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

NOAA Expects Busy Atlantic Hurricane Season

Posted on Tue, Jun 01, 2010 @ 04:32 PM

hurricane

An "active to extremely active" hurricane season is expected for the Atlantic Basin this year according to the seasonal outlook issued today by NOAA's Climate Prediction Center - a division of the National Weather Service. As with every hurricane season, this outlook underscores the importance of having a hurricane preparedness plan in place.

Across the entire Atlantic Basin for the six-month season, which begins June 1, NOAA is projecting a 70 percent probability of the following ranges:

  • 14 to 23 Named Storms (top winds of 39 mph or higher), including:
  • 8 to 14 Hurricanes (top winds of 74 mph or higher), of which:
  • 3 to 7 could be Major Hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of at least 111 mph)

"If this outlook holds true, this season could be one of the more active on record," said Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., under secretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator. "The greater likelihood of storms brings an increased risk of a landfall. In short, we urge everyone to be prepared."

The outlook ranges exceed the seasonal average of 11 named storms, six hurricanes and two major hurricanes. Expected factors supporting this outlook are:

  • Upper atmospheric winds conducive for storms. Wind shear, which can tear apart storms, will be weaker since El Niño in the eastern Pacific has dissipated. Strong wind shear helped suppress storm development during the 2009 hurricane season.
  • Warm Atlantic Ocean water. Sea surface temperatures are expected to remain above average where storms often develop and move across the Atlantic. Record warm temperatures - up to four degrees Fahrenheit above average - are now present in this region.
  • High activity era continues. Since 1995, the tropical multi-decadal signal has brought favorable ocean and atmospheric conditions in sync, leading to more active hurricane seasons. Eight of the last 15 seasons rank in the top ten for the most named storms with 2005 in first place with 28 named storms.

"The main uncertainty in this outlook is how much above normal the season will be. Whether or not we approach the high end of the predicted ranges depends partly on whether or not La Niña develops this summer," said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center. "At present we are in a neutral state, but conditions are becoming increasingly favorable for La Niña to develop."

"FEMA is working across the administration and with our state and local partners to ensure we're prepared for hurricane season," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "But we can only be as prepared as the public, so it's important that families and businesses in coastal communities take steps now to be ready. These include developing a communications plan, putting together a kit, and staying informed of the latest forecasts and local emergency plans. You can't control when a hurricane or other emergency may happen, but you can make sure you're ready."

The president recently designated May 23-29, 2010, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. NOAA and FEMA encourage those living in hurricane-prone states to use this time to review their overall preparedness. More information on individual and family preparedness can be found at http://www.ready.gov/ and http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/HAW2/english/intro.shtml.

NOAA scientists will continue to monitor evolving conditions in the tropics and will issue an updated hurricane outlook in early August, just prior to what is historically the peak period for hurricane activity.

NOAA's mission is to understand and predict changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and to conserve and manage our coastal and marine resources. Visit NOAA on Facebook.

Article Source: NOAA

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Long Island After the Storms: Replacing Damaged Building Materials

Posted on Sun, Apr 25, 2010 @ 04:29 PM

 

We have received hundreds of calls from people all over Long Island telling us they had and in some cases still have, water in their basement due to groundwater.  As in most cases, it was not covered by their insurance company.  Which means you have either cleaned it up yourself or paid a company like Advanced Restoration Corporation to mitigate the water damage for you. 

The basement is now cleaned up and dried.  But that brings up the million dollar question......what do you do with the basement now?  If it was a finished basement that you used as living space and/or work space, how do you rebuild?  Or do you leave it unfinished now not wanting to take on the un-budgeted expense of the reconstruction in the off chance of having to go through it all over again if we are hit with another series of severe storms.  That is a choice every Long Island homeowner who was affected by these recent storms has to make.  For the sake of this blog, we are going to assume that you have decided to go through with the reconstruction. 

