Recent Posts

Stop the mold from returning

11/20/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Stop the mold from returning Keep the basement dry

When you only deal with the mold, without fixing the source – well – you’ll get mold again and again. Depending on whether your crawl space is a cold zone or a warm zone.

If your crawl space is a cold zone, that means it shouldn’t be pulling heat from the warm air in your home. If you’re having issues with mold and moisture, you space my not be properly vented. Two vents on either side of your crawl space should be sufficient. You will also need to place insulation under the floors in your home so the hot and cold air don’t meet in the middle and create moisture. While you’re making repairs in the crawl space – double check that any piping in there is properly insulated so they don’t freeze during the winter.

If your crawl space is part of the warm section of your home, that means your space better be properly insulated so you aren’t losing heat to the outside. If it’s not properly insulated, make sure to take care of that first. I like using a closed cell, two pound spray foam because it will keep the heat in, as well as act like a vapor barrier to fight against that moisture. If you’re filling your space with batt insulation instead, make sure you also install a vapor barrier – and it needs to be on the warm side of the house.

You may think that mold and moisture in your crawl space are just a given, but the truth is, it’s not. If you understand how to prevent moisture buildup in the space, you can keep the water out and that will keep the mold at bay.

Importance of Fire Sprinklers

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Importance of Fire Sprinklers Building in Deer Park, N.Y.

A journal had recently published a very interesting article about the impact of fire sprinklers on industrial facilities. We’ve known for years how important a working fire sprinkler system is for keeping your building safe in the event of a fire, but now the conclusion of a 14-year study.

The study analyzed 946 serious fires between 2000 and 2013 across 11 different occupancy types, with a threshold of $100,000 in damage and up. Of the fires studied, 322 were industrial fires: 269 in manufacturing centers and 53 in warehouses. The industrial fires made up just over a third of the fires included in the study, but were responsible for nearly half of the total estimated $1.2 billion in damages.

The results of the study support the theory that fires tend to be more damaging the “heavier” the building occupancy. For example, while residential fires accounted for 8 percent of the number of serious fires in the study, they made up just 4 percent of the total estimated damage of those fires. Even within the manufacturing subset, heavier occupancies such as a foundry compared to a watch manufacturer tended to produce the more damaging and costly fires.

Overall, the study showed fires in non-sprinklered facilities averaged an estimated $1.9 million in damage compared to $638,000 in sprinklered facilities, or a ratio of about 3:1.

Molds are all around us

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Molds are all around us Mold Can grow on many things

Molds can be found almost anywhere; they can grow on virtually any organic substance, as long as moisture and oxygen are present. There are molds that can grow on wood, paper, carpet, foods, and insulation. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings or on building materials, mold growth will often occur, particularly if the moisture problem remains undiscovered or unaddressed. It is impossible to eliminate all mold and mold spores in the indoor environment. However, mold growth can be controlled indoors by controlling moisture indoors.

Photo 2: Extensive mold contamination of ceiling and walls.

Molds reproduce by making spores that usually cannot be seen without magnification. Mold spores waft through the indoor and outdoor air continually. When mold spores land on a damp spot indoors, they may begin growing and digesting whatever they are growing on in order to survive. Molds gradually destroy the things they grow on.

Since mold requires water to grow, it is important to prevent moisture problems in buildings. Moisture problems can have many causes, including uncontrolled humidity. Some moisture problems in buildings have been linked to changes in building construction practices during the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Some of these changes have resulted in buildings that are tightly sealed, but may lack adequate ventilation, potentially leading to moisture buildup. Building materials, such as drywall, may not allow moisture to escape easily. Moisture problems may include:

  • Roof leaks
  • Landscaping or gutters that direct water into or under the building
  • Unvented combustion appliances
  • Delayed maintenance or insufficient maintenance are also associated with moisture problems in schools and large buildings

When mold growth occurs in buildings, adverse health problems may be reported by some building occupants, particularly those with allergies or respiratory problems. Remediators should avoid exposing themselves and others to mold-laden dusts as they conduct their cleanup activities. Caution should be used to prevent mold and mold spores from being dispersed throughout the air where they can be inhaled by building occupants.

