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

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.

 

Tags: water damage long island, long island, property damage, water damage, dki, property damage long island, disaster kleenup interntional, disaster kleenup, replacing damage building materials, concrete board, american clay plaster, new york, advanced restoration corporation, reconstruction, disaster restoration, long island after the storms, replacing building materials

Advanced Restoration Receives a 2009 Constant Contact All Star Award

Posted on Fri, Apr 23, 2010 @ 10:30 AM

advanced restoration corporation long island new york city property damage disaster restoration

Constant Contact recognizes Advanced Restoration Corporation
 for commitment to best practices in email marketing.

West Babylon, New York - April 23, 2010 - Advanced Restoration Corporation, today announced that it has received a 2009 All-Star Award from Constant Contact®, Inc., a leading provider of email marketing, event marketing, and online survey tools for small organizations.  Advanced Restoration Corporation was selected for meeting Constant Contact's best-practice standards for the use of Email Marketing throughout 2009.

"Constant Contact provides an excellent marketing resource that allows Advanced Restoration the ability to effectively communicate with our clients," said Gary Matzelle, Marketing Director, Advanced Restoration Corporation. "The marketing tools provided by Constant Contact have helped to build and reinforce our company's brand and image."

Advanced Restoration received a 2009 Constant Contact All-Star Award for demonstrating best practices in the effective use of Constant Contact Email Marketing in the following areas:

  • Frequency of campaigns
  • Open rates
  • Bounce rates
  • Click through rates

"Our customers work hard to build strong relationships with their customers through email marketing and some, such as Advanced Restoration Corporation, truly excel in this effort," said Gail Goodman, CEO, Constant Contact. "We created our All-Star Awards to highlight those customers who are passionately committed to following our best practices as they work to improve their customer communications. We're proud of the role we play in helping Advanced Restoration be successful and we look forward to continuing to assist the company with its marketing efforts."

###
About Constant Contact, Inc.
With more than 350,000 customers, Constant Contact, Inc. is a leading provider of email marketing, event marketing, and online surveys for small businesses, nonprofits, and member associations. Founded in 1995, Constant Contact helps small organizations grow stronger customer relationships by delivering professional, low cost, easy-to-use online tools backed with award-winning support, education and personal coaching. Constant Contact is a publicly traded company (Nasdaq: CTCT) with offices located in Waltham, Mass.; Loveland, Colo.; and Delray, Fla. To learn more, please visit http://www.constantcontact.com/ or call 781-472-8100.

About Advanced Restoration Corporation
As a preferred vendor for multiple insurance companies, Advanced Restoration Corporation is a leading service provider in the property damage restoration industry. With a combined 75 years experience, Advanced Restoration is a family-owned and operated disaster response/property damage restoration company specializing in fire and smoke damage, water damage and mold remediation. Advanced Restoration services Long Island and the New York Metro area.  To learn more, please visit http://www.advancedrestoration.com/ or call (800) 693-6263.

Media Contact
Gary Matzelle
Advanced Restoration Corporation
(800) 693-6263
Email: [email protected]

Rosalind Morville
Constant Contact
(339) 222-5772
Email: [email protected]

Tags: marketing, new york, advanced restoration corporation, constant contact

Building Deconstruction: Saving Long Island Landfills...One Building At A Time

Posted on Tue, Apr 13, 2010 @ 05:05 PM

 

What a beautiful weekend we just had on Long Island.  The Storms of March 2010 are behind us. Those of us in the insurance industry are slowing down a bit catching up on all our paperwork, riding the crest of the wave down to the end of its journey.  It felt like Spring for the first time for me this weekend.

On Sunday, I drove out to Sag Harbor, New York out on the East End of Long Island in the area most notably known as The Hamptons.  I went to inspect a home that was at the end of its use.  The new owners purchased the house, basically for the land, and plan to build a new one in its place.

But what do you do with the old house?  Just because the home is at the end of its life cycle, does not mean the building materials that make up the house are at the end of their usage. But since the advent of "mass production" the acceptable way to get rid of the old homes on Long Island (and the rest of the country) was to knock it down or "demo" with a bulldozer and dump all the construction and demolition (C&D) waste in the landfills. But there are other "greener" more cost-effective practices that can benefit the homeowner, the environment, and the Long Island community.

I inspected the house with a representative of The Reuse People (TRP). TRP is a Non-Profit Organization based in California with branches all over the United States. TRP keeps reusable and recyclable building materials out of overburdened landfills by promoting building deconstruction and channeling the building material back into the marketplace through donations and sales at its network of retail outlets. TRP works closely with local building deconstruction contractors to try and salvage up to 80 percent of the building materials (varies depending upon age and type of materials) during the building deconstruction process. These services are among the first steps in the green building process.

The house is a roughly 2,000SF ranch with an unfinished basement, attic, and small detached garage built in 1981. The previous owner had used it as a rental property and the house was not in the best of condition. The kitchen cabinets and wood floors were not salvageable due to water damage and type of materials. The wood floors today come in short pieces and are less valuable than longer older pieces. They are also very hard to piece back together. The single-pane wood windows and hallow core doors did not have much value either. Also the brick fireplace was relatively new and made with much stronger mortar than older masonry work. Because the mortar is much stronger, it is hard to clean the brick and reuse the material in a future construction project(s).

Building deconstruction is more labor intensive due to the care our deconstruction technicians must use when deconstructing the reusable building materials to save their value. We take the ultimate care in deconstructing, handling and packing the reusable building materials because too much breakage can disrupt the whole economics of the project and have one unhappy building owner or homeowner. A 2,000SF house takes five deconstruction technicians four weeks to deconstruct.

The representative of The Reuse People estimated the total value of usable building materials at roughly $20,000. That means the homeowner would get a tax deductible donation (percentage would depend on building owner or homeowner's income tax bracket) when he or she donated the reusable building materials to The Reuse People for distribution and resale in their network.

Below is a comparison of the cost of both Building Deconstruction vs. Demolition for this particular project in Sag Harbor, Long Island.

Process:

Deconstruction

Demolition

Cost:

$25,000

$15,000

Donations:

$20,000

 

Tax Deduction:

$5,000

 

Total Cost:

$20,000

$15,000

For this house, it is more cost effective to demolish the house than it is to perform any soft stripping or building deconstruction because there is very little value in the minimal reusable building materials we could have salvage from the home. In today's economy, like most of the Long Island green building industry, cost is still the driving factor over "the right thing to do".

Below is a list of building deconstruction projects that The Reuse People have worked on and the total dollar value of reusable building materials salvaged from each project.

City

Square Feet

Donation Value

Newport Beach, CA

5,523

$182,346

Napa, CA

3,342

$102,025

Oakland, CA

1,400

$74,144

Santa Barbara, CA

2,100

$57,000

Denver, CO

2,900

$125,566

Chicago, IL

2,200

$110,096

Chicago, IL

$2,800

$118,150

Bellevue, WA

3,800

$175,600

Kenosha, WI

2,250

$98,000

The list of soft stripping and building deconstruction project above that have overseen by The Reuse People throughout the United States prove that building deconstruction on Long Island can be a cost effective green building alternative to demolition if there is value in the reusable building materials.

It is Advanced Restoration Corporation's earnest desire to make the Long Island Community a Leader in Building Deconstruction and Building Material Reuse in New York and throughout the country. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions regarding our Soft Stripping or Building Deconstruction Services on Long Island.

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