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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Archived Blog Posts

Always Ready to Roll

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Always Ready to Roll 53 Foot "Kentucky style" Trailer, ready to roll.

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos is a SERVPRO certified STORM TEAM company. Our technicians have traveled to various locations that have experienced storm events around California and the United States.  

We are also experienced in large loss mitigation projects.

You can imagine that it often requires a great deal of restorative drying equipment to accomplish this work.

Our company owns and operates a fleet of cargo vans, pickup trucks, box trucks , a 24 foot trailer and we have use of a large, 53 foot "Kentucky style" trailer.

The 53 foot trailer is packed with hundreds of pieces of drying equipment, and supplies including cleaning materials. It becomes a staging point, sort of a warehouse on wheels, from which our technicians are able to work. You can count on SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos to be there and ready to help when you need us.

Do You Have a Plan for Cleaning Up Water Damage in Your San Francisco Supermarket?

10/8/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Do You Have a Plan for Cleaning Up Water Damage in Your San Francisco Supermarket? SERVPRO has the expertise and equipment to quickly get your business up and running after water damage.

Plan For Water Cleanup In Your Neighborhood San Francisco Supermarket

Big, corporate groceries vie with smaller neighborhood stores in most San Francisco areas. Regardless of who owns the food store, a water emergency on the premises needs fast and professional attention. Competition is fierce, and your store needs to recover quickly from the water loss to prevent both property damage and a significant business downturn. Prepare for a water disaster with our help to limit your store’s downtime. 

A professional evaluation of your water cleanup preparedness in San Francisco  can limit the loss your company suffers when water invades and get your operations back up and running quickly. We set up an appointment to have one of our experienced water loss managers take a walk-through your business. The purpose of the inspection is multifaceted. We want to fully understand how your business works, where you store inventory, documents, and other crucial items, and the location of water mains, plumbing configurations, and exterior gutters and drains, among other pieces of information. 

You have a chance to personalize the SERVPRO Emergency Ready Plan and Profile (ERP) we build together. Using our mobile app as a guide, you walk through multiple aspects of your business operations to increase our knowledge to be able to respond better and more effectively. Choose trusted employees or family members to stand in for you when a crisis happens. Nominating them as your agents allows us to promptly respond even if you are not available. 

The ERP makes it clear that SERVPRO is your chosen restoration company. We can react to an emergency immediately, confident that we know your concerns and priorities. Take the time to list for us the names and contact information for vendors or contractors who installed the equipment or systems upon which you rely on delivering excellent service to your customers. Commercial water cleanup is streamlined when we have comprehensive information about your building’s layout and vulnerabilities. 

SERVPRO makes suggestions before any water disaster so you can adapt your operations to limit possible water damage. Improving storage options, identifying the most likely ways water enters, and inspecting and repairing plumbing, coolers, freezers, roofs, and many other water damage risks help keep your grocery store meeting the needs of your customers. 

Give SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos a call at (650) 591-4137 to create a personalized ERP for your Bay Area business. Preparedness is the key to a long-lived and profitable business. 

Click here for the history of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Do You Struggle with Finding the Source of the Musty Smell of Mold in Your San Francisco Home?

10/7/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Do You Struggle with Finding the Source of the Musty Smell of Mold in Your San Francisco Home? Mold can lurk in many areas of your home before it becomes visible to the naked eye. Call SERVPRO to investigate.

The Oddest Places You Will Find Mold in Your San Francisco Home

Mold growth is prominent in basements, bathrooms, and kitchens. It grows in the rooms above because of the presence of moisture and food supply. What San Francisco homeowners do not know is that if there is the t possibility of dampness and darkness anywhere, mold can grow. To protect your family and get rid of mold, here are 5 oddest places where mold can grow.

Inside your child’s toys
Have you ever taken the time to inspect your child’s toys for mold? Well, mold removal technicians in San Francisco recommend that you do so today. As your child plays with his or her toys, moisture can find its way via an opening. Since it is the norm to store toys away in a box after playtime, this provides the perfect environment for mold to grow. To protect your child, keep a close eye on your child’s toys.

Chimneys
If your chimney is not well capped off, snow, rain, leaves, and other organic materials can find their way in. Since the chimney is dark, cool and damp, mold can grow. At SERVPRO, we recommend that you cover the top. Afterward, call a chimney cleaner to get rid of all organic material.

Coffeemaker
If you have never taken the time to inspect the inside of your coffee maker, then do so. Mold could be lurking inside. To avoid consuming contaminated coffee, clean and dry your coffee maker every day.

Refrigerator drip pan
The drip pan collects condensation. Apart from moisture, food particles also collect inside. This provides a breeding ground for mold. To prevent mold growth, clean the drip pan after every 3 or 6 months. Use vinegar, warm water, and soap. After cleaning, allow the drip pan to dry completely.

Makeup
Your makeup also provides the perfect breeding ground for mold spores. If you detect a musty smell originating from your makeup, throw them out.

At SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos, we are specialists in mold removal. If you suspect your home has a mold infestation, do not attempt to remove it. Call our 24/7 emergency line at (650) 591-4137 and let us protect you, your family and your home.

Click here for more about San Francisco.

Half Moon Bay Customer Service

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Half Moon Bay Customer Service William Wheeler, customer service driven.

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

When there is flood damage, Who will you call?

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage When there is flood damage, Who will you call? 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.

WOW!! Swift Water Removal in San Francisco from Trained SERVPRO Technicians

10/3/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage WOW!! Swift Water Removal in San Francisco from Trained SERVPRO Technicians SERVPRO Says Call Our Trained Team for Water Damage Restoration in San Francisco

San Francisco Home "Rescued" from Water Damage by SERVPRO

Many homes in Northern California suffer from water damage caused by plumbing failures, appliance leaks, and not just from storm damage. Who to call? Here is a reason to call SERVPRO for a seamless water damage restoration.

Our local SERVPRO franchise takes pride in providing our customers who experience water damage in the San Francisco area, superior service, and for a reason. Our great success as a water damage cleanup and restoration company meant we needed more technicians to ensure a swift, efficient service for our customers. One of our Production Managers, Jose Medrano, deserves special kudos for training four new production technicians in the expert techniques we employ to mitigate water loss. He conducted on-going training sessions at our shop, utilizing the SERVPRO training manual, demonstrations of our warehoused industry-leading equipment, and our specially formulated cleaning and disinfecting products.

Now, take a look at the Photo to your right. This top-notch setup was constructed by Jose and his new and enthusiastic technicians only a week after training started. Clean water had leaked from an adjacent bathroom fixture and covered the tiled flooring and the baseboards. Since We're Faster To Any Size Disaster, our crew arrived within the hour to remove the pooling water and attempt to negate any potential water damage. After vacuuming out the visible water, the challenge of total moisture removal was next. The water had wicked into the trim wood, the wall sole-plates that anchor the wall studs, and the grout lines of the tiles. Here is where our expertise and pride in workmanship shine.

The perfection of this setup can be appreciated by those who work in the water restoration services. We are often copied but never duplicated. The plastic sheeting, secured with blue painter's tape, isolated the treatment surface from unaffected areas. The large LGR low grain dehumidifier is working in concert with the yellow-hosed vacuum to draw moisture from the hard floor surface and the trim. The LGR is rigged with lay flat clear ducting to increase the evaporation rate and then condense the water vapor inside the holding pan. This assembled "rescue mat," was created by our new technicians. The low-profile heated air movers (three) directed a dry circulation of air at the baseboards and sole-plates to enhance the drying rate of the moisture components.

Mission accomplished. Training matters, and our rookies, under excellent guidance and coaching from Jose, knocked it out of the park. Why call another company when you can receive fast service and salvage your home and possessions, "Like it never even happened." Contact SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos for 24/7 emergency service. (650) 591-4137

Here is a beautiful city with plenty of history.

Indoor Office Air

10/2/2018 (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.

Is today the day for a disaster?

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Is today the day for a disaster? Flooding can close an office and bring business to a stop.

There is never a good time to experience a property disaster.

Providing emergency property damage services for commercial establishments is one of the main services we provide at SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos.

Water damage/flooding events are the most common disaster at offices and other commercial properties. Fire is second, followed by autos crashing into structures, falling trees, vandalism and others.

There are many restoration companies that are prepared to dry a wet building, only a few companies are equipped to help keep a company open or return them quickly to operation. It’s the business interruption solution services that can make the most difference to business survival. Insurance can pay to restore the business and in some cases even cover lost revenue. However, if a building remains closed so long that customers go elsewhere, then the “damage” is really more devastating than the structural repair.

SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos understands how to dry a wet structure. We can also help with electronics, office equipment, manufacturing equipment and the other parts of a business that might be impacted. Our team can set up electrical power generators and lighting. We will place storage pods and tents at a job site along with security so that temporary workstations can be set up.

If you experience a serious disaster at you office or facility call us at 650-591-4137.

Free Learning Opportunities

10/2/2018 (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.

San Leandro Safety Days

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Community San Leandro Safety Days SERVPRO team at our safety booth.

SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos employees participated with sister branch employees from Stockton and San Leandro on Saturday, July 8. SERVPRO participated in the fun and popular San Leandro community event put on by the San Leandro Police Department, United 4 Safety. This annual summer fair takes place outside and around the San Leandro Police Headquarters. On a beautiful Saturday morning and early afternoon, dozens of canopied booths were there to greet folks from all throughout the community. Parents, grandparents, children of all ages wound their way through the whole fair sampling the delicious food, visiting the tremendously cute shelter dogs waiting to be adopted, and of course, the SERVPRO table and tent! SERVPRO is part of the United 4 Safety fair every year and we’re part of the community, working closely with the local Police and Fire Departments to immediately step in and complete the cleanup and recovery process when a disaster happens. Whatever happens, SERVPRO is there!  We are frequently out in the community participating in events like United 4 Safety, out talking with folks, supporting the local Police and Firefighters, letting everyone know we’re here to help and will step in quickly to get your life back to normal after a disaster. SERVPRO. "Like it never even happened."

Water Damage Service in Foster City

10/2/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Service in Foster City Image show "flood cuts" to a wall that got wet.

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

Oh no. WE HAVE MOLD!

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Oh no. WE HAVE 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 clean up 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

10/1/2018 (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 Damage in Belmont is Restored By SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos.

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Commercial Fire Damage in Belmont is Restored By SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos. A fire at a commercial establishment can be costly.

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

Ewwwwwww. Bed Bugs.

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning Ewwwwwww. Bed Bugs. 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.

Storage needed? We can handle that.

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Building Services Storage needed? We can handle that. 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.

Water Damage

10/1/2018 (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.

I need carpet cleaning. But what kind?

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Cleaning I need carpet cleaning. But what kind? Basic hot water extraction also called steam carpet cleaning.

By Clayton A. Barry, Partner SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos

I’m a second-generation carpet cleaner. My father owned an area rug and wall-to-wall carpet cleaning company that was established in the early 1950’s. As a little boy I hung around my dad’s shop on Saturdays. When I got a bit older, I would go there after school to learn how to clean the fringes on Persian rugs. 

My family moved to San Mateo in 1968 and two years later we moved to Foster City. Since then, during my working lifetime I have seen the evolution of on-location carpet cleaning (and location water damage mitigation). 

I know there is confusion about which cleaning system is best, shampoo, steam or dry cleaning? I can help you understand the difference between the various carpet cleaning systems.

Today, there are actually five types of on-location carpet cleaning in use for wall-to-wall carpets. This article will not address area rug (Oriental rug) cleaning. Instead, I will discuss the different, “modern” cleaning methods for wall-to-wall carpet cleaning. This material will be presented in the chronological order in which the cleaning methods were introduced to the consumer: Shampoo, Hot Water Extraction, Dry Methods, Bonnet and Encapsulation.

Please understand that each of these methods of cleaning will do a reasonably good job as long as a trained professional properly performs the work. Where does this training come from?

In the United States, the carpet cleaning industry is primarily educated by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC). This leading institute has a governing board that is comprised of members from the carpet manufacturing industry, installation industry, cleaning chemical and cleaning equipment manufacturers, scientists and health professionals. Even government agencies such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are represented. There are other trade associations such as the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) that also provide education for carpet cleaners. All of these associations have evolved along with the carpet industry. As the physical content of carpet fibers and carpet construction techniques have changed, the associated industries have modified their cleaning agents as well as equipment and products to stay current. Lets examine some of this history.

1930’s: In the very early days of wall-to-wall carpet installation, wool was the principle fiber used for the face yarn. Jute or hemp fibers were often used in the construction of carpet backings. In that era, carpet pads were usually made from horsehair (felt). Shampoo cleaning was the most appropriate method for cleaning those carpets. Shampoo cleaning did not have to use a lot of water. This was critical because a serious over wetting during cleaning often ruined those carpets by causing materials to shrink and dye colors to bleed. 

1950’s / 1960’s: After the Second World War, our population exploded.  The resulting housing construction boom called for more wall-to-wall carpets than ever. This demand outstripped wool production. Kodak, DuPont and Allied Fibers introduced synthetic (plastic) fibers along with new carpet backings that were virtually waterproof. The backing materials and underlayment (pads) evolved. By the end of the 1960’s, during the transition from natural to synthetic fibers, steam cleaning (today called hot water damage) became the preferred method. Carpets were being manufactured to withstand more moisture. Cleaning equipment manufacturers developed synchronized high-pressure water sprayers and powerful extraction vacuums to clean these manmade materials.  Finally “steam” carpet cleaners could use pressurized water to flush and rinse the dirt and cleaning agents away.

It was during the transition era of wool carpets to synthetics that the first “dry” systems of carpet cleaning were developed. A highly successful franchise was built upon the ingenious use of corncobs being ground into a spongy powder that was saturated with dry-cleaning solvents to be spread across carpet surfaces to absorb soils. The spongy bits of corncob fiber were brushed into the fibers to adsorb soils.  When the little bits of spongy corn cob dried they could be vacuumed away.  However, these and other dry methods didn’t make much of an impact on carpet cleaning until the 1970’s as you will discover next.

1970’s: Unfortunately, when water extraction cleaning is not performed properly, carpets can become or remain over-wetted. Synthetic fibers won’t shrink, but the adhesives that hold the carpet layers together can delaminate. Wet carpets can also cause water damage to furniture. Molds may develop and sour smelling air often permeates the indoor environment. These kinds of negative experiences happened when low priced, portable cleaning equipment became readily available to the public.  Unfortunately, the do-it-your-self crowd wetted and damaged a lot of carpeting. There was also a wave of “part time and weekend cleaning companies” without advanced training who gave a bad reputation to steam cleaning in general. This opened the door for a new batch of “dry” carpet cleaning companies. In fact, aggressive franchises advertised the advantages of “space age chemical technology” that could solve or prevent the over-wetting problems caused by “steam” cleaning. Dry cleaning methods used minimal moisture and they did an excellent job of surface cleaning. Carpets were dry and ready for use in just a couple of hours.

Advertising savvy dry carpet cleaners made a strong argument. However, as time went by, the public became aware that dry cleaning systems left a great deal of chemical residue in the carpets. The public noticed that high levels of cleaning chemical residue caused fibers to rapidly re-soil. Concerns arose over indoor air quality. During the next three decades steam and dry cleaners battled each other for public acceptance.

1990’s: Bonnet cleaning became a meaningful “comprise” method of cleaning. Let me explain what I mean by “compromise”. Shampoo carpet cleaners always reasoned that their system gently scrubbed and agitated the fibers. Scrubbing action is a good cleaning feature. Steam (hot water extraction) advocates spoke about the benefits of heat and the rinsing action that their water based system provides. Heat has proven to activate cleaning agents. Rinsing removes residues. Dry cleaners promoted the benefits of advanced chemistry… low moisture and rapid drying. Each system of carpet cleaning offers distinct advantages. However, bonnet style carpet cleaners believe their system combines the best parts of the other cleaning systems. Let me explain.

Bonnet cleaning utilizes thick, cotton pads that are dampened with water combined with various cleaning agents. These pads are fitted onto shampoo cleaning machines. The prepared pad is methodically worked across the surface of the carpet to gently agitate the fibers and to loosen the soil. With skillful operation, bonnet cleaning will provide more than just surface action. It can provide a deep cleaning. As soon as an area of carpet has been treated, the cleaning pad is removed and replaced with a clean, dry cotton pad, which is spun over the surface of the damp carpet to adsorb the moisture (and soils) from the fibers. The carpet is left fairly dry and ready for use within thirty minutes to a couple of hours. 

By the way, dry bonnet pads can be utilized in another way.  A dry bonnet pad can be spun over the surface of damp carpeting that has just been wet cleaned by, either, shampoo or hot-water extraction methods to provide an additional measure of extraction. Doing so will accelerate overall drying. While bonnet cleaning seems to be a versatile, effective, popular carpet cleaning system, cleaning technology is constantly evolving and changing.

2000’s: Recently, the IICRC has endorsed the encapsulation method. Today, many of the leading manufacturers are promoting “encapsulation” as the latest advancement. Some encapsulation systems use a new design of rotary brush to apply the cleaning agent and agitate the fibers. However, the more dramatic advancements are in the area of chemistry. Revolutionary polymer encapsulation cleaning agents blended together are able to target different soils in one application, capture these soils and, then, dry (cure) them into tiny crystals to be vacuumed away.

The science of encapsulation has become so popular among carpet cleaners that some of the chemical manufacturers are now making their liquid cleaners for use with bonnet machines and even for use with hot water extraction equipment. There are still old timers who are performing shampoo carpet cleaning… and some of the “encapsulation chemical companies” are making encapsulating shampoo just for them.

Let’s distill all this information down to practical application. What is the best carpet cleaning system for someone who owns or manages investment property? My best advice is to focus on finding the right company. My criteria for the right company would be:
1.    Choose someone who is certified with the IICRC, 
2.    Someone who uses more than one cleaning technique, especially a combination of hot-water extraction and the latest bonnet-encapsulation.

There will be circumstances that demand both disciplines. For a greasy spill, hot-water combined with powerful vacuum extraction may be the most effective and inexpensive way to remove the majority of the source material. Then, if required, a bonnet method can also be used to provide further “extraction” drying. There will be other situations in which quick turnaround of rental property is required, a bonnet encapsulation method is a great answer. 

When it comes to maintaining carpeting, it’s not just the overall cleaning method that has to be considered. Specialty spot cleaning and deodorization skills must be part of a professional carpet cleaner’s offering. When it comes to spots and spills, there is no one carpet cleaning method or “miracle cleaning agent” that does it all. Wine spills, candle wax drippings, blood, pet urine and chewing gum blobs happen, and their successful removal requires special treatments, advanced skills and experience.

