Dealing With Fire Damage
Smoke and soot damage in a Mount Vernon, NY property
Fire damage can seem scary, and that reputation is well-deserved. If you understand the repercussions and prepare accordingly, you can make it much easier on yourself should a fire occur on your property in Mount Vernon, NY. There's no need to panic if you have a plan.
What To Expect
Unfortunately, fires can cause more than just plain fire damage, which is sometimes forgotten. Part of what makes them so destructive is their variability and the side effects they produce. Some common additional forms of damage are:
- smoke and soot damage
- water damage
- damage from fire suppression materials, such as foam, powder and pressurized hoses
- heat damage, primarily the melting of materials
On top of the damage itself, there are more logistics and costs to consider after the flames are put out. You will probably want to find temporary storage for the unharmed contents of your building until the repairs are finished. You may even consider looking for a space to conduct business in the meantime. Your insurance adjuster may also require an inventory and evaluation of all items damaged.
Orchestrating the Process
You could run around attempting to find a service or professional to address every separate issue mentioned above. However, it is usually much more efficient to find a one-stop fire mitigation service. These types of services understand everything you will need done and it can be much less confusing if you only have to keep track of one contact. This will also ensure that these processes are coordinated and completed in the correct order.
The concept of fire damage may seem simple at first, but is actually a problem containing many layers. To make sure that everything is done right and nothing is overlooked, hiring a company that can provide every service necessary in the aftermath of the fire is key. Consider choosing one that is right for you before you actually need them!
5 Tips To Minimize Mold Growth in Commercial Buildings
Air purifiers containing HEPA filters can reduce the risk of proliferation
Five Steps to Minimize the Risk of Proliferation and Secondary Damage
Microscopic mold spores are prevalent throughout the environment. As a result, every commercial building in Elmsmere, NY, is potentially susceptible to black mold growth. Although the problem may seem intimidating, there are five steps every property manager can take to minimize the risk of proliferation and secondary damage mandating a professional mold cleanup.
1. Manage Humidity Levels
Moisture is a key component for mold growth, and high humidity levels can encourage fungal expansion. To alleviate humidity concerns, employ dehumidifiers and use fans to circulate air. You should also seal drafts present near windows and exterior doors.
2. Maintain Restrooms
Your building’s restrooms may be damp environments. Routinely cleaning these areas can help you detect and address leaks and pooled water, eliminating ideal conditions for black mold proliferation.
Properly maintaining tile floors in your bathrooms can also prevent fungal contamination. Because grout is porous, you should protect the structure by routinely applying a sealant.
3. Complete Annual Maintenance
Over time, HVAC and fire suppression systems may be vulnerable to leaks. Completing annual inspections and recommended maintenance procedures on these important systems enables you to evaluate critical components and address existing problems before significant seepage occurs.
4. Examine Suspicious Symptoms
Sometimes compromised pipes can be difficult to detect. If you notice stains on your walls or ceilings, unusual dampness or warped floorboards, you should promptly investigate the area for a hidden leak.
If you discover a broken supply line, taking prompt action is crucial. To prevent secondary damage, remove saturated objects, including drywall and insulation, and commence drying the water-damaged space.
5. Utilize Air Purifiers
Because of the natural presence of mold spores, maintaining a mold-free office space may be extremely difficult. Air purifiers containing HEPA filters can, however, trap and eliminate some fungal particles, reducing the risk of proliferation.
Extensive black mold growth can be an unsightly and potentially costly problem for any business. Conscientious managers can take proactive measures to alleviate the threat of contamination, helping to preserve the structural integrity of their buildings.
What to Expect After a Kitchen Flood
Flooded kitchen in Eastchester, NY
Kitchen Flooding, What to Expect?
There may be nothing more unpleasant than waking up in the morning to make breakfast only to find your kitchen is flooded. Whether your dishwasher leaked in the night, or a pipe burst, kitchen water damage can occur quickly and without warning. If kitchen flooding is a new experience for you, you may be wondering what to expect. Can this water be cleaned up? What should be done about swelling wood? How much is this going to cost? As you begin cleaning-up and making repairs, know what to look for as you try to salvage your remaining kitchen space.
