Preparing for Flood Damage
Be sure you have emergency kits.
Flood Damage Preparation
Serious storms that produce flooding can threaten Bayside, NY, and require professional damage remediation at any time of year. However, there are countermeasures that homeowners can put into place before the deluge to minimize storm damage.
Know the Landscape
Understanding the terrain around your property is vital. Conduct some simple research to familiarize yourself with your neighborhood’s geography.
• Determine if your home is located within a flood plain. Online tools and flood maps can ascertain whether your property is in a flood zone.
• Identify established evacuation routes and emergency shelters.
Prepare Your Home
Both long-term planning and short-term response to imminent flooding are important strategies. Well-timed preventative measures can help minimize flood damage.
• Build a flood wall.
• Elevate your electrical panel, water heater and furnace above floor level.
• Install plumbing check valves.
• Keep storm drains and gutters cleared.
• Seal basement walls and floors.
• Keep tools and materials for filling sandbags accessible.
• Bring outdoor furniture and other belongings inside.
• Shut off propane tanks.
• Fill sinks and bathtubs with water for flushing toilets and cleaning.
• Fill water bottles for drinking.
Keep Yourself Informed
Installing a reliable weather app on your personal electronics and monitoring conditions can help you maximize your response time when a weather event is on its way. Likewise, local radio and television stations provide the latest updates and information.
Prepare for Evacuation
If authorities advise or mandate evacuation, gather your family and pets and move promptly along designated routes. If time permits beforehand, move belongings higher in your home, such as onto a second floor. Shut off utilities and unplug appliances. Be sure you have emergency kits with medications, supplies, and important documents such as identification and insurance papers.
For most homeowners, serious flooding will be at most, a rare event. Appropriate preparation can make a world of difference in weathering nature’s extremes.
5 Things You Should Know About Mold Damage
Commercial mold growth in Whitestone, NY.
5 Things You Should Know About Mold Damage
Mold is a microscopic substance that can quickly turn into a macroscopic issue under the right conditions. Mold in your Whitestone, NY, property can disrupt business and damage property. Here are five tips to keep in mind until the mold remediation experts arrive:
1. Prevention Is Key
Mold spores are a natural occurrence present everywhere, and thus it is impossible to completely eliminate their existence. To prevent mold is to prevent the key factor needed for its growth: water. A moisture problem in your building, whether from a leaky pipe or malfunctioning HVAC system, can be a breeding ground for colonies, including black mold. Limit the opportunity for growth by immediately addressing any water issues that arise.
2. Growth Is Fast
Spores can begin growing into colonies within 24–48 hours of initial exposure to water. Clean and dry materials immediately after water damage to prevent mold growth.
3. Spores Go Everywhere
It takes a moist, dark surface for spores to land on to grow, but they are carried via everything: shoes, clothing, hair, skin and even airflow. If mold has appeared on your property, restrict access to the area and turn off the HVAC system to prevent spores from spreading through the air.
4. Porous Materials Are Vulnerable
While every surface can be subject to mold growth, porous materials are particularly vulnerable because of their ability to withhold moisture. Ceiling tiles, carpet and interior walls are all subject to absorbing condensation and should be addressed immediately when water spots appear.
5. Safety Is Priority
To limit exposure and impact on property, mold cleanup should begin quickly and aggressively with safety protocol in mind. Full personal protective gear, including eye goggles and air filtration masks, must be worn to limit any contact with potential irritants from black mold and debris from the cleanup process.
How to Prepare Your Commercial Property for a Winter Storm
To prevent a pipe break, insulate around your pipes to keep the cold air out.
Keep Your Commercial Property Safe From A Storm
A winter storm could cause devastating damage to commercial buildings in Jamaica Bay, NY. Freezing temperatures affect the construction materials of buildings by corroding, expanding, and tearing them. Materials that are affected by below-freezing temperatures include:
- HVAC units
You can keep your property safe from bad weather by maintaining and updating your building as needed. Here are a few things you can do to keep your commercial property safe from a storm.
