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Commercial Water Restoration Repair

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

Residential water damage can be costly for any homeowner. Yet commercial water damage restoration can cost companies even more.Water damage can cause extensive damage to any size property. Commercial property is generally a larger area than residential properties, thus causing more damage in the same amount of time.

Whether it is roof leaks, flooding or natural disasters, you need to make sure you act quickly when your property has become damaged by water. Commercial water damage restoration is a large feat to tackle and needs to be handled by a professional restoration service.

Commercial Water Damage Repair

There are many steps that need to be taken when dealing with commercial water damage restoration. Companies can choose to use different techniques when cleaning and restoring.
-Water mitigation is the first step. You must clear out all standing water before you proceed to any restoration.
– De-humidification and moisture control helps with the buildings moisture levels. Your space will never dry out unless it is ventilated properly.
-Temporary air conditioners and cooling towers can be added as well. These machines will control temperatures and climate within your building. This will prevent mold and mildew from forming in and on porous materials.
-Odor control will be taken into account when dealing with commercial water damage restoration as well. If mold and mildew has started to form, it will take a professional to preform the cleaning process to eliminate odors and toxic smells.
-Temporary roofing can be a possibility when it comes to weather related damage.
-Board ups are essential to keep further damage from happening to your building. This allows damaged walls and windows to temporarily be fixed so the cleaning and restoration process starts quickly.

Many restoration companies will work with your insurance company to lessen the stress during the restoration process. The cleaning process can last anywhere from a week to many months depending on the amount of damage. Restoration companies like SERVPRO of Upper East Side will make sure your property is handled in a timely manner. The faster the water is extracted and cleaned, the less money you will spend while saving time. Like stated before, mold and mildew can start to grow if not dealt with quickly. Make sure to find a company that can handle all your commercial water damage needs.

Health Hazards

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

Many floods and sewage backup can contain many deadly bacteria’s and just the slightest skin contact can leave a person seriously ill. A certified water damage restoration service not only has the tools to eliminate the moisture, they also have the right knowledge to get your commercial building back up and running again and giving your employees a safe environment to work in the New York Metropolitan area.

The amount of damaged water can cause can happen is astounding, and often times it is underestimated by us commercial owners. Excess moisture is already bad enough, but when your commercial building is flooded or hit with a burst pipe, the situation can get out of hand way too fast. This is one of many reasons why these accidents are by far the most expensive problems a commercial owner can face. Contaminated water does not only create structural problems to your building, it can leave serious threats behind after it has been removed from your property.

4 Critical Steps in Preventing Commercial Water Damage

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial 4 Critical Steps in Preventing Commercial Water Damage Take the necessary steps to be prepared for any disaster that may occur to your business. Always have a Plan B ready to go.

We’ve all been asked the question, “In a fire, what would you grab first?” For a homeowner, that’s an easy answer. Most of us would choose precious keepsakes, photos, and a few prized possessions. However, when disaster comes knocking on the door of a business, there can be dozens of critical documents, files, records, and technical equipment that are indispensable in the smooth flow of business operations.

1. Do your Research

Some municipalities have information on certain flood and sewer back-up prevention programs that are tax deductible for business owners.

2. Conduct Regular Inspections

The components of a commercial building are diverse and complex. Unlike residential property, commercial buildings tend to have major external HVAC components, roofs decorated with an array of pipes and fans, and large utility rooms. This equipment can be intimidating for many. The best way to keep the harrowing weather outside is to hire a professional to conduct frequent and thorough inspections. Although the building may be in great condition four times out of five, the occasional adjustment or repair can save hundreds in water damage restoration costs.

3. Locate shut-off valves

Without peeking at an emergency plan, our team members in the building able to identify where major water shut-off valves are? If they aren’t easily accessible, does every employee know who in the building to contact in case of an unexpected water
overflow or pipe burst? In a high-stress situation, most individuals are only able to recall previously learned information rather than think on their feet. A few minutes to locate shut-off valves will ensure proper performance when it counts. If you don’t have an Emergency Ready Plan for your business, reach out to one of SERVPRO service members to help you set one up for you free of charge. You’ll never know when a disaster might strike. Call SERVPRO of Upper East Side 917-924-2260 and ask for Chris Garcia.

