Recent Why SERVPRO Posts

The 4 Stages of Fire Restoration

3/25/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO The 4 Stages of Fire Restoration Garage fire in Whitestone,NY

Learn More About the Four Stages of Fire Restoration

The fire mitigation and restoration process consists of several stages. It is necessary to determine the extent of damage, take measures to prevent conditions from worsening and complete a fire rebuild. Learn more about the four stages of fire restoration and find out why commercial property owners and insurers should rely on a one-stop shop to start and finish the job.

1. Assessment

After a property owner reports damage and receives a call back from a mitigation and restoration franchise in Whitestone, NY, professionals should arrive on site within four hours. An initial assessment will account for the degree of damage, necessary mitigation measures and the equipment and labor that may be needed to restore a structure.

2. Pretesting

Pretesting can be helpful for determining the extent of damage. Preliminary tests may lower the overall cost of a claim by accounting for damage in the initial estimate that might otherwise go unnoticed until later in the fire restoration process.

3. Mitigation

Mitigation should start as soon as possible, ideally within hours of an inspection. This phase may involve boarding up broken windows or breaches in walls, tarping over roof damage and putting up security fencing. Other measures may include pumping out water used to extinguish a blaze and removing soot and debris.

4. Restoration

The restoration process can range from cleaning up soot and smoke damage all the way to a full fire rebuild. Whereas mitigation should occur within hours or days of a fire, restoration may continue for weeks.

These are the four phases of mitigation and restoration that should follow fire damage. For the best results, property owners and insurance providers can rely on a one-stop shop that provides assessment, pretesting, mitigation, and fire restoration services in Whitestone, NY. Relying on the same company for cleanup and rebuilding services can finish a job faster with more consistent quality.

How Pretesting After a Home Disaster Can Reduce Insurance Claims

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO How Pretesting After a Home Disaster Can Reduce Insurance Claims Flooded basement in a Bayside, NY home

A disaster such as a flood at your Bayside, NY, home can be devastating. Not only could is displace you and your family, but it can also severely damage or even completely ruin belongings, keepsakes, and even structural components of your house. You’re grateful to have insurance to help cover your losses. However, heavy claims can raise your premiums. To keep claims down, professional restoration teams can conduct extensive pretesting to determine what you can salvage and restore and what you must replace.

What is Pretesting?

This process works in tandem with the initial inspection, and it’s critical before you make an insurance claim. Your insurance provider expect you to make contact quickly after an incident so it knows what it can and will cover. Pretesting helps to accurately make claims by identifying the scope of the issues.

  • Crews will determine what materials and portions of your home were affected.
  • Crews will determine if any parts of your house were untouched by damage.
  • Crews will determine what it can restore and what it must replace.

Danger of not Pretesting

What would happen if you were to hire the wrong cleanup company—one that didn’t pretest and examine the scene following a flood or other disaster? In this case, you might report unnecessary losses to your insurance agent, which would result in higher claims and more long-term financial burden. A knowledgeable disaster restoration company carefully evaluates this entire scenario and helps limit the amount of claims you have to make.

Sometimes Replacement Is Inevitable

There are cases when the company will discover during pretesting that the damage was too great to salvage a portion of your home or a belonging inside. It may be more cost-effective in some instances to replace rather than restore. The team will also determine how long both the restoration and replacement process will take.

Working with an insurance company can be a smooth experience. If you want to minimize claims, it’s best to work with a disaster response company that believes in pretesting.

3 Things To Know About Using a Fire Extinguisher

1/12/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Things To Know About Using a Fire Extinguisher If a fire starts at your building in Queens, NY it is possible to eliminate the flames on your own using a fire extinguisher

3 Things To Know About Using a Fire Extinguisher

No matter the size, fires are dangerous. Employees need to evacuate a building if a fire is out of control. However, if a fire at your building in Queens, NY, is small and contained to one area, it is possible to eliminate the flames on your own using a fire extinguisher.

1. Know Your Equipment Before Disaster Strikes

While the steps required to use an extinguisher aren't exceptionally complicated under normal circumstances, things can change when a fire starts. The best way to prevent damage as a result of a small fire is to be acquainted with the extinguisher before you ever need to use it. This means yearly training on how to operate it. The more familiar an employee is with this device, the easier it will be to use when the time comes.

