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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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:
• 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.
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?
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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How To Stop Sewer Smells From Getting in Your Building
If a sewer smell permeates your commercial building in Brooklyn, NY, it can be bad for business morale. Not only will your workers hate coming in, but your customers might start to avoid the store too. Thankfully, you can turn to a commercial cleaning team to help you get rid of the bad smell.
However, you don't have to let it get that far. You can take some preventative steps to keep the bad smell of the sewer out of your building from the start.
1. Check on the toilet trap. You might not be that familiar with the function of your toilet trap. This u-shaped pipe connects your toilet's drain to the rest of the sewer line. The bend of the plumbing traps a small amount of waste water. The waste water actually works to block sewer gas from coming into your building. Have a plumber or another professional inspect the trap regularly to make sure it does not dry out.
2. Clean plumbing vents. Your building is probably equipped with plumbing vents designed to release sewer odors to the outside rather than back into your space. If these vents were to get blocked up by, you may start to notice a sewer smell inside. Regularly cleaning the vents helps reduce the chances of a blockage.
3. Inspect drain lines. The drain lines of your sinks and toilets are supposed to carry sewage away from your building. However, cracks and holes can form in this piping. When this happens, the sewage may release underneath your building or even inside of it. This backup can leave you with a smelly mess.
Proper maintenance and vigilance can help you keep your business from acquiring the feared sewer smell. If a sewage disaster does happen, you need to address the problem as quickly as possible to avoid a lingering smell on your property.
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4 Things To Do When Your Basement Floods
The last thing you want to find in your Brooklyn, NY, home is a flooded basement. However, after a big storm, pipe burst or sewage backup, you may have to deal with this catastrophe. How should you deal with standing water in your basement?
1. Call in the Professionals: As a homeowner, you may try to take care of some projects on your own. Dealing with standing water in any part of your home requires expertise. A professional residential flood remediation team can help you figure out the best repair plan that falls under your insurance coverage.
2. Remove Standing Water: The professionals will work hard to remove standing water from your home. A basement flood should be drained before anyone enters the lower levels of your home. Make sure the electricity to the basement is turned off before anyone goes into the water for added safety. In fact, it's best if the water is removed with a shop vac and other equipment that does not require someone to stand in the waters.
3. Salvage Content: Some of your belongings may be salvageable. Any nonporous materials can be cleaned and dried out. Other items, such as electronics and appliances, may need to be thrown away rather than saved. Let the experts help you clean your belongings so you can make sure everything is done right.
4. Prevent More Flooding: You do not want to have to deal with a basement flood regularly. To save yourself some hassle in the future, you should think about installing a sump pump. This equipment can help keep water from building up.
A basement flood can surprise you. You go to bed one night and wake up the next morning to find standing water in the lower levels of your house. Acting quickly can help you avoid mold growth and other secondary damage caused by standing water.
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Best Ways to Prepare for Flood Damage
Preparing for flood damage in your home or business can give you piece of mind to ensure your safety
Depending on where you live in Brooklyn, NY, your home may stand in a flood zone. If flooding is a strong possibility in your area, it’s critical that you take the proper precautions so you can mitigate damage to your home and personal property. You may not be able to completely stop water from getting into your house, but you can minimize its harmful effects.
Assemble an Emergency Kit
If you wait to start preparing for a flood once the rain starts falling or once water begins creeping into your house, it’s too late. You need to get ready today with the proper materials to help ensure your safety and well-being from flood damage. Include these items:
• Non-perishable food
• First aid kit
• Extra batteries
• Toiletries and hygiene items
Clean Your Rain Gutters
If a major rainstorm hits your area, the storm damage can be severe, especially if your rain gutters aren’t diverting water from your home. Make sure you remove leaves, dirt and other debris from your rain gutters. If you fail to do this, water could pool up near your foundation which could then find its way into your home.
Clean Your Storm Drains
Other problem areas when it comes to flooding are the storm drains in front of your home. If these are cluttered with garbage and other materials, you could be in trouble if a large storm rolls through your area. It’s vital that you clean out these gutters, so they don’t overflow and put your home in danger. If you don’t have the equipment and expertise to handle this task on your own, you can contact an experienced company that specializes in this type of maintenance.
You can’t always predict when flooding will affect you and your home, but you can prepare yourself. Follow these tips, and you can have peace of mind that you’re doing all you can to ensure your safety.
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Why Dryer Vents Need Cleaning
Proper maintenance and Repairs can prevent future damages
When your dryer blows hot air on the tumbling clothes inside the barrel, the residual hot, humid blast is generally expelled through a hose attached to the back of the drying unit itself. The hose is then attached to a dryer vent that allows the hot breeze and fabric lint to move away from the clothes and out of your home. If the dryer lint accumulates in the vent and reduces the airflow needed for efficient use of the dryer, the heating element can overheat. Since lint is a highly combustible material, a lint fire can then easily start.
Startling Dryer Fire Statistics
Statistics show that clothes dryer fires are more common than most people may believe. In fact, improper cleaning of dryers is estimated to cost over $100 million each year. There are other surprising statistics:
• There are approximately 15,500 fires attributed to clothes dryer blazes each year.
• More than a dozen deaths result from dryer fires yearly.
• Clogged dry vents can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, which injures more than 200 people annually.
With the additional number of injuries caused by lint fire issues, it is easy to understand why dryer safety is important and considered a seriously neglected home maintenance routine.
Simple Signs of Clogged Dryer Vents
If you are worried that your dryer vent has become clogged, or if you haven’t cleaned the tube in over a year, there could be a problem with overheating. If the clothes feel overly hot at the end of their drying cycle, the vent could be blocked. Also, if you notice a burning smell while the dryer is running, the vent is probably full of lint. Moreover, when you see lint lying on the ground near the outside vent, the dryer air removal system may need cleaning.
Advantages of Proper Repair and Maintenance
If you do have a lint fire in Brooklyn, NY, you can call in a team of fire damage experts to get your home restored quickly. The professionals can also make sure your new dryer venting system is connected properly and expelling efficiently.
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