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What To Know About Flooding and Insurance

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What To Know About Flooding and Insurance Flooded building after heavy rains

If your Whitestone, NY, home has experienced flood damage you may be wondering what is covered by your insurance policy. While this depends on your exact contract, there are a few aspects common to most. Here are some things you should know when looking at your coverage.

What Water Damage Is Covered

Your insurance coverage may address a number of types of water damage. The exact nature of the assistance may be determined by the wording of your policy, but most companies take care of the following situations:

  • Storm damage
  • Storm flooding
  • Sudden pipe breakage
  • Leaking pipes
  • Sewer backup
  • Broken water line
  • Resulting damage

What Terms You Should Know

When looking at what is covered by your insurance policy, there are some terms you may want to understand. Resulting damage indicates any problem that occurs as a result of water. A flood policy is used for issues caused by rising water. All-perils coverage could indicate damage caused by an accident or unavoidable event. If you have any questions, it's best to talk to your insurance agent about what exactly your plan entails.

What To Expect With Your Claim

If your claim is approved, you can expect your insurance company to cover the costs of repairs as outlined in your policy. This may include the expense to fix broken pipe problems or hire a local water damage restoration service that can refurbish your home, so it looks “Like it never even happened”.

When talking to your agent about your flood claim, there are a few things to remember. Most policies will cover damage caused by accidents or storms. It's important to know what your policy contains and which terms are used. This might make the difference in the type of reimbursement you can expect. If covered, your insurance may handle the cost of repairs or hiring of a restoration professional to fix damaged areas that occurred as a result of water.

Where To Search for Mold

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Where To Search for Mold Mold damage in attic

Where To Search for Mold 

How old is your home? Have you experienced any leaks recently? The answers to these questions can reveal the likelihood of a possible mold problem. For example, older homes are more prone to leaks and therefore more likely to end up with mold damage. However, for diligent homeowners, like yourself, it is possible to nip mold in the bud before it ever has a chance to colonize. You just have to know the most common areas to look.

1. Wall Cavities

Unlike mildew growth, Mold growth depends on dampness, darkness and warmth. It is one of the few living organisms that doesn’t need sunlight to survive. Therefore, wall cavities, especially those housing old leaky plumbing, are prime real estate for fungal development.

2. Basements

Basements are another area prone to mold damage. The dark, humid and often damp environment make it a hot spot. However, mold is more often to shown up around water heaters or laundry units because, again, it does require moisture.

3. Attics

It is not uncommon for some older homes to develop roof or seal leaks in the attic, potentially leading to mold growth and development. Old, poorly insulated attic spaces also have drastic temperature fluctuations from season to season, meaning that the summer months may allow for the perfect colonization conditions.

If you are concerned that certain areas in your home may be vulnerable to mold, then contact a mold remediation specialist in the Jamaica Bay, NY, area. These professionals can assess your property, letting you know the areas of your home that need to be protected from mold and how to improve those conditions.

While mold damage is a common concern among many homeowners, few realize that there are common areas where mold is likely to develop. When you know where to look, and you understand what conditions can lead to mold growth, it is easier to reduce the risks. However, if you need help assessing your property, you can always call a professional.

3 Steps To Prevent Dryer Fire

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Steps To Prevent Dryer Fire Clean the screen of your lint every time you run the dryer

Three Steps to Reduce the Amount of Lint in The Dryer

Running your dryer year in and year out may lead to the loss of a lot of socks, and it also leads to a lot of lint inside the appliance. As lint accumulates, the dryer will function less efficiently, taking longer to dry your clothes and working harder to complete cycles. Eventually, the accumulated debris could lead to a lint fire. There are a few steps you can take to reduce the amount of lint in the dryer:

  • Clean the lint trap
  • Deep clean the vents
  • Deep clean the inside of the dryer

1. Cleaning the Lint Trap

Every time you run the dryer, you should pull out the lint screen. It's usually located at the top of the appliance, on the side, or at the bottom of the dryer door. Clean all of the lint off the screen and then reach inside the opening to remove as much lint as you can. If necessary, vacuum out the opening. Every few weeks, you ought to rinse off the screen until the water runs clear.