4. Keep Valuable Stock Secure

Even with intensive preparation, water doesn’t pick favorites. Naturally, the last items you want to jeopardize are your business’s critical documents, paperwork, and brainstormed plans. This can be as extensive as purchasing a company safe or as simple as obtaining waterproof file cabinet that sits a few feet above the ground.

Residential vs Commercial Water Damage

10/4/2018 (Permalink)

The big difference between homes and businesses is the type of carpet that gets wet. Residential Water Damages usually have carpet over padding. Not only is the carpet water damaged, but the padding is soaked in many cases or at least wet. The usual process is to remove the carpet from the floor and remove the padding. Then remove the tack strip that holds the carpet down. Many homeowners forget to remove the tack strip and when they add a carpet fan to dry the carpet, the tack strip can actually rip a hole in the carpet as the carpet is flapping up and down.

Commercial buildings usually have wet carpet that is glued to the floor which means there is no padding. Although that is good in one way, it creates another issue. The other issue is getting the bottom of the carpet that is glued to the floor to dry.

Most carpet cleaners and cleaning janitorial companies use an air mover that blows on the carpet to dry the carpet. The problem is that the air mover also known as a carpet fan only dries the surface of the carpet. The problem becomes bigger because unknown to the property manager, carpet cleaner, and janitorial service the bottom of the carpet is wet. The moisture underneath the carpet (remember that the carpet is glued to the floor and no one can feel underneath the carpet) will be a feeding ground for mold and bacteria. Building management professionals will know it's a problem a few days later as they smell a foul odor. That odor is the growth of bacteria and mold growing.

Unless you have a moisture meter to determine if the carpet is wet underneath, you have to assume that the carpet is dry by feeling the surface of the carpet. As we have just learned, that becomes a liability and opportunity for tenants and employees to complain and possibly bring legal action.

Drying underneath the carpet and preventing mold damage and bacteria growth is actually very easy. Remember that mold normally (but not always) takes 36 to 72 hours to start to grow. There are molds that grow faster, but this an average time period for most molds. This information tells us that we have some time to work fast to prevent an issue. Please also remember that this process can be used by untrained and uncertified employees for wet carpet areas less than a 3 feet x 3 feet. Any wet carpet areas more than this will need a IICRC certified professional.

First take the same air mover that you used to dry the wet area and actually keep the air mover on for another 24 hours after the carpet feels dry. You will need to purchase a moisture meter that will test the bottom of the carpet After 24 hours the carpet should read dry, but if not let it run another 24 hours. The reason you can dry underneath the carpet without taking the carpet up, is because through osmosis, drying the surface of the carpet will " suck " the moisture from the bottom of the carpet to the top. Removing the moisture will reduce the possibility of mold and bacteria growth.

There are more differences between drying a water damage in a home and in a commercial building such as fire walls, computer systems, complicated furniture.

Hospitals and pharmaceutical companies and other sensitive manufacturing companies have compounded issues. Because of concerns of dust and mold these issues may interfere with patients' health and manufacturing processes.

The bottom line is to be careful when hiring a water damage restoration clean up company. It's best for commercial property management to start searching now and creating emergency plans to make sure they have all needs covered. Planning your water damage recovery when the pipes burst is not the best way.

The difference between flash flood watch and a warning

9/24/2018 (Permalink)

What's the Difference Between a Flash Flood Watch and Warning?

Tornadoes, lightning, hurricanes — all forms of severe weather can be deadly if proper safety precautions aren't taken. Flash floods are particularly threatening, and besides heat-related deaths, they cause more fatalities each year than any other climate hazard.

If you live in a region where flash floods are common, stay safe by learning the difference between a flood watch and warning, as well as what to do when a flash flood is likely to occur.

It's a Matter of Degrees, but Both Situations are Cause for Concern

It's important to understand the difference between a flash flood warning and flash flood watch. It's also important to know that the definitions of these two alerts differ from the definitions of warnings and watches given for other severe-weather conditions, such as hurricanes. And you definitely shouldn't assume you know the difference between watch and warning just because you're are familiar with winter storms.

