Tag Archives: plumbing emergency

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SLAB LEAK BAY AREA

Avoid Plumbing Problems during the Bay Area Covid-19 Shelter in Place

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Tips to Minimize Plumbing Emergencies During the COVID-19 Bay Area Shelter in Place Order.

Many people are working from home, children are out of school during the Corona Virus Shelter in Place mandate. Our plumbing technicians continue to provide essential services in the community to commercial, municipal and residential clients.

Here are some tips to avoid plumbing problems during the coronavirus pandemic and increased household plumbing usage:

In the Bathroom

Clogged Sewer

As you remind your children to wash their hands regularly, also remind them to conserve on toilet paper usage. Warn them about flushing too much toilet paper down the drain at once.

The bathrooms in your home are getting used a lot more than they would on a daily basis. Motivate them to shut the lid in order to avoid toys, and things from falling in the toilet.

No Hot Water

If you are using a regular water heater. Hot water may run out if you have a large family and everyone is showering or taking baths at the same time.

Space out shower times with at least 30 min to an hour between each person. With an instant water heater, you’d never have to worry about running out of hot water.  Learn more about Tankless Water Heaters.

Clogged Drains

With a lot more showers, comes a lot more hair going down the drain. Place small screens, or covers over the drains to eliminate hair from clogging your drains. Clean them regularly.  Easily found at local grocery stores or hardware stores.  Remember to keep a social distance when shopping for essentials.

In the Kitchen

A family at home means the kitchen is getting used a lot more and on a consistent basis. Pay close attention to what you or your children are putting down the kitchen drain and in the garbage disposal.

Wipe plates clean before rinsing and placing them in the dishwasher.

Slab Leak

They say when it rains it pours. We have received many calls relating to slab leaks which can wreak havoc on the foundation and structural integrity of any home.  Slab leaks are not clearly visible to a homeowner, they can often go undetected for long periods of time. Now that you’re spending more time at home, you may take notice.

How Can You Tell It’s a Slab Leak?

  • Sudden spikes in your water bill
  • The sound of running water when pipes aren’t in use
  • Moisture or mildew under carpeting
  • A moving water meter dial when pipes aren’t in use
  • Standing water around the perimeter of your house
  • Unusually low water pressure
  • Cracks in your baseboard or walls
  • Damp or warm floors
  • Mold Problems / Moldy smell

We are closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak according to the guidelines and recommendations of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) and other local and national health organizations.

Our thoughts are with you during this COVID-19 pandemic and we hope you and your loved ones are safe. We want you to know that our team is here to take care of all your essential plumbing needs.

Contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.


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Plumbing flood floor drying tips

How to Dry Flooring In Case of a Plumbing Flood

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A plumbing flood is avoidable with proper maintenance, but when a pipe bursts in your home, chaos unfolds.

Not only is your furniture at risk of severe damage, but your floors can suffer as well. The porous nature of subflooring, carpet, and wood can retain water for days and even weeks after the leak.

Therefore, you need to be diligent when it comes to cleanup. Before the problem calls for a total flooring replacement, follow these tips to save your floor — and your investment — before it’s too late.

As a Bay Area Plumbing and Engineering Contractor, we want you to avoid plumbing problems all together, but if you can’t, use these tips to help you properly dry the area.

Before You Begin

Before you start to cleanup, photo-document the affected area. Armed with these photos, you have evidence of the flood to give to your insurance company. If you have any cloth furniture that’s salvageable, remove it from the room and set it outside to dry. The power of the sun will take care of most of the moisture. When it’s overcast or cold outside, set the furniture near a heat source.

Soak Up Excess Water Immediately

Use a squeegee or a wet/dry vacuum depending on the location and severity of the problem. You can easily find these tools for sale or rent at a local hardware store.

Once you have the right tool for the job, remove as much water as possible. Speed is crucial. If you can remove a majority of the water within 24 hours, you lessen the chance of irreparable damage. The longer you wait to rid your home of water, the more chance moisture has to seep into hardwood flooring or carpet, necessitating a full replacement.