2. Deep Clean the Vents

Before you begin this process, unplug the dryer. If you own a gas appliance and it's an older model, you may want to call a local professional before you begin moving the dryer around. Next, pull the appliance away from the wall and remove the exhaust hose. You may need a screwdriver or some pliers to remove the O-ring clamp that holds the hose in place. Use a cleaning brush or a vacuum attachment to gently clean out the vent and the hose. Don't forget to run the cleaning rod through the wall vent. This is a great step in preventing a lint fire.

3. Deep Clean the Interior

Again, unplug the dryer and slide it away from the wall. Remove the access panel (whether from the top or the back) and wipe the interior down. Remove lint you can grab with your hands and vacuum carefully to finish cleaning. This should be done every six months to prevent a dryer fire.

Routine maintenance is a good way to reduce the risks of a lint fire. Talk about other common causes of residential fire in Flushing, NY, with fire damage cleanup professionals.

4 Ways To Prevent Storm Damage at Commercial Buildings

5/12/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 4 Ways To Prevent Storm Damage at Commercial Buildings Tree branches and limbs are among the most common causes of storm damage

Take These Four Preventative Measures Prior to a Spring Storm

Storms can cause significant damage to commercial buildings. Unlike a pipe break, any interior damage that results from leaks or a sewer backup is likely to involve contaminated water. Property owners should pay attention to the weather forecast and take these four preventative measures in the weeks, days or hours prior to a spring storm in Queens, NY.

1. Trim Trees

Tree branches and limbs are among the most common causes of storm damage. Heavy overhanging limbs may fall on a roof, causing a leak or collapse or becoming dangerous flying debris. Even small branches and leaves can block a drainage system and increase the risks of roof leaks and flooding.

2. Protect Windows

Depending on the location of the structure, the property owner may want to consider installing storm shutters. The cost of these components varies depending on the number of windows that require protection and the shutter material. If a spring storm is expected to arrive within hours or days, building owners or managers can nail up plywood to temporarily cover windows or apply tape in an "X" shape to prevent shattering.

3. Bring Outdoor Items Inside

Any items kept outside should be stowed inside whenever a severe storm is on the forecast. This includes outdoor furniture and trash containers as well as antennas and other delicate equipment on the roof.

4. Clean Out Drainage

Business owners can prevent water from accumulating on the roof or around the foundation of their commercial buildings by clearing out gutters, downspouts, and roof drains at least twice a year. Rain water should be directed water away from the base of the structure.

Each of these measures may reduce the risk a spring storm poses to a commercial property in Queens, NY. If adverse weather conditions damage the roof or other structural components and cause leaks, building owners or managers should arrange for cleanup and restoration.

Are Storm Shutters Right For Your Home?

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are Storm Shutters Right For Your Home? Do you know the best way to protect your home from storm damage?

Storm shutters and panels can protect the doors and windows of your home from high winds and flying debris. Here are a few considerations to help you decide whether shutters will be a good investment in the safety of your home in Ozone Park.

What Are the Risks?

You may want to consider fortifying doors and windows if you live in a region with high risk of 

  • Strong winds
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Tropical storms

If high winds and flying debris occur frequently, you should select heavy-duty materials and permanent installations. Removable or ornamental options may meet your needs if storms are less frequent or severe.

Which Styles Are Available?

There are several shutter styles available for sale. Choose the design that is the easiest and most effective to use.

  • Accordion-style hinged panels bolt on to window sides
  • Bahama awnings mount on window tops
  • Bolt-on storm panels are made of aluminum, polycarbonate, or steel and are removable
  • Colonial designs are available in aluminum, polycarbonate, or wood
  • Rolling installations mount over windows and roll down on tracks
  • Fabric storm panels are made of reinforced-PVC or mesh

Storm panels are very affordable, at about $7 to $15 per panel. Accordion and Bahama designs are priced at about $15 to $25 per square foot of window. Rolling installations range from $20 to $30 per square foot. Colonial designs cost up to $200 to $500 per window. Fabric storm panels are less effective and cost anywhere from $75 to $300 per window.

How Much Do Shutters Cost?

You can protect your home at a cost that ranges from $500 all the way up to $8,000 for top-of-the-line, permanent protection on many windows. The average price is between $2,000 and $5,000.

