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Great American Restoration
24-Hour Emergency Restoration Contractors
24-Hour Emergency Restoration Contractors


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Storm Damage?
Contact Great American Restoration Services!
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Water Damage?
Contact Great American Restoration Services!
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Fire Damage?
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Wishing Everyone A Happy New Year’s from Great American Restoration!
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Frozen Pipe Dream: A Nightmare!

Water, a compound that has the unusual characteristic of expanding when cooled to its solid state. It’s unlike most other compounds and elements which do the reverse, compress in size. When temperatures drop below freezing water in pipes can freeze and cause serious damage to your home or business in the form of flooding. A common misconception is that water pipes burst at point of blockage.
While this may occur in some cases from the expansion against the wall of the pipe. But, generally the blocked section of pipe causes pressure to increase to an unstable level causing pipe failure somewhere else. In most cases a pipe bursts where little or no ice has formed the blockage problem is found somewhere up the line.
Obviously water must freeze solid to create these blockages. So, the root cause is inadequately insulated pipes anywhere in the system that might be exposed to extreme cold. The baseline is normally thought to be 20 degrees or below and ‘wind chill’ is a contributing factor as well.

It has be abnormally warm these last few weeks in the North Eastern United States. Predictions are for Fortune Tellers and undoubtedly you wouldn’t plan your life around a best guess. That said, statically speaking winter is the time for freezing cold weather and freezing cold weather can mean frozen pipes and the damage, inconvenience and expense associated with a flood.
Here’s a few ideas on how to prevent frozen pipes.
If you’ve had a frozen pipe in the past that is your ‘pipe of interest’ that needs to be examined carefully. The potential for recurring is high especially if only an ad hoc emergency repair was made.
Vulnerable pipes in less than properly insulated areas need to be attended to. Don’t forget any new or expanded holes to accommodate television, cable, phone, internet lines can allow a great deal of freezing air to reach exposed and semi-exposed pipes. Pipe size and composition: e.g. [plastic (PVC, ABS, PEX), steel, copper (rigid, flexible) and cast iron] impacts how quickly ice may form but they are inconsequential in comparison to proper insulation. Don’t forget pipe wrapping with built-in electrical coils for those very difficult situations.

Quick Tips for Really Freezing Weather.

Try not to overdo the lowering your thermostat for whatever reason (economic, environmental, aesthetic?) when you are absent from your property.
Keep kitchen and bathroom cabinets open and exposed to circulating warm interior air.
Moving water doesn’t freeze easily so letting water trickle from spouts and faucets related to ‘problem pipes’.
Drain all outdoor pipes from your sprinkler system and remove all hoses to warmer storage.

Extended Vacation to Warmer Climes? Your Property Needs Protection.

Close off water supply at the main shut off valve by the street. You might want to enlist a professional for this and other protocols and procedures. If your water supply is from a well, turn off the pump and thoroughly drain it along with any above ground pump lines and tank.
The water heater should be drained completely and pilot light on gas systems should be turned off as well. If you have and electric system turn off electricity before attempting to drain your water heater. Again, you might want to enlist a professional for this and other protocols and procedures.

Leave all indoor and outdoor faucets open and use compressed air to blow any remaining trapped water from your plumbing lines. This will help avoid condensation build up which could freeze and cause damage. Flush toilets emptying the tanks. Once everything is emptied out you need to make sure sewer gas does not enter your property. Use a mixture of food grade antifreeze and water to close up water traps in sinks, toilet bowls, bathtubs, showers. Do not drain these traps – the ‘traps’ exist to trap out sewer gases from seeping in to your property.

Frozen Pipe – Now What?

Help stop a frozen pipe from bursting by opening the faucet it supplies with water. Try and add heat to the area where the frozen blocked pipe is located. A heat gun is easier and safer than a blow torch, be extra careful.

Turn of water supply to blocked line. If however a pipe does in fact bursts, immediately turn off the entire water supply to the property. You should know in advance exactly where the water emergency shut of valve is located. Find it make a mental note and we suggest marking it with and obvious sign and/or painting the valve a noticeable color of some type.

Being prepared for the worst is great but be assured Great American Restoration has ‘got your 6’ when you need it 24/7/365 we are there for to help in a flash 1(800) 341-1257
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Stormy Weather: Knowing What To Do Afterwards!
Everyone appreciates the quality of life afforded by New York’s changing seasons and waterfront living. But now we have to factor in major storms that can change the quality of life for many. Great American Restoration wishes the best for our irrepressible New York colleagues. Here are some admirable takeaways from Superstorm Sandy and other since.

Careful Inspection.
If you had to evacuate from your home or business, you might be anxious to get inside. However, before that you’ll need to carefully inspect the exterior of the building for any indications of unsafe conditions. Check for evidence of gas leaks, structural damage, electrical issues/loose wires, deep water, foundation problems, downed trees and anything else before entering. You need to do this during the daytime when you can see properly. Do this with someone who can help or summon help if necessary. Take lots of digital pictures of any damage for your claims process.

Caution Is King.
When entering a building, be wary of jammed doors, flooded areas, compromised floors and furniture or equipment than may have shifted due to the storm. Being aware of sharp edges, misplaced objects on the floor, slippery floors and other hazards will help you avoid any injuries. Dress appropriately; heavy boots, long sleeved shirts and long pants. A good flashlight is needed, as electrical may not be working. Never, ever use candles or camp lanterns as gas may be present. Make certain the power is off then inspect your outlets for signs of damage.  We recommend spraying wire contact enhancers/dryers such as CRC. Always have a fire extinguishers (both kinds) handy just in case. If water (particularly salt water) managed to get into the electrical box, call an electrician to inspect it for safety.

