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

Who Will Be Open For Business if Disaster Strikes?

Posted on Fri, Jul 10, 2009 @ 05:12 PM

Contact:Brenda O'Connor
(813) 675-1043

TAMPA – Large and small businesses alike are having a difficult time in the current economy and the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) is concerned many may not be open for business if disaster strikes.

According to the Association of Contingency Planners, Business Continuity Awareness Week was June 21-27, and IBHS wants business owners and managers to take advantage of free resources that are available to create business continuity plans that can help keep operations running when the unexpected happens.

In addition to minimizing the impact of severe weather events or problems such as a water main break or regional power outage, business continuity planning requires a thorough assessment of operations, which often yields additional benefits including opportunities to streamline functions or identifying areas for cost reductions.

IBHS outlines the following five steps to begin safeguarding operations:

  1. Record basic information for employees, ownership, suppliers, vendors and key contacts.
  2. Identify critical business functions (i.e., what is required to maintain income, keep a competitive advantage, and meet regulatory or contractual obligations?).
  3. Scout alternate locations (i.e., where is the best site to resume operations?).
  4. List what is needed to fulfill critical business functions at an alternate location, including records, critical telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, equipment, machinery and vehicles.
  5. Identify equipment and services that workers will need, such as computer equipment and software, voice and data communications, and required office supplies.

The IBHS Open for Business® suite of resources is available in multiple formats on and includes worksheets and checklists to help with development of your plan. There also is an online training series for those who prefer being walked-through the process one step at a time, with an option for reminder e-mail messages to keep planning on track.

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, flooding, groundwater, advanced restoration, long island water damage, emergency service, restoration company, disrepair, flood damage, flood, home repair

Own It...Then Make It Your Own

Posted on Thu, Jul 02, 2009 @ 03:32 PM

Did you know that Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has a Purchase & Renovate Loan?

The program offers financing that enables you to immediately turn the house you just bought into the home you always wanted. Add a bath, cook up a new kitchen, repai, renovate or extend- all with a single loan at attractive first mortgage rates.

Built-in benefits to make home improvements:

More Money
The loan amount is based on the value of your home after the home improvements have been made.

Lower Monthly Payments
Purchase and improvements are financed simultaneously, so renovation costs are spread out through the entire term of the loan.

Tax Benefits
Interest on renovation costs is included in the first mortgage, so it may be tax deductible.

Renovation can begin immediately after closing

Single-close Simplicity
Just one application, one set of fees and closing costs, one monthly payment.

No required improvements or restrictions on repairs, luxury items such as pools and spas may be included.

Fixed and adjustable rate mortgage programs.

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. Have us renovate your next home!

Tags: fire restoration, water damage restoration, mortgage, wells fargo, advanced restoration, water extraction, homeowner tips, restoration company, flood damage, storm damage, refinance

CPSC Alert: Air Compressor Recall Due to Fire Hazard

Posted on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 @ 11:20 AM

Campbell Hausfeld Recalls Air Compressors Due to Fire Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Wal-Mart
June 17, 2009 Release # 09-245

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: Campbell Hausfeld Air Compressors
Units: About 16,000
Importer: Campbell Hausfeld, of Harrison, Ohio

Hazard: The compressor’s thermal overload, which shuts the unit off when it overheats, can fail. This can lead to overheating, melting of parts and a risk of fire.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: The recall involves the Campbell Hausfeld model HU200099AV air compressor with a 20-gallon tank. The recall includes date codes ranging from January 2009 through June 2009. The model number and date code can be located on the back of the tank.

Sold at: Wal-Mart stores nationwide from January 2009 through June 2009 for about $250. Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled air compressor and return it to any Wal-Mart for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Campbell Hausfeld at (800) 241-0448 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Web site at

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.

Tags: disaster, property damage, fire restoration, water damage restoration, fire recall, fire prevention, smoke damage, advanced restoration, restoration company, cpsc recall, walmart recall

CPSC Recall Alert: Battery Equalizer Fire Hazard

Posted on Wed, Jun 24, 2009 @ 11:03 AM

SmartSpark Energy Systems Recalls Battery Equalizers Due to Fire Hazard


June 18, 2009 Release # 09-249

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Name of Product: BattEQ Battery Equalizers
Units: About 800
Manufacturer: SmartSpark Energy Systems Inc., of Champaign, Ill.

Hazard: The recalled equalizers can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers. Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received one report of an equalizer that overheated which resulted in fire that caused damage to the equalizer and batteries. No injuries have been reported.