1. Maintain Your HVAC System
An HVAC unit has the power to heat your building and keep colder temperatures out. You will need to crank up the heat when temperatures drop. To keep your system maintained and functional before a winter storm, change the filters regularly and have the unit professionally cleaned at least once a year.
2. Check That Your Windows Are Properly Sealed
In older buildings, the sealant around windows becomes corroded with time. Make sure your windows are sealed well enough to keep out unwanted moisture. This prevents storm damage from ice and higher humidity levels in the building. It can also save you money on your electrical bill and ensures the HVAC system is not working harder than it needs to.
3. Insulate Around Your Plumbing
One of the main reasons insurance companies receive calls in the aftermath of inclement weather is damage from bursts or broken pipes. A burst pipe occurs when water freezes inside of the plumbing, causing the pressure to increase and pipes to burst. To prevent a pipe break, insulate around your pipes to keep the cold air out. Remember to allow warm air to circulate around indoor water supply lines by opening cabinet doors. Any outdoor pipes should also be well insulated.
Prevent unwanted damage by keeping your property well maintained year-round. If you have experienced a burst pipe from a winter storm, contact a storm damage restoration service to aid in cleanup and repairs.
5 Ways To Prevent a Mildewy Bathroom
Mold grows in unvented bathrooms.
Keep Your Bathrooms Free From Mildew
No homeowner desires bathroom mildew. At best, its presence is unpleasant. At worst, you need a residential mold removal service to get rid of it. Thankfully, there are easy ways to reduce the odds that mildew develops. Practice the following tips to keep your lavatories in Whitestone, NY, free from mildew.
1. Run the Fan
People normally turn off their ceiling vent as soon as they're done bathing. Leave yours running for at least half an hour after washing. Install a timer so you don't need to worry about forgetting to shut it down.
2. Dry the Shower
You may be reluctant to assume another chore, but scrubbing shower walls with a squeegee or dry towel after you've stepped out is a must. This brief duty has the potential to reduce an enormous amount of moisture that may contribute to the growth of bathroom mildew.
3. Ventilate the Room
Summer months may create a humidity problem that increases the odds of mildew's appearance. If your home's interior becomes particularly steamy, open the windows during bath time. Standalone fans can be used to further increase airflow. The strength of the fan you need is determined by your bathroom's square footage. Your blower's instruction manual will tell you its power in cubic feet per minute.
4. Fix the Leaks
A leaky faucet is more than just an annoyance. It's also a potential source of mildew. Contact a plumber to remedy the matter as soon as it's noticed. The longer you wait, the greater the chance of a fungal nuisance surfacing.
5. Wash the Towels
Used towels are vulnerable to mildew. Pick them up off the floor and place them in a laundry basket. Clean them regularly. Remind yourself to handle this chore by setting a customized phone alert or designate a specific day for completing the task.
Prevent bathroom mildew from taking over. A few non-taxing steps could stop the arrival of an unsightly and inconvenient situation.
Fixing Your Leaking Water Heater Before the Leak Becomes a Flood
A leaking water heater can cause major damage in your home.
Keep Your Property Safe
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:
- Clear the area.
- Drain the water.
- 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.
How Water Damage Affects You as a Tenant
After a natural disaster has struck, both owners and tenants bear responsibility for the outcome.
How Water Damage Affects You as a Tenant
If you rent the building where your business resides in Flushing, NY, you don’t have to worry about many of the potential problems that the building's owner does. The business owner is responsible for the building and grounds, including maintenance, damages, upgrades, and safety. When flooding causes damage to the building and its contents, however, the lines of responsibility may seem blurred, and you may need to rely on your renter's insurance to cover some of the damages. Here is a breakdown of each party's responsibility after a flood.
The property owner is responsible for the building itself, and that doesn't change when it is damaged by floodwaters. The owner's flood insurance coverage should take care of a few key things:
- Remediation of water damage
- Restoration of building to its previous state
- Post-restoration safety inspection
The owner is bound by your contract to provide a place for your business to operate. If repairs only take a couple of days, those repairs may be the only thing the owner has to cover. If, however, the time it takes for restoration specialists to fix the damage is significant or if more problems arise due to the owner's slow response to the problem, you may be entitled to a release from your contract or a break from rent payments.