Find a carpet cleaner you feel comfortable with, one who has experience, shows up on time, charges a reasonable price, and is able to enhance a carpet’s appearance. If he practices two systems of carpet cleaning, not just one system, that could be a real advantage.

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos would be pleased to provide carpet cleaning for your residence or commercial facility.

Clayton Barry is a second-generation cleaning expert. He is a partner in one of the largest SERVPRO franchise operations in America, SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos and licensed territory also includes Foster City and Redwood Shores.

FAST Response

10/1/2018 (Permalink)

Building Services FAST Response Property disaster recovery at multi-unit buildings is our specialty.

One of our specialties in the property damage restoration business is to serve multi-unit housing structures such as apartment buildings and condominium complexes.

The owners of our company began their restoration work back in the 1990's by specializing in work at apartment and condo buildings in Foster City, Redwood City and San Mateo.

Today, these types of jobs are among the largest that we do. There can be challenging too. It's important that response to a property damage emergency be prompt because delay will allow the water or smoke contamination to spread from resident unit to unit. This is especially important with multi-unit and multi-floor buildings. 

Working in multi-unit buildings can be a challenge because more than one insurance policy may be impacted. 

At SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos we will be there for our apartment and condominium clients.

SERVPRO's Guide To Comprehensive Flood Damage Mitigation Services In San Francisco

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage SERVPRO's Guide To Comprehensive Flood Damage Mitigation Services In San Francisco Recovering after a flooding event takes time, but SERVPRO works as quickly as possible to mitigate the damage.

When Flood Damage Ruins Your San Francisco Home, You Need Comprehensive Mitigation Services

Flooding from severe weather pushes more than water into your home. Mud, garbage, sand, chemicals, and worse all get washed in with the water when areas in San Francisco become flooded. Responding afterward to the mess and getting it cleaned up can protect your home from continued damages.

We help homeowners in San Francisco cope with the aftermath of flood damage, and during September, we recommend all residents take part in National Preparedness Month. Flooding is only one of many disasters that can affect families and businesses. While being prepared cannot prevent all tragedies from happening, the safety tips learned can help reduce any harm your family suffers.

Recovering after a flooding event takes time, but SERVPRO works as quickly as possible to mitigate the damage and leave your residence not only “Like it never even happened” but also protected against related problems. Instead of merely exchanging wet drywall and other materials for new, we air the interior of your property out until it reaches normal moisture content levels again. Only then do we bring new materials into your home. We use moisture meters to determine when we reach our goal in this and other aspects of your home's restoration.

The floor under your carpet can harbor many various types of debris. Food particles, other organic matter, soil from outside, and much more filter through carpeting and into cracks in flooring. Before installing new carpeting, we remove this debris. Without it, any microbes have less to consume. Removing the debris also removes any traces of moisture that it may have absorbed. Floors that have concrete underneath might require the removal of some wooden pieces to permit us to dry out the concrete underneath, as well as prevent buckling due to a lack of space caused by swelling.

Cleaning and sanitizing your belongings that either fell to the floor or were below the flood lines helps restore the majority of belongings affected. Because SERVPRO looks at you as a partner in the restoration of your home, we discuss such issues with you before disposing of anything found in your home. It is imperative to us that you are satisfied with our work and how your house's mitigation and restoration turns out. We're here to listen to all your concerns and help guide you in any way possible.

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos wants to help families get back to normal after flood damage. Call us at our 24-hour emergency services line, (650) 591-4137, so we can begin helping you make your home safe, dry, and beautiful again.

Click here for more about San Francisco.

Use Tips Provided by SERVPRO to Prevent Water Damage at Your San Francisco Care Facility

9/22/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Use Tips Provided by SERVPRO to Prevent Water Damage at Your San Francisco Care Facility Having a constant washing machine leak at your facility can lead to water damage over time. Call SERVPRO to remediate the damage.

Appliances Using Water can Cause Commercial Water Damage in Care Facilities in San Francisco

Providing care to residents in a care facility in San Francisco requires you to address all areas of daily life – meals, clothing, bedding, medicines, personal hygiene, and several others. Ensuring that your facility's employees meet all of the residents' daily needs requires the constant use of appliances.

If one of the machines sustains a leak in a feed or drain line in your facility, your building can suffer commercial water damage in San Francisco. With rotating shifts, important details about malfunctioning appliances can get lost, letting leaks grow in size. SERVPRO technicians are always ready to respond to such situations and get things back under control.

Although major leaks require a call to a certified plumber, we can repair minor ones. Cleaning up the area of water from floors happens quickly, and then we begin measuring the water vapor in the air and how much moisture entered absorbent materials. Often, we find secondary water damage during these inspections, and we hold IICRC-certifications in these areas, also.

Working in a residential setting mitigating water damage can create noise that disturbs some individuals. We want to assure you that we understand this and can work with you to minimize this as much as possible. We adjust our work to match your needs, especially when residents' rooms and the affected area are close to each other.

Some of our activities produce odors, such as fresh paint or cleaning chemicals. If these odors might impact a resident, we ask that you inform us as soon as possible. We want to provide mitigation services in a manner while refraining from causing any discomfort but we need your input on this if it is a possibility.

Either of these might require moving residents to other areas, but we leave this decision to you and your staff. Our goal is to make everything “Like it never even happened.” and in the shortest amount of time possible. To help prevent similar incidents in the future, we can check if any other appliances give off readings of elevated moisture. Some leaks are located internally instead of along a hose where you can easily view it.

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos wants to help you provide the highest level of care to your residents, and mitigation of water damage gets your facility back to a healthy, safe condition. Call us at (650) 591-4137, and we can explain how we can help you achieve this.

Click here for more about in San Francisco.

M O L D

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation M O L D Microscopic image of Mold

At SERVPRO of Belmont and San Carlos we have received late night calls about mold on our 24 hour emergency telephone line.

The phone line has been set up for calls about water and fire events that require immediate response. Mold is not an emergency. It takes weeks or months for mold to develop and it does not justify a late night call. However, we discuss subject to highlight how having mold in a home is an emotional experience for many persons.

Mold is also blamed for being the source of all sorts of illnesses, even things that are caused by bacteria and viruses. Yes there are many urban myths and unwarranted fears about mold. It is a modern day villain.

This doesn't mean you should ignore mold in your home or workplace. Mold in an indoor environment is always an unwanted guest. Call SERVPRO of Belmont San Carlos at 650-591-4137 for balanced advice and help concerning mold. 

5 Types of Carpet Cleaning

7/30/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 5 Types of Carpet Cleaning Steam Cleaning

By Clay Barry

I’m a second-generation carpet cleaner. My father owned an area rug and wall-to-wall carpet cleaning company that was established in the early 1950’s. As a little boy I hung around my dad’s shop on Saturdays. When I got a bit older, I would go there after school to learn how to clean the fringes on Persian rugs. 

My family moved to San Mateo in 1968 and two years later we moved to Foster City. Since then, during my working lifetime I have seen the evolution of on-location carpet cleaning (and location water damage mitigation). 

I know there is confusion about which cleaning system is best, shampoo, steam or dry cleaning? I can help you understand the difference between the various carpet cleaning systems.

Today, there are actually five types of on-location carpet cleaning in use for wall-to-wall carpets. This article will not address area rug (Oriental rug) cleaning. Instead, I will discuss the different, “modern” cleaning methods for wall-to-wall carpet cleaning. This material will be presented in the chronological order in which the cleaning methods were introduced to the consumer: Shampoo, Hot Water Extraction, Dry Methods, Bonnet and Encapsulation.

Please understand that each of these methods of cleaning will do a reasonably good job as long as a trained professional properly performs the work. Where does this training come from?

In the United States, the carpet cleaning industry is primarily educated by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification IICRC. This leading institute has a governing board that is comprised of members from the carpet manufacturing industry, installation industry, cleaning chemical and cleaning equipment manufacturers, scientists and health professionals. Even government agencies such as the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are represented. There are other trade associations such as the Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) that also provide education for carpet cleaners. All of these associations have evolved along with the carpet industry. As the physical content of carpet fibers and carpet construction techniques have changed, the associated industries have modified their cleaning agents as well as equipment and products to stay current. Lets examine some of this history.

1930’s: In the very early days of wall-to-wall carpet installation, wool was the principle fiber used for the face yarn. Jute or hemp fibers were often used in the construction of carpet backings. In that era, carpet pads were usually made from horsehair (felt). Shampoo cleaning was the most appropriate method for cleaning those carpets. Shampoo cleaning did not have to use a lot of water. This was critical because a serious over wetting during cleaning often ruined those carpets by causing materials to shrink and dye colors to bleed. 

1950’s / 1960’s: After the Second World War, our population exploded.  The resulting housing construction boom called for more wall-to-wall carpets than ever. This demand outstripped wool production. Kodak, DuPont and Allied Fibers introduced synthetic (plastic) fibers along with new carpet backings that were virtually waterproof. The backing materials and underlayment (pads) evolved. By the end of the 1960’s, during the transition from natural to synthetic fibers, steam cleaning (today called hot water damage) became the preferred method. Carpets were being manufactured to withstand more moisture. Cleaning equipment manufacturers developed synchronized high-pressure water sprayers and powerful extraction vacuums to clean these manmade materials.  Finally “steam” carpet cleaners could use pressurized water to flush and rinse the dirt and cleaning agents away.

