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

Wind Damage to Your Home: Wind Advisory in New York

Posted on Tue, Dec 29, 2009 @ 08:54 AM
Heavy winds are pounding Long Island today and the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for parts of New York. 

During a severe storm or a hurricane, homes may be damaged or destroyed by high winds. Debris can break windows and doors, allowing high winds inside the home. In extreme storms, the force of the wind alone can cause weak places in your home to fail.

Some helpful tips regarding wind damage and preparing for storms are listed below: 

The Roof
During a windstorm, the force of the wind pushes against the outside of your home. That force is passed along from your roof to the exterior walls and finally to the foundation. Homes can be damaged or destroyed when the energy from the wind is not properly transferred to the ground. The first thing you should do is determine what type of roof you have. Homes with gabled roofs are more likely to suffer damage during a hurricane. A gabled roof looks like an A on the ends,with the outside wall going to the top of the roof. The end wall of a home with a gabled roof takes a beating during a hurricane or wind storm, and those that are not properly braced can collapse, causing major damage to the roof.

Exterior Doors and Windows
The exterior walls, doors, and windows are the protective shell of your home. If your home's protective shell is broken, high winds can enter and put pressure on your roof and walls, causing damage. You can protect your home by strengthening the doors and windows.

Double Entry Doors
Most double doors have an active and an inactive or fixed door . Check to see how the fixed door is secured at the top and bottom. The bolts or pins that secure most doors are not strong enough. Some door manufacturers provide reinforcing bolt kits made specifically for their doors. Check with your local building supplies retailer to findout what type of bolt system will work for your door.

Double-wide Garage Doors
Double-wide (two-car) garage doors can pose a problem during storms because they are so large that they wobble as the high winds blow and can pull out of their tracks or collapse from wind pressure. If garage doors fail, high winds can enter your home through the garage and blow out doors, windows, walls, and even the roof.

Check the track on your garage door. With both hands, grab a section of each track and see if it is loose or if it can be twisted. If so, a stronger track should be installed.

Storm Shutters
Installing storm shutters over all exposed windows and other glass surfaces is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your home. You should cover all windows, French doors, sliding glass doors, and skylights. There are many types of manufactured storm shutters available. For more information on manufactured shutters, check with your local building supplies retailer. If you install manufactured shutters, follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

The recommendations discussed here are not intended to replace local building code requirements or to serve as the only options for protecting your home from hurricane wind damage. For more information on protecting your home from hurricane wind damage, contact your local building official; your local building supply retailer; or a building professional.

Advanced Restoration is a property damage restoration company that is trained and ready to respond to any disaster situation, including wind damage to your home or business. We are a preferred vendor for many insurance carriers and have been serving Long Island and the NY Metro area for 20 years. 

Do you have a property damage situation you need help with? 
Call us today at (800) 693-6263!

 

Tags: wind damage, hurricane tips, property damage, restoration companies, water damage restoration, nassau county restoration, winter storm, cold winter, insurance, restoration, suffolk county restoration, homeowner tips, restoration company, rebuild, home repair, buying a home, weather, nor'easter

FHA 203K Rehab Loan Q&A Summary

Posted on Mon, Dec 21, 2009 @ 11:13 AM
If you are thinking about purchasing a foreclosure in disrepair (needs rehabilitation), you should look into applying for an FHA 203k loan. The 203k program is HUD's primary program for the rehabilitation and repair of single family properties. As such, it is an important tool for community and neighborhood revitalization and for expanding homeownership opportunities.
Listed below are some general questions & answers regarding 203k loans to help you better understand the 203k concept:


Is the Section 203(k) program restricted to single-family dwellings? No. The program can be used for one-to-four unit dwellings. Maximum mortgage limitations are the same as for properties under Section 203(b).
Can Section 203(k) be used to improve a condominium unit? Yes, however, condominium rehabilitation is subject to the following conditions:
A. Owner/occupant and qualified nonprofit borrowers only;
B. Rehabilitation is limited only to the interior of the unit. Mortgage proceeds are not to be used for the rehabilitation of exteriors or other areas which are the responsibility of the condominium association, except for the installation of firewalls in the attic for the unit;
C. Only the lesser of five units per condominium association, or 25 percent of the total number of units, can be undergoing rehabilitation at any one time;
D. The maximum mortgage amount cannot exceed 100 percent of the after-improved value. After rehabilitation is complete, the individual buildings within the condominium must not contain more than four units. By law, Section 203(k) can only be used to rehabilitate units in one-to-four unit structures. However, this does not mean that the condominium project, as a whole, can only have four units or that all individual structures must be detached.

