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What Does HVAC Maintenance Involve?

hvac tune up new york Old or poorly maintained HVAC equipment costs more to run because it operates less efficiently. So if you’ve noticed a recent rise in your energy bills but not your usage, it’s possible your HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system has lost some of its efficiency and is due for a service visit. In fact, an HVAC system that doesn’t receive regular professional maintenance can lose as much as 5% of its efficiency every year. That can really add up!

If you want to keep your Sullivan County home comfortable all year-round while keeping your energy bills as low as possible, it’s important to have it professionally serviced on a regular basis. Black Bear Fuel Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning has the expertise to conduct your annual HVAC maintenance. And if you need repairs or a replacement, we can handle that too. We do quality work in a reasonable amount of time.

A Good Maintenance Schedule

How often should your HVAC be serviced? As a general rule, a yearly maintenance visit should suffice. This will reduce the probability of inconvenient (and more expensive) repairs down the road. It will keep your HVAC equipment running efficiently. And it will improve the longevity of your HVAC equipment

What Happens During HVAC Maintenance?

During an HVAC service visit, Black Bear does more than just replace your filters. One of our certified and trained professionals will provide a full inspection and identify any potential problems.

Here are a few of the tasks included in a Black Bear HVAC maintenance visit:

  • Inspection of your system to look for potential problems
  • Examination of the fuel lines and points of connection
  • Inspection of exhaust outlets to check for damage like leaks or corrosion
  • Checking any electrical connections and voltage
  • Careful lubrication of moving parts
  • Making sure there is enough refrigerant in the air conditioner

Why HVAC Maintenance Matters

When you take care of something, it tends to work better and last longer. That’s true of your body, your car, and the HVAC system in your Sullivan County home.

Here’s a closer look at some good reasons to get regular maintenance for your HVAC system:

  1. Savings: You’ll save money on repairs by staying ahead of costly breakdowns. And most HVAC breakdowns could have been prevented with routine maintenance visits. You’ll also extend the life of your system. That will delay the cost of a replacement. Finally, you’ll maintain the efficiency of your system. That will save you money on each and every energy bill.
  2. Health: You’ll improve the air quality in your home. This is especially important if you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma. Regular HVAC maintenance can also identify any potential problems that could lead to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home that would put your family’s health at risk.
  3. Comfort: You and your family will be more comfortable because a well-maintained HVAC system can heat and cool your home more efficiently and effectively than an unmaintained system. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing that a disruptive breakdown is less likely.
  4. Environment: An HVAC system that receives regular maintenance consumes less fuel, and that’s better for the environment. In addition, one of Black Bear’s HVAC professionals can give you additional advice for reducing your system’s impact on the environment.

Choose Black Bear

Whether your HVAC equipment needs maintenance, repair or replacement, Black Bear can handle it. We’re Sullivan County’s first choice for HVAC installation, maintenance, and service, and your comfort is our priority. We also provide services in Northern Orange County and Eastern Ulster County.

Contact Black Bear today to learn more or to schedule an HVAC maintenance visit.

Power & Peace of Mind

generator installation new york Black Bear is a community business. We’re locally owned and operated. Our customers are our neighbors. Your comfort and safety matter to us. We’re here to help you keep your family safe and comfortable.

Unfortunately, severe weather is becoming increasingly common in Sullivan County and across America. And severe weather often brings with it power outages.

Losing power can be more than an inconvenience. It can be costly and dangerous. When you lose power, you also lose the ability to preserve your food and protect your family with your home security system. If anyone in your household depends on an electrical medical device, they can’t afford to experience an interruption in power. Why not give yourself peace of mind by equipping your home with a generator?

Black Bear provides generator installation in New York’s Sullivan County. We install Generac whole-house backup propane generators that can keep all the appliances and equipment in your home up and running during a power outage. Even if your neighborhood goes dark for days, you’ll have all the comforts of home at home.

What Is a Whole-House Generator?

