24/7 EMERGENCY SERVICES
631-757-0212

Frozen Pipes, What to Do

Winter is coming, and when temperatures drop below 32 degrees your pipes can freeze and even burst. When this happens, it can potentially lead to significant water damage to your home. Water floods at an alarming rate of 4-8 gallons of water an hour. What starts as a small leak can quickly escalate to a full emergency. Especial vulnerable areas are exterior walls, crawl spaces, and attics — also, areas exposed to cold flowing air.

Quick tips to prevent frozen pipes:

  • On extremely cold days turn up your thermostat a few degrees
  • Allow warm water to drip from the faucet overnight
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors so warm air can reach under sinks
  • Seal up any holes or gaps where pipes run through the wall floor with caulk or spray insulation

Permanent solutions to consider:

  • Insulation of pipes or areas surrounding pipes (exterior walls, crawlspace, garage, attics)
  • Install electronic heat cables, which are thermostatically controlled and designed to activate when a temperate drop is detected and shut off when the desired warming temperature is met

If a water leak happens should I file an insurance claim?

When a water leak occurs, the initial reaction is to stop the leak. Once stopped, most people will attempt a quick clean up by themselves. They sop up all the water and notice some damage to the floors, walls, base moldings and doors. They review their insurance policy and see it has a $1,000 deductible and wonder, “how much will all this cost to fix?” They call their insurance agent for advice, and luckily their agent is knowledgeable and committed to high levels of customer service, and recommends that they call in a trusted restoration contractor for a free consultation

The recommended restoration contractor arrives and tests the affected floors, walls and finishes for signs of trapped moisture with a moisture meter. He explains that even though the puddles are gone, the water has soaked up in-and-behind the sheetrock and trim. Without proper water mitigation and de-humidification, this trapped moisture can rapidly start dangerous mold growth within the unseen walls.

The estimate for the mitigation is $3000 to $5000 and the repairs including replacement of the ripped-out floors and walls is $10,000 to $12,000. If all this wasn’t traumatizing enough, the restoration contractor explains that most homeowners’ policies won’t cover mold growth unless the mold condition was created by a “covered” water loss. He says, “I’ve seen this a countless number of times, there is a profound trapped moisture condition that people don’t feel they need to start a claim for and try to mitigate it themselves…unsuccessfully. Months later, they discover the presence of mold and can’t get coverage because they never started a claim for the water condition. They should have started a claim immediately, got it covered as a water loss and with this “covered loss” status, they would have had mold coverage protection.

The motto of this story is had they first called in a full-service restoration contractor who did the complete job from start to finish it would have only cost the homeowner their $1,000 deductible. Also, they would have been no fear of mold growth because the job was done correctly from the beginning!

Water damage – do it yourself or call in a pro?

Water Damage inside your home can come from broken pipes, broken or defective appliances such as boiler and hot water heater leaks, Also, wind driven rain or rising water from a flood or other ground water penetrations are other ways that water can penetrate a home. Besides the obvious cleanup of standing water, most people don’t understand all the unseen damage and the potential consequences of improperly mitigating (cleanup) the unseen trapped moisture.

The starting point for every water condition should be an immediate call to a professional water damage restoration company. These companies have specialized training and moisture assessment equipment and experience in assessing every type of water condition. A competent water technician from a water damage cleanup company will also have valuable insight in the insurance claims process if your water condition warrants initiating an insurance claim. Once a claim is started, the restoration contracting pro can be an invaluable resource and a liaison when interacting with the insurance adjuster.

Understanding building construction is another advantage “the pros” have over most homeowners during the initial survey of water damages. Understanding the travel path of water and knowing where to look for trapped moisture is another benefit of bringing in a professional.

Specialized tools used to detect trapped moisture hidden within, behind & under finished surfaces is what the water tech will use and is yet another reason why you should call a pro. The tech will use invasive, pin type penetrating moisture detecting probes as well as non-invasive surface scanning water meters and infrared thermal scanning tools to probe and detect surfaces for signs of trapped moisture. Once the survey is complete, a moisture map and mitigation plan will be formulated to effectively dry down the affected space.

