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HVAC Maintenance Checklist

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

Community HVAC Maintenance Checklist HVAC Maintenance Checklist

The HVAC system makes a critical component of any home. It provides comfortable living to you and your family in summer and winter alike. If your HVAC system doesn’t get regular maintenance and inspection, chances are you are going to face sudden AC shutdown when you need cooling the most or malfunctioning heater during cold breezed winter. Such HVAC problems don’t just cause a great deal of frustration but also huge cost of maintenance or complete replacement. Even worse, certain HVAC problems may result in dangerous home emergency conditions like home fire, short circuit, water flooding, mold growth etc. Following this HVAC maintenance checklist on annual basis ensures that your system works at its peak and keeps you and your family safe and comfortable all through year, while considerably cutting down your energy bills.

Checking the HVAC System Indoor Unit

The indoor segment of your HVAC unit is based on a number of moving components that must work well in unity to deliver effective performance. Include the following in your checklist:

  • Air Filters

The HVAC air filters must be vacuum cleaned monthly and replaced after every three months. This maintenance prevents dirt and dust to accumulate and clog the filters.

  • Blower Assembly

This includes blower motor, blower wheel and housing. Vacuum clean these parts every month to ensure free airflow.

  • Burner Assembly

Burner assembly usually needs occasional cleaning with a small vacuum attachment or brush.

  • Shell

Clean the exterior of HVAC unit i.e. its shell, by proper dusting.

  • Combustible material

Make sure that there is no fire hazard in the interior segment of HVAC unit.

  • Combustion Blower Housing

This part can accumulate small debris and lint easily and must be cleaned regularly.

  • Ductwork

Inspect ductwork leaks that cause air to escape outside. Especially check attics and basements. Sealing and insulating the ductwork helps prevent leakages and ensures optimal performance. Hire a pro for insulation.

  • Electrical Components

These include electrical disconnect box that must be installed with care and have correct power rating and wire connections. Inspect the power rating and wiring on frequent basis.

  • Flue System

Make sure that the furnace is attached properly. If there is corrosion, it needs replacement.

  • Gas leaks

If your HVAC system is based on natural gas, inspecting gas leaks on a regular basis is mandatory to prevent potential safety hazards.

  • Motor

If your HVAC system runs on an old motor, you should lubricate it regularly. Also check if fan’s belt is working properly or needs a replacement.

  • Safety Devices

Your HVAC system comes with safety devices that should be in working condition.

Checking the HVAC System Outdoor Unit

  • Base Pan

Base pan must be checked to ensure that its drains are not blocked.

  • Cabinet

Cabinet housing should be free from leaves, debris and dirt.

  • Coils

Coils should be checked to clean twigs, leaves and dirt that accumulate in coils and reduce their longevity and efficiency.

  • Compressor & Tubing

The compressor along with its tubing should be check to locate damages. These components must operate within accurate levels of volt draw and amperage, for which properly working wire connections should be ensured.

  • Fan Motor & Blades

Check blades and motors for damages. Just like indoor motor, the outdoor motor also needs timely lubrication. Also check belt tension.

  • Refrigerant

The HVAC system’s refrigerant must operate with proper pressure and at correct level. Excessive refrigerant is a wastage while too little means system is not working efficiently.

Your HVAC System Can Save Money

In certain cases, the only way to save your money is to replace the system or its parts, as necessary. Go for energy-efficiency HVAC units and use refrigerants approved by Environmental Protection Agency, since these save up to $115 or more every year. Use a programmable thermostat that typically saves up to $180 a year.

Once you read this checklist, you can start the inspection. If you need a pro, call SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury for professional consultation and home restoration services.

Summer Means Mold Growth - where to look for mold

7/13/2017 (Permalink)

Mold Remediation Summer Means Mold Growth - where to look for mold Long Island Mold Detection and Remediation Specialists.

Summer is the season of mold growth because of the higher level of moisture and humidity in the environment. The unhygienic or dirty surroundings in home further accelerate mold growth. Mold in your homes damage floors and walls and produce unpleasant odors. In addition, it becomes the source of bringing a number of health problems for you and your family. The first thing to get rid of mold in your home is to know the most common areas where mold grows. Once you know where to look for mold in your homes in summer, you can better adopt preventive measures.

