How To Flood Proof Your House
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fire Extinguisher Basics
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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?
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.