Use a Fan

The next step to dry your flooring is to use a high-powered fan. A household floor or desk fan usually isn’t strong enough to get the job done, so you may have to purchase or rent a fan with enough power to remove excessive moisture.

If you have wooden furniture such as a dresser or armoire in the room, remove the drawers and open any doors to ensure you remove the moisture from these areas as well.  In addition, this fan will help circulate fresh air, which can also lessen the musty, mildew smell caused by flooding.

Unleash the Power of a Dehumidifier

Even with a thorough vacuuming and a fan, your room will undoubtedly still have moisture hiding somewhere. To remove this final bit of water, rent or buy a portable dehumidifier.

These dehumidifiers remove water vapor from the air that you otherwise couldn’t eliminate. Remember to empty the water drawer frequently to make sure you don’t have another water spill on your hands.

Disinfect All Affected Areas

When a pipe bursts, there’s a chance that the water has come in contact with sewage or bacteria. Because of the health risks posed by bacteria and subsequent mold, you should disinfect and sanitize any area touched by the water.

This includes not only the floor itself, but also baseboards, walls, and furniture. In more severe cases, consider hiring a professional.

Any time a pipe bursts in your home, it’s a catastrophic situation that requires due diligence. So push the stress aside and get to work drying your floors. The value of your home and your pocketbook depend on it.

Our professional plumbers are standing by to answer any questions you have relating to plumbing.  We service the entire San Francisco Bay Area and are relied upon by residents, commercial clients and municipalities due to our experience, advanced equipment and techniques.


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Fall Season Plumbing Tips for Home or Office

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Even as temperatures dip, it’s important to maintain your plumbing system. With proper plumbing maintenance, you can ensure your plumbing system runs smoothly throughout the fall and avoid any unwelcomed plumbing emergencies during winter.

Whether you’re at home or the office, follow these tips to keep both outdoor and indoor plumbing problems at bay.

Basement Plumbing Tips

If your home or office has a basement, make sure to check the sump pump and the water heater. Sump pumps are responsible for sending water away from the home to more secure locations such as storm drains. In order to run properly, a sump pump must have power and a clear discharge line. Otherwise, your basement could flood.

Your water heater is under more stress as colder temperatures converge on your area and the water heater works harder to heat.

To avoid any complications or added stress on the heater, flush the system to remove loose sediment at the bottom of the tank.

This will ensure that there are no clogs in the system and it’s ready to heat on command throughout fall and into winter. You should also check the pressure release valve. This should shoot a burst of hot water into the drainpipe. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to replace it.

If you’re always having a problem with your traditional water heater, it may be the perfect time to look into replacing it with a tankless one. Here is some information that compares a traditional water heater with a tankless water heater.

Yard Tips

Don’t forget about the outside of your home or office during fall or winter, as these can become problematic once temperatures plummet. Remove your water hoses from external spigots before they can freeze onto the thread, luckily we live in California where the weather remains mild pretty much the whole year, but you never know!.

If left to the elements, a frozen hose on a spigot can cause interior pipes to burst, causing flooding or damaging the spigot and hose. To add another layer of prevention, find the water shutoff valve, cut the water supply from the exterior, and let everything drain. This will also help you avoid pipe bursts and other damage.

During fall, clean out all gutters and downspouts as another precautionary measure. If these remain clogged, they’ll start to retain water, which will eventually freeze come winter. Ice in the gutter or roof can eventually come crashing down as it melts, causing damage to property or injury to persons on the ground.

Protect Your Pipes

Pipe bursts are one of the most catastrophic incidents a homeowner or business owner can face. When pipes burst, everything floods, causing damage to any area below the location of the burst.

Fortunately, you can prevent this from happening. Locate any pipe that’s exposed to the elements, such as the basement, the exterior of the home, the garage, or between floors. Using heat tape or pipe insulators, wrap the pipes tightly. This will prevent them from bursting and give you peace of mind for the rest of the season.

