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Avoiding Water Damage: Take These 5 Steps Fast!

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Avoiding Water Damage: Take These 5 Steps Fast! Something as simple as a pipe burst can cause extensive water damage and costly repairs.

You’ve found standing water in your home! Maybe a pipe burst, or there’s a break in your water line. Regardless of the cause, timing is everything. Here are five of the most important steps you can take to avoid water damage in your Queens, NY, home.

1. Control the Water

Controlling the source of the water is the crucial first step. Identify where the pipe burst or where the water entered your home. If possible, turn off the water source and open faucets to release any remaining pressure.

2. Remove the Water

If the amount of water is small, use towels to absorb and remove the water. For a moderate problem, use a wet/dry vac if you can do so safely. If you are dealing with large amounts of water, such as flooding, pumps are a great way to extract excess water quickly.

3. Remove Wet Objects

Take out everything the water touched and allow it to dry out completely before returning it to your home. If you think something is damp or wet and you can remove it, do so. Obviously, there will be things you can’t remove, such as carpet, walls, wood molding, etc.

4. Dry Out the Area

Saturated carpet, walls, and baseboards can be dried using fans. This step is best for non-contaminated water. If water cleanliness is in question, don’t risk spreading bacteria by using fans.

5. Use Restoration Services

Sometimes the water emergency is more than you can handle alone. Calling in the help of a professional restoration service in Queens, NY, ensures that the water is completely controlled before further damage can occur. Mold can begin growing in only two days, so don’t wait to tackle water damage.

Something as simple as a pipe burst can cause extensive water damage and costly repairs. Work quickly and efficiently to keep property loss to a minimum. For more information, visit

Mopping Up Mold After a Flood

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a flood in Queens, NY, can be overwhelming. Such widespread damage may be enough to overwhelm your senses, but what you can’t see may be just as alarming. The humidity and moisture following a flood can provide the perfect environment for mold growth in your home.

Safety First.

If you are going to enter a home that has suffered flood damage, there are several precautions you should take:

• Check gas and power. Before entering any structure, make sure the gas and electricity are both turned off and look for any damaged gas or power lines.
• Check for structural damage. Make sure there are no sagging ceilings or other structural damage that would make it unsafe to enter the home.
• Cover your hands. If you are going to be handling things that may have mold growth, cover your skin with thick rubber gloves.
• Cover your mouth. Using a handkerchief may not be enough to keep out mold spores. It is best to use a face mask with a respirator to protect your lungs.
• Cover your eyes. Goggles that fit snugly around your eyes can help keep out dust and other small particles. Avoid goggles with air vents, as they will not provide the same protection.

Clean Up.

One of the first things homeowners need to do after a disaster is assess the damage to their homes. Documenting the disaster may be helpful for insurance purposes, so photograph each room before beginning cleanup activities.

Next, determine how much of your home was affected. The Environmental Protection Agency says that areas smaller than 10 square feet can often be addressed by the home owner but suggests that anything larger may be best dealt with by remediation professionals.

Time is essential, as bacteria can grow quickly in standing water and mold may grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Qualified professionals in Queens, NY, are often the best resources for remediation following a flood because of the tight timeframe and potential for hazardous health conditions if not handled properly.

After a flood, prevent mold growth by cleaning up quickly. Take appropriate safety precautions and contact professionals for expert help.

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Will Insurance Always Cover House Fires?

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

As a homeowner, you never want to have to make an insurance claim for damage to your place. Recovering from a catastrophe can be stressful and devastating. However, you’re relieved that a good insurance plan can help cover the costs of any damage. It’s important to know, though, that in some cases, an insurance policy won’t cover a home fire. Be aware of thee guidelines so you don’t make a bad decision or so that you’re not caught off guard.

Deliberate Fire

No insurance policy will ever cover damage to your home due to an act of arson. Arson insurance fraud is a crime and could land you in prison.

* Homeowners who commit this are trying to collect money from the insurance company.
* The insurance company will investigate any house fire.
* If the investigation reveals arson was the cause, the insurance company will not cover any loss or damage to the Queens, NY, home.

