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Mold Mitigation: Protecting Your Income Property From Water Damage

11/30/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Mold Mitigation: Protecting Your Income Property From Water Damage Water and mold damage in Greenpoint,NY

Mold Mitigation

One of the scariest things for any property owner is water showing up where it doesn’t belong because it typically signifies greater issues or concerns. For income property owners that concern is twofold because they are worried about the health of the property and the welfare of their tenants, especially as water damage can lead to mold growth. Mold prevention, however, is a simple process that can be implemented in any property.

1. Air Flow and Ventilation

Mold growth requires moisture, and moisture thrives in closed off humid locations. Therefore, to mitigate the potential threat of mold, you should ensure that there is sufficient airflow and ventilation throughout your property by installing vented appliances, air conditioning and dehumidifiers.

2. Waterproofing and Roof Repair

Two of the main culprits for water damage are roof damage and poor seals around plumbing, windows and foundations. Performing annual roof inspections can pinpoint many problems, like missing shingles, damaged flashing and gutter issues, before they lead to leaks in the home. Additionally, checking the interior of basements and windows after storms for water can help you pinpoint any sealant issues.

3. Landscape Grading

Improper grading of landscaping can lead to water buildup in your property’s basement, which can lead to the development of mold, especially if the basement isn’t sealed correctly. Try to ensure that all landscaping is graded away from the house and toward external sewers.

4. Mold Resistant Products

Beyond preventing moisture damage, you can install mold resistant products, like mold-resistant Sheetrock and drywall or paint with mold inhibitors. These products offer hard exterior coatings or chemical composition that make water absorption impossible and therefore mold growth impossible as well. For more information on mold-resistant products and possible installation, you can contact a local mold remediation specialist in the Greenpoint, NY, area.

Water damage can lead to the development of mold, but for vigilant property managers and owners, who take mold prevention seriously, it doesn’t have to be too concerning. By ensuring proper ventilation, structural integrity and adequate landscape grading of your property, you can alleviate both your tenants and your own concerns.

Is a Rental Property Owner Responsible for Fire Damage?

11/21/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO Is a Rental Property Owner Responsible for Fire Damage? Fire damage in Park Slope,NY

Owners and tenants may be uncertain about who bears responsibility for damage mitigation and restoration after an apartment fire or a fire at another rental property. Property owners are usually responsible for damage to the property itself, and tenants are responsible for cleaning or replacing their own contents. Find out more about liability for fire damage to rental properties located in Park Slope, NY.

Structural Damage

Landlords are responsible for damage to the property, including:

  • Building materials
  • Structural components
  • Electrical and plumbing systems
  • Interior materials such as carpet

A homeowner's insurance policy should cover the cost of cleaning, repairing, or replacing these components after an apartment fire. This coverage can offset the cost of professional mitigation and restoration.

Damaged Contents

Tenants have the responsibility to repair or replace their own property, including:

  • Belongings
  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Furniture

Landlords may want to recommend that tenants obtain renter's insurance. These affordable policies can help with the costs of content cleaning, restoration, or replacing losses.

Insurance Claims

As soon as a property owner finds out that a fire has occurred, there are several steps he or she should take:

  • Document the damage
  • Contact the homeowner's insurance provider
  • Schedule an appointment with a claims adjuster
  • Proceed with filing a fire damage claim

An adjuster can guide rental property owners through the process of filing a claim. If tenants have renter's insurance, they should also document damage and file a claim through their insurance provider. These claims are entirely separate.

Property owners and tenants both bear some responsibility for cleaning, repairs, and replacing items after an apartment fire or an incident in another type of rental property in Park Slope,NY. Damage mitigation experts can clean and restore damaged building materials and contents. Homeowner's and renter's policies may be able to cover some or all of the cleanup and restoration costs related to the structure or contents.

The Snow Miser is Real: Protecting Your Home This Winter Season

11/15/2018 (Permalink)

Why SERVPRO The Snow Miser is Real: Protecting Your Home This Winter Season Protect your home in Greenpoint,NY from winter storm

Protecting Your Home This Winter Season

A winter storm can produce beautiful scenery in its wake, and it can be easy to overlook the level of damage that is sustained when overwhelmed by the snowglobe-like appeal. However, as a homeowner, it is essential to remedy any potential threats before they cause significant structural damage.

1. Avoid an Indoor Blizzard

A blizzard belongs outside of your home, but with the combination of strong winds and ice, it is possible that the storm may end up overwhelming your property inside and out. Blizzards have a reputation for blowing open doors or even sending ice chunks through windows, and when no one is around this can lead to interior water damage. Invest in durable storm doors and windows to help prevent this type of loss.

