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

Advanced Restoration Corporation: Fire, Smoke, Water, Mold

Posted on Sat, Jan 17, 2009 @ 11:26 AM

Have You Encountered Property Damage to Your Home or Business?

We Are Prepared to Help...

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. Our company is dedicated to serving our clients with courteous and prompt service. We take the utmost pride in the craftsmanship of our work. As certified specialists in water mitigation and fire/smoke restoration, we have the knowledge, expertise and experience to deal with all types of property damage. Our professional staff is also trained in all aspects of mold remediation and damage appraisals.

Customer Excellence:

Our staff is committed to providing outstanding service and exceeding customer expectations for every completed project. Our fully trained and experienced Project Managers, Technicians and state-of-the-art processes ensure we are ready to restore peace of mind to our customers. We provide immediate response to mitigate your property damage and take the necessary steps to ensure a successful restoration project.

See Completed Projects

Our Clients:

Homeowners
Business Owners
Insurance Professionals
Real Estate Professionals
Property Management Professionals

Tags: disaster, fire restoration, restoration companies, water damage restoration, advanced restoration, mold remediation, water extraction, disrepair, flood damage, smoke restoration

Winter Storm/Property Damage: Ice Dams and Your Home

Posted on Fri, Jan 09, 2009 @ 04:41 PM

Snow is expected this weekend on Long Island and the NY Metro area and the Weather Service has issued a WINTER STORM WARNING for the area. 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.

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, property damage, fire restoration, ny water damage company, water damage, water damage restoration, winter storm, groundwater, advanced restoration corporation, long island water damage, mold remediation, suffolk county restoration, water extraction, restoration company, flood damage, flood, moisture, storm damage, mildew

Puffbacks and Your Heating System

Posted on Tue, Jan 06, 2009 @ 01:17 PM



Ensure Your Heating System is Working Properly!

Winter is here and so is the cold weather, which means your heating system will be working around the clock. Now is the season when you may experience a puffback related to your heating system.

What is a puffback?
Most of us have never heard of a puffback. A puffback occurs when an oil burner backfires, sending soot throughout your home or business. It can happen all at once, or more slowly and gradually.

Soot covers all areas of the home or business & may range from light to very heavy. Sometimes the disbursement of soot is so light & fine it appears to be ordinary dust. This "dust" however, can re-appear hours after being cleaned, there is often a strong odor of oil accompanying a puffback.

How can a puffback be prevented?
The best defense against a puffback is to have your oil burner inspected annually & kept in good repair. This is no guarantee against having a puffback, but it greatly reduces your risk.Keep debris, animal hair or anything that could interfere with proper functioning away from your oil burner.

What to do if a puffback occurs?
Notify your insurance agent or company immediately. Have a qualified disaster restoration specialist begin cleaning all affected areas immediately. Soot travels & will re-appear if not completely removed.

If you live in the NY Metro area and experience a puffback in your home or business, please call Advanced Restoration. Our experts will promptly respond to your situation! Our experienced staff is available 24/7 and can be reached at (800) 693-6263, or visit our website at http://www.advancedrrestoration.com/.

Tags: disaster, fire restoration, ny water damage company, puffbacks, restoration companies, water damage, water damage restoration, flooding, mold, burn hazard, puff-back, advanced restoration, advanced restoration corporation, mold remediation, suffolk county restoration, water extraction, emergency service, flood damage, flood, fire protection, contents cleaning, smoke restoration, heating

Ice Storm: NY State Insurance Dept. Activates Disaster Hotline

Posted on Tue, Dec 16, 2008 @ 05:38 PM

The New York State Insurance Department just sent out a news release related its Disaster Hotline, which was activated due to an ice storm that hit multiple counties in upstate New York:

See below...

New York State
Insurance
Department
NEWS
RELEASE
Contact:
Public Affairs
(212) 480-5262

www.ins.state.ny.us

Eric R. Dinallo Superintendent of Insurance 25 Beaver Street New York, N.Y. 10004
ISSUED 12/15/2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INSURANCE DEPARTMENT ACTIVATES DISASTER HOTLINE
The New York State Insurance Department today activated its toll-free Disaster Hotline to assist property owners affected by the ice storm that struck 16 Upstate counties and left thousands of New Yorkers without power, Superintendent Eric Dinallo said.
The Insurance Department's Disaster Hotline number is 1-800-339-1759. The hotline is staffed by personnel from the Department's Consumer Services Bureau on weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

"Consumers who have storm-related damage and are having difficulty dealing with their insurance company or understanding their coverage should give the hotline a call," Dinallo said. "We are available to help New Yorkers work through the claims process with their insurance companies in the event they need help."