Generally, wet wooden cabinets can be emptied and dried if water incidents are caught early-on. If your kitchen cabinets have undergone more severe water exposure over days or weeks, complete removal is likely inevitable. If a water supply line has broken beneath your kitchen sink or behind a kitchen cabinet, begin by taking the following measures:
Shut-off the water valve
Empty cabinets of all contents and move them to a dry location
Towel up as much water as possible
Allow cabinets to air dry or bring-in circulation fans if necessary
For cabinets that have been soaked by water for more than a few days, it is advisable to completely remove them and replace them with new materials. Cabinets made of particle board or wood veneer are least likely to handle water damage well.
Because of the durable nature or real-wood flooring, most hardwood kitchen flooring can be salvaged after a kitchen flood. While water pipe repair is taking place, consider calling a water damage restoration professional to evaluate the damage done. Even if there is some swelling wood taking place, a professional cleanup crew in Eastchester, NY, may be able to restore your flooring to its previously unharmed state.
As you evaluate your flooded kitchen, determine which materials can be saved and which should go. If swelling wood or other visible damage can be seen, expect some professional cleanup and repair work in your near future.
When Security Fencing May Be Necessary After a Fire
Fire Damage in Scarsdale New York
If your building was recently devastated by a fire, you may be asked to vacate the premises until the structure has been fully remediated. While that is the safe thing to do, you may be concerned about the safety of your property while it’s uninhabited. After all, it is not uncommon for damaged or abandoned buildings to become victims of vandalism and theft, and vacancy may attract vagabonds. To keep your property safe, both your Scarsdale, NY, fire remediation team and insurance adjuster may suggest a security fence.
Before you install a fence however, there are some things you should do beforehand:
- Call in all service providers, such as plumbers, electricians and gas suppliers, to inspect your building's internal systems and ensure that all are in safe, working condition.
- Turn off all utilities.
- Invest in shutters, storm doors, commercial locks and other means of keeping vandals out.
- Make a list of damaged and destroyed items.
- Discuss your options with your insurance provider.
Why You Should Install a Security Border
You never know how long a fire will keep you out of your building. Depending on the extent of the damage, and what kind of damage was done to the internal workings of your building, you may be out of your building for just a few weeks or a few months. If your Scarsdale, NY, fire restoration team informs you that remediation efforts will take months, you may want to install a security fence in the meantime. Not only will a fence keep the bad guys out, but it can also give you peace of mind and reduce your insurance costs. Insurance companies like to see property owners take initiative to protect their properties, and are likely to give you a discount for doing so. On the flipside, if you don't invest in a fence, you may be viewed as a risk, and you may see a bump in your monthly premium.
Don't risk additional damage to your building by failing to invest in adequate security. Talk to your insurance company about security fence options today.
Mold or Mildew: How To Tell Which Is Which
Mildew growth likes to show up in a lot of the same places that mold might inhabit
Mold or Mildew?
There is a common misconception that mildew and mold damage are the same. However, these terms should not be used interchangeably. Mildew, while still a fungus, is mold's gentler fungal cousin, easier to be rid of and less dangerous when exposed to it. While only professional tests should be used to determine which fungus you may be dealing with, there are some notable differences:
Mildew growth likes to show up in a lot of the same places that mold might inhabit. For instance, you may find either one in the bathroom, basement, garage, attic or any other warm, humid areas. Mold spores, however, attach themselves deep inside of porous surfaces and then colonize in as little as 48 hours.
Mold grows in gradients of color, from black to yellow to green. Mildew, however, is typically found in shades of gray or white.
3. Odor and Appearance
Mold growth is identified by its dank odor as well as its 3-dimensional appearance on surfaces. It is fluffy and chalky. On the other hand, mildew will appear as a powdery substance or a stain, depending on the location.
Unlike mildew, mold damage is difficult to remove, more resilient to available commercial cleaners and should only be treated by professionals. Since mildew mainly develops on surfaces, it is easier to clean and eliminate. Many commercial cleaners can be purchased in most big box stores that should do an excellent job of removing the mildew problem.
