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How Can I Avoid a Dryer Fire?

7/21/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How Can I Avoid a Dryer Fire? Clear the lint trap of all lint after each load of laundry.

Ways to Prevent a Dryer Fire

Throwing your clean laundry in the dryer is such a common activity, you usually do it without a second thought. People usually don’t think about the risks involved with the use of a residential clothes dryer. But a lint fire is a real threat if your dryer isn’t properly maintained. Here are ways to prevent a dryer fire:

1. Clean Lint Trap and Lint Filter Opening

Clear the lint trap of all lint after each load of laundry. Occasionally clean the filter with soap and water, as fabric softener sheets can clog the screen. Regularly vacuuming the lint filter opening will keep residual lint from building up in the area around the filter.

2. Clean Exhaust Vent

The exhaust vent should be cleaned at least once a year. You will have to move the dryer a couple of feet away from the wall. After unplugging the power cord, carefully detach the hose from the back of the dryer. A vent brush is recommended. Use a vacuum crevice attachment to remove any excess lint.

3. Clean Interior

A lint fire is often the result of a lint buildup around the heating element. Vacuum inside the dryer housing, including motor and vent. Be careful to avoid breaking any wires or small parts. Your owner's manual will detail how to access the interior.

4. Clean Exhaust Vent Hose

Use the vacuum to carefully suck the lint from the hose. Vacuum all areas around and under the dryer to remove excess lint and debris. You can now reconnect the hose, plug the dryer back in and move the dryer back into place.

5. Clean Exterior Vent

Clean the exterior vent a couple of times each year. Go outside and remove the vent cover. You should be able to remove all the lint with your hands. Turn the dryer on the air dry setting for about 20 minutes to blow out excess lint, then replace the cover. Some exterior vents are more accessible than others, so you may want to hire a certified professional.
Extensive fire damage from a lint fire in your home in Rosedale, NY is easily avoidable.

Getting Your Business Back on Track After a Fire

7/16/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Getting Your Business Back on Track After a Fire Fire damage in your Queens, NY business doesn't have to be catastrophic, follow these 4 steps to get your business back on track.

When you’re dealing with fire damage to your Queens, NY, business, you should get back up and running as soon as possible. Completing the maze of paperwork, meeting with an insurance adjuster, and getting estimates on repairs can consume all of your time when all you really want to do is get back to work. Once the flames are out, take these steps to make your way through the process as efficiently as possible.

4 Steps to Follow After a Fire 

  1. Call your insurance company as soon as possible. It should open a claim and send out an adjuster to evaluate the fire damage. Depending on your policy, it may also provide an up-front cash payment so you can hire a cleaning crew and/or restoration service to start making repairs.
  1. Take pictures and document all the damage you can. Do this only after the fire department says it’s safe for you to go back onto the property. Wear gloves and a breathing mask while you’re doing this.
  1. Contact a professional company to help you start on the road to reopening. Often referred to as disaster restoration providers, these are specially trained teams that know how to put things back together structurally and cosmetically. They can even remove smoke odor, which is bad for your health and continues to damage surfaces if not cleaned properly right away.
  1. Consider hiring a fire mitigation company once you’re up and running again. This is strongly recommended, especially if you’re in an industry with an above-average risk of fire, like handling flammable chemicals or working with materials at high temperatures. These consultants can evaluate your work flow and space and give you tips on how to avoid future fires. If you can find one company to do the cleanup, restoration, and mitigation, you can speed up the recovery process considerably.

Fire damage doesn’t have to be catastrophic to your Queens, NY, business. Now you know the right steps to take once the flames are out.

How to Clean Your Belongings After a Flood

7/11/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage How to Clean Your Belongings After a Flood Flooded home due to severe storm in Jamaica, NY

How to Clean Your Belongings After a Flood

When there is a severe storm in Jamaica, NY, there is a chance that your home may experience flooding. If this happens, it is important that you sanitize everything that the waters touch. Flood waters are considered Category 3 which means that they carry harmful contaminants such as bacteria, chemicals and sewage. If you are unsure how to clean certain items, consider the following tips.

1. Hard Surfaces

Because items with hard surfaces do not easily absorb moisture, these are the easiest to deal with during the content cleaning process. The first step in cleaning non-porous surfaces is to remove any dirt or waste present. Once this has been done, you should scrub the area thoroughly with a disinfectant to kill any harmful bacteria.

