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Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home

12/6/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Smoke and Soot Damage Can Cause a Pervasive Odor in Your Home Smoke and soot damage in Ozone Park,NY

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, SERVPRO of Ozone Park / Jamaica Bay will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Protein Fire Residue – Produced by evaporation of material rather than from a fire

  • Virtually invisible, discolors paints and varnishes, extreme pungent odor. 

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

Have Questions about Fire, Smoke, or Soot Damage?
Call Us Today – SERVPRO OF OZONE PARK/ JAMAICA BAY - 347-233-2305

What Are the Signs of Mold in Your Building?

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What Are the Signs of Mold in Your Building? Mold loss in Whitestone,NY

An ongoing concern for property owners in Whitestone, NY, is the threat of mold growth in their building. An undetected mold problem can cause thousands of dollars' worth of damage, not to mention possible health issues for tenants or workers. If you suspect a problem, an indoor environmental specialist can do a mold test to determine what type of mold, if any, is involved. If a problem is found, they have the expertise and equipment needed to safely eradicate it.

Let's Look at Some of The Things That Might Indicate a Problem

1. Mold Odor

A common indicator of mold is a strong, musty smell. This is a good way to detect a problem that might be hidden from view behind walls or ceilings. A persistent mold odor is a good reason to contact an indoor environmental specialist to do further testing.

2. Visible Mold

Actually seeing mold not only tells you have a problem, but that there's probably more that you can't see. The visible mold could be just the tip of the iceberg, with a much bigger problem hidden from view.

3. Water Damage

If you've had water damage in your building, whether from a leaky roof, broken pipes or flooding, there may be undetected moisture behind walls, floors or ceilings. This moist environment offers the perfect conditions for mold to flourish. It's important to address any possible mold issues soon after the damage occurs to make sure a small problem doesn't turn into a much bigger one.

If you think you might have mold in your building, it's a good idea to contact an indoor environmental specialist as soon as possible. They can inspect the premises to isolate the source and determine what type of mold growth is occurring. Then, using specialized techniques and equipment, they can make sure that any mold in your property is completely removed, efficiently and safely.

3 Tips for Creating an Office Fire Escape Plan

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Tips for Creating an Office Fire Escape Plan Have your fire escape plan updated in your Flushing,NY office

Fire Escape Plan

No matter what type of office in Flushing, NY, you manage, having an updated fire escape plan can save lives. It is important to imagine many crisis scenarios to best determine your escape routes and what tools you will need available. Effectively communicating to your coworkers their roles and responsibilities during a crisis, as well as knowing your building and resources, can also help you design the right course of action to take during an emergency.

1. Imagine Many Scenarios

The best emergency escape plan is one that considers many different crises. If there is a fire, you will be advised to stay low and leave the building by the most effective route; however, where the fire originates may impact various exit paths. These escape scenarios will be different depending on the location and size of your business as well as what types of clients and customers you see.

2. Communicate Roles and Responsibilities

When designing and practicing a fire escape plan with your office, it is important that you clearly communicate with each other and have designated roles and responsibilities. For instance, you can select one person to call emergency services. Your team leads can be responsible for keeping track of their team members, and you can even have someone in charge of grabbing a folder of important phone numbers, such as those for emergency restoration services and emergency contact info, on the way out.

3. Know Your Building and Resources

Emergency escape plans should demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the location and the tools available. This means knowing where the nearest exits are, which staircases lead outside most effectively and even what emergency medical or rescue gear is available.

Having the right fire escape plan for your office can save lives. Creating an emergency preparedness program for your business means knowing the basics of your building, your company and even your coworkers. This can help you effectively design the strategy best fitting your needs.

Creating a Maintenance Schedule for Your Home’s Sump Pump

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Creating a Maintenance Schedule for Your Home’s Sump Pump Water damage to the floor in a Whitestone, NY home

Your Whitestone, NY, home’s sump pump can be the first line of defense against basement flooding. Weather events, poor drainage and plumbing pipe breaks are all potential sources of a damaging flood or standing water. Maintaining your pump regularly can ensure it is ready and able to work when floods occur, no matter their source.

