Recent Posts

San Francisco Flooded Homes Need the TLC of SERVPRO to Mitigate the Damages

3/16/2020 (Permalink)

back of SERVPRO green van The Talented Team from SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos Always Welcomes New Technicians to Restore Flood Damage in the San Francisco area

Issues You May Deal With after Flood Damage in Your San Francisco Home

Flooding can happen following a hurricane, a tornado, or a flash flood, and even a well-prepared San Francisco homeowner can be caught up in flood damage. Having floodwater in your home can be dangerous and inconvenient.

In the aftermath of flooding in your San Francisco residence, you need to handle several issues. It is beneficial to hire a certified company to help you manage the destruction. SERVPRO can help you deal with issues such as:

Damaged floors

During groundwater intrusion, mud and debris can cover wood flooring.  Our staff can dry your floors by using pumps or wet/dry vacuums to remove the water and using air movers and dehumidifiers to dry them. Shovels and squeegees may be the first tools used to clear away the murky deposits. If the flood damage is severe, we can tear out the non-salvageable boards and dry the underpinnings or concrete pad.

Ruined appliances

Electric appliances that get submerged in water can stop functioning. We can assess your electronic equipment to determine the severity of the damage. If they can be salvaged, we can wipe water and debris from their surfaces and contact an electronics restorer to repair them.

Health risks

Regrettably, flood damage can impact your health and that of your family members negatively. Floodwater carries debris and silt of every kind. It can contain chemical contaminants and disease-causing organisms. If your carpeting and other porous material are contaminated, we recommend replacing them. Restoring porous materials like drywall and soft materials like carpets after Black Water absorption is not a wise decision. Though we strive to restore, and not replace, flood-damaged materials, safety comes first.

Mold

Mold grows in moist areas, and a flooded house is perfect for mold to breed. Mold can lurk under wooden floors, on the ceilings, or walls. Mold spreads fast, and it needs a trained eye and advanced tools to locate hidden mold in your home. Our team can identify the areas where mold is present and physically remove contaminated porous materials. We can also dry the affected surfaces thoroughly. Our team can also use quaternary compounds and chlorine bleach solutions to inhibit mold.

Bad odors

Bad odors are linked with flood damage because of the dirty water and possible mold infestation, which leaves a stench. Your upholstered furniture and draperies can have unpleasant smells. Our SERVPRO team can remove the bad odors using thermal fogging equipment and air scrubbers to leave your indoor air fresher and healthier.

After experiencing flood damage in North Natomas, South Natomas, and Sacramento Airport, you need fast, professional help SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos can help you remove the water and clean up your home. Call us at (650) 591-4137 for efficient restoration.

Water Removal San Francisco – Sewer Backup

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Infectious waste symbol We can get your property back to the state it was in before the unfortunate incident.

The Importance of Thorough Water Removal After a Sewer Back Up In Your San Francisco Property

Sewer backups occur for a variety of reasons. Everything from tree roots encroaching on sewer lines, old corroded pipes, or consumers flushing inappropriate materials down the toilet can cause the sewer line to be plugged. The result can be dirty raw sewage backing up into your bathroom, sinks, showers, and overflowing onto the floor.

SERVPRO provides water removal services in San Francisco and surrounding areas. Residents of homes may uncover the mess only after noticing a foul smell or walking into a bathroom or laundry room to find sewage all over the floor. We can help clean and disinfect the area following industry guidelines for sewage contamination.

Removing Infectious Waste

When a toilet overflows or water bubbles up in the shower from a clogged sewer line, there is a possibility of infectious waste material in the liquid. The water may contain cholera, tetanus, typhoid, polio, hepatitis, and a variety of other infectious diseases, which can be very harmful to you and your family. There may also be blood-borne pathogens in the water, which can also be detrimental to everyone.

SERVPRO urges clients to avoid exposing themselves to this contamination unless the suitable protective gear is available. Our crew chief can assess the situation and deploy cleanup technicians with the appropriate protective gear, such as full-body suits, gloves, goggles or face masks, and, if necessary, respirators.