Mold is a Monster.
If your building or home got wet or was flooded, you’ll need to halt the growth of mold immediately. Wet sheetrock needs to be replaced often along with wood flooring, rugs, carpeting and other absorbent items. Depending on the season and specific conditions, you might consider the use of air conditioners as each situation is unique. If your damage is severe the correct thing to do is call in a professional. The experts at Great American Restoration can perform the inspections and implement the remedies such as drying, cleaning, remediation and finally rebuilding.

Only a professional restoration service like us can speed your cleanup by helping you sort and discard any clutter. By providing and strategically placing heavy duty fans, heaters and dehumidifiers. These remedies will also reduce odors and make you’re the building habitable sooner. Always document the damage with notes, pictures and video.

Insurance Issues.
Immediately call your insurance carrier(s). Keep all papers and information safe but accessible. Check the news. For example, here in NYS the governor issued decrees regarding possible waiver of insurance deductibles for certain cases. He also made it easier for homeowners to dispose of damaged items without waiting for insurance adjustors to inspect it in person.

Safety First and Second.
Be alert if you plan on using a chainsaw to clear trees, tree limbs and debris. Chains saws can be very dangerous even deadly and must be treated with the utmost respect and care. Carbon monoxide must as well be taken seriously both inside and outside of a building. Make sure that all gas run equipment is well ventilated, this includes generators, chain saws and other equipment. Always watch your step and wear heavy boots and appropriate clothing. Heavy work gloves are of course need to be worn as well.

Many put themselves at risk, despite warnings to evacuate. Entire neighborhoods stayed in their homes. In many cases that turned out to be a bad idea that put extra pressure on fire, police and emergency response professionals.

Over-preparing is not possible. Having a back-up generator is great if the first one won’t start. Always have extra bottled water, a quality first aid kit and non-perishable food. Also flashlights, hurricane lamps and plenty of batteries. Cellphone charger for your car and a portable fully charged cellphone power pack. Don’t forget a full tank of gas.
Cars need to be high and dry. I learned this the hard way when I explained to my wife her car had a foot of salt water in it. Because of the severity and speed of the advancing storm, we wound up losing that vehicle, a total loss.  

Generators should be high and dry as well. Don’t try to operate your generator during the height of the storm, it’s smarter to keep it high, dry and operational for use after the storm.
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The Hotel’s Owner Could Not Believe How Much Damage Sprinklers Could Cause or How Quickly
A well-known major chain hotel’s fire suppression system was seriously compromised by an act of vandalism recently. This caused millions of dollars in property damage along with a severe loss of expected projected revenue during the room restoration period. Over 22 rooms, suites and main hallways suffered damage of various degrees. Many of the spaces have needed to be reconstructed completely. The scope of the renovation is enormous.
Great American Restoration with its team of experts addressed the hotel’s immediate needs and developed a staged plan that would rapidly put the hotel in a position to recover completely both physically and financially. The process proceeded in an orderly fashion as detailed below.
1.) Emergency Call:
An emergency call was received at 1:30am on SUPER BOWL SUNDAY and responded to immediately; on site at 2:10am. The fire suppression system was closed down at once. A criminal investigation was then performed by the appropriate authorities. This effort was paralleled by actions taken by insurance adjusters. Our experts were made available for both entities to help aid the correct assessment of the cause and effects of the actual damaged suppression system.
2.) Clean Up:
Great American Restoration was tasked with the initial clean up, water removal and drying process. Our management team assembled the correct array of staff and equipment for the mission. All furniture, carpeting, and other movable items needed to be dried, packaged and removed to a secure storage facility. Each item as well needed a close inspection to create a comprehensive damage report. These reports were then logged into a secure database for later review. This crucial information is necessary if any liability discrepancies arise during the insurance company’s loss settlement determination.
3.) Damage Assessment Triage:
Once a loss has taken place it is critical that proper recovery protocols are taken in the appropriate order. Great American Restoration has experience with many similar renovation projects so the process was seamless and efficient. What areas needs attention first needs to be clearly understood by all involved parties. All damaged area locations and specific description of affected areas is recorded and documented in great detail.
4.) Staged Renovation Planning:
Great American Renovation then creates a comprehensive action plan with including all phases of construction, renovation and final installation. This plan along with a final comprehensive budget is then presented to the hotel’s management for review and approval. By knowing in advance, intimately the strict guidelines that need to be adhered to regarding any and all of the hotel brand’s compliance issues helps make the process work smoothly.
5.) Construction and Renovation:
The actual construction is then scheduled and begun. Great American Restoration creates daily progress reports and frequent team meeting to assure each aspect of the project is specification perfect, in budget and exactly on time. Because we only work with experts the work performed normally goes without a hitch. A review system is in place throughout the entire process so an ongoing effort of perfecting the final product happens virtually automatically. Final punch lists are created internally and an end review final inspection is done.
6.) Completed Project Delivery:
Once a final walk through is made and a greenlight and final approval is given the hotel is then ready for use. Great American Restoration checks back often to make certain that the hotel’s management team is 100% satisfied with any and all work done restoring the hotel to pre-loss condition. A job well done!
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