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

Drowning in Water Damage?

Posted on Mon, Jul 27, 2009 @ 11:49 AM

Another wet weekend in New York and water is seeping into your basement! Heavy rain is just one way you may get wet when you least expect it.

Water damage arises from fire damage, broken pipes, blocked drains, malfunctioning appliances, storms and other causes. The appropriate treatment on the nature of the damage. Some water carries contaminents and should be considered hazardous.

Whatever the origin, the prospects for restoration depend largely on the speed with which your building/home and personal property can be dried. Even clean water can generate mildew and other bacterial growth if neglected.

Some "to do" tips to help you after water damage occurs:

  • Ensure you ventilate wet areas. Turn on air conditioning for accelerated drying in summer (if there is no visible mold)); in winter, alternate cycles of opened windows and heating.
  • Remove standing water from flat surfaces by sponging and blotting.
  • Take up saturated rugs and carpets when hardwood floors are at risk.
  • Stay out of rooms where ceilings are sagging from retained water.
  • Remove lamps, telephones and decorative items from wet furniture tops.
  • Open drawers and cabinet doors for interior drying, but do not force stuck drawers or doors.
  • Place aluminum foil squares, china saucers or wood blocks under furniture legs to avoid carpet staining.
  • As soon as possible, call a professional water damage specialist for emergency drying.

Do Not...

  • Operate televisions, vacuums, computers or other electrical appliances while standing on wet carpet or floors, especially wet concrete floors. Serious injury may result.
  • Use heat to dry closed building interiors, mildew and expanded moisture may result.
  • Leave wet fabrics in place; space them apart and dry as soon as possible.

24/7 Emergency Service
Advanced Restoration staff is On-Call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to respond to your water damage/flood situation. We understand that the sudden intrusion of water is not something that anyone can be totally prepared for. You will always talk to one of our knowledgeable, caring team members, day or night. If we are unable to assist you, we will offer you our best professional advice. At Advanced Restoration, we pride ourselves on immediate response to all types of water damage situations.

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, property damage, ny water damage company, water damage, flooding, mold, advanced restoration, long island water damage, restoration company, flood damage, home repair, moisture, mildew

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
boconnor@ibhs.org

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

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

Portable Power Sources Recalled: Fire Hazard

Posted on Wed, Apr 15, 2009 @ 05:04 PM

Portable Power Sources Recalled Due to Fire Hazard

Source: CPSC

U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Office of Information and Public Affairs
Washington, DC 20207

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEApril 2, 2009Release #09-182
Firm's Recall Hotline: (800) 233-0462CPSC Recall Hotline: (800) 638-2772CPSC Media Contact: (301) 504-7908

Best Buy Announces the Recall of Certain Rocketfish Universal Portable Power Sources Due to Fire HazardWASHINGTON, 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: Rocketfish Model RF-INV80 Universal AC/DC/USB Portable Power Source

Units: About 1,400

Importer: Best Buy Co. Inc., of Richfield, Minn.

Hazard: While charging the battery, the power source can unexpectedly ignite, posing a fire hazard to consumers.

Incidents/Injuries: The firm has received three reports of fires resulting in minor property damage. No injuries reported.

Description: This recall involves Rocketfish Universal AC/DC/USB portal power sources with model number RF-INV80. The model number is printed on the back of the power source and “Rocketfish” is printed on the cover.

Sold exclusively at: Best Buy stores nationwide and at bestbuy.com from July 2008 through February 2009 for about $100.

Manufactured in: China

Remedy: Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled power sources and contact Best Buy to receive a gift card for the value of the product.

Consumer Contact: For additional information, contact Best Buy at (800) 233-0462 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. CT daily, or visit the firm’s Web site at
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?id=pcmcat114800050015&type=category


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. Call us at: (800)693-6263.

Tags: disaster, fire restoration, flooding, burn hazard, fire recall, fire prevention, advanced restoration, advanced restoration corporation, reconstruction, restoration, fire protection, cpsc recall

It's Cold Out...Stay Warm & Be Safe!

Posted on Wed, Jan 14, 2009 @ 04:58 PM

Arctic air is expected to hit the New York Metro area by tomorrow, and is expected to last until Sunday. Many Homeowners will be using various heating sources to stay warm, including electric heaters and fireplaces. Fire safety is essential to your family and should be discussed with all members of your household.

