Catastrophe Services, Inc. Blog

• June 3, 2015 • No comments yet

We’re not just your South Carolina storm damage repair specialists; we understand that restoration and reconstruction starts with your family. If you’re not safe and happy, nothing else matters. So this hurricane season, re-examine your emergency kit.

You do have one, right? Because with a storm on the horizon, packing the kids and pets in the car and heading for high ground doesn’t count as a plan. A few fresh, common sense supplies can make all the difference in your health and peace of mind, so read on for our tips on a strong emergency kit, adapted from the American Red Cross.

  • Cash
  • Vital documents: passports, birth certificates, Social Security cards, etc.
  • At least two battery-operated flashlights
  • A battery-operated radio tuned to your local news/weather station
  • One gallon of bottled water per day per adult. Try to budget for a week.
  • Canned goods, crackers, peanut butter, pet food, and other non-perishables
  • Clothing & blankets
  • Prescription drugs and other medicines
  • Sanitation: soap, hand sanitizer, toilet paper, etc.
  • Basic tools: hammer, duct tape, screwdrivers, pliers, knife, etc.
  • Entertainment: books, cards, board games, etc.

Select two places for your family to meet if separated; one in or near your home, the other a landmark like a school or church. Make sure each family member knows your plan, and ask neighbors to help your kids and pets along if necessary.

Remember that after a storm phones, ATMs, internet, and other electronic resources often won’t work for days or weeks, so your emergency kit should be enough to sustain your family until you can return home or relief efforts begin.

Storm damage cleanup in South Carolina a long and often complicated process. We hope you don’t need your hurricane emergency kit, but if so make it strong enough to lean on while we help restore your property and reconstruct your life.

Got hurricane or other disaster restoration questions in South Carolina? Give us a call at 1 (800) 952-6106. We look forward to hearing from you.

• May 2, 2015 • No comments yet

There are a variety of components that can be directly attributed to high humidity in your home. Air with humidity levels as low as 50% can drastically reduce your comfort and also causes permanent damage to your house. Using a dehumidifier not only keeps your home fresh and clean, it also can promote wellness and protect your home’s integrity. If you’re considering dehumidifier rentals in Charleston, SC, here are some other benefits:

  1. Keeps Out Mold and Dust Mites

Mold and dust mites thrive on moisture. It may sound icky, but your home could be a haven for these two allergens. Using a dehumidifier can dry out the air and keep mold spores and dust mites at bay, resulting in less coughing and allergy attacks.

  1. Increased Air Quality

Humidity decreases air quality by allowing dirt, dust, mold, and other allergens to thrive. The higher the humidity is, the more likely an allergic reaction can be triggered by these pesky indoor pollutants.

  1. Damaging Your Home and Furniture

The interior of your home is constantly combating moisture. Humid air acts as a tipping point in the favor of mold, rot and fungus, and leaves your home vulnerable. Your flooring, cabinets, and wooden furnishings can all be damaged if you do not use a dehumidifier.

Dehumidifiers offer a plethora of benefits to any home owner or renter. They promote air quality and reduce your allergy attacks, while protecting your home. If you are in the market for dehumidifier rentals in Charleston, SC, keep these benefits in mind.

• April 27, 2015 • No comments yet

Properly cleaning and maintaining your own dehumidifier will help you save time and money by preventing costly repairs in the future. We have some simple tips on how to clean your dehumidifier. And just in case your dehumidifier breaks, we’ll also tell you who to call for a dehumidifier rental in Charleston, SC.

The sole purpose of a de-humidifier is to remove excess moisture from the air and reduce the problems of mold and mildew. It requires regular cleaning and maintenance or else it could ice up, overflow, become noisy, ineffective, or fail completely. Therefore, you should begin cleaning your dehumidifier by removing the water collection bucket and putting it aside. Then, you should remove the filter from the rear of the machine, which can often be cleaned and reused. To clean it, fill up your sink with enough hot water to submerge the filter and soak it for 15 minutes. Rinse it off and then hang it to dry.

Next, you should remove the rear grille from the main body as well as the metal cover to access the inside. If you’re not sure how to remove the metal cover, look for two to three screws along the base. Once the inside is exposed, use a narrow brush to remove surface dust and dirt from the inner coils, but avoid hitting the inner fins as they could break.