Choose storm shutters that can protect your home. If high winds result in damage, rely on a storm damage mitigation and restoration service.

How To Estimate Fire Damage

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

The cost of fire damage restoration can range from a few thousand dollars all the way up to $20,000 or more. Read on to learn more about how restoration professionals estimate the cost of a commercial fire.

Calculate Cleaning, Repair, and Replacement Costs

Restoration costs are determined by the extent of the damage. Many commercial properties have fire suppression systems that limit the amount of damage. Expenses will increase depending on several factors.

  • The amount of damaged building materials and contents
  • Materials or contents that can be cleaned
  • Materials or contents that must be replaced

Some expense is involved in any restoration strategy. Professionals can ensure that mitigation measures are performed in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Get an Estimate From a Restoration Company

A restoration company will assess damage and calculate a price for an insurance adjuster based on a variety of criteria:

  • The extent of a rebuild
  • The cost of cleaning or replacing materials and contents
  • The duration of the restoration process

After professionals provide an estimate of the damage, property owners should have a clearer sense of the cost of restoration.

Check Your Insurance Policy

A commercial property insurance policy should cover all damage caused by a fire. The policyholder is responsible for paying the deductible. An adjuster will need to perform several tasks:

  • Determining the cause of the fire
  • Confirming damage reported by the owner or restoration service
  • Processing the claim

Policyholders should familiarize themselves with the terms and limits of commercial property insurance coverage. The cost of a policy may go up after a fire.

The overall cost of a fire is determined by the extent of the damage, the types of restoration required, and the level of insurance coverage. After a fire at a commercial building in Ozone Park, the property owner should call his or her insurance provider and schedule a consultation with a fire damage mitigation and restoration company to obtain an estimate and begin the rebuilding process.

Wading Through a Commercial Water Disaster

4/18/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage Wading Through a Commercial Water Disaster Turn off the power to the affected areas before entering them

Wading Through a Commercial Water Disaster

While water damage is bad in any situation, in commercial property, the disaster is magnified. The business must close during the cleanup process; the employees are temporarily out of work, and the consumers are forced to go elsewhere for their goods and services. While it is all likely temporary, it is still a big financial hit to the business and those who count on it. Therefore, it is necessary to act quickly after the initial disaster to reduce the length of the interruption. One of the best ways to do that is to start the cleanup as soon as possible and to follow a routine when doing so.

1. Be Safe

It is essential to be safe when wading through the floodwater. While broken pipes may have housed clean water, it is likely that the subsequent damage and standing has led to contamination. Also, if flood levels reached electrical outlets, the risk of electrocution is possible. Therefore, turn off the power to the affected areas before entering them.

2. Pump Out Excess Water

It is essential to remove the excess water quickly to reduce the exposure and potential water damage. Start drying out the space by first using pumps and shop vacs to excavate the standing waters. It is essential to wear gloves and masks during this phase of the cleanup.

3. Use Fans and Air Movers

Once the water cleanup and removal is finished, you can bring in air movers and fans to help dry out your facility. It is vital to take your time during this step because rushing may not allow adequate drying time, leaving you with materials that are still contaminated and not suitable for restoration.

4. Hire a Restoration Company

Lastly, a restoration specialist in the Ozone Park, NY, area can help restore your business to full operations the right way. These companies have experience with all types of disasters, and they have trained and certified professionals on staff to help you sort through the process.

Commercial water damage can be a costly and intimidating disaster. However, the key to successful mitigation and restoration is fast action.

Do Discolored Ceiling Tiles Indicate a Serious Problem?

4/12/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Do Discolored Ceiling Tiles Indicate a Serious Problem? Mold damage in ceiling tile in a Bayside, NY home

How to Identify Tile Mold 

Ceiling tiles that are discolored may be one of the first signs of water damage or secondary damage resulting from a pipe burst or leak. It is important to consider the type of discoloration and potential causes to identify serious issues such as tile mold. Property owners or managers should try to answer these three questions.

1. Has A Leak Occurred?

Broken or leaky pipes and roof leaks are common causes of tile discoloration. The owner or manager of a building should consider when the discoloration appeared, whether the tiles are still wet and the overall condition of the plumbing and roof.