A whole-house propane generator delivers virtually automatic auxiliary power whenever the electricity goes out. Once your generator detects a power outage, it should activate in about 30 seconds. So you and your family never miss a beat.

A whole-house generator (also called a standby generator) can power everything in your home—that includes all your appliances and electronics as well as your comfort systems. Your fridge, security system, HVAC system, and television will all continue to get power. You’ll still have hot water and light. That makes a whole-house generator the best way to ensure that a power outage won’t disrupt your home life.

Black Bear offers Generac propane gas generators in a variety of capacities, so we can help you choose the right one for your household’s needs. Your generator can be supplied by either an above-ground or underground storage tank.

Advantages of a Whole-House (or Standby) Generator

Whole-house (or standby) generators provide several advantages:

  1. Automatic Power: Whole-house generators start up within seconds of a power outage. That means that even if the power goes out while you’re asleep or away from home, your fridge will continue to run, your home security system will stay armed, and your heating system won’t turn off. That’s especially important during the upcoming colder months, as it will prevent your pipes from freezing or bursting—which can lead to costly damage.
  2. Unlimited Power: You don’t have to choose which appliances or electronics to power. A whole-house generator can keep your whole home up and running—from the water heater to the garage door opener to the sump pump to the fridge, washing machine, and television. You’ll be able to keep your laptop and cell phone charged and stay connected to information and loved ones.
  3. Protection: Having a whole-house generator doesn’t just keep you and your family comfortable, it also keeps you safe. Your security system will continue to keep you protected. And your heating system will continue to operate so you don’t have to worry about being without heat on a dangerously cold day or having to deal with frozen or burst pipes.

Call the Bear, We’ll Be There!

Black Bear Fuel Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning has become one of the leading companies for handling the connections for generator installations in northern Orange County, Sullivan County, and eastern Ulster County. We work in tandem with a licensed electrician to connect your generator directly to your propane tank.

Contact us today to learn more from one of our equipment experts or to schedule an installation. 

Ways to Save

hvac winterization new york Now more than ever, households are looking for ways to economize. Now is a great time to prepare your home for the winter. By winterizing your Sullivan County home, you’ll help lower your energy costs. As you prepare to winterize your home, consider who will be in your home and when. You’ll make different choices if you home will be empty for long stretches of time or if it will always be occupied.

Here are six steps you can take to save money on your energy bills this winter (and beyond):

  1. Adjust your thermostat: This is a great way to see a noticeable change in your energy bills. Lower your thermostat for the times when everyone in your household will be away or asleep. If your home will be empty for an extended length of time this winter, you want to make sure your thermostat is set so that your home isn’t being kept as warm as it would need to be if there were people in it, but is still high enough that your home won’t get cold enough for your pipes to freeze and potentially burst. If you do end up with frozen pipes, Black Bear can help. We offer affordable plumbing repairs and services.
  2. Turn down the temperature on your water heater: Any time your home will go unused for an extended period of time this winter, there’s no need to keep your home’s water quite as hot. Heating water accounts for almost 20% of your home’s energy costs. Lots of water heaters have a vacation setting. If yours doesn’t, lower the temperature 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit whenever your home will be empty for a few days or more.
  3. Unplug energy suckers: Many of the appliances and electronic devices in our home consume energy even when they’re not being used. Whether you’re going away on a trip or simply know you won’t be using an appliance or device for days on end, you can afford to unplug them. Think about which things you can leave unplugged and see your electric bill decrease. Here are some examples: microwaves, food processors, coffee makers, chargers, TVs, washers and dryers, printers, and gaming systems.
  4. Don’t go completely dark: If you’re planning to leave your home for an extended period of time this winter, you might be tempted to unplug everything, but that’s actually not a great idea. A home that stays dark day and night can attract burglars. A good way to find a balance between home safety and energy savings is to install motion sensors on your outdoor lights and set some of your indoor lights on timers.
  5. Insulate and seal air leaks: Sealing off leaks and adding insulation will save you money all winter whether you’re home or not. In fact, it will save you money all year long by making your home more energy efficient. Caulking windows and adding weather stripping to doors will save on both your winter heating costs and summer cooling costs. So will adding insulation.
  6. Contact your heating oil provider: If you’re planning to be away from home for an extended period of time and receive automatic heating oil delivery from Black Bear Fuel Oil, let us know. This will help us better calculate your delivery schedule and deliver fuel just when you need it.

