Catastrophe Services, Inc. Blog

• April 29, 2016 • No comments yet

At Catastrophe Services, we’re your restoration specialists in Columbia, SC.

When disaster strikes in Columbia, throughout South Carolina, or in the Augusta, GA, area, we’ll help restore your property – and your life – to its previous condition. But we’d rather you didn’t need us, so make sure you complete these essential maintenance tasks this spring. A little work now will save a lot of time and money later.

Clean your gutters. If we could repeat this ten more times, we would—clogged gutters are the source of massive amounts of water damage.

Prepare your air conditioner. Trim plants and shrubs away from your central air conditioning unit. Contact a professional to change the filter, clean the coils, and unclog blocked lines if necessary. (Depending on experience, you may be able to do this yourself.) Remember that window unit filters should be changed every 60-90 days.

Change your furnace filter. Why wait to get ready for fall?

Check smoke & carbon monoxide detectors. There should be at least one (preferably more) working detector on each level of your house. Replace batteries as necessary.

Re-stain & seal wood decks or outbuildings. It’s your best protection against rotting structures.

It’s a pleasure to be your Columbia, SC home restoration specialists—we take great joy in helping our neighbors recover from disaster. But we’d much rather keep disaster at bay, so click through above for more maintenance tips, and enjoy the spring!

• April 13, 2016 • No comments yet

March saw Severe Weather & Flood Safety Awareness Week in South Carolina.

We don’t need to tell you why its lessons are so important this year. The commemoration has passed, but as summer approaches, take a moment to get reacquainted with severe weather and flood safety awareness in South Carolina.

Get ready. Prepare an emergency kit and develop an emergency plan with your family.

Watch & listen. Pay attention to media reports. A severe weather watch means a weather event is possible or likely in your area. A warning means severe weather is imminent or occurring. It requires immediate action.

Act quickly. When faced with heavy rain or flooding events, move to higher ground and stay there. Always heed evacuation orders. Never wade or drive into floodwater.

Your family’s wellbeing is our first priority. But if a storm damages your home or business, Catastrophe Service will restore your property quickly and safely.

Our specialty is South Carolina storm damage repair and restoration. From wind and water damage to mold, biohazards, and other dangers caused by severe weather, Catastrophe Services will restore your property to its previous condition or better.

Do you have questions about storm damage repair in SC or Augusta, GA? Give us a call at 800-952-6106. And, in the meantime, stay safe.

• March 22, 2016 • No comments yet

CSI is your water damage cleanup, restoration, and repair specialist in Columbia, SC. From burst pipes to storm or fire-related water damage, our specialists will help you get your life back.

The first step to restoring water damage is classifying it. When you call us for water damage repair, we’ll place your emergency in one of these categories:

1. Clean water. This is a fresh water supply line like in a kitchen or bathroom. It doesn’t post a substantial risk to humans.

2. Gray water has light contamination. This includes sump pump failure, washing machine backups, etc.

3. Black water—sewage or floodwater—is a serious biohazard.

Make Catastrophe Services your first call for water damage repair in Columbia, throughout South Carolina, and in parts of Georgia.

Furniture stains and paper goods swell within minutes of flooding, and the damage quickly gets worse—so brings us in as soon as you can.

We’ll dry you out!

• March 22, 2016 • No comments yet

The way to prevent fire damage in your Columbia, SC home?

Prevent fires! And since warm weather isn’t consistently with us yet, the biggest fire threat comes from heating sources. Read on for tips on how to keep your home safe, adapted from the National Fire Protection Association.

Be space heater smart. Put them on a flat, uncarpeted floor. Use according to manufacturer instructions at the lowest comfortable setting, and keep anything flammable at least three feet away. Steer kids and pets clear, too. Turn heaters off when leaving the house or going to bed.

Learn to extinguish your fireplace. Water isn’t enough. Stir and flatten the embers, then dump ash on them. When the fire is low, douse it with baking soda or sand. Wait to ensure the fire is out, then use water if necessary. After several hours, scoop the ashes into a metal container and store in a safe place outside your home.

