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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.

If a Fire Damages Your Roof, Follow These Steps

8/21/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial If a Fire Damages Your Roof, Follow These Steps The fire cleanup process is only part of getting your building back to good condition.

In any structure fire, the roof is at risk for severe damage. This threatens the integrity of your entire building, so it’s crucial that you take appropriate action to mitigate damage. During the fire cleanup process, there are some essential steps you must follow to ensure the damage to your roof does get worse and that you can repair it in a timely fashion.


The first logical task is to conduct a thorough investigation of the roof. This is something a professional should do because conditions will likely be unsafe. The professional will do the following:

• Note where the damage is and the extent of roof repair you’ll need.
• Recommend how to protect your roof and further damage until repair crews can begin working.
• Work with other crewmembers to begin putting up boards or tarps on affected areas of the roof.


For the most serious damage to your roof, restoration crews will place plywood in the affected areas. This is an important step to preventing further roof damage as well as problems with other parts of your structure. Boarding up holes in the roof will keep looters out of your building during the fire cleanup process as well.

Use Tarps

Another important step in this process occurs when the cleanup team calls for tarp services. It may sound simple, but placing tarps over damaged areas of your roof is an effective way to keep out wind, rain, and snow. Tarps can also prevent animals from getting into your building. They’re simple to put up and remove when it’s time to repair your roof.


Repair teams in Queens, NY, will now be ready to replace your roof by adding new roofing materials, including shingles.

The fire cleanup process is only part of getting your building back to good condition. An experienced restoration company can help you preserve your roof from further damage. For more information, visit

How Water Damage Affects You as a Tenant

8/19/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial How Water Damage Affects You as a Tenant After a natural disaster has struck, both owners and tenants bear responsibility for the outcome.

If you rent the building where your business resides in Queens, NY, you don’t have to worry about many of the potential problems that the building's owner does. The business owner is responsible for the building and grounds, including maintenance, damages, upgrades, and safety. When flooding causes damage to the building and its contents, however, the lines of responsibility may seem blurred, and you may need to rely on your renter's insurance to cover some of the damages. Here is a breakdown of each party's responsibility after a flood.

Owner Responsibilities

The property owner is responsible for the building itself, and that doesn't change when it is damaged by floodwaters. The owner's flood insurance coverage should take care of a few key things:

• Remediation of water damage
• Restoration of building to its previous state
• Post-restoration safety inspection

The owner is bound by your contract to provide a place for your business to operate. If repairs only take a couple of days, those repairs may be the only thing the owner has to cover. If, however, the time it takes for restoration specialists to fix the damage is significant or if more problems arise due to the owner's slow response to the problem, you may be entitled to a release from your contract or a break from rent payments.

Tenant's Responsibilities

Your renter's insurance is important in this situation because the owner is not responsible for the items inside the property that belongs to you. Unless a flood is the direct result of the owner's negligence, which is not the case if flooding was caused by a storm, you are responsible for your own belongings. You need your own insurance protection against disasters even if you don't own the building where your business is located.

After a natural disaster has struck, both owners and tenants bear responsibility for the outcome. Just like you expect your landlord to have adequate flood coverage to mitigate the damage to the building, you should take out a renter's insurance policy to protect everything else that your business requires to operate. For more information, visit

Avoiding Water Damage: Take These 5 Steps Fast!

8/14/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Avoiding Water Damage: Take These 5 Steps Fast! Something as simple as a pipe burst can cause extensive water damage and costly repairs.

You’ve found standing water in your home! Maybe a pipe burst, or there’s a break in your water line. Regardless of the cause, timing is everything. Here are five of the most important steps you can take to avoid water damage in your Queens, NY, home.

1. Control the Water

Controlling the source of the water is the crucial first step. Identify where the pipe burst or where the water entered your home. If possible, turn off the water source and open faucets to release any remaining pressure.

2. Remove the Water

If the amount of water is small, use towels to absorb and remove the water. For a moderate problem, use a wet/dry vac if you can do so safely. If you are dealing with large amounts of water, such as flooding, pumps are a great way to extract excess water quickly.

3. Remove Wet Objects

Take out everything the water touched and allow it to dry out completely before returning it to your home. If you think something is damp or wet and you can remove it, do so. Obviously, there will be things you can’t remove, such as carpet, walls, wood molding, etc.

4. Dry Out the Area

Saturated carpet, walls, and baseboards can be dried using fans. This step is best for non-contaminated water. If water cleanliness is in question, don’t risk spreading bacteria by using fans.

5. Use Restoration Services

Sometimes the water emergency is more than you can handle alone. Calling in the help of a professional restoration service in Queens, NY, ensures that the water is completely controlled before further damage can occur. Mold can begin growing in only two days, so don’t wait to tackle water damage.