The most common mold growth areas

Though mold can be found anywhere in your home having hot and damp environment on a constant basis, yet the most common areas are:

  • Basements

Most of the basements are sub terrain because of their foundation function for home; however, these basements have the most favorable mold growth conditions, including long term damp environment that usually remains humid and doesn’t get satisfactory air circulation. If you are residing in the areas faced with frequent floods, the water can easily seep through small cracks in foundation or enters the basement’s doorway. The trapped moisture increases humidity after being evaporated and creates a favorable place for mold to grow.

  • Bathrooms and Showers

Bathroom is the most humid areas in homes with high degree of moisture due to frequent use of water. Since moisture becomes the constant element of the environment, bathrooms may not have any chance ever to get optimum humidity level. In addition, hot baths also make your bathrooms vulnerable to mold. Bathrooms are usually devoid of adequate ventilation, lingering humidity, which becomes an ideal place for mold growth.

  • Attics

Inadequate ventilation leads to many issues in attics. Poor insulation installation raises low levels of moisture in home, which get trapped in attic. In addition, plumbing vents, dryer vents, kitchen and bathroom fans vented to attics continuously pump hot moist air into congested space. Installation of water furnaces or heaters in the attic is being widely seen in many large homes. If leaks are not identified and treated on time, or if the appliances are not properly installed, the risk of higher moisture level or line break increases significantly.

  • Crawl Spaces

Crawl spaces usually have higher degree of relative humidity that is favorable to hidden mold to grow, especially if these spaces have a bare earth floor. The soil absorbs and traps moisture. The relative temperature of these spaces make the soil dry through evaporation, adding the moisture into an air in the crawl spaces, which eventually cause mold growth. Moreover, in areas having high water table and suitable weather conditions, ground water may easily penetrate into crawl spaces.

The Quick Remedies to Prevent Mold Growth in Vulnerable Areas in Homes

Here are some important tips to prevent homes from becoming an ideal place for mold growth.

  • Controlling moisture level in your homes is the most important measure to stop mold growth. Any areas that are wet or damp, must be dried within 48 hours.
  • Check the condensation and wet locations. Identify and repair moisture sources on immediate basis.
  • Make efforts to maintain low humidity in your home; 60 percent RH maximum or below. Usually 30 to 50 percent RH is considered ideal. Try to maintain this level.
  • Keep your HVAC drip pans completely clean and flowing unobstructed.
  • Vent your moisture producing appliances and equipment, like dryers, to the outside.

If you are following many of these tips and still facing high mold growth, or if you are new to home repairs, you can consult Long Island's top mold remediation specialists at SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury for mold detection and removal.

Summer home maintenance checklist

6/15/2017 (Permalink)

Community Summer home maintenance checklist Summer home maintenance checklist

Summer is at its peak and is surely going to bring heat, humidity, summer storms as well as heavy energy bills. This is the high time to take benefit of this weather to get your homes in tip-top condition and running smoothly all through the season. It is also the time to tackle various summer related home maintenance tasks. Here is the Summer home maintenance checklist for our readers. Following this checklist not just ensures great home maintenance in summer but also helps to tackle home emergency situations. Moreover, you can also save huge on your energy bills.

  • Check Refrigerator Coils

Do you know that dirty and dusty condenser coils of your refrigerator that absorb heat inside, can cost you up to $100 or more extra every year?

These coils are placed either on the back of the refrigerator or at the bottom behind kickplate. To clean your refrigerator coils, turn off the fridge’s power and then do vacuum cleaning.

  • Check Refrigerator Door Gasket:

Damaged magnetic rubber gasket fitted on refrigerator doors, reduces the fridge’s efficiency. Inspect the cracks and tears on the gasket and if found any, clean with a mixture of water and mild soap. Also, test its seal by closing door on some piece of paper and slowly pull the paper out. If the seal is fine, you will feel resistance, and if not, the paper will be pulled out easily and gasket should be replaced.

