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.
How Can Damaged Documents Be Restored?
SERVPRO has the expertise and equipment to restore documents
Three Professional Document Restoration Methods
Commercial property owners with water-damaged documents should rely on a full-service damage mitigation and restoration firm in West Mount Vernon, NY. SERVPRO specialists have the expertise and equipment to restore documents and other delicate contents and materials. Find out more about three professional document restoration methods.
1. Dry the Documents
Extracting excess moisture is the first priority for restoring documents. Different measures may be necessary depending on whether documents have been exposed to water originating from a pipe burst, leak, flood or storm. Documents may be blotted and air dried in an area with low humidity levels. A dehumidifier can draw moisture out of paper and prevent mold growth. Document drying experts may also perform vacuum freeze-drying to vaporize moisture.
2. Remove Dirt and Debris
Document restoration professionals may remove debris from damaged documents using specialized equipment. Delicate vacuum attachments and other treatments can be used to clean these materials without causing further damage. Depending on the cause of damage, original documents may or may not be salvageable. It may be preferable to make a copy or obtain a new original.
3. Prevent Mold Growth
Mold growth starts when spores land on a surface that supplies moisture and nutriment. Cellulose in paper is a primary food source for fungus. For this reason, it is important to quickly dry documents. Documents that have been exposed to contaminated water may need to be copied or replaced in order to reduce mold risks.
These document restoration methods are necessary to eliminate moisture and debris and allow for a document to be restored or dried to the point where photocopying is possible. Experts will factor in the cause of water damage and the condition of materials to determine the best document drying methods. SERVPRO handles damage mitigation and provides specialized restoration services to lower costs and make it possible for claims to be processed more quickly.
What to Know About Water Categories
Water categories include: white, grey and black water
Types of Water Categories
If there's a chance you may face flooding in your local Fleetwood, NY, area, it's important to understand what counts as contaminated water. In many cases water is separated into three separate categories. The type of category the flood-damaged falls into may determine the clean-up processes used. These three categories include
1. White Water
Any clean source of water is considered to belong in the white category. This usually includes drinking water, or water from a supply line to a sink, appliance or shower. In most cases when flooding occurs with a white water source, clean up usually involves drying the area thoroughly and any general repairs.
2. Grey Water
Water in the grey category is usually considered to be a step above contaminated water. This water has been used for general purposes such as cleaning, but does not contain any biological components such as you might find in the sewer. When dealing with grey water you may want to wear appropriate safety gear to avoid skin irritation, but cleanup is fairly straightforward.
3. Black Water
In the event your home is flooded with black water it is best to contact water damage professional to perform any cleanup and sanitation needs. Because this type of water is considered to be contaminated, often from sewer material, appropriate safety and sanitation steps will need to be taken. Your local water restoration professional should have the tools and cleaners necessary to do the job.
When dealing with flood cleanup it's important to know whether the flood water falls into the black, grey or white water category. Anything in the black category is considered to be contaminated water and should be handled carefully. Grey water has been used but does not pose a danger. White water is often considered to have come from a clean source. If you have any question your local water damage professional may be able to help.
The Most Likely Places To Find Mold in Your Home
Mold damage in Mount Vernon, NY
Mold exists everywhere and has been around for millions of years. It has developed the ability to survive in many environments. It also has the ability to travel easily from one spot to another.
What Can You Do to Prevent Mold Growth in Your Home?
- Identify problem areas throughout your home
- Resolve issues that support the growth of new mold
- Complete home maintenance regularly
- Schedule annual mold inspections
Find Trouble Spots
One of the key steps to preventing new mold growth in your home is understanding how to find the main problem areas and then correcting any issues that may exist. Complete a thorough inspection of your home. Did you find any moldy drywall in an unfinished basement? Did you find mold on wood at the base of an old sofa? The most common places to find mold is anywhere with high humidity, a lack of adequate ventilation, and something organic to feed the mold. Unfortunately, just about everything contains organic elements.
The Top Places to Look for Mold in Your Home
- In the shower and around the bathtub
- Under and around the sink and toilet
- Behind drywall and beneath your linoleum
- In the refrigerator and pantry
- In appliances, including washing machines, microwaves, and stoves
- Around windows and doors
- On your mattress
- Through heating vents and air conditioning systems
- Near the fireplace and chimney
- In the soil of indoor plants
After checking through your home, take any necessary steps to remove water, reduce humidity, increase ventilation, and discard damaged belongings. The first time you complete this step, it may take some time and effort. Eventually, however, routine maintenance should be enough to prevent leaks into the attic and basement, avoid drips beneath the refrigerator, and maintain a safely dry atmosphere throughout your home.
The final step in avoiding mold damage is to schedule annual inspections with Mount Vernon, NY, cleaning and remediation professionals. Although mold growth occurs naturally everywhere, you don't have to live with it in your home.
