Recent Storm Damage Posts

Let Our Specialists Repair And Restore Your Flood Damaged San Francisco Home

6/5/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Let Our Specialists Repair And Restore Your Flood Damaged San Francisco Home Our restoration professionals can take the right steps to restore your home to its normal condition.

How To Get Flood Damage Repair For Your San Francisco Home

Flooding is a problem that many homeowners deal with, and in areas close to oceans, high tides combined with strong storms often cause flood damage. When floodwaters enter your home, you need to stay safe by avoiding contact with the water, since it may contain hazardous microorganisms and insects.

You should also avoid using electrical or gas appliances that have been flooded. If your San Francisco home has flood damage, it is also essential to hire professionals who can handle the cleanup process. The remediation specialists at SERVPRO have years of experience and sophisticated equipment that can extract the water and dry your property to return it to its preloss condition quickly. We work on a 24-hour basis, and you can trust us to assist you any time you need us.

After water intrusion, the cleanup and drying process should begin quickly for the longer the water sits, the worse the destruction gets. Stagnant water and moisture create the ideal environment for mold growth. The repairs can be more expensive and difficult if you do not take action quickly. When we arrive at a water-damaged property, we inspect the affected areas, define the class and category of water damage, and outline the most appropriate means of restoring the home.

Our SERVPRO crew uses pumps and wet/dry vacuums to remove most of the water from a home to prevent bacteria and mold growth. Once we remove the standing water and vacuum the absorbent surfaces, we start the drying and dehumidification process. This step clears any remaining moisture after water extraction. It can take several days to dry saturated materials. We monitor the drying process using moisture sensors and moisture meters.

We also clean and use antimicrobial products to sanitize belongings like clothing and drapery to prevent mold and bacterial growth. Our technicians can also use air scrubbers to eliminate odors from your homes. The other step is the restoration process, which involves replacing damaged materials like insulation, carpeting, floors, drywall, or entire walls in serious cases.

If flood waters have pooled in your home, contact SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos for help. You can reach us through our helpline at (650) 591-4137. Our restoration professionals can take the right steps to restore your home to its normal condition. We’re Faster to Any Size Disaster.

Click here for more about San Francisco.

Call SERVPRO To Avoid Issues After Flood Damage In San Fransisco

5/2/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Call SERVPRO To Avoid Issues After Flood Damage In San Fransisco This torn roof allowed a strong wind to dislodge a water supply line in the wall of this house and we had the equipment needed to restore the home.

Managing Secondary Problems Likely to Occur After Flood Damage in San Francisco

A flooding incident in your property can leave you grappling with enormous financial and sentimental losses as the water soaks into items or deposits soils in different sections of your property. Avoidable problems can also develop if there is a failure during the restoration processes. Hiring a professional flood damage restorer can help prevent undesired outcomes by following the right procedures.

Most incidents of flood damage in San Fransisco only harm the structure and contents. However, it can affect occupants who try to save items without observing safety procedures. Floods mostly involve black water especially if it is a case of rising waters. Such water contains chemicals and biohazard wastes such as raw sewage so it can transmit disease-causing microorganisms when people wade in without proper protective gear. Flooding also increases the risk of electrocution if there are downed power lines or the water level reaches electrical outlets in the house. Our SERVPRO technicians use a variety of protective gear to avoid such risks. We have rubber boots that protect our crews from electrical shock and contact with harmful substances in the water. We also have full body suits, electrical testers, and other safety equipment.

Because floodwaters reach many concealed areas including subfloors, cabinets and wall cavities, there is a need to remove it properly. Leaving traces of water in such areas leads to many secondary problems including mold development and rotting or warping of wooden materials. Our SERVPRO technicians use different approaches to prevent such problems. We use thermal cameras to check for wetness in concealed sections then make flood cuts or drill vent holes to remove water. We can also use specialized equipment such as the injecti-dry system and drying mats.

Drying excess moisture from flood-damaged properties is part of the restoration process. The process mostly involves evaporation of the water that soaks into materials. Failure to manage the drying process can lead to other problems such as condensation or transfer of moisture to unaffected areas. Our SERVPRO technicians calculate the right combination of air movers and dehumidifiers for balanced drying.

To avoid recurring issues after flood damage, call SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos to help restore your property to its preloss state. You can reach us at (650) 591-4137 any time. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Click here for all you need to know about visiting the Golden Gate Bridge

Some Tips To Help Your Home Recover From Redwood City Flooding

2/17/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Some Tips To Help Your Home Recover From Redwood City Flooding Whether flooding in your home is due to internal or external causes, the need to contact team SERVPRO still exists. Contact us for water removal.