In addition to affordable heating oil delivery, Black Bear provides the best heating and plumbing services in Orange County, Sullivan County, and Ulster County. We’re big enough to handle any job, but small enough to care about you.

Contact us today to learn more about the services we offer and to make sure your come is ready for the winter.

Is It a Good Choice for Your Home?

what is heating oil new york

Now that the weather is starting to change, you may find yourself turning up the thermostat. As winter approaches, your boiler or furnace will consume more heating oil. Do you ever wonder if heating oil is a good choice for your Sullivan County home?

Black Bear wants you to feel confident using heating oil. Oil heat is a safe and affordable way to heat your home. So when it’s time for your next heating oil delivery, you can feel good about being a heating oil customer.

You can also feel good about being a customer of Black Bear Fuel Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer our customers competitive pricing, reliable delivery, and convenient payment options. You won’t regret making us your go-to source for home heating oil.

Let’s take a look at some heating oil basics and answer some questions you may have in the process.

What Is Heating Oil?

Heating oil begins as crude oil. The crude oil is put through a refining process called distillation. Through the process of distillation, hydrocarbons are removed from the crude oil and become a substance that can be further purified and blended to make the heating oil that works in your furnace or boiler.

Is Heating Oil Safe?

Heating oil is safe to use in your home. Did you know that heating oil can’t explode? You can’t even ignite it with a lit match. It only becomes combustible once it’s been vaporized by an oil burner at temperatures above 140° Fahrenheit. Additionally, if there is a malfunction, safety devices within your unit are designed to shut your furnace or boiler off before carbon monoxide poisoning becomes a risk.

Is Heating Oil Clean?

Just as your electronic devices have become more advanced over the years, heating oil has seen advancements. Heating oil has gotten progressively cleaner and more efficient for New York homeowners over the past few decades. And it keeps improving. Much of the heating oil being used today has an ultra-low sulfur content. That’s the premium clean-burning heating oil that Black Bear delivers.

Is Heating Oil Efficient?

Modern oil heat systems are incredibly efficient. They can have an efficiency rating as high as 95%. The more efficient your heating system is, the less fuel it needs to keep you and your family warm and comfortable. An increase in efficiency can add up to an annual savings of up to 30% on average.

Furthermore, heating oil burns up to 20% more efficiently than gas, and it’s 30% more efficient than electricity.

Is Heating Oil Good for Your Furnace or Boiler?

Because of the premium heating oil Black Bear delivers, your heating system will run more cleanly. That means your furnace or boiler will require fewer repairs and won’t need to be replaced as soon. So, you’ll save money on repairs and delay the cost of replacement. Heating oil is good for your furnace or boiler.

Is Heating Oil a Good Choice for your Sullivan County Home?

In a word, yes. Heating oil is a great choice for your home. In addition to safety, it offers a number of benefits. And when Black Bear is your heating oil provider, you know you’ll get prompt, safe, and effective heating oil delivery at a competitive price.

Call the Bear, we’ll be there!

Black Bear Fuel Oil provides reliable heating oil delivery to our customers in northern Orange County, Sullivan County, and eastern Ulster County.

Contact us today to learn more and experience the Black Bear difference for yourself. 

Reduce Your Energy Bills

home energy tips new yorkWe’re close to the official end of summer and the beginning of autumn in Sullivan County. The temperatures will start to cool down and soon you’ll be reaching for your sweaters and blankets to keep warm as opposed to running the AC to stay cool.

As Sullivan County’s first choice for full-service HVAC, heating oil, propane, and more, Black Bear is here to make sure you don’t spend more on your heating bills than you have to.

