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One Place for Everything You Need

1/22/2020 (Permalink)

A moisture meter, measuring moisture in the floor Tests are run to identify the extent of contamination

One Place for Everything You Need

When a blaze affects a business in Bayside, NY, owners must face the reality of the damages, closing doors temporarily and looking for someplace that can offer help. In fact, proprietors often do not realize the complexity of fire restoration. It's not just about rebuilding. Insurers need a reliable company for approvals, and the structure needs a thorough inspection for fire, soot and water issues. Only then, can a proper plan be put into place, repairing the property properly. SERVPRO's fire remediation and restoration team offers it all.

1. Act Swiftly To Protect and Save

SERVPRO's staff starts by defending safeguarding the land. When the firetrucks pull away, the next concern in the fire rebuild is security. Flames compromise the integrity of the roof, windows, doors and walls. Experts need to immediately look over these areas, closing them off if vulnerable. Place boards over the exposed sections, and place tarps over the shingles. This contains the current destruction, hoping to prevent additional costs to customers and insurance agencies.

2. Sanitize and Dry To Minimize Loss

Soot and water can ruin materials, simply adding to the overall price tag of the fire restoration. Places like SERVPRO look to prevent this from happening. Tests are run to identify the extent of contamination. Using this data, the team can create a plan to utilize the best cleaning techniques. Employees understand that timely efforts should be made to save valuables and surfaces. That is why technology is brought in to save as much as possible. In addition, industrial dehumidifiers, as well as contamination chambers, should be established to prevent the spread of moisture and possible fungus growth.

3. Restore Promptly To Aid Others

When using SERVPRO's rebuilding services, efforts are made to get the facility back up and running with as few bumps in the road as possible. From claims to final documentation, customer service and managers work diligently to expedite the job.
SERVPRO's fire restoration can handle whatever is needed. Remain in full contact with only one source for documentation, assessment and repair.

What Should You Do When Ceiling Tiles Discolor?

1/6/2020 (Permalink)

Ceiling tiles damaged with a sign that says Don't let the mold return Leaking water sources must be fixed before mold remediation starts. If not, the mold will return

What Should You Do When Ceiling Tiles Discolor?

It is easy to ignore the ceiling tiles in your Whitestone, NY, commercial building. Yet if you don’t take care of your ceiling, tile mold could develop. You may then require mold remediation services.

Assessing Your Ceiling

You should thus regularly inspect your ceiling for any tile discoloration. This could just be a sign of aging or a consequence of nearby ultraviolet lighting.
However, tiles also become discolored when they are exposed to a water leak. This leak, in turn, could lead to mold damage that destroys the ceiling.
If you want to avoid extensive black mold cleanup on your property, you should replace or repair any tiles that are affected by water or mold. You should also change tiles that contain:

  • Damaged or rusted grids
  • Warping
  • Regulation violations

Maintaining Your Ceiling

Even ceilings that look spotless to the naked eye could still contain tile mold. You should thus regularly wipe the tiles with a damp cloth that contains a bit of cleaner.
Porous tiles, in particular, frequently feature bacteria, dust or mold. You can clean these tiles with a non-solvent-based solution or a soft sweep broom.
Dirty ceiling ductwork can also necessitate mold cleanup if not maintained properly. Both the ducts and the outside air diffusers should be kept clean.

Repairing Your Ceiling

If you do decide to replace some of your ceiling tiles, be sure to order more than you actually need. This will protect you in case some of the tiles break or get ruined during the installation process.
Of course, new tiles typically look whiter and brighter than older ones. Replacement and original tiles placed next to each other could thus create a checkerboard pattern. To prevent this, you may want to replace all the tiles in a given area.
You should check your ceiling regularly for signs of tile mold. If you see discoloration or water damage, you may want to consider replacing the tiles.

Why Choose a Mitigation Company After a Fire

12/29/2019 (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.

