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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.

Understanding Commercial Roof Damage

8/16/2019 (Permalink)

Roof damage in a Queens, NY commercial building

The state of your commercial building directly affects you business. If you are not providing your staff, customers, and/or products and equipment with a structurally-sound space, your bottom line will inevitably suffer. One of the most important factors in keeping your business safe is the state of the roof. Costly to repair and difficult to diagnose, roof damage is something that should be addressed immediately.


There are a number of factors that can cause roof damage. Some of the most common include:

  • Heat and sun: The rays emitting from the sun bombard your roof every day, even through thick clouds, which deteriorates the material on your roof over time
  • Storm damage: Rain, snow, and ice can cause water to seep through the roof, cave-ins and degrade the quality of your roof, while wind damage can exasperate an existing problem
  • Condensation: Water and moisture are notorious for damaging a roof, so high humidity, debris, and other factors can trap water and degrade the area over time
  • Trees, branches, and leaves: The weight of heavy branches and moisture trapped under leaves will damage your roof without a proper storm cleanup process
  • Flashing deterioration: The sealant used to secure your roof, or flashing, naturally degrades over time and can cause leaks into your building

Immediate Steps to Recovery

If you suspect your commercial building has suffered from roof damage in Queens, NY, your first step should be to reach out to a professional roof tarping and boarding company. These experts will determine the severity of the issue, and will secure your roof to protect it from further flood damage and wild animal entry. They will also help you determine the extent of the damage and recommend next steps on the roof rebuild process. With proper maintenance and swift action, damage to your roof, and your business’s bottom line, can be minimized.

Which Fire Sprinkler System Is Best for Your Business?

8/9/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial fire sprinkler system

Which Fire Sprinkler System Is Best for Your Business?

Hopefully, your commercial property will never be the site of a fire, and you'll never need to worry about your fire sprinkler system. However, in the event of a fire, you need to be 100 percent sure the fire suppression system will work. To this end, you should schedule routine maintenance and schedule periodic inspections. After all, the National Fire Protection Association shares these statistics:

  • Sprinklers cut down property damage by more than 58 percent
  • Emergency sprinklers reduce fire-related deaths by more than 81 percent
  • Sprinklers cut down flames, heat, and smoke produced during fires

Reports from the NFPA show that sprinkler systems are extremely valuable tools for increasing the safety of people and property during business fires.

Suppression Sprinkler Options

There are several types of fire sprinkler systems to consider. Make sure you learn as much as you can about each type of sprinkler to choose the type best suited to your business.

Wet pipe systems hold water continually and release the water when temperatures rise rapidly. They are useful in buildings with controlled climate systems but are not appropriate for buildings that dip below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Antifreeze sprinklers are designed for businesses with cold temperatures. However, a specific mixture of antifreeze must be maintained, or the antifreeze will become flammable.
Deluge sprinklers are designed to quickly drench an area when fires spread rapidly. When one sprinkler head opens, all of the heads open.
Combination sprinklers are non-automatic and are generally regarded as some of the best for property protection.

Other options include dry systems, pre-action valves, and pure standpipe systems. Consider factors such as the temperatures inside your buildings, the type of chemicals or processes of your business, and the costs and ease of maintenance before you choose one system over another.

Get Professional Advice

Fire sprinkler cleanup is generally less expensive and devastating than fire and smoke damage. Contact fire damage cleanup and restoration professionals in Briarwood, NY, to learn more about the best sprinkler systems for your situation.

Mold: The Growth, The Consequences, and The Cure

7/29/2019 (Permalink)

Mold damage on ceiling in a Howard Beach, NY building

When a storm hits and water enters your business, the problem may not end when the water dries. At times, the moisture can cause black mold to grow and spread throughout the area, which can damage the structure of your business. Understanding how this occurs, and what can be done to stop it, are the first steps in ensuring proper mold remediation.

Where Does Mold Form and Grow?

Black mold begins to spread as soon as the spores land on a susceptible area. They will attach themselves to any moist, porous surface, including:

  • Wood, including support beams, floor boards, and furniture
  • Wallpaper, cardboard, and other paper products
  • Carpeting, upholstery, insulation material, and any other fabric-based material

Remember that this is a living organism, so it is not uncommon for mold to spread throughout a building in as little as a few days. While the problem may begin in an area with an existing moisture problem, the mold itself can quickly move on to drier areas of your business.

What Is The Risk of Permanent Damage?

There is quite a bit of hype around the dangers of black mold, and for good reason. Mold spores do more than simply grow on a wall. They actually eat away at whatever they are attached to, and while it can take some time to permanently damage the integrity of walls, floors, and furniture, these structures will be destroyed over time if left unchecked.

How Is Mold Removed?

The only way to rid yourself of your problem is to enlist the help of mold cleanup specialists. Mold remediation services in Howard Beach, NY, will visit your business to assess the situation, including the point of origin to prevent future problems, and the extent of the damage throughout the building. Remember that mold exists everywhere, so it is physically impossible to remove all mold spores from any given area. Proper remediation, however, will minimize the damage by preventing further growth and restore damaged areas to their former glory.

How Can I Avoid a Dryer Fire?

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

Clear the lint trap of all lint after each load of laundry.

Ways to Prevent a Dryer Fire

Throwing your clean laundry in the dryer is such a common activity, you usually do it without a second thought. People usually don’t think about the risks involved with the use of a residential clothes dryer. But a lint fire is a real threat if your dryer isn’t properly maintained. Here are ways to prevent a dryer fire:

1. Clean Lint Trap and Lint Filter Opening

Clear the lint trap of all lint after each load of laundry. Occasionally clean the filter with soap and water, as fabric softener sheets can clog the screen. Regularly vacuuming the lint filter opening will keep residual lint from building up in the area around the filter.

2. Clean Exhaust Vent

The exhaust vent should be cleaned at least once a year. You will have to move the dryer a couple of feet away from the wall. After unplugging the power cord, carefully detach the hose from the back of the dryer. A vent brush is recommended. Use a vacuum crevice attachment to remove any excess lint.

3. Clean Interior

A lint fire is often the result of a lint buildup around the heating element. Vacuum inside the dryer housing, including motor and vent. Be careful to avoid breaking any wires or small parts. Your owner's manual will detail how to access the interior.

4. Clean Exhaust Vent Hose

Use the vacuum to carefully suck the lint from the hose. Vacuum all areas around and under the dryer to remove excess lint and debris. You can now reconnect the hose, plug the dryer back in and move the dryer back into place.

5. Clean Exterior Vent

Clean the exterior vent a couple of times each year. Go outside and remove the vent cover. You should be able to remove all the lint with your hands. Turn the dryer on the air dry setting for about 20 minutes to blow out excess lint, then replace the cover. Some exterior vents are more accessible than others, so you may want to hire a certified professional.
Extensive fire damage from a lint fire in your home in Rosedale, NY is easily avoidable.

Getting Your Business Back on Track After a Fire

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Fire damage in your Queens, NY business doesn't have to be catastrophic, follow these 4 steps to get your business back on track.

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.

4 Steps to Follow After a Fire 

  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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.