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What To Expect After a Fire in Your Home

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke coming out of a home Fire in a home in Briarwood, NY

A home fire often creates tremendous stress and upheaval for a homeowner. It can help to have an idea of what to expect in the early stages of the inspection and cleanup process. Before you begin the cleanup, you will want some help surveying the fire damage and assessing your risk.

Safety Inspection

When the fire has been extinguished, a fire inspector will evaluate the damage to your structure and property. Here are the areas the specialist will inspect to determine whether it’s safe to enter your house:

Structure – The floors, walls and stairways will likely be inspected first, to determine whether it is safe to move throughout the house and begin the fire cleanup and restoration.
Electrical – The electrical system will be inspected for damage. Because a fire hose releases so much water, the panel may need to be disconnected for safety purposes until the wet areas dry out.
Hazards – Miscellaneous safety hazards, such as chemical spills, will likely need to be removed before residents enter the home.

This inspector will let you know if repairs need to occur before you can go inside. The first time you enter your home, the inspector or a fire supervisor will generally accompany you to survey the fire damage.

Damage Survey

You will enter your home with a fire expert who will point out safety risks and explain the extent of the fire and water damage. Once you’ve absorbed the information, it’s a good time to notify your insurance agent and discuss your coverage.

Restoration Assistance

Unless your damage is minimal, it may be necessary to hire a fire restoration service to handle the cleanup. They will use specialized methods to restore your structural damage, furnishings, textiles and documents. Their teams are trained to work safely to return your home to you as soon as possible.
If you’ve sustained fire damage in your Briarwood, NY, home, you know the disruption it creates. The initial stress can be significant, and it is recommended you allow yourself to rely on the knowledge of inspectors and fire remediation experts for help with getting your life back to normal.

3 Common Types of Molds Found in Homes

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Aspergillus Niger is green and pink mold Aspergillus is found in climates around the world, the Aspergillus genus contains hundreds of mold species

3 Common Types of Molds Found in Homes

If you're a homeowner in Queens, NY, you likely do as much as possible to maintain a clean, safe environment. When it comes to mold growth, you may be wondering why it keeps coming back and how to handle it. Numerous molds can develop in your home, and they all have one thing in common: they thrive in damp areas with high humidity. Here are three of the most common types you may find at home:

  1. Cladosporium
  2. Aspergillus
  3. Stachybotrys chartarum

Cladosporium
Many of the most common indoor molds are in the Cladosporium genus. They produce olive-green to brown-black colonies and, like all molds, they are likely to grow in moist areas. Surfaces in attics, basements, and bathrooms are often prime growing mediums.

Aspergillus
Found in climates around the world, the Aspergillus genus contains hundreds of mold species. They generally form black or green spots and the airborne spores are more common indoors than outdoors. Starchy foods and damp, humid areas such as around window frames and in air conditioners are ideal environments for these types of mold growth.

Stachybotrys chartarum
Also known as black mold, this is the most infamous mold. It requires very high moisture levels and is most often found in buildings that have sustained water damage. Interestingly, the spores are only released when the mold is disturbed, so it's actually an uncommon indoor air contaminant. Nevertheless, if you find it, you should begin a black mold cleanup process immediately.

Mold Remediation
These common molds that can grow in your home all require remediation. Though mold spores exist everywhere, they only develop into colonies if left untreated. Molds love moisture, humidity, and water, so it's important to address the source before treating the mold itself. Molds can grow in areas that aren't clearly visible, which can lead to mold damage. If you detect a strong, musty odor, you should contact experts in mold remediation to create a mold cleanup plan for you.
If you suspect mold growth in your home, don't hesitate to take action. New or old, your home can harbor mold if it's experienced water damage or if moisture is trapped in closed areas.

How To Flood Proof Your House

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Safety Tips For Flood Proofing Your Home

Floods can cause an incredible amount of damage to your Howard Beach, NY, home. In fact, flooding is one of the costliest types of natural disasters in the country. It is believed that floods caused $260 billion in damage between 1980 and 2013. That figure does not even include the costs of some of the biggest storms in recent history, specifically Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Harvey. With the increased frequency of major weather events, flood safety and mitigation is more important than ever.
No matter where you live, you can take some steps to reduce the chances of a flood destroying your house. Below are some safety tips for flood proofing your home.