By making your home as energy efficient as possible, you can cut down on your bills this fall (and winter too). In fact, making your home more energy efficient will benefit your budget all year long. In the fall and winter your heating system won’t have to work as hard to keep you home warm. And in the hot summer months your central air conditioning system won’t have to work as hard to keep your house cool.

A Home Heating Efficiency Checklist

Follow the suggestions below to save energy and money while staying comfortable in your Sullivan County home this fall:

  1. Maintenance: One of the best things you can do to keep your heating system working as efficiently as possible is to invest in regular maintenance checks. If you haven’t had a professional inspect your furnace or boiler in the last year, now’s the time to do it. Without regular inspections, your heating system could lose up to 5% in efficiency each year. Black Bear’s experts provide thorough heating maintenance that will keep your system running efficiently and trouble-free.
  2. Programmable thermostats: According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can save up to 10% annually on your heating (and cooling) bills based on how you adjust your thermostat’s setting.
  3. Leaks: A drafty home can cost as much as 15% more to keep warm. Limiting the ability of cool or cold air to enter your home will help make it more efficient and lower your heating costs. Use caulk, weather-stripping, and door sweeps to help keep colder air out. Expanding foam can seal cracks in exterior walls and openings around your pipes.
  4. Insulation: In addition to reducing the drafts in your home, adding insulation will help your home maintain the desired temperature with less demand on your heating system. Most homes don’t have an insulated attic. That’s a good place to start.
  5. Ceiling fans: Ceiling fans don’t just help during the summer months. Believe it or not, but they can also help your home get the most out of its heating system. If you change the rotation of your ceiling fan to clockwise, it will send the warm air that has risen towards the ceiling back down into your living space.
  6. Sunlight: A simple and free way to help keep your home warmer is to take advantage of sunlight. Open your curtains and blinds to let as much sunlight as possible in during the day. Once the sun sets, close your curtains and blinds to help keep that heat inside.
  7. Space heaters: Almost every home has that one room or space that never seems to get warm enough. Instead of turning the thermostat up on your whole house and paying for more heat than you really need, you can get targeted warmth with a space heater.
  8. Air filters: Change your air filters every three months. Change them more often if you have pets or a family member with allergies. Clean filters prevent your heating system from working harder than it needs to.
  9. Vents: No matter how efficiently your heating system is, it’s a waste if your furniture, drapes, or rugs are positioned in such a way as to block the warm air that’s trying to circulate throughout your living space. Make sure all vents, radiators, and baseboards are free from obstructions.

Call the Bear, We’ll Be There!

Black Bear Fuel Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning provides HVAC service, repairs, and upgrades in northern Orange County, Sullivan County, and eastern Ulster County. To see if your New York neighborhood is in our service area, enter your ZIP Code here.

Contact us today to learn more or schedule a maintenance visit. Your comfort is our priority! 

An Important Checklist

ac checklist new yorkIt’s been a tough summer in Sullivan County. We’ve had some real scorchers. If you found all those hot and humid days hard to get through, give a thought to your central air conditioning system and how hard it had to work to keep you and your family cool. All that hard work could have left your AC worse for wear—especially if it’s getting up there in age.

Especially if you didn’t get a maintenance visit from Black Bear for your AC system during the spring, you should schedule one now to make sure your air conditioner is still in good shape after such a taxing summer. In fact, there are a few things you should do for your AC now so that you won’t have to worry about it when next summer comes around.

Your End of Summer AC To-Do List

Especially after a summer like the one we’ve had this year, it’s good to check for wear and tear and to get a sense of what kind of shape your AC is in.