Who should do the cleanup?

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Who should do the cleanup? Office Building in Copiague N.Y.

 Who should do the cleanup depends on a number of factors. One consideration is the size of the mold problem. If the moldy area is less than about 10 square feet (less than roughly a 3 ft. by 3 ft. patch), in most cases, you can handle the job yourself, following the guidelines below. However: ¦If there has been a lot of water damage, and/or mold growth covers more than 10 square feet, consult the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) guide: Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings. Although focused on schools and commercial CLEANUP.

If you already have a mold problem – ACT QUICKLY. Mold damages what it grows on. The longer it grows, the more damage it can cause. Leaky window – mold is beginning to rot the wooden frame and windowsill. Mold 5 buildings, this document is applicable to other building types. It is available on the Internet at: www.epa.gov/mold.

 If you choose to hire a contractor (or other professional service provider) to do the cleanup, make sure the contractor has experience cleaning up mold. Check references and ask the contractor to follow the recommendations in EPA’s Mold Remediation in Schools and Commercial Buildings, the guidelines of the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH), or other guidelines from professional or government organizations.

 If you suspect that the heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) system may be contaminated with mold (it is part of an identified moisture problem, for instance, or there is mold near the intake to the system), consult EPA’s guide Should You Have the Air Ducts in Your Home Cleaned? before taking further action. Do not run the HVAC system if you know or suspect that it is contaminated with mold - it could spread mold throughout the building. Visit www.epa. gov/iaq/pubs to download a copy of the EPA guide.

 If the water and/or mold damage was caused by sewage or other contaminated water, then call in a professional who has experience cleaning and fixing buildings damaged by contaminated water.

 

What is covered

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage What is covered A restaurant in West Babylon

Most people believe that when they buy homeowner’s or commercial property insurance that they will be covered for any damage that may occur to their property.  Unfortunately, as many people have painfully learned during recent flooding events, the normal policy of homeowner’s property insurance does NOT provide coverage for damage caused by “rising water” or flood.  This realization often comes too late for property owners and only after catastrophic damage has occurred to their property due to a flooding event.

The usual policy of homeowner’s insurance will only cover storm related water damage if it is caused by “wind blown” water, as opposed to “rising” water.  A good example of “wind blown” water would be water that comes through a broken window or a roof opening caused by the storm.  On the other hand, damage caused by the buildup of rain water which eventually enters the structure and causes flooding-type damage would not be covered under the standard policy of homeowner’s insurance.

As can be easily imagined, disputes often arise between property owners and their insurance companies over whether damage was caused by “rising” water as opposed to “wind blown” water.  The property insurance company, obviously, would like to prove that the damage is from a flood event – and thereby not covered under its insurance policy – whereas the property owner would advocate that the damage was the result of water entering through an opening in the structure and thereby covered under the policy.

The best and safest course of action is for all property owners to obtain both property insurance and flood insurance – regardless of whether or not their structure is located in a flood zone.  If you ever find yourself in a dispute with your property insurance company as to whether your damage is covered under your insurance policy.

What to do when a Storm damages your home

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage What to do when a Storm damages your home Total devastation in Lindenhurst, NY

Your first priority after the storm needs to be the safety of your family.  After the safety of your family is assured, you need to thoroughly document the damage to your property.  With the advent of cell phone cameras and other video devices, it is easier than ever to memorialize the damage caused by the storm and to easily provide same to your insurance carrier.  Hopefully, you also have pictures and other documentation from before the storm so that you can demonstrate to the insurance company the nature of your property and the condition of same prior to the damage.

