Recent Posts

Fire inside a home!!

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Last week we discussed how important the proper type fire extinguisher can be should a fire occur in your home; but here are some important tips on how you can prevent having to use the extinguisher in the first place:

Stay in your kitchen whenever you are cooking on the stove top.

Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.

Keep children away from the stove – at least 3 feet.

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.

Keep the floor clean so you don’t trip over any toys, purses, or bags.

Keep knives out of the reach of children.

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. 

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.

Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

Some people may look to vary the traditional turkey entrée by using a deep fryer. The deep-frying cooking process requires that up to 5 gallons of oil be heated before placing the turkey into the device. Tests have shown that a number of available fryers can tip over easily, allowing hot oil to spill and creating a fire or scald burn from contact. They can also overheat which causes hot oil to spill or splatter outside the fryer, a recipe for fire or serious injury.

Apartment water damage in San Jose, Ca

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

Whether due to lack of attention or a freak accident, all homeowners at one point or another experience some type of water issue in their homes. And in many cases, the problems present themselves in subtle ways. The key is to be on the lookout for them so that they don't become a matter that requires a significant amount of time, money, and effort to fix.

With this in mind, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) chronicled the five leading causes of water damage based on property insurance claims. In addition, they outlined the potential indicators of a problem and tips on how homeowners can solve them.


The average cost of a plumbing supply system failure was more than $5,000 after the insurance deductible was paid, according to the IBHS study. 

Ways to Reduce Damage

  • Potential indicators of a plumbing problem include an increased monthly water bill, banging pipes, rust stains, and moisture in the walls or on floors, and signs of wet soil erosion near the foundation.
  • Setting the thermostat 60 degrees or higher in winter months, letting faucets drip and insulating pipes are all ways to reduce the risk of frozen pipes.
  • Consider installing water alarms or a whole-house automatic water shutoff system 


Toilet failures in the IBHS study cost more than $5,500 per incident after the deductible was paid. One-third of all toilet failures in the study resulted from an overflowing or clogged toilet.

Ways to Reduce Damage

  • After you flush, wait for the valve to completely finish refilling the tank and bowl. If an overflow looks imminent, turn off the supply valve.
  • Twice a year, inspect a toilet’s components, such as the fill, supply and flush valves and the supply line.
  • Consider upgrading the toilet’s supply line to a sturdier braided steel hose.


The most common causes of water heater failures in the IBHS study were a slow leak or a sudden burst in the tank, followed by supply line failures.  The average cost per incident was $4,444.

Ways to Reduce Damage

  • Check the life expectancy and warranty for the water heater and replace accordingly.
  • Proper maintenance, such as flushing sediments and inspecting the heater’s anode rod, can increase life expectancy.
  • Inspect valves to ensure proper operations, and use ball valves in place of gate valves whenever possible.


The IBHS study found more than half of plumbing system failures were the result of sewer backups. The problem was more common in southern states and on average cost $4,000 per incident after the insurance deductible was paid.

Ways to Reduce Damage

  • If the home’s sewer system is connected to the city’s sewer system – a particular problem for older homes – or if you are located downhill or below street level, contact a plumbing professional to install a backflow prevention assembly into the home’s sewer system.
  • Plant trees away from lateral drain lines to prevent roots from damaging piping.
  • Never pour grease down the drain.


More than half of the claims in the IBHS study were linked to washing machine hose failures. Washing machine claims in the study averaged more than $5,300 per incident after the deductible was paid.

Ways to Reduce Damage

  • One burst inlet hose, and your laundry room is flooded in a matter of minutes. Replace rubber hoses every three years and consider upgrading to sturdier braided steel hoses.
  • When leaving the house for an extended period of time, turn off the hot and cold water supply valve to reduce failure risks.

Nothing can completely prevent water damage incidents.  But you can reduce your risk by taking some precautions. 

Water damage due to rain.

1/15/2020 (Permalink)

We at SERVPRO of SW San Jose are here to help the South Bay with cleanup from this week's storms.  Whether you suffer from a small roof leak to a complete house flood, we can help you.

Should you suffer water intrusion into your home, here are some important does and don't (apply for clean water situations such as rain intrusion)

1.  Catch water intrusion if possible in item such as a bucket.

2.  Remove excess water by mopping & blotting

3.  Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for drying

4.  Place aluminum foil or wood blocks under furniture legs.

5.  Hang  furs and leather goods to dry separately at room temperature.

6.  Remove Oriental or colored rugs from wet carpeting

7.  Do NOT use a regular vacuum to remove water.

8.  Do not turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of wet areas where ceilings are sogging from retained water.

