Property Damage & Disaster Restoration Blog: Long Island & New York City

Ice Dams and Your Home

Posted on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 @ 10:19 AM

Whenever there is snow, you are likely to have troublesome ice dams to follow. Ice dams can cause major water damage and flooding to your home, which requires immediate attention.

 

ice dams


 

 

As winter advances through cycles of freezing and thawing, buildings and homes experience ice buildup and roof damage. In general, ice dams are formed when attic heat moves up to warm the roof and melts snow at or near the ridge. Snow melts, runs downward and hits the edge of the cold roof, resulting in re-freezing snow.  These cycles cause ice to accumulate and back up under shingles. Damage appears in the form of soaked insulation, stained, cracked and damaged sheet rock, damp, smelly, rotting wall cavities and stained, blistered and peeling paint.

Preventing Ice Dams
To prevent an ice dam, don't heat the roof, keep it cold. That way, the snow on the roof eventually dissipates without making large amounts of meltwater. The underside of the roof deck should not exceed 30 F. The best way to maintain low temperatures is by ensuring that there is adequate insulation and sealing gaps that let warm air pass into the attic from the house. The attic must also be ventilated, so that cold air is introduced into it and heated air escapes rapidly.  InsulationIncreased insulation in an attic will help to prevent ice dams. First, insulate the areas between the roof rafters. It is important to keep an air space between the roof deck and the insulation in order to prevent a condensation buildup that can delaminate the roof deck. Prior to insulating, install polystyrene rafter air channels, which are available at home centers.  If there's a hatchway into the attic, build a cover for it out of rigid poly-styrene insulation.

If the gable and ridge vents do not generate sufficient air movement to dissipate the heat, you will need a motorized vent at one end of the attic to exhaust the heat, and an adequately sized vent on the opposite end of the attic to draw in cold air from the outside.

Ice Dam Inspection
Check your home carefully when ice dams form. Investigate even when there doesn't appear to be a leak. Look at the underside of the roof sheathing and roof trim to make sure they haven't gotten wet. Check the insulation for dampness. And when leaks inside your home develop, be prepared. Water penetration often follows pathways difficult follow.  Don't just patch the roof leak. Make sure that the roof sheathing hasn't rotted or that other less obvious problems in your ceiling or walls haven't developed. Detail a comprehensive plan to fix the damage and more importantly, solve the problem.

Frozen Pipes?

frozen pipes

 

Tags: preventing frozen pipes, ny water damage company, restoration companies, flooding, nassau county restoration, demolition waste, winter storm, ice damage, cold winter, advanced restoration, restoration, emergency service, disrepair, flood damage, flood, home repair, moisture, ice storm

Why Hire a Property Damage/Disaster Restoration Company?

Posted on Tue, Jan 19, 2010 @ 12:01 PM
Fire & Water Damage Restoration 

fire, smoke, disaster,water damage
If your home or office has experienced fire or water damage, you may want to seek a professional that can help you repair and restore your building.

Natural disasters, such as floods and fires can leave commercial and residential buildings with mold and smoke damage. Both are major contributors to property loss and need to be taken care of in order to save the structural integrity of your house or building.

Water damage can either be immediate, such as flooding, or be more gradual, such as water spots on hardwood floors or even walls. However slow or fast water damage occurs, it is important to remove any carpet, dry the area and hire a professional for removal or extraction in case of mold. Restoration can include everything from inspection of the area to asses where the source is and how much damage has occurred, cleaning and sanitizing the area, and deodorize any smells. All this is done with special equipment.

If you have experienced fire damage that has left smoke stains, ceiling damage, or lots of soot, this too needs to be dealt with by a professional restoration company. Fire damage can be covered by fire insurance, so make sure to check if you can get any financial help to cover losses.

When damage has occurred to your home or office, whether in the basement or on the roof, you need to seek professional help to restore damage and save your property. Damage can easily spread, and if not handled properly can cause worse problems.

What is DKI?
Disaster Kleenup International, Inc.
is a network of the leading, independent property damage restoration contractors across North America. DKI member companies (see www.AdvancedRestoration.com in New York) provide full service to their customers: Emergency response, water damage mitigation, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, returning damaged property to pre-loss condition fast and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to their consumer, insurance, and corporate customers.