If you fear that you have a mold problem, then call a mold remediation specialist in the Bronxville, NY, area to have your home tested. Professional tests are one of the most reliable ways to identify the fungal problem in your home.
While there may be similarities in mildew and mold damage, they are very different, requiring different tools and cleaners to eliminate colonies. Therefore, it is best to have your home tested by a professional to determine the nature of the fungus.
When To Replace Your Smoke Alarm
Replace alarms every 10 years
Is Your Home at Risk of Fire Damage?
If you are great at keeping up with home maintenance, including cleaning out the flex hose behind your dryer, then you've probably reduced the risk of fire. However, you may still be doing one the three things that are most likely to cause a fire in your home:
- Heating your home
Speaking of that hose behind the dryer, if you don't keep that clean, the build up of lint could ignite and cause a fire. Once you realize the potential for something sparking flames or smoldering into a blaze, the more important a smoke alarm becomes.
Replace Alarms Every 10 Years
The steps for replacing old alarms are easy:
- Remove the device from the wall or ceiling.
- Read the date of manufacture.
- If it has been 10 years or more, replace the alarm.
- If not, put the device back for a couple of years.
If you don't have a smoke alarm in your home, determine how many you need and install them. You can write your purchase date on the front of the alarm to save yourself a step or two, if you'd like.
Every Bedroom, Every Level
How many alarms do you need to protect your home from fire damage? The U.S. Fire Administration recommends one alarm inside every one of the bedrooms of your home, one in the hall outside of bedrooms, and an alarm on every level of the home, including the basement. Contact a local fire damage cleanup company to learn more about the best types of alarm systems in Tuckahoe, NY.
Test Alarms at Least Once a Month
Fortunately, this test is also very easy. You simply push the test button. If the alarm sounds, you're in good shape. If it doesn't, you should either replace the batteries and test again, or replace the device with a working one.
Today, the USFA and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are working together to spread the importance of correctly installing each smoke detector and fire alarm in your home. Is it time to replace your smoke alarm?
How To Avoid Business Power Outages
Power outage in Scarsdale, NY area
Ways to Prevent Power Outages at Buildings
A power outage can happen at any time. Business and commercial property owners can take measures to maintain critical systems until the primary source of electricity becomes available again. Here are a few ways to prevent power outages at buildings in Scarsdale, NY.
Use Uninterruptible Power Supplies
A few minutes of backup power can protect systems from damage or data loss during an outage. An uninterruptable power supply is a power connector with a built-in battery backup that can be helpful during several scenarios:
- Brief outages
- Transitions from primary to secondary power sources
Most UPS models can sustain a 300-watt load for four minutes or a 150-watt load for about eight minutes. If battery levels run low during a power outage and no alternative power source is available, business owners should safely shut down systems.
Get a Generator
A generator can provide a secondary source of power. Depending on the energy demands of the facility, some business or building owners may prefer a portable generator or a standby commercial generator. Commercial generators are often multiple phase models, such as three-phase generators, whereas portable models tend to be single-phase.
Maintain a Fuel Supply
It is also important to stockpile a sufficient amount of generator fuel. Most generators run on one of four types of fuel:
- Natural gas
Building or business owners should factor in the availability and shelf life of each fuel type. Gasoline is readily available and has a shelf life of about 12 months. Diesel fuel lasts for 18 to 24 months. Liquid propane remains viable for decades. A natural gas generator can connect to an existing pipeline.
In addition to causing a power outage, a severe storm can also damage commercial buildings in Scarsdale, NY. Business and building owners should rely on certified restoration professionals to clean up and rebuild storm-damaged structures.
5 Steps To Take If Your Home Is Damaged in a Storm
Ceiling damage from storm in Scarsdale, NY
If you have experienced damage to your Scarsdale, NY, home after a storm or severe weather, there are many steps that you can take to be proactive in the situation. Instead of just waiting for assistance to come, follow these storm tips to help get your home back in order more quickly.
1. Call Your Insurance Agent
The first thing that you should do if your home has suffered storm damage is to call your insurance company. It is best to get started on your claim as quickly as possible because it can be a long and time-consuming process.