Vacant Home.

If you leave your home vacant, and a fire occurs, the insurance company will not cover the incident. Insurance companies have specific definitions for what constitutes a vacant home fire. First, most insurance companies consider a home to be vacant if the owners haven’t occupied the property for more than 30 days. Also, the home fire must have occurred during this vacancy period. This doesn’t mean if you’re away for an extended vacation, or if you only live in the home for part of the year, that you can’t get coverage. In these cases, simply apply for vacant home insurance or get an endorsement on your current policy.

You can have tremendous peace of mind after a home fire if you have the right insurance coverage. If you plan on vacating your home for more than a month, make sure you work with your provider to ensure you have coverage. Also, remember that no plan will cover a fire that results from a criminal act.

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Catch Mold Problems Before They Break the Bank

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

So maybe you own some rental properties in Queens, NY. You visit one and discover an unpleasant, musty odor. You know what it means – mold. What you may not know is that, left unchecked, mold growth can cause extensive damage and cost you big bucks. For that reason, mold prevention should always be a part of your regular maintenance program. Meanwhile, what should you do if you find you’ve got a mold problem to deal with right now?

1. Start With the Smell Test.

Look around the home, noting where odors are strongest. They’re often in parts of the home that are warm and damp. In addition, these spots usually don’t see much light of day or fresh air.

2. Try Some Quick Remedies. 

The first step in mold prevention is keeping everything as dry as possible. Does the air often seem humid? Try a dehumidifier. Keep it set at 30 to 50 percent relative humidity to inhibit mold growth. Is the area too warm? Keep the temperature below 70oF (21oC). Mold can flourish in stagnant air, too. If that’s the case, keep the air circulating with an electric fan.

3. Dig a Bit Deeper.

If easy fixes don’t solve the problem, inspect walls and ceilings. Roofs can leak and water pipes can burst. Aside from any obvious evidence of water, signs of water damage include dampness to the touch, discoloration or flaking paint. Even so, not all problems are apparent.

4. Dig Deeper Still.

There may be issues that are not borne out by general visual inspection. Sometimes that musty miasma in the basement can be treated quickly and inexpensively with a bleach solution. However, the real problem may be the mold hiding behind the walls.

Have you already tried everything in your mold prevention toolkit? Are you still are having a problem? If yes, it’s wise then to discuss the matter with professionals. Even though solving the problem may mean laying out more cash in the short term, it’s worth it. Your investment today may save you from potentially worsening property conditions and even more expensive repairs down the road.

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Fixing Your Leaking Water Heater Before the Leak Becomes a Flood

6/28/2018 (Permalink)

Water damage can be a nightmare, so it is important to address any flooding risks immediately. If you have a leaking water heater, there are some simple steps you should take to keep your property safe:

1. Clear the area.
2. Drain the water.
3. Call a professional to fix your leak.

If you follow this simple process, you’ll have your broken water heater operating like it’s brand new again.

Minimize Damage, and Prepare To Drain.

Remove anything from the area around your leaking water heater that may be damaged should the leak spread, then get the heater ready to be drained. Shut off power to your heater, either by shutting off the gas or flipping the heater’s switch at your circuit breaker. The water valve feeding the heater should also be turned to the off position to prevent more water from flowing into the tank.

Empty the Tank To Stop Further Leaking.

Before a professional can locate a leak on your failed water heater, you have to drain it to allow for proper inspection. Connect a hose to the drain valve at the base of your water heater’s tank. Run the hose to a floor drain, sump pump or similar outlet, keeping the end of the hose lower than the valve to ensure water keeps flowing. Open the valve on the tank, then go to any hot water spigot in the house and turn it on to allow the water to begin flowing from the tank.

Send In the Pros To Find the Source.

Now that your tank is drained, you have to locate the leak and repair it. This is best left to a hired professional technician in Queens, NY. A professional eye can ensure that all possible problems are identified and fixed.

A leaking water heater has the potential to cause a great deal of damage if not properly addressed. Thankfully, if you are careful and precise when tending to the leak, you can stop the damage from spreading. With your heater repaired, you can go back to enjoying hot showers and dry floors.

