Recent Posts

When You Should Replace the Various Pipes in Your Home

4/25/2022 (Permalink)

Hands replacing pipes Pipes do not last forever.

When Should You Replace the Pipes in Your House?

Pipes do not last forever. Over time, you may discover supply line damage. This could lead to a bathroom leak that necessitates cleanup and restoration services. To prevent any leaks, you should get your older pipes replaced. When to do so depends on the age of your Whitestone, NY, home and plumbing system.

Washing Machine Hoses

Many water losses result from leaks in the washing machine. To keep the appliance functioning and prevent flooding, you should replace the supply hose every three years. You should also replace the hose if you notice any of the following:

  • Leaking water
  • Rust
  • Bubbling
  • Obvious signs of damage such as kinks and cracks

Supply Pipes

Even though these pipes have to deal with constant pressure, supply line damage typically only occurs in older homes. In fact, copper pipes can last 70 to 80 years. Brass and galvanized steel pipes survive even longer than that. Still, if you do notice a supply line leak, you should get it checked out immediately.

Faucets

Faucet lines typically can be repaired without having to replace the pipes. However, if you find yourself constantly fixing the faucet, it may be time for an upgrade. Some people also replace their faucet pipes purely for efficacy reasons.

Drain Pipes

Cast-iron drain pipes are meant to last 80 to 100 years. Yet if your drain lines are made of plastic, they may only last 25 years. A storm or tree root can easily damage these lines, as well.

Toilet Pipes

Different parts of your toilet last varying amounts of time. The wax seals only need to be replaced every 20 or 30 years. However, the valves, fittings, flappers, and levers have a lifespan of just four or five years.
Major supply line damage usually occurs only when those pipes are old. However, other pipes in your home can wear down over time, especially lines made of plastic. Those lines should be replaced periodically before a huge leak occurs.

A Closer Look at Types of Fire Alarms

4/20/2022 (Permalink)

Ionization smoke detector An Ionization alarm excels at detecting fires with open flames.

Two Main Types of Alarms On The Market

Home fires in the U.S. cause many injuries and millions of dollars in property damage. These devastating fires come from many sources, with the following causes among the most common each year:

  • Cooking
  • Heating appliances
  • Electrical
  • Smoking
  • Candles
  • Chemicals

The good news is that all of these fires can be detected by a modern fire alarm. When installed in a home in Jamaica Bay, NY, these units alert occupants of the presence of danger by loud noises and sometimes by visual signs. Many types can be purchased online and in stores. All are effective in reducing fire deaths and minimizing fire damage to property. Here is a closer look at the two main types of alarms on the market.

An Ionization Alarm

This type of fire alarm excels at detecting fires with open flames. It operates by using a bit of radioactive material inside the unit that sits between two electronically charged plates. A current of ionized air runs between the plates. When smoke enters this area, it breaks the current and sets off the alarm. These units should be installed in every bedroom and at least one on each floor of the house, including basements and attics.

A Photoelectric Alarm

This type of fire alarm is better at detecting smoldering fires. It uses a beam of light in a chamber and a light sensor. When smoke enters the chamber, it reflects the light toward the sensor and triggers the alarm. This technology is a solid choice to prevent smoke damage to a home. For even more protection, a person can get a combination alarm that uses both technologies just described. In the case of fire damage, a professional fire mitigation company can restore a home to its original condition. An experienced crew employs advanced equipment and proven techniques to clean and restore a home. Along with working fire alarms, a mitigation franchise is part of a solid protection plan against fire damage.

4 Tips To Prevent Mold in Your Rental Home

4/5/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth behind drywall Commercial mold growth in Flushing, NY.

Tips To Inhibit Mold Growth

Your rental home in Flushing, NY, is an important investment and source of income, so it makes sense to keep it in top shape year after year. Mold prevention is key to protect the building materials — both inside and out — from secondary water damage from excess moisture and humidity. The time and effort you put in now will save you from future headaches, expenses, and the potential loss of rental income.

Here are a few important tips to inhibit mold growth:

1. Measure the moisture levels inside the home with a digital hygrometer.
This inexpensive device should be set somewhere at least three feet off the ground in the area you want to measure. Though accurate readings can be determined in a few minutes, they can tell you the average humidity levels over the past 12 hours. Any reading above 60% is an indication that the area is wet somewhere and will warrant further investigation.