Act Quickly When There is Flood Damage to Your Home in Redwood City

Living in Redwood City is ideal by most standards. Its proximity to San Francisco and the growth of technology makes it a lovely place to set up home. However, it can also fall victim to the effects of mother nature, and homeowners need to prepare. As implausible as it may seem, a torrential downpour can quickly escalate, causing floods and leaving significant damage in its wake. When water enters your home, it is best to call a professional team to your aid.

If you encounter flood damage to your home in Redwood City, SERVPRO is ready to become your most invaluable resource. Time is of the essence when reacting to a flood in your home, but so is a targeted approach. Our team is trained and specialized in assessing the extent of the damage, including the anticipation of collateral effects left by the entry of water into your home. Mold, for example, may eventually appear if the remediation process is not done correctly, which is why the help of our professional team makes a difference.

Upon arrival, our Green Fleet ensures that all work areas are safe. With precautions in place, we proceed to extract water remains from your home. We have at our disposal an array of tools and technology to achieve ideal moisture levels in your home, ranging from submersible water pumps to wet/dry vacuums. As we extract water, we collect information on the air quality of your home and continue to act accordingly. Once our sensors and monitors verify that we have achieved industry-defined optimal water levels, it is time for us to deodorize and disinfect your home.

The process may sound simple, but our SERVPRO team has carefully studied the principles of psychrometry to inform us of our progress. We also train on the use of techniques, such as drilling small holes on your baseboards, focused on promoting the air flow through your home and walls. This thorough approach far exceeds what the average homeowner can achieve with household-grade equipment. It is important to remember that any water excess can become a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which may be a hazard to your health.

At SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos, we put our best foot forward to protect your home from long-lasting flood damage. All you need to do is call us at (650) 591-4137 where our team is ready to respond to your emergency 24/7 should you ever need our expert advice.

Click here for more about Redwood City.

Foster City Property Can Suffer Flood Damaging Events from Many Causes

1/14/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Foster City Property Can Suffer Flood Damaging Events from Many Causes Flooding in Foster City--Call the SERVPRO Green Fleet For Cleanup and Restoration

Types of Floods and Flood Damage Restoration for Your Foster City Home

No matter where you reside, you can be a victim of flooding. Your home in Foster City is no different. There are various ways in which a flood can occur. The most common occurs when the ground cannot absorb all the melting snow or rain, a waterway is blocked by debris or ice, strong winds push seawater inland during a storm, or when a structure which is human-made fails, such as a sewer or dam.
If your home in Foster City has suffered flood damage for any reason, you need help from a professional remediation company. SERVPRO is standing by at all times to help you with a water damage emergency like this, no matter how big or small. The quicker we can get the water out of your home, the better, so we can try and avoid additional damage being done. We're Faster To Any Size Disaster.
The first type of flood that can occur is inland floods, which usually happen during periods of extended rainfall, or when levees or dams fail. The ground is not able to absorb the water quick enough, which results in water levels that are higher than usual. When the waters have invaded your home, our SERVPRO techs use industrial pumps to get all the standing water out as fast as possible, and then we use industrial fans and dehumidifiers to finish drying your home back out.

The most dangerous kind of floods, flash flooding, can happen without any warning at all. They are the most significant cause of deaths related to weather. They happen when water fills streams or rover beds that are usually dry or when storm drains are overwhelmed.
River flooding generally follows extended periods of rainfall which is heavy, creating water levels to rise over the edge of the river bank. Severe tropical storms can create the waters of the river to rise in a rather short amount of time. Melting ice and snow can also increase the chances of a river flood. Coastal flooding is caused by a mixture of a storm surge and heavy rainfall. If they are combined with a high tide, the water levels can get very high.
SERVPRO of Belmont/San Carlos does not waste time getting to your property in Belmont, Redwood City, or Foster City after there has been flooding of any kind from storms. As soon as the storm has subsided, call us at (650) 591-4137 so we can assist you in during your home out as soon as possible.

More about this Bay City by clicking here

Discover San Francisco Water Removal Secrets

11/18/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Discover San Francisco Water Removal Secrets If water damage has affected your home, contact SERVPRO for water removal and remediation services right away.