Disposal of the contaminated liquids and removal of contaminated materials must also follow industry guidelines. We clean all materials using EPA registered disinfectant chemicals on all exposed surfaces and contents. We disinfect contents and store these items in a clean staging area until the affected rooms are ready to be used once again.

SERVPRO is a licensed General Contractor - License:937457 and can help with all of the repair and construction work in your home. We can save our clients time to repair their building as well as the total cost.

Call SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos at (650) 591-4137 for 24/7 service. We proudly serve Redwood City, Foster City, and surrounding areas. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

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SERVPRO Provides Board Up Services to Secure San Francisco Homes After Fire Damage

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Brick home with boarded up windows Windows are frequently broken while extinguishing fires. SERVPRO has board up services to secure your home while the restoration work begins.

Fire Damage In San Francisco Can Require Boarding Up A Structure

If an inferno ever ignites inside your San Francisco apartment complex, the problems created by the heat and smoke can be quite catastrophic. If the flames burn for a long time before getting extinguished, they can cause you excessive fire damage. If the blaze burns hot, then they could destroy a large number of your contents and building materials.

During many fire damage cases in San Francisco, the windows get blown out, or they get broken by people trying to escape or by the firefighters attempting to extinguish the flames. The exterior doors of the home also often get purposely broken or destroyed in the fire. Having your building exposed to the outside due to broken windows or exterior doors can cause you more issues with items inside your dwelling.

Once the fire gets extinguished, our SERVPRO crew starts by assessing your building for any safety hazards. Once any potential safety concerns get mitigated, we then work towards boarding up your structure. The board-up procedure helps secure your structure after there are openings in it caused by the inferno as well as shield it from the elements of the outdoors.

In many cases, our SERVPRO technicians can conduct the board-up process ourselves as a first step in the mitigation process. However, some local regions may require that boarding up a structure gets completed only by a certified contractor with the proper license. When this is the case, we can refer the boarding up procedures to a subcontractor before we begin the restoration process.

Whenever the need arises to board up your charred structure, we can use exterior grade plywood along with other items like roofing tarpaulins, or rolls of polyethylene sheeting. When using plywood to secure the exterior of your building, we can attach it in three different ways depending on each specific opening. We can cover over the opening, insert wood inside the opening or bolt it with tension using two by fours. The most commonly used method is to cover openings with plywood by attaching to the surface around the opening with a hammer and nails.

If you ever need your structure boarded up after you suffer from a fire, call SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos at (650) 591-4137 24/7.

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SERVPRO Makes Fire Damage in San Francisco Go Away

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

Icon of types of fire extinguishers The Great San Francisco Fire--SERVPRO Is Now Ready to Help with the Cleanup and Restoration

Mitigating Kitchen Fire Damage in San Francisco


From 2011 to 2015, an estimated 358,500 fires occurred in homes that caused over $6.7 billion in damages, according to NFPA data. Not only are San Francisco home structural fires costly, but they can have long-term effects on homes without professional mitigation, including the spread of odors and residues that can be unpleasant and difficult to remove with consumer-grade cleaners.

If your San Francisco home needs fast, reliable fire damage removal, they can always count on the restoration technicians at SERVPRO to get the job done right. SERVPRO technicians use contemporary technologies and EPA-registered antimicrobials to ensure that your home gets the restoration it needs after a fire occurs. Whether contents or structures are affected, these professionals focus on preservation and restoration whenever it is safe and feasible to do so.

Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher
When buying fire extinguishers for your home, it is essential to be aware that there are several different categories made to fight different kinds of fires. These include:

?    Type A, which is primarily for mundane fire situations involving materials like wood, paper, and cloth.
?    Type B, which is designed for extinguishing fires caused by combustible liquids like oil, grease, and gasoline.
?    Type C, which is made for handling electrical fires.
?    Type D, which can extinguish fires involving flammable metals, and is mainly for commercial applications.
?    Type K, which can handle vegetables and animal-based oils, as well as other fats, in cooking appliances. This variety is similar to the Type B but is designed for commercial applications in areas like cafeterias and restaurant kitchens.