Express Plumbing, a division of EPS Engineering not only provides above ground plumbing services, but we specialize in underground construction for both residential and commercial properties. Our team always provides innovative ideas and preventative tips from our experience of multiple decades to our client. The majority of plumbing emergencies can be avoided with proper maintenance.

Schedule Annual Plumbing System Inspection and Maintenance

If plumbing and home improvement aren’t your strong points, let our professionals take care of preventive maintenance and plumbing woes.

During an annual inspection, our plumbers will examine the pipes, water heater, sump pump, and septic system for any flaws or problems that may require maintenance. This takes the hassles and the guesswork out of your fall plumbing checklist, allowing you to enjoy the season comfortably.

Fall weather doles out some of the most unexpected weather of the year, and without proper maintenance, your plumbing system could fail at the most inopportune time. But with a bit of due diligence and help from our experienced team, you’ll ensure an effective plumbing system throughout fall and beyond.

Got a question? We love helping clients throughout the Bay Area. Our EPS Engineering team focuses on large scale projects that involve planning, engineering, and underground heavy construction operations, our Express Plumbing Division focuses on providing plumbing support to our residential, commercial, and municipal clients. We are always eager to serve our Bay Area plumbing clients, and we look forward to serving you. Let’s Talk.


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bay area plumbing problems issues emergency

Avoid These Common Summer Plumbing Issues Around the House

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Fun in the sun isn’t enjoyable if you’re having to deal with summer plumbing problems! While you’re getting ready for a trip to the beach, a backyard BBQ and evening parties, if you’re a homeowner in the Bay Area, you’re never worry free.  There are always issues around the house, and plumbing issues are one of them.  Let’s get you prepared.

Most Common Summer Plumbing Issues

Clogged Toilets & Drains

With swimming comes more showers, with kids out of school, the toilets will be working double time.  Talk with your kids and explain proper use.  If you’ve got teenagers discuss the things they should NEVER put down the toilet to avoid clogs.  For the shower drains, it may be a good time to invest in a drain plug to catch all the hair.  Keep a plunger handy, just in case they do get clogged, and give us a call if you ever need our residential plumbers anywhere in the Bay Area.

Leaks in Washing Machine Hoses

Swimming, sports, showers, only mean that your washing machine will be working overtime these summers months, to prevent washing machine hose leaks, check them often and replace them before they begin leaking in order to avoid a leak in the house.  Plumbing issues can come from anywhere, you can’t stop them all, but with a little attention to detail, one can avoid a few plumbing problems from becoming bigger disasters.

Sewer Line Plumbing Problems

We are the Bay Area underground sewer experts because we get called for sewer repair and sewer replacements on a daily basis, so we know this can happen, and it does!  Whether the roots from trees expanded during the wet winter months and found their way into the sewer line or the collection of residue and hair has finally reached maximum capacity, avoid sewer line problems by not only installing drain plugs in the summer but all year long.

If you have a sewer issue, minimize the repair by hiring our trenchless “no-dig” plumbers.  We have the equipment and expertise to handle any sewer and underground pipe repair without digging.  The process is efficient, minimizes the disruption to the ground above, thus the cost and time to repair is much less.

Summer is meant to be enjoyable, follow these small tips to enjoy the kids being out of school, have outdoor fun without having to deal with plumbing issues that will drain your excitement.

We at EPS Express Pluming enjoy helping our Bay Area community and are called upon by commercial, residential, and municipal clients to provide engineering, plumbing, drilling, and building services when they need it.  We’ve been serving the San Francisco Bay Area since 1989.  We look forward to helping you when you need us most 24/7 including holidays and weekends.


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trenchless sewer repair and replacement san francisco company

Why Hire a Trenchless Plumbing Company?

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No one ever wants a plumbing emergency, but when it happens, sometimes it involves going into the pipes underground.  Deciding to hire a trenchless plumbing company instead of a traditional plumber is extremely important and here’s why.