2. Porous Items

During content cleaning, belongings made from porous materials are a bit more difficult to clean. These easily absorb and hold water as well as the contaminants that it carries. For some smaller items, you may be able to salvage them by washing them with bleach in hot water. Larger items, such as upholstered furniture, may need to be replaced, particularly if they have been in contact with the water for a long period of time.

3. Food and Beverages

For items such as food and drink, there is no gray area. Because black water can be incredibly harmful, you should not consume anything that has been affected by the water. Some canned foods may still be safe after the container is cleaned and sanitized, but if the can is dented or damaged in any way, you should assume that it has been contaminated. Any items in cardboard packaging or with removable lids that may let in moisture should be discarded as well, along with any fresh foods.
If water has entered your house after a storm, contact an emergency restoration service to perform content cleaning and any necessary repairs as soon as possible. They will be able to help you determine which objects can be saved and which will need to be replaced.

Should You Get Commercial Property Insurance?

6/28/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Should You Get Commercial Property Insurance? Commercial fire damage

If you own a commercial property or business, you have a lot on your plate. If you haven't already, you should look into your commercial insurance options, so you aren't left high and dry should any sort of emergency occur. There are several important aspects to consider when tailoring you insurance to your specific needs.

What Does It Cover?

This type of insurance protects your commercial property against all sorts of disasters. Depending on where you are located and after an assessment of risk, you should determine what areas you would like your insurance to focus on. For instance, if your business is in a location that frequently experiences tornadoes, you should more heavily invest in that genre of coverage. Some common sources of risk include:

  • Fire damage
  • Flood damage
  • Other natural disasters, like earthquakes
  • Theft and vandalism

What Exactly Should You Insure?

The most obvious part of your property to consider insuring would be the buildings that contain your business operations. Commercial insurance can be applied whether you own or rent those buildings, so that services such as fire remediation can be applied when appropriate. You are also able to insure all supplies and equipment within those buildings, including furniture and electronics. Less tangible assets like records, documents and databases are also insurable.

What Will It Cost?

To determine how much you will pay, first you will need to figure out the total value of your physical assets. Most likely you will meet with an agent to discuss the coverage you want and what it will cost per the amount of property you own. Luckily, as a business, you can usually deduct the cost of your insurance as an expense on your taxes, which should give you a substantial break.
One of the smartest things you can do for your commercial property is to protect it from any potential threats it may face with the proper commercial insurance. Make sure your business can thrive no matter the circumstances.

Mitigation Techniques To Use After a Pipe Burst Affects Your Business

6/21/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Mitigation Techniques To Use After a Pipe Burst Affects Your Business Cleaning up water commercial facility in Bayside, NY

Importance of Mitigation Process

When your business in Bayside, NY, has a supply line leaking or a burst pipe, you will likely be eager to begin the pipe burst cleanup process quickly. However, many people don't realize that mitigation efforts are often equally as important as the restoration process itself. 

1. Keep Your Property Dry

Removing water quickly and keeping your property dry can be a useful way to mitigate damage after a flood occurs. In addition to removing standing water, it's also often helpful to lower humidity levels in your business to prevent mold growth. Opening windows can help to increase the airflow in your building, and as a result, can help to lower the levels of humidity in your business.

2. Remove or Treat Wet Items

Dealing with items that have been affected by floodwater is often an important part of the pipe burst cleanup process. If damp items stay in an area for an extended period of time, the chance of mold growth occurring in that area and on the items themselves increases. Any items that haven't been affected by mold growth or items that are durable can generally be treated and cleaned relatively easily. However, fragile items, electronics and items affected by mold growth should be cleaned and treated professionally.

3. Seek Out Professional Assistance

Though keeping your property dry and removing or treating wet items quickly can help to mitigate the damage that occurs to your business, it's often useful to seek out help from professionals during water cleanup and restoration. Emergency water damage restoration services can help to prevent mold growth and other forms of secondary damage from affecting your business. Additionally, experts can help to restore electrical items and other items in your business that you may not have been able to safely restore on your own.

After your building floods, it's often wise to prioritize mitigation efforts. During the pipe burst cleanup process, keeping your building dry, removing or treating wet items and employing professionals can help to decrease the damage that occurs to your property.

