Recent Posts

Be save on Thanksgiving

11/17/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Be save on Thanksgiving Turkey Fryer Blazing Up

Did you know that there are about 4,300 Thanksgiving Day fires annually in the United States?   The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says Thanksgiving Day is the leading day for home cooking fires, with three times as many occurring on Thanksgiving as any other day of the year.  Cooking is often a relaxing and fun task that brings family and friends together, and it provides a great way to showcase your creativity and love of good food.   Safety in the kitchen is always important even more so when there is a lot of activity and people at home.

Here are some important tips on how you can prevent having to use the extinguisher in the first place:

  1. Stay in your kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on your food.
  2. Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  3. Keep children away from the stove – at least 3 feet.
  4. Make sure kids and pets stay away from hot food or liquids.  The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy, or coffee can cause serious burns.
  5. Keep the floor clean so you don’t trip over any toys, purses, or bags.
  6. Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  7. Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer, or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  8. Do not leave candles burning in rooms where you cannot observe them and make sure the flame is at least 1’ away from any combustible item.
  9. Make sure your smoke alarms are working.  Test them by pushing the test button.

This your Chimney at ricks for a fire..

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage This your Chimney at ricks for a fire.. Chimney Fire Damaged.

Did you feel the chill in the air this past weekend?  For many of us, there’s nothing quite like enjoying a crackling fire to chase away the cold weather.  You’re sitting in your living room with your family enjoying the warm glow of the flames, and suddenly you hear a roaring noise.  It almost sounds like a jet plane is flying right over your home!  Huge amounts of dark smoke billow out of the top of your chimney – what is happening?!?

This is a scenario that plays out almost 25,000 times per year in the US:  Chimney Fires.  These fires can be very dramatic, or they may burn silently, but their silence holds no indication of the harm they may cause as they burn slowly at incredibly high temperatures.  Regardless of the type, all chimney fires can cause substantial damage and risk to you and your family.

So what causes chimney fires?  The build-up of creosote along the chimney lining walls can facilitate the start of a chimney fire. This build-up is caused by the unburned materials in the smoke accumulating along the chimney walls and creating a sticky substance that can easily catch fire. The smoke from the fire contains a substance similar to tar and when the temperatures within the chimney are below 250 degrees Fahrenheit, the substance will condense along the chimney surface. When the temperature drops below 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the substance turns into a dark, sticky substance that is also highly flammable.

The Good News:  Chimney fires are almost entirely preventable!

Chimney fires are a dangerous and serious problem to have, but the good news is that they are also almost entirely preventable.  You must be careful to only burn materials that are ready and meant to be burned.  For example, only use seasoned, dry wood, newspapers, and dry kindling.  Burning cardboard boxes, trash, or wrapping paper can cause the creation of excess creosote and put your home and family in danger.  While using the correct fuel is important, a chimney fire can still occur even after taking these precautions.  This is why annual chimney inspections and cleanings are a critical part of home maintenance.  Most creosote is removed during annual chimney cleaning performed by chimney sweeps.

A clean chimney reduces the risk of a fire; so before you strike the first match for a fire this winter, consider scheduling a chimney inspection and cleaning.   Some simple precautions can help you have a safe and happy winter season.

(Statistics Courtesy of U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC))

CE course on mold

11/13/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation CE course on mold Mold growing on sheet rock inside a home

Property Managers & Real Estate Agents:  Ever run into a mold problem at one of your properties?  Do you want to learn more about how to prevent a mold problem and how to handle one if it already exists?

Understanding Mold in the Restoration Industry is a 3-hour CE course taught by SERVPRO and designed for Real Estate Professionals.  The purpose of this course is to educate Real Estate professionals on the real effects of mold growth in residential & commercial structures.  Mold growth requirements will be reviewed so the real estate professional can recognize potential mold dangers in real property.

SERVPRO gives CE classes about restoration every year. SERVPRO of SW San Jose can help Real Estate and Property Managers with mold or water damaged. 

What homeowner should know about rebuilding

9/26/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage What homeowner should know about rebuilding SERVPRO will be there to help you out.

For many people their home may be the biggest investment they will ever make.  Determining your home's estimated replacement cost is important because in the event of a loss the replacement cost will ultimately determine how much coverage your policy will provide.  Since it is impossible to predict today what the exact cost will be to replace your home in the future, it's important to have enoughcoverage to acount for unforseen circumstances.

The keys are:

1.  Understanding the difference between market value and replacement cost

2.  Making sure that your home is insured for at least 100% of its estimated replacement cost.

Market value is the amount a buyer would pay for a home, including the land, regardless of how much it would cost to rebuild the home.  Replacement cost for insurance purposes is the rebuilding cost necessary to repair or replace the entire home.