Puff Back Cleanup Specialists In Long Island NY – True Restorations Inc.

Puff Back Cleanup Specialists Long Island NY

Dealing with a puff back or a severely smoked out structure will require the assistance of an experienced Puff Back Cleanup Specialists who specializes in smoke damage cleanup along with smoke odor removal. This cleanup job requires specialized equipment & techniques and is a likely going to be an insurance claim. True Restorations is a top smoke damage cleaning company on Long Island that you will want to have involved all aspects of this type of project, including insurance claims processing, smoke & soot cleaning, air filtering, odor removal & neutralization, textile cleaning, contents cleaning & deodorizing and odor encapsulation.

A puff back is a smoke condition created by a defective oil fired hot water boiler, this “puff back” can cause thick black smoke to be pumped throughout a structure rendering all surfaces to be covered with a layer of greasy, oily soot. Before any attempt at cleaning & deodorizing of your home you should be aware that improper cleaning techniques can cause smoke particles to be pushed deeper into porous surfaces causing further damages and even more work to effectively deodorize the structure

If you have ever witnessed a house or structure that has sustained a puff backs or a severe smoke condition from a fire, you can attest to the extent of damages that can occur. There will likely be a layer of soot over every surface in the entire house, inside the closets, embedded in carpets & other soft goods, inside the ductwork, cabinetry…. everywhere. Even days after the puff back or fire occurred, spending time inside a smoked-out structure will leave you with a burning sensation in your eyes & throat due to residual microscopic smoke particles. The odor created by this condition will remain until proper cleaning & deodorizing treatments are done. Proper cleaning protocols will likely entail HEPA vacuuming every surface in the home along with a chemical sponge wipe down, followed up with a wet wipe solvent mixed with an odor neutralizing degreaser. This work will be done while simultaneously filtering the air with a HEPA filtered air scrubber coupled with a hydroxyl generator.

If you sustain any kind of smoke condition at your home or business, immediately call True Restorations at 631-757-0212 for a free consultation and assistance with cleanup & processing of any insurance claim.

To know more about our services, visit Smoke Damage Restorations.

We also provide Water, Fire, Mold & Wind damage restoration services for residential & commercials.

Regards,

True Restorations Inc.

Water Removal Only?

Water Damage Cleanup And Restoration Long Island NYWater damage in Long Island is not uncommon, with it being surrounded by water and all. But it doesn’t mean you should take it lightly. The water pooling up on your floor may get sucked up but the unseen water & moisture behind walls & under the flooring can wreck tremendous havoc if not dealt with properly. Have a professional take care of flooded basement water removal as well as detecting, exposing & drying hidden, trapped moisture before mold growth occurs will ensure the safety of you and your family. True Restorations, a top company dedicated to water damage restoration in Long Island NY, ensures complete removal, cleanup, and restoration of your home.

You wake up one morning to find 1” of water throughout your finished basement. You search for the source but are unable to find a broken pipe or cracked plumbing pipe. You remember that there was a torrential downpour late last night & that somehow this build-up of water must have found some way to get into your basement. You think “this is going to be a lot of work”. After a call to your insurance agent, you learn that groundwater entering your home from this situation is known as ‘seepage” and that there is no coverage under your current policy for this type of work. Now what??

You go to your laptop computer, open up Google and type in “flooded basement water removal company near me”. After perusing a few sites & make a few appointments for site visits for an evaluation & quote, then, and only then does the magnitude of the coming cleanup occur to you.

