How To Maintain Your Home’s Furnace
The furnace filter should be changed every couple of months.
Routine Maintenance Steps
If you have problems with your furnace in Scarsdale, NY, you are probably worried about needing a whole new heating system. A faulty furnace can cause a fire, however, and fire cleaning procedures can be even more expensive than the cost of a new furnace. The good news is that there are some routine maintenance steps you can perform at home to reduce the risk of your furnace malfunctioning.
1. Check the Burner Flames
Before you begin, turn off the electric power switch and remove the chamber door. Then turn the power back on and turn up the thermostat to activate the flames. Burner flames should be blue and even. If the flames are yellow, this indicates the burners are dirty.
2. Clean the Burners
Turn off the power again and then shut the gas off. Vacuum the burners and clean the base of the furnace as well. Check for soot and clean up any black powder to reduce the likelihood of needing a fire cleaning down the road. The blower door should also be removed to clean the blower compartment.
3. Remove and Clean the Blower
Remove the blower and carefully clean the blades with a small brush or handheld vacuum, making sure not to disturb the counterweights on the blades of the fan. A well-maintained fan also reduces the need for smoke cleaning in the event of a fire.
4. Change the Furnace Filter
The furnace filter should be changed every couple of months. Inexpensive fiberglass filters are usually sufficient in protecting both the blower motor and the blower. Consult your owner’s manual if you have questions about the type of filters recommended for your furnace.
Schedule an annual furnace maintenance checkup with a professional in addition to these DIY tips. It is also essential to call a fire restoration service if you ever experience a furnace fire.
Avoid the need for a fire cleaning by keeping your furnace well-maintained.
4 Possible Sources of Sewage in Your Home
A clogged pipe can result in sewage backup in your home.
4 Possible Sources of Sewage in Your Home
Your home's plumbing system brings in clean water and discreetly clears away the used and dirty water. Occasionally, pipes break, and sometimes those pipes are in the process of taking away contaminated water. When this happens, professional sewage cleaning is a necessity. A number of situations in your home in Secor Gardens, NY, could result in a black water spill.
1. Toilet Overflow. While this might seem minor, any time water from a toilet that contains urine or feces overflows it is a serious situation. The water potentially contains harmful bacteria and microbes that are detrimental to human health. Plus, the water can contaminate flooring and other materials.
2. Clogged Pipe. A discharge line that is obstructed could result in a sewage backup, spilling out contaminated water into an area of the home. As with all other types of spills requiring professional sewage cleaning, a water damage mitigation team should be called. Trained technicians will work safely and quickly to remove the dirty water and clean and sanitize the home.
3. Pipe Burst. Older pipes tend to weaken with age. After forty or fifty years of use, many piping materials are at or near the end of their lifespan. This is especially true of galvanized steel piping. If the pipe that breaks is carrying used water, the spill should be considered potentially harmful to human health.
Though this situation has nothing to do with the plumbing system, it is still an issue important to homeowners. Outside water coming into a home from overflowing streams or lakes or heavy rains is often contaminated with germs, chemicals, and other substances. As such, it should be treated with the highest level of concern.
No matter what the source of the spill, sewage cleaning is best handled by a professional company. It will have the appropriate equipment and training to deal with the situation safely and efficiently.
3 Ways a Restoration Response Team Streamlines Business Insurance Claims
Severe water damage in Yonkers, NY.
3 Ways a Restoration Response Team Streamlines Business Insurance Claims
When fire, flooding and storm damage causes problems for you and your Yonkers, NY, business, one of your main concerns may be how to handle the insurance claim and where to begin. Between itemizing the damage and the paperwork, you may feel overwhelmed. However, working with an emergency disaster response team like SERVPRO can streamline this process, from pretesting to filing.
1. Pretest Assistance
Once you have the chance to survey the damage inside your business, it can seem insurmountable. Working with a disaster response company can help you to better understand the extent of the issue with pretesting, which gauges whether certain areas can be fixed or if they are likely a total loss. Overall, this can lower claims expenses and may even help you file an insurance claim more quickly.