How To Mitigate Wind Damage

12/20/2019 (Permalink)

Missing shingles on a roof Missing shingles on a roof

How To Mitigate Wind Damage

If you find your business in Flushing, NY experiencing wind damage, your first priority should be to avoiding a roof leak. When winds have enough force behind them, they can loosen shingles or blow them off completely. It is not uncommon to see shingles on the ground after heavy storms. More often than not, strong winds are accompanied by moisture. Since shingles protect your structure from water, it is important to cover the area until help arrives. With a few simple precautions, you can help stop a small problem from turning into a much larger one.

Determining the Extent of Damage

If your building has weathered a storm that included strong winds, you should check your roof for damage. There are some signs to look for that make it easy to tell if you have a damaged roof:

  • Missing shingles
  • Shingles with edges that are raised up
  • Missing nails
  • Nails or shingles on the ground
  • Shingle granules in gutters
  • A roof leak

How To Prevent Additional Damage

If you find signs of a damaged roof, the best thing you can do is to protect the area to avoid further wind damage and to keep water from entering. The use of a tarp or a piece of plywood over the damaged area can prevent further damage until the area can be replaced with new shingles. Occasionally, you may have water invading the interior of your building but no obvious signs of roof damage. When this happens, a professional should be able to locate the source of the problem, and it is even more important to get them onsite quickly to avoid further damage.
Finding that you have a roof leak is the first step. If you discover you have a damaged roof, you will need to stop any further damage from occurring until help arrives. If you have sustained any damage, a professional remediation expert can help restore the area to its pre-storm condition.

Fix the Drip

12/11/2019 (Permalink)

Faucet and water drops A leaking faucet could mean hidden plumbing issues and unseen damage

As you go about your day in your Queens, NY, it can be easy to not notice the quiet drip of a leaking faucet. Once the hustle and bustle slow down, that little drip can become surprisingly loud. Along with raising your water bill, a constant drip can indicate a bigger problem. Luckily, most leaks are relatively minor fixes.

What Is Causing the Drip?

There could be many reasons for a dripping faucet. The most common include:

Ring Issues – The faucet handle is attached with a stem screw that is on top of an O ring. If this ring becomes loose or damaged, it will cause leaking.

Corrosion – Water sediment eventually begins to affect the components of a faucet. A valve seat, the faucet and spot connector, can lose its integrity.

Washers – The washer and valve seat come into contact every use. Over time, this friction will begin to wear the part out. Additionally, if a washer isn’t properly installed, it can contribute to leaking.

Steps to Fix the Leak

When dealing with a leaking faucet, many of the fixes are relatively easy. Below are some helpful tips in completing a proper repair.

Turn off water at the main supply to avoid a small leak turning into a river of water.
Any knob or decorative parts will need to be removed before a repair can be made. These fixtures are typically screwed in.
The packing nut will need to be loosened. Depending on your faucet, the stem may either gently pull off or require twisting. Once off, inspect it for any damage.
If there was no visible damage to the faucet stem, inspect the O ring, washers and valves for wear.
Once the culprit is determined, ensure the replacement part is properly installed and an exact fit.

If after you have fixed leak there are still problems, it may be time to call a plumber. A leaking faucet could mean hidden plumbing issues and unseen damage that may require the services of a water damage professional.

What To Expect After a Fire in Your Home

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke coming out of a home Fire in a home in Briarwood, NY

A home fire often creates tremendous stress and upheaval for a homeowner. It can help to have an idea of what to expect in the early stages of the inspection and cleanup process. Before you begin the cleanup, you will want some help surveying the fire damage and assessing your risk.

Safety Inspection

When the fire has been extinguished, a fire inspector will evaluate the damage to your structure and property. Here are the areas the specialist will inspect to determine whether it’s safe to enter your house:

Structure – The floors, walls and stairways will likely be inspected first, to determine whether it is safe to move throughout the house and begin the fire cleanup and restoration.
Electrical – The electrical system will be inspected for damage. Because a fire hose releases so much water, the panel may need to be disconnected for safety purposes until the wet areas dry out.
Hazards – Miscellaneous safety hazards, such as chemical spills, will likely need to be removed before residents enter the home.

This inspector will let you know if repairs need to occur before you can go inside. The first time you enter your home, the inspector or a fire supervisor will generally accompany you to survey the fire damage.

