Recent Posts

SERVPRO's Trained Restoration Specialists

6/15/2021 (Permalink)

We have always put a high priority into educating our team. That need is more important than ever today. SERVPRO is an IICRC certified firm with certified technicians. That means you can expect the very highest in standards and protocol to be used in your home or business.

IICRC Training and Certification

The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) certifies and sets the standards for the cleaning and restoration industries. Our Professionals study IICRC standards and best practices in water restoration, fire restoration, mold remediation, carpet and upholstery cleaning, and other cleaning and restoration courses.

Employee Certification Training

The Employee Certification Training is a voluntary, self-paced program designed for SERVPRO Franchise employees. Certification is awarded after successful completion of course materials and an examination. Modules include:

  • Crew Training
  • Fire Restoration
  • Water Restoration
  • Advanced Structural Drying

SERVPRO Document Restoration Services

6/14/2021 (Permalink)

Document Restoration Services

After any major disaster, restoring your business and mitigating losses is essential for returning your company to an operational state in a timely manner. In addition to clean-up and repairs, you should add document restoration to your list of recovery action items. Using a professional restoration service can help you protect and save many of your important documents, including:

  • Books, journals and magazines
  • Patient records and employee files
  • Blueprints and maps
  • Photographs, film and negatives

Professional document restoration services can save your business because they follow through procedures for preserving and protecting critical paperwork that is often irreplaceable. Insurance companies trust SERVPRO because of the following state-of-the-art offerings.

  1. Modern Technology

SERVPRO uses vacuum freeze-drying, a document drying technique that has been approved by the National Archives and Records Administration. They also use gamma irradiation technology to clean and sterilize items. This is particularly useful if your documents have been exposed to chemicals or bacteria during the incident.

  1. Security

Documents are handled by HIPAA-certified technicians, ensuring compliance with privacy requirements. Your documents are also kept under 24/7 surveillance.

  1. Digital Organization

Converting your files to digital files is a wise choice for protecting them against future incidents. In the event of a fire or flood, your contracts, files and paper materials will stay safely stored and out of harm’s way. Digital files are much easier to organize and access using a computerized inventory system, and they can free up storage space that used to house paper files.

In addition to the services above, a full-service restoration option is available to handle every step of the restoration, from drying and sanitizing to rejacketing and digitizing. This full-service option can save you time and money since the document drying is performed by SERVPRO and is not outsourced to a third party.

After disaster strikes, it is normal to feel overwhelmed about the cleanup process. However, being prepared and having a reliable document restoration service you can trust will save you time and ensure your business is protected.


Frequently Asked Questions About Fire Damage

6/13/2021 (Permalink)

  • How long will the fire restoration process take?
    Because there are many variables and many services involved in fire and smoke restoration, it is difficult to predict exactly how long the complete restoration will take. Consult with your SERVPRO Technician on the estimated dates and phases of your restoration project.
  • Can I clean the fire damage myself?
    We suggest that you do not attempt any “do-it-yourself” cleaning methods without consulting your SERVPRO Technician. Professional cleaning systems and products used by experienced, trained SERVPRO Technicians give you the best chance for complete restoration of your belongings. Pre-testing, using the right cleaning agent for the particular item, mixing deodorizing agents with cleaning solutions, and using correct dilution rates are just some of the ways a fire restoration technician expertly controls the results.
  • What are some safety concerns?
    At SERVPRO, occupant and worker safety is a top priority. During the initial inspection, safety hazards are identified and addressed, including debris removal, air quality, electrical hazards, slip and trip hazards, etc. Burnt electrical cords and appliances are separate out for disposal, and questionable electrical appliances are unplugged and tagged for evaluation of the safe operation. Electrical power may be turned off and kept off until evaluation by a licensed electrician.
  • Can I turn on my heating and air conditioning unit?
    We recommend that you not turn on your furnace or air conditioning unit without clearance from the HVAC contractor.
  • What items do I keep in my possession?
    Cash, Medications, Valuable Jewelry, Checkbooks, Personal Documents, Valuable Paintings, Flammables, Pet, Weapons/Ammunition, Gasoline, Cans, Stamp/Coin Collections, etc.
  • How do I keep track of non-restorable items?
    We recommend you make a list of items (including food items) deemed non-restorable. Use a format like a sample below, or obtain a similar form from your insurance company. Make a copy for your insurance company and keep one for yourself.
  • Do I need to move out of my property during the fire restoration process?
    This is ultimately your decision. Some things you may want to consider are safety concerns, odors, electricity, noise from equipment, etc. If vacating your premises for any length of time, consider the following: forward your mail to your temporary residence; stop newspaper and other deliveries; notify utility company, Cable Company, etc. of temporary suspension of services.
  • Do I need general contractors?
    There are some items that may require general contractors, such as drywall/painting, electrical, plumbing, roofing, framing/finish carpentry, flooring/carpet, installation of doors, windows, cabinets, post-construction cleanup, etc. Please talk with a SERVPRO representative as we have the ability to provide these services to you through our own in-house facility.
  • Do my belongings need to be moved away from the premises?
    Depending on the source, nature, and extent of the fire, it may be best to remove all belongings to a secure facility for cleaning, storage and to make room for restoration or construction. SERVPRO will work with you and your insurance claim representative to manage this process.
  • Will I have access to my belongings while they are in storage?
    Yes, with advance notice we can schedule a time for you to access your requested items.
  • What about special items? Artwork, china, heirlooms, etc.
    Some high-value items require restoration by specialists. Working with your insurance claim representative, we can help you identify these and locate a qualified restorer.