Let me start by stating that building materials can get wet.  Sheetrock, carpet, and paint are all made with water at some point during their production processes.  Usually after the materials are dried they are stronger and more durable than before they were wet.  Wood can get wet.  The lumber yards are exactly that.  Yards.  Giant lots of land used to store building materials before they are sold and used to construct homes and buildings.  They are not called lumber garages.    Chances are the studs that make up your house had been wet numerous times before the builder used them to frame your home. 

It is not a question of if something gets wet is it unsalvageable.  It is a question of how quickly you react when building materials do get wet. The faster the action the greater the chances of salvaging ALL the affected building materials.

There is something you can do that not many people have caught on to yet and none of the professionals on TV talk about just because they have yet to go through the experience of having their home saturated by water.  You can rebuild with building materials that can withstand an intrusion of water. 

Of course it is a bit more expensive to rebuild with this in mind and every homeowner is going to have see what works best for their budget and quality of life.  But here are some things to think about when rebuilding your basement:

Install ceramic tile as your flooring.  Carpet can get wet and be salvaged if dried timely and professionally, vinyl does not absorb the water but traps it underneath so that demolition is inevitable, the same with any type of wood flooring that would have to have a vapor barrier installed underneath  The best choice to finish a floor in a basement short of polishing the concrete is ceramic tile.  It is not a porous material so it does not absorb moisture and mold will not grow on the ceramic.  (Mold will grow on the dirt that is on the ceramic tile but will not start eating the tile away like it would on a porous material like sheetrock or carpet.)  And the grout allows the water vapor to escape from underneath the tile in the drying process.  Put an area rug on top of the tile that is much easier to remove and have cleaned that typical wall to wall carpeting.  

Do not use ANY vinyl.  I know vinyl makes it very easy to clean and keep on top off but it is the worst material (short of asbestos) to use as a finished building material.  Anything that vinyl covers that gets wet 99.9% of the time has to be removed.  Vinyl acts as a vapor barrier that traps the moisture behind it and does not allow the building materials to dry.  Which causes mold growth and usually increases the dollar value of the project.  Use standard wood base trim or carpet cove base.  They can both allow the walls to be dried in place or they both can be easily detached and reset once the drying process is over.

Use Concrete Board for the lower walls.  Do not install regular gypsum drywall on the lower walls.  Use concrete board that builders use in bathrooms to protect against moisture in the shower / tub areas.  They come in 4' x 8' sheets.  Just turn them on their side and install them on the lower 4' of the basement walls.  The great value of cement board is does not rot, warp, grow mold, or deteriorate, when subjected to water.

* If you decide that you are going to install standard drywall on the lower walls please make sure that the sheetrock is elevated 1/2" to 3/4" off the ground and is not sitting directly on the concrete.  If the drywall is resting directly on the concrete floor you will always have a transference of moisture from the concrete to to the dryer sheetrock which eventually will turn into a long term mold problem.  See the picture below. 


Use Only Flat Paint.  Any semi-gloss, high gloss or even eggshell finishes creates a vapor barrier that does not allow the materials behind it to dry naturally in the event of an intrusion.

Use American Clay Earth Plasters as your wall finishes American Clay Earth Plasters are a natural, environmentally friendly way to finish any interior. Non-toxic and made in the USA, these plasters are an alternative to cement, acrylic and lime plasters, offering superior color, richness, texture and depth not found with other finishes.  They also help control the inside ambient temperatures in the room(s0 it is installed on the walls.  They absorb excess moisture in the warmer months and release moisture n the environment during the colder dryer months.  This also gives it the ability to permit the drying of the building materials it is installed over.  

If you are in the Long Island and New York City areas and have any questions and/or need any assistance in dealing with your property damage claim please do not hesitate to contact Advanced Restoration Corporation.  We are Disaster Kleenup International (DKI) Member company.  DKI has over 150 member companies located throughout the United States.  Click here to find one in your area.

 

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