Example: A project might consist of six buildings each containing four units, for a total of 24 units in the project and, thus, be eligible for Section 203(k). Likewise, a project could contain a row of more than four attached townhouses and be eligible for Section 203(k) because HUD considers each townhouse as one structure, provided each unit is separated by a 1 1/2 hour firewall (from foundation up to the roof). Similar to a project with a condominium unit with a mortgage insured under Section 234(c) of the National Housing Act, the condominium project must be approved by HUD prior to the closing of any individual mortgages on the condominium units.


Can a six (or more) unit building be done using the 203(k) program? No. However, the building could be renovated and reduced to a four unit building.

Can nonresidential (storefront) property be eligible for a 203(k) insured loan? Yes. Mixed-use residential property is acceptable provided the property has no greater than 25% (for a one story building); 33% (for a three story building); and 49% (for a two story building) of its floor area used for commercial (storefront) purposes. The rehab funds can only be used for the residential functions of the dwelling and areas used to access the residential part of the property.
Can HUD-owned properties be purchased using the 203(k) loan? Yes. However, the property must be advertised that it is eligible for financing with a 203(k) loan. If the HUD-owned property is purchased with other funds, a 203(k) loan can be made after the property is in the buyers name. In this case, cash back will be allowed to the borrower for a period of six months from purchasing the HUD-owned property.
Can an investor use the 203(k) program?
No. In October, 1996, the Department placed a moratorium on investor participation in the 203(k) Rehabilitation Mortgage Program.

Can a local government agency or a nonprofit organization use the 203(k) program?
Yes. The same qualification requirements will be used as for an owner-occupant of the property.

What is the definition of a First-Time Homebuyer?
A single person or an individual and his or her spouse who have not owned a home (as a tenant in common or as a joint tenant by the entirety) during the three years immediately preceding the date of application for the 203(k) loan. Any individual who is legally separated or divorced cannot be excluded from consideration, because the three-year waiting period does not apply, provided the individual no longer has an interest in the home.

Tags: 203(k) loan, homeowner, property damage, fire restoration, restoration companies, fha, advanced restoration, emergency service, homeowner tips, rebuild, home repair, buying a home, refinance, 203k, 203k streamline, rehab

Time to Light Your Fireplace

Posted on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 @ 09:28 AM


The holidays are just around the corner, and that means families will be entertaining around their fireplaces.fireplace, fire tips,fire damage

Fire safety is a primary ingredient to enjoying the holiday season.  Some firepalce tips include: 

Installation & Use

  • Check the fireplace to make sure it complies with the local building codes.
  • Use protective devices like glass doors or a screen which stops sparks.
  • Install a removable cap on the chimney.
  • Avoid using flammable liquids or garbage to start a fire.
  • Clean out all flammable materials near the fireplace.
  • Use only seasoned hardwood and approved fire tools.
Cleaning
  • Make sure the previous ashes are cleaned out before starting a fire.
  • Use non-combustible containers to remove ashes and remove immediately from the home.
  • Fireplaces require annual inspections and cleaning by a certified chimney sweep.
  • Regular maintenance is needed to remove obstructions and creosote.
Safety

  • Only close the damper when the fire has completely gone out.
  • Never leave a fire burning unattended.

Tags: disaster, property damage, restoration companies, fire recall, fire prevention, smoke damage, christmas tree fire, holiday fire prevention, advanced restoration, restoration, water extraction, emergency service, homeowner tips, restoration company, home repair, fire protection, smoke restoration

Common Origins of Fire Damage

Posted on Fri, Dec 18, 2009 @ 09:11 AM
Fire Startersfire,smoke damage,water damage
Fires have their origins and are classified accordingly.  Like any other kind of manmade disaster they have a starting point. The following are the most common starting points of fire along with some description of how they generally start:

Electrical - fires that originate from this source are due to overblown fuses and short circuits that throw spark.  Frayed wires which overheat in time make combustion possible.  Improper wire connections within the house structure must be promptly corrected.  Many fires that come from an electrical source do not emit any flame at first to show that fire is present.  But a smoke coming from any electrical source should not be taken lightly because of the fact that electrically originated fires are not known to cause a full blown flame.

