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How To Prepare Your Home for a Blizzard

12/13/2022 (Permalink)

Phrase Be Prepared, background of snow falling Be prepared to face a blizzard at any time of year.

Prepare Your Home for a Blizzard

If you live in a region that sees blizzards, then you know how nerve-wracking it can be to be caught unprepared. Blizzards are powerful storms with high winds and heavy snowfall — and they can happen quickly. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to prepare your home for a blizzard.

Take some simple steps to prepare before a blizzard happens.

  • Keep a list of emergency numbers handy.
  • Have a plan in case you are stranded.
  • Have a first aid kit on hand.
  • Have enough food and water for your family.
  • Stock up on flashlights and batteries, as well as blankets and sleeping bags to stay warm.

Keep Snow Removal Equipment Accessible

Keeping your snow removal equipment at the ready is one of the most important steps you can take to prepare for a blizzard. Snow shovels, snowblowers and snow brushes should be stored in an easily accessible spot. 

Inspect Your Fireplace and Chimney

One of the most important steps you can take to prepare your home for a blizzard is to make sure that your fireplace and chimney are in good working order. The following are some tips for ensuring that your fireplace and chimney are ready for the storm:

  • Inspect the fireplace and make sure it is clean. Remove any debris from inside of it, as well as from its surrounding areas.
  • Check the flue to see if it has any cracks or holes, which will allow cold air to seep in during a blizzard. If there are cracks or holes in the flue, they should be repaired immediately with duct tape or caulk before bad weather hits so as not to cause carbon monoxide poisoning during an emergency.
  • Make sure all electrical appliances are turned off before attempting any repairs on gas-powered heaters or fireplaces (as these can become extremely dangerous when operated improperly). 

Stock Up on Food, Water, and Supplies

The first step to blizzard preparation is to stock up on food and water. This is especially important if your family does not have any way of getting access to supplies for several days. If you live off the grid or in an area where power may be cut off, be sure to keep plenty of non-perishable foods around. You will also want ample bottled water, both for drinking and sanitation purposes; plan for one gallon per person per day.

In addition, it is wise to have emergency supplies on hand such as batteries (for flashlights), first aid kits, matches/lighters in case there's no electricity or gas running in your house once the storm hits (which could mean no hot showers). Having these basics covered means nothing can stop you from getting through this thing safely!

Protect Your Pets

You'll want to make sure your pet has a warm place to stay, as well as enough food and water. If you need to evacuate, don't forget your pets! Keep an eye on their surroundings for any signs of danger (such as downed power lines or blocked roads) so that they can be kept safe in the event of a storm.

Make sure that you have a collar with identification tags on it—this is especially important if there's ever an emergency where they could get lost, such as during heavy snowfall or flooding when visibility is poor.

If possible, keep your dog on his leash whenever he's outside playing so that he doesn't cause damage or harm others around him if he gets too excited by all the fun things happening around him (like kids snowball fights).

Check Your Car’s Emergency Kit

It’s also wise to make sure your car’s emergency kit is in good condition and ready for use. At least once a year, take all the items out of your trunk and check them off against a list of what should be inside. If any are missing, add more of those items to next year's shopping list. The same goes for clothes and blankets you keep in there: make sure they're clean and not ripped or damaged in any way. And when it comes time to use these supplies in an emergency, don't forget that you can also use them for warmth (especially if you're stuck indoors).

If the worst happens and roads are blocked by snow or ice, don't expect help anytime soon! Do what you can by shoveling roadways around your home so that emergency vehicles have better access — not just because they might save lives but also because they'll give back some sense of normalcy during uncertain times like these!

You should be prepared to face a blizzard at any time of year. Even if you don’t live in an area that gets a lot of snow, there are still other types of extreme weather that could affect your home and its surroundings. The best way to prepare for any potential emergency is by taking the time now to get ready. You never know when disaster might strike, so it’s better safe than sorry!

What Is Secondary Damage and What Types of It Exist?

11/8/2022 (Permalink)

Mold growth on a wall due to humidity Water damage can lead to mold growth

What is Secondary Damage and What Types of it Exist?