Elevate Outdoor and Electrical Equipment

Any electrical wiring, switches and circuit breakers should be at least a foot above your home's flood level. Outdoor fuel tanks, generators and air-conditioning units should be elevated, as well.

Dry- and Wet-Proof Your House

Consider applying sealants to your walls to prevent water from seeping through during major storms. For flood safety, you can also install flood vents in the walls of your home. These steps can be costly but are necessary if you live in a flood-prone area.

Install a Backflow Valve

Installing backflow valves is an easy way to flood proof your home. As its name implies, a backflow valve prevents water from flowing back toward your home. Check or flap valves automatically close whenever water tries to go in the wrong direction. However, they are not as secure as gate valves, which are operated by hand.
Even if you follow the above flood safety suggestions, you can not completely prevent a storm from devastating your home. If your house does sustain major damage, contact your local emergency restoration services company. Trained cleanup professionals can come to your property and try to salvage your belongings. These experts can even remove the odors and mold that often accompany flood water.

Storm Damage: Not Just a Warm Weather Worry

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes Since water expands, even a slightly frozen pipe with a minimal amount of residual water has the potential to break

When the temperature drops in Rosedale, NY, business owners may think they have a reprieve from flooding or brutal thunderstorms damaging their property. Unfortunately, freezing temperatures, snow and ice can have a negative impact on a building.

Types of Cold Weather Damage

Once the thermometer dips below 32 degrees, any form of standing water or weather precipitation can create the potential need for a professional to do some major repairs on a property. Causes of potential damage include:

  • Ice – Along with being a major factor in power outages, ice accumulation can also weaken roofs. When ice dams form, they can damage the roof and eventually cause problems to gutters and turn into a leak that can affect insulation and drywall.
  • Snow – Gentle, light snow may create a winter wonderland, but in the right conditions, it can turn into a wet, heavy snow. If enough accumulates, its weight can begin to put stress on a roof.
  • High Winds – No matter what the season, harsh winds can do a number on trees. If a branch is near the roof, it can eventually begin to scrape and scratch the texture of the roof or tear off shingles.
  • Flooding – A wet, heavy snow of around 4 inches contains about 1 inch of water. If a severe rainstorm happens after the snow thaws, the saturated ground may not be able to handle anymore moisture.

Freezing Pipes a Top Problem

Even if there is no snow or other visible damaging weather besides cold weather, it can still be enough for a burst pipe situation. Since water expands, even a slightly frozen pipe with a minimal amount of residual water has the potential to break. If your property has water lines exposed to the elements, ensure they are completely drained and insulated before the cold season approaches.
Instead of dealing with a burst pipe or potential roof leak, taking preventive measures can make a big difference. If damage does happen to your property, count on help that makes it “Like it never even happened”.

What To Do First After Your Basement Floods

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed in a basement due to flood damage Flooded basement in Jamaica, NY

A basement flood can be an unsettling experience for a homeowner. Whether stormwater, a failed sump pump or a burst water pipe is the culprit, knowing what to do first can help in a stressful time.

Addressing Safety

Safety is the first concern. Consider the following precautions before entering the flooded area:

  • Keeping children and animals away from the area will protect them from potential toxicities or other hazards.
  • Deactivating your electricity before anyone touches the water is essential.
  • Turning off your main water source is important if any pipes are broken.
  • Wearing waterproof gloves, coveralls and boots can protect you from health hazards.
  • Opening windows and using fans will begin drying out your basement and allow toxic gases to escape.

If your basement flood was caused by stormwater or you can’t access your electrical box, it is recommended you not attempt the cleanup yourself. Floodwater can be contaminated with sewage and other hazards, and calling a disaster remediation service is a good strategy.

Stopping the Source

With safety precautions in place, you can address the water source. If your sump pump failed, obtaining a new pump immediately can prevent further damage. If you are unsure what caused your flooded basement, you can check your home’s perimeter and remedy any drainage problems.

Beginning Cleanup

If you have only an inch or so of water, you can begin removing the water with a wet vacuum and taking wet items out of the basement to a drying area. If the water is deeper or if dumping the water will contribute to the problem, you may need to call for assistance.