Dinallo urged homeowners and business operators to make every effort to protect their homes and businesses from further damage. This includes reviewing insurance policies for important information related to electric utility interruptions. Coverage for power failure is generally excluded in a homeowners policy. However, coverage may be available for damage occurring during the restoration of electricity by such events as electrical power surges.

Commercial property policies generally exclude coverage for power or utility service failure if the failure occurs outside the premises. There may also be waiting periods in policies before business interruption coverage is triggered. It is important for these property owners to confer with their insurance agent to determine the extent of coverage available.

Following are some typical questions and answers consumers may find helpful:

What damage to your home is covered?
Damage caused by wind, wind-driven rain, trees or other falling objects, as well as the collapse of a structure due to the weight of ice or snow, is covered under most standard homeowner policies. The repair of pipes frozen as the result of extreme cold weather may not be covered if damage is due to negligence, such as failing to maintain an adequate temperature in the house.

What damage to your home is not covered?
Many policies do not cover losses of any type incurred as the result of a flood, costs associated with the removal of a fallen tree (unless the tree lands on your home), food spoilage expenses created by an off-premises power outage, and water damage resulting from backed-up drains or sewers. Some insurers offer endorsements (additional protection that may be purchased) for certain coverage not included under a standard homeowner policy. Consumers should check with their insurance agent or company to determine their needs.

What should I do after damage to a car or an accident?
Damage to automobiles due to falling ice or trees is covered under your comprehensive automobile insurance policy. In the event of an accident while driving on icy roads, call your insurance agent or insurance company with your policy number and other relevant information as soon as possible, although you have 30 days in which to report the accident. Be sure you cooperate fully with the insurance company and ask your agent what documents, forms and data you will need.

Tags: disaster, 203(k) loan, property damage, fire restoration, floods, ny water damage company, puffbacks, restoration companies, water damage, water damage restoration, structural drying, mold, ice damage, black mold, puff-back, advanced restoration, advanced restoration corporation, long island water damage, mold remediation, reconstruction, restoration, suffolk county restoration, water extraction, home repair, frozen pipes, ice storm

Property Damage: Flooding/Water Damage

Posted on Tue, Dec 02, 2008 @ 10:00 AM

RECOVERING FROM FLOOD DAMAGE
Source: Disaster-Resource
By Pat Moore

The very recent horrific flooding situations throughout the United States and the rest of the world exemplify how disastrous extreme water damage can be. Along with the tragic loss of life came almost irreparable physical property damage.


DAMAGE ASSESSMENT
Until the water recedes, a proper and thorough site/damage assessment cannot be performed. Water and silt, associated with floods, can carry contaminants such as bacteria, heavy metals, pesticides, PCBs and hydrocarbons. In some cases, metals, including lead, chrome, cadmium, barium and mercury, along with maintenance chemicals, oils from mechanical rooms, waste oil storage or fuel oil tanks, paints, solvents, and house-keeping chemicals may also be present. When these and other unknown chemicals are found, specific procedures such as taking a complete physical inventory of each container and product segregation should be performed by certified, trained, hazardous material technicians. The water and silt must be tested and analyzed so that the proper health and cleaning protocols can be employed.

The affect of the water and silt upon the facility and its contents can be extremely detrimental. Mr. Ian R. Chin, SE, AIA an external consultant to BOMA (Building Owners and Managers Association), states that, "Many buildings affected by water infiltration can be exposed to loading conditions that they have never seen before, and possibly were not designed to withstand. After the water is pumped out, all structural walls, beams, and columns should be investigated to determine if water-related forces have adversely affected their structural capacity and serviceability. When existing conditions have been evaluated, the structural engineer should design repairs to provide immediate stabilization as needed, and to provide long-term measures to address distress conditions. Structural intervention must be coordinated with measures to address architectural, mechanical, electrical and environmental concerns in areas affected by water."