Never use your oven to keep warm. No further explanation needed. Just don’t. Using an oven to keep warm is extremely dangerous.

Test smoke alarms monthly. All it takes is standing on a chair and pressing the test button. Batteries low? Don’t wait to replace them!

Catastrophe Services is your partner for fire damage repair in Columbia, SC. But we’d rather you didn’t need us, so click above for more fire safety tips!

• March 2, 2016 • No comments yet

It may feel like spring, but we’re not quite there yet.

Snow, ice, and damaging winter weather might not have the immediate impact of hurricanes, but winter can be just as damaging—so keep these tips in mind as we ride out the season.

Check your roof. Cold nights and warm days can push your roof to the breaking point. Replace buckled, broken, or missing shingles immediately, and make sure caulk is tight around chimneys, vents, skylights, etc. This is cheap and easy if you have experience working on roofs and the help to do it safely, but we recommend using a professional.

Manage your gutters. Are they clean? Do you have ice dams? (Large icicles often indicate dams.) There’s no substitute for getting up on a ladder to check, or having a professional do it for you. Watch for gutters that are leaky, dislodged, or improperly pitched, too. Downspouts should be extended 4-5 feet from the house.

Inspect the fabric. Look for cracks in foundations, driveways, window frames, and other places that get hammered by water. Unlike the problems above, they can wait to be fixed until warmer weather—but don’t forget!

Catastrophe Services is your partner for winter storm damage in South Carolina. When disaster strikes, we help you get your life back—but we prefer keeping it away entirely!

• February 20, 2016 • No comments yet

If you take showers, you know what mold looks like: the gritty black stuff that collects between your bathroom tiles.

If you can’t see mold, though, it doesn’t mean it’s not there—or that you’re not in danger from it. Left unchecked, mold is more than ugly; it’s a danger to your home’s architectural integrity and your health.

Here are some tips on mold detection and mold remediation in Columbia, SC.

Odor. If you’ve been in a damp basement, then you’ve smelled mold. But mold growth that’s big enough to smell is already a serious problem. Consult a mold remediation specialist.

Sight. See a moldy patch? Don’t put off removing it, because it will spread.

Danger Signs. That tiny leak is more than an annoyance—it will draw mold. Sagging ceilings or bowed walls are strong mold warning signs, as is any area of your home that draws rain or condensation. A mold remediation specialist can help you stop mold in its tracks and reconfigure your home to guard against future growth.

Be Safe. Be proactive against mold: check pipe insulation, HVAC lines, gutters, and other potential leak areas at least once a year.

Stay Healthy. If you’re suddenly plagued by unexplained asthma, allergies, headaches, dizziness, memory loss, or other symptoms, see a doctor. These could be signs of mold infestation.

Catastrophe Services is your mold remediation specialist in Columbia and across South Carolina. Working with you and your insurance company, we help restore your property to its previous state—or better. If you have questions about mold remediation in South Carolina, give us a call at 800-952-6106.

• January 22, 2016 • No comments yet

After the year we’ve had in South Carolina, basement flooding is a sore subject. So accept our apologies, please, but with spring rains coming, it’s all the more reason to revisit how to prevent and mitigate basement floods in SC.

Keep your eyes open. Are there cracks in your foundation? Are windows broken or badly insulated? Get professional help. Also make sure your gutters are clean, with runoff points far from the building. If puddles form at runoff points, your soil is probably saturated. Consult a landscaper or plumber to help with drainage.

Guard your foundation. Protecting your foundation from seepage or floods depends on the water threat, your location, and the age of your home. Many concrete waterproofing methods are available, but consult a qualified concrete, foundation, or waterproofing contractor before proceeding.

If a flood has occurred, don’t enter the basement until the electricity has been shut off and you’re sure that no open circuits are in the area. Don’t touch any electrical equipment while standing in water. Remove excess water with buckets or a wet vac where possible. Call your insurance company and call us to learn more about water damage restoration.