Who is responsible for payment for the service?
Ultimately you, the property owner, are responsible for payment and will need to sign a form authorizing repairs and payment for the restoration services. If this is an insurance claim, SERVPRO generally collects the deductible (co-payment) amount from you and bills the balance to your insurance provider as a service to you. If you have a large loss, your mortgage company may be included as a payee on the payment from your insurance company, and you may need to obtain a signature from them as well. If your claim is not covered by the insurance or you decide not to file a claim, you will be expected to pay in full.

Kitchen Fire Prevention Tips

6/12/2021 (Permalink)

According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and home injuries. The leading cause of fires in the kitchen is unattended cooking. It’s important to be alert to prevent cooking fires.

Be on alert! If you are sleepy or have consumed alcohol don’t use the stove or stovetop.

Stay in the kitchen while you are frying, grilling, boiling, or broiling food.

If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly, remain in the kitchen while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.

Keep anything that can catch fire—oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains—away from the stovetop.

If you have a cooking fire, consider the following safety protocols to help keep you and your family safe.

Just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire.

Call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number after you leave.

For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed.

If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out.

Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.

Smoke Detector Maintenance Tips from SERVPRO

6/11/2021 (Permalink)

You have several appliances, systems, components and products in your home, many of which you use and depend on every day. Perhaps the most important one is something you hope to never need: a smoke alarm. This device is a critical warning mechanism that will alert you if smoke is present in your home. However, if you don't have enough in your house, or if you don't properly maintain them, you could suffer awful consequences if a fire does start.

Proper Alarm Placement, Care

If you move into a new home, you shouldn't have to worry much about whether you have enough alarms. On the other hand, older places might not be up to smoke detector standards. Make sure you adhere to the following:

  • Have one alarm in every sleeping room of the house.
  • Have one alarm outside each sleeping area.
  • Have at least one alarm per floor.
  • Make sure you properly install each alarm; have a professional help you if necessary.

Replacement

For years, fire damage restoration experts have advised homeowners to replace the batteries in each alarm at least once a year. This is a good guideline to follow if you have an older alarm. Newer alarms, however, have a much longer battery life. With these, you'll only have to change the batteries once every 10 years. It is wise to test your alarm monthly. Most models have a function where you can push a button on the device, which will sound the alarm, letting you know the battery is working and that the sound is sufficiently loud.

Don't Disconnect

Whatever you do, never disconnect a smoke alarm. Some homeowners get annoyed when the alarms go off if something is burning on the stove or in the oven. It's unwise to unhook your alarm under any circumstance.

A smoke alarm could save your life someday. Make sure you have the right number in your home and that you replace the batteries properly.