Candles - candles are normally used when electric power is out and during special occasions.  To be on the safe side, trim the candle's wick once it gets too long making the flame too large. Remove any flammable material like paper, linen, etc that may be caught by the flame.  Always position the candle at a safe distance from wind blown curtains, and use appropriate candle holders that will hold the candle upright to prevent it from toppling and causing a fire.  Be sure to put off any lighted candles before going to sleep.

Smoking - it is better not to smoke inside the house, but if you do then make sure to use ashtrays and to put out the cigarette before you retire to sleep or rest.  Also make it a habit to throw your unlit cigarette butts into proper waste receptacles to avoid littering.

Cleanup and Restoration
In case of a fire disaster, most residential owners due to the lack of any financial resources may want to do the cleaning and restoration procedures by themselves along with the other family members.  While this may sound practical and cost saving, the truth is you are facing a very daunting task of cleaning up the mess and restoring the house to its pre-fire disaster condition, consequently spending more money than expected. 

It would also entail an unnecessary length of time to accomplish the task because you do not have the appropriate tools, equipment and gear necessary to do the job efficiently and properly.  It is commonly suggested that an expert or professional fire damage cleaner is hired to do the job.  For at least they have the experience, the knowledge, correct equipment and adequate manpower to engage with the after effects of the fire.  Just make sure that the professional fire damage cleaner you hire has all the legal documents and certificates to prove that they can do the task of proper cleaning and restoration.

Fire may be inevitable but with the steps and tips above, it can be prevented or at least, damages may be mitigated.

Tags: property damage, fire restoration, water damage, water damage restoration, nassau county restoration, fire prevention, smoke damage, holiday fire prevention, advanced restoration, long island water damage, restoration, emergency service, homeowner tips, restoration company, flood damage, fire protection, smoke restoration

Completing Your Dream Home with the FHA 203K Loan

Posted on Wed, Dec 09, 2009 @ 04:05 PM
Another challenge with the existing home inventory on the market is the condition of the property.  Whether it is REOs, foreclosures, short sales, or not, less people are presenting homes for sale in pristine condition.

The FHA 203k loan can help. The 203k can give the buyer the ability to have one loan to purchase and renovate their home at the same time.

Similar to a traditional mortgage with a construction loan added on top, the 203k can be used for the following:
  • Remodeling bathrooms and kitchens (even built-in appliances) 
  • Replacing a roof, gutters and downspouts
  • Adding a second story, afamily room,another bath, etc.
  • Completing a basement or attic
  • Upgrading plumbing, heating, air conditioning or electrical service
  • Installing new siding, energy efficient windows and doors
  • AND MUCH MORE!
It is important to hire a general contractor that is familiar with the 203k process and requirements.  Advanced Restoration Corporation, a 203k contractor, was recently featured on NBC News4 New York regarding 203k loans, along with Continental Home Loans.

For more information on 203k loans in New York, please contact the following:

203k Contractor:
Company:  Advanced Restoration Corporation
Contact:  Gary Matzelle
Phone:  (516) 903-4107
Email:  [email protected]

Mortgage Banker:
Company:  Continental Home Loans
Contact:  Robert Flower
Phone:  (917) 584-9292
Email:  [email protected]

Looking for REO/Foreclosures?
The REO People
Thomas Becker (Licensed Real Estate Salesperson)
Phone:  (631) 873-8150
Email:  [email protected]

Tags: disaster, foreclosure, 203(k) loan, property damage, restoration companies, fha, hud loan, reconstruction, restoration, homeowner tips, restoration company, disrepair, resources, refinance, 203k, hud, 203k streamline, rehab

Why Renovate With a 203K Streamlined Loan?

Posted on Mon, Sep 28, 2009 @ 02:19 PM

Because You Can!

I'll keep this very brief...