Something as simple as a pipe burst can cause extensive water damage and costly repairs. Work quickly and efficiently to keep property loss to a minimum. For more information, visit

Mopping Up Mold After a Flood

7/25/2018 (Permalink)

The aftermath of a flood in Queens, NY, can be overwhelming. Such widespread damage may be enough to overwhelm your senses, but what you can’t see may be just as alarming. The humidity and moisture following a flood can provide the perfect environment for mold growth in your home.

Safety First.

If you are going to enter a home that has suffered flood damage, there are several precautions you should take:

• Check gas and power. Before entering any structure, make sure the gas and electricity are both turned off and look for any damaged gas or power lines.
• Check for structural damage. Make sure there are no sagging ceilings or other structural damage that would make it unsafe to enter the home.
• Cover your hands. If you are going to be handling things that may have mold growth, cover your skin with thick rubber gloves.
• Cover your mouth. Using a handkerchief may not be enough to keep out mold spores. It is best to use a face mask with a respirator to protect your lungs.
• Cover your eyes. Goggles that fit snugly around your eyes can help keep out dust and other small particles. Avoid goggles with air vents, as they will not provide the same protection.

Clean Up.

One of the first things homeowners need to do after a disaster is assess the damage to their homes. Documenting the disaster may be helpful for insurance purposes, so photograph each room before beginning cleanup activities.

Next, determine how much of your home was affected. The Environmental Protection Agency says that areas smaller than 10 square feet can often be addressed by the home owner but suggests that anything larger may be best dealt with by remediation professionals.

Time is essential, as bacteria can grow quickly in standing water and mold may grow in as little as 24 to 48 hours. Qualified professionals in Queens, NY, are often the best resources for remediation following a flood because of the tight timeframe and potential for hazardous health conditions if not handled properly.

After a flood, prevent mold growth by cleaning up quickly. Take appropriate safety precautions and contact professionals for expert help.

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Will Insurance Always Cover House Fires?

7/18/2018 (Permalink)

As a homeowner, you never want to have to make an insurance claim for damage to your place. Recovering from a catastrophe can be stressful and devastating. However, you’re relieved that a good insurance plan can help cover the costs of any damage. It’s important to know, though, that in some cases, an insurance policy won’t cover a home fire. Be aware of thee guidelines so you don’t make a bad decision or so that you’re not caught off guard.

Deliberate Fire

No insurance policy will ever cover damage to your home due to an act of arson. Arson insurance fraud is a crime and could land you in prison.

* Homeowners who commit this are trying to collect money from the insurance company.
* The insurance company will investigate any house fire.
* If the investigation reveals arson was the cause, the insurance company will not cover any loss or damage to the Queens, NY, home.

Vacant Home.

If you leave your home vacant, and a fire occurs, the insurance company will not cover the incident. Insurance companies have specific definitions for what constitutes a vacant home fire. First, most insurance companies consider a home to be vacant if the owners haven’t occupied the property for more than 30 days. Also, the home fire must have occurred during this vacancy period. This doesn’t mean if you’re away for an extended vacation, or if you only live in the home for part of the year, that you can’t get coverage. In these cases, simply apply for vacant home insurance or get an endorsement on your current policy.

You can have tremendous peace of mind after a home fire if you have the right insurance coverage. If you plan on vacating your home for more than a month, make sure you work with your provider to ensure you have coverage. Also, remember that no plan will cover a fire that results from a criminal act.

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Catch Mold Problems Before They Break the Bank

7/13/2018 (Permalink)

So maybe you own some rental properties in Queens, NY. You visit one and discover an unpleasant, musty odor. You know what it means – mold. What you may not know is that, left unchecked, mold growth can cause extensive damage and cost you big bucks. For that reason, mold prevention should always be a part of your regular maintenance program. Meanwhile, what should you do if you find you’ve got a mold problem to deal with right now?

1. Start With the Smell Test.

Look around the home, noting where odors are strongest. They’re often in parts of the home that are warm and damp. In addition, these spots usually don’t see much light of day or fresh air.

2. Try Some Quick Remedies. 

The first step in mold prevention is keeping everything as dry as possible. Does the air often seem humid? Try a dehumidifier. Keep it set at 30 to 50 percent relative humidity to inhibit mold growth. Is the area too warm? Keep the temperature below 70oF (21oC). Mold can flourish in stagnant air, too. If that’s the case, keep the air circulating with an electric fan.

3. Dig a Bit Deeper.

If easy fixes don’t solve the problem, inspect walls and ceilings. Roofs can leak and water pipes can burst. Aside from any obvious evidence of water, signs of water damage include dampness to the touch, discoloration or flaking paint. Even so, not all problems are apparent.

4. Dig Deeper Still.

There may be issues that are not borne out by general visual inspection. Sometimes that musty miasma in the basement can be treated quickly and inexpensively with a bleach solution. However, the real problem may be the mold hiding behind the walls.

Have you already tried everything in your mold prevention toolkit? Are you still are having a problem? If yes, it’s wise then to discuss the matter with professionals. Even though solving the problem may mean laying out more cash in the short term, it’s worth it. Your investment today may save you from potentially worsening property conditions and even more expensive repairs down the road.

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