Category Archives: mold remediation long island

How To Prevent Mold Around Your Air Conditioner

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Mold appears as a result of a damp environment, so any place that’s subjected to excessive moisture is at risk. One of the most popular places for mold to form is around your air conditioner. Here are some tips to keeping mold away from your AC.

  1. Keep Moisture Away

Mold cannot grow without moisture. An air conditioner with humidity control will control the moisture level in the air, automatically discouraging the formation of mold. This goes double for the hot, humid months of mid-summer where you won’t only prevent mold around your AC, but in your home as well.

 

  1. Keep It Running

The most common mistake people make is that when leaving for the day, or even for a week, they shut down the air conditioner unit, letting the air heat and stagnate. Especially in the warmer months, moisture will build in the air without circulation, and temperatures will obviously rise in the absence of a cooling system. Warm, moist, air is a perfect breeding ground for mold and mildew. The best and most cost- effective way to keep costs down, and mold out, is to run your air conditioner on “Auto Mode”.

 

  1. Keep It Running…Well

Preventing mold from forming inside or outside of the air conditioner unit requires careful maintenance. The insides of your air conditioning unit may be the perfect place for mold to appear. It’s dark, warm, and—if not properly maintained—may have water present; increasing the chances of mold developing. Clean it regularly and remove any signs of water, or already formed mold, you can find.

 

  1. Keep Dust At Bay

Dust also helps mold form in and around your air conditioner, so getting rid of any dust is highly advisable. The most comfortable way of doing this is to use a vacuum cleaner to draw the dust from the air conditioner. It’s an easy job, but it is very important in mold prevention.

Ice Dams

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When the cold weather hits our homes often take the brunt of the damage. From freezing pipes to winter storm damage, there are lots of things a homeowner needs to worry about when it comes to preventing damage in the winter and ice dams are one of them.

Ice dams happen after a heavy snow. The warm air from the top of the house heats the outside roof surface to the point that snow melts. When roof snow is melted by a warm attic space, it runs down and freezes again when it gets past the exterior wall and hits a cold unheated roof edge or gutter. The ice dam grows as the process repeats itself and the ice dam becomes larger.

Ice dams can create damage to not only your roof and gutters, they can cause interior damage as well. Water from the melting snow and ice can find their way under shingles and behind exterior walls. In some cases, if the right temperature and humidity exist, mold may begin to grow in the attic or top floor of your house. Often paint will peel or blister weeks or months after the ice dam had melted as moisture from the leak in the wall or ceiling cavities tries to leave and pushes outward.

 

How do you battle an ice damming situation?

  • Use A Roof Rake

This took allows you to remove at least the first 4 feet of snow from the roofs edge to help prevent damage

 

  • Apply calcium chloride or an ice melt to the ice dam

Be careful if you choose this method as you will most likely need to utilize a ladder which is not recommended in cold and icy conditions.

 

  • Professional Ice Dam Removal

There are professional companies available that are insured and will remove your ice dam using professional equipment such as high pressure steam. This approach may cost a few hundred dollars but the prevention of damage to your home may be significant.

If you are experiencing water damage due to an ice damming situation, give us a call. We offer expert services in water damage remediation and provide free estimates. Feel free to learn more about us and the services we provide by logging onto 631-467-6600

Branch is now officially a Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise

Branch is proud to announce that we have met the qualifications for The Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) Certification Program. The program’s goal strengthen diversity in the state.

Branch Services is committed to providing opportunities to all Long Islanders who are committed to the fire, flood and mold restoration business. We are proud of our hardworking staff and owners who have decades of experience behind them and look forward to continuing to serve the community for years to come.

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Where to Find a State Licensed Mold Remediation Contractor

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A new law went into affect mandating  that a State Licensed Mold Remediation Contractor on Long Long Island must be properly trained. Branch Services is in compliance with this law and will continue to be the mold remediation contractor you can count on.

Hiring an inexperienced contractor, ill equipped to handle such a job could cost you thousands of dollars and put your family’s health at risk. There are ways to protect yourself, however, by following these simple mold remediation contractor guidelines given by Branch Services of Long Island, New York.

To find out if a contractor is licensed in the state to perform mold testing or mold remediation you can check out this site.

We at Branch Services are prepared for this new law and are licensed as a Mold Remediation Contractor.  Standard Industry Certifications that were accredited in the past do not apply to the current licensing requirements.  We have been in compliance with the new law by January 1, 2016 and will continue to be the mold remediation contractor you can count on.