Repairing your flood-damaged basement requires professional help. Even minor floods can cause serious mold issues, which threaten your health, the building’s value, and its architectural integrity. After salvaging property and repairing the fabric, a disaster recovery specialist will make sure there’s no mold damage.

If you have a flood-damaged basement in South Carolina, Catastrophe Services will restore it to its previous condition, or better. Give us a call at 803-788-1800. It’s our business to help you get your life back.

• January 15, 2016 • No comments yet

We normally devote this space to practical, hands-on disaster preparation and response—things like emergency kits and flood warnings. But since storm damage repair is expensive, and South Carolina has rarely faced such severe weather as we did in 2015, we’re going to offer a few tips on saving money.

Use windfalls wisely. Get a bonus from work? An inheritance or gift? Use a third to pay debt, a third for present costs, and save a third for the future.

Try to keep a slush fund. It’s easier said than done, but try to keep a slush fund handy—a money-market savings account specifically devoted to emergencies.

Lose the debit card. A radical step? Sure. But by making tiny purchases easy—think about all those late-night pizzas and candy bars—your debit card may cost your money. Figure out a cash budget for the week and stick to it.

Invest. Again, it’s not always easy. But investing 6 percent of your monthly income will leave you a good cushion for the future.

If storm damage strikes you, Catastrophe Services will work with you and your insurance company to restore your property to its previous condition or better. We’re cost-effective, and our record across South Carolina speaks for itself; but insurance doesn’t always cover doing the job right. Financial preparedness is the first step to a smooth storm damage repair process.

Do you have questions about storm damage repair in South Carolina? Call us. We’re here to help.

• January 1, 2016 • No comments yet

You are used to us sharing tips on coping with major disasters like fires, floods, and hurricanes. But are you prepared for the most common weather event of all?

Thunderstorms can cause catastrophic damage to life and property. Use these tips, adapted from the American Red Cross, to make sure you don’t become one of the countless people who deal with storm damage in South Carolina.

  • Understand warnings. A Severe Thunderstorm Watch means that storms are possible, while warnings mean they are in progress and imminent.
  • Stay indoors. Most lightning strikes occur in areas without rain. If you can hear thunder, you’re in danger from lightning.
  • Avoid electrical equipment as much as possible. Don’t take baths or showers during storms.
  • If you’re outside and can’t take shelter, avoid high ground, trees, and metal objects.
  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed.
  • Install lightning rods only after consulting with your local fire department.
  • Assemble at emergency preparedness kit and keep it current in case evacuation is necessary.
  • Never drive through flooded areas.
  • Call 911 to report downed power lines or the smell of natural gas.

2015 saw severe storm damage across South Carolina. If it touched you, give Catastrophe Services a call—we heal homes, restore businesses, and help you get your life back on track.

• January 1, 2016 • No comments yet

Just as South Carolina begins to heal from the historic floods of October 2015, more flooding has been reported upstate.

On December 30 the South Carolina Highway Patrol reported flooding on many roads in Greenville, Cherokee, Greenwood, Spartanburg, and Laurens counties. A full list of affected roads is here. [LINK: http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/30852755/flooding-reported-across-upstate]

Avoid flooded roads, as cars can be swept away by water.

Greenwood County appears to be worst affected; the American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Main Street United Methodist Church, 211 North Main Street, Greenwood.

Remember flood defenses:

  • Assemble a family emergency kit.
  • Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.
  • Heed flood warnings and head to higher ground.
  • Never drive or wade in floodwaters. If necessary, abandon your car and head to high ground.
  • Keep kids out of floodwater.
  • Be especially cautious at night, when it’s hard to recognize rising water.

Catastrophe Services joins with our neighbors to repair storm damage in South Carolina. If you’ve been affected by South Carolina storm damage, give us a call—we heal homes, restore businesses, and help you get your life back on track.

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