9.  Do not leave books, magazines, or colored items on wet carpeting.

Helping out Home Owners with AC

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

Evaluate your HVAC system’s air filter. If the filter is dirty or full, the system may not be able to function properly. A dirty air filter can restrict airflow. If the air coming out of your vents seems weak, start with a new air filter. If a clean air filter does not solve the problem, a service call might be in order.

Verify that the outdoor air conditioner unit is not covered in dirt or debris. Any type of dirt or debris that restricts the unit’s airflow can cause it to not function properly. If there is yard debris around the unit, make sure to clear it away.

Check to make sure your thermostat is set properly. At the beginning of the air conditioning season, it can be difficult to remember that your thermostat must be switched to the correct mode. If your thermostat is set incorrectly, your air conditioner will not turn on.

Schedule a tune up and maintenance appointment for your air conditioner. It’s a smart idea to have your air conditioning system tune up at least once a year. During the tune up, the system should be cleaned, lubricated and checked for any problems.

When in doubt, call your air conditioning repair company for a service call. If your air conditioning system does not seem to be working properly, make sure to call a repair company as soon as possible. Air conditioning repair companies can get very busy when the weather gets hot.

Our company handles air conditioning water damage on a routine basis during summer months.  If you suspect your air conditioning system has caused water damage, please contact SERVPRO of SW San Jose.

Change your furnace filter!

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

You definitely don't want to eat off this silverware right now You definitely don't want to eat off this silverware right now

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?

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 contamination exactly as we would treat a smoke damage cleanup. It required 100% wipe down 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.

Kitchen fire in San Jose, Ca

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

A fire started in San Jose apartment at 3:30 pm. San Jose fire dependent was call and so was the property insurances company Sate Farm. State Farm agent gave a call to SERVPRO of SW San Jose to go out and help their customer with a fire they had in San Jose, Ca. SERVPRO was there with in an hour to help broad up the place and do a little bit of clean up till the insurances adjuster want out to take a look at damaged. SERVPRO of SW San Jose will be taking care of this project from beginning to end. Customers are happy that they are only talking to one company that is going to take care of it all. SERVPRO of SW San Jose is here to  help with all the big and small project. Call us at 408-288-9977

Water damage in Milpitas, Ca

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

A large amount of mold grows inside this wall cavity 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.

Roof damage after the rain in San Jose, Ca

1/8/2020 (Permalink)

With all the rain we've been experiencing in the  Bay Area it's no wonder the number of roof leak calls into our office has been skyrocketing.  Water damage can affect all family members, human or not. 

The roof in question was only a few years old, but the wind of the last storm was too much.  If you experience a roof leak, here are some suggestions about how to go about fixing it:

Step 1:  Stop the water.  Hire a roofing company to either fix the leak or to install a temporary roof tarp to keep more water from entering the structure.  If you suspect the water intrusion is gutter related, contact a gutter cleaning company.

Step 2:  Perform water remediation:  Open affected areas to perform drying and to prevent mold.  Install drying equipment and apply anti-microbial to discourage mold growth.  Caution:  If you are unsure about your property's lead paint or asbestos status, test first before any demolition.

Step 3:  Perform repairs to affected areas.  Always research your contractors make sure they hold valid licensing.

Helping Property Managers

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO of SW San Jose welcome opportunities to educate our community about fire, water, and mold damage restoration topics.  Recently our marketing manager, spoke to real estate agent members of the Independent Broker's meeting at the Santa Clara County Association of Realtors (SCCAOR). SERVPRO also gives classes to property managers. SERVPRO gives real estate agent and property manages the tools to help them and educate them to know more about water, fire and mold damage. SERVPRO of SW San Jose takes care and helps out a lot of property managers in the area with water damaged as well as mold and fire damaged. Selling a house is a hard thing but when the real estate needs help taking care of a mold damaged we are here to help them out. 

Winter is here in the Bay Area

1/3/2020 (Permalink)

Water sensors are small devices that can alert you whenever water is present around the refrigerator, the washing machine, sinks, and toilets—even in the basement. If you've got a leaky basement or appliances of a certain age, a smart water sensor makes for a strategic addition to your home.

Some smart water sensors work alone via Wi-Fi, and others connect to a smart-home hub; when wetness occurs, both can send a message to your phone so you can respond with a towel or a plumber. The units we're talking about here can't actually shut off the water; they simply alert you to the danger so you can respond quickly.

Though you can get a leak sensor that will set off an eardrum-piercing tone for as little as $10, if you want to get alerts and remote access, be prepared to pay a bit more. But the money is well worth it - an average water damage claim can easily cost $2500.