For example, the water’s ionic content, acidity, suspended solids and organic content should always be analyzed. Inorganic salts from building materials and atmospheric particulate matter can be deposited on exposed circuit boards. It is also important not to let the sediments in water settle on the equipment and then dry. When addressing water damage in a facility and to the contents of that facility, you need to review all the water variables which could exist, including total alkalinity (pH), total dissolved solids (TDS), suspended material, dissolved gases, pathogens, organic material, microorganisms, electrolytes, oil and chemicals.

ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT RECOVERY
In most cases, de-energizing electronic equipment before exposure to water allows for successful restoration. Electronics, as well as finished products, should always be carefully examined and, if necessary, be tested by experienced technicians to make sure they still meet the manufacturer’s original operating and performance specifications, as well as general cosmetic appearance. If this equipment remains in a moist, humid environment, severe corrosion can occur within 48 – 72 hours. Emergency restoration procedures, such as removal of standing water, facility dehumidification, and corrosion control are crucial loss recovery factors in reducing damage to critical components of the facility.

It is possible to remove hundreds of gallons of water from thousands of square feet in a facility over a 24-hour period by dehumidifying moist air through the use of high efficiency refrigeration or desiccation techniques. Restoration specialists use dehumidification equipment in conjunction with overhead fire sprinklers and fire detection sensors to provide the maximum protection for expensive telephone switches or electronic data processing environment.

SICK BUILDING SYNDROME
In addition, where you have had standing water or moist, humid conditions in a facility for more than 24 – 48 hours, you must be concerned about the development and growth of mold and mildew spores. This affects not only the structure, HVAC systems and critical contents such as documents and magnetic media, but can produce sick building syndrome as well.

A proper and thorough damage assessment, performed by a certified industrial hygienist and decontamination of the HVAC systems is critical to insure the building will be returned to the proper criteria of clean for re-occupancy.

VITAL RECORDS RECOVERY
In addition to understanding and mitigating what water damage can do to a facility and electronic equipment, it is equally important to understand and mitigate not only what it can do to vital records, but the health hazards it might pose while attempting vital records recovery. During flooding, for example, sewage backup normally occurs. The typhoid bacteria can be present in sewage and therefore, in order to protect your resources that are assisting in the retrieval and restoration of the records, you will need to institute the proper health and safety procedures.

In the event of water damage, vital records can become a total loss very quickly. For example, chilled-water systems often contain glycol, which can adversely affect certain types of paper and magnetic media. Different types of documents, photographs and vellum items, as well as magnetic media, need immediate and extra-special care. Every effort should be made to reduce high temperatures and vent the areas as soon as the water has receded or been pumped out. Water-soaked materials must be kept as cool as possible by good air circulation until they can be stabilized.

Freezing and storing documents can buy you time to finalize arrangements for proper recovery. Although freezing itself is not a drying method - and does not kill mold - it definitely controls its growth if done properly.

Using proper hygiene methods, washing away accumulated mud, sewage and dirt must be completed prior to freezing to avoid additional damage. Do not attempt to pull documents apart while wet. Remove all documents in blocks, if possible, so you do not increase deterioration. Leave a space about the size of your fist in the packing box for proper air circulation. Once the documents are frozen and/or in cold storage, choose the proper drying method of either freeze-drying through sublimation or descicant drying. (It is important to point out that, depending upon the degree of water damage and volume of documents, both processes can require substantial time (generally a minimum of 7 - 10 days, and quite a bit longer in a regional disaster). In addition, check with your insurance company to ensure that your policy adequately covers the costs involved in restoring vital records. Typically, freeze-drying costs are priced per cubic foot of records. Determine whether your present coverage addresses the retrieval of data from the damaged medium. In addition to valuable papers’ coverage, you should research whether or not your business interruption insurance responds to a loss of vital records containing integral operational information.

MAGNETIC MEDIA RECOVERY
Due to the sensitivity of magnetic media, its successful recovery will require mitigation procedures of immediate and proper damage assessment, climate control, and proper handling and cleaning, generally within 72 – 96 hours of damage.

Improper handling of wet microfilm, such as allowing it to dry on its spool, can result in data loss as well. Keep silver or emulsion films wet in clean cold water and immediately contact your microfilm service bureau or film-processing lab to mobilize recovery operations. It can be assumed that the archival quality of microfilm has been compromised once it has been restored, and therefore you will always want to duplicate these records, and store the originals off-site.

Documents exposed to hazardous contamination cannot be moved or handled, except by trained and certified hazardous materials decontamination specialists. Clearance testing, performed on the records, will also be necessary before they can be released.