As soon as communications allow, you should also immediately place your insurance company on notice of your loss.  Many insurance policies are now written to specifically mandate “immediate” notice of a loss, and insurance companies will often spend lots of money defending against the payment of your claim based upon an alleged “late notice” defense.  After notification of your claim, the insurance company will send an adjuster to your property to inspect the damage.  It is crucially important that you point out any and all damage to your property so that the damage can be documented.

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Call a Certified Water damage company

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Call a Certified Water damage company Water and sewage

Always Call A Water Damage Service For Repairs

A water damage restoration service is the kind of professional that no one wants to call, but when they are needed, it is important not to delay. Homeowners know that moisture is often the enemy, capable of penetrating into just about any space, and taking advantage of every little crack and structural problem. No matter how moisture gets into the building, the response should be the same. Bring in a certified firm as soon as possible to clean the home, dry it, and ensure there are no lingering health threats once the moisture is gone.

If water has entered the home through a contaminated source, don’t try to handle it on your own. Floods and sewage backflows contain a cocktail of deadly bacteria, viruses and fungi, and even momentary skin contact can leave a person seriously ill. A certified water damage restoration service not only has the tools to eliminate the moisture, they have the protective equipment to remain free from harm.

Restoration technicians have a lot of technology at their disposal. These include powerful vacuums and pumping systems, high volume air movers, dehumidifiers, heat injectors, moisture meters, and a number of detergents formulated for destroying fungi and other microbial threats. While the technicians work on the building, disposing of compromised materials, and drying the rest, they will also destroy all mold and microbial colonies. This is the only way to ensure a home is safe to live, and a business safe to work in; any other cleaning method is a dangerous gamble.

 

Water and sewage

11/15/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage Water and sewage Water and sewage in a crawl space

Always Call A Water Damage Service For Repairs

A water damage restoration service is the kind of professional that no one wants to call, but when they are needed, it is important not to delay. Homeowners know that moisture is often the enemy, capable of penetrating into just about any space, and taking advantage of every little crack and structural problem. No matter how moisture gets into the building, the response should be the same. Bring in a certified firm as soon as possible to clean the home, dry it, and ensure there are no lingering health threats once the moisture is gone.

If water has entered the home through a contaminated source, don’t try to handle it on your own. Floods and sewage backflows contain a cocktail of deadly bacteria, viruses and fungi, and even momentary skin contact can leave a person seriously ill. A certified water damage restoration service not only has the tools to eliminate the moisture, they have the protective equipment to remain free from harm.

Restoration technicians have a lot of technology at their disposal. These include powerful vacuums and pumping systems, high volume air movers, dehumidifiers, heat injectors, moisture meters, and a number of detergents formulated for destroying fungi and other microbial threats. While the technicians work on the building, disposing of compromised materials, and drying the rest, they will also destroy all mold and microbial colonies. This is the only way to ensure a home is safe to live, and a business safe to work in; any other cleaning method is a dangerous gamble.

Medium sized Business Insurance Basics

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

We've said it before: the distinction between a small and large business is somewhat arbitrary. At what point in the business growth life cycle do you cross over? One way to answer the question is when your business no longer qualifies for a Business Owners Package Policy. The BOP bundles up several kinds of insurance protection in one policy. But as business become larger the risks they pose become more varied and difficult to address in one policy.

Medium sized businesses can still purchase bundled coverage, like the Commercial Package Policy (CPP), which is roughly analogous to the Business Owners Policy (BOP). The CPP combines Commercial Liability and Commercial Property and some additional policies designed for specific industries like churches, heavy manufacturing or health care providers. Additional policies found in some Commercial Package Policies include Commercial Auto, Boiler and Machinery and Inland Marine. Again, the CPP is usually designed to fit most businesses within a specific industry. But if your business faces special risks or doesn't fit neatly within a generic industry definition, a CPP may not give you the necessary flexibility to address unique needs.

An alternative is to start with the foundation policies, Commercial General Liability (CGL) and Commercial Property. These policies can be obtained through different insurance carriers and modified separately to meet the needs of many complex businesses.