When your home has been damaged by a natural disaster, the last thing you want to deal with is secondary damage. Secondary damage refers to structural damage that occurs when the primary damage remains unaddressed. There are two types of secondary damages: biological and mechanical. Biological refers to mold and mildew growth, while mechanical refers to rusting, corrosion, and warping. Some secondary damage has to be dealt with right away, while others are more manageable. If you don't handle this type of damage properly, it could lead to more serious issues down the road like premature structural failure or even structural collapse! If you're wondering how we can help repair your home after an unexpected incident occurs: our team of experts at SERVPRO of Ozone Park/Jamaica Bay will get started on making sure your property is safe again as soon as possible!

What Is Secondary Damage?

Secondary damage is damage that occurs after the primary damage. For example, if a flood or fire cause damages to your home, it will most likely be necessary to replace or try and salvage water-damaged items.

When secondary damage occurs, it's best to call in professionals who can help assess the situation and determine how much of the initial problem they can repair themselves before calling in a restoration company.

Types of Secondary Damage

Secondary damage can be either biological or mechanical, with the former including mold and mildew growth, and the latter including rusting, corrosion, and warping.

For example: if you don’t get your car into a shop right away after you notice an oil leak, it will only worsen and become more expensive to fix later. 

Secondary Damage Refers to Structural Damage That Occurs When the Primary Damage Remains Unaddressed

This can happen with or without the presence of a disaster if the primary issue is not addressed. Secondary damages are often caused by natural disasters, but they can also be caused by non-disaster factors, like neglecting maintenance on your home or leaving a broken window open during a storm.

When should you call a restoration company? If you notice any of the following signs, it's time to call in an expert:

  • Your home or building has suffered water damage from flooding or other sources that shouldn't have happened
  • The odor of mould is present in your home (if left untreated)

If you suspect that your home has been affected by secondary damage, immediately contact us. We will come out to your home in Ozone Park, NY and assess the damage. We will provide a free estimate, and we can work with you to get your home back to normal as quickly as possible.

Our team is on standby 24/7. We can help you with any secondary damage your property may be facing. Don’t hesitate to call us at (347) 233- 2305 for an estimate and more information about our services!

What Does Commercial Property Insurance Policy Cover?

10/12/2022 (Permalink)

Man holding an insurance form with a pen on the other hand The commercial property insurance policy covers fire damage to the building and its contents.

There are few things more devastating to a business owner than a fire that rips through the property. Not only are you dealing with the loss of your items, but you’re also out of business until everything is restored. If this is the situation you find yourself in, it’s important that you contact a fire damage restoration service as soon as possible.

What Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover?

The commercial property insurance policy covers fire damage to the building and its contents. It also covers water damage, theft, vandalism, and malicious mischief.

When you are looking at getting a commercial property insurance policy it is important to get the right coverage for your needs. Some things that you may want to investigate including:

  • Structural coverage - this type of coverage will cover repairs needed due to damage from fire, windstorm or any other covered cause that affects your building structure (exterior walls).
  • Contents coverage - this type of coverage will pay for losses caused by fire or lightning primarily if they occur inside the building but do not affect its structure (interior walls, ceilings etc.)

Learn about your coverage and how you can get the compensation you need to help get your business back on track.

If you have suffered fire damage, the first thing to do is contact your insurance company and ask them to send an adjuster to inspect the damage and give you a claim estimate. If your property is insured, they will assess the fire damage and determine whether it's covered by your policy.

If it turns out that the fire is covered by your policy, you'll need to file a claim with them. You may also have other options for getting compensation for any losses. In addition to filing a claim with your insurer, you can pursue some other avenues for recovering financial losses from fires:

  • Insurance Adjusters - An insurance adjuster works for insurance companies whose job is often similar but not exactly identical as those belonging within law firms' tort departments.

There are few things more devastating to a business owner than a fire that rips through the property. 

If you own a commercial property, it’s important to understand the coverage that your insurance policy offers. We all know what fire can do to a property and business, but few realize how much of an impact this type of damage has on the owner’s wallet.

Here are some things to consider if you find yourself in this situation.

If this is the situation you find yourself in, it’s important that you contact a fire damage restoration service as soon as possible. You will need to have an estimate of the damage done to your property, and if possible, get some input from an insurance agent on how much they think they can cover.

In addition to making sure that your business can continue operations after a fire has damaged its office space, you also need to make sure that any data stored on computers or other electronic devices is backed up so it can be restored once repairs are completed. If it seems like things are going well and repairs are progressing smoothly, take time out of your busy schedule for some much-needed rest and relaxation—you deserve it!