Here are five things to do as summer is ending to take care of your central air conditioning system:

  1. Replace the air filter. Hopefully, you were doing this regularly all summer long. Do it again now before the start of the heating season. This is especially important if you have a combined heating/cooling HVAC system. Changing your air filters on a consistent basis is an easy and inexpensive way to improve the performance of your cooling system.
  2. Clean around the outdoor unit. Remove anything that could block airflow (e.g., bushes, grass, nests, leaves, etc.).
  3. Clean and clear the coils and condensate line. Ideally, you should have this done by a professional as part of a maintenance visit. The technicians at Black Bear can perform preventative maintenance to diagnose and correct any issues they find. Regular professional maintenance is the best way to prevent breakdowns and keep your AC running as efficiently as possible. And having an efficient cooling system will lower your energy costs.
  4. Check for problems. Inspect your system. Look for frayed wires, rust, refrigerant leaks, and frozen coils. If you see or hear anything that doesn’t seem right, contact Black Bear and one of our certified technicians will take care of it. With Black Bear you always get quality work done in a reasonable amount of time.
  5. Schedule a tune-up. Especially if you didn’t get maintenance for your AC during the spring or early summer, you should do it now. It’s one less thing you’ll have to worry about next year. Plus, there’s no disadvantage to doing it now, as tune-ups don’t expire. And if it turns out there’s an issue with your AC, it will be less stressful to address it now when you’re not relying as heavily on your AC. Especially since you won’t be as frustrated by supply chain slowdowns.

Maintenance Matters

Taking care of your HVAC system today can prevent stressful and expensive repairs down the road. It will also keep your equipment running efficiently and help it last longer. That saves you money.

The maintenance you get from Black Bear is thorough and will help ensure your AC remains in top working order. As part of your maintenance visit, we’ll check the refrigerant levels to ensure there are no leaks, clean and tighten ducts and connectors, and oil up the motor within the AC unit.

Customers count on Black Bear Fuel Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning for affordability, quality service, and efficiency. Black Bear serves customers in Sullivan County and parts of Ulster and Orange Counties.

Don’t wait! Call the Bear to learn more or schedule your maintenance visit today!

The Benefits for Your Facility

HVAC for business new yorkIf you manage a facility in Sullivan County, you have a lot on your plate. Let Black Bear Fuel Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning make your life easier. We serve commercial as well as residential clients. Make us your HVAC company. We’ll keep your facility’s system running efficiently and trouble-free. And that increased efficiency will benefit your enterprise’s budget and decrease its impact on the environment.

Why is Commercial HVAC Maintenance Important?

A good facility manager invests in preventative maintenance that improves the longevity of their equipment and decreases the need (and cost of) emergency repairs, replacements, and component change-outs.

Here are four reasons commercial HVAC maintenance is important:

  1. Commercial HVAC maintenance helps facility managers stay ahead of costly breakdowns. You’ll have a better understanding of your building’s equipment and will be able to plan for repairs before they become emergencies. That will make your job less stressful and extend the life of your building’s HVAC system.
  2. Commercial HVAC maintenance helps maintain the efficiency of your building’s HVAC system (which will keep your facility’s energy bills as low as possible).
  3. Commercial HVAC maintenance will improve the air quality in your facility. You’ll be providing a healthier environment for your building’s occupants. That’s especially beneficial to anyone with respiratory concerns.
  4. Commercial HVAC maintenance is good for the environment because an HVAC system that receives regular maintenance consumes less fuel.

What Does HVAC Maintenance Include?

There’s more to HVAC maintenance than replacing filters. A certified and trained professional will provide a full inspection and identify any potential problems. A maintenance visit includes the following:

  • Examination of fuel lines and all points of connection
  • Inspection of exhaust outlets to check for leaks, corrosion, and other damage
  • A check of all electrical connections and voltage
  • Lubrication of all moving parts
  • Ensuring the correct amount of refrigerant is in the air conditioner

Our Commercial Fueling Services

Do you also manage a fleet of vehicles? Black Bear offers the following commercial services to businesses in the Sullivan County area:

With Black Bear fuel services, you’ll get quality, competitive pricing, and reliability.

Black Bear Works for Your Business

Let Black Bear maintain and repair your facility’s HVAC equipment. We’re Sullivan County’s first choice for HVAC installation, maintenance, and service. Our clients’ comfort is our top priority.

Contact us today to learn more.