2. 24/7 Support
Disaster can strike anytime day or night, but because SERVPRO locations are locally owned and operated, the response time is usually swift. This can reduce the need for insurance claims, such as with flooding, as the restoration technicians can drain standing water and provide mitigation solutions for areas that may degrade over time and cause secondary damage, such as mold growth.
3. Preferred Vendor Status
Working with an insurance agent after your business suffers damage can be daunting, especially if you have never filed a commercial claim before. SERVPRO may serve as a bridge between your company and the agent, as the franchise is well known as a preferred vendor and can boost your confidence during the process. The presence of a certified disaster response team may also benefit the agent, who may feel more comfortable working with a preferred restoration vendor.
Fire, flooding and severe storms can cause a variety of damage to your Yonkers, NY, business and require you to file an insurance claim. Working with a SERVPRO disaster response team, from the pretesting phase to filing, may help you weather the storm with greater peace of mind.
Does Your Commercial Building Have These 4 Common Problems?
Leaking toilets can actually be a lot worse.
Common Problems That Occur In Commercial Buildings
Think about the last time you had your business plumbing inspected. For most buildings, the answer can be years. Considering you should have your plumbing inspected every 6 months, this is not a good thing. Regular inspections can help catch common issues like a blocked sewer line before they become serious problems.
1. Leaking Toilets
While a blocked sewer line may seem like the worst possible option, leaking toilets can actually be a lot worse. One leak can waste thousands of gallons of water per year. Whether the leak is due to a problem with the handle or the flapper, it can go undetected for a long time because any extra water will be flushed down the drain. Therefore, it is important to have your toilets checked by a plumber regularly.
2. Low Water Pressure
Another thing that is worse than blocked sewer lines is low water pressure. The most common reason you experience pressure problems is a lot of small leaks in your water line. Each leak in your system lets out a little bit of water and reduces the pressure that comes out of your faucets. This is inconvenient, and it can do tons of damage and require a water restoration company.
3. Clogged Toilets
Clogs happen when improper objects are flushed down your toilets. For large buildings, it is important to inform your employees what can't be flushed. Forbidden items include wet wipes and tissues. In fact, pretty much anything that isn't waste or toilet paper will get stuck inside your pipes. If this happens, you will experience a toilet overflow.
4. Clogged Parking Lot Drains
Sometimes, the parking lots in Mount Vernon, NY, back up after heavy rains. This usually happens because the parking lot drains are clogged with leaves, trash, and branches. Make sure to clear these away from drains so water can flow out of your lot and into the sewer system.
It is important to have your building regularly inspected to check for these common issues. If left untreated, pipe breaks and other problems will only become worse.
3 Topics To Review With Kids Before a Fire
Plan for your family on what to do in case of a fire in your home breaks out
Kids Safety Tips
A top priority for parents in Scarsdale, NY is kids' safety. When developing emergency drills and plans, parents should remember these three often-overlooked concepts. They will especially help children be mentally and physically prepared for an emergency.
1. Visit a Firefighter in Full Gear
First, it is a terrific idea for children to visit a fire station in Scarsdale, NY, to see a firefighter in full gear before any emergency, especially a home fire. The basic uniform includes a coat, boots, pants, gloves, and a helmet. People may forget that a mask covers the firefighter’s face and his or her breathing device can sound more like Darth Vader. Children hopefully will feel less anxious if they’ve seen a firefighter’s apparatus before a true emergency.
2. Discuss Usage of the Fire Escape
The second item to discuss regarding kids' safety is how children actually use a fire escape if they are above the first level of a home or apartment. Children should practice unlatching and opening windows or doors nearby. They need to understand how to physically climb down the house or building. Every bedroom higher than the primary level should have a fire ladder. All family members should know where to find the ladders, how to set them up, and how to use them. This process can include pushing or kicking a screen to remove it.
3. Explain the Need To Attract Attention
In a truly desperate situation, family members should all understand it’s okay to break a window to get attention from firefighters below. If children have trouble opening a window, teach them how to break the glass in an emergency.