Damage Survey

You will enter your home with a fire expert who will point out safety risks and explain the extent of the fire and water damage. Once you’ve absorbed the information, it’s a good time to notify your insurance agent and discuss your coverage.

Restoration Assistance

Unless your damage is minimal, it may be necessary to hire a fire restoration service to handle the cleanup. They will use specialized methods to restore your structural damage, furnishings, textiles and documents. Their teams are trained to work safely to return your home to you as soon as possible.
If you’ve sustained fire damage in your Briarwood, NY, home, you know the disruption it creates. The initial stress can be significant, and it is recommended you allow yourself to rely on the knowledge of inspectors and fire remediation experts for help with getting your life back to normal.

3 Common Types of Molds Found in Homes

11/27/2019 (Permalink)

Aspergillus Niger is green and pink mold Aspergillus is found in climates around the world, the Aspergillus genus contains hundreds of mold species

3 Common Types of Molds Found in Homes

If you're a homeowner in Queens, NY, you likely do as much as possible to maintain a clean, safe environment. When it comes to mold growth, you may be wondering why it keeps coming back and how to handle it. Numerous molds can develop in your home, and they all have one thing in common: they thrive in damp areas with high humidity. Here are three of the most common types you may find at home:

  1. Cladosporium
  2. Aspergillus
  3. Stachybotrys chartarum

Many of the most common indoor molds are in the Cladosporium genus. They produce olive-green to brown-black colonies and, like all molds, they are likely to grow in moist areas. Surfaces in attics, basements, and bathrooms are often prime growing mediums.

Found in climates around the world, the Aspergillus genus contains hundreds of mold species. They generally form black or green spots and the airborne spores are more common indoors than outdoors. Starchy foods and damp, humid areas such as around window frames and in air conditioners are ideal environments for these types of mold growth.

Stachybotrys chartarum
Also known as black mold, this is the most infamous mold. It requires very high moisture levels and is most often found in buildings that have sustained water damage. Interestingly, the spores are only released when the mold is disturbed, so it's actually an uncommon indoor air contaminant. Nevertheless, if you find it, you should begin a black mold cleanup process immediately.

Mold Remediation
These common molds that can grow in your home all require remediation. Though mold spores exist everywhere, they only develop into colonies if left untreated. Molds love moisture, humidity, and water, so it's important to address the source before treating the mold itself. Molds can grow in areas that aren't clearly visible, which can lead to mold damage. If you detect a strong, musty odor, you should contact experts in mold remediation to create a mold cleanup plan for you.
If you suspect mold growth in your home, don't hesitate to take action. New or old, your home can harbor mold if it's experienced water damage or if moisture is trapped in closed areas.

How To Flood Proof Your House

11/13/2019 (Permalink)

Sealant gun crack covers the crack in the floor of the wall tile concrete Consider applying sealants to your walls to prevent water from seeping through during major storms

Safety Tips For Flood Proofing Your Home

Floods can cause an incredible amount of damage to your Howard Beach, NY, home. In fact, flooding is one of the costliest types of natural disasters in the country. It is believed that floods caused $260 billion in damage between 1980 and 2013. That figure does not even include the costs of some of the biggest storms in recent history, specifically Hurricanes Irma, Maria and Harvey. With the increased frequency of major weather events, flood safety and mitigation is more important than ever.
No matter where you live, you can take some steps to reduce the chances of a flood destroying your house. Below are some safety tips for flood proofing your home.

Elevate Outdoor and Electrical Equipment

Any electrical wiring, switches and circuit breakers should be at least a foot above your home's flood level. Outdoor fuel tanks, generators and air-conditioning units should be elevated, as well.

Dry- and Wet-Proof Your House

Consider applying sealants to your walls to prevent water from seeping through during major storms. For flood safety, you can also install flood vents in the walls of your home. These steps can be costly but are necessary if you live in a flood-prone area.