  • Check HVAC filters

Though many manufacturers recommend changing HVAC filters on a monthly basis, this is not the case of families living without allergies or pets. These homes can change filters in 2-3 months. Dirty filters; however, should be replaced immediately as clogged filters not only affect equipment’s efficiency and increase energy bills but also let the contaminated air in. As a simple maintenance technique, you can vacuum clean the filters yourself every month to prolong filters’ life.

  • Check Drainage

Summer rains are unpredictable. Are you sure that rain water will flow away from your house? In case if water doesn’t flow out or penetrates into the foundation, check your gutters that may require cleaning. Also, take the help of professionals to raise the pavement around your home so that water drains away from the home easily.

  • Check plumbing

Inspect all your toilets and faucets to detect leaks. If the water pressure is poor in the faucet, the aerator might need a fix.

  • Check Kitchen sink

You can use a number of ways to clean your kitchen sink disposal. One of the methods is to pour some vinegar in an ice tray and let vinegar freeze. Then run these ice cubes through sink disposal. This not only freshens it but ice also sharpens the blades.

  • Check range hood filters

If you have never cleaned the range hood filters before, here is the tip. Take degreaser, available on all auto parts store, and mix it with lukewarm water. Keep the filter in the mixture for 5-10 minutes and then wash them off. The filters are good to go.

  • Check Fire Extinguishers

This is probably the most neglected items in many households. We have always recommended keeping portable fire extinguishers in the home to handle home emergency fires. In few of our last posts, we have also highlighted how to use it. Always inspect your fire extinguisher on a periodic basis. Check if the gauge is showing adequate pressure and there is any sign of damage or wear and tear. Also, check for the expiry date, though most of the fire extinguishers usually have a long lifespan.

While our checklist is brief and may not contain many other items, yet it lists the most essential areas to look for as a part of your summer home maintenance plan. For consultation and home emergency restoration services, you can always call SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury's expert technicians, available 24/7.

Winter is Over but What’s the Damage? - Check your home for winter damage

6/9/2017 (Permalink)

General Winter is Over but What’s the Damage? - Check your home for winter damage Winter is Over but What’s the Damage

By the time winter ends, you are probably tired of harsh weather, colder days and, more than ready to enjoy the warmth of the coming season. But is your home also ready for this transition? Winter gets over by leaving a number of damages around. Rising temperature to melt snow and ice combined with rainstorms and spring showers can make your summer as difficult as winter. If you are not paying enough attention to winter- triggered damages and required remedies, chances are that water may wreak havoc on your home. SERVPRO of East Meadow/Westbury, has created the following checklist to help you check winter damages and take remedial steps.

Check the damage-prone areas

  • Gutters

Just like it is highly important to clean home’s gutters before winter arrives, it is equally vital to inspect them after the end of the season. Check if there are any leftover ice and snow. Use salt or melting tablets to get rid of solid chunks. Check the excess water flow through the home’s gutter system to ensure hassle free and smooth drainage while avoiding pooling around home’s foundation. Remove debris and foliage around drainage path and position the downspouts properly to let water flow easily.

  • Roof

As soon as the snow over the roof starts to melt, check for the pooling water that may soak into it or ceilings or attic. Examine missing or loose shingles and related spots inside the home for water damage. Inspect outdoor vents and remove any materials or moss that can clog the paths. You can use a high-quality moss killer for long lasting prevention.

  • HVAC System

The HVAC (Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning) system must be inspected and cleaned before the start of each season. By the end of winter, change air filters, if needed. Inspect the functionality and cleanliness of vents, ducts and whole HVAC system. Ductwork of your AC unit may be difficult and technical for you to check, so you may call SERVPRO’s HVAC professional for inspecting and cleaning the air ducts. In order to prevent clogging and blockages in HVAC system, clear all accumulated dust and debris from outdoor as well as indoor HVAC equipment, including rooftop AC units and vents.