Definitions

  • A flash flood watch is issued first. It means that current weather conditions are favorable for flooding. While a watch does not a guarantee that a flash flood will occur, it is a very good indication that your community will experience severe weather.
  • A flash flood warning means a flash flood is either imminent or occurring. In fact, a flash flood can occur so quickly that there isn't time to send out a flood warning alert.

What Should I Do in a Flash Flood?

Most flash-flood fatalities occur because people either underestimate the power of fast-moving water or they are not prepared for an emergency situation. Follow these six tips before and during a flash flood to keep your family safe during severe weather.

  1. Have an emergency plan and kit ready to go. If you're forced to evacuate, you need to know where to go. Learn the highways that are safe to travel during a flood and which roads are likely to collect water. It's good to have an escape plan formed before imminent danger so you can quickly reach safe territory during flood conditions. Also, prepare and store an easily accessible emergency kit, packed with essentials like flashlights and a phone charger for your car.
  2. Stay up to date on weather forecasts. If you have a mobile device, you're likely to receive a Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) during flash-flood conditions. It's still a good idea to be aware of possible of severe weather before these alerts are sent out. The more notice you have, the better prepared you can be for weather hazards.
  3. Don't wait until a warning to take action. As soon as you know a flash flood is likely to occur, take action. Depending on where you live, this might mean evacuating to safer territory – just disconnect utilities and appliances first. It might also mean getting off the road and finding higher ground.
  4. Follow evacuation orders immediately. You don't have to wait for orders to evacuate, but once these orders are given, you should follow them immediately.
  5. Move to the highest point possible and call 911 for help. If it's too late to evacuate your home, move your family to the attic or highest point possible and call 911 for help.
  6. Do not drive or walk near flooded areas. Over half of flood-related deaths occur when people drive their vehicles into flood water. The next highest percentage of drownings are caused when individuals try walking into or near flood waters, according to the Center for Diesease Control and Prevention . It only takes six inches of fast-moving water to knock over most adults and 12 inches of fast-moving water to carry away smaller vehicles. Never try to walk or drive through a flooded area. Turn around – don't drown!

Safety Tips during Thunderstorms

9/22/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Safety Tips during Thunderstorms Always be Safe

How to stay safe indoors during a thunderstorm:

During an electrical storm, avoid:

  • Avoid using a land line phone. Land line-base lightning strikes are the leading cause of indoor lightning injuries in the United States.
  • Avoid having any contact with appliances connected to your plumbing, because it is typically tied to your home's electrical service for grounding.
  • Avoid all contact with you home's plumbing, including the shower, bath, and sinks during an electrical storm.
  • Avoid all windows and doors or standing outside on porches.

How to stay safe outside in a thunderstorm:

  • Find shelter immediately in a substantial and enclosed building or a metal-topped vehicle, convertibles do not provide protection.
  • If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to be struck.
  • Get away from isolated trees.
  • Climb down and away from hilltops and other elevated areas.
  • Stay away from objects and things that conduct electricity such as metal fences, power lines, or phone poles.
  • Never lie flat in a field. You can still be hit through a ground-current strike.

Flood Season Is Here

9/22/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Flood Season Is Here High Tides

Preparing for Floods

Water can be a nightmarish foe. Inside your home, less than one inch of standing water can cause thousands of dollars in damage by destroying wood-products and sheet rock, and providing an environment for mold. Outside in motion, water is incredibly powerful. One cubic yard weighs over 1,700 pounds. A mere 6 inches (that's 31.21 pounds) of water can knock an adult off their feet. Flood waters can plow through earthen dams, pull homes off their foundations and destroy them, sweep cars swiftly downstream, knock out power lines, and contaminate drinking water for weeks. Floods are the number one widespread natural disaster in the US and they often happen due to heavy rain fall from multiple storms or hurricanes.

What is a flash flood?

