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The Steps to Recover Mold Damaged Belongings

3/4/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation The Steps to Recover Mold Damaged Belongings SERVPRO responded immediately to this home in Forest Hills, NY and began clean up.

Mold Cleaning Methods

When mold takes hold, it moves rapidly through the home, especially when it begins in an out-of-the-way place where you can't see it. For many homeowners, the damage goes beyond the walls and flooring; personal belongings, such as family pictures, baby blankets, and cherished mementos, can't be replaced. Fortunately, there are many mold cleaning methods that could save many of your possessions.

Step One: Identify What You Can Save

The first step is identifying what can be saved. How can you tell if you have to throw something away?

  • Is it porous? You'll probably have to throw it out. This includes books, carpets, stuffed animals, and pictures.
  • Did the item get waterlogged? Damages increase as more water affects belongings and the longer the water is allowed to remain on (and in) the items, the worse that damage becomes.
  • Can you afford specialized treatments? Freeze-drying is an effective mold remediation tool, but this preservation technique requires a financial investment.

The Next Step: Separate Belongings From Water

Whether photographs and memory books are stored in damp basements and attics or were affected by high humidity because of flooding, they can be preserved. As soon as you notice the mold damage, move photographs to a cool, dry space. Oil paintings and expensive rugs may also have a chance for complete repair. Move your belongings into the bright sunlight if it's available. Keep them dry and protected from other natural elements. Your favorite novels should be thrown out and replaced, but a cherished family Bible should be handled as little as possible. Remove as much water as possible from the area and use only minimal handling to move the Bible to a dry spot while it waits for mold cleaning.

The Final Result: Professional Help

Once you've taken the first steps for protecting your belongings, contact mold cleaning and repair technicians in Forest Hills, NY, as soon as possible. The services of these pros are more likely to prove successful the sooner they get started.

Claims Information Center: The Tool That Works for You

2/18/2019 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Claims Information Center: The Tool That Works for You The Claims Information Center is available to any insurance agent in the Glendale, NY area

Claims Information Center: The Tool That Works For You

The Claims Information Center is available to any insurance agent in the Glendale, NY area through the SERVPRO Management Dashboard. This system makes the insurance claim process more accessible by allowing agents to perform initial research and all follow up tracking in one convenient platform.

1. Research

The CIC is a compilation of claims data collected through the years in the corporate ReportER database. From the Managed Dashboard, agents can research claims by type of loss and location. The location can be sorted by region, county and state. Beyond the kind of claim and the location, agents can search by cause of loss. Additionally, they can research response times and even compare the restoration service to national performance statistics.

2. Tracking

As a leading name in the disaster restoration industry, SERVPRO understands the insurance claim process as well as the importance of tracking a claim from project start to completion. Therefore, the Managed Dashboard was designed to help agents follow every step of their claim’s life by providing an easy to read dashboard and tracking software with routine updates.

3. Troubleshooting

The dashboard allows agents to make changes to a claim and resolve any issues without having to revisit sites or call contractors. There is no need to grow frustrated trying to troubleshoot communication issues because it can all be handled from inside the CIC system, saving you time and hassle.

The insurance claim process is difficult enough with trying to communicate with devastated clients and making sure that every document is completed accurately. There is no need for the process to be inundated with unsubstantiated research or constant deliberations with contractors. As an agent, you should streamline your work process and find a tool that works for you. The Claims Information Center can be that tool, providing thorough research and tracking tools at your fingertips. Don’t let one more hour be wasted in the claims process. Find the process that works for you.

Commercial Property Insurance 101: What Is Covered After a Storm and What Isn't?

2/11/2019 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Commercial Property Insurance 101: What Is Covered After a Storm and What Isn't? Asked your insurance agent if you are covered

As a business owner in Kew Gardens, NY, it is essential you understand your commercial property insurance and what emergencies it covers. While there are a lot of situations you are often covered for, there are specific types of disasters and circumstances that will probably not be included. It is important you consider your specific location, needs, and current insurance coverage when considering adding on new policies to your existing plan. While your storm insurance will vary slightly depending on your policy, here is an overview on what most commercial property insurance policies cover after a storm.

Is Storm Damage Covered?

