24 hr. emergency service | 516-590-5063

Wolf Disaster Services

FAQ’s

Water Damage, Flood Damage and Moisture Damage

Structural Drying

Mold Remediation

Fire Restoration

Puff Back & Soot Clean Up

How quickly do you respond?

Wolf Disaster is your emergency support system proudly serving Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx, New York City and Nassau/Suffolk Counties, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We respond to emergency calls within minutes and arrive with after the initial call with 2 hours during emergency services.

We offer free consultation and estimate service and are all IICRC certified, in water damage clean up, extraction, drying, and other restoration services.

Water Damage, Flood Damage and Moisture Damage

What causes water damage?

Some of the reasons why homes, dwellings, and businesses experience water damage may include:

  • Toilet overflows
  • Water heater leaking or breaking
  • Pipe bursts
  • Floods, heavy rains, and storm damage
  • Sprinkler breaks/busts
  • Fire damage

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What are some non-visible signs of water or moisture damage?

Although walls and ceilings may look dry after a water damage, water and moister, in most cases, still exists that may not be seen by the naked eye, has entered behind the walls, floors, or structures. Water equals moisture.

Using a moisture meter will determine if you have moisture is behind the walls. If you have moisture behind the walls, there is almost a guarantee that you will have mold in the future (often within 36 to 72 hours). Unknown wet insulation is also a great place for odors and mold growth.

Moisture damages all sorts of office equipment, paper files, computers, furniture, art work, and instruments which all may look dry on the outside, but might contain unwanted moisture creating future permanent damage. We’ve been there, we can help.

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Can water damage cause mold?

Water damage is the leading cause of mold growth. Mold, like other bacteria, microbe, animal or plant, needs water or moister to grow. In some circumstances, certain bugs will require moisture as well. Remove the moisture and water, and then you have stopped the mold from continuing to grow, please note that the mold is STILL present and in many cases hazardous to your health.

It takes 3 main ways for mold to develop:

  1. Moisture
  2. Food source ( drywall , carpet, organic dust )
  3. Warm temperatures

Wolf Disaster Service can assist you with water damage clean up and mold remediation (removal) services. We’ve been there, we can help 24/7 365 days a year at 516-590-5063.

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What you can do until help arrives?

After any water damage situation, your primary focus should be safety first:

  • Is it safe to stay in the house?
  • Electrical and "slip and fall" hazards are some of the most prevalent concerns.
  • Only do activities that are safe for you to perform.
  • Wet materials can be VERY heavy. Be careful!

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What TO do After Flooding

  • Remove excess water by mopping and blotting.
  • Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removal of lamps and tabletop items.
  • Remove and prop wet upholstery and cushions.
  • Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting
  • Turn air conditioning on for maximum drying in summer.
  • Remove colored rugs from wet carpeting.
  • Remove art objects to a safe, dry place.
  • Gather loose items from floors.

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What NOT to do After Flooding

  • Don't leave wet fabrics in place. Hang furs and leather goods.
  • Don't leave books, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors.
  • Don't use your household vacuum to remove water.
  • Don't use television or other household appliances.
  • Don't turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet, and keep out of rooms where ceilings are sagging.

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Structural Drying

What is air drying and why do I need it?

One of the many tools available to a professional water damage restoration company is the use of new age technology air dryers. Using speed dryers, air movers, etc. pushes or moves the moisture from the water damaged material (wood floors, tiles, carpet, furniture, walls, etc.) and dispossesses it into the air, where the commercial dehumidifier catches it and removed it from the room entirely.

Wolf Restoration uses both air movers and dehumidifiers to correctly dry water damaged property, so that you don’t have to dispose of it or rip it out.

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What is dehumidification?

Dehumidification is the process of removing moisture from the air and away from the areas that you want dry. This is important, because just by removing the visible water, does not mean that you have removed the humidity in your floors, walls, or materials.

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Which insurance companies pay for your water damage extraction and drying services?

