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

A Consumer Guide to Insurance for Natural Disasters

Posted on Thu, Dec 30, 2010 @ 10:59 AM

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Introduction
Natural disasters (including floods, nor'easters, etc.) affect the lives of many people in the United States every year.The hazardous effects can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community; or very large, affecting an entire city or county. People who understand disasters and know what to do before and after a disaster can significantly reduce the time and cost to return to normalcy. The purpose of this information is to provide an understanding of the types of natural disasters and the insurance available to cover the losses resulting from them.
 
Insurance for Your Residence
Depending on your type of dwelling, you will need to consider your insurance options to determine the most appropriate coverage. It makes good sense to purchase the type and amount of coverage that is adequate to protect your home and your family.

Owning a Home – There are various types of policies available to homeowners. In general, the homeowners policy combines property coverage with liability coverage. Dwelling policies only provide property coverage.

Rental – This policy covers the personal property owned by renters. It can also cover liabilities arising from accidents and injuries for guests..

Owning a Condominium – Condominium policies primarily provide content coverage to condominium owners. In addition, there are special provisions to cover the portions of the dwelling for which you are responsible as defined by the governing rules of the condominium.

Owning a Home on a Farm – If your home is on a farm, a farm owners policy may be appropriate to protect against loss. In general, a farm owners policy provides coverage for farm business exposures, and both property and liability coverages.
 
Insurance Available for Your Property
Before buying an insurance policy, you should check for the types of coverages and products available in New York State. You also need to know the types and limits of coverage you want to purchase. Coverage is available for:
 
Dwelling – This is the structure of the house. (That is considered a covered property.)

Other Structures – These are other structures that are separate from the house. Examples are detached garages or toolsheds.

Personal Property – The contents in your home are considered personal property. This includes furniture, appliances, clothing and computer equipment. Some personal properties are specifically excluded and are either not covered under the policy or have limited coverage. Examples are: money, jewelry and firearms.
 
Loss of Use – This is the cost of additional living expenses incurred, when the dwelling becomes uninhabitable, and the cause is due to a covered loss. Reimbursement, such as the cost of a hotel room, will be made to the insured to maintain a normal standard of living.
 
Information Source:
New York State Department of Insurance
25 Beaver Street One Commerce Plaza
New York, NY 10004 Albany, NY 12257
(212) 480-6400 (800) 342-3736
www.ins.state.ny.us

Tags: fire restoration, flood long island, insurance, insurance claim, disrepair, flood damage, disaster restoration, insurance industry, insurance industry long island

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

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

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

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

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

Disaster Kleenup International Is Hurricane Ready!

Posted on Thu, Aug 20, 2009 @ 09:42 AM

Disaster Kleenup International, North America's largest disaster restoration contracting organization is fully prepared to assist in hurricane preparation and disaster planning for the possible U.S. landfall of Hurricane Bill. Bill became the first hurricane of the season on Monday morning.

To aid with storm preparation, DKI has created an informational website, www.hurricanecatastrophe.com.

The site, created in the wake of previous major hurricanes, offers numerous tips for property owners and managers on how to prepare weeks and months before a storm hits, what to do when a storm is identified as being on a path to potentially affect one's property, and how to protect one's own personal safety. The website also assists property owners and managers in taking inventory of their situation after the storm has left, and identifies sources of appropriate relief.

Additionally, there are helpful links to aid agencies and other resources, such as FEMA, the American Red Cross, and DKI, that can deliver necessary aid. In addition to the information on the website, DKI also has a 24-hour call center available to assist property owners who require emergency services. DKI's national catastrophe response unit maintains the industry's largest inventory of emergency services equipment and the largest labor pool in the U.S.