Heating equipment is among the leading causes of home fires nationally and in New York State. Very often heating related fires are the result of a lack of maintenance or simple acts of carelessness. Following the guidelines below will help to ensure that you reduce the possibility of experiencing a heating related fire.

Fire tips from NY State's Office of Fire Prevention and Control include:

Fire Prevention
To prevent fires, keep furnishings and other combustibles 36 inches from all heating sources. A heating source too close to combustibles is the leading cause of fires due to home heating. Store matches and other fire starting appliances out of the reach of children. Fires started by children often have tragic results.

Follow Proper Maintenance
Proper maintenance and an annual inspection of heat pumps, furnaces, space heaters, wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, chimneys and chimney connections by qualified specialists can prevent fires and save lives. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for installation, venting, fueling, maintenance and repair.

Review the owner's manual to make sure you remember the operating and safety features.

  • Space Heaters – When using portable heaters, do not place them where it is possible for small children or pets to fall against them or to receive a contact burn. Avoid the use of extension cords with electric heaters. Always turn off space heaters before leaving the room or going to bed.
  • Fuel Burning Appliances – When taking a heater out of storage in the fall, install batteries and inspect the shut off mechanism and wick for proper operation. Fill the tank with fresh fuel. Let the heater cool down before refueling. Adding fuel to a hot heater can start a dangerous fire.
  • Wood Burning Appliances and Fireplaces – Do not burn trash in the wood stove or fireplace. Burn only well-seasoned hardwoods. Be sure the fire you build fits your fireplace or stove, don’t overload it. Be sure wood stoves are installed at least 36 inches away from the wall. Keep combustible materials well away from the fireplace, stove and chimney. Keep the area around them clean. Always use a fireplace screen to prevent sparks from leaving the fireplace and starting a fire. Never leave a fire unattended.
  • Chimneys - 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.
  • Ashes – Keep wood stoves and fireplaces free of excess ash buildup. Excessive ash buildup prevents good circulation of air needed for combustion. When removing ashes, use a metal container with a tight-fitting cover. Always place ashes in an outside location away from structures. Ashes that seem cool may contain a smoldering charcoal that can start a fire.

Advanced Restoration is a full service property damage restoration company and is trained to respond to all aspects of fire, smoke damage and water damage that can occur after a fire. Call us at (800) 693-6263 for more information, or visit our website at www.AdvancedRestoration.com.

We are truly committed to Making Disaster Temporary and Restoration Permanent.

Tags: smoke alarm, preventing frozen pipes, property damage, fire restoration, puffbacks, water damage, structural drying, flooding, burn hazard, cold winter, advanced restoration, advanced restoration corporation, long island water damage, restoration, water extraction, emergency service, restoration company, storm damage, fire protection, smoke restoration, heating

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

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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Water Damage and Mold Remediation

Posted on Sat, Nov 15, 2008 @ 03:10 PM

Once again, Long Island and the NY Metro area is getting hit by heavy rains and flooding.
Here are a few more tips on water damage and mold for our friends in Nassau County, Suffolk County and New York City:

Mold Issues
If you have a serious mold problem, calling a specialist is in your best interest. Leaving a mold problem untreated can result in structural damage to your home and possible thousands in repairs.

Mold Detection
If you're not sure if you have a mold problem or not, a water damage specialist can assess your situation. After a very rainy season, it's a good idea to get your house checked for leaks, water damage, and mold.

Water Removal
If you've encountered a large leak or a flood, a specialist will have all the equipment needed to take care of the situation quickly and simply. If there is a lot of water but you think you can take care of it yourself, assess whether you think structural damage can occur within the extra time it may take you as opposed to a specialist.

Drying
After a major leak or flood, it's important to dry out the affected area. If you do not have the necessary equipment to do this, most water damage teams own several large, high power drying fans to prevent further damage.

Deodorizing
If a strange smell in your home just won't go away in your home, consider calling a water damage specialist for this as well. Most people don't know they handle strange odors, but they do have anything you're going to need to dispel most bad smells.

Restoration
If your home was hit by flood, mildew, mold, or leaks, structural or other damage may have occurred. To guarantee your home looks the same way it used to, call a specialist as they specialize in restoring homes after this particular kind of damage.

Assessing Damage Whatever water damage you come across, a water damage specialist is the right person to tell you exactly how severe a situation is and what action to take as a homeowner or business owner. Before hiring anyone to do any work, make sure you have an idea of just what is damaged and what needs to be done.

For more information about water damage, contact Advanced Restoration.

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