2. Prevent Potential Roof Collapse

Living in Greenpoint, NY, it is not uncommon for a winter storm to unload significant amounts of snow, and while that may not be an issue for people with a steep roofline or metal shingles, others may experience significant roof damage and possibly even collapse. Thankfully there are tools and other solutions to prevent snow buildup on your roof.

  • Roof Rakes
  • Heating cables
  • Calcium chloride tablets

3. Ensure You’re Using Snow Removal Equipment Properly

While winter can cause several problems for your home, damaging your property in the process of removing snow is not unheard of. Snow blowers are powerful machines, and when chutes are not correctly controlled that machine can send ice hurling through the air and your beautiful bay window.

4. Have Assistance on Speed Dial

While there are many ways to prevent storm damage in the winter, no method is foolproof. It can be a good idea to have the contact information of emergency restoration services in your area. Additionally, it may be worthwhile to customize an emergency response plan as a precautionary measure.

A winter storm is easy to overlook as a threat because inside you are removed from the immediate danger, but that snow and those winds can be detrimental to the structure of your home. Therefore, to avoid damage, invest in precautionary tools and solutions and always have a backup plan.

How Can Renters Insurance Help With Fire Damage?

10/23/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage How Can Renters Insurance Help With Fire Damage? Get insurance to protect your personal belongings

You probably know someone who has been through a home fire in Bay Ridge,NY. They are eager to share lessons learned the hard way. One of those lessons is that insurance can help protect your family financially if a fire should affect your home.

Here are a few ways renters insurance can help protect you from fire:

  1. Protect personal property. Your landlord’s insurance will cover the building and items that belong to the landlord, but your items are not included in that coverage. As a renter, you need a policy to provide replacement value of personal property lost from fire damage.

  2. Prevent financial destruction from liability. Most renters insurance policies include protection in case you accidently start the fire. Of course, this doesn’t cover intentional or criminal conduct.

  3. Provide money for accommodations. Make sure your policy includes this coverage, which provides for hotel fees or the expense of relocation. A loss of use can help pay for you to live somewhere else if your current space becomes uninhabitable from a disaster, like fire.

Renters insurance is affordable, costing around $30 per month. It provides coverage of your belongings no matter where they are damaged or stolen, and it covers a variety of different types of disasters. Be sure to remember that flood damage still requires separate coverage, but fire and other disasters, such as wind, lightning, theft and vandalism, are usually covered. Coverage may have some limits, so consider getting a rider for special items that may be very valuable.

You need insurance to protect your personal belongings. It’s up to the landlord to have adequate coverage for the building and any furnishings that are included. Fire restoration can encompass many different types of damage including water, smoke and soot. A good restoration company will be able to handle all types of damage, working with you to minimize loss and clean your belongings when it is possible to do so.

Safeguarding Your Business: Preparing for Hurricane Season

10/17/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Safeguarding Your Business: Preparing for Hurricane Season Take steps to prepare for natural disasters and emergencies in your Park Slope,NY business

Many business owners wonder about how to prepare their business for the storm season, especially when they are in areas where hurricane damage is a possibility. The steps below will help you establish a plan for safeguarding your company and property.

1. Safeguard Your Building

When high winds threaten to damage your business, there are precautions you can take to protect your building. Before storm season, you can invest in storm shutters to protect against flying debris. Additionally, if a hurricane is approaching, you can anchor large furniture, elevate fragile equipment, and even place sandbags around the property to prevent flooding.

2. Safeguard Your Documents

Hurricane damage is a threat to more than the physical environment. As a business owner, you may want to create backups for essential documents and compile a list of emergency contacts in case operations need to shut down. Additionally, you may want to invest in waterproof containers for any paper files or store hard copies and backups in an off-site locale.

3. Safeguard Your Sanity

Storm season can often be a high-stress time of year for any business owner, so to protect your sanity and ensure continuity of operations, you may want to create a preparedness checklist. A checklist will ensure that employees know what to do in case of an emergency. Also, a checklist should have a list of contacts and procedural notes to ensure that vital operations are maintained during business interruptions.

4. Safeguard Your Future Operations

Besides creating a plan for employees and managers, you may want to contact an emergency preparedness company in Park Slope, NY, to help you come up with a plan for cleanup and restoration. Some companies will develop emergency action plans specific to your company, and they will act on those plans immediately following a disaster.