Long Island Mold Remediation

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In the beginning of this year a Long Island Mold Remediation Law requiring that assessors and contractors in the mold
remediation industry and their workers are properly trained and licensed. Branch Services is in compliance with this law
and will continue to be the mold remediation contractor you can count on.
Since January 1, 2016 all Mold Remediation Contractors, and Assessors must be licensed by the New York State
Department of Labor.  The licensing requirements state that no person shall be licensed to conduct mold-related services
unless they: (a) are eighteen years of age or older; (b) have satisfactorily completed Department of Labor-approved
course work, including training on the appropriate use and care of personal protection equipment as approved by the
Commissioner of the Department of Health; and (c) have paid the appropriate fees. The licensing requirements prohibit
any contractor to engage in mold assessment or mold remediation without a valid license issued by the Commissioner of
Labor which must be present and on display at the worksite. The bill also prohibits a person licensed to perform mold-
related services from acting as both the mold assessment contractor and the mold remediation contractor, in other
words, contractors who currently provide mold inspections and perform the remediation as well, will no longer be able to
do so. Individuals will only be allowed to be a licensed Mold Assessor or a licensed Mold Remediator, NOT BOTH.
Persons who conduct home inspections as part of potential real estate transactions must also be licensed as a “Mold
Assessor” if their inspections/reports include an assessment of mold conditions in the home or property in question.
“Mold assessment” means an inspection or assessment of real property that is designed to discover mold, conditions that
facilitate mold, indication of conditions that are likely to facilitate mold, or any combination thereof.”
Persons who perform Mold Abatement (Remediation) must be licensed as Mold Remediation Contractor.  “Mold
Remediation” or “Mold Abatement” means the act of removal, cleaning, sanitizing, or surface disinfection of mold, mold
containment, and waste handling of mold and materials used to remove mold from surfaces by an individual.
If you have any questions about mold remediation or mold testing give us a call.
External Link….
https://labor.ny.gov/workerprotection/safetyhealth/mold/mold-program.shtm

Catch us at the Long Island Commercial Real Estate Expo!

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Next Wednesday (3/16) Branch Services will be exhibiting at the Long Island Commercial Real Estate Expo

“The Long Island Commercial Real Estate Expo is the event dedicated to improving economic activity on Long Island through the commercial real estate industry. The show is for Long Island and is produced by Long Islanders. It offers unique programs featuring business leaders discussing issues that affect the business climate.”

You can visit their Website here

http://www.longislandrealestateexpo.com/

Snow Melt Flooding

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This past snow storm brought a mix of floods and over 2 feet of snow which is a water damage double whammy. Many insurance companies require separate and specific coverage for water damage and as 26+ inches of snow melts, even if you aren’t in a flood zone, you may be faced with flood damage.

Here are some tips to keep the flood waters at bay and preventing water damage from costing you.

  • Safeguard in-home electrical and climate systems

Keep electrical outlets, wiring, circuit breakers at least a foot above flood level in your home.

Furnace, water heaters and burners should be elevated as well.

Fuel tanks, air-conditioning units and generators should be anchored and raised above your flood level. Keep them clear of ice and snow.

Modify water valves

A flooded sewer system can cause sewage to back up into your home. Installing an interior or exterior backflow valve can help mitigate that.

 

  • Determine how water flows around your house

Check to see where water flows on your property, ideally it will flow away from your home, but if it doesn’t you might want to take extra precautions against water coming into your home

  • Take Drastic Action

If your home floods frequently and moving isn’t an option, you may need to take drastic and costly measures.

Raise your home on piers or columns so that the lowest floor is above the flood level. In some states grant money or tax incentives may be available to help you with this.

“Wet-proof” your home by installing foundation vents that would allow water to flow through the building, instead of rising inside and causing more damage. You’d need at least two vents on different walls.

Do some “dry proofing” by applying coatings and other sealing materials to your walls to keep out floods.

  • Take last-minute measures as waters rise

Clear gutters, drains and downspouts. Clear ice and snow from your roof and gutters to prevent ‘ice dams’

Move furniture, rugs, electronics and other belongings to upper floors, or at least raise them off a ground floor.

Shut off electricity at the breaker panel.

Elevate major appliances onto concrete blocks if they’re potentially in harm’s way from flooding.

  • Dont wait to take care of dampness

Even if major flooding didn’t occur the smallest amount of dampness in the walls, rugs or floors can cause a serious mold problem come spring.  As the snow melts check basements, atticks, windows and door jams for potential dampness and if there is doubt call a professional mold remediation expert for advice.

Tips to Passing A Home Inspection

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Selling a home is stressful enough. Even if you find a buyer, homeowners can be blindsided by problems uncovered by an inspection. Before you sell , make sure these common home inspection issues don’t put a wrench in selling your home.