If a structure has recently suffered damage, discoloration can be a major warning sign that a property owner or manager should not ignore. If tiles are dry and have been discolored for some time, owners or managers should make sure that water sources no longer pose a problem.

2. Does Tile Discoloration Resemble Mold?

Discoloration from a leak tends to change the color of tiles and have an irregular appearance. Tile mold may have a fuzzy texture, appear in clusters or spotted patterns and give off a musty odor. If a building owner or manager suspects that mold may be present, he or she should pursue professional mold testing and remediation.

3. What Is the Age, Condition and Use of the Structure?

Older tiles may change color over time. Porous materials attract dirt and tiles exposed to cigarette smoke may be covered in residue. Tiles in medical or manufacturing facilities that regularly use ultraviolet light may also become discolored.

If a building owner or manager notices discolored ceiling tiles at a building in Bayside, NY, he or she should try to identify the cause of the discoloration. Water damage may result in structural problems or tile mold. Damage mitigation and restoration experts can help to reduce these risks.

The 4 Stages of Fire Restoration

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO The 4 Stages of Fire Restoration Garage fire in Whitestone,NY

Learn More About the Four Stages of Fire Restoration

The fire mitigation and restoration process consists of several stages. It is necessary to determine the extent of damage, take measures to prevent conditions from worsening and complete a fire rebuild. Learn more about the four stages of fire restoration and find out why commercial property owners and insurers should rely on a one-stop shop to start and finish the job.

1. Assessment

After a property owner reports damage and receives a call back from a mitigation and restoration franchise in Whitestone, NY, professionals should arrive on site within four hours. An initial assessment will account for the degree of damage, necessary mitigation measures and the equipment and labor that may be needed to restore a structure.

2. Pretesting

Pretesting can be helpful for determining the extent of damage. Preliminary tests may lower the overall cost of a claim by accounting for damage in the initial estimate that might otherwise go unnoticed until later in the fire restoration process.

3. Mitigation

Mitigation should start as soon as possible, ideally within hours of an inspection. This phase may involve boarding up broken windows or breaches in walls, tarping over roof damage and putting up security fencing. Other measures may include pumping out water used to extinguish a blaze and removing soot and debris.

4. Restoration

The restoration process can range from cleaning up soot and smoke damage all the way to a full fire rebuild. Whereas mitigation should occur within hours or days of a fire, restoration may continue for weeks.

These are the four phases of mitigation and restoration that should follow fire damage. For the best results, property owners and insurance providers can rely on a one-stop shop that provides assessment, pretesting, mitigation, and fire restoration services in Whitestone, NY. Relying on the same company for cleanup and rebuilding services can finish a job faster with more consistent quality.

3 Tips for Dealing With a Broken Pipe

3/15/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage 3 Tips for Dealing With a Broken Pipe Many homes in Jamaica Bay,NY area may have to deal with bursting pipes when cold weather hits

Steps You Can Take When Dealing With a Broken Pipe

Many homes in the Jamaica Bay, NY, area may have to deal with the possibility of bursting pipes when cold weather hits. Knowing what to do before such an event occurs may help you save valuable time and prevent excess damage. Here are a few steps you can take.

1. Turn Off the Water

In the event you need to fix broken pipe in your home, the first step is to turn off the water to the area. Many supply line switches should allow you to turn off the water only to the affected area instead of the entire house. However, when in doubt you may want to turn the water off altogether until a professional has time to look at the break.

2. Contact a Professional

The damage caused by bursting pipes can include flooding and water damage. In a situation like this you may want to contact a local restoration service to conduct any cleaning and repairs. These professionals will know what to look for, and have the tools and knowledge needed to get your home back in order.

3. Contact your Insurance Company

If your home has damage from water you may want to contact your insurance company. Many homeowners policies include coverage for accidental breaks and flooding, and they may also cover the services of a restoration professional. It is your responsibility to know exactly what is in your policy, but if you have questions your insurance agent may be able to help.

In the event you experience bursting pipes in your home there are a few steps you can take to help prevent excess damage. First turn off water to any affected areas in order to prevent further flooding. Contact your local water damage professional for cleanup and repairs, and then contact your insurance company. If you have any question a professional may be able to help.