It was during the transition era of wool carpets to synthetics that the first “dry” systems of carpet cleaning were developed. A highly successful franchise was built upon the ingenious use of corncobs being ground into a spongy powder that was saturated with dry-cleaning solvents to be spread across carpet surfaces to absorb soils. The spongy bits of corncob fiber were brushed into the fibers to adsorb soils.  When the little bits of spongy corn cob dried they could be vacuumed away.  However, these and other dry methods didn’t make much of an impact on carpet cleaning until the 1970’s as you will discover next.

1970’s: Unfortunately, when water extraction cleaning is not performed properly, carpets can become or remain over-wetted. Synthetic fibers won’t shrink, but the adhesives that hold the carpet layers together can delaminate. Wet carpets can also cause water damage to furniture. Molds may develop and sour smelling air often permeates the indoor environment. These kinds of negative experiences happened when low priced, portable cleaning equipment became readily available to the public.  Unfortunately, the do-it-your-self crowd wetted and damaged a lot of carpeting. There was also a wave of “part time and weekend cleaning companies” without advanced training who gave a bad reputation to steam cleaning in general. This opened the door for a new batch of “dry” carpet cleaning companies. In fact, aggressive franchises advertised the advantages of “space age chemical technology” that could solve or prevent the over-wetting problems caused by “steam” cleaning. Dry cleaning methods used minimal moisture and they did an excellent job of surface cleaning. Carpets were dry and ready for use in just a couple of hours.

Advertising savvy dry carpet cleaners made a strong argument. However, as time went by, the public became aware that dry cleaning systems left a great deal of chemical residue in the carpets. The public noticed that high levels of cleaning chemical residue caused fibers to rapidly re-soil. Concerns arose over indoor air quality. During the next three decades steam and dry cleaners battled each other for public acceptance.

1990’s: Bonnet cleaning became a meaningful “comprise” method of cleaning. Let me explain what I mean by “compromise”. Shampoo carpet cleaners always reasoned that their system gently scrubbed and agitated the fibers. Scrubbing action is a good cleaning feature. Steam (hot water extraction) advocates spoke about the benefits of heat and the rinsing action that their water based system provides. Heat has proven to activate cleaning agents. Rinsing removes residues. Dry cleaners promoted the benefits of advanced chemistry… low moisture and rapid drying. Each system of carpet cleaning offers distinct advantages. However, bonnet style carpet cleaners believe their system combines the best parts of the other cleaning systems. Let me explain.

Bonnet cleaning utilizes thick, cotton pads that are dampened with water combined with various cleaning agents. These pads are fitted onto shampoo cleaning machines. The prepared pad is methodically worked across the surface of the carpet to gently agitate the fibers and to loosen the soil. With skillful operation, bonnet cleaning will provide more than just surface action. It can provide a deep cleaning. As soon as an area of carpet has been treated, the cleaning pad is removed and replaced with a clean, dry cotton pad, which is spun over the surface of the damp carpet to adsorb the moisture (and soils) from the fibers. The carpet is left fairly dry and ready for use within thirty minutes to a couple of hours. 

By the way, dry bonnet pads can be utilized in another way.  A dry bonnet pad can be spun over the surface of damp carpeting that has just been wet cleaned by, either, shampoo or hot-water extraction methods to provide an additional measure of extraction. Doing so will accelerate overall drying. While bonnet cleaning seems to be a versatile, effective, popular carpet cleaning system, cleaning technology is constantly evolving and changing.

2000’s: Recently, the IICRC has endorsed the encapsulation method. Today, many of the leading manufacturers are promoting “encapsulation” as the latest advancement. Some encapsulation systems use a new design of rotary brush to apply the cleaning agent and agitate the fibers. However, the more dramatic advancements are in the area of chemistry. Revolutionary polymer encapsulation cleaning agents blended together are able to target different soils in one application, capture these soils and, then, dry (cure) them into tiny crystals to be vacuumed away.

The science of encapsulation has become so popular among carpet cleaners that some of the chemical manufacturers are now making their liquid cleaners for use with bonnet machines and even for use with hot water extraction equipment. There are still old timers who are performing shampoo carpet cleaning… and some of the “encapsulation chemical companies” are making encapsulating shampoo just for them.

Let’s distill all this information down to practical application. What is the best carpet cleaning system for someone who owns or manages investment property? My best advice is to focus on finding the right company. My criteria for the right company would be:
1.    Choose someone who is certified with the IICRC, 
2.    Someone who uses more than one cleaning technique, especially a combination of hot-water extraction and the latest bonnet-encapsulation.

There will be circumstances that demand both disciplines. For a greasy spill, hot-water combined with powerful vacuum extraction may be the most effective and inexpensive way to remove the majority of the source material. Then, if required, a bonnet method can also be used to provide further “extraction” drying. There will be other situations in which quick turnaround of rental property is required, a bonnet encapsulation method is a great answer. 

When it comes to maintaining carpeting, it’s not just the overall cleaning method that has to be considered. Specialty spot cleaning and deodorization skills must be part of a professional carpet cleaner’s offering. When it comes to spots and spills, there is no one carpet cleaning method or “miracle cleaning agent” that does it all. Wine spills, candle wax drippings, blood, pet urine and chewing gum blobs happen, and their successful removal requires special treatments, advanced skills and experience.

Find a carpet cleaner you feel comfortable with, one who has experience, shows up on time, charges a reasonable price, and is able to enhance a carpet’s appearance. If he practices two systems of carpet cleaning, not just one system, that could be a real advantage.

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos would be pleased to provide carpet cleaning for your residence or commercial facility.

Clayton Barry is a second-generation cleaning expert. He is a partner in one of the largest SERVPRO franchise operations in America, SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos and licensed territory also includes Foster City and Redwood Shores.

San Carlos Mold Damage

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation San Carlos Mold Damage Mold patch

In the San Carlos hills, mold is a common concern among local homeowners, and mold growth can quickly consume a region behind walls or in dark corners. Mold is often difficult to detect, and by the time it is obviously present, significant damage can already have resulted in the home. This article outlines how mold damage occurs, what can result from it, and what must be done to remove it. 

How Mold Damage Occurs
Mold damage most commonly results from a water leak or some other form of water damage. Even after the leak is fixed and the water appears dried, more can still be inside of wood or fabric, promoting mold growth. It should be noted that mold also typically requires an organic surface to grow on, such as wood or fabric. There is no way to stop mold from forming in these damp regions, at least initially. Mold patches form from airborne spores, of which you likely breathe in and encounter thousands of every day. If the conditions are right, one spore can eventually lead to exponential growth into a full colony. Thus, the only real way to prevent mold growth is to avoid water and moisture problems and fully dry out materials after any leaks have been fixed. 

What Mold Damage Does
Mold often forms into large patches, which can grow to sometimes be several feet or larger in diameter. Some types of mold may also emit a strong musty odor when in high enough quantities, allowing for easier detection. However, if you can smell mold in your home, this may be cause for significant alarm as some molds may cause adverse health effects, especially if they are in large enough colonies to emit odors. Mold can chew through organic materials such as wood, causing permanent structural damage to your home. Additionally, its potential ill health effects make mold a silent but highly dangerous force acting upon your home. If a mold colony gets enough out of hand, 

your home may be condemned for safety concerns. Thus, one should always work to stop mold as soon as possible. 

What is Done About Mold
Mold remediation typically involves a company like SERVPRO coming to your home to do full-time work. You may potentially need to live elsewhere during remediation. Technicians will first identify the source and spread of the mold, then begin a process of air filtration and drying to help stop further growth. Damaged materials are then removed from the home and replaced, and everything potentially exposed to the mold and its spores is given a thorough scrubbing. Depending on the damage, final repairs and restorations may be made to any damaged regions. 

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos is a locally owned and operated business and has had experience with dozens of mold removal and remediation projects in the past. If you require professional services or assistance with residential mold growth, call us at (650) 591-4137.

Restoring Your Property Back to Safety

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Restoring Your Property Back to Safety Fire Damaged Home

House fires are one of the most stressful and frustrating experiences that a homeowner can endure. In addition to engendering substantive financial losses, house fires can pose several health and safety risks about which owners must be cautious. Because house fires can result in the loss of valuable property while also endangering the family's livelihood, it's no surprise that many homeowners experience profound emotional trauma during this time. To ensure that you can maintain your equilibrium and move forward, it's a good idea to obtain SERVPRO to help you. Learn more about how restoration companies can assist you by reading the short outline provided below:

Assessing Your Home’s Damage
In general, the first thing a professional restoration company will do when you call is to come to your property and complete an assessment. The assessment is designed to determine how much damage has been done to your home. During the assessment, SERVPRO specialists will inspect your entire home to decide what tools they'll need to clean and restore it effectively. The assessment will also help the specialists determine how long the restoration process will take and what the repair fees will be. Finally, the assessment will help the fire damage specialists determines whether the property is safe enough to start the cleanup and repair processes.

Cleaning, Repairing, and Restoring Your Home
Once the Fire Department specialists ensure that your home can be entered, they will start the cleanup process. Drying your home is at the top of the to-do list because it can help prevent the onset of mold and mildew accumulation. Mold and mildew thrive in moist environments, so exacting the drying process as quickly as possible is quite important. In addition to reducing the risk of mold accumulation, the specialists will use specific tools to remove ash, soot, and standing water from the premises. They will also carefully inspect the structure of your home and make any repairs necessary to ensure that the foundation remains safe and stable. The length of time the cleanup and repair process will take is ultimately contingent upon the extent of damage done to your home.