Is It a Good Choice for Your Home?

heating oil new yorkIs Oil Heat the right choice for your Sullivan County home? In a word, yes. Oil heat is a safe and affordable way to heat your home. You can feel good about being a heating oil customer, and you can feel even better as a customer of Black Bear Fuel Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer our customers a competitive heating oil price, reliable delivery, and convenient payment options. So make us your go-to source for home heating oil.

The Benefits of Heating Oil

There are a number of benefits to using home heating oil in your New York home, and safety is one of them. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits heating oil offers:

  • It’s safe. Oil cannot explode. It only becomes combustible once it’s been vaporized by an oil burner at temperatures above 140° Fahrenheit. Additionally, if there is a malfunction, safety devices within your unit are designed to shut your furnace or boiler off before carbon monoxide poisoning becomes a risk.
  • It’s clean. Heating oil has gotten progressively cleaner and more efficient for New York homeowners over the past few decades. And it keeps getting better. Much of the heating oil being used today has an ultra-low sulfur content. That’s the premium clean-burning heating oil that Black Bear delivers.
  • It’s efficient. New oil heat systems are incredibly efficient, clocking in with efficiency ratings as high as 95%. This means you get more warmth using less fuel. That can add up to an annual savings of 30% on average.
  • It’s more efficient. Heating oil burns up to 20% more efficiently than gas, and it’s 30% more efficient than electricity.
  • It’s good for your system. Because of the premium heating oil Black Bear delivers, your heating system will run more cleanly and that can help extend the life of your home heating system.

With so many benefits to heating oil, you can feel good about using it in your home. And when Black Bear is your heating oil provider, you’ll get prompt, safe, and effective heating oil deliveries.

Call the Bear, we’ll be there!

Black Bear Fuel Oil provides reliable heating oil delivery to our customers in northern Orange County, Sullivan County, and eastern Ulster County. To see if your New York neighborhood is in our service area, enter your ZIP Code here.

Contact us today to find out what Black Bear can do for you. Your comfort is our priority! 

How to Keep It Cool This Summer

central air service new yorkIn terms of temperature, this has already been a record-breaking summer across the country. Here in Sullivan County, we’ve also had some scorchers. Hopefully, you’ve already had a maintenance visit from Black Bear for your AC system and you know your air conditioner is primed and ready to work efficiently for you all summer long. But there are still some things you should know about how high summer temps can affect your air conditioner and what you can do to offset the burden on your cooling system when the weather really heats up.

High Temps & ACs

The hotter it gets, the harder your AC has to work to keep you and your family cool and comfortable. Last month already brought some really hot days. And this month is likely to be just as hot if not hotter. Those high temps can put a strain on your cooling system.

Here are some of the ways soaring temps affect your AC:

  1. Overburdened power substations can cause your air conditioner to fail for hours upon hours (possibly even days).
  2. High heat can negatively affect the longevity of your AC’s capacitors. These are electronic components that control motors in your cooling system that are key to its operation.
  3. If the high temps persist, your AC’s motors may burn out from overuse.

Help Your AC

There are a number of ways you can help your AC to work as efficiently as possible while reducing its workload.

  1. Close blinds and curtains to the sun during the day. This will stop the sunlight from heating up your home and forcing your AC to work harder to keep things cool.
  2. Check and change your air conditioner’s filter regularly (more frequently if you have pets) to help it run more efficiently.
  3. Use a programmable or smart thermostat. When you are home and awake, set the thermostat on the air conditioning to 78°F. When your home will be empty, set the thermostat to 85°F.
  4. Make sure your home is well insulated.

Keep Cool with Black Bear

If you haven’t yet, contact Black Bear to schedule a maintenance visit. That’s another way to make sure it’s in good shape and running as efficiently as possible. Our technicians can perform preventative maintenance and correct any potential problems. As part of your maintenance visit, we’ll also check the refrigerant levels to ensure there are no leaks, clean and tighten ducts and connectors, and oil up the motor within the AC unit.

Customers count on Black Bear Fuel Oil, Plumbing, Heating & Air Conditioning for affordability, quality service, and efficiency. Black Bear serves customers in Sullivan County and parts of Ulster and Orange Counties.

