Call 1 (855) FLA-CAT1 | 855-352-2281 24/7 SERVICE

Restoring Your Floors after Water Damage

Restoring Your Floors after Water Damage

water damage restorationAny time your home encounters water damage, whether it’s from a natural disaster, leaky pipe, or other cause, the floor is bound to get wet. Even if the water damage is minimal and rest of the home manages to stay free from moisture, it’s important to make sure that your floors are properly cleaned and restored. Leaving your floors to air dry is an invitation for mold that can have damaging effects.
 
 

Restoring Carpeted Floors

Restoring carpeted floors may require different steps depending on the amount of time that the water sets in the carpet and the amount of water that saturates the carpet. If the carpets become completely saturated and set for a long period of time, it might be best to pull up the carpet and padding and replace it.

If the water is removed quickly, it may be possible to salvage the carpet. The padding should generally be replaced any time it soaks up moisture, but it may be possible to save the carpet by vacuuming the water out with a wet vacuum and using high powered fans to dry it out completely. After drying the carpet, it should cleaned thoroughly – and replaced if there are any signs of mold.

Restoring Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring stands up well to a small spill, but not to any amount of flooding. After water damage has occurred, it’s usually best to simply replace the laminate flooring than to try to repair it. Underlayment should also be removed and replaced to prevent mold growth. Laminate flooring is not only a breeding ground for mold when wet, it will also warp and change in appearance.

Restoring Hardwood Flooring

Hardwood flooring can be painful to remove and replace because of the cost that generally goes into installing the flooring in the first place. However, it can be tough to tell whether hardwood floors can be salvaged. In some cases, moisture can seep below hardwood floors in as little as 24 hours and cause unseen mold to grow.

It’s important to completely dry both hardwood and the sub-floor after water damage has occurred. It can be difficult to do so without special equipment and it can be tough to tell whether the floor has been completely dried after clean-up. For best results, it’s recommended to call in floor restoration specialists to help you clean and salvage your hardwood floors.

Restoring Tile Floors

Ceramic tile floors generally stand up the best to water damage. If the floors are properly installed, the water usually can’t seep through to the sub-floor. To determine whether this is the case, it may be prudent to remove a tile or two and inspect the subfloor. Alternatively, floor restoration professionals may be able to check the sub-floor without removing any tiles.

If water has damaged your home, calling floor restoration professionals may help you to save your flooring and money while protecting your family from harmful mold.

Is It Possible to Protect Your Home from a Tornado?

With tornadoes moving through California, Texas, and other Southern states, you may be wondering if there are steps that can be taken to protect your home from a tornado if one comes through Florida. The truth is that there are small things that can be done to prevent damage, but tornadoes can be extremely destructive and unpredictable. Knowing the following may help if a tornado comes your way.

 

Access Points Are the Weakest Points

Access points such as regular doors, windows, and garage doors are weaker and vulnerable to damage from tornadoes. Winds and debris are more likely to blow through windows and doors than walls. Bracing these points may help a little, but just knowing that these points are weaker can help keep family and precious belongings safe in the event of a tornado.

True Tornado Proofing Is Expensive and Difficult

A tornado is capable of lifting large objects into the air and moving them at high speeds, so tornado proofing requires protecting a structure from these projectiles. Tornado-proof glass and steel reinforced doors can protect the home from damage, but these are very expensive and not exactly user-friendly. Concrete walls are also better at withstanding tornado winds than other materials.

Maintenance Can Help Prevent Damage

While taking drastic measures to protect against tornadoes is not recommended for most homes due to the extreme costs, maintaining the home well can help to prevent some damage. Making sure that shrubbery is trimmed and debris is cleared can help to prevent branches or debris from coming through access points during a tornado. Making sure the roof is secure and that seals are tight can also help.

Protecting the Family Is Most Important

In the event of a tornado, it’s most important to make sure that the family is safe before worrying about the home or belongings. An internal room is safest if you are caught off guard, but a specifically designed safe room can be very secure without breaking the bank. An underground room is safer from winds and debris, but could be susceptible to flooding.

