Participate in a mold testing study

Mold.

 

Special Announcement

The Health Department, in cooperation with Columbia University, is looking for volunteer homeowners to participate in a mold testing study in Hurricane Sandy affected areas of Brooklyn and Queens.

The study is funded by the federal government and will focus on 1 and 2 family houses that are planning mold cleanup. Qualifying homes will receive compensation (gift card or money) for their participation along with mold testing before and after cleanup. Call 311 and ask for Mold Testing Study.

What is mold?

mold on wall Mold (mildew), mushrooms, and yeast are all types of fungi. Fungi are found both indoors and outdoors. Hundreds of different kinds of mold are commonly found in the United States and New York City.

Where is mold found?

Mold usually grows in damp places, such as bathrooms
and basements.

How does mold grow?

It can grow almost anywhere there is water, high humidity, or damp conditions. Mold grows faster in warm temperatures and high humidity.

How are people exposed to mold?
  • You can breathe in mold particles if mold is disturbed
    or damaged.
  • You can also breathe in tiny spores (similar to seeds) that mold may release into the air.
  • You can touch mold and get it on your skin.
  • You can swallow mold if you eat moldy or spoiled food.
What are the health effects of mold?
  • Some people are allergic to molds.
  • Mold exposure may cause or worsen asthma symptoms, hay fever, or other allergies.
  • The most common symptoms of mold exposure are cough, congestion, runny nose, and trouble breathing. Symptoms usually disappear after the mold contamination is removed.
  • More severe reactions to mold may occur among workers exposed to large amounts of mold on the job, such as farmers working with moldy hay.
Should I see a doctor if I have been exposed to mold?

If you think that you or your children have symptoms related to mold exposure, you should see a doctor. Keep in mind that many symptoms associated with mold exposure are also caused by many other illness.

How can mold be prevented?

The best way is to remove water and moisture sources. Fixing leaks, drying damp areas, and removing humidity from the air (e.g., using a dehumidifier in basements; cracking a window while taking a shower in bathrooms with no exhaust ventilation) will help stop mold growth and keep it from coming back.

How can I safely clean mold in my home?

mold on wall

  • Use soap or a detergent solution and water to clean small areas of mold (less than 10 square feet) on walls or other hard surfaces as soon as you see it.
  • Wear waterproof gloves.
  • Dry the cleaned area completely.
  • If the mold returns quickly or spreads, there may be an underlying problem such as a water leak. To stop mold, water problems must be fixed.
  • If large areas of mold are present, you may need a professional mold abatement company. Check the phone book for mold abatement contractors.
What does my landlord have to do?
  • Your landlord and building manager must keep your building in good condition so mold will not grow. This means repairing water leaks and correcting persistently high humidity levels.
  • If you have a lot of mold (more than 10 square feet) or it keeps coming back after you have cleaned it, ask your landlord to fix the problem.
  • If the problem isn’t fixed, call 311.

For more info http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/html/environmental/mold.shtml

 

Communication is Key – Jeffrey Gross

I had gotten a call from an environmental consultant contact of mine about a loss he was recommending us for on Central Park West.  The building had ongoing leak issues which now turned to mold.  Another company was on site but was not doing a very good job of controlling the moisture. The next day I get a call from a Cooper Square Property Manager asking me to get involved with an apartment in the same building. One of the unit owners was very hesitant and concerned and grilled me for a long time about our qualifications.  I was able to convince them to allow us to inspect the apartment and come up with some recommendations.  They were happy with our suggestions and we have been drying there for a few weeks now as they sort out the exterior issues.  Jason Van Namee, our Project Manager for the job has kept all parties in the loop and informed of our progress and has impressed all of the people involved. In the meantime, in addition to the one apartment we got from the Property Manager and the one we got from the Environmental Consultant, we got a call on two more apartments, both from different brokers.  After a progress meeting recently with the Superintendent, the Property Manager, the tenants, the Environmental Consultant and Jason, the tenant said that he now understands why the hype was made about Maxons!

I guess when your Property Manager, your Environmental Consultant and your neighbors insurance brokers all say Maxons is the best company for this type of work, you ought to believe them.

~Jeffrey Gross, Executive VP Operations

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Project Coordinator needed for our NYC location!

The Maxons Restorations team is looking for a new Project Coordinator to join our team!  The position is located in Manhattan, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 5:00pm.  If you are anyone you know is interested in working with us please send along a resume to employment@maxons.com.

PositionProject Coordinator

Company Mission:  To make the world a better place – one relationship and one project at a time!

Departmental Mission:  To handle each project and provide exceptional service with dedication to improve our relationships and reputation, one customer, one client and one vendor at a time.

Position Mission:  To help the company provide the best possible services by taking responsibility for clear communication, organization and documentation.

Position Description:  Project Manager’s in office link.  Responsible for taking loss intakes, organize and manage their PM’s files, follow up on vendor paperwork, perform data entry of field notes and tick sheets, perform EOTS  and vendor program updates with info received from the PM. Field PM’s calls when they are out of the office. Assist with updating internal reporting for ARs and Open Jobs.