Hurricane damage, water damage, and property damage are all possibilities during storm season, but with the right tools and preparation, you can safeguard your business. By installing preventative tools, creating a preparedness checklist, and even creating plans for the worst-case scenario, you can help secure the continued operations of your company no matter the season.

The Cost of Flood Damage: 3 Factors To Consider

10/11/2018 (Permalink)

Water Damage The Cost of Flood Damage: 3 Factors To Consider Flooded basement in a Brooklyn, NY home

Flooding can come from a variety of sources, from overflowing washing machines and toilets to storms, and can affect your Brooklyn, NY, home in several ways. You may be looking at a large damage repair bill in the aftermath. Understanding what might impact the total cost can help you plan a budget and avoid financial surprises that could put you deep into debt.

1. The Size of the Flood

Because each flooding event is different, considering the size of the one you are dealing with can help you estimate the cost of repairs. For example, if poor drainage and a few rainy days result in basement water that is more than a foot deep, you may have to rent a sump pump to remove it. Smaller floods can be cheaper to remedy, but if mold develops afterward, you may have to call in a flood damage and mold removal company to handle it properly.

2. The Condition of the Water

As you try to estimate your flood damage repair bill, keep in mind that the condition of the water may affect how simple the cleanup will be. If the flood came from an outdoor source, such as an overflowing stream or creek, then cleanup technicians will likely label the water a category 3 or “black water” situation. This water could contain human and animal feces, chemical waste and other toxins that make it potentially hazardous to handle without professional assistance.

3. The Damage to Your Home’s Interior

It can be difficult to gauge the cost of the damage caused by the average flood because it may depend on where the water entered your home and the depth it reached. For instance, a basement flood may be less damaging than one from a large storm-fueled flood that affected the main floor of your home and its contents.

Flood damage repair costs can depend on several factors when water invades your Brooklyn, NY, home. Understanding each of these factors can help you prepare a budget and stay on track with what needs to be done to restore your home.

Don’t Flush Your Savings down the Drain: Understanding Sewer Backups and Homeowner Claims

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

The rainy season in flood zones can produce a lot of anxiety for homeowners. Especially, when you consider that basic home insurance policies may not cover damage incurred by a sewer backup, meaning that if sewage starts spilling over your toilet, contaminating and damaging your home, you may be left footing the bill; however, even if your policy covers backups, there are still some things that you should understand.

1. Understand the Potential Causes of a Backup

A sewage backup typically doesn’t happen without reason, and sometimes these reasons are things you have control over. For instance, one of the main causes of a backup is a blockage in the line due to roots. Shrubs, bushes, trees can produce roots that are dense enough to break through your sewer lines, clogging the pipes and ultimately causing a backup.

2. Understand Common Prevention Tactics

Understanding how a sewer backup occurs enables you to perform preventative maintenance. For instance, you can ensure that no trees or shrubs are encroaching in areas where the waste lines run. You can also ensure that you dispose of things like grease and paper properly, and you can install a backwater prevention valve.

3. Understand the Cleanup Process

In the unfortunate event that you experience a sewage backup, you should familiarize yourself with the cleanup process, which includes a lot of wet vacuuming, mopping, disinfecting, and any other contaminant removal. However, it may be a good idea to call in restoration specialists to assist you in this process, and it will likely be a requirement by any insurance coverage you may have.

4. Understand the Process of Filing a Claim

Most insurance companies expect certain things when clients file claims. For instance, you should have before and after photos of the damaged area. You should itemize a list of property that was damaged or lost. And, you should contact your insurance representative immediately. It is also a good idea to save any receipts related to any restoration work.

Nobody wants to experience a sewer backup, but if you are in Brooklyn, NY, it is necessary to understand the basics and to know what your homeowner policy covers.

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Preventing Water Damage on Your Construction Site

9/16/2018 (Permalink)

If you own a construction company, you know that there are many things that could go awry during the construction process. One of those issues is potential water damage. At any stage of construction, you may discover you need water pipe repair or a better drainage system. The weather may even play a role. Here are some common ways that water damage could happen on your construction site in Brooklyn, NY, and how to either avoid or fix them.

Poor Drainage

Water needs a place to go, and if you don't direct it to where you want it to be, you could have a bad situation on your hands. If drainage pipes get clogged or there's more water than space to move it to, you could end up with a flooded site. There are a few ways to ensure proper drainage:

• Keep soil around the site graded
• Set up barriers, such as sandbags, around the perimeter
• Install screens on your drains to filter out debris
• Designate a specific place for water to drain

Poorly Installed Piping

A badly installed or poorly fitted pipe could lead to the inevitable need for water pipe repair. If the pipes leak, you may have a soppy mess at best and possibly water damage in the building. The site manager should inspect the pipes before water is pumped through them and sign off on their use.