Description: The recalled battery equalizers are charge balancing devices designed to increase the performance and longevity of rechargeable batteries.

Sold at: Authorized distributors and retailers from July 2006 through March 2009 for about $300.
Manufactured in: United States

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled battery equalizers and contact SmartSpark for a full refund.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact SmartSpark at (800) 905-6137 anytime Monday through Friday or visit the firm’s Web site at
CPSC is still interested in receiving incident or injury reports that are either directly related to this product recall or involve a different hazard with the same product. Please tell us about it by visiting

Advanced Restoration Corporation is a family-owned and operated full-service property damage/disaster 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.

Tags: water damage, burn hazard, fire recall, fire prevention, smoke damage, advanced restoration, reconstruction, suffolk county restoration, homeowner tips, restoration company, cpsc recall, go green

Water Damage, Floods & Heavy Rains Pummel NY!

Posted on Thu, Jun 18, 2009 @ 03:50 PM

The National Weather Service has issued a FLASH FLOOD WATCH for portions of New York and New Jersey from until 8 p.m. on Thursday.

A FLASH FLOOD WATCH means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. One to two inches of rainfall is expected. Locally higher amounts are possible especially in areas affected by thunderstorms.

There is also an urban flood advisory for Nassau and Suffolk counties until 4:45 p.m.
Recent heavy rainfall has left soil conditions around the New York City metropolitan area and northern New Jersey saturated.

Forecasters are predicting one to two inches into early Thursday evening, with higher amounts from thunderstorms. Streams could rise, particularly along the Raritan and Passaic river basins. Check your basements for water damage...

Water Source Categories

Category 1: Often referred to as “clean” waterA “clean” water source is one that does not pose substantial harm to humans. Examples of clean water sources may include, but are not limited to: broken water supply lines, tub or sink overflows with no contaminants, appliance malfunctions involving water supply lines, melting ice or falling rainwater – not that which flows over the soil or through multiple structural components- broken toilet tanks, and even toilet bowls that do not contain contaminants or additives. Once a clean water source contacts other surfaces and materials, its condition may change as it dissolves or mixes with soils and other contaminants, and as time elapses.

Category 2: Often referred to as “gray” water Unsanitary or “gray” water contains some degree of contamination. Potentially, it could cause substantial discomfort or sickness if consumed by humans, and it carries microorganisms or nutrients for microorganisms. Category 2 (gray) water examples may include, but are not limited to: discharge from dishwashers or washing machines, overflows from washing machines, overflows of toilet bowls with some urine (no feces), broken aquariums, and punctured water beds. All of these may contain chemicals or biocontaminants (fungal, bacterial, viral, algae), or other forms of contamination. Time and temperature aggravate Category 2 (gray) water contamination significantly. Water in flooded structures that remains untreated longer than 48 hours can change from Category 2 (gray) to Category 3 (black).

Category 3: Often referred to as “black” waterCategory 3 “black” water always contains pathogenic agents. Grossly unsanitary, “black” water sources are those that arise from sewage or other contaminated water entering a structure. Sewage contains the expected urine and feces; but it could also contain dangerous chemicals or medical wastes. Toilet backflows that originate from beyond the toilet trap are considered to be Category 3 (black) water situations, regardless of visible content or color. This category includes all forms of sea water, ground surface water, and rising water from, rivers or streams. They carry silt and organic matter into structures and create Category 3 ”black” water situations. In situations where structural materials and / or contents have been heavily contaminated with such materials as pesticides, heavy metals, or toxic organic substances; the water damage is considered to be Category 3 (black) water.

If you have flooding or water damage from the storms hitting the NY Metro area, contact a reputable property damage restoration company. Advanced Restoration Corporation is a preferred vendor for insurance companies and is available 24/7 to respond to any disaster situation. Call them today at (800) 693-6263, or visit them on the web at

Tags: disaster, restoration companies, water damage, groundwater, advanced restoration corporation, long island water damage, water extraction, emergency service, flood damage, flood, moisture, water leaks

Disaster Mitigation...Buying Insurance

Posted on Thu, Jun 18, 2009 @ 01:49 PM

By Chris Floyd Disaster Services Director Capital Area Chapter American Red Cross

Even with adequate time to prepare for a disaster, you still may suffer significant, unavoidable damage to your property. That's when insurance for renters or homeowners can be a big help. Yet, many people affected by recent disasters have been underinsured- or worse- not insured at all. Make sure the insurance you buy protects against the perils you face.

If You Own a Home...