Consulting Professionals

Once the area is stable and ventilated, it is helpful to inform your insurance agent and discuss any coverage. If your water damage is considerable, it is recommended that you consult an emergency remediation service to help you assess the severity of your damage.
A basement flood in your Jamaica, NY, home can be distressing and you may not automatically know what to do. Staying calm and prioritizing safety are the primary focuses that can carry you through the cleanup and back to normalcy.

Fire Extinguisher Basics

10/13/2019 (Permalink)

three fire extinguishers A fire extinguisher is your first line of defense to prevent fire damage

Humans can be forgetful. Even the most proficient home chefs have likely forgotten to set a timer or turned the wrong burner off. While these incidents typically don’t turn into a dire situation, keeping a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and other areas of the house is essential to protect your home in Ozone Park, NY.

Types of Extinguishers

Instead of dealing with extensive fire damage, being prepared can keep damage to a minimum. Different types of fires also require different types of extinguishers. The following are the main kinds:

Class A – Used to put out common combustibles including wood, cloth and paper materials.
Class B – Ideal for flammable liquids and gases.
Class C – Should only be used on electrical fires.
Class D – Work on flammable metals.
Class K – For fires involving oil and grease.

For the home, the first three are typically all that are needed. Many fire extinguishers are available that cover multiple classes of fires.

How Many Should Be in the Home?

At the minimum, every home should have at least one extinguisher. Since a kitchen fire tends to be a common type, it should be stored near cooking areas. Additionally, one should be accessible on each floor of the home, including the garage.

Using an Extinguisher

Regardless of which brand, manufacturers strive to make these potentially life- and property-saving devices easy. It’s important to remember that these are only for small, contained fires. If the fire spreads, get out and call for help. To use an extinguisher:

  • Break the seal by pulling the pin.
  • Point the nozzle toward the bottom of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle to release the agent.
  • Continually spray left to right and back until the fire is out.

A fire extinguisher is your first line of defense to prevent fire damage. Even after it is extinguished, some fire cleanup may be needed. If the damage is overwhelming, contact a professional to make it “Like it never even happened”.

Leave Category 3 Water Damage to the Professionals

9/30/2019 (Permalink)

A hallway of a building cleanup after water damage Commercial cleanup in Bayside, NY

Businesses in Bayside, NY know that dealing with flood water is likely something they will eventually face. Unlike a leaky pipe, the water associated with flooding isn’t just any water.

Types of Water

Water damage has three categories:

  • Category 1, Clean Water – This is water directly from a pipe that has not been contaminated.
  • Category 2, Gray Water – Water that may have some contaminants. This could come from appliances, toilet overflow or other sources that may have some chemicals.
  • Category 3, Black Water – Especially during flooding, water absorbs debris, chemicals and bacteria, making it unsanitary. This type of water can also be caused by broken sewer lines or a backed-up sewer.

Call a Professional

If you have flood water, ordinary cleaning won’t do the trick. Many of the materials in a your business are porous and will absorb the black water and its contaminants, as well as provide an environment for mold to grow. While instinct may drive you to want to start cleaning up, it is best to call a professional with Category 3 experience. Along with reducing exposure to whatever may be in the water, getting help will ensure the prevention and mediation of mold, and cleanup and restoration will all be handled. They also have the know-how to salvage more of your building and its belongings.

The Cleanup

During the cleanup of black water, the experts have strict guidelines to protect themselves and eliminate anything that could cause further damage. Some things to expect include:

  • Affected areas will be quickly dried.
  • Dehumidifiers and industrial fans will likely be used.
  • Rugs, furniture and other materials will be removed and assessed.
  • Any wall, flooring, insulation or other porous materials affected will be cut and removed.
  • Wood can be cleaned, but any particle board, plywood or delaminate will need replaced.
  • Cardboard, food and drink containers are not salvageable.

If flood water makes its way into your business, it’s best to not go it alone. Make safety a priority and get help from someone Faster to any size disaster.

4 Tips for Keeping Mold Out of Your Bathroom

9/22/2019 (Permalink)

Grout of a shower with mold Mold in the grout of a shower

4 Tips for Keeping Mold Out of Your Bathroom

The bathroom is a prime place for mold to grow. It has the main elements that mold needs to thrive, which is excess moisture. If you frequently have shower mold in your bathroom, you can adopt some new habits to get rid of it and keep it from ever returning.

