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

WATER DAMAGE CHECKLIST

Posted on Fri, Mar 16, 2012 @ 10:29 AM

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Answer the following questions to help determine areas where water can get inside.

When water finds its way inside your home or busines during a hurricane, it can soak attic insulation and drywall, and cause extensive damage to other parts of the structure. This can lead to costly repairs, keep you out of your house for an extended period of time or delay the re-opening of your business following a disaster. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) developed the following checklist to help identify areas that are the most common sources of water intrusion. With proper evaluation and maintenance, you can reduce your risk of damage. 

  1. Are there gaps around water faucet pipes where they enter the walls of the house? Find a solution.

  2. Are there gaps around gas pipes where they enter the house? Find a solution.

  3. Are there gaps around air conditioning pipes (white and foam covered) where they enter the house? Find a solution.

  4. Are there any gaps around electrical outlet boxes, junction boxes, circuit breaker boxes, disconnect switches, electric meters, etc.? Find a solution.

  5. Are there gaps between light fixtures and the face of the house? Find a solution.

  6. Are there gaps around dryer vents, gas water heater vents, range hood vents and the house? Find a solution.

  7. Are there cracks or voids in the mortar under the window sills? Find a solution.

  8. Is the finished floor of the house high (at least 6 inches) above soil and mulch?Find a solution.

  9. Are there parts of the house where water has gotten inside after heavy rains or where there has been standing water next to the house? Find a solution.

  10. Are there penetrations of the house within 6 inches of the ground? Find a solution.

Tags: water damage long island, water damage, water damage new york, safety, disaster safety, prevent water damage, water damage checklist

Hurricane Alerts: Watch vs. Warning...Know the Difference

Posted on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 @ 11:37 AM

hurricane earl

Hurricane Earl, the second major hurricane of 2010, is moving away from the Northern Leeward Islands.  Residents along the U.S. East Coast should follow Earl closely to see what impacts the hurricane will bring Thursday and Friday.  Long Island may be impacted by Earl and current weather conditions call for a 30-40% chance that Suffolk County will face a Tropical Storm come this Friday, September 3rd. 

What is the differnece between Watches and Warnings? 

  • TROPICAL STORM WATCH: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are
possible within the specified coastal area within 48 hours.
  • TROPICAL STORM WARNING: An announcement that tropical storm conditions (sustained winds of 39 to 73 mph) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area within 36 hours.
  • HURRICANE WATCH: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane watch is issued 48 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
  • HURRICANE WARNING: An announcement that hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are expected somewhere within the specified coastal area. Because hurricane preparedness activities become difficult once winds reach tropical storm force, the hurricane warning is issued 36 hours in advance of the anticipated onset of tropical-storm-force winds.
  • For more information on hurricanes and emergency preparedness, please click here.

     

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    Long Island After the Storms: Replacing Damaged Building Materials

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

     

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

     

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