For those seeking to prepare before a storm, DKI also works collaboratively with property owners and managers to develop pre-disaster plans to further mitigate the costs of future catastrophes. For more information on DKI, visit www.hurricanecatastrophe.com, or contact our national account team at: 1.877.354.3566. To request emergency services in the wake of a disaster, call the DKI's Immediate Response Line 24 hours a day, 365 days a year at 1.888.735.0800. For a DKI member company in the New York Metro area, call Advanced Restoration Corporation at (800) 693-6263.

Advanced Restoration Corporation is located on Long Island. They are a 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. Their service area includes 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. Their 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.

 

Advanced Restoration is a preferred service provider for
insurance companies and real estate professionals.

For Emergency Service, call (800) 693-6263.

Tags: disaster, fire restoration, water damage, structural drying, mold, advanced restoration, reconstruction, restoration, water extraction, emergency service, flood damage, home repair

Homelite, Husky and Black Max Generators Recalled Due to Fire Hazard

Posted on Fri, Aug 14, 2009 @ 05:19 PM

Homelite, Husky and Black Max Generators Recalled Due to Fire Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Home Depot and Sam’s Club Stores

Another fire hazard recall was just released by the USCPSC...

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: Homelite, Husky and Black Max Brand Generators

Units: About 51,750

Distributor: Homelite Consumer Products Inc., of Anderson, S.C.

Hazard: The fuel gauge can leak excessive amounts of gasoline, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: None reported.

Description: This recall involves Homelite and Husky brand generators sold exclusively at Home Depot stores and Black Max brand generators sold exclusively at Sam’s Club stores. Affected generators include Homelite models HG3500, HG3510, HG5700 and HG5700R, Husky models HU3650, HUCA5700 and HUCA7000 and Black Max models BM10700A, BM10700B, BM10711A, BM10700DG, BM10700R, BM10700BR & BM10722G.

Generators included in this recall have manufacturing date codes between BML306-BMM151, CHL122-CHM151 and CRL153-CRM059. The model number and manufacturing date code are included on the data label located on the top or side of the generator engine. Products with a green “dot” on the outside of the package or a “silver dot” on the fuel gauge face are not included in the recall.

For more information, please click here.


Advanced Restoration is a full service property damage restoration company located in Suffolk County, New York. Our professional staff is experienced in dealing with Fire Damage Restoration, Water Damage Restoration, Flood & Storm Damage, Mold Remediation, Smoke Damage Restoration and Reconstruction.

Tags: disaster, fire restoration, restoration companies, burn hazard, fire recall, smoke damage, advanced restoration, restoration, homeowner tips, cpsc recall, smoke restoration

When Disaster Strikes...Advanced Restoration Responds!

Posted on Tue, Aug 11, 2009 @ 11:46 AM

Disasters can happen when you least expect it...

In late June, 2009 a vehicle crashed into a building in Deer Park, NY. The Suffolk County Police, Deer Park Fire Department and other public agencies responded within minutes.

The driver of a Buick Eighty-Eight sedan was injured after the car was involved in an accident in which it struck a smoke shop. The car hit the Kristy Smoke Shop on Deer Park Avenue, and the driver was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center by the Deer Park Fire Department Ambulance with unknown injuries, and there were no injuries to anyone in the store.

Also responding to the scene within minutes was Advanced Restoration Corporation. Advanced Restoration staff had the primary responsibility to immediately secure the building and partner with local officials, ensuring the structural integrity of the building.

Advanced Restoration staff also worked closely with the tenant of the building, the insured and the insurance company to mitigate damages and take the appropriate action to begin the restoration process.

This video depicts Advanced Restoration's actions associated with restoring this building back to "normal", allowing the business owner to re-open the smoke shop in a timely manner.


To find out more information on how you can partner with Advanced Restoration, call us at (800) 693-6263, or visit us on the web at www.AdvancedRestoration.com.

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, fire restoration, water damage restoration, smoke damage, advanced restoration, reconstruction, restoration, emergency service, restoration company, disrepair, rebuild, flood

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
[email protected]

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 DisasterSafety.org 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

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