  • Buy, at minimum, full replacement or replacement cost coverage. This means the structure can be replaced up to the limits specified in the policy.
  • Investigate buying a guaranteed replacement cost policy. When and where available, these policies can pay to rebuild your house, including improvements, at today's prices, regardless of the limits of the policy.
  • Have your home periodically reappraised to be sure the policy reflects the real replacement cost.
  • Update the policy to include any home improvements, such as basement refinishing. Annual automatic increases may not be enough to cover these.
  • Buy a policy that covers the replacement cost of your possessions. Standard coverage only pays for the actual cash value (replacement cost discounted for age or use).
  • Be very clear about what the policy will and will not cover, and how the deductibles work (the part you pay before the policy pays).
  • Check state-operated or federally operated insurance pools if you find it difficult to obtain private coverage because of a recent disaster. Premiums often run higher than market rates, but this is better than no coverage.
  • Conduct a home inventory, make a list, and use it to check that your policy's coverage matches the value of your possessions.

If You Rent...

  • Buy renter's insurance, which pays for damaged, destroyed, or stolen personal property. Your landlords insurance wont cover damage to or loss of your possessions. Also, consider special coverage like flood insurance for your belongings.
  • Be clear about what a policy will cover. Some policies cover more than others. For example, will the policy pay for living expenses if you have to live somewhere else temporarily, or for damage from sewer backup?
  • Comparison shop for the best coverage at the best price. Policies vary from company to company. Policies in most areas are very affordable. Start with the company that insures your car. Discounts are often available if you carry more than one policy with a company.

You may also want to consider special coverage as insurance for renters and homeowners won't cover certain types of losses. Ask your insurance agent or financial planner about special or additional coverage for floods, earthquakes, home offices, and other potential problems.

Advanced Restoration Corporation is a full-service property damage/disaster restoration company that has been serving Long Island and the New York metropolitan area for over 20 years.

The company offers the highest quality residential, commercial and industrial property restoration and remediation services available. Our qualified and professional staff is capable of handling all aspects of fire & smoke damage, mold remediation and water damage. Emergency response teams are available 24/7 to promptly execute the required services for a customer.

Advanced Restoration is a member of multiple industry associations, including NYARM, BOMA, PIA, YIP, IICRC, NARI, NIDR and RIA. We are licensed in Nassau and Suffolk County, as well as the five boroughs of New York City.

Please contact Gary Matzelle at (516) 903-4107 with any questions, or send an email to Our corporate website can be viewed at

Tags: disaster, property damage, water damage, water damage restoration, insurance, flood insurance, advanced restoration, homeowner tips, restoration company, flood damage, storm damage, water

Purchasing a Foreclosure Needing Repairs?

Posted on Wed, Jun 17, 2009 @ 03:31 PM

You see the perfect home in a Long Island neighborhood, and the house is a foreclosure. The exterior of the home is nice, but the inside has water damage, structural damage and mold. You want to buy this house and the selling price is excellent...What are your options as a homebuyer? Will you be able to "close" on a home that is in disrepair?

Of course you can...

When a homebuyer wants to purchase a house in need of repair or modernization, the homebuyer usually has to obtain financing first to purchase the dwelling; additional financing to do the rehabilitation construction; and a permanent mortgage when the work is completed to pay off the interim loans with a permanent mortgage.

Often the interim financing (the acquisition and construction loans) involves relatively high interest rates and short amortization periods. The FHA 203(k) mortgage program was designed to address this situation. The borrower can get just one mortgage loan, at a long-term fixed (or adjustable) rate, to finance both the acquisition and the rehabilitation of the property.

To provide funds for the rehabilitation, the mortgage amount is based on the projected value of the property with the work completed, taking into account the cost of the work. To minimize the risk to the mortgage lender, the mortgage loan (the maximum allowable amount) is eligible for endorsement by HUD as soon as the mortgage proceeds are disbursed and a rehabilitation escrow account is established.

The types of improvements that borrowers may make using Section 203(k) financing include:

  • Structural alterations and reconstruction
  • Modernization and improvements to the home's function
  • Elimination of health and safety hazards
  • Changes that improve appearance and eliminate obsolescence
  • Reconditioning or replacing plumbing; installing a well and/or septic system
  • Adding or replacing roofing, gutters, and downspouts
  • Adding or replacing floors and/or floor treatments
  • Major landscape work and site improvements
  • Enhancing accessibility for a disabled person
  • Making energy conservation improvements

The 203(k) Program is somewhat complicated and you must deal with an FHA approved lender, however, the program will allow you to obtain a mortgage and incorporate the necessary repairs into one mortgage payment. In addition, when selecting a general contractor to perform the rehab, you need to ensure the company is familiar with the 203k process and appropriate forms required. Streamlined 203k loans are also available for rehab/ home repairs under $35,000.