In short, the answer is yes that insurance is typically included in your commercial property insurance policy. Since storm damage can cover a wide variety of emergency types, here are specific situations you can expect to be covered for: 

  • Blizzards
  • Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes 
  • Lightening 

In the situations your business qualifies for coverage, your storm insurance often covers damage that occurs to your building, including the cost of storm damage restoration. Your policy may also cover the contents of the building, including equipment, furniture, and inventory, up to the predetermined dollar limit listed on your policy. 

What Damage Isn’t Covered?

Under a standard policy, there are several situations where you will often not be covered. For instance, flood damage isn’t covered, and you will need to check if your policy covers windstorm and hail damage. While some policies automatically include this type of coverage, others require an additional plan. It is also important to note you will not be compensated from insurance for the time you are out of business unless you purchase business interruption coverage. Additionally, your plan will generally only cover damage caused by the storm and will not cover anything thought to be a cause of wear and tear. 

An important step in preparing your business for an emergency is to find out what your specific commercial property insurance policy covers. While your storm insurance coverage includes many types of emergencies, not everything is automatically included.

A Guide to Buying Home Fire Extinguishers

2/4/2019 (Permalink)

Fire Damage A Guide to Buying Home Fire Extinguishers Have a fire extinguisher for each floor of your home

A fire extinguisher in your Kew Gardens, NY, home could mean the difference between a cautionary tale you tell for years and a tragedy. Your fire preparedness plan should include placing an extinguisher in an easy-to-reach spot, especially in the kitchen where many home fires start.

A:B:C on the Label

All extinguishers are classified, and home devices have an A, B, or C designation. Many have a combination of the designations. The labels indicate the types of fires you can put out.

  • Class A: appropriate for paper, trash, and wood
  • Class B: grease and flammable liquids
  • fClass C: Electrical appliances and equipment, including live electricity

Other designations are appropriate for warehouses and commercial kitchens.

Strength in the Numbers

Each letter on the label is paired with a number. For example, on a multipurpose extinguisher, you may see: 3-A:40-B:C. The numbers are assigned by the Underwriters Laboratories and describe how effective the fire extinguisher is against specific fires. A 4-A rating indicates a stronger impact against ordinary combustibles than a 3-A. It's normal for the C designation to appear without a number. The designation means that the chemicals within the canister won't conduct electricity. Keep in mind that as these numbers increase, so will the prices.

Weight and Size Matters

After choosing appropriate class designations and strengths, turn your focus to the size of the devices. A portable 2-pound extinguisher is perfect for your car and often comes with hardware to secure it in place. For a home fire, you may want to consider a 5-pound canister for the kitchen or laundry room. A larger model may be best for your garage or workshop. You may even want to consider a stove-top version that pops open to shower baking soda over fires that happen while you're cooking. Before jumping directly to the biggest device, don't forget to factor in your ability to maneuver it during an emergency.

The National Fire Protection Association experts recommend a fire extinguisher for each floor of your home. Turn to home fire remediation professionals to identify each area of the home where fires could happen, and which appropriate device will protect against a fire in your home.

Mold Assessments: What You Should Know

1/22/2019 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Mold Assessments: What You Should Know Have a mold remediation specialist perform your test.

If you think you have mold in your Forest Hills, NY, home then it may be time to have a mold assessment done. An assessment can let you know not only if mold is present, but where and in some cases what type. Here are some things you may want to know.

There Are Various Types of Mold Tests

There are three types of mold tests available depending on the type of mold and location you wish to test. They include

  • Air tests for when you believe there may be a mold problem but spores are not visible
  • Surface testing for places where mold growth is possible but unconfirmed
  •  Bulk testing where a piece of a surface is taken to determine mold type and growth depth

These test samples can then be grown into a culture so that a mold type can be determined if necessary.

Mold Tests Can Provide Important Information

A mold assessment can be used to provide useful information to a homeowner. It can tell them if there’s a mold problem, or if it’s mildew or something else. If there is mold present the sample can be used to grow a culture to identify the mold type. Knowing what type of mold is being dealt with can help when it comes to determining the best remediation technique, and future mold prevention.

Professional Testing May Be Needed

In some cases, you may want to have a mold remediation specialist perform your tests. These professionals should have the tools and knowledge necessary to look for specific types of mold, including black mold, and be able to tell if there’s a chance the fungus has spread to any other area in your home.