Wipe dirt from the fan blades and vacuum all surfaces including the back of the grille and assembly. Then, drain any water left in the base and allow it to dry. When it’s completely dry, plug in and test its function.

If your dehumidifier is broken, consider a dehumidifier rental in Charleston, SC with us. We rent out commercial dehumidifiers and have experienced technicians on hand to solve your water damage problems. Call us at 803.788.1800 to learn more.

• March 30, 2015 • No comments yet

Suffering from the aftermath of a severe leak?   Whether it’s your roof, windows or basement that needs clean up and repair here’s what to do in case of water damage, including finding a dehumidifier rental in Charleston SC.

1. If it’s immediately after the pipes broke and the water has poured out, the first thing you should do is stop the water. Shut off the main water valve, the natural gas and electricity to help prevent anymore damage from occurring. If your carpet or flooring is wet, do not use any electrical appliances until all the water is gone in order to prevent electrocution. Make sure everyone in the house knows where the shut off valve and circuit breaker is for instances like these.

2. Afterwards, get the water out as quickly as you can and get your belongings to a dry location. Get up as much water as you can with a dehumidifier or by mopping or wiping with towels. Remove area rugs, wash your clothes, and strategically place fans to circulate the air and help everything dry. Fast and safe action will help prevent further damage, help you save more of your belongings and minimize time and cost of repairs.

3. Next, you should call your landlord or a plumber and file a claim as soon as possible. If you have renter’s insurance, document and photograph the damage to show to your landlord. Finally, we’d recommend renting a dehumidifier to help absorb the water and prevent any more damage. Water damage can be detrimental and costly, so it’s definitely worth finding a dehumidifier rental in Charleston, SC!

 

• March 14, 2015 • No comments yet

You know spring has sprung in Charleston when… you have water damage in your basement that needs to be cleaned up, right? And if you don’t have water damage yet, here are some tips for getting your home ready for spring.

Start with doing all the things that direct water away from the house. The big one here is to clean the gutters and make sure everything is oriented to pushing water away from the house. One part of this is to inspect the house from the outside – look for roof and siding areas that need attention.

Schedule that maintenance. Need painting? Figure out everything from color to contractor. The summer can disappear fast – especially if you are booking people to work on the house. Call them now before their schedules get filled up.

Hack back those tree limbs that are too close to the house. Or get a professional to do the arbor work. Leaves that can fall on the roof can lead to build up and problems, not to mention serving as the perfect ladder for squirrels. Trees should be well back from the house.

Lastly, be prepared for water damage in your basement needing a cleanup if it does occur. That can mean calling us. We offer advice, equipment rentals, and trained personnel to get you back to the high and dry.

• February 18, 2015 • No comments yet

In our never-ending quest to avert the need for water damage repair in Greenville, SC, we want to focus on winterizing your roof as we head into spring. If you think it’s too early to start planning, think again. If you’re going to get substantial work done on your roof before next winter, start planning now and schedule it as soon as possible. Many roofers are booking into the fall already and you may have to act quickly to get work done before next winter. Here are some tips to consider.

As the weather clears, it’s a great time to inspect your home because you can jump on any new damage you find. The easiest place to start, of course, is inside. Look for stains and drips that might signal a leaking roof. Look outside for dislodged bricks or siding. As you check the roof, look carefully around any penetrations such as skylights, pitch pockets, vent pipes, etc.

Remove any loose material that’s on the roof. This will make it easier to see the repairs that are needed.

Clean out the gutters. Clogged gutters can add strain to your roof.

Test out any HVAC or other systems that have components on the rooftop. Make sure the equipment is not rusting and is secured to the roof. Check any flashings surrounding the machinery.

If you have to clean snow and ice from the roof, follow sensible safety precautions. Don’t do it in the dark. Aim to do it around midday when it’s warmest. And work with a buddy. It’s terribly important to have help if you need it.

Lastly, as with so many maintenance issues, the sooner you get a roof fixed the smaller the costs will be. Water damage repair in Greenville, SC occurs with alarming frequency, and those who wait longest spend the most.

• February 18, 2015 • No comments yet

Wait.  When hurricane season is months away, why read an article in the wintertime about disaster services in Columbia, SC?  We’re taking a look now because how fast a company or family can bounce back from a hurricane depends on how much planning they’ve done in advance. The earlier you start, the better off you’ll be.