All insurance companies pay for our services. As a home owner or business owner you have the right to use whichever you want to mitigate (extract water, lift carpet, remove padding, remove wall base, place air movers and dehumidifiers, etc.) the water damage. We work very closely with adjusters and can provide any documentation or reporting that is required for submission.

We’ve been there, and we can help – honestly and honorably.

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Costs - how much do your water damage clean up services cost?

Each job and situation varies, by the degree of the work involved. It’s impossible to answer that question from here. We provide free consultation and estimates and operate 24/7 365 days a year.

We are your emergency support system proudly serving Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx, New York City and Nassau/Suffolk Counties.

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Mold and Microbial Bacteria

What is mold remediation?

Mold remediation is the process of removal and/or cleanup of mold from an indoor environment, such as a home or a business.

If a home or a business has serious mold damage, it is best to hire mold remediation/removal professionals as specialized equipment and methods may be required to remove the mold completely.

Wolf Disaster Services are fully licensed, certified and insured for Mold Remediation. We are all IICRC certified technicians and we can help.

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What makes mold grow?

Mold enters your home as tiny spores. The spores need moisture to begin growing, digesting, and destroying. Molds can grow on almost any surface, including:

  • Wood
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Wallpaper
  • Paints
  • Carpet
  • Sheet rock
  • Insulation

The mold grows best when there is lots of moisture from a leaky roof, high humidity, or flood. There is no way to get rid of all molds and mold spores from your home. But you can control mold growth by keeping your home dry.

How does mold grow?

Mold requires nutrients, water, oxygen and favorable temperatures to grow. Nutrients for mold are present in dead organic material such as wood, paper or fabrics; mold can also derive nutrients from some synthetic products such as paints and adhesives. Mold requires moisture, although some mold species can obtain that moisture from moist air when the relative humidity is above 70 per cent.

Many molds thrive at normal indoor temperatures; few if any molds are able to grow below 40 F or above 100 F. Outside this range molds may remain dormant or inactive; they may begin to grow again when the temperature is more favorable. Temperatures well above 100 F will kill mold and mold spores.

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How long does the mold removal process take?

The time it takes for the mold removal process depends on many factors such as how much mold is present, where the mold is growing (behind walls, etc.), and the materials it grows on. Most mold removal (remediation) takes anywhere from 1 day to 5 days.

If you have any questions about the mold removal (remediation process), please call us at the number at the top of the page.

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How do I know when professional mold removal is complete?

There are two different ways to know when mold is removed.

  1. Visual: You might see that all mold is gone is away, but hidden mold colonies and mold spores can linger in hidden places and in the air. So visual inspection is not the best way to insure complete removal.
  2. Third party testing is usually the best way to test for complete mold removal verification.

Your mold removal company should not test as this is a conflict of interest and State Of Maryland residents be aware that there is a law that states that a mold removal company must have certain certifications and cannot test at the same time as the remediation. Please also beware that there are different kinds of testers ranging from home inspectors to industrial hygienists. Please ask your independent tester if their tests, in writing, will stand up in court.

Remember that you need to have a pre testing procedure (mold spore tests, etc.) , protocols (a list of how to remove the mold), and a clearance test after the mold removal to ensure that the mold spore count is at acceptable levels.

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Do I need to hire a mold remediation/removal expert to remove mold, or can I do it myself?

Anyone can remove mold from a home or a business, as long as they and you, understand that when you disturb mold by cleaning it, cut it out, or simply moving it - you will distribute the mold spores throughout the house, spreading and creating new mold issues that will eventually grow into new mold problems.

Wolf Disaster Services correctly remove mold by building a containment sections and using negative pressure machine and correct protective equipment, so that the mold is contained and does not spread. You will also need to follow the IICRC S-520 Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation, and hire an industrial hygienist to make sure that the mold is removed.

Wolf Disaster Services staff are certified in mold removal and mold remediation by the IICRC (Institute of Inspection, Cleaning, and Restoration Certification). We’ve been there, and we can help.

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Are you qualified to do professional mold remediation?