When it comes to fires and kids' safety, drills and discussions are crucial. As children grow and mature, their understanding will expand and actions and responses will vary in any emergency situation. Hence, it’s also important to regularly review and revise your plans for what to do in case of a fire and the necessary work afterward.
3 Steps You Should Take If You Find Mold in Your Apartment
Mold growth in a residential home
Three Steps To Take If You Find Mold In Your Apartment
Mold is a common issue that is usually caused by a moisture problem. If left untreated, mold can cause property damage, so you should take steps you perform mold cleanup promptly. These are three steps you should take if you find mold in your apartment.
1. Determine Whether It Is Mold or Mildew
Unlike mold, mildew only grows on the surface and can be removed with household cleaners. Mold spores are embedded in the surface, which makes mold more difficult to remove. Mold usually has a fuzzy or slimy appearance and is green or black. Mildew is usually gray, yellow, or white and has a fluffy or powdery appearance. Mildew tends to grow in high moisture areas, such as shower stalls and windows, while mold grows on organic materials, such as walls, wood, ceilings, paper, and leather.
2. Contact Your Landlord
If you have determined that you need mold cleanup in your apartment, you should contact your landlord. Your landlord should investigate the source of the mold and fix any moisture issues, such as leaky pipes, and may also wish to contact a mold remediation company in Elmsmere, NY, to remove the mold. It is essential not to ignore the problem because it may get worse and there may be a requirement in your rental agreement that you report issues, such as mold or leaks, promptly to avoid being assessed for damages.
3. Locate the Source
Help your landlord find the source of the mold problem. If you have noticed signs of leaks, such as water spots on walls or the ceiling, or you find water on the floor around your shower or toilet, you should let your landlord know that this could be the cause of the mold contamination.
The longer you wait to perform mold cleanup, the more damage mold could do to your apartment. Taking these three steps promptly can help avoid unnecessary damage.
3 Types of Water Damage Not Covered by Insurance
Basement flood in Tuckahoe, NY
3 Types of Water Damage Not Covered by Insurance
If your home in Tuckahoe, NY, suffers from a basement flood, you would usually expect your home insurance to cover the damages. However, this is not actually the case. Homeowners' insurance has certain limits on what it can cover. Not every disaster is included in this program, so it is useful to know some of these situations to prepare accordingly.
1. Flood Damage
Sometimes the water damage can be too much for a homeowners' plan to cover. The emergency damage repair team can lead an operation that can cost plenty of time and money. Your insurance company may find this too expensive, so it may not be on the plan, regardless of the flood's origin. If you want to cover a flooded area's repair, you will need to purchase a separate flood plan.
2. Unresolved Issue Damage
Many water issues, from puddles to a basement flood, are caused by plumbing system issues such as damaged pipes or leaking faucets. The sooner you discover these problems and resolve them as they appear, the quicker you can prevent extensive damage. If your insurance agency discovers you made no attempt to solve the damage or hired someone who could, you will be denied the coverage. Have plumbers inspect your plumbing regularly and fix any minor issue before it escalates.
3. Outside Water Incidents
Excess water does not always come from inside your property. There are times where the backup from a nearby drain or sewer can spill onto your house, damaging the building and your belongings. Because the event's origin is not related to your house, the standard insurance coverage does not include it. The best solution for this situation is to obtain an additional plan that specifically covers water backups.
Even though homeowners' insurance can cover a variety of water scenarios, there are always going to be some exceptions. Research these events so you are ready in case of a basement flood, a month-old leak, or water from a nearby sewer.
The 3 Things That Happen After an Apartment Fire
Apartment fire in Bronxville, NY
Here are Three Things That Will Happen After a Rental Unit Sees Fire Damage
After a rental unit catches on fire, both renters and landlords are often confused about what happens between the fire and the professional remediation crew's arrival.
1. Documenting and Investigating the Damage
The first thing that must happen after an apartment fire is that the cause and damage must be investigated and documented. The damage will need to be documented with photographs and written descriptions. These will be objective descriptions.
This investigation is generally conducted with a walkthrough of your building in Bronxville, NY. Both the tenant and landlord should be present. It should include any damage that you can see. Many will include odors as well. During the investigation, the cause of the fire should be noted.