What To Know About Flooding and Insurance

6/14/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What To Know About Flooding and Insurance Flooded building after heavy rains

If your Whitestone, NY, home has experienced flood damage you may be wondering what is covered by your insurance policy. While this depends on your exact contract, there are a few aspects common to most. Here are some things you should know when looking at your coverage.

What Water Damage Is Covered

Your insurance coverage may address a number of types of water damage. The exact nature of the assistance may be determined by the wording of your policy, but most companies take care of the following situations:

  • Storm damage
  • Storm flooding
  • Sudden pipe breakage
  • Leaking pipes
  • Sewer backup
  • Broken water line
  • Resulting damage

What Terms You Should Know

When looking at what is covered by your insurance policy, there are some terms you may want to understand. Resulting damage indicates any problem that occurs as a result of water. A flood policy is used for issues caused by rising water. All-perils coverage could indicate damage caused by an accident or unavoidable event. If you have any questions, it's best to talk to your insurance agent about what exactly your plan entails.

What To Expect With Your Claim

If your claim is approved, you can expect your insurance company to cover the costs of repairs as outlined in your policy. This may include the expense to fix broken pipe problems or hire a local water damage restoration service that can refurbish your home, so it looks “Like it never even happened”.

When talking to your agent about your flood claim, there are a few things to remember. Most policies will cover damage caused by accidents or storms. It's important to know what your policy contains and which terms are used. This might make the difference in the type of reimbursement you can expect. If covered, your insurance may handle the cost of repairs or hiring of a restoration professional to fix damaged areas that occurred as a result of water.

Where To Search for Mold

5/30/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Where To Search for Mold Mold damage in attic

Where To Search for Mold 

How old is your home? Have you experienced any leaks recently? The answers to these questions can reveal the likelihood of a possible mold problem. For example, older homes are more prone to leaks and therefore more likely to end up with mold damage. However, for diligent homeowners, like yourself, it is possible to nip mold in the bud before it ever has a chance to colonize. You just have to know the most common areas to look.

1. Wall Cavities

Unlike mildew growth, Mold growth depends on dampness, darkness and warmth. It is one of the few living organisms that doesn’t need sunlight to survive. Therefore, wall cavities, especially those housing old leaky plumbing, are prime real estate for fungal development.

2. Basements

Basements are another area prone to mold damage. The dark, humid and often damp environment make it a hot spot. However, mold is more often to shown up around water heaters or laundry units because, again, it does require moisture.

3. Attics

It is not uncommon for some older homes to develop roof or seal leaks in the attic, potentially leading to mold growth and development. Old, poorly insulated attic spaces also have drastic temperature fluctuations from season to season, meaning that the summer months may allow for the perfect colonization conditions.

If you are concerned that certain areas in your home may be vulnerable to mold, then contact a mold remediation specialist in the Jamaica Bay, NY, area. These professionals can assess your property, letting you know the areas of your home that need to be protected from mold and how to improve those conditions.

While mold damage is a common concern among many homeowners, few realize that there are common areas where mold is likely to develop. When you know where to look, and you understand what conditions can lead to mold growth, it is easier to reduce the risks. However, if you need help assessing your property, you can always call a professional.

3 Steps To Prevent Dryer Fire

5/22/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage 3 Steps To Prevent Dryer Fire Clean the screen of your lint every time you run the dryer

Three Steps to Reduce the Amount of Lint in The Dryer

Running your dryer year in and year out may lead to the loss of a lot of socks, and it also leads to a lot of lint inside the appliance. As lint accumulates, the dryer will function less efficiently, taking longer to dry your clothes and working harder to complete cycles. Eventually, the accumulated debris could lead to a lint fire. There are a few steps you can take to reduce the amount of lint in the dryer:

  • Clean the lint trap
  • Deep clean the vents
  • Deep clean the inside of the dryer

1. Cleaning the Lint Trap

Every time you run the dryer, you should pull out the lint screen. It's usually located at the top of the appliance, on the side, or at the bottom of the dryer door. Clean all of the lint off the screen and then reach inside the opening to remove as much lint as you can. If necessary, vacuum out the opening. Every few weeks, you ought to rinse off the screen until the water runs clear.

