Recent Commercial Posts

Smoke alarms are vital in saving lives and property and proper use and installation is critical.

6/5/2018 (Permalink)

Smoke alarms are vital in saving lives and property and proper use and installation is critical.  

In New York, the NYS Department of State Division of Code Enforcement and Administration has specific requirements for existing residential installations: RCNYS section 317.1.1 require single and multiple-station smoke alarms to be located as follows:

1. On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms.

2. In each room used for sleeping purposes.

3. In each story within a dwelling unit, including basements and cellars but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics.

In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level. 

Professional Commercial Cleaning Services

5/31/2018 (Permalink)

When an unexpected disaster has occurred in your commercial building, our team at SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington, arrives with all the equipment and cleaning products necessary to get the job done.

SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington, with more than 10 years of experience in the industry we assure and guarantee our customers an excellent service, along with our ability to handle any cleaning problem with the highest level of professionalism. We understand that every business has their special cleaning needs and requirements, we can develop a plan identifying the proper cleaning procedures which will facilitate a positive working environment for your business by eliminating mold, standing water, bacteria, damaged drywall, tiles floors, wooden floors, resolving pipe bursts by cleaning left over standing and many more.

By identifying issues such as standing water or the presence of mold or mildew, we can immediately take a plan into action which will resolve the problem quickly and correctly. We understand the importance of keeping your business clean for safety and health, our goal is to help you maintain your business clean, sanitary and safer for your employees, visitors or customers alike, especially those particularly health-related businesses.

Water Leaks Can Disrupt Your Business Operations

5/30/2018 (Permalink)

This is what we found in this popular retailers bedding section - note electricity and water are dangerous

You've got one.... A ceiling tile, or two - or ten that have a stain from above.  A stain that changes and gets bigger after storms or for no reason.  That leak that is there but being ignored has the potential to interrupt your business and cause significant damage.

We've encountered many a building in the Great Neck, Roslyn, Port Washington and Manhasset areas that have suffered a sudden and significant deluge of water.  Often the area of impact was not anticipated, as pipes are tucked out of sight behind drop ceilings that absorb small leaks.  When there is overflow we have seen massive losses on the warehouse floor, out on retail floors where thousands of dollars of new merchandise is damaged and rendered unsaleable. 

Drop ceilings suddenly much heavier from the weight of water collapse onto the office or sales floor - and businesses have to close until the area is safe, cleaned up, and merchandise replaced.

How can you avoid interruption?  Pay attention to the small leaks and water spots.  Have periodic inspections by a master plumbing contractor.  Avoid snow and ice buildups where water can pool and leak. 

Should leaks happen, or worse - SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington is here for you, to make it "Like it never even happened." 

Emergency Maintenance Services for Business

5/29/2018 (Permalink)

As an emergency services company, we at SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington get all kinds of calls for a staggering amount of reasons, at all hours.  When there is an urgent need for immediate service, we get right to it.  Our regular commercial clients get VIP service to make it right.  

We have a long list of commercial buildings we have serviced, from banks and hospitals to schools and municipal buildings.  We are here to get you back to business as soon as possible, with as little disruption as possible.  This is not often easy when you've suffered a massive flood or fire, but our motto is, "Like It Never Even Happened" for a reason!  

If you have a business or commercial facility, put our phone number in your cell phone 516-767-9600 and know that we take calls 24/7 with immediate response for urgent cases.  We are here for you, every day.

Commercial Building Suffers Sewage Biohazard Event

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

This commercial building had a sewage backup from the toilets, all over the floor, that as you see in the photo. This is a serious situation, as raw sewage is full of harmful and hazardous waste. Containing excrement, debris, micro-organisms such as coliform, fecal coliform, escherichia coliform and enteroccocus.  

Dangers of coming into contact with raw sewage include E. coli, Hepatitis, Weil's disease, and more.  This is why it is so important to have trained professionals do the cleanup.

Simply inhaling the fumes of sewage backup can be hazardous - as the air sewage can be contaminated and by breathing in, you can can inhale toxins.  Even inhaling infected dust can be very dangerous. 

Walking through infected areas are very dangerous particularly without any PPE and preventative measures.  You can very easily transmit hazardous toxic matter on your feet and shoes, even if you don't see anything. These are microbial hazards - not detectable with the naked eye.  By walking through an affected area into an unaffected area - you have now contaminated that clean area.  Discard whatever shoes and clothes have touched the affected area and l eave the sewage cleanups to us!  Call 516-767-9600

SERVPRO of Great Neck/ Port Washington have your back in Commercial Fire Damage

5/25/2018 (Permalink)

Commercial Fire Damage

No one wants to think about their commercial building suffering a fire. Fire damage events at commercial properties present their own unique defiancé and can be very stressful and tense. We understand the importance of getting your commercial property up and running as fast as possible.