Making a plan with the family ahead of time can help to keep everyone safe if the tornado does come through. Securing important documents and keeping a bag with clothing and basics handy can help your family to stay comfortable during a catastrophe and recover quicker afterwards.

Actions to Take After a Tornado Watch Is Called

After a tornado watch is called, taking certain actions may help to keep your home and family safe:

  • Bring outdoor furniture and loose objects inside
  • Move heavy objects to the floor or low shelves
  • Move family, pets, and important items to an interior room
  • Keep medications, water, and non-perishable food items close
  • Keep doors and windows closed and latched

For more information about protecting your home from a tornado, or for restoration assistance after a tornado, call Florida Catastrophe Corp.

Safeguarding Important Documents in Case of Disaster

Safety Deposit BoxThinking about the possibility of losing important documents in a natural disaster is a tolling consideration. That being said, assuring that you’ve taking the necessary precautions to safeguard documents, photos and other irreplaceable documents will give you piece of mind in case catastrophe were to strike.

Here’s what you should keep in mind if you’re looking to store and save your most treasured documents.

Rent a Safe Deposit Box

Nothing is quite as secure as a bank’s safe deposit box. Not only do they verify your signature more than once and send a guard to view your items, they often take two different keys to open. Renting a space like this in a bank is ideal if burglary or fires are your top concerns. The obvious downfall here is that you’re only able to access your items when the bank is open.

Also, keep in mind that if you open a box with someone like a child of spouse, that they are signed into the contract. This ensures that they’ll be able to access the safe if something happens to you.

Resistant Boxes for the Home

There’s quite a variety of different fire resistant and waterproof containers for your home. File cabinets and safes that claim to be either usually have information about how much heat and water they are able to withstand. Be sure to review this information so you know how safe your items are.

DIY Safeguarding

In cases where your important paperwork is in danger, you can always think digital. By scanning documents and sending them to a secure email address (preferably one that you have access to), you will be able to pull up any lost documents with ease.

If original documents are what’s at stake, laminate them (to protect against water) and spray them well with fire retardant spray. It’s also a good idea to place them in high areas where disaster is harder to reach them.

In the end the decision is yours. Weigh the different options you have as you protect yourself and your family from the headache of lost social security cards, wills and more. No matter what you choose, you’ll be saving yourself quite a bit of trouble by being prepared.

There’s no way to predict the damage that a natural disaster will do to your home and personal items but know that Florida Catastrophe Corp. is here to help you bounce back from some of life’s most unexpected moments.

Cleaning Up Your Home after a Flood

Home Flood DamageFlooding can be devastating and can cause a lot of damage to a home. Whether flooding is caused by storms, ground water problems, or a broken pipe, it is important to clean and restore the home as quickly as possible after the flood in order to minimize mold damage and make the home safe for inhabitants. If your home has been flooded, take the following actions.

Turn Off Electricity and Water

Turning off the home’s main power supply can protect you and anyone else that will be entering the home. Turning off the water may prevent any further water damage from occurring, especially if the issue began with the home’s plumbing. If it is suspected that there may have been damage to the electrical lines, water lines, or any other utilities, contact the utility companies before entering the home to prevent injury.

Remove Items and Appliances

After the home is safe to enter, removing items and appliances that have not been touched by flood waters can help to minimize the amount of cleaning and restoration needed. Preventing items from getting wet or damaged will mitigate the costs associated with repairs and replacements. These items should be stored in a safe, dry place until the home has been completely cleaned.

Take the Water Out

As long as water is standing in a home, it is increasing the risks for mold and structural damage. Using a wet vacuum, buckets, mops, and towels to remove the water may take time, but must be done to begin restoring the home. If flooding is severe, renting a sump pump may help you to get the water out.