The Importance of Caring for Your Pump

A working pump can protect your basement and its contents in several ways by draining and sending water away from your home and could prevent the following issues:

  • Mold growth
  • Water damage to the floor
  • Crawlspace flooding

A pump that is kept in good working condition can be your best defense in the face of unexpected floods, especially if you are away from home when they occur. Planned maintenance may help you remember to service it properly and often.

Monthly Maintenance

Checking your sump pump on the first of every month can help you gauge how well it is working and whether it is making any unusual sounds that may signal a problem. Check the power source and then inspect the pump’s cord for fraying and worn spots. To ensure the unit will drain away any excess water in the event of a flood, fill the sump until the inner float triggers the system and the pump turns on. Note any operations that are out of the ordinary so you can report them to a technician.

Yearly Checks

Yearly pump maintenance is best performed before the rainy season. Because these checks usually require in-depth servicing, it is wise to call in a flood damage and storm restoration service to have it performed. The techs will likely clean out the sump and ensure all the parts are greased and working properly to prepare it for the upcoming wet season.

Your Whitestone, NY, home’s sump pump is an important tool for preventing long-term water damage. Regular, planned maintenance can give you peace of mind that your unit will function when flooding affects your neighborhood.

Content Cleaning After Fire Damage

10/24/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Content Cleaning After Fire Damage Content cleaning after fire damage in Jamaica Bay,NY

When your home has been damaged because of a fire, you may choose to hire a content cleaning company to clean up many of your belongings. The process involved in this cleanup has several steps:

  • Packing up your contents
  • Carrying contents away for dry-cleaning and other processes
  • Storing your belongings until they are returned
  • Unpacking your belongings

Protective Packaging

Many of the furnishings and belongings in your home will suffer smoke damage after a fire. You can't do much on your own for heavy curtains, couches, and mattresses, but don't despair. Cleanup professionals have tools and techniques at their disposal that can bring many of your belongings back to new. Most of your clothing will probably go through dry-cleaning. If you have a lot of non-porous belongings that have suffered damage, it may go through an ultrasonic treatment.

Safe Transportation

As your belongings are prepared for transportation to cleaning facilities, they will be photographed and packaged for safety. Professionals work hard to be sure your items don't suffer any further additional damage during this cleanup process. Bubble-wrap and packing paper will protect your belongings as they are stored and transported in large boxes.

Specialized Cleaning

The cleaning part of the process may take place in more than one facility. Specialists will determine the best process for each type of furnishing, so your possessions aren't damaged by the wrong cleansers and so that contamination is fully contained. For example, electronics require a different type of cleaning process than your carpets. After cleaning, the contents of your home will be packaged in new bubble wrap and packing materials.

Home Delivery

As the furnishings and contents of your home move through the dry-cleaning process and after they have been repackaged, they will be kept in a content storage location until they are returned to your Jamaica Bay, NY, home and restored to their original positions. It is possible enjoy your home after a fire after a thorough cleaning and restoration process.

Five Reasons Why You Should Get Commercial Flood Insurance Right Away

10/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Five Reasons Why You Should Get Commercial Flood Insurance Right Away Flood damage in a Flushing,NY commercial facility

If you have a business in Flushing,NY, it can be extremely stressful to deal with the damage a flood can cause. Having flood insurance is sure to take some of the financial burden off your shoulders and let you rest assured that your business will return to normal. If you don’t already have commercial insurance in case of a flood, here are the top five reasons why you should make sure your business is covered as soon as possible.

1. Insurance Covers Most Types of Flooding

Your business will be covered for any flood damage that covers a minimum of two acres or affects more than one property. Whether this flooding is caused by heavy rain or a blocked storm drain, your flood insurance will cover it.

