Catastrophe Services, Inc. Blog

Water Damage

• 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!

• 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.

• August 5, 2015 • No comments yet

Whether it’s a broken pipe or storm runoff, dealing with a water damage basement cleanup is serious business.

Significant standing water calls for immediate professional help, of course; we’ve covered what to do in an emergency. But we want to emphasize that any flooding event carries the risk for mold that you can’t see. That’s why it’s important to consult your insurance company and a disaster restoration specialist.

During water damage basement cleanup in Columbia or elsewhere, Catastrophe Services will look for mold in out-of-reach places like inside walls, ceilings, and ductwork and underneath cabinets or sub-flooring. If we suspect mold, we’ll test air quality to gauge the severity of the problem and then later to ensure it’s been eradicated.

Again, mold can grow from even minor flooding events—and quickly become a serious structural and health threat. Keep mold at bay by consulting your insurance company and a disaster restoration specialist for water damage basement cleanup.

Got questions about water damage basement cleanup in Columbia or elsewhere in South Carolina? Give us a call. We’re happy to hear from you.

• June 3, 2015 • No comments yet

People often underestimate the power of water damage.

Wind topples trees, fire devours homes, but water isn’t so violent. Things dry out, right?

If only it were so easy. A small amount of floodwater can render your home uninhabitable for weeks, months, or more. Even if your possessions escape damage, mold can invade your walls and foundation, posing a serious health risk.

Mitigating water damage requires quick action. Here’s what you should do (and what to avoid) while waiting for a Catastrophe Services Water Damage specialist to arrive:

  • Ventilate wet areas. If no mold is present, use air conditioning.
  • Use sponges, towels, or other means to soak up standing water from flat surfaces.
  • Remove carpets where wood floors are at risk.
  • Spread out wet fabric to dry.
  • Unplug and blow-dry appliances.
  • Freeze books and paper to kill mold.
  • Open drawers, closets, and cabinets.
  • Raise furniture from the floor to prevent stains.

Proceed with caution:

  • Never enter rooms with sagging ceilings.
  • Don’t operate appliances on wet floors.
  • Only use heat drying in ventilated spaces.

Taking these steps ahead of a Catastrophe Services Water Damage Specialist will help ensure a quick, successful water damage restoration.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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.

• 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!

© 2014 - Catastrophe Services, Inc.