Depending on your needs, a mold assessment can provide you with answers as to if you have mold, what types it is, and where it may be located. If you’re not sure how to conduct a test or how to read the results, a professional may be able to help. If you do find mold, then it’s best to begin mold removal as quickly as possible.

What To Do When Your Flooring has Water Damage

1/16/2019 (Permalink)

Water Damage What To Do When Your Flooring has Water Damage Damaged wooden floor in a Kew Gardens, NY residence

When dealing with a pipe break in Kew Gardens, NY, you may find that your carpet and other flooring retains water damage. When this happens it’s not uncommon to wonder if the material is salvageable. Here is some information you may want to know.

Know What Problems Water Damage Causes

Water damage can lead to a number of problems with flooring if not dealt with quickly. They include

  • Swelling of wood in wooden floors or sub-floor leading to warping
  • Carpeting can hold onto moisture long term which can damage to sub-floor
  • Cracks in wood or tile if the water freezes
  • Possible mold growth
  • Porous flooring can soak in contaminants

Clean up Quickly

When dealing with a pipe break it’s important to clean up any remaining water as quickly as possible. Doing so can help you prevent further damage. It’s also a good idea to locate and remedy the source of the water damage. Doing so can help prevent future problems. Depending on the type of break, you may want to call in a plumbing professional or a water damage restoration service.

Call in a Professional

In many cases contacting a professional service may be your best bet for having your home restored quickly and preventing further problems. They can not only clean up the damage and make repairs, but many repair services can also check for mold and help restore any personal items that may have been damaged as well.

Salvaging your flooring after a pipe break is possible if the flooding occurred from a clean water source. If the water was tainted with sewage you will want to replace it. In both cases any flooding should be cleaned up as quickly as possible, and the source of the damage found and fixed. A local Kew Gardens, NY, restoration service may be able to help you get your home back in order.

Fire Restoration: Understanding the Costs

1/9/2019 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Restoration: Understanding the Costs Ozone generator is used to remove odor after a fire in Forest Hills, NY

Fire Restoration: Understanding the Costs

A commercial fire can leave a property owner confused and feeling desperate and afraid. Fear of losing their business due to a lengthy restoration can leave some wondering if it is worth it. Thankfully, insurers do offer some salvation, but understanding the costs of a renovation and how a company comes up with an estimate will help owners understand the full picture.

1. Security and Surveillance

Fire damage can leave your property vulnerable to all sorts of criminal activity, which is why security and surveillance are so vital to the rebuilding process. Any restoration company worth their salt will provide fencing and board-up services. Some companies will even offer 24-hour surveillance to ensure the safety of your property.

2. Debris Removal

An estimate will include a ballpark figure for the removal of all debris. This price is not set in stone because not all damage is immediately visible. Additionally, it is possible that while some items may look beyond repair, closer inspection reveals a different story altogether.

3. Odor Removal

Smoke and fire leave a distinct odor and residue that is not easily removed. You will likely need a company with specialized equipment and cleaning supplies to remove the odors completely, and it may take them several passes before the smell is completely gone.

4. Cleaning, Restoration and Reconstruction

A disaster restoration specialist in the Forest Hills, NY, area is likely equipped to handle any size cleanup and remediation. They will also act as an intermediary between you and other contractors as you move through the cleaning, restoration and reconstruction process, ensuring your interests are the priority.

A fire is frightening and disastrous, and for businesses, it can mean significant loss if not handled appropriately. Understanding the remediation process, along with the costs associated with the initial estimate, will provide you with a clearer picture of how your business is being rebuilt.

How Much Can a Leak Cost You?

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

A dripping faucet can be annoying, but even a steady drip isn’t going to make that much difference in your water bill. A water leak due to a damaged pipe, however, can send your monthly utility cost skyrocketing, especially if it goes undetected for a while. The spike in the water bill for your commercial property in Rego Park, NY, while potentially significant, may be the least of your financial worries, though.

1. Wasted Water

No business owner likes waste, particularly when it is expensive. Depending on how much water gushes out after a pipe break, you can spend $200 or more a day in added water costs. This relatively small amount adds up quickly the longer it takes you to find and repair the leak. Always be on the lookout for damage, such as ceiling tiles with water spots, particularly if they start dripping onto the floor below.