2. Mold or Mildew Caused by Flooding Is Covered.

If your business experiences any issues with mold or mildew that directly results from flooding, your insurance will cover the costs of fixing any damage. You will likely need a flood restoration specialist to deal with necessary repairs.

3. There Is a 30-Day Waiting Period

Don’t wait until a storm is on its way to get insurance. After purchasing insurance, there is a 30-day waiting period before the policy starts providing coverage.

4. Some Locations Require a Commercial Insurance Flood Policy

If Flushing,NY, is a high-risk flood area, you might be required to get extra coverage in case of a flood if your mortgage is through a federally regulated or insured lender. You don’t want to run into any issues with your mortgage company, so you will want to make sure you get flood coverage.

5. Floods Can Happen Anywhere

Although most people who live in areas where flooding is common know the damage a flood can cause, people living outside these areas often aren’t aware of how devastating flooding can be. Even if your business is not located in a high-risk flood area, flooding can still occur. Areas that get extremely cold in the winter or experience a lot of precipitation are especially prone to flooding.

Don’t wait until it’s too late to get flood insurance for your business. Make sure your business is covered in case of a flood so that you can rest assured your business and all of your assets are protected.

The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Damage

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Difference Between Primary and Secondary Damage Flooding in a Queens, NY home

When waters flood your home in Queens, NY, you may not worry about how the resulting damage was caused. However, understanding the difference between secondary and primary damage can help you make smart decisions about the cleanup process. Black mold, for example, may not grow in your flooded home if you act quickly.


Primary damage is anything that happened at the time of the flooding. This can include the following:

  • Broken pipe
  • Damaged building materials
  • Waterlogged furniture

Many residential water cleanup professionals consider primary damage to be anything done at the time of the flooding before the waters stopped flowing.


Secondary damage, therefore, is anything that happened once the initial flood stopped. Often, this type of destruction takes place when flooding is not noticed for days. Black mold can start to grow if stagnant water is left unattended, for example. Slow reaction times aren't the only thing that could cause your home to continue being damaged after flooding has stopped. A poor cleanup technique can also attribute to this destruction.

For example, if your home is not completely dried out, there may still be a higher-than-normal humidity level. This high humidity can degrade fabrics, warp wood floors or encourage the growth of mold spores.


If you want to avoid problems after water damage, you need to make sure to address the flooding as quickly as possible. This quick reaction time gives the water and high humidity less time to wreak havoc on your home.

As a homeowner, you may not care if your home was damaged during a flood or after. After all, you have to repair all of the issues caused, so who cares how they came about? However, understanding that there is a difference between damage caused during a flood, such as the breakdown of ceiling tiles, and damage caused after, such as the growth of black mold, can help you and your residential cleanup crew make smart, fast choices right after a disaster.

Commercial Property Insurance: Understanding Peril Coverage

9/27/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Commercial Property Insurance: Understanding Peril Coverage Commercial water loss in Jamaica Bay, NY

In most commercial property policies there is a section labeled peril coverage, and this is specifically designed to protect you from many sudden business losses, like damaged pipes; however, as with most insurance policies, there are specific exclusions and requirements. While every plan is different, there are a few things under peril coverage that most insurers will cover.

1. Sudden Events

A sudden event is considered something that occurs despite preventative measures being taken. For example, leaking pipes caused by a sudden break in the line will likely be covered by most policies; however, if the break in the line were created from a lack of routine maintenance, then most policies would consider this the owner’s responsibility. Additionally, flooding, unless caused by a sudden line break, is likely not covered by a typical commercial policy.

2. Damage to Safety Systems

While most policies will not cover damage to appliances and other water-based systems, many insurance companies will cover safety systems with damaged pipes, unless this damage was due to a lack of routine maintenance. As with most claims, insurance companies will investigate to determine responsibility, and if a business owner is deemed to be the responsible party, an insurance company will most likely not pay out.