2. Run a dehumidifier in warm, rainy months and a humidifier in cold, dry months.
Your tenant will need to monitor them daily, adding or removing water as the need arises. It is also suggested that they turn off the water and lower their heat when not in use, though turning the heat off completely isn't recommended.

3. Assess the drainage around the building outdoors.
Make sure the ground isn’t sloped towards the foundation or that the downspouts aren’t pooling water beneath them. Regrading the landscape can be a quick fix or a much bigger project, but not addressing the problem will most likely lead to water damage.

4. Install and maintain household exhaust fans.
Each bathroom should be equipped with a working fan and kitchens should have an exhaust hood over the range. If your rental home has an attic, a fan will help regulate the temperature and humidity as well.

In most cases, mold prevention is an easy, low-cost way to protect your rental home and your tenants from the hassles and damage that excess moisture can cause. If you’ve discovered mold and need the help of a professional, call a mold remediation specialist in your area.

Basement Sewage Backup: Five Causes

3/23/2022 (Permalink)

Hand with glove holding leaves from a gutter. Cleaning gutters Keep your gutters clean and avoid an overflowing basement.

Common Causes Of a Flooded Basement

There are a number of common causes of a flooded basement, many of which stem from storm-related issues. Understanding and knowing how to fix them can help you prevent floods in the long run. Here are five common causes of basement sewage backup in Queens, NY, houses.

1. Gutters that are overflowing. If you are having problems with your downspouts or haven’t cleaned your gutters recently, they could be overflowing and backing up into your basement. Get your gutters cleaned and consider a new or second downspout to help remedy the situation.

2. Water at the surface. If you have surface water draining near your foundation during a heavy rain, it could be causing backup issues. Consider getting professional help from a reliable, licensed contractor to fix such issues.

3. Sewer backup. During heavy rainstorms, municipal sewage systems can back up and cause a flooded basement. These backups may be mostly out of your control, but make sure that your individual lines are clear and in top shape at all times.

4. Perimeter foundation drain backups. If you have this type of drain around your home’s foundation, it could back up with storm water. Contact a professional contractor for repair help if this is the case.

5. Irrigation systems. If your home and yard have been subjected to heavy rainfall lately, your irrigation system may be overloading it and causing floods. Replace yours with one that has a rain gauge if this seems to be a problem for you.

If you are already facing a flooded basement, your best bet is to call a professional residential storm damage remediation service in the Queens, NY, area that can help you figure out a repair plan and work on salvaging damaged goods. Now that you know what may have caused the flood, you are better prepared to deal with such emergencies in the future - and possibly prevent them altogether.

Creating an Effective Office Fire Escape Plan

3/18/2022 (Permalink)

Evacuation plan - first floor Evacuation route planning.

Developing a Fire-Escape Plan for Your Office

With the hectic daily operations of any business in Briarwood, NY, it’s often difficult to carve out time to prepare for emergencies. This is particularly true with smaller companies that don’t have mandated drills or contingency plans. However, it’s essential for any business owner to have an emergency escape plan in place to protect workers and assets. The following steps will help make sure you are prepared.

1. Assign Roles

The first step in creating a fire escape plan is to assign various workers to be in charge. A coordinator needs to be accountable for fire drills, extinguisher training and evacuation route planning. Every worker should know where the fire alarms are located so all employees can be immediately alerted to a problem. If your office has various floors, each floor should have a person designated to clear it and ensure workers are not left behind. It’s also a good idea to plan help for any employee who may have difficulty getting down the stairs.

2. Create a Chain of Command

Once employees are safe and the fire department is in control, there should be a person in charge to communicate protocols. This involves having updated contact information for all employees, so that instructions on contingency plans can be quickly sent out via a call tree or mass email. The supervisor or designee should have an offsite checklist with contact information to call the insurance company and a competent fire restoration company.

3. Prevent Problems

Although a good fire escape plan is essential, you always hope you won’t need it. The fire department will do an annual inspection of your property, so use this as a tool to identify areas of concern. Consider moving essential equipment or files into fireproof rooms and safes. Finally, make sure all exits are clearly marked and easily accessible.
Every business should have a detailed fire escape plan. It involves designating particular employees to be in charge of training and evacuation routes. If you have a clear chain of command, you will be prepared for potential fires and have the peace of mind that you are keeping your employees safe.