  • Windows

Winter often brings cracks on windows and leaves tears on screens. Check if there is any damaged seal or peeling along trim. Replace all flawed parts. If there is a window well in your basement, replace water guard to prevent basement flooding. Dripping snowmelt and rainwater easily pass through little openings and damage the interior areas and surrounding walls. If this water damage is left unidentified or untreated, it may also lead to mold growth. Therefore, it is highly recommended to fix seals with a quick and timely window check.

  • Pipes

During winter, many households keep certain pipes wrapped to protect them from harsh weather. Once the season ends, uncover those and thoroughly inspect for cracks and damages. Also, check for dripping water in surroundings. Turn on spigots and faucets to detect leaks in the pipes.

  • Foundation

Before it gets warmer, shovel lingering snow from the base of the home; at least 3-5 feet away. Then, check the foundation for cracks or water pooled from snowmelt. Caulk all cracks to prevent more water from entering the home and to redirect the pooled water away.

  • Yard

Turn on water to outside spigots and rejoin the hoses. Uncover plants and outdoor equipment. If you have a garden or a lawn, fertilize its soil to ensure healthy plantation in spring.

If any sign of winter damage is found in your home, during or after winter, call SERVPRO’s expert home emergency restoration services right away.

Spring Cleaning for Commercial Buildings

6/1/2017 (Permalink)

Commercial Spring Cleaning for Commercial Buildings SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury Commercial Building Cleaning Services

With the arrival of warmer days of Spring, it’s the time to prepare your commercial buildings for the season. Here we come up with great Spring cleaning tips, which are not only around homes, but also around commercial buildings. After all, the commercial buildings have also been through a harsh, cold winter. Try out these spring cleaning tips and make sure that your commercial buildings are ready for the warmer seasons

  1. Neat your landscaping

The extreme weather in winter badly wrecks the landscaping around the commercial buildings. Spring brings a great time to start restoration measures and enhance summer landscaping. Doing so would make your building look more appealing to potential clients as well as staff. Some landscaping steps that you should try this year include:

  • Fertilizing the grass surrounding the building
  • Planting new seeds in dead grass areas
  • Watering existing plants and grass
  • Assessing the walkways and parking lots on your property
  • Filling patches, holes or big cracks

You can always call a pro like SERVPRO for commercial cleaning services, who can efficiently handle these handyman jobs to help maintain your commercial buildings all through the year.

  1. Flooring Enhancement

Winter, accompanied by cold breeze and harsh winds, brings excessive damage to the flooring, making it look dull and rough with time. Consider a deep cleaning for revitalizing building’s carpeting and tiles. The methodology for floor enhancement is often based on a blend of professional services including high-pressure steam, heat, extraction and agitation, which helps:

  • Removing dry particulate soil
  • Delaying costly replacement
  • Restoring floors to a brand-new condition
  1. Inspect Water Damage

Spring is the season of showers. Therefore, an important part of your spring cleaning and maintenance strategy is to make sure that your commercial building is water-proof against all rain showers and floods. The inspection of water leakage is a time taking process, which should be started at least a month before the arrival of the Spring. Generally, a pro contractor like SERVPRO, offering efficient and reliable commercial cleaning services, helps you giving your building a professional and detailed inspection, taking notes of existing or potential leakages and ensuring necessary repairs on time.

  1. Pest Control

Spring is indeed beautiful, yet with it comes the favorite season for pests. Spring is the high time for the growth of unwanted pests in your commercial property. Beetles, roaches, rodents and ants can eat up your foundations fast and result in hazardous health conditions if left untreated. Therefore, for the coming few weeks, keep spraying around your building with high-quality pest spray on a frequent basis. Also, make sure to have careful visual inspection of your building to determine gaps and holes where critters can gain access. SERVPRO in East Meadow/Westbury is recognized for its reliable and pest-proof commercial cleaning services. We are the only contractor around town that uses green products and pesticides for cleaning projects.

  1. Be Environment friendly

One of the latest Harris Interactive Surveys has reported that 84 percent of U.S households & commercial property owners prefer contractors who use green products and follow environment-friendly practices. These products are Green Seal certified and meet the requirements set by EPA’s Design for the Environment Program (DfE). Being a commercial property owner, you can execute green cleaning strategies yourself like using dilution control chemical dispensers and reusable wipes or mops to reduce environmental impact.

