Recent Posts

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Broken Pipes?

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Many people wonder whether water damage is covered under their homeowners insurance. The answer to that question all depends on the type of water damage. "Gradual damage" due to water happens over a long period of time. This could be because of a leaky pipe or other causes, such as a crack in a foundation. This type of damage is common cause for insurance claims.

If you're not sure whether your insurance will cover water damage caused by a leaky pipe, it's important to review the exact wording of your homeowners policy with your insurance advisory, agent, or broker. You will have to review the exclusions of your policy as well as the type of coverage you have. 

All insurance policies exclude wear and tear, and gradual damage. However, there may be some "exceptions." For example, "resulting" damage may occur as a result of a broken pipe, water tank, or washing machine.

Damaged floor in San Jose, CA

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Floor affected Helping out homeowners

We received a call last week from a customer who was noticing some discoloration in his wall.  He wasn't sure if it was water damage and requested an inspection. He wanted SERVPRO to come out before they got mold. 

Primarily we use non-intrusive moisture meters to detect water damage.  The advantage of this type of moisture meter is that it does not physically damage the materials that it is testing.  This is compared to some moisture meters that use metal probes that pierce the object being tested.

Our inspection revealed that not only was his wall cavity affected, but a fair sized amount of flooring.  Look in the photo how we found another layer of tile below the floating floor. Customers are often surprised to find one, two, or sometimes even three old floors under a laminate floor.  

SERVPRO SW San Jose helping

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

affected flooring by water We are always here to help.

This week a customer telephoned us to report that her kitchen hardwood has been gradually discoloring over several months, in particular over a high traffic area.  They were at a loss as to what was causing the discoloration.  They contacted their insurance agent and he suggested to call us for a no-obligation inspection.

We sent out a technician who performed a moisture mapping of their floor.  He determined not only was there water present under the floor, but also under the carpeting of the family room that is located adjacent to the kitchen.

Our tech carefully peeled back the carpeting to discover a crack in the customer's concrete foundation where water was emanating from. 

No customer ever wants to hear the news there is a crack in their foundation - but boy was she relieved to finally know the cause! 

Course from SERVPRO

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

helping out property managers SERVPRO SW San Jose

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 damage. 

SERVPRO that is Why!!

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Helping people We are here to help!

SERVPRO of SW San Jose welcomes 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 damage as well as mold and fire damage. Selling a house is a hard thing but when the real estate agent needs help taking care of a mold damage we are here to help them out. 

SERVPRO will clean up anything!!

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

One of our property management clients called SERVPRO of SW San Jose because he was evicting a problem tenant who caused his apartment to become overwhelmed with roaches.  The pest control company had already treated the unit on a few occasions, but now they have a serious bio-hazard cleanup on their hands. 

He told us he contacted a few janitorial companies for quotes but they would not even attempt to bid the project because of the potential health hazards.

SERVPRO of SW San Jose crews have the expertise and materials to handle just about any bio-hazard cleanup project.  Should you run into such a situation, give SERVPRO of SW San Jose a call for your free estimate today. We will take care of the job from beginning to end. SERVPRO of SW San Jose will take care of the dirty work for you. Just call us and we will help out, and leave it "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO helps with mold

4/1/2020 (Permalink)

Helping with a mold job  in Los Gatos SERVPRO of SW San Jose helps out with a mold clean up and water damaged.

Working to help a customer in Los Gatos deal with a leaking wax ring from a toilet.  They saw a gradual widening of discoloration in a ring pattern in the vinyl in their upstairs bathroom - then one day this nasty spot appeared on their hallway ceiling below!  Luckily for them the amount of sewage was small and we were able to catch it in the initial stages.  We performed their water damage cleanup and sanitized the affected areas.

Customers often ask us if there is anything they can do to help prevent this type of damage.  The best advice in this instance would have been to investigate the vinyl discoloration in the upstairs bathroom at the very beginning.  Frequent inspections are often a good way to prevent leaks.

March Madness 2020

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO is here to help SERVPRO is here to help

It's that time of year again, time for March Madness!

Grand Prize:  2 tickets to your choice of the Sharks, 49ers,  Giants, A’s, Warriors, or Earthquakes

2nd Prize:  $75 Gift Card to your choice of The Cheesecake Factory

3rd Prize:   $25 Starbucks or Peet’s Coffee Gift Card

Consolation Prize:  4th place and up receive $5 Starbucks or Peet’s Card

Eligibility:  Must be a SERVPRO of SW San Jose Partner (owner, agent, agent staff, property mgr, realtor, broker, or employee).

How to Enter:  Visit: http://SERVPROswsj.mayhem.cbssports.com. If you wish, you may have the computer choose your bracket for you – no basketball knowledge or experience required!  J 

ENTRIES MUST BE COMPLETED BY THE TOURNAMENT 9AM PST 3/15/2020.  THERE IS NO COST OR OBLIGATION TO ENTER.  One entry per person.  Contest rules are listed on the website.

Good luck from your Fire, Water, and Mold Cleanup & Restoration Experts……  SERVPRO OF SOUTHWEST SAN JOSE!!  

Ways to reduce water damage!!

3/6/2020 (Permalink)

ceiling water damage bathroom ceiling water damage

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.

1. PLUMBING SUPPLY SYSTEM FAILURE

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 

2. TOILET FAILURE

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.

 3. WATER HEATER FAILURE

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.

4. PLUMBING DRAIN SYSTEM FAILURE

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.

5. WASHING MACHINE FAILURE

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. 

Cross section of a septic system drain field.

3/3/2020 (Permalink)

damage drain damage drain line

We don't run into too many septic system overflows in this part of the Bay Area, but if you happen to live or have a property in a rural area, for sure you have an idea about how septic tanks and the septic systems work. One way you’ll know if it’s maintained properly is if you don’t smell anything unpleasant coming from it. Now, there are a number of crucial do’s and don’ts to live by to ensure that your septic tank will last for as long as possible and that your septic system works the way it should. Here they are.

DO use high-quality toilet tissue only.

When shopping for toiletries, pick a toilet tissue that’s been proven to break up easily when wet. This way, it won’t cause any trouble when it’s already in your septic tank.

DO keep trees away from the septic system.

There are trees which have roots that grow and extend aggressively. They should be kept far from the septic system to avoid any damage. You can plant grass instead in the drainfield area to prevent and minimize the instances of soil erosion.

DO divert rainwater away from the drainfield.

When the drainfield is soggy, it would have challenges in absorbing liquid wastes. To prevent this, landscaping and foundation drains should be planned and executed accurately. Consult a professional regarding this matter.

DO perform regular maintenance.

Make sure your septic tank is maintained every one to three years by a professional. Now, the frequency of having your septic tank pumped will depend on its size, the amount of solids that go into it, and the volume of wastewater. It’s best to consult a professional again to know how often you should have your septic tank maintenance done.

DON’T allow an excessive amount of water to be discharged into the septic system.

It will cause the system to back up and will also affect the biological balance within the septic tank.

DON’T dump grease down the drain.

Grease can build up in the septic tank and plug the sewer pipes. So be sure it doesn’t find its way on the drain by having a separate container for it.