To determine the proper amount of homeowners coverage:

1.  Ask if a replacement cost estimate is available when you have your home appraised.

2  Consult with your local builder association or a reputable builder for an estimate.

Market conditions in your area may impact the amount it will cost to rebuild your home if you experience a loss.  Replacement cost estimates are influenced by factors such as supply of labor, the cost of labor, and the cost of construction materials.  If neither estimate is available, the following basic guidelines can be used for the San Francisco East & South Bay Areas:

Approximate Economy Home Rebuilding Cost:  $200 / sq ft

Approximate Standard Home Rebuilding Cost:  $250 / sq ft

Approximate Semi-Custom Home:  $350 / sq ft

Approximate Custom / Luxury Home:  $400 / sq ft and up

Should you experience a fire, water, or mold loss, you can count on SERVPRO to help.  Our goal is to help you regain control and make your damage "Like it never even happened."

Small leak in Milpitas, Ca = Big $$

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Small leak in Milpitas, Ca = Big $$ A large amount of mold grows inside this wall cavity

Unfortunately for this customer in Milpitas, Ca they let a water leak go for too long. When they called  SERVPRO of SW San Jose they told them they knew they had a chip in their tile grout around the bathtub but didn't fill it. 

They ignored the problem and water continued to drip into the cavity.

About a year later the called SERVPRO of SW San Jose, because their wall in their adjacent hallway was bowing and showed discoloration.  We performed a complementary inspection and detected water inside the wall using a moisture meter.

Once we opened the wall we found out the total extent of their damage. What could have been fixed with a tube of sealant will now cost thousands to repair.

Remember to change your furnace filter!

9/21/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Remember to change your furnace filter! You definitely don't want to eat off this silverware right now

In April SERVPRO of SW San Jose helped a customer dealing with a type of puff-back from his furnace.  It was a townhouse rental property with a long-term tenant, no maintenance emergencies in almost 10 years .... sounds like an in deal tenant yes?

In April, the tenant called to report ash streaming out of all the vents like an incinerator!  When I arrived for the inspection I found that the tenant had not changed the filter in 2 years!

We had to treat this type of contanimation exactly as we would treat a smoke damage cleanup.  It required 100% wipedown of structure and contents, HVAC cleaning, and then extensive floor cleaning.

Ash has a way of sneaking even into closed areas - have a look below at the ash around his silverware which was enclosed in the silverware drawer.

Real Estate Agents

6/7/2017 (Permalink)

Community Real Estate Agents Marketing Manager Dave Kraszewski with John Shaw

SERVPRO of SW San Jose is celebrating its second year as an affiliate member of NHORA, the National Hispanic Organization of Real Estate Agents.  They help create and support opportunities for responsible and sustainable home ownership. 

Our franchise was honored in our first year as "Affiliate of the Year", an achievement we feel very proud of.  In this photo, our marketing manager Dave Kraszewski poses with John Shaw from PCDSI, a fellow attendee of April's business luncheon held at Maggiano's in Santana Row.

We feel it is important develop relationships with real estate agents because in the event of a fire, water, or mold problem, buyers and sellers may turn to them for help. 

If you are a real estate agent, consider SERVPRO for your next restoration project.

Ever wonder how we clean up water damage?

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ever wonder how we clean up water damage? Investigating water damage after the Coyote Creek downtown San Jose flood

Ever wonder what the steps are in handling water damage in a building?  Check out our video at for a minute-long crash course!

In the video we begin with our initial survey of the water damaged property, in the case a single family home.  A water supply line in the kitchen burst while the family was away on vacation causing large amounts of water damage to the flooring. 

After the inspection we come up with a drying strategy that will dry your property as fast as possible with as little demo as possible. 

Once the demo and dryout are finished, you don't have to hunt for a new contractor, let us perform your repairs.  We value every client we work with, let us help you with your loss from beginning to end.

2nd Prize Delivered: $100 Cheesecake Factory Card

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

Community 2nd Prize Delivered:  $100 Cheesecake Factory Card Dave presents Randy with his $100 Cheesecake Factory Card

Marketing Manager Dave Kraszewski presents State Farm Agent Randy Chang with his second place prize:  $100 Cheesecake Factory Gift Card.

When I asked him how he manages to place so well year after year, Randy told me he's an avid sports fan and has his own "system" for picking his NCAA bracket.  The secret is actually between his he and his dad, State Farm agent Harry Chang.

And if you still can't understand why your pick didn't make the cut, you can relive the agony of every loss in the tournament at:

All kidding aside, we are proud to congratulate Randy Chang of Randy Chang State Farm for taking our 2nd place spot in our contest.  Stop by and visit him sometime, his office is located off El Camino in Mountain View near the Google HQ.

3rd Prize Delivered - NCAA Contest

5/4/2017 (Permalink)

Community 3rd Prize Delivered - NCAA Contest Dave congratulates Gerri on her 3rd place winnings

As the marketing manager for SERVPRO of SW San Jose, one of my favorite visits I have the pleasure of making is to deliver prizes following our contests.  3rd prize winner for this year's contest was Gerri Ferrari of Mike Klein State Farm in Mountain View.

Like many of our players, Gerri has been participating in our contests regularly since the beginning.  We really appreciate everyone who returns to play year after year.

Traditionally our franchise holds two contests per year, the NCAA in the Spring and an online trivia type contest in the Fall.  All contests are free and no obligation, we enjoy putting them on to add a bit of fun into office life.  :-) 

If you would like to be invited to participate in future contests, contact marketing manager Dave Kraszewski at