  1. Take care of AC Units

Before the Spring and hot sunny days of summer arrive, the building patrons and facility managers must have a comprehensive HVAC inspection and AC units cleaning services. Poorly cleaned ACs lead to allergies, unpleasant odors, shorter lifespan of air filters and high energy bills. Call SERVPRO’s HVAC experts for complete inspection and maintenance of your AC units right away.

For more information about our vast range of commercial cleaning services, call SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury’s 24/7 available helpline.

Prepare your AC System for summer

5/15/2017 (Permalink)

Community Prepare your AC System for summer Don't get caught in the heat this summer

Long Island homeowners are now gearing up for summer, a season for cookouts, BBQs, beach time and a lot of outdoor activities. Along with preparing for your outdoors, a part of your preparation should also include maintenance of your AC system to help gain relief from hot and humid days. On hot sunny days, you would never want to turn the switch of your AC on and find that it is not working. Since Air Conditioners remains idle throughout winter, it is highly recommended to prepare your AC system for summer. Since unused AC accumulates a lot of debris, leaves and dust, its timely maintenance is required before you give crank up the cool air.

Here are some great tips to prepare your AC System for summer.

  1. Clear debris around coils and condenser

Clearing debris accumulated around the condenser unit is the most important and best way to make your system ready for use. A clean condenser helps the AC unit trap heat from the air easily. However, before you start clearing away debris, make sure the unit is turned off. Remove clutter and debris from inside and close to condenser unit. You should do this every month while the unit is in operation.

  1. Clean interior ductwork

Just like debris needs to cleared from outside, you must clear it from the interiors of your homes or buildings as well. A bigger portion of the ductwork might not easily be seen or accessible since it is inside the ceilings and walls; therefore, a complete cleaning often needs to be performed by home by professional cleaning company with the proper duct cleaning equipment like SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury.  

  1. Air filters maintenance & replacement

Air filters are the most important components for any HVAC system, since the air entering the system passes through these filters for purification. Dirty or clogged air filters can easily damage the AC system and even lead to severe allergy symptoms and respiratory conditions. A filter may seem fine for a while; however, new filters should be installed at the beginning of every season and a few times thereafter until fall.   

If you are doubtful and need expert consultation, schedule an appointment with SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury clean team professionals today to develop a plan of action. You may be required to replace or clean your filter more frequently than you think. Many professionals suggest replacement at least twice in every three months.

  1. Check fan belts

Another important tip to prepare your AC system for summer is to check its fan belts and circulation motors. Belts make an important part of HVAC system and their proper functioning is necessary to ensure AC’s working.

  1. Proper Insulation

The insulation around the coolant pipe is often overlooked by many households. This insulation is important for making your system function properly. If your existing insulation is torn or damaged, replace it immediately.

  1. Don’t use humidifier

If your furnace contains a humidifier, turn it off. An AC system lowers the temperature of your building by removing humidity present in the atmosphere. An active humidifier will just cause excessive moisture that can lead to mold and mildew problems.

  1. Check AC thermostat

Once you set the temperature down on the thermostat and it reaches its “Cooling” state, the AC should start providing ample cooling. If it doesn’t, it’s the time to call a pro. Thermostat must be functioning well to ensure proper working of your AC.

 

  1. Turn Off your Heating System

Often overlooked, make sure that your heating system is turned off or lowered to 50 degrees to ensure that you are not wasting fuel, energy and hours by triggering the thermostat and heating a home once the temperature dips below 70 degrees.


Scheduling a proper checkup with a licensed HVAC technetium is never a bad idea. Check with your HVAC fuel or installation service provider to see if you contract includes annual maintenance or seasonal inspections.  Doing so could save you lots of money, time and frustration.  