Tags: disaster, property damage, fire restoration, ny water damage company, puffbacks, flooding, nassau county restoration, dki, burn hazard, fire prevention, smoke damage, christmas tree fire, advanced restoration, long island water damage, reconstruction, suffolk county restoration, emergency service, disrepair, disaster kleenup international, flood damage, smoke restoration

Do You Know Anyone Looking to Buy or Sell a House?

Posted on Mon, Jan 18, 2010 @ 10:53 AM

Tell them about this most important educational opportunity!
Thursday, January 21st at 7PM...

house

Buying or selling a home can be an intimidating process. Before you make one of the largest financial transactions of your lifetime, attend our free seminar. You will empower yourself with the knowledge and skills you need to make wise decisions - before you begin to shop for a home or place one on the market. The program runs 1½ - 2 hours including questions and answers related to everything you would want to know about buying or selling a house.

Just some of the topics we will discuss:

What you can afford on your present income

Credit scores and optimizing your credit score

The mortgage process

Closing costs

Down payment assistance programs

The tax advantages of owning a home

What a realtor does

Getting the most out of your Realtor

Benefits of working with a Realtor as your Buyer Representative

How to find a home that meets your needs

What title insurance is all about

The important ways a good Real Estate attorney can help you

Critical information to be learned from a thorough home inspection

...and much more!

 For location and more information, please Click Here

 

Tags: Product Information, foreclosure, foreclosures, advanced restoration, restoration, home repair, Announcements, resources, buying a home, selling a home, free real esate seminar

HUD Inspector General Probes Mortgage Companies With Significant Claim Rates

Posted on Fri, Jan 15, 2010 @ 12:12 PM

WASHINGTON - U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Inspector General Kenneth M. Donohue and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Commissioner David H. Stevens announced today an initiative focusing on mortgage companies with significant claim rates against the Federal Housing Administration mortgage insurance program.

HUD Office of Inspector General (OIG) subpoenas were served to the corporate offices of 15 mortgage companies across the country demanding documents and data related to failed loans which resulted in claims paid out by the FHA mortgage insurance fund.

Inspector General Donohue said, "The goal of this initiative is to determine why there is such a high rate of defaults and claims with these companies and whether there is wrongdoing involved. We aren't making any accusations at this time, we have no evidence of wrongdoing, but we will aggressively pursue indicators of fraud. We are members of the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force and today's activities reflect our commitment to seeking information on red flags that may arise from data analysis.

" This initiative was prompted, in part, by the FHA Commissioner, David Stevens, who was alarmed by the incidence of claims against the FHA insurance fund by a number of poor performing companies and reached out to the HUD OIG for assistance.

FHA Commissioner David Stevens said, "We are taking risk management extremely seriously. In addition to the policy changes we are implementing and additional changes we plan to announce later this month, we need to hold FHA lenders accountable for the high rates of defaults and claims against FHA. The Inspector General's initiative will help us determine whether there is fraud and better manage risk in the long run.

" The HUD OIG identified these direct endorsement companies from an analysis of loan data focusing on companies with a significant number of claims, a certain loan underwriting volume, a high ratio of defaults and claims compared to the national average, and claims that occurred earlier in the life of the mortgage. These are key indicators of problems at the origination or underwriting stages. The HUD OIG wants to see why these loans failed.

Some actions available to the HUD OIG are audits, investigations, and inspections and evaluations. In addition, we rely on the support of the Department of Justice (DoJ), and of State and local law enforcement. The DoJ is available to pursue both civil and criminal legal actions against wrongdoers. HUD is available to proceed with administrative sanctions such as suspensions, limited denial of participation, debarment, and civil monetary penalties.

The probe will be conducted by the HUD OIG's Audit and Investigation staff jointly. They will assess why these companies have high default rates, especially at this unprecedented time when the FHA mortgage insurance program represents such a significant percentage of mortgages currently in force in our country.

This probe is a new type of approach in which HUD OIG is focused on corporate offices rather than individual branch offices. This is a starting point for more detailed reviews if abuses are uncovered, and the HUD OIG anticipates that more probes may follow.

"The FHA market share has skyrocketed," Inspector General Donohue further said. "Our job is oversight. We work for the American taxpayer. Each loan on this list will be thoroughly examined and we will track down the reasons why it failed. Once we determine the causes, we will look to see whether there is a need for further review or remedial action. We want to send a message to the industry that as the mortgage landscape has shifted we are watching very carefully and that we are poised to take action against bad performers."