Smoke contains many toxic and corrosive chemicals compounds. This can be worse depending of what type of business is conducted on the premises. In this particular case it was a Medical building, making it necessary to implement extreme care measures at the time of restoration.

You contact our team, we bring 10 years of experience with commercial property damage with us. We have the necessary resources to handle any job, large or small. We quickly determinate the extent of the damage & assess the situation, isolate the damaged area, and start work immediately.

If your commercial property experiences a fire damage event call us at 516-767-9600.

Water Damage to Former Supermarket

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

flooded supermarket site

This empty supermarket was unfortunately flooded, with water throughout the building.  SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington was called in to do cleanup and restoration.  

Had this been a operational store with food as well as the existing fixtures, things would have been far more catastrophic, as much of the food would likely be not safe to eat.  

We extracted all of the water, and began to dry out the building.  Always have a licensed electrical contractor sign off on your electrical systems after water comes in contact.  

We successfully completed the job, as we have with countless other Supermarkets on Long Island.  If you are a facility or store manager, keep our number on your speed dial - we are here for you 24/7 to help make your water/fire/mold/sewage problem like it never even happened! 


Do you have the leaky office blues?

1/20/2017 (Permalink)

Wet walls from leak above causes mold

When commercial buildings have leaky roofs, ceilings and pipes that flow down inside walls such as our client here unfortunately had happen, there is little hope the water will dry out on it's own.

Here on Long Island, New York there is relatively high humidity - when moisture levels in the air are very saturated, there is little chance that things will dry out on their own without intervention. 

In this case, the wall covering glued backing has provided a food source for mold growth - with the addition of the water, it has become an active situation.  This is a problem that is only going to get larger and costlier if left alone.  You can see the moisture and mold have caused the glue to let go and the wall coverings are peeling away from the wall.  

Make it a point to walk your building with every season change to inspect the roof, exterior walls, and the interior to keep a visual on any possible future water sources.  Vigilance is valuable. 


It's hard to find a tenant for a molding space!

1/20/2017 (Permalink)

moldy commercial space

When you own or manage commercial properties like this one here on Long Island, NY from time to time you may encounter a mold issue.  When a unit is vacant, it is unwise and unprofitable to let the situation remain.

A moldy building is not appealing to prospective tenants and will send them running. Receiving clients in an office space with the telltale musty odor is bad for business and bad for health.

Employees health is at risk when the indoor air quality is poor -   particularly when it has progressed to this stage, as shown in the photo.  

For retailers, stocking merchandise in a moldy building is a risky venture as mold can damage the items or packaging rendering them unsaleable.

Have mold in your building?  Call SERVPRO of Great Neck/Port Washington for service.  

Note that if you have over 10 square feet of mold, NYS mandates you have an independent environmental hygienist to inspect the property, test for mold and provide a report before your remediation can begin.  They will also retest at the end of your remediation to ensure that levels have been reduced to normal.  We follow their recommendations in their report.  

What Are You Missing? The 5 Types of Property Coverage Brokers Overlook

12/15/2014 (Permalink)

By Rosalie L. Donlon

Brokers do a great job for their customers, but sometimes they overlook certain coverages, said Jerry Milton, CIC in a recent Insurance Agents & Brokers Power Hour webinar. This could lead to a claim called “failure to recommend,” he explained, and increased liability for the agent or broker in case of a loss.

Here are five property coverages that brokers may fail to recommend for their business customers;

Mistake 1: Failing to insure to 100% value and request agreed value

A building worth $1 million could be subject to coinsurance of 80%, for example, leading to a limit of $800,000. What happens at the time of loss if the building has an actual value of $1.2 million because of improvements and additions? The building owner is out $200,000.

Milton’s advice: “Always push for 100% value and request agreed value, which will suspend the coinsurance.”

Mistake 2: Allowing the tenant to insure a building

If the tenant is the named insured and the building owner is added as an additional insured, Milton explains, the owner could be excluded for any loss if the tenant, its partners, members, officers or managers commits a dishonest act, such as arson for instance. The dishonest acts could leave the building owner with no coverage.

It’s much better, Milton says, for the building owner to carry the insurance and build it into the tenant’s rent.