 

Are you BBQ Season Ready? Safety First - Tips on how to have a safe BBQ season

5/10/2017 (Permalink)

Community Are you BBQ Season Ready? Safety First - Tips on how to have a safe BBQ season Long Island BBQ Fail

Summer is calling for delicious BBQ sessions. BBQ is indeed our summer tradition as well as a great pastime. However, it can also be accompanied by a major risk of fire. You would be surprised to know summer BBQs are the source of a number causalities every year.  United States Fire Administration estimated that every year, outside grills cause over 6,000 fires, more than 5 fatalities & 170 injuries, with at least $35 million in property damage and loss. In this article, we have come up with a few tips on how to prep your home for safety and to prevent fires due to summer BBQs. These tips have been proposed in the light of preventive measures issued by the New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

  1. Distance between Home & the Grill

The farther this distance, the better. Generally, a 10 feet distance is advised to be kept between your grill and home. This takes into an account the home sections such as porches, garages, and carports. Avoid wooden overhangs for grills since the fire can flare up in the structure. This is applied to gas as well as charcoal grills.

  1. BBQ Grill Cleaning

Grills must be cleaned on a regular basis. Without proper cleaning, fat and grease may accumulate all over the grill, providing fuel for the fire. Keep in mind that grease is the major cause of flare-ups and burnt steaks!

  1. Examine gas leaks

Always keep a close eye on gas leaks. If you are using a gas grill to BBQ, make sure there aren’t any leads in the tank, hose or burner. You can do this by rubbing your grill’s hoses and joints with a solution containing liquid dish soap and water in 1:1 ratio. Then open the grill lid and the turn gas on. Any bubbling will indicate the location of any potential leaks. Since gas leaks can easily catch a fire, it’s imperative that you replace any faulty parts, such as; hoses, valves, burners, joints or the entire grill itself. And NO, DUCT TAPE WON’T FIX THE LEAK. ;)

  1. Place a fire extinguisher nearby

A high-quality fire extinguisher is a helpful tool for handling emergency fire situations. Every household must keep at least one or two fire extinguishers on hand. In one of our previous posts, we explained how to make sure your fire extinguishers are ready for operation. If you are still not sure how to properly use a fire extinguisher, call SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury, Long Island’s leading home emergency restoration services provider, right away. Firefighters have reported that many fire casualties are the result of people trying to extinguish fires on their own, rather than calling 911 right away.   

  1. Keep furniture and decorations away

Watch your furniture and accessories. It is better to keep all of these at a significant distance from the grill. Decorations and accessories such as pillows, umbrellas, hanging baskets look great but they are also fuel for a fire. In addition, today’s décor is cheaply made from synthetic fiber, which can ignite much faster.

  1. Water Spray bottle

Keeping a handy spray water bottle with your grill can help tackling minor flare ups and prevents them turning into a larger fire. As soon as you see any flare up, you can instantly tame it with a quick spray of water. It helps tame pesky children as well!  The great thing is that water doesn’t spoil your delicious food, so you can use it without any fear of ruining your dinner.

Along with these tips to follow, keep in mind some of the don’ts to prevent summer BBQ fires, like don’t turn the gas on while the lid is open, don’t leave your grill unattended, don’t overload grill with food and never use grills indoor.

In the case of any fire, water or mold emergency on Long Island or for expert consultation, contact the pros at SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury 365/24/7.

April showers bring flooded basements

4/25/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage April showers bring flooded basements Long Island flooded finished basement

Spring is almost here and the flowers are starting to bloom. Humid and warm weather is coming and you are about to break out your sandals and shorts. But along this warmer season comes lots of spring rain. Though this rain is highly beneficial for your garden and yard, it may not be a good thing for your basements.  April showers bring flooded basements and if your basement is vulnerable, you need some preventive tips. Water in the basement usually occurs in the case of heavy rainfall. With the tips given in this article, you can surely reduce the chances of basement flooded this season.

Check Cracks

Examine foundation and basement walls for any crack. Watermarks close to these cracks are usually the sign of current leaks and potential risks. You can apply concrete patches to repair the cracks or you can call SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury for leak detection and repair services.

