Catastrophe Services, Inc. Blog

• July 26, 2014 • No comments yet

If you’re looking to bounce back from disaster, we’re here to help, 24/7. But it’s often more than muscle power needed to clear debris. Sometimes you can get lucky, and a favored tree that’s heavily damaged is worth saving. Here are some tips to help:

First assess the damage—is the tree healthy besides the storm damage? You don’t want to rescue a rotting tree. Are 50% of a trees’ crown branches intact? This is the line that divides trees that could be worth saving from ones that are not.

Second, if the leaves are mostly gone, don’t reach for the fertilizer just yet. Give it some time to see if it starts to recover on its own.

Are major limbs broken? This will make recovery more difficult. Make sure any trimming or chainsaw work is done by qualified professionals.

Fourth, be on the look out for safety issues: look up and down for hanging wires, limbs, debris that might crash to the ground.

Whatever you do, don’t top the tree. This mistaken process is carried out to make the tree shorter and less prone to wind damage, but you cut off valuable growth in the process, often dealing it the final blow.

Lastly, make a (sometimes difficult) decision.

Need help? Give us a call. We can help decide what to remove and what to save.

• July 9, 2014 • No comments yet

Hugo, Gracie, Hazel. Did someone say hurricane? Tis the season, and Catastrophe Services, with offices in Columbia, Charleston, and Greenville, will be there for you—24/7. We hope you don’t get hit. But if you do, our job is to get you set right as fast as we can. One day, you’ll be able to tell stories about your experience. Our aim is to increase the likelihood that you’ll tell the part about the clean up with a smile on your face.

As Hurricane Arthur cruised by on Independence day, it’s tempting for south Carolinians to say, “Hurricanes, we don’t get hurricanes here.” But the truth is that they hit land fall in South Carolina on average once every 7 years. And these three monsters had winds of 125 to 160 miles an hour. 250,000 people were evacuated along the coast. And it isn’t only the coastal areas that get walloped, although they usually bear the brunt.

Take Hurricane Hugo that hit in 1989. The center moved far inland between Columbia and Sumter. 26 people died—just in our state—out of a total of 82 in the US. A week after Hugo hit, nearly 60,000 people were homeless because of 5,100 homes destroyed and 12,000 uninhabitable.

Nobody wants a hurricane. And it can be heart breaking to clean up after one. We’re here to work together.

• 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.

• May 16, 2014 • No comments yet

Mold removal in Greenville, South Carolina, and indeed anywhere, is both important and difficult. Catastrophe Services has the expertise and tools to get the job done.

The first tool you need is… a camera. That will allow you to record the damage in order to collect any insurance payment that may be due to cover it.

Test kits for mold can help tell precisely how big your problem is. A mold test kit can help identify the type of mold you are up against, and an air sample kit can identify how much mold there is.

Speed of response, as we note elsewhere, is crucial. For example, if drywall is left wet for more than a day, mold can start to grow inside it, requiring replacement to truly banish the mold.

Expert advice—from the company that handles this problem frequently—can respond the quickest. CSI brings its experience to bear when crafting a battle plan and jumping on the problem in order to get the best results.

And what a difference ridding a home or other building of mold can make, turning a structure that has been rendered useless by mold back into what it was designed for: your use.

• May 3, 2014 • No comments yet

Catastrophe Services is proud to announce expanded services to Greenville via its Mauldin office.

In a catastrophe, speed of response is critical. That principle has driven CSI to expand over its 25 years in business. Our mission is to serve clients as the leading force in recovery and restoration in South Carolina. Especially with water damage, the clock is ticking; the faster we get there, the faster we can minimize the damage—to materials, valuables and most importantly to the property’s structure.

Often a key factor in speed is the owner’s decision-making process. Valuable time can be lost just pondering the question: do I need expert help? The answer could well be no, and you’ll be fine with DIY. CSI can help you make that decision, making the rapid response even faster. And if DIY is the solution, CSI has the equipment for rental to make your work much more efficient. Whether it’s water extraction pumps or dehumidifiers or other disaster repair equipment, or our own expertise, we stand ready to back your decisions on how to bounce back fast.

Whether you need our help, we can make sure you make the right decision quickly.

• April 11, 2014 • No comments yet

People blow hot and cold on whether climate change is happening, but this much we can agree on: it’s been a tough winter. This year, spring cleaning is about a lot more than raking old leaves and planting our peas. From burst pipes to flooding and more, Catastrophe Services is having a busy season helping to clean up the mess and repair burst pipes and other damage.

For over 25 years we’ve been doing restoration work, water extraction, plumbing, you name it, to get properties back up to standard and put the smile back on owners’ faces.

Experience is crucial, along with a commitment to constantly improve what we do. We are a licensed EPA certified family business and the only restoration company in South Carolina to have a Certified Restorer (CR) and Water Loss Specialist (WLS) at every executive position.

A lot of our secret, beyond the years of know how, the latest equipment, and the drive to make it better, is getting the simple things right. Like being available 24/7—disasters rarely happen in the middle of sunny days, and they’re never cleaned up by 5 PM. So we are prepared to jump on any emergency at any time. Another secret—and this sounds so obvious once you hear it—is that we do it all, from fire to flooding, from wind damage to mold.

Contact us or call immediately at 800-052-6106, and our award-winning team can help you get out of the mess, get out of overwhelm, get back in control, and get back to where you need to be.

• April 11, 2014 • No comments yet

Winter may have been hard. But now spring has brought torrential rain—and can cause catastrophe—with flooding, damp basements and more.

Spring cleaning in South Carolina can be especially hard with a water damage basement cleanup.  First with water removal and then basement restoration could be more than you bargained for.

And as anyone who has been through this knows, it can be worse—sewage back ups, pipe breaks in hard to reach spots occurring at inconvenient times like the middle of the night… and more.

Check out Catastrophe Services with offices in Columbia, Charleston, Greenville, SC and also Augusta, GA; they make the daunting water damage basement cleanup doable—drying out carpets, dealing with mold, pumping that basement dry, and renovating wood floor damage.  You may need round the clock service depending on the scope of the problem and when it happened. Quick response 24/7 can minimize the damage. Don’t add tears to your flood when Catastrophe Services can get you back to square one faster than you thought possible.

• April 11, 2014 • No comments yet

Since 1989, Catastrophe Services Inc. has helped South Carolina bounce back from fire, smoke, flood, and other disasters. The temptation for many property owners used to be to just plunge in and start digging out. But CSI has changed that, bringing expertise to bear in assisting owners and tenants recover quickly.

Among CSI’s certifications is: Water Loss Specialist; Certified Mold Remediator; and CSI is an EPA Certified lead firm. A Better Business Bureau-accredited business, CSI is a winner of the Contractor Connection Excellence in Achievement Award, and is a certified restorer member of the National Institute of Disaster Restoration, receiving the highest possible honor for a contractor in the field of Reconstruction.

Catastrophe Services brings not just its expertise but also its speed to the job, recognizing that fast response day or night can be critical to averting further damage and to getting the customer’s world set right again.

25 years of service, commitment, and continuing education to improve catastrophe recovery have made the company what it is today.

© 2014 - Catastrophe Services, Inc.