A Trenchless Plumbing Company Doesn’t Dig!

This is possibly one of the most important reasons, but the one that will get your attention the most is cost and time.  If a pipe underground needs to be repaired or replaced, there’s no other way to get around it but dig up a whole mess, unless trenchless technology is used for the pipe replacement.

Digging up the surrounding area will require additional costly repairs once the pipe is replaced.  Let’s not mention the plants or trees if they happen to be above the dug up area.

A trenchless plumbing contractor will use advanced technology to get to the underground pipe through one point of entry.  EPS Express Plumbing in San Mateo is a trenchless plumbing company that specializes in underground pipes.  From new installations, to replacements using pipe reaming, installations of underground utilities and everything in between.  The process is simple, effective, and quick.

Watch this video, where our commercial plumbing crew performed a sewer rehab in Daly City CA.  Using the trenchless pipe reaming process to install 1700 feet of 18″ HDPE pipe through an existing old 12″ vitrify clay pipe.  Can you imagine if the 1700 feet of road had to be dug up to get the job done?

Sure this project is huge when compared to the front or backyard, but the same concept applies.  Trenchless sewer repair and replacement happens everywhere, whether you’re a resident in the Bay Area or own a business.  Our team of expert plumbers is here to assist you in choosing the most effective method to repair, replace, or install underground pipe.

Contact Nick Bechwati, our hands-on owner for any upcoming project, no matter how big or small.  Companies, homeowners, businesses, and municipalities rely on our expertise, unwavering commitment to excellence, combined with experience and the best equipment available today.  If you have a plumbing problem, installation, or repair.  We’ve been serving the Bay Area since 1989 and look forward to serving you.

We provide trenchless plumbing services in the Bay Area including surrounding areas such as  Atherton, Belmont, Burlingame, Half Moon Bay, Los Altos Hills, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Francisco, San Bruno, Stanford, Woodside, Fremont, Mountain View, Colma, Foster City, Daly City, Brisbane, Union City, Hayward, Newark, San Leandro, Foster City

 


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Most Common Holiday Plumbing Problems We’ve Seen in the Bay Area

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You’re right, plumbing problems aren’t specific to geographic locations, but we can only speak about our plumbing emergency experiences in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This time of year, everyone is in a festive mood as they should be, but there’s nothing worse than a plumbing disaster striking right in the midst of a holiday event, but our plumbing crew will tell you it happens all the time.

As a Bay Area plumber since 1989, we’ve been called night and day to deal with plumbing emergencies for businesses, homeowners, even municipality plumbing issues , the number of residential plumbing problem calls always increase around the holidays, why?  The plumbing does take a large beating with the above average use during this season.  Here are the most common residential plumbing problem calls we’ve received.

Common Plumbing Problems and Prevention

Garbage Disposal Stops Working

With so many tasty dinners around the holidays, of course their are many broken garbage disposals. There are however a few things you can do to prevent this from happening or at least delay it so you can remain in a festive mood.  Your garbage disposal is not a dumpster.  Keep things out of it, it’s that simple.

Sure, many will tell you to cut things into smaller pieces, or to only put certain types of foods down the garbage disposal.  As your trusted Bay Area plumber, we say to avoid it all together around the holidays because we want you to enjoy the holiday season free from any unexpected plumbing issues.

Broken Water Heaters

We get called for this all the time, and it’s always fun when the water heater is not broken at all, the igniter goes off and no more hot water.  This is usually a quick fix and we all get back to our holiday festive moods.

One year a San Francisco resident was so excited after finding out her water heater was not broken at all, it had just shut off, she had our tech Joe stay for dinner and celebrate Christmas eve with her family.  It’s moments like these that we enjoy and help us love what we do even more.

We serve our community with dedication and a rapid response 24 hour a day, 7 days a week including the weekends and holidays.  We do it with a smile.  If you have a plumbing problem in San Francisco, call us and you’ll get a live person whenever you call.