You are purchasing a home that needs minor repairs (repairs under $35,000 qualify for a streamlined loan). Incorporating the rehab into your mortgage payment allows you to have just one payment. Some highlights include:

  • Loan amounts up to 110% of the home's appraised value; renovation amounts up to $35,000.
  • No work write-up, no inspection required if repairs are less than $15,000 and no HUD consultant required.
  • There is no longer a minimum of $5,000 in repairs for a 203K Streamline.
  • On a 203K Streamline, up to 50% of the rehab amount can be requested immediately following the closing. After closing the work can start.
  • For a 203K Streamline, there is a maximum of 2 draws per contractor.
  • Loan can be used for many improvements, including repair/replacement of: roofs, plumbing, electrical, flooring, minor remodeling, windows, doors, etc.
  • Available for mortgage refinance transactions including those where the property is owned free and clear.

203K Streamlined Loans are available through HUD approved lenders. For more information on how Advanced Restoration can be your 203k contractor, please contact Gary Matzelle at (516) 903-4107.

Tags: foreclosure, 203(k) loan, mortgage, fha, advanced restoration, disrepair, rebuild, home repair, buying a home, 203k, hud, 203k streamline, rehab

From the White House to the Green House

Posted on Fri, Sep 25, 2009 @ 04:17 PM

From the White House to the Green House

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Chimney Fire Safety In Your Home

Posted on Fri, Sep 18, 2009 @ 12:53 PM

Source: NY State Office of Fire Prevention & Control

Chimney maintenance for wood burning appliances.

Chimneys are one of the most common locations of residential structure fires in New York State. The Chimney Safety Institute of America reports that creosote accumulation is the leading cause of chimney fires.

A chimney that is dirty, blocked or is in disrepair can inhibit proper venting of smoke up the flue and can also cause a chimney fire. Nearly all residential fires originating in the chimney are preventable.

An annual chimney inspection by a qualified chimney sweep can prevent fire or carbon monoxide poisoning.

To keep your home safe from chimney fires follow these guidelines.

Maintenance - Good maintenance is a very important step in preventing chimney fires!

  • Have your chimney checked every year by a qualified chimney professional.
  • Burn only well seasoned hardwoods.
  • Install a chimney cap.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector.
  • Have your chimney sweep ensure that your chimney has an appropriate liner.
  • Following a violent storm, earthquake, flood or lightening strike, have your chimney inspected for damage - inside and out.

Prevention - Remember prevention is your best defense against fire.

If you have a wood or coal stove, be sure it is installed at least 36 inches away from the wall. Keep combustible materials well away from the stove and chimney connector. Place an approved stove board under the unit to protect the floor from heat and hot coals which might drop out.

Be Prepared - Know what to do in case of fire. If you suspect a chimney fire, evacuate your home and call 9-1-1


Advanced Restoration Corporation is a family-owned and operated full-service property damage restoration company with a combined 75 years experience in dealing with Fire Damage Restoration, Water Damage Restoration, Flood & Storm Damage, Mold Remediation, Smoke Damage Restoration and Reconstruction. We service Long Island (Nassau County, NY; Suffolk County, NY) and the New York Metro area.

When disasters strike, Advanced Restoration is ready to respond 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You are guaranteed to speak with one of our knowledgeable, caring team members, day or night. Our immediate response to a claim/property loss helps minimize the damages to the structure, contents, and ease the sometime catastrophic effect that a disaster may have on an owner or occupants.

Tags: disaster, fire restoration, burn hazard, fire prevention, smoke damage, puff-back, advanced restoration, restoration, emergency service, home repair, fire protection, smoke restoration

USGBC Wants an Environmental Label for Every Building

Posted on Wed, Sep 16, 2009 @ 05:20 PM

USGBC Wants an Environmental Label for Every Building

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Green Drinks Babylon

Posted on Sun, Sep 13, 2009 @ 02:03 PM

A Force for the Sustainable Development and Future of Long Island.

Green Drinks Babylon is a monthly gathering of like-minded individuals committed to shaping our future and making Long Island a greener community. Come out and charge your eco-spirit and make some new connections.

Our 1st meeting is on Oct 14th, 2009 @ Horace & Sylvia's Publick House in Babylon, NY.

Signup for [email protected] Green Drinks Babylon

For more info email me @ [email protected]

We have a lively mixture of people from NGOs, academia, government and business. Come along and you'll be made welcome. Just say, "are you green?" and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. It's a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making Green Drinks an organic, self-organising network.

These events are very simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and had moments of serendipity. It's a force for the good and future of Long Island.

Find us on FaceBook.

Tags: babylon, green drinks, advanced restoration corporation, long island water damage, mold remediation, green construction, go green

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