Duties:

Project Communication

  • Setting up crews & sending them work orders for each job.
  • Updates EOTS with QuickScope, pictures, estimated reserve and documents and daily updates regarding the progress of the loss.
  • Communicate with customers on jobs in progress daily and document properly in database.
  • Work with outside vendor programs in order to provide information within the expected time frame.
  • Send out reports (mail or email).
  • Assist with making weekly collection calls, follow up with notes in database & if necessary, send out collection letters via FedEx.
  • Assist with updating the weekly report regarding accounts receivable.
  • Schedule PM appointments and notate in database.

Job File Management

  • Complete administrative information in Xactimate along with the work performed based on the vendor’s paperwork.
  • Assist with getting each job billed out in a timely manner.
  • Keep job folders up to date.
  • Following up with insureds and clients to get detailed information, i.e., claim numbers, phone numbers, deductibles, adjusters assigned, etc.
  • Link contacts (vendors, adjusters, etc.) to jobs through referrals tab in database and to EOTS (if applies).
  • VOID & re-open files, when needed.
  • Fill out various job documents as required by PM.
  • Speak with the responsible party to obtain information for the Certificate of Insurance – then submit request to Maxons’ broker.
  • Uploading all documents to the public network.

General Administrative

  • Answer phones.
  • Take New Losses.
  • Enter intakes into Database.
  • Any side projects company may need assistance with (pricing, vendor organization etc).

Essential Physical/Mental Skills Required for Position:

  • Ability to communicate effectively.
  • Ability to multi-task and handle many issues, items, and functions at one time and deal rapidly with multiple items in prioritized sequence.
  • Ability to be flexible and adjust to rapidly changing requirements and schedules.
  • Ability to sit for hours at a stretch and function in a sedentary role.
  • Ability to function in a fast-paced and possibly stressful environment while maintaining a professional and collegial attitude and demeanor.

Communication is Key – Javier Sanchez!

One of my best communication experiences at Maxons was managing a large fire loss in a residential tower on the upper east side. The building had over 200 apartments which were  affected by the fire in addition to the public spaces. The building has many long term tenants, as well as elderly or sick tenants.  They were very nervous about experiencing a second fire (a previous, smaller fire occurred in 2010).  Residents wanted to know what the next steps in the remediation process were, so the building’s management and I set up a time to meet with some of the tenants and listen to their questions and/or concerns.

Once we met with the tenants, the property manager, the superintendent and myself put together a plan to assist with the concerns of the elderly tenants and making sure that our 4 crew chiefs were on the same page.  The property manager, the superintendent, the crew chiefs and myself  set up a 2nd meeting with the elderly tenants and many of the questions asked this time around were about security and concerns with theft. I re-assured them not to worry and we also told them that only one crew will be responsible for the cleaning of their apartment and that I and/or the crew chief would be present during the cleaning process.

After this meeting, the crew chief and I approached 3 board members with affected apartments and asked them if we could have access to clean their apartments first, they all agreed and we jumped at the moment right away to get the crews ready to start this process. Each of their apartments took about a full day to clean (floors, walls and ceilings only) but during the cleaning process, the crews worked diligently while the crew chief and I were pulled away to meet with the NYC fire marshal and insurance inspectors.  They worked quickly and respectfully and it put the 3 board members at ease that theft would be the least of their worries. The following day, the 3 board members set up their own meeting with the elderly tenants of the building and re-assured them that they had nothing to worry about, that Maxons was the one for this job.

So after a few weeks, the time came around to bill the 1st phase of the loss, I called the property manager before sending the invoice to give her an idea of the amount and her response was “send it over.” There was an awkward silent moment on the phone before I asked,  “Is everything OK?”  She said yes and that she expected it to be more than it was.

Not only did she expect a larger bill but she then told me that during our cleaning process of some of the apartments, our crews found a few expensive items (rings, bracelets, etc) behind furniture, which some of the tenants had thought they lost for good. Upon mentioning this, the property manager said to m,e “Javier please hurry up and bill the remaining phase of the cleaning of the apartments and I will get you paid right away. The tenants love the crews and you could not have made my job easier during this time.”  It was a great way to end the job, and we were paid in full in less than 60 days of billing a very large job.

~ Javier Sanchez, Project Manager

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Communication is Key – Ed Christenson!

Communication (from Latin “communis“, meaning to share) is the activity of conveying information through the exchange of thoughts, messages, or information, as by speech, visuals, signals, writing, or behavior. It is the meaningful exchange of information between two or a group of persons.   (Wikipedia)

It’s no surprise that “Communication” is our theme this year at Maxons.  Everything we do involves communication in one way or another.  One example of great communication on a recent project for me was for an insured that had a health condition and very concerned about how we would handle the water loss she had in her home. She communicated to me that certain chemicals, odors, and dust could be very dangerous to her and that it was extremely important we follow her instructions.  By understanding and listening to her needs, I was able to convey this information to my crew and we were able to complete the project without any issues.  She told me she was very grateful for the way we handled her loss.

A very important part of communicating is the ability to “listen”.  Listening to our clients and customers is critical to our success.  By listening, I discovered what her needs were so that I could communicate those needs to my Project Managers, and crews.  If you ask me, It’s no coincidence that “listen” and “silent” have the exact same letters…

~Ed Christenson, Regional Manager

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