Advanced Restoration Corporation is located in New York and is a general contractor/ restoration company that specializes in the rehabilitation of homes in disrepair. We partner with various mortgage companies and have experience with contractor requirements associated with a 203 (k) loan.

For more information on partnering with an experienced 203(k) company ready to rebuild your dream house, contact Gary Matzelle at (516) 903-4107. Our service area includes: Nassau County, Suffolk County, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island, Brooklyn and The Bronx.

Tags: disaster, foreclosure, 203(k) loan, fire restoration, restoration companies, water damage, structural drying, toxic mold, advanced restoration, homeowner tips, disrepair, flood damage, home repair

Congrats to Gino Orrino...NY YIP Volunteer of the Year!

Posted on Fri, Jun 12, 2009 @ 10:02 AM

Congratulations to Gino Orrino from Advanced Restoration...

CONTACT: Melissa N. Cibelli, public relations specialistor Mary E. Christiano, director of communication (800) 424-4244Fax: (888) 225-6935E-mail: publications@pia.orgWeb site: RELEASE: Jun. 8, 2009

Orrino named NY-YIP Volunteer of the Year

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.–Gino Orrino, principal of Orrino Capital Services LLC in Corona, N.Y. received the New York Young Insurance Professionals Volunteer of the Year at the Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey and New York Inc.’s Joint Annual Business Conference. The event was held at the Trump Taj Mahal Resort Casino in Atlantic City, June 7-9.
The award is bestowed by NY-YIP to an individual who is committed to improving the quality of events and programs of the organization by giving of their personal time so that others will benefit.

“Gino’s tireless commitment to NY-YIP is second to none,” said Amy Bryan, president of NY-YIP. “It is with great appreciation that we recognize him for what he’s done for our organization and industry.”

A NY-YIP member since 2005, Orrino is chairperson of the organization’s Events Committee. A major supporter of PIANY, Orrino is a member of the association’s Long Island Regional Awareness Program.

NY-YIP is an organization dedicated to the professional and personal growth of newcomers to the insurance industry. It is affiliated with PIANY, a trade association representing professional, independent insurance agencies and their employees throughout the state.

Tags: fire restoration, ny water damage company, nyyip, pia, volunteer of the year, insurance, advanced restoration, pia award

Disaster Strikes Your Business...Now What?

Posted on Mon, Jun 08, 2009 @ 03:43 PM

You own a business in New York (on Long Island) and you think "it" will never happen to you...

2:30AM...An electrical short sparks a small fire inside the walls of your building.

2:35AM...Dust, framing and insulation immediately catch fire and burn intensely.

2:45AM...Tremendous heat from the now out-of-control blaze sets off the sprinkler system.

3:15AM...The fire department arrives and begins putting out the flames.

4:30AM...The fire is out, but there is immense fire, smoke and water damage.

6:30AM...You arrive at your office to find out your building and contents are severely damaged by water, fire and smoke.

Now What???
Having the proper insurance in the event of a disaster (from flooding and water damage to storm and wind damage) is essential to ensure your business will be able to continue after property damage occurs.

Insurance Coverage
Inadequate insurance coverage can lead to major financial loss if your business is damaged, destroyed or simply interrupted for a period of time. Insurance policies vary, check with your agent or provider.

Meet with your insurance provider to review current coverage for such things as physical losses, flood coverage and business interruption.

  • Understand what it covers and what it does not.
  • Understand what your deductible is, if applicable.
  • Consider how you will pay creditors and employees.
  • Plan how you will provide for your own income if your business is interrupted.
  • Find out what records your insurance provider will want to see after an emergency and store them in a safe place.

Knowing who to call in the event of a disaster is also essential to get your business back up and running with minimal downtime. Ensure you have a pre-established relationship with a full service property damage restoration company. This will allow you to mitigate damage to your property structure, as well as minimaize business disruption.

One more thing....Never let your insurance lapse!!!

Tags: disaster, fire restoration, structural drying, flooding, burn hazard, fire prevention, smoke damage, advanced restoration, reconstruction, restoration, suffolk county restoration, disrepair, flood

Learning Social Media

Posted on Fri, May 29, 2009 @ 10:15 AM

Social media marketing is a fast-growing innovation, tapping into the rising influence of user-generated communities such as blogs, wikis, networking, and bookmarking sites.
By joining these active communities, you can build relationships and promote your products and/or expertise.