Remediating Flood Damage in San Francisco Homes

Despite our reputation for fog, San Francisco residents enjoy over 250 sunny days every year. We only get around 24 inches of rain over 12 months, far below the national average of 39 inches per year. Flooding is not high on the list of concerns for most people.
When flood damage does happen in San Francisco, it usually happens quickly and is over just as fast. The effects, however, can last for days and weeks unless the homeowner brings in a professional agency immediately after the disaster. Our SERVPRO technicians can quickly remove water and reduce or eliminate the signs of damage in every home.
Our teams begin with pumps and extraction wands, depending on the level of water in the home. For levels ankle-high or higher, the pumps can draw out water from most homes in just a day or two. Once the water is only an inch or two, specialists switch to the extractors.
These devices efficiently remove water off floors, and the models we use have an adjustable heating element, so our personnel can begin drying wood floors to reduce the risk of the floorboards cracking or splitting from exposure to excess water. We dispose of soaked carpets since floodwater from outside the home often contains soil, animal wastes, and other contaminants.
Next, SERVPRO restoration teams begin drying the personal and structural property in each home. For large items like sofas, team members remove them outside the home and place them on blocks to allow for draining water. Once in place, they set up fans to increase air circulation and speed up the drying process. Our teams can dry most property except for paper which begins to deteriorate quickly after exposure.
Inside the home, technicians set up fans to increase circulation, but also install dehumidifiers to draw moisture from the air. The lower humidity allows evaporation to occur faster in building materials like drywall and floor trim. That reduces the amount of material our teams have to remove and dispose of in each home.
These first steps we take at SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos can reduce the labor and material costs of restoration. If you have a question about our methods or want to schedule a visit from one of our teams, call us today at (650) 591-4137. We are here for you.

Click here for more about San Francisco.

Flood damage specialists are ready to help

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flood damage specialists are ready to help Be Prepared for Flooding Events in San Francisco--Contact SERVPRO to Reduce Water Damage and Disruptions

Flooding of Crawl Spaces and Structures Require Prompt Water Removal to Mitigate Damage

Any time a storm comes into town, high-speed winds and copious amounts of rain likely occur. When a storm hits your neighborhood, many different types of elements possibly harm your San Francisco residence. Rain sometimes creates flooding conditions, which often causes moisture to get inside your house. Other times, wind breaks windows and rain pours directly into your structure.

Unwanted moisture inside your home can cause many problems. It is sensible to seek out the help of SERVPRO's flood damage experts in San Francisco any time you notice water coming into your dwelling after a storm. It is possible that moisture ruins your contents and building materials. If high levels of humidity go unattended, then mold growth occurs and can flourish creating significant secondary storm damage.
One common place that water gets into during a storm or flood is the crawl space. When water builds up outside your home the first area that likely gets damaged is the crawl space under the building. Some crawl spaces are small and difficult to access. If water ever fills up your crawl space, our team at SERVPRO starts mitigating the problem by making sure there are no hazards in the area. Once the space is safe, we remove any standing water that is present. Often, this water is "black" contaminated muddy water. Pesticides, fertilizers, sewage, chemicals, and even animal carcasses can add to the filth and pathogenic organisms found in flood waters. Our technicians use submersible pumps to extract all of the water possible. 
Next our restoration crew figures out the best way to dry the crawl space and flooring materials. If it is possible, air movers and dehumidifiers get set up inside the area. If there is not enough room to get equipment into the tight space, other measures get taken. Sometimes, part of the floor gets removed, so the area dries. Other times we run a warm air hose off of a dehumidifier into the crawl space. Conduits connected to large LGR dehumidifiers often do the trick of restoring normal RH levels after some days.
Any time a storm comes into town and harms your residence, it is best to consult industry professionals. To get your water damage problem mitigated as efficiently as possible call SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos at (650) 591-4137 for 24/7 assistance.

More about this Bayside city in CA by clicking here.

Board up Services

10/10/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Board up Services Board up is a basic and necessary service.

There are so many ways that a structure can be damaged and could require emergency board up services of windows and doors, or large gaps in walls... Wind damage, falling trees and falling tree limbs, vehicles crashing into buildings are common causes. Vandalism and robbery accounts for many window board up jobs too.

The heat from fires can blow out window glass, and in some situations, fire fighters may intentionally break out specific windows to pump water into a structure to extinguish the fire.

At SERVPRO of Belmont / San Carlos, we have performed emergency board up services for each of the potential sources discussed. Our trained and experienced technicians stand ready, with an inventory of board-up supplies to respond when and where we are needed. This is just another way we help our community.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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


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.

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.