Catastrophe Services, Inc. Blog

December 2014

• December 29, 2014 • No comments yet

Forecasts are predicting El Nino could impact Columbia this winter with above average precipitation. Homeowners should be prepared in the case for water damage repair. That’s because as the sea surface temperature (SST) warms up, storms grow bigger.

There’s a silver lining to being under constant threat of flooding, as is the case now in Columbia: you don’t have to wait for the next storm event and then hurriedly get inadequately prepared in the hours before it hits. Instead, you need to be prepared around the clock, throughout the year. That means you can prepare some now, get more prepared every month, escalating your preparedness far beyond what is possible if you were only starting to prepare for a storm when the warning was sounded.

Consider your ongoing preparedness, from developing a simple plan of how you would escape the flooding ahead of time to making sure things are stored in ways they won’t be destroyed by flooding. The more prepared you are, the freer you might be to take a leadership position and help others less fortunate when disaster hits.

Will you go so far as using sandbags? If so will you have them in advance?

How about learning what to do once the storm has passed? Who will you call to help clean up? Friends and relatives pitching in can be critical. If you need professional assistance—assessing structural damage, mold, doing major repairs, or just some advice—give us a call. We’ve worked on floods for decades and we have a passion for what we do: water damage repair in Columbia.

• December 29, 2014 • No comments yet

Columbia homeowners should think of safety first this holiday season. Review these easy and helpful tips from Catastrophe Services, Inc for avoiding fire damage repair in Coumbia this holiday.

Start with a state of mind. You hear the holiday fire tragedies every year. Someone left a wood stove unattended after stoking it too hot. Or electrical wires were left exposed and a fire starts. Or someone falls asleep smoking. And we feel a sense of sadness, perhaps incorrectly tinged with the self-confident sense that it just wouldn’t happen to me.

Being less confident could save your life. With 5 minutes of forethought you might be able to identify 5 or 10 things that could make the difference between life and death if a fire ever got started. Here are a few tips. How about extra smoke detectors? If you’re reaction is, “what do you mean ‘extra’, get out there quick and get some tonight!

If a fire did start, what’s your plan? Make sure you have one, everyone in the family knows it, and create a drill to practice. In a fire, there’s lots of distraction. By practicing a fire drill, you can eliminate a big one, the question, “What do I do now?” Consider asking your fire department for help in creating a drill.

Think about your wiring. Does it need inspecting? How about wires you can see—do you have any extension cords that have…more extension cords? That’s a hazard.

Do you heat with space heaters? Can they fall over? What happens if they do? They should be built to shut off immediately. If they don’t, replace them  Place some fire extinguishers near where fires might start, like the kitchen, the fireplace, etc. And replace extinguishers that are too old.

Holidays and candles go together. Set some simple rules: don’t leave a candle burning in a room alone. Keep them in candleholders, and the big squat ones on plates. And before you light one, answer this question: what are you doing with the match after it’s blown out? Make sure it’s really out by wetting it.

Be mindful of the odd tragedies that should never have happened as a way to keep your guard up. A few years ago, someone emptied a wood stove and left the bucket of ashes, with embers, close to the house. The house caught fire from wind blowing the embers and several family members who were asleep that night lost their lives in the fire.

The point is, if you keep asking, how can I prevent even unlikely fires from starting, you’ll have a safer holiday season.

It’s strange to say given that we are in the business of fire damage repair in Columbia, we are here for you, but we hope you never need to call us. Have a safe season.

 

• December 9, 2014 • No comments yet

Before you contact a home restoration company, there are some important things you need to know. Learn the facts about storm damage in Columbia, SC.  One good place to start assessing things is to categorize the damage. “Storm damage” encompasses a lot of different kinds of damage, all of which require a different approach.  Water damage is usually a factor in storms. There the goal is to wring it out and sort it out and sometimes throw it out with a variety of techniques and equipment.  Right on the heels of that same water damage can be mold growth. Removing it can look easy—just scrape it off, many will think. But if the goal is to remove it so it won’t grow back, and to get back to a surface that can be pained without showing stains, it’s a little more complicated.  Another type of storm damage in Columbia, SC, is structural. This can be caused by water, of course, but also by falling trees and other debris that can be hurled around in high wind storms.  When storm damage hits home in Columbia, SC, assessing how much damage you are facing can be more easily done by thinking along these types outlined here: water drying, mold removal, and structural damage.  Need a hand assessing the size of what you are confronting? Give us a call; we’ll be right over.

• December 9, 2014 • No comments yet

What’s the most important tip you can use when needing water damage repair in Greenville, SC—or anywhere? It’s simple: take 5 minutes and resist the urge to plunge in—yes, we know there is debris everywhere; we’ve been where you are at many times, or where you might find yourself one day, if you are reading this in preparation. Take the five minutes and do two rough calculations: how much will it cost me to do it myself, or if in a business, with my employees? The second question is, if you’re in a business, how much opportunity will I lose by focusing on damage repair instead of letting professionals do it?

We think of our job as not just water damage repair but as helping the customer put the mess behind them so they can get on with their business, their life, whatever they should be focusing on or enjoying, just as it was before the calamity happened.  Of course, you can do a great deal yourself—and we can supply equipment to help. But to get back on track, the first tip is to consider using professional muscle power behind the project, to get it over and done with fast.  But there also is a lot you can do to help, even if you rely on us. Think safety first—switch off the circuit breaker(s) in the area. Don’t use electrical equipment that’s designed to be in a dry place.  Make sure the source of the problem that’s causing the damage is blocked—a broken pipe, perhaps. If it’s not possible to stop the water coming in, call us quick.  Next, think about what you can save from damage or further damage. Time is critical; the longer things sit in water the worse it gets. Don’t trust your carpet. You might think it’s just damp, no big deal. But anything sitting on it like chair legs of furniture can wick up the water and get damaged. Move what furniture you can, put tarps under anything you can’t. And get inventive: try coasters under chair legs, or cups or anything that will create a barrier to the water in the carpet.  Soak up what you can—every wrung out towel helps get you just that much closer to dry.  Lastly, be ruthless. Toss what can’t be saved, quickly, to get it behind you emotionally. Make a record of what is lost for insurance purposes or other record keeping needs.  Homeowners who need water damage repair in Greenville, SC, can count on Catastrophe Services, Inc. CSI offers full service restoration and reconstruction throughout South Carolina and in parts of Georgia through our Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, SC and Augusta GA offices.

Call today for more information!

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