “regenerating” air stream that strips the captured moisture away from the desiccant (desorption). The wheel rotates to the damp air collection port and it is ready to adsorb more moisture from in coming air.

At SERVPRO we have dozens of cold “coil dehumidifiers” and a couple of commercial “desiccant dehumidifiers.” That’s one more reason we are proud to be an experienced and professional mitigation company capable of helping commercial clients. SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos 650-591-4137

Mold is a Four Letter Word

5/19/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold is a Four Letter Word Mold may look pretty but it can be a problem.

Mold is a four-letter word… the very mention of mold stirs negative feelings. Yet mold is a necessary part of life. Bread makers, and people who make wine, beer and cheese also rely of mold and yeasts, all part of the fungi kingdom. Molds are part of our eco system. Saying mold is bad is not a realistic statement. Tens of thousands of different molds have been identified and studied. Only a few produce negative affects on people. Tell a baker, wine maker, brewer or cheese maker that molds and yeasts are bad and your will get a funny look.


What gives mold a bad reputation?


There are molds that are able to produce tiny spores that become airborne and these spores can pass through our respiratory system and into the Alveoli sacks in our lungs and cause toxins to enter our blood stream. Infants, seniors and anyone with a compromised immune system are susceptible. These molds are called, “toxic black mold.”


Problem is, the majority of molds are black in color. Some are white, yellow and pink, but black is the most common color. People hear about “black toxic mold” and then equate the black mold that they see on a window frame as being this potentially harmful variety of “toxic mold”. The there are contractors who make a living playing off of the public’s fear and lack of knowledge about mold. They charge big fees to remove mold of any variety, harmful or not.


For realistic information about mold, one of the best sources to learn about mold is to visit the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website using mold as a search phrase. You will get easy to understand information about mold, and even tips on how to remove it. Another thing to do is to give us a call. SERVPRO of Belmont San Carlos at 650-591-4137.



Bed Bugs

5/18/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Bed Bugs Bed Bug are horrible little 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.




Be Emergency Ready

5/12/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Be Emergency Ready Water Damage can strike at any time.


When property disaster occurs at a business location, the operation of the business is often interrupted. Any interference in business operation can negatively impact the business and profitability of a company.

It is imperative that the damage to a commercial establishment be contained and repaired quickly so the impact of business is minimized.

SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos is an experienced specialist in restoring commercial properties. We have worked at many restaurants, office buildings, manufacturing plants and retail establishments in Foster City, Belmont, San Carlos and Redwood Shores.

When a property disaster happens many things can go wrong and quickly. Let’s use a burst pipe flooding as our example. While each building and business will face its own specific situations, these following items are fairly common problems:

1 - Portions of the structure will get wet and may need to be removed and replaced. 2 - Water service may be interrupted. 3- Electric service may also be compromised. 4 - Office equipment and manufacturing equipment could be ruined or in need of repair. 5 - Production and assembly processes may be compromised. 6 - Employee safety is in jeopardy (Slip hazard / risk of electrocution) 6 - Alarms, telephones, computers may not function reliably. 7- Elevators don’t work. 8 - HVAC systems compromised

An experienced commercial mitigation specialist should also provide solutions to business interruption. That’s why SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos provides restoration management services beyond just the initial emergency response of water extraction and structural drying, such as:

Water extraction, humidity control, document drying, emergency power, emergency lighting, security services, electronics cleaning and repair, HVAC system cleaning and service, elevator repair, communications systems restoration, structural repair, plumbing repair, temporary office modules, temporary fencing and toilets, OSHA safety inspection services, Industrial Hygienist services, consultation and more.  


Being a great commercial mitigation and restoration company, is much more than simply drying a building. It is helping a company get back into operation as quickly as possible. 50% of companies fail within one year of having a disaster. It’s not because they don’t have insurance or resources. It’s because too much time goes by allowing clients to go to competitors.

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos provides a free Emergency Ready Plan that can help any business be ready for a disaster. Preparedness reduces the down time and that improves the chances for a company to return to profitability after suffering a disaster.

Got Water Damage?

5/11/2017 (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.

SERVPRO Training House

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage SERVPRO Training House SERVPRO's Training House.

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" to with a variety of different types of smoke. 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 in using the techniques and cleaning agents innovated by SERVPRO. This assures better results when SERVPRO franchises respond to a local  and "real" fire.

Company Casino Party

4/30/2017 (Permalink)

General Company Casino Party Javier Fernandez celebrating his winnings.

Operating a business in the restoration industry is not easy. It is a 24/7 intense business that puts demands on employees to respond to water, fire and other emergencies.


During California rain storm events, the pressure can be intense. Employees must be rewarded and appreciated.

Company parties and events help ownership demonstrate to employees that they are appreciated. 

Regular Friday afternoon BBQ's and breakfast meetings demonstrate respect to the employees.... so, does our annual employee casino night party and our yearly summer pic nick.

At SERVPRO, we do our best to have a team of happy and motivated employees arrive in your office or home to serve your emergency restoration needs. If a property disaster happens, please call on us to help you. SERVPRO of Belmont San Carlos 650-591-4137.

Another El Nino Year?

4/28/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Another El Nino Year? 2017 could be a stormy year.

The past year's El Nino event brought heavy rains, mudslides and flooding conditions to many areas of the west coast. Northern California and the Bay Area experienced its' share of damage. SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos performed water damage mitigation projects in Redwood Shores, Foster City, Belmont, San Carlos and many other communities along the San Francisco Peninsula.

Is El Nono back? Yes, it looks like it is. Weather models show Pacific Ocean warming is happening again. Extreme weather is affecting Texas and many other parts of the country. The weather systems that cause Atlantic Hurricanes is active and strong. This might be a record hurricane year too. 

The purpose of this article is not to scare you. Instead, we want you to be aware that knowing about potential problems is the best way to be prepared to minimize damage. As this Autumn's rain season draws near and if the indications are still strong, SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos will host educational preparedness events for property owners and facilities managers.

And, our company will be there for our community to provide water and flood damage cleanup.  

Our franchise is experienced in storm cleanup such as: mud slides, ground flooding, wildfires, earthquake damage and falling tree cleanup.

Our advertising slogan is: "like it never even happened". We always do our best to deliver that quality of service. When you need solutions call: 650-591-4137.

Facilities Managers... consider using a pre-work authorization

4/26/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Facilities Managers... consider using a pre-work authorization Our pre-work authorization agreement.

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos has developed a simple pre-work auhorization agreement we call, Green Response for our commercial clients. It is a proactive disaster recovery plan provided by SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos. It allows us to work with you in pre-planning for the complex challenges that often arise during a major catastrophe such as fire, extreme flooding, earthquake, etc. Your participation in this plan will empower us to mobilize and direct a coordinated team of restoration specialists who will work on your behalf to make it… better than before.

Green Response clients sign an agreement that pre-authorizes our company to provide prompt emergency services. In this agreement the labor and materials pricing schedule and payment terms are determined in advance to prevent misunderstandings, and to expedite services.

Our Emergency Response Manager will tour your facility to work with you in developing a specific and comprehensive restoration/mitigation plan for your location.


Once a preparedness plan has been determined, our team will conduct a meeting at your facility to establish a working relationship, to address your concerns and demonstrate how we may best satisfy your needs. There is no charge for this service. Your investment will be a few hours… time well spent for peace of mind to protect your facility.

Call SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos at 650-591-4137 for additional details.