Here are a few things you can do if you have a traditional water heater when you’re expecting a few overnight holiday guests.

Turn up the temperature, but never go over 120 degrees, it can be dangerous, this will help you stretch your hot water and insure everyone gets a nice comfy shower.  Remember to turn it down right after they’re gone so you don’t waste too much and save energy.

If you have an on-demand water heater (tankless water heater), you don’t have to worry about hot water at all.  When you want it, it’s there.

Last but not least, we hate to talk about a pesky, stinky plumbing matter, but we simply can’t avoid it because it’s one of the most common plumbing problems during the holidays.

Clogged Toilets or Sewer

With so many guests in and out of the bathroom, that’s bound to happen.  Not to mention, after a few drinks, who knows what’s being flushed down the toilet.  If you don’t normally keep a waste basket close, get one!

Remind your guests not to flush sanitary napkins, baby wipes, facial tissues, etc.

We’re always available to help including holidays and weekends, but it’s not a bad idea to keep a plumber near just in case.  Leak detection, Sewer repair or replacement is our specialty.

These are just a few of the calls we’ve received in the past, we hope these tips will help you and from our entire plumbing and engineering team at EPS Express Plumbing, we wish you and your family a festive, holiday season filled with love, laughter and free of plumbing problems.

Rapid Response:

The Holidays seasons is one of our busiest months, we serve the entire Bay Area, but call us when you need a trusted, fast response:

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san mateo clogged drain expert

Proper Maintenance to Avoid A Clogged Drain

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Clogged drains account for the majority of residential plumbing emergencies.  Homeowners and business owners throughout the Bay Area can avoid a clogged drain by following a few maintenance tips on a regular basis.

Prevent a Slow Clogged Drain in the Kitchen

Preventing slow and clogged drains is the first step in avoiding a plumbing emergency.

Cooking Grease, and coffee grounds are two of the major every day items that go down the drain.  Avoid putting them down the drain all together by adding them in an old coffee can and dispose of them in the trash instead of the kitchen sink.

Coffee grounds are also great for plants, if you have a backyard garden, add them to the mulch pile, and watch your flowers bloom.

Clogged Bathroom Drain

Soap scum and toothpaste account for many of the bathroom drains our plumbing technicians see.  It’s quite difficult to avoid this but there are other things you can avoid such as hair going down the drain which will help you drains remain clear longer.

Place a screen that will catch the hair before it goes down the drain and create a clogged build up.

There are custom screens specific for your drain available at the local hardware store.  Snap a picture on your phone before going the store, this will help you get an exact fit screen.

Maintaining Drains while Saving the Environment

The EPA says that Americans toss approximately 4.5 pounds of garbage every day.  Avoiding clogged drains by properly maintaining them also includes not putting things down the drain that can hurt our environment.  Medications, flammable liquid, and paint are a few of the items to avoid all together.

Here are the alarming results of pouring these 7 things down the drain.

Our Bay Area residential plumbing experts are available to help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including holidays and weekends.  As an emergency plumbing company, we enjoy sharing some of the things you can do every day to avoid having to call us in the first place.

If you’re following a proper drain maintenance plan but still end up with a clogged drain, give us a call and we’ll be happy to serve you anywhere in the Bay Area.

 


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Bay Area Residential Plumbing Leaks and Repairs

Minor Residential Plumbing Leaks Can Become Large Quickly

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No matter how old your home is, a plumbing leak can happen, avoid turning a small residential leak into a large plumbing disaster by following these steps.

Identify the Residential Plumbing Leak Source

Faulty plumbing systems, and pipes can be anywhere in the house, kitchen, bathroom, under the slab, the garage or even in the attic.

It’s important to identify the source of the problem quickly.  If you have a two-story home, you may notice a water leak downstairs when the source is the bathtub upstairs.

If you cannot identify the source, our residential plumbing team in the Bay Area uses advanced leak detection equipment to pinpoint the exact location and repair it quickly.