Mistake 3: Failing to recommend building glass coverage

Generally, a tenant is responsible for any building glass breakage, Milton points out, but the tenant’s commercial property policy covering business property doesn’t include building items, like glass. Even though the owner is insuring the building, it’s important for the agent to recommend a building glass endorsement to the tenant’s policy.

Mistake 4: Failing to cover improvements and betterments adequately

Milton explains that improvements and betterments, although made at the tenant’s expense, become part of the building. The improvements are included in the definition of “building” in the owner’s commercial property policy and also are included in the definition of “business personal property” in the tenant’s commercial property policy.

Who insures? Because the improvements usually are attached to the property and increase the value of the building, Milton recommends that the owner increase its insurance to cover any improvements.

Mistake 5: Failure to advise the insured about the occupancy and vacancy issues with builder’s risk policies.

“Occupancy in whole or in part voids the policy,” Milton says. But building owners don’t like vacant buildings. Carriers may give the insured permission to occupy parts of the building as construction is completed, moving in floor by floor, with an endorsement and an additional premium. But this permission is usually only good for 90 days, and may need to be renewed as construction is completed.

A related issue is the question of vacancy. “If the building is less than 31% occupied for customary operations, it’s considered vacant,” explains Milton. In the current economic times, tenants may move out leaving a building at less than 31% occupied, but still partially rented. The broker renews the policy without knowing whether the building is fully occupied or not; however, if the building is considered vacant for more than 60 days, the owner will lose coverage. In that case, the policy may not pay for any loss caused by vandalism or sprinkler leakage, for example, and other covered losses are reduced by 15%.

Site Pollution Coverage for Medical Facilities

5/7/2014 (Permalink)

By Amanda Duncan, President, PartnerOne Environmental

 Healthcare facilities, from large hospital campuses to corner drugstores, face many potential pollution exposures. These exposures are typically excluded from a General Liability and/or Property insurance policy, so it is crucial that this type of insured acquires additional Site Pollution coverage to cover any possible issues. Environmental concerns that can arise from these sites include, but are not limited to:

Storage of chemicals/medicines/biological waste  causing bodily injury, property damage, or requiring cleanup

  • Mold/Legionella resulting from poor indoor air quality, leaks, and equipment damage.
  • Over the road spills of medical waste which could damage nearby property, streams, and wildlife.
  • Leaking storage tanks causing extensive damage onsite and to neighboring property.
  • Non-Owned Disposal Sites; medical waste emanating from a covered non-owned facility.
  • Pollution policies are available in the environmental insurance marketplace that can be tailored to meet the needs of the healthcare industry. These policies provide coverage for on-site cleanup costs and third party bodily injury, property damage, and cleanup as a result of a pollution condition at, on, under, or migrating from a covered location. Coverage is provided for all locations scheduled onto the policy. Coverage for aboveground storage tanks is built into the policy form; underground storage tanks may be added via endorsement. Transportation coverage for medical waste hauled by the insured or by a contracted carrier can be offered, as well as Non-

    Owned Disposal Site coverage for the waste disposal. Natural resources damage and Emergency Expenses are additional coverages usually found in a quality policy form. Coverage for Mold and Legionella are common when a product is designed for exposures associated with healthcare facilities.

    Target customers who should consider purchasing Site Pollution coverage include: hospitals, physicians’ offices, dental offices, veterinary offices, clinics, drugstores, and imaging centers. Premiums generally start at $3,000 for $1,000,000 policy limits.

    Claims Scenarios for Healthcare Facilities:

    A fuel oil tank at a medical office leaks, releasing oil into the soil and groundwater and affecting neighboring properties. Local authorities require the hospital to clean up the contamination. The cost for cleanup exceeds $400,000.

    A landfill used by a hospital is a source of contamination to a drinking water well located down-gradient from the facility. The hospital is found to be a responsible party as their waste has been disposed of at the landfill for many years.  The insured contributes over $100,000 to settle the claim.

    A medical waste transporter hired by a doctor’s office overturns and waste is spilled into a stormwater drain, contaminating a nearby stream. The cost of cleanup exceeds the transporter’s policy and as the party responsible for generating the waste, the insured is required to pay the remaining costs associated with the cleanup.

    Indoor air quality issues stemming from a damaged air conditioning system in a local hospital sickened several patients in which there were two fatalities and several patients in critical condition. Claims for bodily injury exceeded $1,000,000.

    As you can see, pollution exposures can be quite significant for various healthcare facilities and any response to a pollution event can become expensive. However, the environmental insurance marketplace offers several affordably priced, quality solutions, providing these facilities proper coverage and peace of mind.