Keep it cool this summer. If you’re overdue for a maintenance visit, call the Bear, and we’ll be there!

Advice from the Plumbing Experts

flood cleanup new york

Summer is a great time to head to the pool. However, you don’t want a flood to create a pool of water in your basement.

Most basement floods are caused by an excess of water pressure in the soil surrounding your foundation. The cause of that pressure is usually intense. It can be the result of saturating rainfall or a concentration of water directed at the base of your house from gutters and downspouts. Improper window installation can also lead to flooding.

Eventually, that water pressure will cause cracks in your home’s foundation, walls, and floors, which could lead to ongoing water and flooding problems. So, how do you prevent these problems? And what should you do if you have a basement flood? Here are some tips.

Preventing Basement Flooding

Preventing a flood in your basement begins with addressing home plumbing basics and having a fundamental understanding of the mechanics of your Sullivan County home.

Especially if your basement is prone to flooding, here are some steps you should take:

  • Be proactive. Hire a professional plumber before the worst happens. One of Black Bear’s plumbing experts can identify any flood risks and problem areas in your home by performing a complete inspection of your drainage and plumbing systems, as well as your property.
  • Know your responsibilities. You’re responsible for your household plumbing (and what you put into it), along with pipeline connections up to your property line. Your municipality is responsible for anything that happens between your property line and the sewer main. Make sure you have the contact information for your municipality.
  • Look for and seal foundation cracks. You should seal minor cracks from inside your basement. If you have substantial exterior cracks, you’ll probably need to hire a professional contractor.
  • Regularly check your walls and floors. Water issues can eventually cause structural problems to walls and floors, which increase flooding risks. Look for signs of water damage and deal with them quickly.
  • Maintain your gutters and downspouts. Having efficient roof drainage is a key to managing flooding risks. Clogs, cracks, and other issues with your roof drainage system can speed runoff and cause pooling that could lead to sewer back-ups and water problems inside your house. Water should discharge as far away as possible from your foundation. You may want to invest in downspout extensions. And always discharge water to splash pads or grassy areas of your property rather than your sanitary system.
  • Keep street catch basins clear. Street catch basins and storm sewer grates drain water into the storm sewer. If these basins get blocked, they can cause big problems. Be sure to keep them clear.
  • Check your policy. Review your homeowner’s policy and be clear on what is and isn’t covered in the event of a flood.
  • Have good water use habits.
    • During a storm, avoid high water volume activities (running your dishwasher, washing machine, etc.).
    • Avoid pouring grease down your drains. These materials eventually cool, solidify, and accumulate in your piping system or the sewer main and can cause a sewage backup.
    • Use your toilets properly. Make sure only human waste and toilet paper gets flushed.

Tips for If Your Basement Floods

If your basement does flood, here’s what to do:

  • Don’t panic. Work diligently, but calmly.
  • Contact your municipal water department. Report your flood to your local government. This may lead to more resources being allocated to understanding and fixing the problems in your neighborhood.
  • Contact your plumber. One of Black Bear’s plumbing experts can check to make sure all your plumbing systems are operating correctly.
  • Clean and disinfect. Protect your hands, eyes, and feet during any flood cleanup. Sewer drains can contain toxic contaminants. Mix eight tablespoons of liquid chlorine bleach with one gallon of water to disinfect all surfaces flood water has reached.
  • Throw out questionable items. Take a photo of ruined items for insurance claims purposes, but don’t risk your safety by keeping them in your home.
  • Remove damaged drywall. To minimize the possibility of mold growth, remove all flooded drywall within 24 hours of the flood.
  • NEVER touch electrical items in standing water. Safety first!

Black Bear Is Here for You

Whatever your plumbing needs, Black Bear’s experts are here for you in northern Orange County, Sullivan County, and eastern Ulster County. To see if your New York neighborhood is in our service area, enter your ZIP Code here.

Contact Black Bear today to learn more about professional plumbing services in Sullivan County, New York!

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