2. Deep Clean the Vents

Before you begin this process, unplug the dryer. If you own a gas appliance and it's an older model, you may want to call a local professional before you begin moving the dryer around. Next, pull the appliance away from the wall and remove the exhaust hose. You may need a screwdriver or some pliers to remove the O-ring clamp that holds the hose in place. Use a cleaning brush or a vacuum attachment to gently clean out the vent and the hose. Don't forget to run the cleaning rod through the wall vent. This is a great step in preventing a lint fire.

3. Deep Clean the Interior

Again, unplug the dryer and slide it away from the wall. Remove the access panel (whether from the top or the back) and wipe the interior down. Remove lint you can grab with your hands and vacuum carefully to finish cleaning. This should be done every six months to prevent a dryer fire.

Routine maintenance is a good way to reduce the risks of a lint fire. Talk about other common causes of residential fire in Flushing, NY, with fire damage cleanup professionals.

4 Ways To Prevent Storm Damage at Commercial Buildings

5/12/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage 4 Ways To Prevent Storm Damage at Commercial Buildings Tree branches and limbs are among the most common causes of storm damage

Take These Four Preventative Measures Prior to a Spring Storm

Storms can cause significant damage to commercial buildings. Unlike a pipe break, any interior damage that results from leaks or a sewer backup is likely to involve contaminated water. Property owners should pay attention to the weather forecast and take these four preventative measures in the weeks, days or hours prior to a spring storm in Queens, NY.

1. Trim Trees

Tree branches and limbs are among the most common causes of storm damage. Heavy overhanging limbs may fall on a roof, causing a leak or collapse or becoming dangerous flying debris. Even small branches and leaves can block a drainage system and increase the risks of roof leaks and flooding.

2. Protect Windows

Depending on the location of the structure, the property owner may want to consider installing storm shutters. The cost of these components varies depending on the number of windows that require protection and the shutter material. If a spring storm is expected to arrive within hours or days, building owners or managers can nail up plywood to temporarily cover windows or apply tape in an "X" shape to prevent shattering.

3. Bring Outdoor Items Inside

Any items kept outside should be stowed inside whenever a severe storm is on the forecast. This includes outdoor furniture and trash containers as well as antennas and other delicate equipment on the roof.

4. Clean Out Drainage

Business owners can prevent water from accumulating on the roof or around the foundation of their commercial buildings by clearing out gutters, downspouts, and roof drains at least twice a year. Rain water should be directed water away from the base of the structure.

Each of these measures may reduce the risk a spring storm poses to a commercial property in Queens, NY. If adverse weather conditions damage the roof or other structural components and cause leaks, building owners or managers should arrange for cleanup and restoration.

Are Storm Shutters Right For Your Home?

5/9/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Are Storm Shutters Right For Your Home? Do you know the best way to protect your home from storm damage?

Storm shutters and panels can protect the doors and windows of your home from high winds and flying debris. Here are a few considerations to help you decide whether shutters will be a good investment in the safety of your home in Ozone Park.

What Are the Risks?

You may want to consider fortifying doors and windows if you live in a region with high risk of 

  • Strong winds
  • Hurricanes
  • Tornadoes
  • Tropical storms

If high winds and flying debris occur frequently, you should select heavy-duty materials and permanent installations. Removable or ornamental options may meet your needs if storms are less frequent or severe.

Which Styles Are Available?

There are several shutter styles available for sale. Choose the design that is the easiest and most effective to use.

  • Accordion-style hinged panels bolt on to window sides
  • Bahama awnings mount on window tops
  • Bolt-on storm panels are made of aluminum, polycarbonate, or steel and are removable
  • Colonial designs are available in aluminum, polycarbonate, or wood
  • Rolling installations mount over windows and roll down on tracks
  • Fabric storm panels are made of reinforced-PVC or mesh

Storm panels are very affordable, at about $7 to $15 per panel. Accordion and Bahama designs are priced at about $15 to $25 per square foot of window. Rolling installations range from $20 to $30 per square foot. Colonial designs cost up to $200 to $500 per window. Fabric storm panels are less effective and cost anywhere from $75 to $300 per window.

How Much Do Shutters Cost?

You can protect your home at a cost that ranges from $500 all the way up to $8,000 for top-of-the-line, permanent protection on many windows. The average price is between $2,000 and $5,000.

Choose storm shutters that can protect your home. If high winds result in damage, rely on a storm damage mitigation and restoration service.