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

New York: Being Prepared for the Unexpected!

Posted on Thu, Feb 25, 2010 @ 02:52 PM


Emergency Preparedness 
Emergency preparedness is no longer the sole concern of earthquake prone Californians and those who live in the part of the country known as "Tornado Alley." For Americans, preparedness must now account for man-made disasters as well as natural ones. Knowing what to do during an emergency is an important part of being prepared and may make all the difference when seconds count.  Heavy snow is expected to hit the Northeast today. 

Blizzards, heavy snow, freezing rain and sub-zero temperatures hit hard and frequently across the state. Even if you think you are safe and warm at home, a winter storm can become dangerous if the power is cut off. With a little planning, you can protect yourself and your family from the many hazards of winter weather, both at home and on the road.

BE AWARE OF THE FORECAST

  • Winter weather advisory. Formerly called a "travelers' advisory," this alert may be issued by the National Weather Service for a variety of severe conditions. Weather advisories may be announced for snow, blowing and drifting snow, freezing drizzle, freezing rain (when less than ice storm conditions are expected), or a combination of weather events.
  • Winter storm watch. Severe winter weather conditions may affect your area (freezing rain, sleet or heavy snow may occur either separately or in combination).
  • Winter storm warning. Severe winter weather conditions are imminent.
  • Freezing rain or freezing drizzle. Rain or drizzle is likely to freeze upon impact, resulting in a coating of ice glaze on roads and all other exposed objects.
  • Sleet. Small particles of ice, usually mixed with rain. If enough sleet accumulates on the ground, it makes travel hazardous.
  • Blizzard warning. Sustained wind speeds of at least 35 miles per hour are accompanied by considerable falling and/or blowing snow. This is the most perilous winter storm, with visibility dangerously restricted.
  • Wind chill. A strong wind combined with a temperature slightly below freezing can have the same chilling effect as a temperature nearly 50 degrees lower in a calm atmosphere. The combined cooling power of the wind and temperature on exposed flesh is called the wind-chill factor.

BE PREPARED AT HOME

  • Keep a battery-powered radio and flashlights in working order; stock extra batteries.
  • Store food that can be prepared without an electric or gas stove.
  • Stock emergency water and cooking supplies.
  • Have candles and matches available in case of a power outage.
  • Have sufficient heating fuel; regular fuel sources may be cut off.
  • Have some kind of emergency heating equipment and fuel (a kerosene heater, a gas fireplace or wood-burning stove or fireplace) so you can keep at least one room of your house warm if power is cut off. (See the fact sheet "Staying Warm in an Unheated House.")

RIDING OUT A STORM AT HOME

If you are isolated at home, listen to the radio or television for updates on weather conditions. Conserve fuel by keeping your house cooler than usual and by temporarily "closing off" heat to some rooms. When emergency heating methods must be used, maintain adequate ventilation to avoid build-up of toxic fumes. (See the fact sheet, "Staying Warm in an Unheated House.")

Dress accordingly. Layer your clothing; many layers of thin clothing are warmer than single layers of thick clothing. If you need to go outdoors or the heat is off indoors, wear mittens; they are warmer than gloves. Wear a hat; most body heat is lost through the top of the head. Cover your mouth with scarves to protect your lungs from directly inhaling extremely cold air.

If shoveling snow isn't critical, don't do it. If you must shovel snow, take your time and lift small amounts. Over-exertion can bring on a heart attack - a major cause of death during and after winter storms.

Stay safe and stay warm!

Related Article:  Ice Dams and Your Home

Source: NASD

Tags: disaster, long island, water damage, structural drying, flooding, nassau county restoration, snow, winter storm, ice damage, advanced restoration, long island water damage, restoration, homeowner tips, flood, moisture, storm damage, storm, frozen pipes, nor'easter, ice storm

Ice Dams and Your Home

Posted on Fri, Jan 22, 2010 @ 10:19 AM

Whenever there is snow, you are likely to have troublesome ice dams to follow. Ice dams can cause major water damage and flooding to your home, which requires immediate attention.

 

ice dams


 

 

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.  InsulationIncreased insulation in an attic will help to prevent ice dams. 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.  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.

Ice Dam Inspection
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. Detail a comprehensive plan to fix the damage and more importantly, solve the problem.

Frozen Pipes?

frozen pipes

 

Tags: preventing frozen pipes, ny water damage company, restoration companies, flooding, nassau county restoration, demolition waste, winter storm, ice damage, cold winter, advanced restoration, restoration, emergency service, disrepair, flood damage, flood, home repair, moisture, ice storm

Ice Dams and Protecting Your Home!