Dry the Area

After water has been removed, the area that was flooded still needs to be dried completely. Fans and a dehumidifier can help to dry the floors. Carpet and other types of flooring may need to be replaced if they have been saturated or damaged, as there may still be a mold risk. If drywall has been saturated by water, it may need to be cut away and replaced, as the integrity of the structure will be compromised and the paper backing will likely grow mold.

Disinfect the Flooded Area

Disinfecting the area is necessary to ensure the safety of home inhabitants. Cleaning with bleach will help to kill bacteria that may have spread from sewers or flood waters. Walls, floors, furnishings, and anything else that may have been touched by flood waters should all be disinfected.

Call a Restoration Service

A restoration service can help with salvaging items that you may have thought were damaged beyond repair which can save money and heartache. A restoration service can also help with removing and replacing damaged drywall and other structures. A restoration service can help you to ensure that your home is safe and free from mold and water damage after a flood.

If your home has been flooded, call Florida Catastrophe Corp. today to minimize damage and get your home back in order quickly.

Practice Fire Safety This Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Fire SafetyThanksgiving is the time to gather friends and family around the table, show appreciation, and of course cook and eat some amazing food. Every year, many people break out old family favorites and try their hand at new recipes. While all of this cooking can be fun, it comes with a fair amount of risk.

To stay safe while cooking the holiday meal this year, remember the following tips.

Never Leave Cooking Food Unattended

With family arriving and all of the commotion that comes with having a house full of people, it can be tempting to leave the kitchen to greet guests and chat. It may be unrealistic for everyone to stay in the kitchen throughout the whole day, but always make sure that there is at least one person keeping an eye on cooking foods. A few minutes is all that it takes for a fire to become uncontrollable.

Follow the Directions

Many fires are started every year by people deep frying a turkey for the first time and not following the directions. Just about any recipe that involves grease and heat has the potential to become dangerous if the directions are not followed exactly. “Winging it” can become risky when there are so many activities taking place at once, so take the time to read and follow directions.

Watch Fabrics around Flames and Burners

Many families have the tradition of getting dressed up for Thanksgiving. This can be problematic if clothing is loose fitting or if there are accessories that can fall off. Remove jackets and hats and be mindful of having fabrics near open flames or heat sources when cooking. Also be careful when putting pot holders, oven mitts, and towels down to keep these articles away from heat and flames.

Keep Fire Extinguishers on Hand

Fire extinguishers should be readily available so that they can be reached in an instant when cooking Thanksgiving dinner. It is important that several people understand how to use the fire extinguishers. It is also critical that everyone knows what types of fires different fire extinguishers should be used for.

Know How to Put a Fire Out

Different types of fires require different methods and substances to extinguish. Water may be useful for putting out wood fires, but this is generally unhelpful when you are cooking. Baking soda and chemical fire extinguishers can be used to snuff out grease fires and oven fires. Electrical fires should be smothered with a fireproof blanket.

Removing the heat source by turning off the oven, burner, or fryer may also be necessary.

If a fire becomes too large, prioritize the safety of the family and evacuate the home. Emergency services can put the fire out and the kitchen can always be restored later.

Practice fire safety when cooking this Thanksgiving to keep your family and home safe.

Hurricane Restoration Tips

Hurricane Restoration TipsIn the aftermath of a hurricane, expediting recovery can help to get you and your family back in your home faster and reduce the amount of damage. It is important to follow certain steps, however. If you have been affected by Hurricane Matthew, the following tips may be helpful.

Make a List of Damages

It can be tempting to just dive in and start throwing things away and cleaning up when returning home or venturing into your yard after a hurricane, but this can hurt your chances of receiving adequate benefits from your homeowners insurance. Make a list of everything that was damaged, being as thorough as possible with descriptions and valuations. Take pictures and provide serial numbers and receipts if you can. Smartphone apps may help with inventorying.