3. Cost of Restoration

In instances where the insurance company finds in your favor, the cost of your restoration, minus your deductible, will most likely be covered. You may need to talk to your policyholder to find out if there are any specific restoration companies that they work with in the Jamaica Bay, NY, area because you may be required to work with that company to receive your insurance payout.

Suddenly damaged pipes can cause significant issues for businesses, and if you don’t understand your policy’s exclusions and requirements, you may be left wondering what has to be covered out-of-pocket; to help you gain some clarification, the three sections above discuss the common coverages under peril policies that are recognized by most commercial property insurance companies.

The Mitigation Process: How to Prevent Roof Damage

9/20/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage The Mitigation Process: How to Prevent Roof Damage If you experience any commercial storm damage in Flushing, NY SERVPRO can help

Roof damage mitigation is the process of protecting your roof from further damage; however, a better practice is to try and prevent damage from occurring in the first place. While it seems like this is an impossibility, as the weather in Flushing, NY, can be unpredictable, a vigilant homeowner can help to minimize the threat of damage.

1. Prune Your Trees

While wind damage often removes shingles and can even have the power to remove roofs, most damage caused by the wind is inflicted by flying debris, likely tree branches. Ensuring that your trees are trimmed and any dead branches removed is an excellent way to minimize this risk.

2. Check Your Gutters

Often a dreaded job for most homeowners, cleaning your gutters is an essential practice that protects the integrity of your roof and prevents one of the most common causes of roof damage. When a homeowner allows gutters to become clogged, they increase the risk of water runoff, which in turn can get under the flashing and begin rotting out your roof decking. The best way to prevent this from happening is to clean your gutters regularly and inspect that they are draining appropriately.

3. Inspect Your Home

Lastly, after any storms and at the change of every season, you or a professional should inspect your roof, inside and out. You can examine the interior of your home by going into your attic and looking for any signs of light coming through the roof because this indicates a hole in the roofing above. While inspecting the outside of your roof, you should be looking for any missing shingles, or divots, or other signs of damage. Finding any issues early on can potentially the reduce the risk of costly expenses later.

Roof damage is common, but it doesn’t have to be costly to repair. If a homeowner is vigilant about inspecting and fixing any minor issues early on, then your average roof should last about 20 to 25 years.

Will Your Insurance Cover Damage From Mold?

9/13/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Will Your Insurance Cover Damage From Mold? Mold loss in a Queens, NY home

On a typical day, you probably don’t sit around and think about your homeowner’s insurance. However, when you find significant damage in your home, you’re grateful you have coverage. Your insurance won’t cover all types of damages in all situations, however, so it’s important to understand the limitations and exclusions. If you’ve noticed that fungus growth has caused some damage in your Queens, NY, home, you need to explore what your policy will take care of.

What it Covers

No one wants to discover mold at home—no matter where it is. Fungus growth and other mold issues are a significant concern for any homeowner. In some cases, your insurance policy should help you take care of the costs of any damage from mold. These include some of the following ways in which mold may grow:

  • As the result of a fire
  • As the result of vandalism or other mischievous behavior
  • As a result of frozen pipes
  • Due to unintentional water overflow from plumbing or sprinkler systems

Homeowner Neglect

Your insurance agent will expect you, as the homeowner, to handle certain preventive maintenance situations. For example, as your roof begins to age, it will require repairs or event complete replacement. If you procrastinate this, and mold begins to form, you should expect mold coverage from your policy. Also, if you notice that pipes in your basement are leaking, but you do nothing about it, your insurance plan won’t pay for damages.

Flooding Problems

There is generally no mold insurance when it comes to flooding. Excess water can cause extensive damage, and you’ll need a professional cleanup and restoration company to assist you. However, if you want your insurance to help cover these costs, you’ll need to purchase separate flood insurance.

Fungus growth and other mold-related issues could ruin parts of your home. Pay close attention to situations that encourage mold so you aren’t caught up in costly repairs your insurance won’t pay for. If you have questions about your policy, speak with an insurance adjuster.