FINE ARTS RECOVERY
You must also consider the protection of any type of fine art that is housed in your facility. For example, the value of paintings in your Chairman’s offices or on loan for a special exhibit in your facility, can far exceed the sum total of the physical premises, its contents and inventory. Gordon Lewis, a fine arts restoration specialist with the Fine Arts Conservancy, West Palm Beach, Florida states that " in twelve to forty-eight hours, water will migrate to the interior of art on paper, damaging the sheet and image and creating the opportunity for overwhelming mold outbreak. Paintings and furniture can develop serious mold damage in the same time frame. Paintings, when exposed to water or saturating humidity, can flake away from their canvas upon drying (six plus hours). Rare books absorb saturating humidity, expanding and warping with irreversible damage to spines and bindings within twenty-four hours. Today there are sealed systems or microclimates which are suitable both for paintings and works of art on paper and can totally encapsulate the object without the system itself being visually seen". Lewis also cautions us on understanding the importance of art conservators directing a fine art pack out of a damaged building, and that in most cases, improper handling of fine art can cause more substantial damage than the damage event itself.

Through preparedness, training and mitigation, we can greatly reduce the billions of dollars being spent today on trying to salvage flood damaged homes and businesses.

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Frozen Pipes in Your Home!

Posted on Fri, Nov 21, 2008 @ 12:38 PM

Although Winter officially begins on December 21st, the New York Metro area has already posted FREEZE WARNINGS during overnight conditions.

Homeowners in need to start thinking about the possibility of pipes freezing in their homes and how to prevent property damage, including water damage to a structure.

Preventing Frozen Pipes
Before the onset of cold weather, prevent freezing of water supply lines and pipes by following these recommendations:

Outdoor
Drain water from swimming pool and water sprinkler supply lines following manufacturer's or installer's directions. Do not put antifreeze in these lines unless directed. Antifreeze is environmentally harmful, and is dangerous to humans, pets, wildlife, and landscaping.

Remove, drain, and store hoses used outdoors. Close inside valves supplying outdoor hose bibs. Open the outside hose bibs to allow water to drain. Keep the outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.

Water Supply Source
Check around the home for other areas where water supply lines are located and are in unheated areas. Look in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under kitchen and bathroom cabinets. Both hot and cold water pipes in these areas should be insulated. A hot water supply line can freeze just as a cold water supply line can freeze if the water is not running through the pipe and the water temperature in the pipe is cold.

Insulation
Consider installing specific products made to insulate water pipes like a "pipe sleeve" or installing UL-listed "heat tape," "heat cable," or similar materials on exposed water pipes. Many products are available at your local building supplies retailer. Pipes should be carefully wrapped, with ends butted tightly and joints wrapped with tape. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for installing and using these products.

If you have an issue related to frozen pipes, contact Advanced Restoration immediately to alleviate the potential of further property damage to your home or business . Our team is ready to respond 24/7 to your situation.

Tags: disaster, 203(k) loan, preventing frozen pipes, fire restoration, floods, ny water damage company, puffbacks, restoration companies, water damage, water damage restoration, structural drying, mold, toxic mold, winter storm, black mold, puff-back, advanced restoration, advanced restoration corporation, long island water damage, mold remediation, reconstruction, restoration, suffolk county restoration, water extraction, emergency service, home repair, storm damage, water leaks, frozen pipes

Is Your Home Safe?

Posted on Wed, Nov 05, 2008 @ 09:44 AM

Protecting your family from Fire and Carbon Monoxide is something that everyone needs to be aware of to ensure the safety of family members, in the event of an emergency.

Installing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors is an easy way to protect your home and family. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends one smoke alarm on every floor, in every sleeping area, and in every bedroom. In new construction, the smoke alarms must be AC powered and interconnected.

For additional coverage, it is recommended that you install a smoke alarm in all rooms, halls, storage areas, finished attics, and basements. Ensure there are no obstructions that could keep smoke from reaching smoke alarms.

Carbon Monoxide
A few days ago a family in Suffolk County, NY was exposed to carbon monoxide fumes. Installing carbon monoxide detectors is just as important as having smoke detectors in your home.

It is recommended to have a carbon monoxide alarm near sleeping areas, on every level of your home, and at least 15 feet away from your furnace.

Fire extinguishers should also be positioned on every level of your home.

Contact your local fire department for additional information.

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