2. Structural Repairs

If a water leak intensifies or gets larger, your building is likely to sustain some water damage. This is where the problem starts getting more expensive. In addition to the extra utility costs, you may also have to cover repairs. Even if the water is clean, once the water saturates parts of the structure such as the drywall or floorboards, water restoration specialists will likely need to be called to tear out and replace the ruined materials.

3. Secondary Damage

When you have a leak, time is not on your side. You are on a race against the clock to turn off the source of the water, call the experts and get repairs underway before mold starts to grow. Fungus can infest the surfaces where it finds adequate food and water in as little as 24 hours. Because mold growth is preventable with quick action, your insurance company may not cover mold remediation under your standard property policy, which means you could have to pay for the cleanup yourself.

A water leak is not something you want to ignore. It can end up costing you thousands of dollars in utilities and repairs.

Is the Exterior of Your Commercial Property Ready for a Storm?

12/31/2018 (Permalink)

Storms can cause extensive damage to the exterior of a commercial property. Depending on the level of commercial insurance coverage held by the building owner, there may be limits on the external portions of the property that are protected. Review your coverage, schedule a building inspection, and perform exterior maintenance on a regular basis. These five steps will help owners prepare the exterior of a commercial property for a storm.

1. Choose exterior doors rated for high wind speeds. Exterior damage quickly becomes interior damage if a door fails. Exterior doors should be tested to stand up to wind loads and the frames should be anchored. Check to make sure these doors have appropriate drainage, flashing, sealant, and tracks. Door failure rapidly raises internal pressure and can cause structural damage.

2. Clear drainage systems. Functional drainage systems prevent water from pooling on the roof or around the foundation of a structure. Clear roof drains, downspouts, and gutters several times a year as part of an exterior maintenance routine.

3. Trim trees. Removing dead or loose branches from nearby trees can limit the extent of storm damage.

4. Secure loose items that may blow away or cause damage. Don't forget about antennas on the roof or potted plants and trash cans on the ground.

5. Anchor outside HVAC equipment. These components should be securely installed on a concrete pad. Depending on the severity of a storm, you may want to use hurricane straps or shut off these systems and cover equipment with a secured tarp.

These five exterior maintenance and storm preparation steps can help owners limit the extent of damage to the exterior of a commercial structure. Keeping your building maintained can pay off during adverse weather events. If the exterior or interior of a commercial property becomes damaged during a storm, contact a restoration company located in Ridgewood,NY.

Ice Dams Are Simple To Understand

12/17/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage Ice Dams Are Simple To Understand You may not have a problem with ice dams in Forest Hills,NY but water damage happens in many ways

The key to comprehending the formation of an ice dam lies in basic roof construction. For this discussion, the roof consists of four layers.

1) Rafters support the roof.
2) The roof deck is nailed to the rafters.
3) The Underlayment covers the roof deck.
4) The shingles are nailed through the underlayment to the roof deck.

When snow covers the roof, problems may occur. If the roof deck is warmer than the outside air temperature, ice dams often form as described below.

1) The warmth from the roof deck causes the snow touching the roof to melt.
2) The water runs over the shingles, under the snow, and refreezes at the bottom of the roof.
3) This process continues, causing a large ice dam to build up.
4) The water behind the dam backs up under the shingles and causes a roof leak.

Ice Dams Are Preventable

In new construction, they should be virtually nonexistent. In existing homes, properly installed ridge and soffit vents should solve the problem. Roof rakes to remove snow and heating cables can also help eliminate them.

Ice Dams Can Cause Extensive Damage

You may not have a problem with ice dams in Forest Hills, NY, but water damage happens in many ways. Sometimes it happens quickly and is obvious. Other times it is slow and subtle. Ice dams usually form gradually. By the time you see a stained ceiling or crumbling plaster, the destruction may be significant. Affected areas may show up in many locations.

  • Roof deck
  • Rafters
  • Insulation
  • Ceilings
  • Walls
  • Lights and other fixtures

Ice Dams Are Manageable

Mitigating damage caused by them is usually not for the do-it-yourselfer. These problems need to be addressed quickly before mold establishes a foothold. The best solution is to bring in water damage repair specialists to do the job quickly and completely.