Summer Fire Prevention Tips from SERVPRO

6/10/2021 (Permalink)

We here at SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton deal with many house fires throughout the year, they are the most common disaster throughout the U.S and with the summer rolling in, here are some ways you can help prevent these: 

#1. Don’t use fireworks at home

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, it’s always best to leave fireworks to the professionals and attend public fireworks displays instead.

#2. Be careful when grilling outdoors

Practice safe grilling this summer with these grilling fire tips:

  • Always use your grill outdoors and far away from any structures. 
  • Clean your grill after every use to prevent a buildup of fat or grease that can cause a grease fire.
  • Stabilize the grill on a flat surface to prevent it from tipping.
  • Watch for gas leaks. 
  • Use charcoal starter fluid carefully. Don’t add starter fluid to the fire if it starts to go down.
  • Have baking soda, a bucket of sand, or a fire extinguisher handy if you need to put out the fire. Never add water to a grease fire.

#3. Beware of lawn mower fires

You may use your mower with no signs of trouble then put it away in your garage without realizing the potential danger. If the fuel flows from the tank into the engine while the engine is turned off, it will eventually cause a buildup of flammable vapors and a heat source can spark a fire in your garage. To reduce this risk, replace your fuel line every other year, inspect your carburetor for damage, and add fuel stabilizer every fill up.

#4. Have your air conditioner inspected

Regular maintenance and tune-ups of your heating and cooling systems can help prevent a fire. 

#5. Reduce your risk of a kitchen fire

Throughout the year, kitchen fires are responsible for most home fires. The stovetop is the usual starting point for kitchen fires, not the oven. To reduce your risk of a fire, always remain in the kitchen when grilling, frying, or cooking on your stovetop. Make sure there are no flammable materials near the heat such as a paper towel dispenser or dish towel. Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen but not too close to the stove and oven in case of fire and remember to suffocate cooking flames with a lid, not water.

#6. Check your dryer

Most dryer fires are the result of failing to clean the dryer vent ductwork as highly flammable lint will build up over time and may be ignited by the heat of the dryer. Clean your lint trap between every load and clean your dryer vent at least once a year with a special vent cleaning brush. Make sure the outside dryer exhaust vent allows hot air to escape.

#8. Make sure your smoke detectors work

You should have at least one smoke detector on every floor of your house in an area where it can be heard from every room of the house. Inspect your smoke detectors regularly to make sure they work and develop an escape plan that your entire household can practice in case of emergency. The escape route should have two possible exits from every room and these paths should be as free of clutter as possible.

Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher

6/9/2021 (Permalink)

Every fire extinguisher is assigned a class. The suppressant in a Class A extinguisher differs from a Class B, C, D, or K extinguisher. Homeowners should consider where each piece of home fire safety equipment will be kept and choose the most effective suppressant for the fire risks in this area. The following fire preparedness measures can help homeowners purchase the right extinguishers.

Consider the Location

Certain extinguisher classes are better suited for different parts of a residence. Here are a few general guidelines:

  • Home extinguishers should be able to put out fires involving standard combustibles
  • It is a good idea to put an extinguisher rated for electrical equipment near appliances
  • Class B extinguishers can be used on flammable liquids in a garage or work space or kitchen grease fires

Some extinguishers, such as Class D or K, are less common for residential use. Even though a Class K extinguisher is designed to suppress grease fires, using this extinguisher improperly can cause grease to spatter and spread the fire.

Check the Suppressant Class

Each fire extinguisher class is determined by the suppressant. Here are the contents of each major class of extinguisher:

  • Class A uses monoammonium phosphate
  • Classes B and C combine monoammonium phosphate and sodium bicarbonate
  • Class D uses sodium chloride or copper powder
  • Class K uses potassium compounds

Multi-class extinguishers are also available. A-B-C extinguishers are popular for residential use.

Choose One-Time Use or Refillable

Homeowners can save money up front by purchasing a single-use extinguisher. A rechargeable extinguisher costs more, but refills are less expensive than buying a new extinguisher designed for one-time use.

All of these factors determine which class of fire extinguisher is the best choice for various areas of a residence. If a fire is too large to suppress, home fire damage restoration specialists can rebuild structural damage and clean contents.