How To Maintain Fire Sprinklers in Your Building

3/8/2022 (Permalink)

Deluge sprinkler All deluge system gauges should be inspected weekly.

Fire Sprinkler Maintenance Steps

A properly functioning sprinkler system can save lives. Sprinkler maintenance should be part of the safety plan for every building. Regular maintenance of sprinkler systems is essential in the prevention of accidental activation. Locate a sprinkler inspection company in Howard Beach, NY, that can schedule and perform these necessary maintenance steps.

1. Weekly Maintenance

A designated member of your staff trained in the standards and local codes can perform the weekly maintenance to ensure there is proper air and water pressure on the dry, pre-action, and deluge system gauges. All gauges should be inspected weekly, or possibly monthly depending on your system. Wet pipe systems should be checked monthly. All inspections should include looking for signs of physical damage.

2. Quarterly Maintenance

Outside of the weekly maintenance, a licensed fire protection technician should conduct all testing and maintenance. Every three months all alarm systems should be inspected as well as the connection to the fire department.

3. Yearly Maintenance

Yearly sprinkler maintenance includes the inspection of buildings, bracings, pipes, fittings, and fire sprinklers. In addition to physical inspection, several things should be tested each year. Control valves, alarm switches, gauges, backflow preventers, anti-freeze loops, fire department connections, and visible piping should all be inspected and tested to make sure they are functioning properly. Running a test for dry, pre-action, and deluge systems is also recommended on a yearly basis.

4. Maintenance Every Five Years

Hoses, connections, and piping should be inspected every five years. Testing of standpipes, internal pipe inspections, and obstruction investigations should also be conducted every five years.
A functional and reliable sprinkler system should be a priority for every building owner. They act as both a warning system and a lifesaver. Accidental activation of a sprinkler system can cause costly water damage that may require water damage restoration. Keeping up with regular sprinkler maintenance can help prevent the need for cleanup from easily avoidable water damage.

When the Bowl Runs Over

2/24/2022 (Permalink)

Overflowing broken toilet Nobody wants to deal with a gurgling toilet.

Sewage Damage In Your Business

The scene caused by an overflowing toilet is all too familiar to many Rosedale, NY, business owners. If you're reading this, you have probably stopped the flow coming from the flooded toilet. If not, commercial toilets usually have a shut-off valve that you can locate and use a screwdriver to activate. If you can't find it, a sewage company should be able to stop the water easily. Act quickly, because this kind of sewer damage can cause:

  • Health effects
  • Facility water damage
  • Lingering bad smell
  • Secondary damage

Immediate Action

Your first step should be identifying the problem. Most situations involving sewer damage are far from pretty, but some are worse than others. If there's a presence of feces, for example, you should take extra care if attempting cleanup. If you aren't going to handle the problem yourself, you should ideally rope off the whole bathroom until help arrives.

Secondary Steps

After you determine the nature of the issue and take protective measures, it's time for cleanup to be performed. It's also important to make sure the area is completely sanitized and dry during this stage to prevent issues later on from lingering pathogens or high humidity.

Other Causes

Sometimes, damage outside of your facility can cause backflow that pushes material back through the lines. While this is less common cause of flooding than a clogged toilet or broken fixture, it does happen. Contact your utility company in cases like this as soon as possible. They are likely to have specific advice for Rosedale, NY, businesses in your situation.

Nobody wants to deal with a gurgling toilet, but this problem is an unfortunate fact of doing business. Sewer damage might come from inside or out of your building, but either cause needs to be dealt with as soon as possible. It's a good idea to prevent long-term issues and potential liability by dealing with all water issues decisively.

Tools for Removing Basement Water

2/19/2022 (Permalink)

Sump pump in a basement A sump pump can help remove water from a flooded basement.

Basement Water Removal Equipment

Basements can flood for all sorts of reasons. No matter why you have found two feet of water in your basement, you need the right equipment to remove it. Here are a few things you might need:

  • Sump pump
  • Trash pump
  • Truck mounts
  • Safety equipment

Depending on the actual problem, you may need to require equipment too. Furthermore, what you use may depend on what is available in Ozone Park, NY, at the time.

Trash Pump

This term is another name for a sewage pump. In many cases, this is the best tool for removing standing water from a basement. Some of these pumps are electric, which means you have to plug them in. This can cause obvious hazards and can also be an inconvenience.

If you go this route, choose a unit with a gas engine. It can run without being near a working electrical outlet. This setup is much safer.