Minimize the Home Leak Damage

If the leak is under the sink or in an area that has a water shut-off valve, be sure to turn that off quickly.  This will avoid the leak from further damaging your walls, floors, and surrounding areas.

Shut Off the Water Supply when Away

If you have a second home you occasionally visit, or you’re leaving a long vacation, it may be beneficial and preventative to shut off the water supply to the house.  Many vacation home owners follow this routine to avoid plumbing leaks and emergencies while they’re away.

If you ever find yourself with a plumbing disaster and your home is in the Bay Area, know that we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including holidays and weekend.  Many Bay Area homeowners keep our number on speed dial.

Avoid Residential Plumbing Leaks with Regular Maintenance

You’ll never know what’s going on behind the walls, under the floors or carpet, but all your visible hardware, pipes, should be checked regularly.

If you see a rusty pipe, a faucet that’s getting stuck or anything the grabs your attention, don’t ignore it!  Repairing plumbing and hardware before they break can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

At Express Plumbing in the Bay Area, we’ve been serving our Burlingame, San Mateo and Bay Area community since 1989.  Both residential and commercial clients rely on our experience, advanced equipment, and innovative techniques to repair, replace, or install.

We enjoy educating our residential community on the preventative measures they can take to avoid residential plumbing leaks.  We hope you find this useful, and ask you to share it with others.

If you need a residential plumbing expert, give us a call or request a complimentary plumbing quote from our team of Bay Area plumbers.


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Is a Burst Pipe Emergency Covered by Insurance?

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An emergency involving a burst pipe is an unexpected financial burden to homeowners and business owners. Does your insurance cover a bursting pipe? Here is the information we found to help you avoid unforeseen costs.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowners’ insurance does cover unexpected burst pipes and the damage it causes, however insurance does not cover the damage resulting from an ongoing slow leak that was left and not repaired.

Water Damage from Burst Pipe

Photo: Pennlive.com UCLA water damage from burst pipe. Read Full Story

How to Prevent Bursted Pipes?

There are major problems associated with a burst pipe. Even a small crack can flood your home, besides the visible damage, water damage under the carpet, wood floors and in the walls can cause mold if not dealt with immediately.

freezing weather pipe burst

Pipe Burst due to Freezing Weather

Here are a few recommendations to help you avoid burst pipes.

  • Learn More about emergency release valves.

  • Avoid frozen pipes in cold areas by properly insulating exposed pipes.

  • Prior to winter drain all outdoor pipes and faucets and disconnect the hoses to avoid bursts.

  • Schedule a yearly maintenance inspection by a licensed contractor.

When it comes to plumbing emergencies, prevention is key. Our team of plumbing technicians regularly performs home plumbing inspections, and routine evaluations to identify potential problems from wear and tear.

How to Handle a Pipe Burst?

If you experience a bursting pipe, and you do not have an emergency shut off valve, you must react quickly to minimize the damage.

  • Locate your house water valve, know where this is at all times.
  • Turn the valve clockwise to shut off the water to your home.
  • Verify the water has been shut off by turning on your water hose outside, which should stop if you properly followed the procedure.

Our Bay Area plumbing company has helped thousands of homeowners avoid emergency bursting pipes by providing regular maintenance inspections.

We have also installed hundreds of shut off valves to help them avoid water damage and repair costs if they have a pipe burst while away from home.  We are also open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week including holidays and weekends.  If you ever have a plumbing emergency, give us a call and we’ll quickly help you.

Taking small steps to avoid unnecessary repairs and expenses is very important. There’s nothing more frustrating than paying for insurance coverage, have a pipe that bursts to later find out it’s not covered due to improper maintenance.

Know your insurance policy, and understand your particular coverage to avoid unnecessary expenses.
Our plumbing company in San Mateo accepts insurance claims, we will communicate with parties involved to insure a timely repair and avoid any further unnecessary costs.


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307 N. Amphlett Blvd San Mateo, CA 94401
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