Posted on Wed, Jan 06, 2010 @ 08:11 PM
As if we need more snow, another storm is expected on Friday. 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.
ice dams, water damage,water extraction
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, preventing frozen pipes, floods, ny water damage company, water damage, flooding, winter storm, ice damage, cold winter, advanced restoration, advanced restoration corporation, long island water damage, restoration, water extraction, emergency service, homeowner tips, restoration company, rebuild, flood damage, storm damage, storm, water leaks, frozen pipes, nor'easter, ice storm

Wind Damage to Your Home: Wind Advisory in New York

Posted on Tue, Dec 29, 2009 @ 08:54 AM
Heavy winds are pounding Long Island today and the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for parts of New York. 

During a severe storm or a hurricane, homes may be damaged or destroyed by high winds. Debris can break windows and doors, allowing high winds inside the home. In extreme storms, the force of the wind alone can cause weak places in your home to fail.

Some helpful tips regarding wind damage and preparing for storms are listed below: 

The Roof
During a windstorm, the force of the wind pushes against the outside of your home. That force is passed along from your roof to the exterior walls and finally to the foundation. Homes can be damaged or destroyed when the energy from the wind is not properly transferred to the ground. The first thing you should do is determine what type of roof you have. Homes with gabled roofs are more likely to suffer damage during a hurricane. A gabled roof looks like an A on the ends,with the outside wall going to the top of the roof. The end wall of a home with a gabled roof takes a beating during a hurricane or wind storm, and those that are not properly braced can collapse, causing major damage to the roof.

Exterior Doors and Windows
The exterior walls, doors, and windows are the protective shell of your home. If your home's protective shell is broken, high winds can enter and put pressure on your roof and walls, causing damage. You can protect your home by strengthening the doors and windows.

Double Entry Doors
Most double doors have an active and an inactive or fixed door . Check to see how the fixed door is secured at the top and bottom. The bolts or pins that secure most doors are not strong enough. Some door manufacturers provide reinforcing bolt kits made specifically for their doors. Check with your local building supplies retailer to findout what type of bolt system will work for your door.

Double-wide Garage Doors
Double-wide (two-car) garage doors can pose a problem during storms because they are so large that they wobble as the high winds blow and can pull out of their tracks or collapse from wind pressure. If garage doors fail, high winds can enter your home through the garage and blow out doors, windows, walls, and even the roof.

Check the track on your garage door. With both hands, grab a section of each track and see if it is loose or if it can be twisted. If so, a stronger track should be installed.

Storm Shutters
Installing storm shutters over all exposed windows and other glass surfaces is one of the easiest and most effective ways to protect your home. You should cover all windows, French doors, sliding glass doors, and skylights. There are many types of manufactured storm shutters available. For more information on manufactured shutters, check with your local building supplies retailer. If you install manufactured shutters, follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully.

The recommendations discussed here are not intended to replace local building code requirements or to serve as the only options for protecting your home from hurricane wind damage. For more information on protecting your home from hurricane wind damage, contact your local building official; your local building supply retailer; or a building professional.

Advanced Restoration is a property damage restoration company that is trained and ready to respond to any disaster situation, including wind damage to your home or business. We are a preferred vendor for many insurance carriers and have been serving Long Island and the NY Metro area for 20 years. 

Do you have a property damage situation you need help with? 
Call us today at (800) 693-6263!

 

Tags: wind damage, hurricane tips, property damage, restoration companies, water damage restoration, nassau county restoration, winter storm, cold winter, insurance, restoration, suffolk county restoration, homeowner tips, restoration company, rebuild, home repair, buying a home, weather, nor'easter

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

What is Thermography?

Posted on Tue, Nov 25, 2008 @ 10:01 AM

Many restoration contractors will use a thermal imager following a water loss to determine the damage sustained to a property structure. Thermography, the use of a thermal imager or infrared (IR) camera to capture an image of the surface temperature of objects, is used in a variety of industries to detect problems that show up as temperature differences.

First of all, it is important to understand that an IR camera is not a moisture meter. It is a thermal-imaging camera that detects temperature differences. Where there is elevated moisture in or on interior building materials, there is usually evaporative cooling. If necessary, the building can be modified to enhance evaporative cooling. Since evaporation lowers the temperature of wet surfaces, the IR camera can easily and quickly locate suspect areas needing further investigation. Both the IR camera and the moisture meter are needed to perform a building moisture investigation. So, after the IR camera locates an anomaly, a contractor can verify the presence or absence of moisture with a moisture meter.

A trained thermographer can scan a room and check questionable areas more timely than using less effective techniques. Water damage calls for fast responses, especially when dry downs are an operation. Using an IR camera significantly reduces inspection times, resulting in reduced labor costs. The same thing applies to monitoring the drying process. It would take a lot of time to check every square inch of an area you are drying and you can easily miss areas of moisture. On the other hand, the IR camera can quickly show an individual the progress of the restoration and where to focus your drying efforts.