    SERVPRO of Great Neck Port Washington presents Commercial Client Checklist for Weathering Winter

    3/3/2014 (Permalink)

    The thaw may be on in some areas, but winter isn't over yet. Prepare yourself with this checklist.


    Note: Bob Khosropur is senior vice president of Mariposa Insurance Services

    The polar vortex is an anomalous weather event that can be as devastating as more common natural catastrophes. The  Insurance Services Office (ISO) is assigning catastrophe numbers to these events, and the events themselves are causing billions of dollars in commercial property damage. Even if we don’t give the cold a name or a number, cold snaps can bring businesses to their knees.

    This year has started out with some exceptionally cold weather, especially in southern states which are not accustomed to prolonged winter weather conditions. The concept of “reasonable care” included in many insurance policies to prevent damage from cold weather has traditionally been interpreted differently in, for example, Florida versus Minnesota. But this year’s extreme conditions are making the meaning have a more equal definition for the whole mainland.

    Commercial property comes in many sizes and shapes, with one common feature: they exist to turn a profit. When the property cannot fully function due to a loss, the cares of repair and downtime begin to become the owners’/managers’ new job.

    Commercial property ranges from large offices or manufacturing facilities to small duplex rental properties. Whatever the type or size, some of the most commonly experienced damage from severe and sustained cold, snow and ice arises from:

    • Freezing and bursting pipes, resulting in water damage to property, records, etc.

    •Frozen sprinkler pipes, which can flood rooms and malfunction during a fire

    • Inaccessible fire hydrants

    • Water or temperature change damaging contents and inventory

    • Collapse or partial collapse of roofs due to the weight of snow or ice

    • Wind damage to roofs and buildings from fallen trees, branches or flying debris

    •Ice damming, which can cause interior water damage

    • Loss of revenue (business interruption)

    • Injury to guests and employees.

    A little preventative action can save your commercial property clients much time and money.

    Useful tips to share with your clients to help prevent problems related to harsh winter weather.

    • Maintain heat to no less than 45 degrees Fahrenheit throughout unoccupied facilities, including attics and basements. Setting thermometers in various rooms will give you an idea of problem areas which may require additional heat or insulation

    • Ensure adequate fuel for your heating system (oil, gas, electric power, backup).

    • Sign up for inexpensive systems that alert you via text messaging when the building’s temperature has dropped below a set value. This can help you take immediate action to protect the property, e.g. repair a breach in the building, utilize emergency generators, etc.

    •Conduct an annual fall inspection of the shell of your building to ensure there are no gaps letting in the weather.

    •Understand how your sprinkler system works and take precautions to drain it, if applicable (dry-pipe style). For wet-pipe systems, ensure that the room heat is adequate, or use heat tape to ensure their warmth.

    • Drain the water from all systems and equipment that is not needed in the winter, such as air conditioning units.

    •Inspect your roof every year before winter and ensure that it is well sealed, and sheds/drains water properly; gutter and downspout maintenance is a must.

    • Remove any branches or trees that can come into contact with the building when heavily laden with ice and snow. Consider having experts remove heavy snow accumulation from your roof(s) as needed to reduce the chance of collapse.

    In the event of a loss:

    •Contact your agent as soon as possible and explain any emergency action you have taken, or need to take to prevent further damage to the property. They can assist with their knowledge of emergency mitigation vendors.

    •Learn how your deductible works early on in the process, especially if you have multiple properties under a single policy.

    • Be thorough with the adjuster in showing all the damage and provide documents pertaining to any business interruption claim you may make.

    • Keep all receipts and invoices for any emergency or temporary repairs made, and provide this information to the adjuster. Keep records of work you or your staff have done to protect the property from further damage.

    • Understand that a "Reservation of Rights," "Non-Waiver Agreement" and "Proof of Loss" are legal  documents issued by your carrier, which are necessary to protect your rights and benefits every bit as much as they protect the carrier’s. 

    Developing a Small Business Disaster Recovery Plan

    2/24/2014 (Permalink)

    Develop a SERVPRO Emergency Ready Profile Now!

    Source: Insurance Information Institute

    Businesses that are forced to close down following a disaster run the risk of never being able to open their doors again. While there’s no way to lower the risk of a natural disaster like a hurricane, there are critical measures that can be taken to protect your company’s bottom line from nature’s fury. A disaster plan and adequate insurance are keys to recovery.

    Develop a Disaster Recovery Plan

    No matter how small or large a business, a business impact analysis should be developed to identify what an operation must do to protect itself in the face of a natural disaster. Large corporations often hire risk managers to handle this task and some companies hire consultants with expertise in disaster planning and recovery to assist them with their plans. But small businesses can do the analysis and planning on their own.