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Prepare for the Spring Thaw and Possible Flooding

6/21/2018 (Permalink)

Every year in Queens, NY, business buildings are affected by harsh winters. In the spring, some of that damage becomes apparent in the form of a frozen pipe and a spring flood. There's not much you can do as a business owner to ease the harshness of the winter, but you can take steps to protect your business from spring-runoff flooding.

Review Your Insurance Coverage.

If you're not sure whether your business insurance covers flood damage, talk to your insurance provider. Some policies don't cover spring-thaw floods, and some won't cover a backed-up sewer. Make sure you have the right coverage for your business.

Take Steps to Reduce Flood Damage.

Even when you take steps to protect your pipes from freezing temperatures, there's still a possibility of flooding in Queens, NY. Prepare your business for this possibility.

• Install a sump pump or water alarm in the basement.
• Don't store valuables in the basement.
• Inspect flood drains to be sure they are working correctly.
• Make sure the grading around your business sends water away from the foundation.
• Look for and remove debris, dirt, and pests from gutters, downspouts, and window wells.
• Keep the building in good repair. Look for leaks around openings and cracks in the foundation.
• Hire a professional to maintain the roof.

Protect Inventory and Equipment.

Sometimes the spring thaw leads to floods that you can't avoid. If the ground can't absorb melting snow fast enough, you may face flooding even after your attempts to prepare for the thaw. Prepare for this situation by making a list of your inventory and equipment, including serial numbers and contact information for equipment you're renting. Keep this in a safe place, and make sure that location is waterproof if it's in your building. Put your insurance contact numbers and policies in an easy-to-reach place. Keep backup copies of financial records and vital documents.

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When the Sewer Backs Up

6/16/2018 (Permalink)

The sewers in Queens, NY, are designed to carry wastewater away from buildings and to clear up excess water quickly after a storm. However, occasionally a sewer backup happens, leaving you with a soggy, stinky mess.

Why Backups Occur.

There could be several reasons why water isn’t draining properly. The most common include the following:

• Excess water has overwhelmed the capacity of the sewage system.
• Foreign objects have been washed into the storm drains and clog the lines.
• A pipe has collapsed, preventing flow into the sewer.

Prevent Additional Damages.

Regardless of the reason for the backup, you can take a few precautions until professionals arrive. If the backup is in the city main sewer line, there isn’t much you can do to prevent additional water from coming into your building until the city takes action. However, you can minimize the risk of fire and electrocution in your building by turning off the power to the areas affected by excess water. It may also be necessary to turn off gas lines and water lines. Keep people safe by only allowing entry to the contaminated areas when absolutely necessary, and even then, only with waterproof protective equipment.

Reduce Contamination.

While assessing the damages from the sewer backup, you’ll be able to identify the degree of contamination by the type of water. There are three types of unwanted water: white, gray, and black. White water is uncontaminated water such as tap water or rain water. Gray water is water that may have sanitary contaminants in it such as soap or oil. Black water has a high risk of containing pathogens or bacteria and includes much of sewer water. If you are unsure, treat all water as potentially hazardous and consider discarding any objects such as furniture or air filters that may have encountered it.

Ultimately, it is necessary to contact a professional to clear out excess water in buildings affected by a sewer backup. However, with quick action, you can get back to business in no time.

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Getting Your Business Back on Track After a Fire

5/21/2018 (Permalink)

When you’re dealing with fire damage to your Queens, NY, business, you should get back up and running as soon as possible. Completing the maze of paperwork, meeting with an insurance adjuster, and getting estimates on repairs can consume all of your time when all you really want to do is get back to work. Once the flames are out, take these steps to make your way through the process as efficiently as possible.

1. Call your insurance company as soon as possible. It should open a claim and send out an adjuster to evaluate the fire damage. Depending on your policy, it may also provide an up-front cash payment so you can hire a cleaning crew and/or restoration service to start making repairs.