A flash flood occurs when powerful storms drop several inches of rain in one hour, the ground will not be able to absorb water fast enough. This produces heavy runoff that can quickly flood low-lying areas in less than 6 hours. Just one inch of rain over one acre of land can produce 27,154 gallons. That's over 100 tons of water suddenly on the move, carrying mud, boulders, and other debris. Flash flooding in urbanized and other paved areas can produce extreme flooding quickly, turning highway underpasses, underground parking third highest weather-related killer in the US.

How to keep safe during a flood:

Listen to the news and weather reports. NOAA Weather Radio All Hazards (NWR) broadcasts continuous weather information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office.

Listen for flood watches/warnings in your area. If your home is located in a flood plain or low-lying area prone to flooding, consider packing an emergency supply kit and personal items and evacuating to higher ground.

Protect your possessions and gather records:

  • Copies of insurance policies with you agent's contact information
  • Document and take photos of all household items and valuables.
  • Copies of social security cards, passports, finance records and receipts of major purchases.

If your area is flooding or is flooded, stay out of flood waters as much as possible.

  • Eating or drinking anything contaminated by flood water can cause diarrhoeal disease.
  • Open wounds and rashes exposed to flood waters can become infected.
  • Flood waters can displace animals and reptiles, including dangerous snakes.

How to Deal with a Huge Water Leak.

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

No homeowner wants to deal with a flood in their home, but having a plan of action in place will help take at least a little stress out of the situation.

If you ever experience a major water leak in your home, here are the steps to follow:

1.) Shut Off the Water Source

First and foremost, if you discover a major water leak in your home, you need to stop the flow of water. By doing this immediately, you may be able to prevent more damage from happening to your home. If you can easily identify the leak source and it has a shut off valve available, you may be able to simply turn off the water at that source.

2.) Contact Your Insurance Agent

After you have made sure no more water is getting in to the home, it’s time to call your insurance agent. There is a small chance you won’t want to file a claim for the damage, but that is highly unlikely. If your baseboards or walls have gotten wet, they need to be professionally dried out to prevent mold from growing in your walls, and that process can be thousands of dollars. You may want to describe what you are seeing to your agent and see if she recommends you start the claim process based on your deductible, but most times that answer is going to be a quick yes.

3.) Contact the Restoration Company

As soon as you get off the phone with your insurance agent, call the restoration company. If they are a good company, they should be able to get a team there within a couple hours to start removing water from the home. Mold can start growing very quickly.

4.)  Document the Damage

When the restoration company arrives, they will likely show up with big trucks with lots of hoses and industrial vacuums to remove the water from the tile floors. If you have carpet, they will likely start tearing it out. They will probably start tearing off baseboards and door frames, and depending on how much saturation the water was able to do, they could start removing pieces of drywall and even cabinets.

Does your Homeowner insurance cover water damage?

9/19/2018 (Permalink)

Most homeowners insurance policies help cover water damage if the cause is sudden and accidental. Homeowners insurance may help pay for repairs if, for instance, your drywall is drenched after your water heater ruptures or an upstairs pipe bursts and water saturates the ceiling below.

Depending on what's damaged, two types of coverage within a homeowners insurance policy may apply.

Dwelling Coverage

Dwelling Coverage helps pay for damage to the structure of your home if it's damaged by a covered peril. So, if a pipe suddenly bursts and damages a wall, dwelling coverage may help pay for repairs.

Personal Property Coverage

Personal Property Coverage helps pay for damage to your belongings if they are damaged by a covered risk. So, if a burst pipe results in a drenched computer or bookcase, personal property coverage may help pay to repair or replace the damaged items.

Keep in mind that a deductible will likely apply before your coverage kicks in. Also, coverage limitsmay apply. Read your policy to brush up on how much coverage your polficy provides. Your agent can help you adjust your coverage to fit your needs or answer questions about your policy.

DOES HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COVER WATER DAMAGE FROM LEAKING PLUMBING?

Homeowners insurance may help cover damage caused by leaking plumbing if the leak is sudden and accidental, such as if a washing machine supply hose suddenly breaks or a pipe bursts. However, homeowners insurance does not cover damage resulting from poor maintenance. So, if damage results after you fail to repair a leaky toilet, for example, homeowners insurance likely will not pay for repairs.