Your renter's insurance is important in this situation because the owner is not responsible for the items inside the property that belongs to you. Unless a flood is the direct result of the owner's negligence, which is not the case if the flooding was caused by a storm, you are responsible for your own belongings. You need your own insurance protection against disasters even if you don't own the building where your business is located.
After a natural disaster has struck, both owners and tenants bear responsibility for the outcome. Just like you expect your landlord to have adequate flood coverage to mitigate the damage to the building, you should take out a renter's insurance policy to protect everything else that your business requires to operate.
Preventing Cigarette Damages
Clean your ashtray.
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 of, 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.
Will Insurance Always Cover House Fires?
Fire damaged a vacant home.
Will Insurance Always Cover House Fires?
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 the guidelines so you don’t make a bad decision or so that you’re not caught off guard.
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.
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.
5 Quick Tips To Prepare Your Business in Case of a Fire
This was the aftermath of a fire in a hotel.
Prepare Your Business For A Fire
A disaster can strike any business. In fact, if you’re active long enough, you’re bound to experience at least one. Considering just fires, over 100,000 business fires occur annually with over $2.4 billion in damage.
The key to building resiliency in your business is to be prepared. There are five simple steps to being ready for a fire – some of which extend to all disasters – and by following this checklist, your chances of surviving increase dramatically.
1. Keep Your Fire Extinguishers Ready
Good fire preparation means all employees should know where extinguishers are and how simple they are to use. Have them watch this two-minute video and they’ll know what to do. It shows how to use the P.A.S.S method recommended by all firefighting experts to fight small fires.
Also, every extinguisher should be inspected at least once every 6 years and be appropriately tagged. They should be easily seen, never obstructed and accessible to everyone.
2. Develop Your Ready Plan
Your local fire damage restoration experts offer a free assessment of your business for likely hazards and special needs. You can develop an Emergency Ready Plan with them and download their free app for access to records and important names, numbers and emergency information.
3. Have Your Kitchen Hood System Inspected
If your building has a kitchen, that’s going to be the most likely cause of a business fire. Your kitchen hood suppression system must be inspected every 6 months to be in compliance with fire codes.
4. Maintain All Required MSDS Info
OSHA requires MSDS sheets to be easily accessible for all hazardous materials in your business. If it’s missing or not well-organized, it can be disastrous – and result in fines.
5. Post Maps of Escape Routes
Every employee should know how to exit the building immediately, along with how to help customers escape. Maps should be clearly posted in every area for the best routes to each escape point.
All five of these steps take very little time compared to the potential payoff. If handled well, a business fire doesn’t have to be the end of your company.
How Do You Clean Up a Leaking Roof?
Ceiling damage after a leaking roof.
Cleaning up from the aftermath of a storm at your Queens, NY business is crucial if you notice problems such as a roof leak or substantial damage, like missing shingles. Here are the steps necessary to go through to keep your structure in the best condition possible when handling storm cleanup.
Remove Wet Materials
It's crucial to remove any wet materials that are on the roof area prior to repairing. This prevents mold from growing within the roof, which could cause more problems later on. A professional restoration team ensures that you start with a dry area before performing further work. This creates a clean base that can promote longevity and protect any repairs that are made.
Dry And Disinfect
The roof area needs to be dry before replacing any material. A company that specializes in storm damage restoration can disinfect and properly clean everything prior to beginning work. With the area dry and disinfected, it's easier to have a solid base that can last for a longer period of time, especially since a roof leak can cause a lot of damage without you realizing it.
Start Restoring the Roof and Ceiling
Once the wet materials are removed and everything is cleaned and dry, it is time to start the process of rebuilding the roof and ceiling. Although you might need to close your business during this time, it's important to tackle a damaged roof right away so the rest of the structure doesn't weaken. A clean and safe building can provide a better experience for both employees and customers alike.
Commercial storm cleanup for a roof leak in Queens, NY can protect the current setup of your business from further damage. With time, following the right steps, and the help of a professional restoration company, your roof can return to its former glory, allowing you to return to business once again.