Sump Pump

Check and see if your home has a sump pit. If so, you may be able to use the corresponding pump to remove the water. You may need to dig a ditch to make this work. Do this at the lowest point of the slope for best results. Unfortunately, many homeowners can do more harm than good while trying to do this themselves.

Professional Assistance

Does all of this sound confusing or overly complicated to you? Sometimes, it takes a professional team to clean up the mess that a flooded basement leaves behind. You can call a restoration company in Ozone Park, NY, to take care of the problem for you.

Better yet, these companies have the equipment and experience to look for other problems. Not only will they bring their sump pump, trash pump, and other tools, but they can also look out for issues that might occur down the road. You can avoid mold and other problems by asking for help.

Why Choose a Mitigation Company After a Fire

2/18/2022 (Permalink)

Empty building damaged by fire Fire damage in Jamaica Bay, NY.

Why Choose a Mitigation Company After a Fire

Experiencing fire damage can be devastating to business owners. Whether you have experienced a large or small fire in Jamaica Bay, NY, you may be wondering where to turn for help. Once the emergency crews leave, you may discover that you have fire, water, and structural damage. It can feel overwhelming to know who to call first. Your best course of action is usually to contact your insurance adjuster and a mitigation company. Your insurance company can give you an idea of the process ahead and what types of damages are covered by your policy. A mitigation company can act as a one-stop shop for everything from the initial assessment through the details of the restoration.

Types of Damage

Since a fire can leave you with more than just fire damage, it is important to work with a company that knows how to handle the entire process. There are several common types of issues that need to be addressed after a fire:

  • Smoke
  • Fire
  • Soot
  • Water
  • Odor
  • Security
  • Unsanitary conditions

Working with a mitigation company keeps you from having to hire and coordinate professionals in each of these different areas yourself.

How They Can Help

A fire mitigation company will usually send someone onsite to assess the damage and create an action plan. Any temporary emergency measures, such as security fencing or tarps may be done during the initial visit. The next step is usually to extract any standing water and dry the area. Fire and smoke damage is usually addressed next. Structural items may be removed and replaced. In the end, the mitigation company will put your business back together by fixing or replacing any damaged items that are part of the building, such as replacing carpet or repainting walls.
Fire damage can be a scary experience, but with an expert mitigation company, you may be able to safely restore your business to its previous condition.

Who Handles Disaster Remediation in Your Community?

2/16/2022 (Permalink)

Four men using protective gear, working on a commercial ceiling, ceiling damaged by water. Our team has the expertise, experience, and equipment needed.

Who Handles Disaster Remediation in Your Community?

Some emergency restoration companies are better prepared to handle catastrophic loss situations than others. Whether the emergency involves major flooding following a storm system or high winds bring daily schedules to a standstill, the resulting damages could be more than some crews could handle. For large loss situations, a disaster recovery company with plenty of history and a well-established network of resources.


Examples of Large Loss Situations

Emergencies happen in every state at some time or another. Some examples of catastrophic loss include hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes.

  • Flooding
  • Freezing temperatures
  • Severe storms
  • Tropical cyclones
  • Wildfires

Each of these catastrophes has the potential to close businesses, disrupt transportation services, and confine people to their homes. Unfortunately, they also have the potential to force people out of their homes. When this happens, what can you do?

Available Resources

When you need immediate storm damage remediation, choose a company with the resources and workforce to respond. Large loss recovery teams require plenty of equipment, highly-trained, staff, and the resources to move more of each into the community. SERVPRO franchises are connected throughout the country, so when Jamaica, NY, is affected by a large-scale disaster, the necessary people and supplies can be moved quickly into town.

Local Teams

This doesn't mean that damage restoration will be handled by complete strangers. SERVPRO franchises are locally owned, so technicians from your own communities could spearhead the work. The local team may serve as the command center for the work or may be the point at which supplies and additional technicians gather.

Why Does SERVPRO Prepare for Large-Scale Disasters?

In 2017, the United States was home to 15 disasters that claimed lives, brought communities to a standstill, and cost more than a billion dollars. The country experienced many disasters again in 2018. Without the right resources in place, communities would struggle to recover.

However, a catastrophic loss can be handled with the right planning. SERVPRO has the training, the workforce, the resources, and the preparation to respond to storm damage, of any size, in Jamaica, NY.