For home use, there are also multi-purpose extinguishers that encompass the traits of Types A, B, and C. Most homeowners should look for an extinguisher that weighs between two and ten pounds.

How SERVPRO Removes Damage
Kitchen fires can leave copious amounts of damage to appliances that can eventually corrode metals and plastics, and it is crucial to examine and thoroughly clean electronics near where the fire occurred. All-purpose antimicrobials and glass cleaners can be used to take care of light damages. Yellowing on appliances is reduced by using a wood creme paste.

For polished finishes, chrome, and aluminum exteriors, alkaline cleaners designed for substantial damage are implemented with care to preserve the sheen and quality of your kitchen appliances. Electronics in need of restoration can be sent to an authorized electronics service technician after a thorough cleaning.

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos is always ready to leave disaster-affected homes looking, "Like it never even happened." Whether you need cleanup late at night, on weekends, or during holidays, you can call (650) 591-4137.

Mold Development in a Repurposed Retail Space in Redwood City Needs SERVPRO for Remediation

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

mold growing on ceiling Give our experts a call today at (650) 591-4137.

New Redwood City Spa Could Allow Mold Growth and Colonization

Renovating commercial space for new tenants is a common practice throughout Redwood City, and spas are more relevant and necessary now more than ever. Rushing to reach your opening is an ideal goal, allowing you to reach your fanbase as quickly as possible, but aspects of the renovation and reconstruction can get overlooked. Improper ventilation for areas of your spa can lead to favorable conditions for microbial threats.

Remodeling a commercial space to accommodate a new style of business does not always equal mold damage for Redwood City properties, but specific oversights can allow the conditions for this disaster. Because of steam and vapors common to specific areas and practices of modern spas, adequate ventilation is not a suggested installation, but a need that your new business has. Failure to install these fixtures can result in lingering moisture in susceptible areas of your space.

Even though your spa keeps traditional operating hours, failure to remove vapors and moisture from hallways and adjacent rooms can lead to the development of mold colonies, even with only part-time use. Spores exist naturally in nearly every environment, so these microorganisms survive in perpetual circulation until they encounter moist conditions around organic materials or contents. The drywall used to form the walls of your spa can often be an ideal launchpad for microbial colonization.

Remediation is a considerable first step to take, as our SERVPRO Applied Microbial Remediation Technicians (AMRT) can offer solutions that can remove colonies often without disturbing the host material. We can also work to clear out lingering moisture with the use of desiccant dehumidifiers and air movers.

With a team of licensed general contractors on our SERVPRO team, we also have the means of utilizing controlled demolition strategies were necessary to save you time and money. We can also install more sufficient ventilation fixtures to ensure the appropriate moisture removal after a long day of steam treatment and relaxation.

Commercial properties throughout the area come under new ownership all the time, leading to fast turnarounds to get new customers in the door as quickly as possible. If you have overlooked moisture removal fixtures and caused mold growth, you can count on our SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos team to help. Give our experts a call today at (650) 591-4137.

For more about Redwood City click here.

Air Quality

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

The EPA provides helpful information and informative material on a variety of indoor air quality topics for office and homes. A helpful booklet is: "An Office Building Occupant's Guide to Indoor Air Quality."

The booklet provides valuable tips to protect health of office workers. Here is a list of helpful tips (and topics) contained in the publication. 

  • Comply with the office and building smoking policy
  • Do not block air vents or grilles.
  • Water and maintain office plants properly.
  • Dispose of garbage promptly and properly.
  • Store food properly.
  • Avoid bringing products into the building that could release harmful or bothersome odors or contaminants.
  • Notify your building or facility manager immediately if you suspect an indoor air quality problem.