The first company to respond in for an assessment & quote was a local, reputable, highly rated water restoration company. Their assessment echoes your insurance agents, there likely will be no coverage, this work will have to be paid “out of pocket”. The restoration tech also explains many other aspects of a proper clean-up that you have never heard about. Terms like: category 3 water, elevated moisture readings showing trapped moisture in sheetrocked walls, potential harmful mold growth as a result of improper dry down of the affected structure. They present you with a quote for full water restoration services as per the IICRC guidelines. You think…..”Wow, this is way more work than you were thinking, all you want is the water removed”. You thank them for the quote and then wait for a second evaluation.

The second company to respond to your request for help is a local plumber who specializes in pump-outs, typically sewer backups. He is not trained in water restoration and doesn’t even own a water meter that can detect elevated moisture readings in sheetrock, wood or even concrete or other surfaces. The plumber says, “only 1” of water….this is a piece of cake, I will have this water soaked up in 45 minutes”. He recommends that you set up a few fans to help dry everything down. He also recommends to maybe spray some bleach and do additional precautionary clean up.  He gives you a price that is about one-quarter of what the restoration contractor quoted.

After the two assessments & quotes and some thoughtful reflection, you make your decision on what to do. This scenario will play out for countless property owners, over & over again…… every day. Which direction any particular property will be determined by factoring available monies coupled with risk tolerance. If you can afford to pay to have the restoration contractor who is licensed, insured & trained to perform a full water restoration project with complete dry down and anti-microbial treatment and you absolutely are risk-averse to exposing your family to the potentially harmful affects of improperly cleaned surfaces or potential mold infestation. If your situation presents you with limited unavailable disposable income and an inability to access credit to pay for services, you may be forced to hire the “cheap guy” even knowing or wanting the full restoration & cleanup offered by the trained, competent restoration contractor.

We at True Restorations are realistic & understanding about any one person’s particular financial situation and ability to pay for services will vary. We will respond to these types of emergencies for a free consultation. We will provide pricing for full restoration services as well as ala carte pricing for less than a complete water restoration project as we realize that without proper insurance coverage, some clients will need a modified scope of work that they can realistically afford.  We do however seek an indemnification from our clients for protection against not following the IICRC guidelines for proper restoration along with executing the modified cleanup & dry down of the affected structure.

If your home or business is affected by water in any way, please call us right away at 631-757-0212 for an immediate response, consultation & quote for services.

To know more about other services visit here

 

True Restorations Inc.

“One Call Does it All”

Water Damage in Long Island Homes or Businesses

Nеѕtlеd іn bеtwееn Long Iѕlаnd Sоund аnd the Atlаntіс Oсеаn, thе rеѕіdеntѕ оf Lоng Iѕlаnd are uѕеd tо having tо deal wіth wаtеr dаmаgе оf оnе kіnd оr another. Flооd аnd tide wаtеrѕ rіѕе аnd еnvеlор bаѕеmеntѕ аlоng thе coast, ѕеwаgе ѕуѕtеmѕ bасk up during the wіntеr аnd саn’t handle thе hеаvу рrесіріtаtіоnѕ. In Sрrіng, snow mеlt саuѕеѕ additional water dаmаgе problems on Lоng Iѕlаnd. It іѕ lосаtеd іn a Nоrthеrn zоnе оf thе country that frequently sees аdvеrѕе weather conditions.

Lоng Iѕlаnd, unlіkе mаnу of thе other boroughs оf Nеw Yоrk City, іѕ mаdе uр of ѕіnglе family hоmеѕ аnd duplexes thаt have trаdіtіоnаl gutters and dоwnѕроutѕ. Thеѕе need tо be kept clean аnd unobstructed, particularly durіng wіntеr mоnthѕ, tо avoid water dаmаgе. Dоwnѕроutѕ should bе еxtеndеd оut from the hоmе ѕіx tо еіght feet and thе lоt іtѕеlf ѕhоuld be grаdеd ѕо wаtеr drаіnѕ оff properly.