Commercial Property will provide coverage for any building you own or lease, including improvements and permanent fixtures and equipment, business property on premises and personal property of others in your 'care, custody or control'. Depending on your business you may need to add coverage for goods in transit, buildings under construction, business income (interruption expense), data loss, loss due to flood, employee theft and embezzlement among others.

Just to add to the variety, Commercial Property insurance comes in three forms: Basic Form, Broad Form and Special Form. The first, Basic, provides protection against loss from the more common causes like fire, lightning and wind storm. The Broad Form extends protection to additional perils like water damage and structural collapse. The Special Form protects against all perils unless specifically excluded. Some commonly excluded perils include flood, earthquake, terrorism, wear and tear and insects and vermin.

Commercial General Liability provides an insured business protection for lawsuits, bodily injury or property damage arising chiefly from these areas: ownership or use of a business premises, business operations, contractual agreements, completed operations, personal and advertising injury and products made, sold or distributed.

The policy provides Medical Payments coverage for those injured on a business premises or job site on a no-fault basis. Policies can be issued on either a Claims Made Form or an Occurrence Form.

CGL policies are broad in nature but generally have some coverage removed by endorsement. Some additional coverage your business may need to supplement CGL protection includes Errors and Omissions Insurance (E&O), Directors and Officers Insurance (D&O), Workers Compensation and Environmental Liability.

Because of the complexity of risk medium sized and larger businesses are faced with, it is often best to sit down with an insurance professional. An independent insurance agent is armed with options from several companies and can help you understand and develop the kind of program you need for your business.

  

Commercial fire protection systems

7/18/2017 (Permalink)

ncreasingly, more companies are updating and upgrading their commercial fire protection systems in Cincinnati. In this day and age, it is more important than ever to make sure your workplace stays safe from the threat of a fire. Not only is the health and well-being of your office’s occupants at stake, but also the safety of your assets. As experts in fire protection systems, the pros at Hard Fire have come up with a few suggestions on how you can help keep your workplace safe from fire.

So what are some of the best ways to keep your workplace safe?

Commercial fire alarms. Fire alarms as part of your commercial fire protection systems sound or visually display the fire signal. Other components make it easier for occupants to evacuate, like exit signs. Strobe lights and other signaling options on commercial fire protection systems will light up in various ways that will help residents identify the exits. This is especially true in the event of power loss; audio and visual components of the system will continue to function. Commercial fire protection systems are mandatory in most commercial properties. Local codes and regulations vary in different areas, such as how many occupants a building is allowed to have, whether a sprinkler system needs to be in the building and what building type classification you operate under. Commercial fire protection systems and alarms help with the overall cause of minimizing the damage done as a result of fire. The faster the fire is spotted, the sooner your notification system can alert the proper emergency personnel to come and put out the blaze.

Fire Protection Equipment. Make sure all of your commercial fire protection systems are properly installed and monitored. They can help save lives and minimize the amount of damage done. Since these are so essential, it is also important to make sure you hire the professionals to ensure the job is done well. At Hard Fire, we have professional representatives on NFPA standard’s code committees and work closely with fire detection and suppression system manufacturers. Our intelligent fire detection capabilities include high sensitivity incipient smoke, spot, linear heat, flame, and combustible gas, which can be integrated with FM200, Novec 1230, CO2, Foam, and Water Mist fire suppression.

Have an Emergency Plan. Even before a fire emergency, be sure that you have a detailed emergency plan in place. And, make sure all of your employees and/or residents understand how to execute the plan efficiently.

Routine Inspections. When you have commercial fire protection systems installed, it is also important to have them inspected on a regular basis. At Hard Fire, we use the best technology available to monitor your fire alarm and fire suppression systems.

You simply cannot put a price tag on safety. The well being of your buildings’ occupants and the items you wish to protect make any commercial fire protection systems worth it.

Call SERVPRO of Babylon / Deer Park 2631 661-3802 for a free Emergency Ready Profile of your building