Will Your Insurance Pay for Fire Damage?

Fire damage is one of the most common causes of property damage. If you're looking to make sure your commercial property insurance policy covers fire damage, it's important to remember that not all policies will cover this. Some insurance companies will pay for fire-related damages, while others won't.

If your insurance does cover fire damage, it's worth checking with your insurance company to see exactly what they'll pay for. An insurance company will often cover the cost of repairs after a fire breaks out at your business—but not necessarily loss of business or income during that time period as well. It's also important to understand whether any pre-existing conditions will affect their coverage: if there were preexisting issues with electrical wiring in your building before the fire started, some policies may exclude those types of damages from coverage (even though they were caused by an external force).

If you are looking for the right commercial property insurance to cover your business, call us today. We can help you find an option that works best for your needs and budget.

3 Common Causes of Basement Floods

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Completely flooded basement A basement flood is a destructive and stressful situation

Steps To Protect Your Home From a Basement Flood

A basement flood is a destructive and stressful situation that homeowners in Jamaica Bay, NY want to avoid. Prevention is key, and there are ways you can protect your home if you are familiar with the causes of water leaks. Here are the most common causes and steps you can take to protect your home.

1. Improper Storm Drainage
When water builds up on the roof or landscape near your home, it will make its way to the lowest point. This is often the basement or crawl space. To prevent water damage, ensure that you clear the gutters of leaves and debris seasonally. Check that the downspouts are aimed away from the house so that water has a clear path to drain into the landscape. If your home sits on a slope, make sure that the ground is properly graded so that water cannot collect and leak into the foundation.

2. Inadequate Sealing
Another common cause of a basement flood is inadequate sealing of the floors and walls. If you notice any damp areas where moisture or mold is present, it’s possible that the area needs to be assessed by a mold remediation specialist before it is professionally resealed. Mold can cause serious damage to the materials of your home, and if left untreated will continue to spread as long as moisture is present.

3. Damaged Outdoor Systems
Leakage from the underground water systems around your home are another way your house can be flooded. Sprinkler systems and piping that carries water into city storm drains are vulnerable to damage from age and weather. If you find a leak that doesn't seem to originate from inside your home, an external system may be the culprit.
Knowing the main causes of a basement flood can help you notice issues before they becomes a bigger problem. If you’re unsure about anything you see, it’s best to call a professional to get an assessment to ensure the proper repairs are made.

Three Ways to Prevent Bathroom Mold Growth

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Shower of a bathroom with the phrase REMEMBER Remember to turn on ventilation fans in bathrooms while showering to lessen mold growth

How To Prevent Mold Build Up

Few things are more discouraging to new homeowners than finding an established colony of mold. Since mold often thrives where an accumulation of moisture has occurred, you should always avoid water damage at all costs. Since bathrooms are especially likely to hold moisture, there are a few things you can do to prevent mold buildup from setting in.

1. Always Run the Fan After a Shower
Most bathrooms have built-in fans for a reason. By airing out your space, fans evaporate water and dry wet surfaces. This creates an environment that is hostile to the development of mold colonies. Make sure that you are aware of any moisture that may have spilled on the floor or collected in low areas. Mold growth is especially likely on porous surfaces, such as drywall or wood.

2. Move Objects Frequently and Dry Surfaces
Cracks in flooring and drywall aren't the only places moisture can accumulate. When objects, such as shampoo bottles, or cosmetic products are left standing for long periods, moisture trapped underneath them can cause water damage. This is especially likely in cabinets where objects are often left for long periods of time. Always move objects in your bathroom and dry the surfaces underneath them.

3. Clean With Bleach, Detergent, and Sealer
A common way for moisture to infiltrate your bathroom walls is through crumbling grout. For complete bathroom mold prevention, squeegee your shower walls dry before carefully patching cracked grout. Because bleach is an effective fungicide, you can remove existing patches of mold by scrubbing them with bleach or a detergent containing bleach. Always cover your face when doing this, and be sure to treat all of the surfaces you are concerned about.
If you have had water damage in your Queens, NY, home that has resulted in a mold infestation, contact a mold remediation expert who can provide you with the proper materials and experience to handle your problem. An intensive cleanup can be tricky, so you should leave larger infestations to the experts.