Wolf Disaster Services are certified through the Institute of Inspection for Cleaning and Restoration (IICRC).

Wolf Disaster is your emergency support system proudly serving Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx, New York City and Nassau/Suffolk Counties, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We respond to emergency calls within minutes and arrive with after the initial call with 2 hours during emergency services. Please call us, we can help!

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Fire Damage, Smoke Damage, Home Boarding and Clean Up

Are all fire damages alike?

No. Each home and business contain different materials that burn and create their own cleaning and restoring challenges. We’ll review four (4) main categories of fire damage and smoke damage cleaning sources, however we work with all:

  1. Natural substance smoke residue – Natural items that burn can be paper, wood, and other items containing those substances. The color of these residues are usually black and gray. These smoke residues can be cleaned using a vacuum and dry sponge. Reader be careful, because smoke particles can be the size of .004 microns. These particles are small enough to go anywhere in the dwelling, even inside wall cavities. It may not bother you if the smoke particles are in the wall cavities, but each particle causes a smoke odor. Not removing these particles can lead to unsolved odor issues. There are solutions to the smoke particle residue removal such as ozone and other processes which professional fire damage restoration contractors and fire damage restoration cleaning companies have.
  2. Protein substance smoke residue - Chicken, beef, and other proteins when burned make a greasy mess all over. Cleaning these residues takes training and understanding of protein burn cleaning.
  3. Synthetic substance smoke residue - To put in simply, any type of plastic or derivative of plastic when burned becomes very smeary to the touch. Again cleaning these types of fire damage residues are complicated and needs specialized training to do correctly.
  4. Oil burner malfunction residue – Otherwise known as a “puff -back,” this residue is caused simply by a oil burner misfiring and then shooting burnt oil residue through the heating system, and then distributing the residue through the house.

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We had a severe fire loss in our home, with a lot of water used to put the fire out. What should we do now?

It’s always best to hire a professional restoration company certified with the IICRC who has the proven experience in the field. But while you are waiting for help to arrive, here are some tips to get started:

  1. Remove as much smoke from the home as possible by using carpet or fire fans from your local supplier (Call Wolf Disaster for recommendations).
  2. Extract as much water as possible from everywhere possible.
  3. Remove wet carpet over wooden floors to prevent wood floors from buckling.
  4. Apply Vaseline on all metal objects to prevent corrosion.
  5. Don’t start cleaning walls unless you have been given correct instructions on how to. Doing it incorrectly will create more damage.
  6. Get scraps of hardwood and put them under all objects on the floor. This will help prevent some mold growth and permanent staining.
  7. Find commercial dehumidifiers and place at least one every room in the house. This will help start removing moisture from the home and prevent mold growth. You will need additional equipment, but at least this is a start.
  8. Don’t throw away anything. The insurance company has experts that can determine the most burnt item and pay you the value. Even disgusting looking boxes have some monetary value.

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The Fire Department recommended that we board up our home (or business). Is that something that you can do?

Yes, we can. Wolf Disaster Services 24 hours, 7 days a week and has trained board up crews to make sure that your home or business is secure. Wolf Disaster offers security services around the clock for even more security (make sure your insurance company approves this service before requesting the service). We are Xactamate certified and can help with any insurance claims, procedures and reports. The Wolf responds quickly, effectively and efficiently, protecting your home in a time of crises.

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What are the best ways to secure my property after fire-related damage?

Although an eager handyman might encourage that he/she can do it, if done wrong, intruders can enter in your home. Besides theft, if the intruder gets hurt, you are legally responsible for their injuries. A correct board up crew should include using 3/8″ plywood with 2x4s bolted from inside the dwelling over windows. The front door, if needed, should have a secure lock that you and your restoration contractor only can enter. The Wolf can help.

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Can we clean the fire damage or smoke damage ourselves?

Although it may look easy to clean, many home owners and property managers have discovered the following issues which guide them to seek a professional (IICRC certified) fire damage restoration and fire damage restoration clean up companies including The Wolf.