If You Manage an Office:

  • Maintain a good working relationship with building management on indoor environmental issues.
  • Place office furniture and equipment with air circulation, temperature control, and pollutant removal functions of the heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) system in mind.
  • Coordinate with building management in instances when responsibility for design, operation and maintenance of the ventilation system is shared.
  • Establish an effective smoking policy that protects nonsmokers from involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Avoid procedures and products that can cause indoor air quality problems.
  • Integrate indoor air quality concerns into your purchasing decisions.
  • Work with the building manager to ensure use of only necessary and appropriate pest control practices, and nonchemical methods where possible.
  • Work with building management and the contractor before you remodel or renovate to identify ways of keeping building occupant exposure to pollutants to a minimum and to ensure that the air distribution system is not disrupted.
  • Encourage building management to develop a preventive indoor air quality management program following guidance issued by EPA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

The booklet it available free from the EPA website. SERVPRO is pleased to have shared this information with you. We can also help you keep commercial spaces clean and healthy with HVAC cleaning and other specialty services.

Free Learning Oppurtunities

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

This article is about, educational programs including Lunch & Learns for Belmont/San Carlos Insurance Agents, Property Managers & Building Engineer.

SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos offers approved Continuing Education (CE) classes about: Water Damage Mitigation, Fire Cleanup, Mold Education, Odor Control and even Ethics.

Our classes are from two to three hours in duration, and they include a free lunch.

As the title to this article indicates, there are also less formal educational programs that include Lunch and Learn programs on a variety of topics. Classes are scheduled to include a breakfast or lunch. Topics are designed specifically for insurance agents, realtors and building engineers. We have programs that are fifteen minutes in length and expanded versions that are thirty minutes long. Often, we customize presentations for an organization’s specific needs. These lively programs stimulate questions. You can expect to spend another ten to fifteen minutes as we provide answers and engage in dialogue. (These programs do not provide State approved educational credits. However, some companies are able to apply certain topics to their “safety training” programs.)

Information about the disasters and the many problems that can affect your properties and your clients is important. We are always happy to share information about the remedies and solutions that make it, as our slogan says… "Like it never even happened."

Should you have an interest in using our free education programs, please contact us at 650-591-4137. It would be a pleasure to work with you.

Indoor Office Air

2/25/2020 (Permalink)

What You Can Do to Improve the Indoor Air in Your Office:

  • Do not block air vents or grilles.
  • Comply with the office and building smoking policy.
  • Water and maintain office plants properly.
  • Dispose of garbage promptly and properly.
  • Store food properly.
  • Avoid bringing products into the building that could release harmful or bothersome odors or contaminants.
  • Notify your building or facility manager immediately if you suspect an indoor air quality problem.

If You Manage an Office:

  • Maintain a good working relationship with building management on indoor environmental issues.
  • Place office furniture and equipment with air circulation, temperature control, and pollutant removal functions of the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system in mind.
  • Coordinate with building management in instances when responsibility for design, operation, and maintenance of the ventilation system is shared.
  • Establish an effective smoking policy that protects nonsmokers from involuntary exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Avoid procedures and products that can cause indoor air quality problems.
  • Integrate indoor air quality concerns into your purchasing decisions.
  • Work with the building manager to ensure use of only necessary and appropriate pest

control practices, and non-chemical methods where possible.

  • Work with building management and the contractor before you remodel or renovate to identify ways of keeping building occupant exposure to pollutants to a minimum and to ensure that the air distribution system is not disrupted.
  • Encourage building management to develop a preventive indoor air quality management program following guidance issued by EPA and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).                  

These tips came from an EPA booklet available free from the EPA website. It is titled,"An office Occupant's guide to Indoor Air Quality." 

At SERVPRO, we're pleased to share this information with you.

SERVPRO Handles Your San Francisco Fire Damage From Cleanup to Complete Restoration

1/20/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO tech wiping soot from ceiling of fire damaged room One of our technicians is removing soot from the ceiling. We have specialized cleaners for soot and smoke removal.

Why Are Contents Piled in the Middle of the Floor After Fire Damage in San Francisco Homes? 