    The following companies were served OIG subpoenas today:

    First Tennessee Bank N.A., Memphis, TN
    Alethes LLC, Lakeway, TX
    Security Atlantic Mortgage Co., Edison, NJ
    Pine State Mortgage Corporation, Atlanta, GA
    Birmingham Bancorp Mortgage Corporation, West Bloomfield, MI
    Alacrity Financial Services, LLC, Southlake, TX
    Assurity Financial Services, LLC, Englewood, CO
    D and R Mortgage Corporation, Farmington, MI
    Webster Bank, Cheshire, CT
    Mac-Clair Mortgage Corporation, Flint, MI
    Americare Investment Group, Inc., Arlington, TX
    1st Advantage Mortgage, Lombard, IL
    American Sterling Bank, Independence, MO
    Sterling National Mortgage Company Inc., Great Neck, NY
    Dell Franklin Financial LLC, Columbia, MD

###

For more information, visit the HUD Website.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General is statutorily authorized to detect and prevent waste, fraud and abuse, and to promote the effectiveness and efficiency of government operations. The Federal Housing Administration provides mortgage insurance on loans by FHA-approved lenders throughout the United States and its territories. The FHA insures mortgages on single family and multifamily homes including manufactured homes and hospitals. It is the largest insurer of mortgages in the world.

Tags: 203(k) loan, property damage, foreclosures, hud loan, advanced restoration, restoration, suffolk county restoration, restoration company, disrepair, home repair, buying a home, refinance, 203k, 203k streamline, rehab, mortgage companies

Town of Babylon - Long Island Green Homes Program

Posted on Thu, Jan 14, 2010 @ 11:44 AM

Town of Babylon's Long Island Green Homes featured on CNN

 

 

Tags: long island green homes, long island, green, town of babylon, advanced restoration, town of babylon long island green homes program

News 12 Go Green with Elizabeth Hashagen

Posted on Thu, Jan 14, 2010 @ 12:09 AM

 
News 12 Go Green with Elizabeth Hashagen

Disaster Kleenup International (DKI) Going Green

Posted on Thu, Jan 07, 2010 @ 02:37 PM

Wood Dale, IL - Disaster Kleenup International (DKI), North America's largest disaster restoration contracting organization, announced today that they are the first organization to have achieved the Green Risk ProfessionalTM designation established by Vale Training Solutions.
dki, disaster kleenup international in ny

DKI made the decision to partner with Vale Training Solutions for Green Risks training in response to the market's demand for green building. DKI is the leading provider of quality emergency and reconstruction services for commercial, residential and insurance clients throughout North America and the curriculum provided in Vale's Green Risks courses has allowed DKI to continue at the forefront of industry trends.

"We have pioneered this movement by being the first and only disaster restoration and reconstruction organization to be green risk certified in building reconstruction and restoration services," said Dale Sailer, president of DKI. "DKI understands that in today's marketplace, individuals and organizations continually strive to do their part in building or creating green environments."

Property owners understand the long term advantages of 'going green' and insurance carriers have responded with green coverage for new environmentally sustainable construction or renovation following a loss.
Jon McCreath, President of Vale Training Solutions, says "As more carriers offer green coverage, independent adjusters, restoration professionals, and engineers must be adequately trained and possess the expertise and professionalism necessary to understand the makeup of green construction and building products, rating systems and insurance coverage."

McCreath continued, "GRPTM adjusters and restoration professionals provide the expertise necessary when buildings are insured with 'upgrade to green' endorsements or where restoration/repairs include green measures to replace damaged traditional products" DKI is the only Green Certified Services Organization that is adequately trained to provide a superior level of knowledge, expertise, professionalism and customer service to property owners, managers, facility directors, and insurers of green buildings. Not only does DKI understand the makeup of green buildings, products used in green buildings, rating systems and insurance coverage as it relates to these elements, but DKI can ensure that if a green building sustains damage, the building will be restored using the most efficient green products in the marketplace.