WHAT TYPES OF WATER DAMAGE ARE NOT COVERED?

Homeowners insurance does not cover certain types of water damage.

Damage from Unresolved Maintenance Issues

While your homeowners insurance will probably help cover the cost of replacing or repairing a damaged floor if your dishwasher suddenly goes on the fritz, coverage generally will not kick in if the damage results from an unresolved maintenance issue, such as continuous leaking near a faucet or other plumbing fixture.

Replacing or Repairing the Source of the Water Damage

Most homeowners insurance policies will not cover the source of the water damage. So, while your policy may cover the cost of tearing out and replacing that damaged floor, you shouldn't expect it to cover the cost of replacing your broken dishwasher or washing machine.

Water Backup from an Outside Sewer or Drain

You also will not typically be covered by a traditional homeowners policy if water backs into your home through an outside sewer or drain. You may, however, be able to purchase additional sewer or water backup coverage that may help cover damage from that type of event.

Flood

No type of flood damage, no matter the source of the water, is covered by standard homeowners policies. Flooding, for example, can occur from storms, over-saturated ground, overflowing or surging bodies of water such as rivers, ponds, lakes and oceans. You may be able to purchase a separate flood insurance  policy through the National Flood Insurance Program.

While it's important to keep up with home maintenance to help prevent damage from water, it's also a good idea to check with your agent about what is and isn't covered by your homeowners policy. Be sure to ask if there are any additional coverages available that may be appropriate for your home. 

7 Myths about Mold

9/18/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation 7 Myths about Mold Exposing the truth about Mold

7 Mold Myths Exposed

Depending on who you talk to, household mold can be anything from a benign substance you can completely ignore to a super-toxin capable of causing grave harm in microscopic quantities. As with most things, the truth is typically somewhere in the middle. We help you find it below by exposing some common myths about mold as being exactly that.

Myth 1 – Your house can and should be completely free of mold.

False on both counts. Mold spores are part of the natural environment, and are all around us both when we are inside and outside. It would be virtually impossible (and totally unnecessary for most people) to remove every last mold spore from your home. Mold is only an issue when its concentration reaches unhealthy levels, typically as large, visible colonies.

Myth 2 – Mold is harmless.

While you can’t completely remove mold from your home, allowing it to grow unchecked is not a good options either. The health effects of mold are still unclear, and depend a great deal on the person, their immune system, and the amount of exposure. But there’s absolutely no question that mold can and will damage your personal belongings if allowed to grow on them.

Myth 3 – “Black mold” and “toxic mold” are very dangerous.

This is mostly untrue. First, most molds called “black” are really very dark green, and are not the Stachybotrys mold that can be associated with health effects. Second, “toxic mold” is a misnomer often used by the media. Only some mold spores produce toxins and only under certain circumstances. And even if they are producing toxins, it’s unlikely that most people could inhale enough mold in their office or home to get a “toxic” dose.

Myth 4 – Once you’ve killed mold, the removal is optional.

False. The allergens in mold are still present and can become airborne even when mold is dead. After you or a mold remediation specialist has killed mold in your home, it should be fully removed.

Myth 5 – Bleach kills mold.

Blanket statements like this are rarely completely true. Same here. Bleach can kill certain kinds of mold on nonporous surfaces. However, it is unclear if it kills all kinds of mold on every type of surface. In particular, its effectiveness on porous surfaces like wood is still very much in question.

Myth 6 – Mold remediation is something you can easily handle yourself.

Often not true. Mold remediation can be handled for small areas fairly easily. But for a pervasive problem, the help of a professional is highly recommended.

Myth 7 – A small amount of mold generally doesn’t indicate a problem

False. A small amount of mold, especially adjacent to an area you can’t see, can be just the tip of the iceberg. Only a certified mold inspector can tell you for sure the extent of your mold issue.

It Never Hurts to Get Expert Advice

When it comes to mold, in many cases there are enough unknowns about its type, origin, and spread that talking with a Certified Mold Inspector  is always your wisest and safest option. Even if they confirm the problem is small and you can handle it yourself, the added peace of mind can be priceless.

SERVPRO of Upper East Side

917-924-2260