Insurance companies are always focused on keeping their customers satisfied to ensure policy retention . When property claims are made, insurers are concerned about paying a fair and equitable price for the work that needs to be performed under the terms of the policy, which is good business. Insurance adjusters are charged with having to determine how coverage applies to each loss. Generally, they are not experts in the field of restoration.

Insurance carriers rely on good documentation to establish the scope of the loss and the appropriate need for equipment and labor. One of the many benefits of IR technology for the insurance company is pictorial documentation covering the scope of the loss and the need for equipment. The restorer can document when the property is dry and remove equipment at the appropriate time. That documentation can then be submitted to adjusters to document their file, allowing them to close files faster and only pay the appropriate amount for restoration.

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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.

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Winter Is Coming

Posted on Wed, Nov 05, 2008 @ 01:23 PM

WINTER FORECASTS
How accurate were they?

Some winters can be tougher than the NFL football season!

Last year, Long Island had a relatively mild winter and readings from LI Mac-Arthur Airport related to the Winter of 2007-2008 indicated:

Mean temperature: 34.2 degrees vs. normal temperature based on 30-year average: 33.7 degrees.


Last year’s overall predictions for winter of ’07-’08:

  • National Weather Service: Above average temperatures for most of the U.S.
  • AccuWeather Inc.: Marginally warmer than normal
  • WSI Inc.: Warmer than usual
  • Weather 2000 Inc.: Slightly cooler than 10-year average, warmer than 30-year average
  • The Farmers Almanac: “Two-faced winter” for the nation, with extremes of warm and dry, and cold and wet, varying by region
  • The Old Farmers Almanac: Warmer than normal, but slightly colder than winter of ‘06-‘07

Could this winter's weather add to our economic woes on Long Island?
As homeowners across the country pray for a mild winter to offset rising energy costs, the world-famous Farmers’ Almanac is warning us to prepare for the worst. “Numb’s the word!” is how the 192-year-old publication is predicting the upcoming winter season. For 2008–2009, the Farmers’ Almanac is forecasting a “numbing” winter, with below-average temperatures for at least two-thirds of the country. Only the Far West and Southeast will see near-normal temperatures. Few, if any, locations will enjoy many above-normal temperature days this upcoming season.

Snow?
Precipitation-wise, most of the South, as well as the Midwest, should experience above-normal conditions, while the rest of the nation will average close to normal. With below-normal winter temperatures and an above-normal precipitation forecast, the Great Lakes and Midwest will see above-normal snowfalls, especially during January and February. Above-normal precipitation is forecast for the Southwest during December 2008 and for the Southeast in January and February 2009. It should also turn out to be an unusually wet and/or snowy February across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

The other long-range forecasts for the impending winter season were predicting mostly above-normal temperatures nationwide, with no prolonged spells of cold weather, and limited precipitation.

The Farmers’ Almanac, in contrast, predicted that it would be a "two-faced" winter, with warm and dry extremes balancing extremes of cold and wet. For those of you who live in the Midwest, northern New England, and parts of the West, last winter was anything but mild and warm. Snowfall records were broken, and winter seemed as if it would never end.

Highlights from last winter:

  • The average temperature across the contiguous U.S. during the climatological winter (December 2007–February 2008) was the coolest since 2001.
  • Above-average winter precipitation was the norm for the Midwest and parts of the West.
  • Snowfall was also above normal in northern New England, where some locations posted all-time record winter snow totals. (Find out which towns broke records).

Long-range weather predictions are created almost two years in advance and are based on a formula that has proven to be dependable. People who follow the forecasts claim the accuracy rate is about 80–85%.

For more details on last year and this year's weather, get the 2009 Farmers' Almanac.

Check out other major weather events accurately predicted by the Farmers’ Almanac

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Blackouts

Posted on Mon, Nov 03, 2008 @ 01:20 PM

Nor'easters can be devastating and damaging, especially in the winter months, when most damage is caused by heavy snow and icing. Nor'easters are known for bringing extremely cold air down from the Arctic air mass, and many times power will be lost in local communities.

Being prepared for emergencies is crucial at home, school, work and in your community. Short-term power outages, such as those caused by storms, are inconveniences but with good planning, you and those you care about will be ready to react accordingly.


Top Safety Tips for a Blackout

  1. Only use a flashlight for emergency lighting. Never use candles!
  2. Turn off electrical equipment you were using when the power went out.
  3. Avoid opening the refrigerator and freezer.
  4. Do not run a generator inside a home or garage.
  5. If you use a generator, connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator. Do not connect a generator to a home's electrical system.
  6. Listen to local radio and television for updated information.

If you would like more information about blackouts and how to deal with them, contact the power company that serves your area.

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