Install a Backflow Valve

Installing backflow valves is an easy way to flood proof your home. As its name implies, a backflow valve prevents water from flowing back toward your home. Check or flap valves automatically close whenever water tries to go in the wrong direction. However, they are not as secure as gate valves, which are operated by hand.
Even if you follow the above flood safety suggestions, you can not completely prevent a storm from devastating your home. If your house does sustain major damage, contact your local emergency restoration services company. Trained cleanup professionals can come to your property and try to salvage your belongings. These experts can even remove the odors and mold that often accompany flood water.

Storm Damage: Not Just a Warm Weather Worry

10/24/2019 (Permalink)

Frozen pipes Since water expands, even a slightly frozen pipe with a minimal amount of residual water has the potential to break

When the temperature drops in Rosedale, NY, business owners may think they have a reprieve from flooding or brutal thunderstorms damaging their property. Unfortunately, freezing temperatures, snow and ice can have a negative impact on a building.

Types of Cold Weather Damage

Once the thermometer dips below 32 degrees, any form of standing water or weather precipitation can create the potential need for a professional to do some major repairs on a property. Causes of potential damage include:

  • Ice – Along with being a major factor in power outages, ice accumulation can also weaken roofs. When ice dams form, they can damage the roof and eventually cause problems to gutters and turn into a leak that can affect insulation and drywall.
  • Snow – Gentle, light snow may create a winter wonderland, but in the right conditions, it can turn into a wet, heavy snow. If enough accumulates, its weight can begin to put stress on a roof.
  • High Winds – No matter what the season, harsh winds can do a number on trees. If a branch is near the roof, it can eventually begin to scrape and scratch the texture of the roof or tear off shingles.
  • Flooding – A wet, heavy snow of around 4 inches contains about 1 inch of water. If a severe rainstorm happens after the snow thaws, the saturated ground may not be able to handle anymore moisture.

Freezing Pipes a Top Problem

Even if there is no snow or other visible damaging weather besides cold weather, it can still be enough for a burst pipe situation. Since water expands, even a slightly frozen pipe with a minimal amount of residual water has the potential to break. If your property has water lines exposed to the elements, ensure they are completely drained and insulated before the cold season approaches.
Instead of dealing with a burst pipe or potential roof leak, taking preventive measures can make a big difference. If damage does happen to your property, count on help that makes it “Like it never even happened”.

What To Do First After Your Basement Floods

10/16/2019 (Permalink)

Flood cuts performed in a basement due to flood damage Flooded basement in Jamaica, NY

A basement flood can be an unsettling experience for a homeowner. Whether stormwater, a failed sump pump or a burst water pipe is the culprit, knowing what to do first can help in a stressful time.

Addressing Safety

Safety is the first concern. Consider the following precautions before entering the flooded area:

  • Keeping children and animals away from the area will protect them from potential toxicities or other hazards.
  • Deactivating your electricity before anyone touches the water is essential.
  • Turning off your main water source is important if any pipes are broken.
  • Wearing waterproof gloves, coveralls and boots can protect you from health hazards.
  • Opening windows and using fans will begin drying out your basement and allow toxic gases to escape.

If your basement flood was caused by stormwater or you can’t access your electrical box, it is recommended you not attempt the cleanup yourself. Floodwater can be contaminated with sewage and other hazards, and calling a disaster remediation service is a good strategy.

Stopping the Source

With safety precautions in place, you can address the water source. If your sump pump failed, obtaining a new pump immediately can prevent further damage. If you are unsure what caused your flooded basement, you can check your home’s perimeter and remedy any drainage problems.

Beginning Cleanup

If you have only an inch or so of water, you can begin removing the water with a wet vacuum and taking wet items out of the basement to a drying area. If the water is deeper or if dumping the water will contribute to the problem, you may need to call for assistance.

Consulting Professionals

Once the area is stable and ventilated, it is helpful to inform your insurance agent and discuss any coverage. If your water damage is considerable, it is recommended that you consult an emergency remediation service to help you assess the severity of your damage.
A basement flood in your Jamaica, NY, home can be distressing and you may not automatically know what to do. Staying calm and prioritizing safety are the primary focuses that can carry you through the cleanup and back to normalcy.