2. Contact a Restoration Service
Depending on the severity of the damage, you may need to contact someone to help with cleanup and repairs. Sometimes, your agent will give you information for a preferred damage restoration company.
3. Take Pictures
One of the most useful storm tips to remember is to take pictures. You can give these to your insurance agent to facilitate the claims process. Before moving anything, you should document any damage, both to your home and any affected belongings.
4. Move Property to a Dry Area
Once you have photographed the property, you should salvage any items that you can. If you allow them to sit in the water, it will be more difficult to restore and repair them later on.
5. Take Steps To Prevent Further Damage
If the storm damage is contained to certain areas of your home, you should block them off to keep the water from spreading to other areas. Tarps are a useful and effective way to do this. If any doors or windows have been damaged, those should be covered as well.
While it can be easy to panic during an emergency, keeping these storm tips in mind may help you stay calm. You can use them to get the restoration process off to a good start even before the specialists arrive.
What to do When Filing a Commercial Water Damage Claim
Contact a disaster restoration specialists in the Secor Gardens, NY area to provide estimates
What to do When Filing a Commercial Water Damage Claim
A water damage claim can be an intimidating process, especially when you are still reeling from the standing water throughout your building. Fortunately, despite its grueling perception, the process is straightforward. However, it is only straightforward if you move quickly, calling your insurer immediately after discovering the damage and following the four steps below.
1. Document Damage
While the broken pipes may be apparent, you should still take pictures of them to show the assessor and to keep a record. Beyond the pipes, you will want to photograph any other potential damage. Take photos of wet computers, office furniture, carpeting and anything else that seems to be affected by the water.
2. Gather Information
Before presenting your water damage claim to your insurer and assessor, it is wise to review your policy, making sure you are aware of your coverage and limits. Also, gather any relevant receipts to prove the value lost. An insurer will not take your word for anything, so be ready with physical and paper evidence to prove maintenance and costs.
3. Prepare for Assessor
An assessor or adjuster will be sent out to judge the extent of the damage and to estimate the coverage for the water cleanup. Again, being prepared with photographic evidence, receipts and any other concrete information is valuable and likely appreciated.
4. Get Estimates
While your insurer will want to see the damage firsthand, most companies will expect you to mitigate further loss by starting the cleanup process. You can contact several plumbing and disaster restoration specialists in the Secor Gardens, NY, area to provide estimates. While these estimates may not be necessary, they do provide you with a negotiating tool when presented with an adjuster’s final assessment.
Water damage is never any fun, and the cleanup process can be a nightmare if you are not prepared. While you have insurance to protect your interest in disasters, it is your job to be prepared and ready when making a claim.
Is A Mold Inspection a Good Idea Before Purchasing Property?
A strong, musty odor may indicate hidden mold
A property with a history of water damage may also have a mold problem. Even if mold is not actively growing, dry spores can easily spread throughout a structure. If conditions become conducive for growth, the problem may become severe. A mold inspection may be worth the cost prior to buying a building in any of the following cases.
A History of Water Damage
It is a good idea to inspect properties with a history of water damage. An indoor environmental professional can help prospective buyers determine several important factors:
- Whether past damage was properly restored
- Whether mold growth is active or otherwise present
- Whether remediation will be necessary
These considerations can help buyers make more informed decisions. If a building has a high risk of developing mold or will require remediation, this may significantly increase the amount of capital that the purchaser must invest.
A Musty Smell
The smell of mold is caused by microbial volatile organic compounds. These off-gases are released during the fungal growth cycle. If mVOCs are present, mold is probably growing in a structure. A mold inspection is a good idea for buyers who are interested in properties where this smell is present.
A Worthwhile Investment
Buyers considering properties with indications of water damage or visible mold should try to quickly determine the severity of the mold problem. Mold growth may become more extensive as time goes on. If there are no signs of water damage or musty odors, it is likely that any damage that occurred has been properly restored.
A prospective buyer should make sure that a property merits a mold inspection. Testing can be costly and processing results may take several days. If signs of moisture or mold are apparent, serious buyers may want to arrange for an inspection by an IEP followed by remediation by mold damage experts in Yonkers, NY.