From Hеmрѕtеаd tо thе Hаmрtоnѕ, Lоng Iѕlаnd is оnе of the most рісturеѕԛuе аnd ореn рlасеѕ іn thе New Yоrk City аrеа. Though nоt соnѕіdеrеd by many tо be раrt of thе city іtѕеlf, Long Island is dеfіnіtеlу a ѕuburb wіthіn striking dіѕtаnсе оf Mаnhаttаn. Thе municipalities аrе іndереndеnt аnd each carries thе rеѕроnѕіbіlіtу оf mаіntаіnіng іtѕ water аnd ѕеwаgе ѕуѕtеm, but the сrоѕѕіng roads, lіkе thе Long Iѕlаnd Exрrеѕѕwау, аrе ѕubjесt tо wаtеr damage аlѕо. Thеѕе fаll undеr thе Stаtе Hіghwау Dераrtmеnt.

The hоmеѕ and buѕіnеѕѕеѕ оf Lоng Iѕlаnd аrе the rеѕроnѕіbіlіtу оf thе owners of thоѕе buіldіngѕ. Water dаmаgе thаt іѕ incurred requires private fundіng tо repair and can bе аvоіdеd with ѕоmе рrесаutіоnаrу measures. Winterizing уоur home is a gооd precaution. Hаvе the basement, rооf and drаіnаgе ѕуѕtеm іnѕресtеd аnd add іnѕulаtіоn іf needed. Wrap уоur ріреѕ. Burѕt pipes can саuѕе ѕіgnіfісаnt wаtеr dаmаgе іn thе winter and lеаd tо the ѕhutdоwn оf уоur heating ѕуѕtеm whеn уоu nееd іt thе mоѕt.

Thе term “wаtеr damage” can rеfеr to a numbеr оf different things. Thе most obvious that соmеѕ to mіnd іѕ flooding thаt rеѕultѕ frоm еlеmеntаl соndіtіоnѕ оr іntеrnаl brеаkѕ іn thе рlumbіng ѕуѕtеm, but there іѕ muсh mоrе to it. The іnіtіаl wаtеr damage, whеn сlеаnеd uр, саn cause residual рrоblеmѕ ѕuсh аѕ mоld and іnѕесt infestations. Thеѕе fасtоrѕ can bе dаmаgіng to the health оf your family аnd hоuѕеhоld реtѕ.

Tо аvоіd mоld buіld-uр, mаkе ѕurе that аll аrеаѕ аffесtеd by wаtеr dаmаgе аrе drіеd thoroughly and аіrеd оut. Wеt wооd саn bе an аttrасtаnt tо tеrmіtеѕ and carpenter аntѕ. Mаnу оf the homes оn Lоng Iѕlаnd аrе wооd ѕtruсturеѕ thаt wеrе buіlt ԛuіtе a fеw уеаrѕ ago and wіll be ореnеd uр to this rеѕіduаl wаtеr dаmаgе іf not treated рrореrlу. Hire a wаtеr dаmаgе рrоfеѕѕіоnаl whо knоwѕ whаt they’re doing whеnеvеr you have a water rеlаtеd problem of аnу kіnd. Evеn bеttеr, hаvе ѕоmе рrеvеntаtіvе rераіrѕ and mаіntеnаnсе dоnе on your home bеfоrе you hаvе tо еxреrіеnсе іt. If you’re going tо lіvе іn a bеаutіful рlасе like Long Iѕlаnd, уоu ѕhоuld live comfortably wіthоut thе headaches оf wаtеr damage.

Contact True Restorations today for immediate help with water damage in your home or business.  Call us 24/7 at 631-757-0212 or email us at service@truerestorations.com.

Frozen Pipes, what to do & how to prevent

When winter comes there are a lot of things to look forward to snow days, hot cocoa near the fireplace and the wearing of warm socks under homey comforters. Enjoying all these would be great until you find out that your water isn’t running. This means that you may have frozen pipes in the house.

Pipe freezing is a common occurrence during cold weathers. It’s best to ensure it doesn’t happen at all. Below you’ll find tips from True Restoration Experts as to the prevention on frozen pipes and the immediate action you should take when it does happen.