Generally, online social networks attract members who bond over shared interests and opinions. That creates a clubby and trusted group of virtually connected friends or associates. So when a member or blogger recommends your product, commends your service, or endorses your comments, it results in powerful "word of mouse" referrals.

Alternatively, if you make the effort, you can develop your own following on social media sites as an opinion-maker, authority, adviser, industry analyst, or wry observer. As a result of getting noticed in all the right places, you can generate leads and convert those leads into sales.
Tip: However tempting it may be, don't assume a fake identity to talk up your company (unless you’re being an obvious jokester). It's bound to boomerang.User-generated communities aren’t just for kids anymore.

Don't think this strategy only suits niche markets. Social sites are exploding across the Web.
The most popular categories tend to be communities where you create and share information, such as MySpace, Facebook, Friendster, Bebo, Squidoo, and Tagged. Or it can be those where you bookmark useful or fun sites for other users, such as Digg,, or StumbleUpon. Visit this page for a broad list of social networking and media sites.

Visitors to social media sites jumped a staggering 774 percent between 2006 and 2007, according to a 2007 comScore study. And the Pew Internet Study reports that some 50 million Americans are reading blogs. What's more, adult interaction in social media is significantly on the rise.Choosing your online megaphone.

For small-business owners, the social media horizon is broad indeed.
Like much of search engine marketing, social media marketing doesn’t cost much in dollars. But it does require time and effort to:
investigate sites;
create and monitor content;
track traffic and referrals;
refine efforts to improve results, and
keep at it until you have an impact.

Here are some proven ways to start stirring the pot. You'll learn more as you go.

  1. Contribute to a community whose members mirror your customers. By checking into the comments, forums, and profiles of a community, you can determine member interests, locations, and a rough sense of demographics. Once you've identified a community that matches your preferred customer, there are a number of ways to get noticed. For example, Irina Patterson runs an event-planning business from her home in Miami. She often posts on the local craigslist and, she says, gets great results. "It is a community that responds almost instantly. You can pose a question, share a resource, ask for a barter deal or ask for advice. You can target specific geographic areas, which is important for a service business like mine." Patterson makes sure her posts link back to her company Web site.
  2. Become a commentator on a well-trafficked blog in your industry or field. Don't ignore the blogosphere. According to Technorati, the blog search engine, nearly 97 million blogs were being published as of mid-2007. Get familiar with a few blogs compatible with your business. A good start is a search on Technorati as well as visits to your industry or professional associations and trade journals to see what they serve up. Make sure you're up-to-speed on the blog's tone, issues, and attitudes before you chime in. When you start generating reactions, you'll know you're hitting nerves.
  3. Create a viral video campaign. Online videos are now cheap and easy to create and upload, notes search engine marketing consultant Susan Gilbert at
    Produce a video of two to three minutes that dramatizes or explains your online site or your market niche and yourself. Then upload the video to MSN, YouTube, or other video communities to drive traffic to your Web site, Gilbert says. If you link the videos to community pages on social bookmarking sites, you create a little network that search engines will find. Next thing you know, you're getting referred traffic and, potentially, more customers.
  4. Join a professional networking site (or two). These can be hit or miss, depending on what you market and how you work the community. For professional services such as PR and consulting, it can generate leads. Check out examples such as LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, Facebook, and Biltmore Who's Who. Then branch out to others.
  5. Launch a blog. This is the most obvious idea, and, no question, online templates now make it easy to create a blog. Run a search and you'll find options. What's hard is to gain traction and keep posting lively content (with a link to your company site, of course). See these tips for starting a blog.
  6. Become a dedicated gamer. Game for this? Depending on your wares and customer profile, engaging in the multi-user online gaming community can be a rewarding way to draw traffic and viral referrals, says Marian Sabety, at Wyndstorm, a social network technology marketer.
    One of the largest is World of Warcraft, but new ones pop up frequently.
    Unless you are already pulling lots of traffic, first gain experience with some of the above tactics before starting a blog. Once you have the hang of it, you'll know more about leveraging the power of a personal blog. Finally, remember to add value rather than to merely advertise your product. To make social media marketing work, you must enjoy being part of the community.

About the author Joanna L. Krotz is the founder of Muse2Muse Productions, a custom content company for business and consumer magazines, newsletters, and digital imprints. Krotz has launched marketing Web sites and e-news portals, as well as created magazines and online marketing for a variety of companies. She is co-author of The Microsoft Small Business Kit, a 500-page guide to launching and running a small business.

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