When residues mix – One big challenge is when you have a fire damage with more than one type of residue that burns. The understanding of how to clean these situations and the tools used, is not an easy task for the average home/property owner. You can attempt to clean but we would highly caution.

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It looks clean, but how come it still smells like smoke?

A great way to understand why it still smells after you cleaned is to understand the size of a smoke particle. The size of a smoke particle is .004 micros in size, you would need a microscope to see it. Each particle causes a smell or odor. So imagine these small microscopic particles inside your walls, cabinets, behind wood trim, wall base, underneath the carpet, everywhere. As you can tell, even if you are the best cleaner there are so many places you can not get to or just miss.

This is where The Wolf comes in with training and experience in fire damage restoration. With The Wolf’s father being a 25 year veteran of the FDNY, he personally spent a large majority of my youth in and around his firehouse. He know firsthand the smell of your burned home, office, or personal property is an odor that cannot be easily forgotten, fortunately, The Wolf, can eliminate it.

Call us at the number at the top of the page, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for our fire and smoke damage restoration services.

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Do we have to throw out all of our food after a fire?

The fire’s heat will expand and contract your food cans, boxes, bags, etc., letting in smoke that will make your food items inedible. Remember that this smoke contains harmful carder-gins that will make you sick or even worse. Wait until your insurance adjuster reviews the products, and then throw them out. We are Xactamate certified and can work with your adjuster.

If you can’t wait for your adjuster, make a video of the products carefully then throw away.

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We have fire coverage in our property and homeowner’s insurance. How does The Wolf help with our insurance claim?

Wolf Disaster Services will work directly with your adjuster using the same estimating software to work as team with your adjuster. Together we will get you restored and back in your home as if the fire never happened.

Call us at the phone number at the top of this page, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for assistance with your insurance claim.

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How can we estimate the extent of the fire damage for insurance purposes?

If you are having the insurance company pay for your damages, you’ll need a special software like Xactamate, Simsol, etc. to correctly estimate the costs.

Many homeowners and building owners hire their favorite re-molder or home improvement company and either find themselves in a battle with their insurance adjuster or don’t get the correct amount for their repairs. Be careful with public adjusters (lawyers posing as insurance adjusters) knocking on your door. They sound like your protectors, but after their 10-20 % commission of your claim, you’ll end up paying out of your pocket or getting less repairs done.

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Puff Back & Soot Clean Up

What is a Puff Back?

A puff back is a misfire in the furnace or oil burner that, at its worst, can send soot throughout your home, requiring expensive cleaning and restoration in addition to repairs on your heating system. While rare, the consequences are severe enough to learn what a puff back is and how you might prevent it.

A puff back can happen when an oil burner doesn’t ignite immediately and vapors are allowed to build up before ignition, resulting in an explosion similar to the backfiring of a car. Buildup of debris can also create an excessive explosion at ignition.

In either case, the explosion can shoot soot and debris through the furnace or boiler’s exhaust system and into your home. If you have a forced air system (a hot air system as opposed to a hydronic, or hot water, system), the problem will likely be worse as the heating ducts can spread the soot into every corner of your home, with the same efficiency that they spread heat.

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What Causes Sooty Puffbacks at Oil-Fired Heating Boilers, Furnaces, Water Heaters?

The most common causes of the presence of this un-burned heating oil fuel are various sources of improper oil burner operation that leaves incompletely-burned heating oil at the end of one or more on-off cycles of the oil burner. These include:

  • Leaks in the equipment oil supply piping, often visible as oil drips or leaks that occur when the equipment is not running, become air-leaks into the oil piping and oil burner when the burner is running.
  • Heating oil drips on the floor near an oil burner. An alert home owner, home inspector, or heating service technician should recognize the meaning and importance of this clue.
  • To atomize and burn heating oil, the oil burner's fuel unit compresses incoming heating oil to 100 psi or more. Because any extra air in the heating oil piping is also compressed to high pressures (often more than 100 psi) during oil burner operation, any air bubbles present in the system when the oil burner stops its run cycle is exposed to a pressure drop inside the system.
  • Oil burner shutdown problems: Incomplete heating oil combustion may also occur if the "shut-down" phase of oil burner operation is not working properly. Inside of the fuel unit of most oil burners is a spring-loaded valve whose job is to quickly and securely stop oil flowing to the oil burner nozzle the moment that the oil burner's fuel unit RPM's begin to slow - when the oil burner is turning "off" at the end of a burn cycle.
  • Even a small amount of dirt on the seat of this oil valve can cause it to leak oil into the combustion chamber instead of making a clean oil-flow shutoff.
  • Poor oil burner maintenance: if an oil burner is running poorly, for example with a dirty oil spray nozzle that has become partly blocked, the result is a poor flame and possibly incomplete combustion of the heating oil being sprayed into the fire chamber. This, too, can lead to accumulation of un-burned heating oil and a subsequent ignition and puffback.
  • Underlying chimney or heater installation problems: Keep in mind that the root problem may be more than just a need for an oil burner tune-up.

Watch out: Sooty, smelly, noisy oil burner operation is a warning: you may be headed for a puffback: Sooty oil burner operation, blowing soot into the boiler room or other building areas, is not normal and it means that the system needs inspection, diagnosis, service, and repair.

Watch out: A puffback that blows apart the heating flue vent connector risks a building fire or the release of combustion gases into building air.

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Does Wolf Disaster Services Restore & Clean Up after Puffbacks or Soot Release?

Most homeowners don’t realize the powerful impact smoke damage can have until after a house fire. It isn’t just the licking flames that cause severe destruction. The black smoke and ash that flows throughout the structure can be very harmful, staining surfaces and causing significant odors that could make the home unlivable.

Wolf Disaster Services can stop unsightly soot and smoke damage so the air in your home remains free of breathing hazards. We skilled technicians & most importantly certified, and will eliminate blotches, black webs and oily residue so walls, floors and furniture is made pristine again. The longer this problem persists the greater the cost of removing it will be. Don’t let your family continue living in a soot-covered environment. We’ve been there, and we can help.

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What are the harmful effects of a furnace puff back to individuals?

The film of dust covering the upholstery, carpets, and rugs are composed of part petroleum particles or oil based particles called soot. Once a puff back occurs, the level of carbon dioxide increases which is harmful to children and may cause dizziness and nausea to the adults. Allergic reactions may also follow after being in direct contact with the soot released from the puff back. Professional assessment on the levels of carbon dioxide after a puff back needs expert attention.

It is not recommended to clean the house after a puff back without the proper equipment and personal protective devices.

Please call us immediately after a puff back before it poses a serious threat to the house and its inhabitants. Taking the extra measures and precautions in avoiding a puff back is better than facing it when it has actually happened. Experiencing a puff back would be a big headache especially if the cost is counted including the efforts made at cleaning and restoration of the property affected.

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What are the Oil Burner Furnace or Boiler Puffback Warning Signs?

Before a catastrophic puffback occurs, most heating equipment will give plenty of warning in the form of heating oil or combustion gas odors and soot in the building.

If you see black soot and debris on top of your boiler, furnace, or water heater, or black soot stains on ceiling or wall surfaces in the boiler room, furnace room, or living area, the cause could be a poorly-operating heating system that needs prompt attention. But also see THERMAL TRACKING & HEAT LOSS as other things can cause black stains indoors.

If your oil burner continues to make a soft rumbling sound (or if you actually see combustion continue at a reduced rate inside the combustion chamber) right after the oil burner has stopped "running" then there is an oil burner shutdown problem.

If you hear noises when your oil burner starts each run cycle, perhaps a more modest "PUFF" or a small "bang" sound, unburned oil is probably being ignited.

Wolf Disaster is your emergency support system proudly serving Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, the Bronx, New York City and Nassau/Suffolk Counties, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We respond to emergency calls within minutes and arrive with after the initial call with 2 hours during emergency services.

We’ve been there, we can help.

The Wolf

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Please call us at 516-590-5063 or email us at [email protected]