Inclement Weather

A broken pipe isn't the only thing that can cause large leaks. Buildings under construction are particularly vulnerable to adverse weather conditions because they are open and exposed. You can install temporary roofs to shield the building from harm.

Material Storage

Just like the interior of your building, your materials should be protected, too. Store them in a separate, waterproof shed or inside the building on a raised platform under a tarp. This protects the materials from water that comes from above or below.

Whether your flooding stems from a need for water pipe repair, better drainage or sunnier weather, it can be just as expensive to remedy as a finished building. Plan ahead to protect your construction site from water damage.

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When Renters Insurance Will and Will Not Cover Mold Damage

9/11/2018 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation When Renters Insurance Will and Will Not Cover Mold Damage Ceiling Mold Damage

Instead of asking whether or not rental insurance covers mold damage, you should consider rephrasing the question to "Does renters' insurance cover mildew damage or mold remediation?" Phrased like this, you have a better idea of what to look for when perusing your renters' insurance policy. During your review, you should look for the following items:

• Exclusions
• Duty to mitigate
• Mold caused by a covered peril

Within each of these sections, you should find information regarding what type of damage is and is not covered.

Exclusions

Typically, the limits on mildew damage in a rental insurance policy are relatively low, at right around $5,000. This should be enough to cover the cost of damage. If the damage is more than $5,000, the insurance company might assume that the damage was present for a while and that you failed to mitigate it in time.

Duty To Mitigate

If the mold was present before you moved in, or if it’s a result of an inherent defect with the property, then mold removal is likely the landlord's responsibility. However, if the damage was caused by a covered peril, and if it could have been stopped from spreading, the insurance company may only cover it up to the point where you should have known about it. For instance, if the damage was caused by a leaky pipe, and if you knew about the leaky pipe but failed to inform your landlord of it so he or she could make the repair, damage caused to your belongings may not be covered.

Mold Caused by a Covered Peril

If the mold damage was caused by, say, the water from a hose used to put out a fire, and if fire is covered under your policy, then the damage should be covered by your policy. However, you likely must prove that you made a good faith effort to prevent the damage from becoming worse.

If you discover mold on your rental property, reach out to the mold remediation experts in Brooklyn, NY, to discuss remediation options. The experts can also help you examine your rental insurance policy and determine whether or not the damage is covered.

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Who Is Responsible for Apartment Rental Fire Repair?

8/28/2018 (Permalink)

Fire Damage Who Is Responsible for Apartment Rental Fire Repair? Brooklyn apartment fire damage can a complete loss

There is plenty to worry about when renting out apartments to tenants. Liability is often a major concern when renting out living spaces in Brooklyn, NY. By being knowledgeable of liability for an apartment fire, you can plan ahead when an unexpected fire strikes your property.

What If the Fire Is Due to Disrepair?

As the landlord, the building’s general upkeep is an obligation. Whenever the building burns down due to an unpreventable accident, commercial insurance comes into play to treat the fire damage. When a fire is due to neglecting upkeep on electrical systems or failing to fix a problem brought to your attention, you are additionally liable in other damages to the tenant:

• Damaged possessions
• Wage loss
• Temporary living arrangements
• Any additional damages claimed against you

When an insurance claim is filed, it’ll be inspected for a root cause. If it is proven to be due to failure to keep the building safe and habitable, the tenant is able to file a claim for damages. It’s helpful to take pictures and document anything you find as soon as it’s safe to enter after the apartment fire is contained. By doing so, you will have evidence to refute any future false claims.

What Is a Tenant Responsible For?

If the fire is determined to be no party’s fault, the tenant is responsible for replacing their own possessions. The landlord’s insurance still covers the building’s repair. The tenant’s risk for property loss can be alleviated by purchasing renters’ insurance beforehand.

If the tenant is discovered to have set the fire intentionally or due to gross negligence, he or she will be liable for both the building and possessions.

How Is the Damage Repaired?

After insurance is contacted, the next step is to seek out fire damage repair experts in the area. These companies use industrial machines to restore and replace damaged property. Regardless of liability, the damage can be treated. Knowledge of apartment fire liability allows you to assess and plan for where the bill is going to end up.

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