Catastrophe Services, Inc. Blog

June 2014

• June 21, 2014 • No comments yet

You already know that wind damage in Charleston or Columbia, South Carolina can be huge. At Catastrophe Services, we’re in the business of cleaning up. But here’s a secret to reducing the likelihood you’ll ever need us: prior preparation.

But what can you do against a windstorm that hasn’t even hit yet? Plenty, starting from the top, literally. Think about your roof first—can it handle high velocity winds? Don’t guess—have it inspected. An up close review can determine if the shingles are nailed down, whether the shingles actually meet building code. They can also inspect the connection between the roof and walls, and make sure all pipes, HVAC units, and skylights are properly secured.

Next check out the exterior walls. Cracks and holes can let wind get in and do damage. Make sure siding is tightly attached and windows are securely fit.

Double check your doors—they should be triple hinged and have a deadbolt for protection. Lastly, if you have overhead doors, make sure they are well-braced to withstand wind.

Sound like a lot of work? Not as much as calling us after a storm. Need some help preparing? Give us a call; we’d rather help sooner than later.

• June 5, 2014 • No comments yet

Okay, you’ve done the smart thing, called in the experts to help clean up after a fire. Now what? Here’s how you can pitch in and make a difference—safely.

First, open the windows if that’s weather appropriate.

Second, think about what NOT to do. Don’t enter a building that is unsafe. Don’t use electrical equipment (computers, kitchen appliances, anything) until they have been checked and cleaned. Don’t eat food that’s been exposed to heat, even if it’s canned.

Recognize that some things respond well to cleaning rom fire and smoke damage. Metal fixtures like faucets can be cleaned with detergent. Hint: try coating them with Vaseline or oil.

Cleaning smoke damage is different from scrubbing dirt to clean something from everyday use. With drapes and upholstery, you want to brush or blow off the loose particles of smoke damage and debris, rather than rub them in with the elbow grease we are so familiar with.

Dry cleaning works well with clothes, depending on the damage. Send a few pieces out and see how they do.

Be ruthless about carpeting and furniture that is heavily damaged: it needs replacing.

If it is winter and there is no heat, drain the pipes and put antifreeze in the toilet bowl to prevent plumbing damage. And think about preventing further damage: hire a contractor to board up windows, etc. if repair work is delayed.

Ask for advice. It’s likely this is your first disaster—at least we hope so! Professionals have seen your situation often; they can guide you about how to proceed.

© 2014 - Catastrophe Services, Inc.