    Steps for Developing a Business Recovery Plan

  • Set up an emergency response plan and train employees how to carry it out. Make sure employees know whom to notify about the disaster and what measures to take to preserve life and limit property losses.
  • Write out each step of the plan and assign responsibilities to employees in clear and simple language. Practice the procedures set out in the emergency response plan with regular, scheduled drills.
  • Compile a list of important phone numbers and addresses. Make sure you can get in touch with key people after the disaster. The list should include local and state emergency management agencies, major clients, contractors, suppliers, realtors, financial institutions, insurance agents and insurance company claim representatives.
  • Decide on a communications strategy to prevent loss of customers. Post notices outside your premises; contact clients by phone, email or regular mail; place a notice in local newspapers.
  • Consider the things you may need initially during the emergency. Do you need a back-up source of power? Do you have a back-up communications system?
  • Human Resources. Protect employees and customers from injury on the premises. Consider the possible impact a disaster will have on your employees’ ability to return to work and how customers can return to your shop or receive goods or services.
  • Physical Resources. Inspect your business’ plant(s) and assess the impact a disaster would have on facilities. Make sure your plans conform to local building code requirements.
  • Business Community. Even if your business escapes a disaster, there is still a risk that it could suffer significant losses due to the inability of suppliers to deliver goods or services or a reduction in customers. Businesses should communicate with their suppliers and markets (especially if they are selling to a business as a supplier) about their disaster preparedness and recovery plans, so that everyone is prepared.
  • Protect Your Building. If you own the structure that houses your business, integrate disaster protection for the building as well as the contents into your plan. Consider the financial impact if your business shuts down as a result of a disaster. What would be the impact for a day, a week or an entire revenue period?
  • Keep Duplicate Records. Back-up computerized data files regularly and store them off-premises. Keep copies of important records and documents in a safe deposit box and make sure they’re up-to-date.
  • Identify critical business activities and the resources needed to support them. If you cannot afford to shut down your operations, even temporarily, determine what you require to run the business at another location.
  • Find alternative facilities, equipment and supplies, and locate qualified contractors. Consider a reciprocity agreement with another business. Try to get an advance commitment from at least one contractor to respond to your needs.
  • Protect computer systems and data. Data storage firms offer offsite backups of computer data that can be updated regularly via high-speed modem or through the Internet.
  • Review Your Insurance Plan

    Make sure you have sufficient coverage to pay for the indirect costs of the disaster—the disruption to your business—as well as the cost of repair or rebuilding. Most policies do not cover flood or earthquake damage and you may need to buy separate insurance for these perils. Be sure you understand your policy deductibles and limits.

    New additions or improvements should also be reflected in your policy. This includes construction improvement to a property and the addition of new equipment.

    For a business, the costs of a disaster can extend beyond the physical damage to the premises, equipment, furniture and other business property. There’s the potential loss of income while the premises are unusable. Your disaster recovery should include a detailed review of your insurance policies to ensure there are no gaps in coverage. Your policy should include business interruption insurance and extra expense insurance. Even if your basic policy covers expenses and loss of net business income, it may not cover income interruptions due to damage that occurs away from your premises, such as to your key customer or supplier or to your utility company. You can generally buy this additional coverage and add it to your existing policy.

    Basic Commercial Insurance to Consider

  • Building Coverage provides coverage up to the insured value of the building if it is destroyed or damaged by wind/hail, or another covered cause of loss. This policy does not cover damage caused by a flood or storm surge nor does it cover losses due to earth movement, such as a landslide or earthquake, unless added by endorsement.
  • Business Personal Property provides coverage for contents and business inventory damaged or destroyed by wind/hail, or another covered cause of loss.
  • Tenants Improvements and Betterments provides coverage for fixtures, alterations, installations, or additions made as part of the building that the insured occupies but does not own, which are acquired and made at the insured's expense.
  • Additional Property Coverage provides for items such as fences, pools or awnings at the insured location. Coverage limits vary by type of additional property.
  • Business Income provides coverage for lost revenue and normal operating expenses if the place of business becomes uninhabitable after a loss during the time repairs are being made.
  • Extra Expense provides coverage for the extra expenses incurred, such as temporary relocation or leasing of business equipment, to avoid or minimize the suspension of operations during the time that repairs are being completed to the normal place of business.
  • Ordinance or Law provides coverage to rebuild or repair the building in compliance with the most recent local building codes.