2. Assess the Fire Before You Act

A commercial building fire can cause fear and panic, but it's important to remain calm. The first thing to do during a fire is to activate the fire alarm. If a fire is large or out of control, employees should follow the building's evacuation plan and leave intervention to the fire department. If the fire is small, however, it might be possible to use a fire extinguisher to eliminate it. For example, it's possible that a kitchen fire on a stove or a fire contained to a trashcan could be extinguished quickly by an employee.

3. Use the Extinguisher Correctly

When using an extinguisher, here are a few things to keep in mind — although you should always read and follow your specific device's instructions.

  • Pull the pin on the extinguisher; this will break the tamper seal.
  • Always aim low and point the nozzle at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle to release the firefighting agent.
    • Step from side to side while using the extinguisher. Continue this motion until the fire is extinguished.

Repeat the last three steps with the fire extinguisher until the flames are out. If there is any doubt that you have not successfully snuffed the fire, evacuate immediately. Leave the firefighting to the professionals and the fire damage assessment to restoration experts.

What Are the Signs of Mold in Your Building?

11/29/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO What Are the Signs of Mold in Your Building? Mold loss in Whitestone,NY

An ongoing concern for property owners in Whitestone, NY, is the threat of mold growth in their building. An undetected mold problem can cause thousands of dollars' worth of damage, not to mention possible health issues for tenants or workers. If you suspect a problem, an indoor environmental specialist can do a mold test to determine what type of mold, if any, is involved. If a problem is found, they have the expertise and equipment needed to safely eradicate it.

Let's Look at Some of The Things That Might Indicate a Problem

1. Mold Odor

A common indicator of mold is a strong, musty smell. This is a good way to detect a problem that might be hidden from view behind walls or ceilings. A persistent mold odor is a good reason to contact an indoor environmental specialist to do further testing.

2. Visible Mold

Actually seeing mold not only tells you have a problem, but that there's probably more that you can't see. The visible mold could be just the tip of the iceberg, with a much bigger problem hidden from view.

3. Water Damage

If you've had water damage in your building, whether from a leaky roof, broken pipes or flooding, there may be undetected moisture behind walls, floors or ceilings. This moist environment offers the perfect conditions for mold to flourish. It's important to address any possible mold issues soon after the damage occurs to make sure a small problem doesn't turn into a much bigger one.

If you think you might have mold in your building, it's a good idea to contact an indoor environmental specialist as soon as possible. They can inspect the premises to isolate the source and determine what type of mold growth is occurring. Then, using specialized techniques and equipment, they can make sure that any mold in your property is completely removed, efficiently and safely.

3 Tips for Creating an Office Fire Escape Plan

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO 3 Tips for Creating an Office Fire Escape Plan Have your fire escape plan updated in your Flushing,NY office

Fire Escape Plan

No matter what type of office in Flushing, NY, you manage, having an updated fire escape plan can save lives. It is important to imagine many crisis scenarios to best determine your escape routes and what tools you will need available. Effectively communicating to your coworkers their roles and responsibilities during a crisis, as well as knowing your building and resources, can also help you design the right course of action to take during an emergency.

1. Imagine Many Scenarios

The best emergency escape plan is one that considers many different crises. If there is a fire, you will be advised to stay low and leave the building by the most effective route; however, where the fire originates may impact various exit paths. These escape scenarios will be different depending on the location and size of your business as well as what types of clients and customers you see.

2. Communicate Roles and Responsibilities

When designing and practicing a fire escape plan with your office, it is important that you clearly communicate with each other and have designated roles and responsibilities. For instance, you can select one person to call emergency services. Your team leads can be responsible for keeping track of their team members, and you can even have someone in charge of grabbing a folder of important phone numbers, such as those for emergency restoration services and emergency contact info, on the way out.

3. Know Your Building and Resources

Emergency escape plans should demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the location and the tools available. This means knowing where the nearest exits are, which staircases lead outside most effectively and even what emergency medical or rescue gear is available.