Do you have a home or dwelling that has a chronic condition of pipes freezing every winter? In this blog I will touch on the following aspects of frozen pipes:
• How to minimize the chance of pipes freezing by preventative pipe installation techniques & some of the likely causes for frozen pipes and locations of the freeze points
• How to safely unfreeze a pipe
• What will happen if you don’t do anything and wait for the pipe to thaw naturally

How to minimize the chance of pipes freezing by preventative installation techniques:

If you are having an addition done on your existing home or building a new structure, you would hope that your contractor or builder would take precautions and adhere to guidelines that would prevent pipes from freezing but unfortunately, the rules & regulations are not that stringent. As a restoration company of long island, we have noticed some poor quality installation techniques used in every type of structure.

Domestic water pipes & heating pipes are often times run in an unheated crawl as a necessity for the installation of the fixture. There usually are several options for running these pipes. The easier & faster option is to run the pipe below the beams so that time & energy is not wasted in drilling each beam and snaking the pipe through the beams. The slower option is obvious to do all that drilling. In either instance, the pipe should have some kind of pipe insulation over the pipe. Believe it or not, we often find pipes uninsulated and even the floor systems in crawl spaces uninsulated. Running the pipe in between the beams and having the beam cavities filled with fiberglass insulation as well as having the pipe insulated with a rigid insulation installed tightly will protect the pipes from freezing in a crawl space.

Another safe practice for pipe installation is to “never”, as in never ever, run a pipe in an exterior wall, a soffit or an overhang. I laugh at myself because as great as this sounds I have broken this cardinal sin of contracting as sometimes there is just no other way to run the pipe to its needed location. There are some precautions that you can take to lessen the chances of pipes freezing if this is an absolute must. One option would be to fur the wall out (make it thicker) so that more insulation can be installed between the pipe & the outside. A second option would be to add a heat tracer (a thermostatically controlled hard-wired heating element) to the pipe.

Wind infiltration into, above or below heated spaces will be the likely location of a pipe freeze. The tiniest crack or space can let wind in and often times pressurize the air flow through this tighter space. A thermodynamic quality of gas (air) as it changes from higher pressures to lower pressures the gas experiences a cooling effect, this is how an A/C condenser produces cold air for your air conditioner. The A/C condenser condenses the gas (pressurizes it), when the gas is unpressurized at the blower coil, the coil (metal) gets super cold and the fans blow air past the coil to extract the coldness. If you have ever let air pressurized air out of an O2 cylinder or scuba tank rapidly you would notice the freezing effect that it creates on the metal valves. This effect is part of what is causing the pipes of your dwelling to freeze at these wind infiltration points. Super cold conditions without wind can obviously cause pipes to freeze without wind conditions.

Additional pipe installation techniques that would help minimize pipe freezing’s that I won’t expand too much in order to keep this post reasonably short would be:
• The running of pipes through beams (above heated spaces below) & then projecting pipes out into cantilevers minimizing the amount of piping in soffit areas.
• The running of water mains up from below grade into a heated space with no fittings or valves in unheated areas. The valves or fittings become choke points for the water & provide greater metal surface areas to create a higher likelihood of freezing.
• Not using Pex fitting (especially elbow fittings) in unheated spaces. Pex piping is plastic piping & the fittings are metal. The metal acts as a heat sink and amplifies the freezing process at these water choke points. Pex, being plastic, is flexible and can be gradually bent and run in such a manner as to enable it to be installed without fitting to make a 90 degrees turn (elbows).
• The running of pipes to a vanity on an outside wall that comes up from the floor into the bottom of the vanity rather than into the exterior wall would be another recommended practice.