Check sump pump

Check the basement sump pump. Make sure that it is releasing water appropriately and there is no debris inside. Debris can clog the pump. If any debris is found, remove it by pouring buckets of water into the sump pit. This helps to unblock the pump and makes it discharge water and shut itself off. If the pump is running on a continuous basis and not shutting off, there is some problem. Call our home emergency restoration services immediately as the pump may burn itself out and become defective if left as it is.

If the sump pump is used frequently, you can also install a battery backup unit that can be used in case of a power failure. 

Basement flood alarm

A range of battery operated and inexpensive flood alarms are available that can be placed in the basement close to the sump pump or in the areas that are susceptible to flooding, including the laundry room and places next to doorways, water heater etc. If there is water, the alarm will ring letting you act promptly. Protect your valuables by shifting them from the basement floor to elevated areas or shelves.

Check outside areas

Make sure that your roof gutters and downspouts are clean. Ensure that they are not clogged and able to channel water away from the home rapidly. Downspouts shout exit at least 6ft from the house. Inspect your yard drainage and the culverts and remove obstructions like leaves, debris to make sure easy and quick flow of runoff water. Check the flow of any street drains present in front of your building as all that rushing water can easily make its way into your home. 

Appliances in Basement

If you have placed some appliances like space heaters, washers or dryers in your basement, disconnect their power source in case of flood warnings. However, if these are submerged or level of water is higher, don’t go in basement and risk electrocution. In order to prevent interior accidental flooding, examine all appliances on a regular basis. If they are of over 10 years, it’s better to replace them. 

From time to time, pour gallons of water into the floor drains in your bathrooms, garages, patios and basements. If drainage is not occurring quickly, call the pros at Long Island's best restoration company - SERVPRO of East Meadow Westbury.  We are one of the leading providers of drainage, plumbing, water leakage detection and repair and emergency home restoration services. For more information and emergency guidance and help, call us right away.

 

 

 

Is your commercial property prone to flooding?

4/13/2017 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Is your commercial property prone to flooding? High waters can mean high costs

Massive flooding, especially in the regions like Long Island, NY, brings devastating impact on the livelihood of its residents and economy. Casualties, destructed crops, damaged properties, livestock losses, defective infrastructure and the rise of waterborne diseases are some of the consequences of floods. Commercial properties, involving millions of dollars’ investment are also prone to flooding. The costs of rehabilitation, shifting of commercial property from damaged areas to new regions, and relocation of displaced people and employees can divert a massive amount of money of these businesses.

Floods in recent years like Hurricane Sandy, Katrina etc. in America, have resulted in huge losses, both residential and commercial, monetary and non-monetary. In one of the reports published by TIME, estimates made by Eqecat Inc., a disaster-modeling firm, have been revealed, $10 billion to $20 billion losses incurred by private businesses, in addition to losses incurred by the National Flood Insurance Program and uninsured losses, making total flood-initiated loss as $30 to $50 million, across the U.S.

Causes of Flooding in Businesses

To prevent commercial property and business losses, advance preventative measures can be made to determine and prevent water damage.

  1. Rising Water

It is one of the biggest risks to island areas like Long Island, NY.

  1. Moving water

Moving water brings greater risks in areas that are located near rivers or in coastal storm surge areas since it results in much larger lateral forces on the buildings.

  1. Overtopping

Overtopping, opening of levees, dams and other flood stopping mechanisms, which are made to divert flood water flow to ensure protection, result in more significant flood damages than if these mechanisms were never installed.

  1. Flash flooding

Flash flooding occurs in almost every region due to slow-moving storms or unusually heavy rainfall arising out of any storm system.  This is particularly common on Long Island and the main culprit for commercial property damage on Long Island

Factors to Determine Property’s Exposure to Floods

  • Flood waters must be able to recede. The most common cause of structure flooding is poor drainage. If your commercial property or facility is exposed to water for longer time period, the more it can result in flood-proofing failures.
  • Flood waters’ depth, if higher than 3 feet, hydrostatic pressure against walls will lead to cracks in foundations. Resulting in horizontal foundation cracks and potential collapse.
  • Increases in water velocity will result in more pressure exerted against the building. Coastal locations are exposed to wave coming from storm surge.
  • Flood water is usually contaminated, containing a lot of hazardous elements like industrial waste, toxins, pesticides, sewage, animal wastes, oils and chemical and non-chemical materials. This contamination breaches flood protection and brings intensive damage to property.