How a Top Restoration Company Helps You Through the Insurance Claims Process
Home damaged by a storm in Elmsmere, NY
Even moderate water damage at your Elmsmere, NY, home can result in costly repairs and restoration. This is why you have insurance. However, if you want the claims process to go quickly and smoothly, it’s important that you have the right storm restoration team on your side. The best companies are fast, helpful, and thorough. Not only does this give you peace of mind that they’ll do the job right, but it also means your insurance coverage will kick in more quickly.
Why the Right Restoration Team is Critical
When bad weather hits and you need storm response to help clean up water from your home, can’t you call just anyone? Your best bet is to call the most qualified, skilled company around. This gets the insurance process into high gear as well. The best restoration teams can do the following:
- Respond to the job and complete it quickly.
- Tackle floods of any size.
- They have the knowledge and ability.
- They have the equipment.
Fast, Efficient Response
When you’ve got flood damage at home, time is of the essence. The longer you wait to clean it up and restore the affected areas, the more extensive the problems will be, and the bigger hassle it will be to work with the insurance. The best flood restoration teams can arrive on scene in a speedy manner and will finish the work as scheduled.
No Size too Large
Storm restoration professionals have the experience you want on your side. The best companies have seen and done it all when it comes to cleaning up after floods and restoring home. Every crew member has received extensive training.
Skills and Tools
With the training and experience comes an impressive skill set. These companies know what it takes to handle your cleanup needs, which will then make it easier to initiate and complete the claims process. You won’t find the highly specialized cleanup equipment on your own either.
Fast storm restoration works hand in hand with a quick insurance claims process. Choose a highly regarded restoration company when you have a flood at home.
The Essentials Of Effective Mold Remediation And Removal
Mold in a Downtown Scardale home.
It is no secret that many individuals are struggling with contamination of mold in home as well as commercial mold damage. The reason for such contamination is through the development of either fungus or mildew on your walls and ceilings. Mold damage associated with mildew or fungus is common because mold thrives in places with moisture issues such as leaking roofs or faulty plumbing lines. Mold damage is very detrimental to the structural integrity and durability of your house. This can cause the house to fall apart and is the reason why mold removal and remediation is essential.
Mold removal differs from remediation in that it involves the physical extraction of parts that have been contaminated by either mildew or fungus. On the other hand, remediation can be described as the process of demolition, sanitization, and removal of damaged features, as well as the implementation of measures to reduce and prevent mold damage.
Mold mitigation is done by controlling the causal factors of fungus and mildew formation so as to reduce any further damage. Mitigation involves the both structural and non-structural procedures that limit the impact of natural and environmental hazards such as mold. The growth of mold is supported by the presence of moisture, availability of time, as well as food, in the form of flooring materials, drywall, plywood, and carpets. By taking away one of these components, you will control or prevent the formation of mold. This is the primary objective of remediation and mitigation.
Steps Taken in Mold Removal and Remediation
The basic principles of remediation are founded on ensuring safety and contamination control through proper mold damage assessment, as well as the elimination of the water and mold sources. This moisture problem leads the development of a strong smelly odor, which is an indicator of mold contamination. For mold in home and commercial mold damage, it becomes necessary to invoke the use of deodorization techniques.
The purpose of mold removal and mitigation is to return the concentration of mold in home and commercial buildings to safe, natural levels. To address the smelly odor, the water source must first be handled in the process of mold removal. It is important to enlist the services of a professional, who will follow the steps below:
- Learn about the moisture problem
It is important to understand that the contamination is caused by a water source issue. This means that while mold grows visibly on the outer part of your walls, it is also growing inside the support structure of your home. Having adequate knowledge of the source will allow your warranty representative to locate mold growing visibly and invisibly. This is important in assessing commercial mold damage due to the exponential size of such buildings.
- Create an actionable plan
By documenting the progress of contamination, it becomes easier to come up with a plan to manage mold in home. The professional supervisor enlisted should be able to give you regularly updated plans that outline the project duration, environmental testing, and if temporary relocation is necessary.
- Evaluate the extent of mold contamination
It is fundamental to note that mold damage occurs both where you can see and where you cannot. Therefore, by calculating the level of contamination, the warranty supervisor will be able to determine how to approach the cleanup exercise. In the case of a smelly odor, they will also provide the most appropriate deodorization method.
- Actual removal process
The process of removing mold in home involves clearing the existing contamination without causing more harm to the homeowner or other specialists. It involves:
- Isolating the contaminated region with plastic sheets to avoid dust accumulation.
- Fixing the water source so as to prevent mold reformation.
- Removal of all wet objects, as well as those damaged by the contamination. They are then double-packed in plastic bags for disposal by the professionals.
- Cleaning of all non-porous surfaces that experienced mold growth.
- Air scrubbing using a HEPA vacuum to boost deodorization.
The process should strictly follow the guidelines of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Mold in home brings about a smelly odor, health issues, as well as structural damage. Although the smell can be cleared by deodorization, the commercial mold damage may be irreversible. However, in most cases, demolition is not the only option, as more efficient solution techniques can be used. It is advisable to enlist the help of a professional who will follow EPA standards, and carry out a post-cleaning assessment to determine if the process was successful.