Let’s start with IT prep. You might think this only applies to companies, but what if your computer and backup drive are in the same place and both get destroyed? A residence may not have millions of records on which thousands of customers depend, but your work in progress, your memorabilia, and your plans need protection. Where can you store a backup offsite? And what’s the plan if you do lose computer hardware? It’s worth having that thought through ahead of time.

Second, how long can you go without power? What’s the plan when an outage exceeds that limit? Do you need a generator? If you already have one, is it in working order? Do you have gas stored securely in case the local gas stations are out of power or out of gas? In short, how fast can you get that generator up and running? Fixing one in the dark is not a good plan.

Third, think protection. How will you protect your home and what supplies do you need ahead of time? Running to the hardware store in the middle of a hurricane warning is something to avoid – if you can.

Fourth, practice. Spend an hour running through prep for a hurricane and what you will be doing when the wind blows and in the aftermath. This will uncover gaps in the planning. More important, practice as a family or company together, so everyone knows the plan, knows where to meet, etc. Getting feedback from participants not only improves the plan, it creates engagement – people are invested in doing this well. Repeat this periodically to ingrain the plan in everyone’s memory.

Lastly, as the Ghostbusters movie put it, who you gonna call? Have a list of emergency numbers and friends in your cell phone and a plan to call friends if you need a place to stay and professionals to handle insurance and storm damage. And for disaster services in Columbia specifically, make sure Catastrophe Services are on your list: 800-952-6106.

• January 12, 2015 • No comments yet

A simple household leak can cause lasting and risky damage if not remediated correctly. Avoid this with a commercial dehumidifier rental in Charleston, SC.

Everybody gets soaked, gets their clothes wet, their pet wet, their kids wet. The solution is simple: wring them out and hang them to dry. Well, not the children or pets. But that simple solution can cloud our judgment when it comes to recovering from water damage in buildings. Just stop the leak or flood and wring them out, right?

It’s a little more complicated, and potentially a lot more complex, depending on the type of damage. Consider one dimension: time. It matters how long it takes for a structure to dry out. The faster the better, in terms of minimizing the damage. Water has weight. A lot of water can put pressure on a structure both by weight and because it often swells whatever it soaks. The longer that pressure remains, the weaker the structure can become. The longer something is wet, the more likely you are to have mold growing.

It can essentially become a race: how can you get a floor or building driest fastest? The worst answer is to wait it out. The best answer is to rent a commercial dehumidifier, or hire a professional to use one.

Then there is the question of what size dehumidifier you need. There are complex calculations involving relative humidity, what it is that needs drying out, etc. It’s best to talk to the folks at the commercial dehumidifier rental in Charleston, SC, or wherever you plan to rent from.

It’s easy to get educated quickly—which might be critical in certain situations. We’ll be glad to help assess what would work best.

• January 12, 2015 • No comments yet

Don’t let a roof leak creep up on you. Prevent the need for costly water damage restoration in Columbia, SC by following these simple roof maintenance tips.

First, just the way a carpenter frames a house; you want to frame the value of inspecting your roof regularly. It’s human nature to ponder one’s roof, wonder, “How much is this going to cost me,” and put off inspecting it because we just don’t want to face the cost.

Try this. Ask: how much will my five minute visual inspection save me? The answer depends on what you find, but the faster you jump on a roof problem the less it will cost you. A visual inspection at least twice a year is a good idea. Do it before the rough weather season and right afterwards. Or, do it any time that’s convenient. Take pictures each time so you can note any changes.

A moisture check should also be done annually or biannually. There are various techniques but the idea is to test how well your roofing material holds up when water is present. This gives you added information on top of a visual inspection.

Completing simple chores like cleaning out gutters and trimming away branches can extend roof life. And doing close inspections at opportune times (like when the house is being painted or an HVAC system is being repaired) can also save money.

You might wonder why we are writing this. After all, we make our living in part when people wait too long and need water damage restoration here in Columbia, SC. And if you’re one of those people who needs that kind of help with their roof, call us—our experience, expertise and care stretch back decades.

But if your roof hasn’t reached that stage yet, now’s your chance to cut us out of the picture by being proactive. We have so much work as it is. The reason we’re suggesting you carry out an inspection now is that it’s just a neighborly thing to do to help people save money.

Go check it out; don’t be afraid to save money. And if you need some help with water damage restoration here in Columbia, SC and the surrounding area, we’re here.

• 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.

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