WATER DAMAGE: A WESTCHESTER PROPERTY OWNER S GUIDE

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1 WATER DAMAGE: A WESTCHESTER PROPERTY OWNER S GUIDE This guide has been written for the residential or commercial property owner who has water damage in their property and isn t sure how to proceed. In these pages, you ll discover the different types of water damage, what water does to your home, and how professional disaster restoration companies get your property back to normal. There s important information you ll need to know in order to keep your family safe and healthy throughout the restoration process. Don t miss the section on making the most of your homeowner s insurance know how to make the most out of the benefits you ve been paying for!

2 TABLE OF CONTENTS Contents Types of Water Damage 1 Correcting Water Damage 2 You Have a Choice in Disaster Restoration Services 4 Contact Information Error! Bookmark not defined.

3 TYPES OF WATER DAMAGE Types of Water Damage THERE ARE DIFFERENT TYPES OF WATER DAMAGE Water damage can be caused by many different events, including flooding, storm damage, sewer backups, ice damming, and appliance malfunctions. Water damage can also occur subsequent to another catastrophic home event, such as a fire, in which large volumes of water are sprayed into the home to extinguish the flames, or after an extreme cold event which causes pipes to burst. Water damage isn t always dramatic. Slowly leaking pipes and vulnerabilities in the home s structure can, over the course of time, allow water to accumulate within your home in a damaging way. HOW WATER DAMAGES YOUR PROPERTY Water is inherently damaging to many of the materials generally used to build homes and businesses in Westchester County. Sheetrock, flooring, carpeting, and wood can all be significantly damaged by prolonged exposure to water. A property s electrical and heating system can be particularly vulnerable to damage, especially if critical components are submerged for an extended period of time. Structural damage is defined as damage that alters the essential components of the property, such as the foundation, walls, or roof, that are needed to keep the building safely intact. In addition to the building, water can damage the furniture, fixtures, and possessions inside. In a residential setting, this includes living room, bedroom, kitchen and dining room, bathroom and other room contents. Upholstered and soft surfaces are particularly vulnerable to water damage, as are paper goods and electronics. It s important to understand that most of the time, the water that s causing the water damage to your home generally isn t clean. Flood waters and sewer backups are the most problematic: these waters can contain biological and chemical hazards that contaminate everything they touch. Finally, water damages your property by encouraging mold and mildew growth. There are thousands of kinds of mold which will flourish in a damp environment; some of these molds are toxic and pose a real hazard to human health. Page 1

4 CORRECTING WATER DAMAGE Correcting Water Damage WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE TO CORRECT WATER DAMAGE After water damage occurs, the property owner s top priority is to get life back to normal as quickly as possible. In order for this to happen, all standing water must be removed from the property. Industrial fans and other drying tools are used to eliminate all excess moisture. Next steps include disinfecting and cleaning the property, as well as the application of anti-microbial treatments that will prevent mold and mildew growth. All of these tasks are best performed by an experienced, licensed, local disaster restoration company. UNDERSTANDING THE PRODUCTS USED TO SAVE YOUR PROPERTY The disaster restoration company you call to repair the water damage done to your property will use a large number of specialized cleaning and disinfecting products, as well as anti-mold treatments. There are two approaches to disaster restoration, and it is critical to know which one is being used in your home. THE SAFE, GREEN OPTION The Green approach to disaster restoration uses proven, highly effective botanically based products that are non-toxic and environmentally friendly. Choosing Green is the best option for any family that has members with special health concerns, such as asthma, autism, or allergies. Because Green cleaning and disinfecting products leave no residue on any of the surfaces they re used to treat, they are the safest option for children, pets, and the elderly. Page 2

5 CORRECTING WATER DAMAGE THE DANGEROUS, TOXIC OPTION The alternate, and unfortunately more common, approach to disaster restoration uses harsh, toxic chemicals. If you have the opportunity to look at the labels on these containers, you will find many warning labels cautioning workers not to allow the product to come into contact with their eyes, skin, or any open wounds. The chemicals in these products have not been safety tested; many are believed to contain carcinogenic or other problematic ingredients. These harsh chemicals pose a danger whether they re encountered on a surface or as particulate matter in the air. Health risks from exposure include severe asthma attacks, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, terrifying seizures and more. These unregulated, untested cleaning chemicals leave a residue on every surface they ve been used to treat, which increases the risk of your children or pets being exposed to toxic chemicals. The harsh chemical approach to disaster restoration has not proven to be as effective as the green method yet it costs just as much! Page 3

6 YOU HAVE A CHOICE IN DISASTER RESTORATION SERVICES You Have a Choice in Disaster Restoration Services Many Westchester homeowners don t realize that their homeowner s insurance policy allows for a choice of service provider for disaster response services. You are entitled to choose which company you want to have repair the water damage done to your property, provided that company is on a list of approved providers. To be on the approved provider list, the disaster restoration company generally must prove it is licensed, insured, and in compliance with all local business regulations. The insurance company does not differentiate between green disaster restoration companies that use safe, effective products, and the restoration companies that use harsh, toxic chemicals. Making that choice is up to you. Green disaster restoration companies offer a better quality service, that s safer for your family and pets, for exactly the same price as restoration companies that use toxic, potentially cancer-causing chemicals. It s like making the choice between eating an organic apple or an apple that s been dipped in pesticides. We try to avoid harmful chemicals in our food. Why would we want them in our homes? Page 4

7 NEW CRYSTAL RESTORATION New Crystal Restoration New Crystal Restoration is Westchester County s most trusted disaster response team. Whether you ve had a fire, flood, storm damage, or other catastrophe, we re there to help you get life back to normal right away. With over 50 years experience, a great local reputation, and expertise serving the special needs community, we use safe, effective green products and methods to restore damaged residential and commercial properties. 109 S Regent St., Port Chester, NY Tel (914) Page 5

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