Fire damage is a type of loss that homeowners can plan what to do in case it happens. Still, the total prevention of fire is difficult due to the myriad of factors that can cause a home blaze ranging from electrical malfunctions, improper storage of items in a garage or arson.  

When homeowners see the fire damage in their San Francisco homes after a loss, one of the biggest questions they often have is how did their possessions wind up in a pile on the floor? 

Fire Loss Cleanup 

SERVPRO technicians encounter these piles frequently during cleanup and restoration. It happens as the firefighters use water to extinguish the fire. They pull the contents to the center of the room and wet them down. Each time more items get added, the piles receives another blast of water to ensure nothing reignites. The result is the same when the technicians arrive for cleanup, a collection of wet debris that needs removal and disposal as fast as possible to limit loss. At the same time, they remove charred building materials to open up the structure for drying, soot removal, and deodorization to ready the property for reconstruction.  

Documenting the Loss for Homeowners

As items get removed from the property, SERVPRO techs photograph and give a detailed description of the article, its condition, and reasons it did not have restoration potential. This report assists homeowners in filing their insurance loss claims and expediting reimbursement.  

Restoration and Reconstruction Services

It is an excellent idea to let the company that handles the restoration also handle the rebuilding. With their general contractor license #937457, once the fire loss cleanup efforts complete, the techs can go straight into the repairs necessary to restore the home to its pre-fire condition. 

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos at (650) 591-4137 serves the area in the cleanup and restoration of local properties from any size fire damage. Using their knowledge and equipment, the technicians make the loss, "Like it never even happened." 

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Effective Cleaning Actions to Remove Fire Damage Residues in San Francisco

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Kitchen cabinets on fire SERVPRO's cleaning techniques will give you the very best results in bringing back your San Francisco home from fire damage.

The SERVPRO Method for Properly Cleaning Soot from your Fire Damaged San Francisco Home

When our crews analyze the residues left by a fire in your San Francisco house, we match our proprietary cleaning solutions to the characteristics of the soot evaluated and the surfaces upon which the coatings cling. One of the next steps then made is to choose among the most efficient cleaning actions for our technicians to employ while trying to break the tight bond between the soiling and the structural or contents’ surfaces.

A Quartet of Options

As they apply cleaning products to soot-encrusted surfaces, our technicians must take care not to worsen the damage or destroy an underlying surface because it is not durable enough to withstand the cleaner and the action. SERVPRO follows a protocol that emphasizes pretesting and continual adaptation to clean the residues away appropriately eventually. Four general cleaning actions comprise the repertoire of what our employees attempt:

  • Mechanical Action -- Examples include a pre-cleaning scrub or dusting to reduce loose debris before using agitation to dislodge adhered soot
  • Lubrication -- Using cleaners like detergents with wetting agents and surfactants to make surfaces or residues slippery to break their hold on each other, moving the soot into the cleaning suspension.
  • Chemical Action -- Some substances can change the characteristics of soiling at a molecular level, loosening bonds or altering their effect on a surface or material to remove staining. Oxidation is an example.
  • Suspension and Dispersion -- Finding a cleaning product that contains a substance that dissolves or emulsifies the soiling and then disperses it in the solution so it can be removed. 

The Science of Dissolving Soils

SERVPRO technicians learn and apply the principle that "like dissolves like" when matching products with the residues that need removal. Hydrophilic or water-based/loving soils easily dissolve in water. Lipophilic or oil-based/loving soils easily dissolve in oil. Oil-based soiling sometimes emulsifies or spreads evenly throughout water, often with the help of detergent molecules that have a tail that attaches to the oily soil and a head that attaches to water. 

Use of Solvents

Some protein and oil-based soot, such as the residue after a kitchen fire, requires the careful use of a solvent to dislodge. SERVPRO technicians handling solvents use personal protective equipment (PPE). We advise the evacuation of people and pets during solvent use and block the HVAC system, so the vapors do not spread throughout your home.

Finding the right combination of products and cleaning actions can be tricky after a fire deposits residue. Let the trained experts at SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos help by calling us at (650) 591-4137.

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