Tips for Making Your Dryer Fire Safe

8/27/2022 (Permalink)

Horizontal photo of female hand pulling thread out of dirty air filter from vending machine. Prevent a dryer fire in your home

You can bet that any appliance in your home in Whitestone, NY, has been implicated in a home fire at one time or another. Your clothes dryer is no exception. That is because the dryer works by heating up either through an electrical or gas connection. The warmth you feel when retrieving the clothes from the dryer is evidence of enough heat to cause a lint fire. Therefore, it makes sense to treat your dryer accordingly. This means making sure it is well maintained and that the buildup of lint is cleared out from time to time. This will reduce the chances of a dryer fire, and it will probably improve the performance of your appliance.

Steps for Removing Lint

The process begins with a thorough cleaning of the lint screen. This takes six simple steps and will lessen your chances of a lint fire:

  • Locate the screen
  • Pull it out
  • Remove lint by hand
  • Wash the screen
  • Vacuum out the vent
  • Replace

The exhaust hose is also an area where you might see lint buildup. This should be cleaned, too, by removing the hose and shaking out the lint or using a brush. Finally, you should take a look at where the dryer vents out of your home. Any lint in this area should be removed by hand or by a vacuum. Whenever you have service on your dryer, you can also ask the service person if they can look out for lint buildup.

Steps for Dealing With a Lint Fire
If a fire does break out, you will probably need help dealing with fire damage. This requires a high level of training and experience to rid a home of the effects of smoke, soot, water and flames. A professional fire remediation franchise has seen it all. The technicians will employ a variety of cleaning methods and restoration principles to get your home in good shape. By keeping your dryer in good shape, though, you limit the chances of a home fire.

5 Ways to Prepare Your Business to Face a Storm

7/29/2022 (Permalink)

Portable generator Install a backup generator to supply your building with power.

Keep Your Property, Business And Employees Safe In The Event Of A Severe Storm

Protecting your commercial building in Queens, NY, is an important part of being a business owner. Disasters, such as severe weather, excess flood water and unwanted mold growth, can strike at any time. The following tactics can help you keep your property, your business and your employees safe in the event of a severe storm.

1. Subscribe to an Emergency Alert System.
Subscribing to a credible emergency alert system can help you stay up to date on severe weather activity. Pay attention to what the authorities have to tell you and make sure to follow their directions if they instruct you to evacuate.

2. Create and Practice Your Storm Evacuation Plan.
Meet with your employees to draft and discuss potential evacuation plans. Once you create an effective strategy, you need to make sure to regularly practice emergency protocol with all of your employees. This can help eliminate accidents and unnecessary panic if flood water does sweep through your building.

3. Protect Important Documents.
A flooded building can put both physical and electronic documents in peril. Seal physical documents in waterproof containers and place them on elevated shelves that are at least one foot above the projected flood level. You can protect electronic documents from water damage by making multiple backup copies and storing them in the Cloud.

4. Trim Overgrown Trees and Shrubbery.
Overgrown tree branches can quickly become dangerous projectiles in the event of a storm. Make sure to regularly trim back any plant growth that could potentially inflict storm damage on your building's roof or windows.

5. Invest in a Backup Power Supply.
If the flood isn't severe enough to warrant an evacuation, you want to make sure that your employees can continue to conduct business. Install a backup generator to supply your building with power and reduce the amount of lost income.
The above precautionary measures can help you protect your property, business and employees from damage caused by severe storms and rising floodwater. If your building has fallen victim to flooding or storm damage, make sure to contact storm remediation professionals as soon as you can.

What Personal Protective Equipment Should Your Remediation Crew Use?

7/24/2022 (Permalink)

A professional disinfector in overalls processes the walls from mold Mold remediation in Rosedale, NY

What Personal Protective Equipment Should Your Remediation Crew Use?

Mold spores are a commercial hazard. They spread quickly, creating growths throughout a building. When that happens, operations must cease, halting revenue. Stopping the reproduction, then, should be a commercial owner's top priority. A mold remediation company in Rosedale, NY, tends to the matter, removing contamination and sanitizing the space. To avoid breathing in the spores or moving them into other areas, the crew should protect themselves by wearing appropriate safety gear. Expect the staff to use the following four pieces of equipment.

1. Face Mask
During cleanup procedures, the crewmen may have to tear out structural pieces. When this happens, the spores can enter the air. Workers should wear a respirator mask that filters out the mold particles. Typically an N99 mask suffices.