About DKI
Disaster Kleenup International, Inc., headquartered in suburban Chicago, is the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America. DKI member companies provide full service restoration to their customers: emergency response, water damage mitigation, fire and contents cleaning, mold remediation, complete reconstruction and much more, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. DKI returns damaged property to its pre-loss condition quickly and efficiently, delivering complete satisfaction to our consumer, insurance, and corporate customers. For more information about Disaster Kleenup International, Inc., contact Michele Donahue at (630) 741-7262.  Advanced Restoration Corporation is a DKI Member Company that services the New York Metro area. If you require Emergency Service in New York, please call (800) 693-6263.

Tags: property damage, fire restoration, floods, ny water damage company, puffbacks, restoration companies, water damage, water damage restoration, structural drying, flooding, nassau county restoration, dki, babylon, advanced restoration, advanced restoration corporation, long island water damage, mold remediation, reconstruction, restoration, suffolk county restoration, water extraction, emergency service, homeowner tips, restoration company, disrepair, rebuild, disaster kleenup international

Ice Dams and Protecting Your Home!

Posted on Wed, Jan 06, 2010 @ 08:11 PM
As if we need more snow, another storm is expected on Friday. Whenever there is snow, you are guaranteed to have troublesome ice dams to follow. Ice dams can cause major water damage and flooding to your home, which requires immediate attention.
ice dams, water damage,water extraction
As winter advances through cycles of freezing and thawing, buildings and homes experience ice buildup and roof damage. In general, ice dams are formed when attic heat moves up to warm the roof and melts snow at or near the ridge. Snow melts, runs downward and hits the edge of the cold roof, resulting in re-freezing snow. These cycles cause ice to accumulate and back up under shingles. Damage appears in the form of soaked insulation, stained, cracked and damaged sheet rock, damp, smelly, rotting wall cavities and stained, blistered and peeling paint.

Preventing Ice Dams
To prevent an ice dam, don't heat the roof, keep it cold. That way, the snow on the roof eventually dissipates without making large amounts of meltwater. The underside of the roof deck should not exceed 30 F. The best way to maintain low temperatures is by ensuring that there is adequate insulation and sealing gaps that let warm air pass into the attic from the house. The attic must also be ventilated, so that cold air is introduced into it and heated air escapes rapidly. Some remodeling contractors are under the impression that heat passing through the attic helps prevent ice dams, when just the opposite is true. Although excess heat moving from the attic through the roof rapidly melts snow, once the meltwater touches the cold eaves, it quickly freezes and forms an ice dam.

If you have a furnace in the attic, it may not be possible to prevent ice dams. Increased insulation, however, should help. First, insulate the areas between the roof rafters. It is important to keep an air space between the roof deck and the insulation in order to prevent a condensation buildup that can delaminate the roof deck. Prior to insulating, install polystyrene rafter air channels, which are available at home centers. Next, lay insulation blankets over the furnace's heating ducts to help reduce the heat buildup in the attic. If there's a hatchway into the attic, build a cover for it out of rigid poly-styrene insulation.

If the gable and ridge vents do not generate sufficient air movement to dissipate the heat, you will need a motorized vent at one end of the attic to exhaust the heat, and an adequately sized vent on the opposite end of the attic to draw in cold air from the outside.

Check your home carefully when ice dams form. Investigate even when there doesn't appear to be a leak. Look at the underside of the roof sheathing and roof trim to make sure they haven't gotten wet. Check the insulation for dampness. And when leaks inside your home develop, be prepared. Water penetration often follows pathways difficult follow. Don't just patch the roof leak. Make sure that the roof sheathing hasn't rotted or that other less obvious problems in your ceiling or walls haven't developed. And then detail a comprehensive plan to fix the damage. But more importantly, solve the problem.

If you experience water damage that requires a water damage/flood restoration expert, please contact Advanced Restoration at (800) 693-6263. Advanced Restoration is a full service property damage restoration company that can respond 24/7 to your water damage situation. We use state-of-the-art equipment to handle structural drying. Our professional staff is also available to handle mold situations that may occur as a result of a water loss. Our service area includes Nassau County, Suffolk County and the New York boroughs. Enjoy the snowfall and stay dry!

Tags: disaster, preventing frozen pipes, floods, ny water damage company, water damage, flooding, winter storm, ice damage, cold winter, advanced restoration, advanced restoration corporation, long island water damage, restoration, water extraction, emergency service, homeowner tips, restoration company, rebuild, flood damage, storm damage, storm, water leaks, frozen pipes, nor'easter, ice storm

Insurance Journal