Conclusion
If your home has been subjected to a fire you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed at all of the work needed to restore your property. You don't have to worry. By contacting a team of professional fire damage specialists, you can get your property back in excellent condition. As a team of trained specialists who work with skill and speed to remediate your home, the SERVPRO crew is your first choice when you start searching for the ideal restoration services. Contact us now to obtain the professional, personalized services you need and deserve.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

We live and work in this community too; we might even be neighbors. As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos is close by and ready to respond to your smoke or fire damage emergency. We are proud to be an active member of the Belmont community and want to do our part to make our community the best it can be. 

Our expertise in fire damage is extensive. SERVPRO utilizes IICRC training as part of our on-going education to stay ahead of the curve. Call us for help. (650) 591-4137

Putting A Boat Back on The Water

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Putting A Boat Back on The Water Fifty-One foot Boat

One of the most interesting and unique cleaning jobs our company performed was aboard a commercial salmon fishing boat. Our technicians cleaned up the contamination of an oily soot fire that started in the engine room.

The fifty-one foot fishing trawler also had significant soot contamination throughout its galley, sleeping berths and wheelhouse.

The fire occurred while the boat was “on the hard” which means while it was on the ground in a boatyard. The “chandlery” (boat repair company) caused the damage while they were performing routine repairs and service. The chandlery was responsible for the costs of cleanup. Our SERVPRO of Belmont /San Carlos technicians washed the interior surfaces from stem to stern…. Sorry for the pun. Our textile service provider, FRSTeam helped with the clothing and bedding that was onboard. Together, we had the boat cleaned and odor free in three days. The original engine repairs and the additional fixes to mend the damage caused by fire were completed in a timely fashion by the boatyard.

The captain was able to take her out on the first day of salmon season. Whether it’s removing a severe odor problem or cleaning carpets and floors, you can rely on the team At SERVPRO to make your boat, home or business look its very best. Call us at 510-785-0497 and we’ll get you back on the water again

Ozone Treatment

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Ozone is a colorless and odorless reactive gas. It is comprised of three oxygen atoms and is found naturally in the earth's stratosphere, where it absorbs the ultraviolet component of incoming solar radiation that could be harmful to life on earth. Ozone is a powerful oxidant (far more so than dioxygen) and it has many industrial and consumer applications related to oxidation, mostly in the cleaning of products. Perhaps you have seen television advertisements about the power of oxidation. This same high oxidizing potential, however, causes ozone to damage mucous and respiratory tissues in people and also tissues in plants, above concentrations of about 100 ppb. This makes ozone a potent respiratory hazard and pollutant near ground level.

The restoration industry learned how to apply the oxidant powers of Ozone to clean and deodorize, especially building that stink from smoke and soot. Portable Ozone generators can be installed in unoccupied locations to clean the air and remove odor. Ozone generators are also used to remove tobacco odor and the overpowering odor of death.

It is important that whenever a restoration company installs an Ozone machine that the room is sealed, warning signs are posted and there are no open flames such as in a gas powered hot-water heater. Ozone should not be used in a wet environment because compound chemicals can be produced that are bleaching agents. At SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos we take the use of Ozone safety seriously.

Water Extraction

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Extraction The first step to recovery.

When SERVPRO technicians arrive on site at a water flooded office or home the first task is to identify all of the affected areas. Then the crew begins to extract the standing water.

If the water is badly contaminated the carpets and flooring may need to be removed. Our team still has to extract the excess water to make the material removal easier.

When the water is classified as "clean" we are able to extract and then install drying equipment to save the flooring material.

There are several extraction methods available. The photo shows a carpet cleaning wand being used to vacuum water from a glue down carpet. (There is no carpet cushion under the carpet). 

In other situations, especially when there is a carpet cushion our technicians would use a weighted extractor. This is a heavy extraction tool that the operator stands on to apply more pressure to squeeze as much water from the carpet and pad as possible.

We have learned that the more water that is removed from the material, the faster the carpet will dry after the fans and dehumidifiers are installed. Our goal is to have the area dry in three days.

Hail, Storms, & Damages

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Hail, Storms, & Damages Heavy hail aftermath

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.

Spider Webs?

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Spider Webs? Soot Tags

We recently responded to a house fire in Woodside, California.

The fire department had to cut electrical service to the home. Without a light source, the homeowner was unable to survey the damage. After we arrived to do an initial walkthrough, equipped with our flashlights, the homeowner began to notice very dark "spider webs" on the walls.  She said that she was disappointed with the quality of her house keeper's work. We smiled and explained that the "spider webs" are actually known as "soot tags".

As smoke/soot circulates through a home during a fire, the heat will move towards cold areas as the air seeks equilibrium within its environment. In areas of lower circulation, the soot will form what is known as "soot tags". Soot tags form when synthetic/petroleum based sources burn. It also has a lot to do with the Ion charge (static electricity) in the air.

Customers frequently mistake the soot tags as smoke that has attached itself to spider webs that were present during the fire. In fact, they are new unique chains of soot that look a lot like smoke covered spider webs.

Strange Fire in Atherton

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Strange Fire in Atherton Have you ever heard of something this bizarre?

How many of us would like to have a crystal ball? Well, one homeowner in Atherton had a crystal ball, and it turned out to be not so lucky, nor an accurate predictor of the future.  Their small crystal ball was an attractive decoration and an interesting conversation piece. It was placed on the wide windowsill of a gorgeous bay window in the formal living room of an Atherton mansion. At a certain time, each day the crystal ball caught sunbeams reflecting the dramatic prismatic colors into the room. As the seasons changed so did the angle and intensity of the sunlight until one day the reflected sunbeams from the crystal ball focused on the nearby crushed velvet draperies.  Yes... the draperies caught fire. The fabric, wall and ceiling were badly scorched causing smoke to contaminate a stairwell and the upper hallway with soot. Luckily, a maid service was working in the house. One maid called the fire department as the other maid used a garden hose to extinguish the flames. Our SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos franchise was hired to clean up the damage. This was one of the most unusual origins of a fire we have experienced. The crystal ball was not damaged, but it was never placed in the direct path of sunlight again. However, it does remain a conversation piece with a notorious past.

SERVPRO's Professional Flood Damage Services

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage SERVPRO's Professional Flood Damage Services Flooding is always what you think, damages can vary in severity.

Contact Us When You Need Flood Damage Restoration

The aftereffects of flood damage in Foster City or other cities within our service area can be as costly and potentially deadly as the flood itself. If your home or business has been hit by local flash flooding following heavy rain  or has experienced burst water pipes or a sewage system backup, you know what an ugly, inconvenient mess it can be. If it's not addressed correctly and promptly, it can lead to your building being judged unsafe, and it could be condemned. To avoid the loss of property and the inconvenience this will cause, it's an excellent idea to contact a local cleanup and restoration service who can help you fix the situation.

We Can Address All Types of Flooding Damage
No matter what caused the flooding to your home or business, we are equipped to fix it. Our team of friendly, knowledgeable service technicians has been fully trained to identify and correct all known types of flooding damage. Our service team members have all of the necessary training and certifications to qualify them for the task of flood damage cleanup and restoration. Let us know the nature of the problem, and we will respond to your call immediately. We are available to help at anytime of the day or night.

If the flood damage occurred to your home, you and your family are likewise experiencing the discomfort and expense of having to stay elsewhere. For these reasons, it's best to immediately call a local cleanup service that can restore your property back to its original condition.

What to Expect from an Initial Analysis of Flooding Damage
When you contact us regarding your flood damage emergency, we will respond to your call by performing a complete analysis of your property. We will go over every corner of the building to make sure that water is not pooling in nooks and crannies, leading to structural instability and mold growth. The most important part of any major cleanup and restoration project is to ensure that the potential for further damage down the line is completely avoided. To do this, we will give you a complete diagnosis of the damage, followed by an estimate of the cost involved to address it.

Restoring the Effects of Flood Damage in Foster City
When it comes to addressing the harmful effects of flood damage in Foster City, it will require the urgent attention of a properly qualified and experienced cleanup and restoration team. SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos is a locally owned and operated service that can do the job for you promptly. We can also serve citizens in nearby areas including Redwood Shores, Half Moon Bay, Pacifica, and Burlingame. Call us at (650) 591-4137.

Food for Mold

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Food for Mold The paper liner on gypsum wallboard is like baby food for mold.

Mold problems in modern buildings are often the result of tighter construction that doesn't let a building breathe. Tight buildings can keep moisture trapped inside. When indoor relative humidity reaches 60% RH or higher, mold can begin to grow. But mold requires food. In nature, in the outdoors, wood and leaf matter is the main source of food for mold.  In modern buildings that use gypsum plaster wallboards (Sheet Rock) the paper liner on each side of the wallboard provides the perfect food. Damp paper has been called "baby food for mold" for good reason. Paper is processed wood.  In some situations when small amounts of mold is on small portions of wallboard, cleaning (removing) the mold from the paper may work. However, in most situations portions of the wallboard will need to be removed and replaced. SERVPRO of Belmont/ San Carlos will do it right.

Air Quality

7/9/2018 (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.