2. Take pictures and document all the damage you can. Do this only after the fire department says it’s safe for you to go back onto the property. Wear gloves and a breathing mask while you’re doing this.

3. Contact a professional company to help you start on the road to reopening. Often referred to as disaster restoration providers, these are specially trained teams that know how to put things back together structurally and cosmetically. They can even remove smoke odor, which is bad for your health and continues to damage surfaces if not cleaned properly right away.

4. Consider hiring a fire mitigation company once you’re up and running again. This is strongly recommended, especially if you’re in an industry with an above-average risk of fire, like handling flammable chemicals or working with materials at high temperatures. These consultants can evaluate your work flow and space and give you tips on how to avoid future fires. If you can find one company to do the cleanup, restoration, and mitigation, you can speed up the recovery process considerably.

Fire damage doesn’t have to be catastrophic to your Queens, NY, business. Now you know the right steps to take once the flames are out.

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The Items in Your Home That Are Susceptible to Mold

5/14/2018 (Permalink)

The Items in Your Home That Are Susceptible to Mold

Mold damage can occur just about anywhere. Every room of your house in Queens, NY, is a potential victim of mold growth because mold spores are in the air in every room. The bad news is that all organic material is susceptible to mold. The good news is that there are ways to lower the likelihood that a problem will occur.

1. Kitchen

The kitchen is a prime place for mold to grow. It often holds many of the things that mold loves, such as water sources, damp towels or washcloths, deteriorating food and steaming pots that cause condensation and possible water damage. You can protect your kitchen by washing and drying dishes and all surfaces after every meal. It is also a good idea to check the pipes under the sink for leaks on a regular basis.

2. Bathroom

Bathrooms are prone to mold damage, especially if they are not well ventilated. Hot showers create steam that lingers on walls and tile, inviting mildew growth. If the condensation has nowhere to go, mold spores may begin to cluster and grow. Leaky faucets or toilets can cause water damage that promotes mold growth. By repairing leaks in a timely manner and installing an exhaust fan to vent moist air outside, you can stop mold in its path.

3. Walls and Floors

Mold can sneak into floorboards and grow inside your walls. If a pipe bursts, causing extensive water damage, a mold problem can easily follow. Moisture not only warps hardwood floors but also makes them more vulnerable to a fungus infestation. Any time there is excess water in your home in Queens, NY, call remediation specialists immediately to resolve the issue and prevent extra damage from mold.

Almost every surface and item in your home is under potential threat of mold damage. You can lower your risk by cleaning frequently and keeping the moisture level of your home under control.

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Preventing Cigarette Damages

5/9/2018 (Permalink)

Smokers are aware of the decline in public places in which they are permitted to puff, and many enjoy the fact that privately, they may still light up in their own homes if they choose. However, fires caused by cigarettes are still the most common type of fire in residential properties. Forming good fire safety habits when smoking can help you avoid starting a cigarette fire.

Fire Safety Basics for Smokers

• Smoking outside is the best way to prevent starting a residential cigarette fire. Remember to properly discard your cigarette remains when smoking outdoors, and never leave a lit cigarette unattended.
• Clean your ashtray to ensure embers from recently disposed cigarette butts do not ignite those that were previously disposed, as this may cause an ashtray fire. It is also best to keep ashtrays away from your home as well as flammable materials.
• Smoking near medical oxygen is dangerous and should never be done. The oxygen can explode in the presence of a flame or spark even if the tank is turned off.
• Linens and Mattresses are extremely flammable, and smoking in bed is never a good idea.

Removing the Odor of Smoke

If you’ve been smoking inside your home and would like to quit smoking or want to begin practicing fire safety techniques by smoking outside, the smoke odor in your home may become more apparent. Eventually, you may want to have this odor removed. Luckily, local Queens, NY, businesses that offer deodorization services may be able to assist you. Often, these experts do not solely specialize in odor removal, and they can also help with fire cleanup in the unfortunate event that a cigarette fire occurs in your home. Additionally, more than just deodorization may be necessary to fully remove the effects of previous indoor smoking. Yellowing from the cigarette smoke may be visible and require removal of paint or wallpaper as well.

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