Having the right fire escape plan for your office can save lives. Creating an emergency preparedness program for your business means knowing the basics of your building, your company and even your coworkers. This can help you effectively design the strategy best fitting your needs.

Creating a Maintenance Schedule for Your Home’s Sump Pump

11/13/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Creating a Maintenance Schedule for Your Home’s Sump Pump Water damage to the floor in a Whitestone, NY home

Your Whitestone, NY, home’s sump pump can be the first line of defense against basement flooding. Weather events, poor drainage and plumbing pipe breaks are all potential sources of a damaging flood or standing water. Maintaining your pump regularly can ensure it is ready and able to work when floods occur, no matter their source.

The Importance of Caring for Your Pump

A working pump can protect your basement and its contents in several ways by draining and sending water away from your home and could prevent the following issues:

  • Mold growth
  • Water damage to the floor
  • Crawlspace flooding

A pump that is kept in good working condition can be your best defense in the face of unexpected floods, especially if you are away from home when they occur. Planned maintenance may help you remember to service it properly and often.

Monthly Maintenance

Checking your sump pump on the first of every month can help you gauge how well it is working and whether it is making any unusual sounds that may signal a problem. Check the power source and then inspect the pump’s cord for fraying and worn spots. To ensure the unit will drain away any excess water in the event of a flood, fill the sump until the inner float triggers the system and the pump turns on. Note any operations that are out of the ordinary so you can report them to a technician.

Yearly Checks

Yearly pump maintenance is best performed before the rainy season. Because these checks usually require in-depth servicing, it is wise to call in a flood damage and storm restoration service to have it performed. The techs will likely clean out the sump and ensure all the parts are greased and working properly to prepare it for the upcoming wet season.

Your Whitestone, NY, home’s sump pump is an important tool for preventing long-term water damage. Regular, planned maintenance can give you peace of mind that your unit will function when flooding affects your neighborhood.

Water, Water Everywhere: Troubleshooting Irrigation Systems

4/23/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Water, Water Everywhere: Troubleshooting Irrigation Systems Water damage in a Queen,NY business

When your commercial irrigation system operates correctly, the flawless view of your property can be breathtaking. However, if the system malfunctions, flooding can quickly create swampy bogs that seep into buildings, damaging floors, equipment and furniture, often requiring the services of a water damage remediation professional in Queens, NY.

To avoid this catastrophe, pay close attention to your sprinkler system’s performance. At least once a week, walk around the property for a simple visual inspection. Troubleshooting problems early can help you avoid costly restoration in the future.

Troubleshooting Basics

Most sprinkler system problems are caused by the following elements:

  1. Sprinkler valves and heads
  2. Solenoids
  3. Damaged pipes
  4. Electrical connections
  5. Transformers

Get to the root of the irrigation problems through the process of elimination. Begin with inspecting the sprinkler heads and proceed down the list as necessary.

Valves and Heads

These are usually the most widespread cause of flooding. When they don’t operate properly, waterlogging can lead to flooded buildings.

Solenoids

Solenoids are often sensitive to dirt and debris and can stop functioning when blocked. Remove the clog and retest the system. If the solenoid plunger in the irrigation system clogs from damage or corrosion, solenoid replacement is usually the easiest and fastest resolution.

Damaged Pipes

Damaged pipes often flood yards and landscaping and invade structures. Check the aforementioned causes before you start digging and inspecting pipes. Minor pipe damage can often be repaired instead of resorting to costly replacement.

Electrical Connections

Sprinkler systems that ignore the timer or controller may be victims of faulty electrical connections. Conduct a volt meter test to determine if the typically required 24 volts are reaching the wire leading to the valve. If not, replace the wiring to get the system back on line.

Transformers

Find the transformer terminals in the irrigation system usually marked “24 vac.” If a volt meter test shows the transformer is getting less than 24 volts, replace it.

Troubleshooting irrigation troubles can take patience. However, it’s generally wisely invested time if it prevents flooding. For solutions to major irrigation problems, contact a professional in Queens, NY.

For more information, please visit us athttp://www.SERVPROozoneparkjamaicabay.com/.