An expert is often brought in to conduct this investigation. They will be able to pick up on things that are not considered by untrained individuals. For instance, they can consider whether any electrical or ventilation systems were damaged. They will also look for water damage from extinguishers.
2. Consulting Insurance Companies
After the apartment fire has been investigated, the landlord should contact their insurance company. This will cover the damage to the building. If the insurance company is not immediately contacted, you could waive your rights to coverage. This will be written in your contract. The renter should contact their insurance company as well.
3. Determining Responsibilities
Depending on the lease terms, fire cause, and damage, both the tenant and landlord could be responsible for restoration costs. A large portion of the responsibility will depend on what the renter and landlord's insurance policies will cover.
Dealing with the aftermath of an apartment fire can be a confusing time. Following these steps will start you towards a successful restoration covered by your insurance and help you return to your position as a landlord.
Common Causes of Flooded Basements and How To Address Them
Your home's line could be blocked by tree roots
A flooded basement can destroy any furniture or carpet that you have on the lower level of your home. The floodwater could also encourage the growth of mold, which can then spread throughout your Eastchester, NY, house.
What Causes a Basement Flood?
It helps to understand what leads to water flooding your basement. There are several possible causes:
1. Sewage Backup
If sewage water is backing up into your home, you may be dealing with a clog in either the municipal or your house's sewage line. The city line may clog during storms when excess water enters the sewers. In older homes, rain from the municipal sewer system could back into your perimeter foundation drain. Your home's line, meanwhile, could be blocked by waste, tree roots, or grease.
2. Surface Water
Water that comes into your basement via the foundation wall is likely to surface water. Common causes of surface water floods include overflowing gutters, your landscape slope, and a faulty irrigation system.
3. Subsurface Groundwater
If you see water entering your flooded basement through multiple locations, the fluid is probably subsurface groundwater. Hydrostatic pressure can push water-saturated soils toward the basement. The fluid then enters through any small cracks.
How Do You Prevent a Basement Flood?
If your home sustains any of the above problems, water damage cleanup specialists may be able to salvage your belongings. However, you can save yourself some stress and hassle by preventing floods in your basement.
Start by updating the drainage system in your home. Adding a downspout or increasing the size of an existing one can limit gutter overflow. You can also install a sump pump that drains water from the flooded basement. Sealing your basement can prevent water from entering your house, as well.
There are many causes of basement flooding. Whether surface water leaks through the walls or sewage backs into your house, the consequences can be devastating. You should thus make some basic home improvements that can limit water damage.
4 Reasons Why Mold Keeps Coming Back
Commercial mol damage
How To Keep Mold Out
Discovering stubborn mold growth in your facility in Scarsdale, NY, can be cause for alarm, especially if the fungus just keeps coming back. If the mold in your property will not go away, there is likely another issue helping it stick around.
1. Water Problems
Mold is a fungus that spreads through airborne spores looking for moisture. If you discover unexplainable mold in your building, look for signs of water damage. The moisture helping the mold to grow is likely from some unseen water problem such as a leaky pipe. Fixing leaks is the first step to keeping mold out.
2. Ventilation Issues
Proper ventilation is important for keeping mold out of your facility. Restrooms and other areas where water is frequently used should be outfitted with fans, and your HVAC system should be checked routinely. Failure to keep air circulating leads to high humidity and condensation, creating the warm, moist spots perfect for mold.
3. Porous Materials
Mold feeds on the cellulose found in building materials such as drywall and wood. Because these materials are porous, mold grows down into them, not just on their surfaces. The fungus can create a root system and expand throughout your facility without being seen. These materials should be removed to help eradicate mold growth.
4. Improper DIY Cleanup
Finding a small spot of mold in your building might not ring alarm bells. You might just spray the fungus down with bleach and try to scrub it yourself, but you could make the problem worse. Using spray cleaners can add to the moisture problem and help mold spread. There is also a chance of missing spores. Even if an infestation seems small, calling a mold remediation specialist to assess your situation is the safest way to get the job is done right.
Mold growth is a hassle that no property owner wants but taking care of it properly the first time can keep it from coming back.