1. Remove Mold Growth

The first thing you need to do is get rid of the black mold that has infested your shower. If the problem is large, you may need to hire mold remediation experts to resolve the issue. If you just have a few spots on the grout, however, you may be able to clean it yourself. You can use vinegar, baking soda or Borax for mold cleanup that doesn't give off noxious fumes.

2. Apply Some Elbow Grease

A homemade solution may not work well alone. If you find this to be the case, you can use a scrub brush or old toothbrush to scrub the spots where you see shower mold. The bristles of the brush can loosen the spores, allowing you to wash it safely down the drain.

3. Replace Grout

If the grout in your shower has been moldy for quite a while, it may be too late to clean it. If you cannot get the mold stains off the grout, you need to remove it and replace it with a caulk gun. That way, you can start fresh instead of fighting a losing battle with moldy grout.

4. Control Moisture

The best way to prevent mold from returning is to keep excess moisture at bay. Dry off the shower walls after each use. Turn on the exhaust fan while you are in the bathroom. Increase air flow to lower the humidity in the room.
Shower mold may become an issue in your home in Whitestone, NY, but it doesn't have to remain an issue. With proper cleanup and prevention strategies, you can enjoy a bathroom free of mold growth.

Act Fast After Flooding

9/13/2019 (Permalink)

A flooded home and flood cuts performed Flooding in a Jamaica Bay, NY home

When flooding or water damage occurs, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed. Along with trying to salvage precious memories, furniture and other belongings, quick action can keep the damage from spreading. If the conditions are right, mold growth can begin to form within 48 hours.

Thriving Organisms

Water isn’t only vital for humans, it also a necessity for bacteria and fungi to thrive. Along with the many porous materials in our homes, when the right temperatures and moisture combine, it creates a welcoming environment for things to grow. Even if they are dormant, they can come back to life if the right conditions.

Nipping Mold in the Bud

If there is standing water or saturated materials, there is a good chance that mold growth can occur. Stopping it in is tracks is important, especially considering that:

  • Spores can germinate and spread in within 12 days.
  • After three weeks, they can become visible.
  • Mold spores drift through the air and can quickly spread to other areas of a home.

Dry It Out

Since mold needs nourishment from water, keeping it from forming means getting rid of the moisture. Once a flooded area is safe to be in, it’s vital to extract all the extra water. In addition to flooring, moisture may have also found its way into baseboards, drywall and furniture.
Whether you think you can dry it yourself or need a professional to help due to the amount of water, once it’s dry and damaged materials replaced, you will need to continue monitoring your home by taking note of any musty odors in the area and inspecting the exterior for any residual water saturation.
Although not all leaks and water damage may result in mold growth, it is still important to dry and clean areas where there has been water saturation. If it does occur, people living in Jamaica Bay, NY can make the damage seem “Like it never even happened.”

Household Flood? Your Carpet may not Need to be Replaced

8/23/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded carpet in Flushing, NY

In the aftermath of a basement flooded due to a pipe break, there is much to do and consider. Cleanup is the first priority, but there is also concern over whether your home’s contents can be saved, and whether the flooring will have to be replaced.

Saving Flooded Flooring

There are things that can be done to help save certain kinds of flooring, depending on the conditions. Here are some things to consider:


Subfloors may need to be replaced if they were saturated, as the wood may weaken or fail under a load
Some types of wood look laminate may be saved if they are made of vinyl or other non-porous material, though they may need to be taken up and dried out
If water doesn’t stand long enough to loosen the tiles, ceramic, slate or travertine may be cleaned and dried
If carpet is in good shape and was flooded with clean water, as from a pipe break, it may be possible to save it if it is dried completely. Carpet flooded with sewer or other contaminated water will need to be disposed of.


Carpet Cleanup Process

In order to give carpet that has been flooded with clean water from a pipe or supply line the best shot at being reused, it is important to dry it out quickly and completely. A water damage restoration service Flushing, NY, will have powerful equipment that can extract water using suction. This process will remove the bulk of the water, and they can also lift the carpet and use industrial strength fans to dry it and the area beneath it thoroughly. If the carpet is salvageable, it may need to be re-stretched.

Preventing mold growth depends on fast action, as it can begin to grow in just 24 to 48 hours, even if the water is from a pipe break. With help from a restoration company, the chances of saving carpet that was affected by a pipe break are very good.