How to safely unfreeze a pipe:

OK, I know you want to grab the portable propane torch and fire up that frozen pipe in your crawl space. This is the most dangerous practice to solve this problem because an open flame in a tight space, coming in contact with wood, insulation paper, plastic piping & plastic wire coatings is a recipe for a disaster. Pipes and wires run through small holes in the framing and in vertical voids of the structure. The torch user can inadvertently send super-hot gases into these voids (condensing the gases which create a greater heating effect on the gases, remember our thermodynamics from above). Unbeknownst to the torch user, a fire is started in this void out of their view and will race up vertically in the void.
The prudent pipe unfreezer person resists the temptation to use the torch & confidently grabs an electric heat gun or hair blow dryer and patiently unfreezes the pipe. Be careful with these electric heat guns as they throw off substantial heat and if held close enough to wood framing members or other flammables can start a fire just like a torch. Keep a safe distance when operating these tools and refer to the operating manual for safe distance recommendations.
Another safe method is to create a sealed cavity or space around the frozen pipe and add a low-level heat source to this cavity for gradual thawing of the pipe. For example, if you had a crawl space that had a frozen pipe & you could somehow create a cavity around the pipe with no wind infiltration (somewhat sealed), you could do something as simple as adding a relatively safe heat source (a lamp or drop light) to this cavity which would eventually heat up this small environment enough to safely & slowly thaw the pipe.

The other safe practice is to wrap the frozen pipe with an electric heat tracer. The heat tracer will gradually thaw the pipe. The heat tracer would often times need to be fed by an extension cord from a more remote power source (outlet)
What will happen if you just wait for the pipe to thaw naturally?
Hmmm, that’s the gambling man (or woman) approach. I like your moxie & I can appreciate gambling as an activity as it’s very exhilarating when you win, but when you lose…not so good, right? One thing to consider and understand is what occurs during the freezing & thawing process.

Water freezes, and if you remember what we all learned in grade school about the qualities of water you will recall that water expands when it changes from a liquid state to a solid state. That expansion of water within a contained environment (a pipe) can cause the pipe to split. This splitting or cracking of the pipe, or the pipe fitting, is the risk with a frozen pipe. Not every frozen pipe will result in a water leak but be aware that you probably won’t know if the pipe is leaking until the pipe thaws by, manually by heating it (heat gun), or if the environment around the pipe is heated (naturally or artificially). The water in the pipes are pressurized so one can imagine that once the thawing reaches a certain point the water will begin to flow rapidly through any break in the pipe or fitting which will leave you minimal time to prevent an even larger water damage condition. A safe practice would be to depressurize the affected pipe by turning the appropriate valve off. Which valve to turn off is anyone’s guess as every situation is different. You could turn the water main off, which would be kind of a catch-all safety measure as all domestic water pipes eventually get their pressure from the main water supply. However, the heating pipes have water within a contained separate system that will have boiler pressure separate from the water main pressure, if a heating pipe is affected, the water feed to the boiler will need to be shut off and the boiler pressure will need to be bled off before thawing the pipe.

Suggestions on how to handle a frozen pipe:

The 1st logical option would be to call a plumber, right? Well, it’s not wrong but it also might not be the best solution. Often times sheetrock or other interior finishes need to be removed and eventually replaced, does a typical homeowner possess the skillset, the tools, the time or the will to do these repairs? A better call would be to a contractor. Contractors have a wider range of skills and can handle most pipe thawing, pipe repair, interior or exterior finish and most importantly can provide a preventative measure to minimize future pipe freezes. The best call to make would be to a full-service restoration contractor. A full-service restoration contractor is like a general contractor on steroids. They have all the capabilities of a general contractor plus the water extraction & dry down equipment to deal with water leaks resulting from a frozen or broken pipe. They also have the knowledge & experience in dealing with insurance claims and can help a homeowner process a claim, if needed. True Restorations promotes its services as “one call does it all” and with a frozen pipe and all the nuances of thawing, repairing and dealing with potential consequences as described above, we are the logical 1st call & only call needed to be made.

Kevin Bevilacqua
President True Restorations, Inc.

© True Restorations | Accessibility Statement