2. Shoe Covers
Don't permit microbes to move from room to room. Organisms can be transported by foot traffic; therefore, to control the situation, employees should wear disposable shoe covers. When they walk around the working zone, they can do as they wish. Before leaving, the booties should be removed and disposed of within a trash receptacle. 

3. Removable Clothing
Fungal spores cling to cloth. If staff arrive in their daily attire and then begin to renovate, they'll pick up fungus and possibly move it elsewhere. Avoid additional mold growth by encouraging others to use work suits. These should be taken off immediately upon exiting the facility. If, for some reason, someone enters in their regular outfit, encourage them to not sit on anything. The exposed items should be washed in hot water with soap.

4. Goggles
Drywall and flooring are likely to be torn out. They're often fraught with infestation. During the process, debris can fly up. Goggles block obstructions from entering the eye and hurting vision. 
Limit trouble by encouraging others to protect themselves and the premises. Proper materials should be used throughout the duration of the project.

4 Steps To Make a Water Damage Claim

7/13/2022 (Permalink)

Floor mats on wooden flooring Water damage cleanup in a home in Jamaica, NY.

Make a Water Damage Claim in Four Easy Steps

A water damage claim is more likely to be approved if a policyholder takes measures to document damage and gather important information. These four steps will guide a homeowner through the process of filing an insurance claim.

1. Review the Policy

It is important to know what a homeowner's insurance policy does and does not cover. Keep in mind that standard home insurance policies only cover water damage due to a pipe burst or leak. An endorsement is usually necessary for sewer backup coverage, and an additional flood policy is needed for damage caused by heavy rains or rising bodies of water.

2. Call Your Agent

Call your insurance agent and let them know about the extent of the damage. It is a good idea to determine whether it is likely that you will file a claim before calling. If the damage is minor and you want to avoid a rate increase, you may want to obtain an estimate from a mitigation service first and pay out of pocket. Some insurance companies require agents and adjusters to report potential claims.

3. Document the Damage

If you plan to file an insurance claim, you will need proof of damage. Capture the extent of the damage in photos or on video. This documentation may be even more useful if you also have dated footage of the residence before the damage took place. It is also useful to gather receipts, dates of purchase, and the prices of damaged contents.

4. Get an Estimate

Contact a water damage cleanup company to obtain an estimate of the total cost of mitigation and restoration. Providing this information to an adjuster can expedite the filing process.

These steps will guide you from determining what your policy will cover to filing an insurance claim. Obtain an estimate from a water damage mitigation and restoration company in Jamaica, NY.

Why Is Flood Water Called Black Water?

6/25/2022 (Permalink)

Floodwaters reaches drywall. Flood cuts performed on drywall A flood in your home can result in Category 3 water damage.

Black water is a term used to refer to Category 3 water damage. This grossly contaminated water may contain solid waste and other harmful substances. Learn more about Category 3 water and why flood damage calls for cleaning and disinfecting.

Categories of Water Contamination

Restoration professionals classify damage involving water into three categories. The scale ranges from clean water to highly contaminated water:

• Category 1 water is clean and treated.
• Category 2 water, or gray water, is contaminated but does not contain solid waste.
• Category 3 water, or black water, is highly contaminated and may contain solid waste.

The most common cause of Category 1 damage is a supply line break. Category 2 water often originates from an appliance or shower overflow. A flood or sewer backup can result in Category 3 water damage.

Contaminants in Category 3 Water

Category 3 water may originate from heavy rains, rising bodies of surface water or overflowing sewer mains. Water from any of these sources is exposed to many contaminants:

  • Chemicals
  • Heavy metals
  • Pathogens

Damage restoration experts recommend wearing personal protective equipment, such as waterproof boots, gloves and even hip waders, when cleaning up this type of damage.

Risks Associated With Contaminated Water

Contaminated water has all of the contents necessary for microbes and fungi to thrive. Standing water can lead to mold growth within 24 to 48 hours. Homeowners should document damage and extract standing water as soon as possible to limit risks of infection and mold.

A homeowner dealing with Category 3 water damage should consider seeking professional assistance. Within hours or days, damage mitigation and restoration experts can eliminate standing water and clean and disinfect the affected portions of a residence in Ozone Park, NY. These specialists can also recommend whether to clean porous building materials and contents or to throw them away to reduce the risk of recontamination.