Water Damage Heroes

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water Damage Heroes Any amount of unwanted water in a home is a disaster!

How Water Damage Restoration Companies Can Help You

Once water damage is in your home, it's important for you to obtain SERVPRO services. Restoration services are multi-faceted, they involve both cleaning excess water from your home and repairing regions of the house that have been subjected to substantive water damage. As water damage specialists know, it is important to start the cleanup and repair process right after the flood or fire to ensure that mold and mildew do not begin to accumulate on the property. Learn more about the helpful services that water damage restoration companies can offer by reading the following short reference guide: 

Water Damage Restoration Companies Remediate Your Property Quickly
One of the benefits that result from employing SERVPRO is that they complete the cleanup and repair processes quickly. Additionally, water damage restoration companies employ several staff members who can work with expedience and excellence. This group effort ensures that they can tackle a plethora of problems that have resulted from the accumulation of water damage in your home. The result is the rapid restoration of your home, a reality that can significantly reduce the onset of secondary water damage.


Water Damage Restoration Companies Limit Mold and Mildew Proliferation
Another great service provided by  restoration companies is the prevention of mold and mildew growth in your private living space. SERVPRO specialists accomplish this objective by removing excess water quickly so that the fungi do not have an opportunity to form and proliferate. If mold has already started to grow in your home, the restoration specialists can eliminate it through the use of cleaners and industrial-grade disinfectants. These cleaners will not put you and your family at risk. However, it is necessary to note that the presence of mold in your home can engender a plethora of health risks. For this reason, it's important to let a team of trained professionals handle your water damage issues rather than attempting to solve the problem on your own. In recognizing that water damage restoration companies can restore your home to its original condition, it's important to know that you can ask your insurance agent to give you a referral to the right company.


Let's Get Started Now 
Homes that have been subjected to water damage are in need of high quality remediation services. Once you start looking for a professional water damage company to assist you in restoring your home, you should look no further than SERVPRO. Our company is committed to consistently offering cutting edge, expedient remediation services that get your home back in great condition with lightning speed. For water damage restoration services that work, contact us today and let's get started.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos is strategically located to respond quickly to your water or flood damage event. When a major flooding event occurs, we can call upon our national network of 1,650 SERVPRO Franchises and special diaster recovery teams if we need additional resources or personnel.

We are proud to serve our local communities:

  • Our expertise in water restoration is extensive. We utilize IICRC training as part of our on-going education to stay ahead of the curve. Call us for help. (650) 591-4137

Belmont, CA - Water Damage Event

7/9/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Belmont, CA - Water Damage Event Water intrusion presents huge problem.

Severe thunderstorms and heavy rain can result in thousands of dollars of water damage to buildings and personal property quickly. Areas that are close to rivers, lakes, sewers or drain systems that are not equipped to handle large amounts of water can experience water damage to the structure of the businesses or personal property. Commercial water claims are the second most frequently filed losses for insurance in the United States.


Water Damage Caused by Gutters
Effective gutters should be cleaned and inspected several times a year. Since gutters are designed to collect the rain and runoff from a roof and carry it to the downspouts, if the gutter is clogged it cannot do its job. Overflowing gutters can cause damage to the roof or can spill over the edges causing commercial water damage to the structure of the building.


Maintaining Down Spouts
Along with the gutters, downspouts need to be properly maintained and cleaned. Since the downspouts are created to carry water away from the structure and foundation of the building, if they are not working properly will occur. The water needs to flow out into the yard or a drain field to keep it from seeping back into the home or building.


Using Sump Pumps
Basements that use sump pumps to remove excess water from around the building can help decrease the chances of rain water causing damage. Most sump pumps automatically begin pumping out water when it reaches a certain level. Making sure the sump pump is working correctly is essential. They should be inspected and routinely maintained so they can do the job when needed.


Rainwater problems can occur for a variety of reasons and can quickly cause damage to a building and contents. SERVPRO can come in and professionally clean up and dry out affected areas. Maintaining the roof, gutters, downspouts, and sump pumps can help ensure minimal water damage if there is a severe storm or drain systems overflow. If you ever need the skills of a water restoration company, SERVPRO can always help.

Locally Owned Company with National Resources

As a locally owned and operated business, SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos is strategically located to respond quickly to your water or flood damage event. When a major flooding event occurs, we can call upon our national network of 1,650 SERVPRO Franchises and special Disaster cleanup teams if we need additional resources or personnel.

We are proud to serve our local communities.

When your commercial property or home has water damage from leaks or flooding, we have the experience and expertise to help. Give us a call. (650) 591-4137

Ever heard of Thermal Fogging?

7/3/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Ever heard of Thermal Fogging? This solution and device kill heavy smoke odors.

The thermal fogging method of applying deodorants can be especially effective in treating odors caused by fire in a structure. As items are heated or burn, they may give off odors. Think about frying chicken or making French fries. The air is filled with cooking odors. Now, think about the smell of wood smoke at a campfire.

Campfire smoke can be very strong as the fire burns and the leftover ashes will have a lingering odor. The ashes usually won’t smell as bad as the larger leftover charred chunks of wood. That’s because the source wasn’t completely consumed and tiny odor particles are continuing to gas off.

When SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos cleans up a structure fire we have to remove the ashes and the sections of charred wood. That is a given. Our next concern in restoring a fire-damaged property is in addressing the smoke and soot contamination and the odor problem it creates. Soot with tiny odor particles can go everywhere. Because the hire of the fire is able to make the grains in wood and other surfaces such as paint to expand, the tiny odor particles can get trapped into the surface of these materials as they cool and shrink to normal size. This is where thermal fogging technology is useful.

A thermal fogging machine heats “oil that has been treated with odor counteractant ingredients.” The odor counteractant is transformed into a smoke that is laden with tiny odor killing particles. Because it’s “smoke” it will go into all of the same cracks and crevices the smoke from the fire went.  

An important principle of odor cleanup is to match the sources of the odor. For example if the odor-causing source was wet, then a wet cleaning agent should be applied. When the odor-causing source was smoke, then a “smoke” treatment with matching additives can be applied. Allow us to explain. Smoke from a fire may contain specific additives. For example, it may be a grease fire, or a plastic fire. Whatever burned will have an effect on the lingering odor. There are specific cleaning treatments to match the fire source. There are special additives to attack each type of smoke that can be used in the thermal fogger.

Fire restoration work is technical, it’s complex and at SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos we believe we are good at it… 650-591-4137

It' s a Team Effort

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

Emergency property damage happens. When it does, prompt response can save you time and money. The faster a professionamitigation expert can be on scene to mitigate the disaster the better… the scale of damage is reduced and the inconvenience to the occupants can be minimized. People may be able to stay in their residences and business tenants ay be able to continue operating when a skilled response team is in charge. That’s why we provide 24/7 emergency response services for: fire and smoke, water damage, sewerage backups, window and door board-ups and crime scene cleanup.

Not everything is an emergency: Property owners, property managers and facilities personnel face a variety of important maintenance and restorations issues that can be planned and scheduled. That’s why our local SERVPRO franchise performs non-emergency, specialty cleaning and restoration services such as: Mold remediation, HVAC system cleaning, odor control, graffiti abatement, hoarder scene cleanup, death scene cleanup, power washing, Asbestos removal and reconstruction services. - You don’t have to have an immediate emergency to use our services.

SERVPRO is a nationwide cleaning and restoration franchise system that is well respected for its expertise in serving insurance companies. SERVPRO is proud to be an important part of that team. We also understand the property management and commercial real estate industry in our community. That’s how our company began many years ago. Today, serving property managers, risk managers and facilities engineers remains our focus.

Are you SERVPRO Ready?

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

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.

Water Damage works like a Snake

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

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.

SERVPRO 's Special Weapon

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

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 absorb more moisture from incoming 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

More Storms Ahead, AGAIN?!

5/23/2018 (Permalink)

Climate change is happening and is in full force. 2016 was an El Nino year. In Northern California we had increased rain that ended our five-year draught. In many ways we were lucky because, other than a few isolated locations, our region escaped the mega damage we might have experienced. (It was worrisome when we came close to a major dam failure that would have impacted hundreds of thousands of people.)

This year has all the indicators of being another El Nino year. It is also is shaping up to be a heavy hurricane season as well. Both events don’t usually happen in the same year. If we have hurricanes, the Eastern seaboard and Gulf on Mexico could be impacted. To be classified as a hurricane, a tropical cyclone must have maximum sustained winds of at least 74 mph (Category 1). The highest classification in the scale, Category 5, is reserved for storms with winds exceeding 156 mph. It is possible that the west coast could be pounded by El Nino storms while the East and South are experiencing Hurricane damage.

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos is prepared to help any property owner who experiences storm damage here in Northern California, and we are ready to travel to other parts of the country to help with their local storm damage too. In the past we have performed Hurricane cleanup on the east coast and are prepared to do so again this year if need be. SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos is an experienced property damage restoration provider.

Is Mold Really Our Enemy?

5/16/2018 (Permalink)

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 upon mold and yeasts, all part of the fungi kingdom. Molds are part of our ecosystem. Saying mold is bad is not a realistic statement. Tens of thousands of different molds have been identified and studied. Did you know that the commonly know pharmaceutical antibiotic Penicillin derives from the Penicillium Mold?

Only a few produce negative effects on people. Tell a baker, winemaker, brewer or cheese maker that molds and yeasts are bad and you will get a funny look.