1. Faulty wiring. Worn or outdated systems and jerry rigged additions are the most common defects, especially in older homes. Any major issues with electrical systems must be addressed immediately.

2. Roof problems. Roofs can be expensive to be repaired/replaced.  An old, damaged roof can also mean water problems and entirely new headaches.

3. Heating/cooling system defects. Improper installations, inadequate maintenance and aged components are common.

4. Plumbing issues. The most common defects are leaking, outdated systems. Repairs can often be made, but on occasion total system replacement is the only solution.

5. Inadequate insulation and ventilation in attic. Poor insulation and poor ventilation cause excessive utility costs.

6. Whole house is poorly maintained. When a house is left to fall into disrepair, it represents a potential high cost situation to bring the home back into good condition. If the homeowner did not properly care for the home, someone will need to later.

7. Poor drainage. If there are drainage issues, water damage isn’t far behind.  Make sure drainage issues are taken care of. Roof gutters and downspouts can sometimes be added to rectify site drainage problems.

8. Cracks in walls & windows. If air can get in, so can water. Water damage leads to costly repairs in the future.

9. Minor structural damage. Cut and broken trusses are often seen in attic cavities and on occasion we also see structural components missing. Usually repairs are needed, however we find it is rarely an imminent safety hazard.

10. Mold. Signs of mold growth can kill a contract. Homebuyers should consider a complete environmental evaluation of the property before buying.

Long Island Hurricane Deductibles

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Homeowners who experience their first hurricane are frequently awestruck by the unharnessed power of Mother Nature. Unfortunately, once the storm passes, they’re often blindsided by the special — and costly — hurricane insurance deductible they didn’t know was buried in their homeowners policy.

How hurricane deductibles work

Unlike most deductibles which has a set dollar rate, hurricane deductible is based on a percentage of your home’s total value. The out-of-pocket cost can be much higher than what you’d face with the dollar-amount deductibles commonly used for fire damage and theft.

If the home you insured for $300,000 has a 5 percent hurricane deductible, you would be responsible for the first $15,000 in hurricane damage as defined by the policy. With a standard, non-hurricane deductible, you might pay just the first $500 of a home insurance claim out of your own pocket.

In some states, homeowners may be able to get a dollar-amount hurricane deductible by agreeing to pay a higher premium, though in high-risk shore areas the percentage deductibles may be unavoidable.

How Hurricane is defined.

You should be aware of the trigger, or benchmark for what qualifies as a hurricane for your policy. For some policies for example, you won’t have to worry about your policy’s hurricane deductible unless the weather service has determined that a Category 1 hurricane has made landfall. You should ask your insurance agent about the trigger for your deductible.

Beware of “Windstorm Deductable”

Even when a hurricane deductible does not apply, homeowners can still find themselves on the hook for hefty out-of-pocket costs.  Some homeowners are subject to a similar percentage-based “windstorm deductible,” which applies regardless of any hurricane declaration.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing

These kind of percentage deductibles helps keep insurance costs down over all by bringing costs of premiums down in high risk areas.

Be Prepared for Hurricane Season

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Well, hurricane season has arrived. While experts are predicting a mild storm season this year, it is best to be prepared. After all, even a comparatively mild storm can cause serious damage. Here are some tips to get you prepared for severe weather.

 

1. Get flood insurance.

Most basic homeowner insurance policies don’t cover flood damage.  Go over your  policy to make sure you are covered for flooding or water damage. If you need to purchase flood insurance visit https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pages/faqs/how-can-i-get-flood-insurance.jsp

2. Have an evacuation plan for your family (and your pets!)

Evacuation orders are not made lightly and should be taken seriously.  Making arrangements with friends or family who live on higher ground can help you avoid staying in a shelter.  Some shelters started to allow pets, but space fills up quickly . Making arrangements beforehand ensures you and all members of your family will be safe during the storm.

3.  Make an emergency survival kit

Now you don’t have to prepare for all out Armageddon, but you should have enough tools and supplies to survive without electricity or utilities for up to two weeks. This site has a great checklist of things you may need.

https://www.uscg.mil/d7/airstaBorinquen/docs/HurricanePage/Suggested%20Hurricane%20Supply%20Kits%20.pdf

4.  Mitigate any damage that a flood could cause

Sometimes flooding is unavoidable. In cases like this you need to make sure the water does as little damage as possible. Make sure you have proper drainage and barriers to keep flood waters out.  If storm surge is expected make sure to keep rugs, boxes, anything that can get damaged by water off the lower floors.  If you live in a flood zone look into raising your house or taking other precautions to help mitigate the damage when a flood does hit.