Wood Encapsulation After a Fire

6/8/2021 (Permalink)

In the process where SERVPRO is preparing a home that has had fire damage, the smells and air quality are very strong and unhealthy to say the least.

Even weeks after the entire home has been demoed and the inside of the home is close to being ready for construction to replace drywall, re-texture walls, paint, lay flooring, etc... The odor still lingers!

Here at SERVPRO we tackle the air quality by cleaning ducts, and often replacing the ductwork. The next step is to encapsulate all wood framing that was not damaged however still has been affected by odor.

Once full encapsulation is complete, the home begins to have a clean smell and is safe for being reconstructed.

SERVPRO takes great pride in this entire process and the family is always very hands-on in the SERVPRO process. It is actually very healing for the family because when anyone has been awoken by a home fire, it is very scary and unsettling!

Allowing these families to be a part in choosing what personal belongings they get back within 48 hours, helping to choose new paint colors, flooring, and stepping in to their home once it is encapsulated, it very comforting and these families begin to not only feel hopeful but they begin to relax and see themselves actually coming home.

Give SERVPRO of Monroeville/Evergreen/Brewton a call at 251-809-1260!

We Specialize in Flooded Basement Cleanup & Restoration

6/7/2021 (Permalink)

A basement can flood at any time, although flooding most often occurs during heavy rainfall. Basements are inherently prone to flooding because they are the lowest level of a building and are normally built partly or entirely below ground level. There are a number of reasons why your San Mateo County Home's basement could flood, including:

A blocked or failed sewer lateral pipe
Heavy rain causes surface water to pool around your home
Storm sewer backup
Sanitary sewer backup
Foundation drainage failure
Water supply-line break or hot-water tank failure
And many more
Have Questions about Basement Flooding?
Call Today - 650-794-1000

If flood water is not handled quickly and properly, it can jeopardize your health and safety, and cause severe damage to your home’s structure. Remember, the longer you wait, the worse the problem will get.

The bottom line: a flooded basement can jeopardize your health, safety, and your home’s integrity. It’s worth making a call to SERVPRO of South San Francisco City/ San Bruno and let our trained, professional crews handle the situation safely and correctly. We have earned the trust of hundreds of homeowners, business owners, and property professionals.

We are Flooded Basement Specialists:

We are Available 24 hours/7 days per week
We’re a Preferred Vendor to many National Insurance Companies
We Bill The Insurance Directly – One Less Thing For You To Worry About
Our Technicians are Highly-Trained in Water Restoration Techniques
We use s500 IICRC Restoration Standards
Advanced Inspection and Extraction Equipment

How to Locate Water Leaks in Your Home

6/6/2021 (Permalink)

Water leaks are more than just a nuisance. Undetected leaks — or those that are simply ignored — can eventually lead to costly repair and further water damage due to rot, mold growth from extra moisture, and other extensive damage. Finding and fixing a water leak early on & before it gets out of hand can save you money and avert potential disaster.

The first sign of a hidden leak can be a higher than normal water bill. Once you’ve ruled out that the cause isn’t due to extra water use by house guests or from watering your lawn and garden during the warm-weather months, an undetected leak is the likely culprit.

Did you know that fixing easily corrected household water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills? 

There are a few different ways to check for hidden water leaks. The first tool is your water meter.

In addition to telling the utility company how much water you’ve used, your home’s water meter can also be used to your advantage to find hidden water leaks.

Follow these simple steps to uncover your water leak:

  1. Stop using all water inside and outside the house. This includes all the indoor faucets, outdoor faucets, water-using appliances, ice makers, and automatic backflow cleaning in whole-house water filters. Don’t flush the toilet during the test.
  2. Locate your water meter. If your meter has a water flow indicator, watch the indicator for movement. This is a small rotating wheel on the meter that can detect even small amounts of water flow. If it moves when you know no one’s using any water, then there’s a leak somewhere in your house.
  3. If you don’t have a water flow indicator, record the numbers that appear on the meter. Wait a few hours (remember not to use any water during this time).
  4. Check the meter. If the meter reading goes up, it’s an indication of a hidden water leak.

Now that you know you have a leak, the next step is pinpointing its exact location. The following are the most common places for a home water leak to occur.