Ways to Tackle Flood

Drainage

The best solution to prevent flooding is to ensure that all drainage systems surrounding the parameter of your building have been installed and operating properly. Compromises in your drainage system can cause devastating damage to your commercial property.

Elevation

Having adequate elevation will prevent against coastal flooding. Safety margin against flooding is enhanced by raising the elevation of the building above 500-year flood elevation. Though, in regions like Long Island NY, these locations are hard to find

Dry Floodproofing

Many waterproofing strategies, techniques, systems, and materials exist to help seal the building or property’s foundation to prevent water from entering. Protecting the foundation by coating its exterior with a subterranean membrane that prevents flooding waters from entering the structure. This not a quick fix and can be a complicated process that requires professional expertise.

To know more about the best solutions for minimizing flood damages to your commercial property, call the experts at SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury for specialized flood management and emergency restoration services on Long Island.

5 Most Common Causes of Basement Flooding

4/6/2017 (Permalink)

Water Damage 5 Most Common Causes of Basement Flooding Long Island Home with a flooded basement caused by a broken pipe

 

Basements are usually used as storage spaces or for additional living space. Because of their subterranean nature, the basements are susceptible to a lot of moisture issues, in particular, in the regions where there is lots of seasonal rain and low elevation level. Homes on Long Island, NY, also come in the same category, and thus are more vulnerable to basement flooding. Flooded basements are not only stressful to handle, but they can also result in high restoration costs as they are a major source of property damage and mold growth. For Long Island Homes, especially, it is helpful to be aware of the most common causes of basement flooding in order to take preventive steps and act promptly to minimize the losses. In this article, we will highlight the 5 most common causes.

  1. Heavy Rainfall

The topmost cause of basement flooding is heavy rainfall, and prolonged stormy weather. Homes on Long Island are faced with storm rage for extended periods of time. Long Island and similar regions also experience significant rainfall over a shorter span of time.

This water naturally drains downward and likely to flood basements if the home’s drainage system is not set up properly. Oversaturated earth overwhelms basement waterproofing if conditions are favorable, pushing water through foundation cracks, porous concrete and tile grout.

  1. Water Leakages

Water leakages arising out of obstructed, leaky or broken pipes, is another major cause of basement flooding. Unfinished basements usually have exposed plumbing, leaving them vulnerable to flooding from pipe freezing and malfunctioning drains and pipes. Older homes on Long Island, tend to have original metal based plumbing that corrodes with time. When temperatures fall below 32 degrees, these unprotected pipes may freeze and burst, leading to a flood. Damaged or clogged sewer lines cause sewage backups and submerge basements with contaminated water.

  1. Unprotected basements

Unprotected basements are exposed to greater risk of flooding. You can try some tips to keep rainwater away from your basement. For instance, seal the doors and egress windows properly. Keep downspouts and gutters free of debris. Install downspout extenders, a sump pump and perimeter drain.

  1. Leakage from Water Heaters

The water heater often becomes a source of basement flooding. Irrespective of the cause, the leakages from a water heater can lead to huge problems, eventually causing failure of the tank. There is an endless water supply since tanks are made to be filled continuously. This is a huge amount of water flowing through your home if you don’t stop it. Any leakage must be inspected and repaired on immediately.

  1. Inappropriate home location

It has been observed that many home on Long Island were built on unsuitable locations. In addition, the overall low elevation of the region is another problem. If the grading of your home is not properly designed, surface drainage can be directed towards your building, causing basement flooding. Reshaping of your yard so that storm or rain water can flow away from home’s foundation can help.

If you want to know more about the best preventive ways to tackle basement flooding or are seeking for highly specialized and professional home emergency restoration services, call one of the best emergency restoration companies on Long Island, SERVPRO of East Meadow / Westbury, right away.