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 bloodstream. 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”. 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.

SERVPRO's Grade +A Services

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage SERVPRO's Grade +A Services SERVPRO is always ready to help NO matter the circumstances.

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 as we have done in the past. 

Our franchise is experienced in storm cleanup such as: mudslides, 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.

Sewage Happens

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Sewage Spill Cleanup

Our SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos expert technicians are certified and trained to follow USA-EPA, OSHA and IICRC guidelines and special “standards” regarding sewage spill cleanup. The EPA is concerned with public safety. OSHA is concerned about the health and safety of restoration workers and persons in proximity to cleanup worksites. The IICRC is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. It is an international association considered to be the leader in training and education for the mitigation and restoration industry. The IICRC classifies sewage as: category 3 water, in their S500 Standards & Reference Manual. Please review our summary of this:

Sewage spills are called Category 3 water. They represent grossly unsanitary water that contains pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. It has the potential for causing major illness and infections in some persons. Its presence and lingering effects can cause the affected building’s environment to become unhealthy. Thus, highly porous and most semi-porous building materials should be removed and replaced. Sewage or unsanitary water entering a building from outdoors or from a toilet bowl overflow will be extracted and the carpet and pad will be removed and disposed if it were wetted. Cabinets and vanities will be carefully detached and removed while the surrounding wet walls and insulation will be cutout and disposed. The remaining building materials and framing will be cleaned, sanitized and dried before the damaged building is reconstructed.         

The drying process is performed with great care to prevent bacteria particles from becoming airborne. Our special air cleaning equipment is installed at each Category 3 work location to insure that health and safety requirements are met.                               

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos takes pride in performing mitigation and restoration projects, particularly restoring contaminated indoor environments by making them safe and like new again. Should you home or a commercial property suffer a sewage spill, please have the work performed by a skilled and certified company… we’re available! Call us at 650-591-4137.

Results from Fire Content Damage

4/5/2018 (Permalink)

Fires in homes and offices may completely destroy some structural materials and personal items (contents) too.  Depending upon the insurance coverage purchased, policies will customarily pay to rebuild or replace structural materials, including personal contents that are destroyed. Insurance jargon refers to these astotal lossor non-salvageable items. Adjusters request that restoration companies make an honest evaluation of what can be cleaned or repaired and what cannot be salvaged. If there is uncertainty, they direct the restoration provider to make a test by attempting to salvage. If the results are not satisfactory we are to stop cleaning. SERVPRO will provide an inventory of items that are deemed to be total loss/non-salvageable. The “total loss” inventory is usually supported by photographic evidence and job notes/reports. Sometimes, the adjuster or property manager/agent may want to personally inspect damaged items. It is the adjuster who makes the final determination concerning the total loss items based upon the terms of the insurance policy. Final cost settlement (reimbursement) is between the policyholder and the insurance company (not us).

Please Note: the term is “total loss” is not total lost. At all times, non-salvageable items are in a chain of custody. They are not lost. In fact items are disposed of only after we receive an “Authorization to Dispose” form from you (the policyholder) or at times your adjuster who has gained your approval.

If your property suffers a damage, we are here to help. If you need content cleaning or advice, please call us at: SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos 650-591-4137.

SEWAGE CLEANUP, A NASTY JOB

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

Sewage Spill Cleanup

Our SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos expert technicians are certified and trained to follow USA-EPA, OSHA and IICRC guidelines and special “standards” regarding sewage spill cleanup. The EPA is concerned with public safety. OSHA is concerned about the health and safety of restoration workers and persons in proximity to cleanup worksites. The IICRC is the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification. It is an international association considered to be the leader in training and education for the mitigation and restoration industry. The IICRC classifies sewage as: category 3 water, in their S500 Standards & Reference Manual. Please review our summary of this:

Sewage spills are called Category 3 water. They represent grossly unsanitary water that contains pathogenic, toxigenic or other harmful agents. It has the potential for causing major illness and infections in some persons. Its presence and lingering effects can cause the affected building’s environment to become unhealthy. Thus, highly porous and most semi-porous building materials should be removed and replaced. Sewage or unsanitary water entering a building from outdoors or from a toilet bowl overflow will be extracted and the carpet and pad will be removed and disposed if it were wetted. Cabinets and vanities will be carefully detached and removed while the surrounding wet walls and insulation will be cutout and disposed. The remaining building materials and framing will be cleaned, sanitized and dried before the damaged building is reconstructed.         

The drying process is performed with great care to prevent bacteria particles from becoming airborne. Our special air cleaning equipment is installed at each Category 3 work location to insure that health and safety requirements are met.                               

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos takes pride in performing mitigation and restoration projects, particularly restoring contaminated indoor environments by making them safe and like new again. Should you home or a commercial property suffer a sewage spill, please have the work performed by a skilled and certified company… we’re available! Call us at 650-591-4137.

Carpet Cleaning / Dust Mites

3/27/2018 (Permalink)

In the average home 85% of the “dust” particles that can be seen in the indoor air are skin flakes (dander). Shin flakes are the principle food source for Dust Mites. No wonder the average home is a breeding place for more than two million Dust Mites. Mites can double their numbers in ten hours. Each Mite produces between ten and twenty drops of feces daily. It is the Dust Mites’ feces that trigger allergic reactions in more than ten million Americans. This debris ends up in your carpets. (FYI… Dust mites do not bite people. They are more of a respiratory irritant.)

But the idea of having dust mites in a home makes you want to rip out your carpets? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that homes with wall-to-wall carpeting are healthier, as long as the carpets are cleaned frequently. This is because of your carpets’ natural filtering ability that traps all types of pollutants (mold spores, pollens, Mites, etc.) Once your carpet filter is full, its time for a thorough hot water extraction. There are official guidelines that establish carpet cleaning frequency standards. We can share this with you during our carpet cleaning inspection. On average most carpets should be cleaned at least two times each year. For details see: epa.com.

 You might be wondering if NOW the Best Time to Have My Carpets Cleaned?

YES!! Every day you put off carpet cleaning, sandy soils are wearing and dulling your carpet fibers. This wearing reduces the life span of your carpets. Each day dust, pollens, debris from dust mites, oils, soot and cooking grease are deposited into your carpets. Does your indoor air smell stale? Indoor air pollutants make for a very unhealthy living environment. The good news is carpet cleaning can correct these problems! Our hot water extraction method will kill bacteria and Dust Mites. It will clean and remove unwanted pollutants from the largest filter in your home… your carpeting. According to the U.S. EPA, cleaning with water that is in excess of 140 degrees will improve indoor air quality.

Most folks want the satisfaction of knowing that their home is really clean and that one of the most expensive decorator features in a home, the carpeting will look nice and last longer. SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos can help.... reach us at 650-591-4137.

Free and Lunch and Learn Programs

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Free and Lunch and Learn Programs Owner Clayton Barry performing a training program.

We offer eductional programs to the community. For example, Lunch and Learn programs on a variety of topics are part of SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos’s commitment to consumer education. Classes are scheduled to include a breakfast or tasty lunch. Topics are always 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. Programs can be customized for your organization to address information that is of special interest to you. These lively programs stimulate questions. You can expect to spend another ten to fifteen minutes providing answers. (These programs do not provide State approved educational credits. But, in some cases the presentations qualify as “safety training” meetings.)

SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos also provides Continuing Education (CE) classes about: water damage mitigation, Fire cleanup, Odor Control, Mold Education and even Ethics. These programs are approved by the California Department of Insurance and the Department of Real Estate. You can earn approved credits by attending these classes. There is no test, just a commitment on your part to attend the entire class. Most classes are two hours in duration. One class for realtors is three hours, as mandated by the State of California. Every class includes a complimentary lunch. We also perform live demonstrations of equipment and cleaning techniques whenever possible. Attendees love these demonstrations!

At SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos it our pleasures to provide your organization with information about the disasters and problems that can affect your properties and clients, and the remedies to make it "Like it never even happened." We have provided customized presentation for the San Mateo County Association of Realtors, among others. If you have interest in educational programs please call us at 650-591-4137.

Facility Engineers... conside using an emergency pre-work authization agreement.

2/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Facility Engineers... conside using an emergency pre-work authization agreement. We offer a special emergency ready plan that includes a pre-work 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.

What happens when fire damages contents?

2/12/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What happens when fire damages contents? Contents, even important documents are often damaged during a property disaster.

Fires in homes and offices may completely destroy some structural materials and personal items (contents) too.  Depending upon the insurance coverage purchased, policies will customarily pay to rebuild or replace structural materials, including personal contents that are destroyed. Insurance jargon refers to these as: total loss, or non-salvageable items. Adjusters request that restoration companies make an honest evaluation of what can be cleaned or repaired and what cannot be salvaged. If there is uncertainty, they direct the restoration provider to make a test by attempting to salvage. If the results are not satisfactory we are to stop cleaning. SERVPRO will provide an inventory of items that are deemed to be total loss/non-salvageable. The “total loss” inventory is usually supported by photographic evidence and job notes/reports. Sometimes, the adjuster or property manager/agent may want to personally inspect damaged items. It is the adjuster who makes the final determination concerning the total loss items based upon the terms of the insurance policy. Final cost settlement (reimbursement) is between the policyholder and the insurance company (not us).

Please Note: the term is “total loss” is not total lost. At all times, non-salvageable items are in a chain of custody. They are not lost. In fact items are disposed of only after we receive an “Authorization to Dispose” form from you (the policyholder) or at times your adjuster who has gained your approval.

If your property suffers a damage, we are here to help. If you need content cleaning or advice, please call us at: SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos 650-591-4137.

Mold cleanup for 1870 !

2/11/2018 (Permalink)

Renovation of a landmark building in old downtown Stockton revealed a brick wall that had experienced years of rainwater intrusion. SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos worked with our fellow franchise in the valley to perform non-abrasive mold cleanup using a baking soda medium. Following remediation, the bricks looked as good as the day they were laid back in 1870. Our  mold experts stand ready to help with mold issues regardless of the age or type of property affected… simply give us a call.

Mold is a difficult issue for consumers because there is "urban myths" about the topic. Mold is a seroius problem and it needs to be remediated quickly, but seldom is it going to kill you. People are afraid of black toxic mold, but the truth is, most mold is black. (Pink, white and green are other mold colors, but black remaind most common.) Don't assume that because you see black mold it is deadly. At the same time, have it checked out to be sure. Our SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos certified mold technicians are skilled at observing molds and presenting a reasonable plan to mitigate the problem. We will never use fear tactics, or "urban myths about mold" as we explain your options and solutions. We don't do business like that.

The mold in the 1870 landmark building was a big job, yet we didn't take advatange. The cost of of seervice were fair... if you have questions about mold give us a call, we are here to help. 650-5914137

Winter Weather Tips

1/30/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Winter Weather Tips Keeping you home safe and warm from winter weather is important.

Wintry weather is great at turning up problems you didn’t even know you had. Like that first really cold night in front of your fireplace that you thought was pure bliss — until you noticed a leak in the ceiling corner, which apparently was caused by a lack of insulation. How were you supposed to know that?

Many homeowners don’t realize they’re making critical missteps that can cost a ton when winter sets in. Here are seven wintertime mistakes homeowners often make (and what they could cost you!):

  1. Not Buying a $2 Protector for Your Outdoor Faucet

What It’ll Cost You: Up to $15,000 and a whole lot of grief

It’s amazing what a little frozen water can do damage-wise. An inch of water in your basement can cost up to $15,000 to pump out and dry out. And, yet, it’s so easy to prevent, especially with outdoor faucets, which are the most susceptible to freezing temps.

The simplest thing to do is to remove your garden hose from your outdoor faucet and drain it. Then add a faucet protector to keep cold air from getting into your pipes. They’re really cheap (some are under $2; the more expensive ones are still less than $10). “Get these now! “When the weatherman says we’ve got cold coming, they’ll sell out in minutes.”

While you’re at it, make sure any exposed pipes in an unheated basement or garage are insulated, too, or you’ll face the same pricey problem.

Wrap pipes with foam plumbing insulation — before the weather drops. It’s cheap, too, just like the faucet cover (only $1 for six feet of polyethylene insulation). And it’s an easy DIY project, as long as you can reach the pipes.

  1. Instagramming Your Icicles Instead of Preventing Them

What It’ll Cost You: $500 — if you’re lucky; a lot more if you’re not

Those icicles make your mountain homes look so picturesque, you just gotta take a few pics. But you better make them quick. Those icicles can literally be a dam problem. (Yes, dam — not the curse word that sounds the same. )

Icicles are a clear sign that you’ve got an ice dam, which is exactly what it sounds like: a buildup of ice on your gutter or roof that prevents melting snow and ice from flowing through your gutters. That’s really bad news because these icy blocks can lead to expensive roofing repairs.

Depending on where you live, expect to pay at least $500 for each ice dam to be steamed off. Leave the ice and you risk long-term damage, which could ultimately cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to your roof, depending on what type of shingles you have and the size of the damaged area.

How to prevent them? Insulation. “Ice dams, icicles, and ice buildup on the gutters is a symptom of not enough insulation in the attic.

And “you need to have at least 14 inches of insulation in your attic, no matter where you live. If you live in a colder climate, you’ll need more.

If you don’t have the cash to insulate, heated gutter cables, which run between $50 and $150 each, can be a less expensive alternative when temporarily affixed to areas prone to ice damming.

  1. Going Lazy on Your Gutters

What It’ll Cost You: You really don’t want to be in a position to find out

It can be so tempting to skip gutter cleanups as winter nears. It seems like as soon as you clear your gutters, they clog right back up again. So what’s the point?

Well, if it looks like you’re living inside a waterfall when it rains, water is missing your gutter system completely. It’s being directed to your foundation instead. And a water-damaged foundation is never, ever cheap to fix.

A contractor can plug foundation cracks for $1,500 to $3,000, says David Verbofsky, director of training for exterior home products manufacturer Ply Gem. But a worse problem, one that requires a foundation excavation or rebuild, can set you back (gulp) $30,000 or more.

Suddenly, cleaning your gutters a few times each fall doesn’t seem so bad. A pro can do the work for anywhere between $70 and $250, depending on the size of your gutter system.

  1. Giving Cold Air a Chance to Sneak In

What It’ll Cost You: Nights where you never feel warm, despite sky-high heating bills

“If it were possible to take every crack on the outside of a typical home and drag them together, you’d have the equivalent of a three-by-three window open all the time,” says Lipford. Yikes.

Yet cracks can be easily and inexpensively sealed with a simple tube of caulk, and it’s available in hundreds of colors to match your window panes, outside siding, and even brick. Not sure where to caulk? Look for visible cracks around:

Window sills

Baseboards

Fireplace or dryer vents

Anywhere something inside pokes a hole to the outside

  1. Not Getting Personal with Your Thermostat

What It’ll Cost You: Money you could spend on something else besides heating

We all know we should, but we seem to have some mental block when it comes to programming our thermostats to align with our schedules. It’s not that hard, and sometimes all it takes is buying a new one that suits you. (Like maybe a Wi-Fi one that’ll give you a little money-saving thrill each time you swipe your app.)

“From a cost-savings perspective, a programmable thermostat is a great investment, as much as 10% off your energy bill, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

  1. Skipping Furnace Tune-Ups

What It’ll Cost You: A furnace that’ll die years before it should — and higher energy bills.

Forget to service your furnace and you could easily cut five years off the life of your system, five years is a full third of the typical unit’s life span. New units can cost around $4,000 installed, making the $125 annual maintenance charge a no-brainer.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to replace the furnace filter, which cleans the air in your home, and also keeps your furnace coils cleaner, which can shave up to 15% off your energy bill. We suggest at least every three months, but possibly as often as monthly if you have allergies, pets, or smoke cigarettes at home.

  1. Foregoing a Fireplace Inspection

What It’ll Cost You: Possibly your life — and your home

A cozy fire is great, but if you don’t maintain your chimney, a fire can cost you thousands of dollars, not to mention the risk to you and your family.

Schedule your maintenance appointment as early as you can.If you wait until the busy season, you’ll have a hard time getting them out there, you’ll pay more, and you’ll get a lower quality job.

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.

El Nino is still with us...

9/8/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage El Nino is still with us... El Nino is hanging around.

El Nino's Affects Ocean Currents

The news was filled with stories about this being an El Nino year in 2016.  Yes, it is was a declared and official El Nino year. While the weather news is all about Hurricanes, recently meteorologists have extended their forecasts to say that the El Nino event could effect us in the fall of 2017 and winter of 2018.

That news means rain, right?  Not necessarily. El Nino is a current of warm water in the Pacific Ocean near the Equator. The current often causes warm waters to flow along the South American coast and northward to Central America, Mexico and California. El Nino events can be dry or wet depending on other circumstances involving air currents and areas of high and low pressure systems. Even with today’s advanced science long rang forecasting is tricky.

In the past 14 declared El Nino events only three have brought heavy rains. For many of us who lived in Belmont, San Carlos, Redwood City or Foster City in 1997 we remember that was the year when a Strong El Nino season brought a deluge of rain and flooding to our area.  Waves battered the coast in Half Moon Bay and Pacifica. Small mudslides happened in various places in the Peninsula hills and lowlands flooded when a record high tide and rain occurred at the same time.

There are similarities to this year’s El Nino in what took place in the time leading up to the heavy winds, tidal flooding and rain storms that caused so much damage to the Peninsula, East Bay and most of Northern California.

In 1997, just like this year, a warm current caused crabs and other sea life to wash up onto California beaches. A huge algae bloom grew in the ocean from Mexico all the way to Alaska. These things have happened again in 2015. One other indicator of potential heavy rains is what happens with the Monsoon season in Arizona. Big Monsoon rains in that region happened in 1997 and they are happening again this year! 

Perhaps the most significant indictor concerning potential heavy rains from this year’s El Nino is the fact that several years of drought preceded all three El Nino rain years in the past. In fact, each of these three former El Nino rain events brought droughts to an end.  We have a drought now and we need it to end.

In 1997 I remember seeing flooding in Hillsborough along Crystal Springs Creek.  I saw people in kayaks playing in flooded parking lots along El Camino Real in Belmont. My water damage cleanup company responded to flooding in buildings along the Bay Shore in Redwood City and elsewhere. We also cleaned up after fallen trees in San Mateo and Atherton.

We never really know if this will be a heavy rain year until it happens. But, I invite you to be prepared in case it does.  Blog written by Clayton Barry. For more information or to register for our class, call 650-591-4137. We will be ready for our clients.

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