Wait Until an Adjuster Visits to Make Changes

Even after you have finished making a list of all damaged belongings, structures, and landscaping, try to refrain from cleaning up unless the law dictates that you must. Allowing an insurance adjuster to see exactly what damages look like can help to ensure that any claims that you make go through. If you must discard belongings or if conditions are dangerous, take pictures of damages to show the insurance company and keep receipts from any materials purchased for the recovery efforts.

Call Restoration Specialists

Restoration specialists will be able to help you assess the damage and get your home back in order faster. Restorations specialists can help clean up debris from the hurricane so that you can safely enter the home and walk around the property. If demolition needs to be done, restoration specialists can help to with safe and careful demolition. They can also assist with all aspects of restoration.

Prevent Further Damage

Boarding up windows until they can be replaced, covering holes in the ceiling, and sealing leaks can help to prevent damage from worsening as you work to recover from the hurricane. Removing downed limbs and trees can also help to keep this loose debris from flying into the home and causing damage if winds pick up again. Cleaning up water as soon as possible can help to mitigate the damage to the home.

Dry and Disinfect the Home

After water has been removed from the home, there is still a potential for mold to form. Mold restoration specialists may be very helpful in assessing the potential for mold growth after a hurricane, removing items and structures that have been contaminated, and cleaning and disinfecting the home. This is important to ensure that the home will be safe over the long term and to salvage as many belongings as possible.

If you have been affected by Hurricane Matthew, call 855-352-2281to find out how we can help with restoration and recovery.

Hurricane Matthew Approaching Florida

Hurricane FactsA hurricane watch was issued Tuesday afternoon for parts of Florida on the Atlantic coast. As of that time, Hurricane Matthew was a category 4 hurricane with winds up to 145 miles per hour. The dangerous hurricane had already been inflicting damage across the Caribbean, with at least seven fatalities and untold damage to homes and landscapes.

The hurricane is not expected to hit Florida for at least 48 hours, so officials are urging Floridians to prepare now while there is still time.

Hurricane Matthew in Haiti

Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti hard on Tuesday morning, damaging many homes and uprooting trees in the area. One fisherman was killed and many of the shacks that serve as homes in the impoverished area were destroyed. The total damage has not been assessed yet, but many streets were flooded and residents were left seeking shelter as of Tuesday afternoon.

Storm Trajectory

The storm was moving north at about 10 miles per hour as of 11am on Tuesday morning. The storm was moving through Haiti and was expected to move through Cuba late Tuesday and early Wednesday. Computer models predict that the center of the storm will stay off the coast of Florida, but if the storm veers inland it could hit hard.

Florida is expected to experience the effects of the storm throughout the day on Thursday and into Friday. Hurricane Matthew could continue its path up the coast after that. As of Tuesday afternoon, there was a Hurricane watch in effect for the coastal area running from Deerfield Beach to the Volusia County line in central Florida. There was also a Tropical Storm watch in effect for the Florida Keys.

Government Addresses the Storm

Governor Rick Scott visited the city of Marathon to talk about the storm preparations on Tuesday morning. The governor said that there are 200 National Guard members standing by to help and another 6,600 guardsmen that can be deployed if necessary. Pat McCrory, the North Carolina Governor, declared a state of emergency for certain parts of the state that fall within the storms possible trajectory.

Additionally, President Obama has cancelled plans to visit South Florida on behalf of Hillary Clinton on Wednesday. A presidential visit would tie up law enforcement and lead to road closings that could affect the storm preparations. Non-essential personnel have already been evacuated from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in response to the storm.

Preparing for the Storm

Governor Rick Scott urged residents to evacuate the area early, before the highways become too congested. With the storm being listed as a category 4, with winds about 145 miles per hour and flooding potential, the storm could cause major damage even if it does not make landfall.

Some actions that you can take to prepare for the storm include:

  • Gathering emergency supplies such as water and non-perishable foods
  • Boarding windows to protect the home
  • Staying tuned to emergency alerts in the area
  • Preparing a bag with necessities to take if evacuation is necessary

While it can be tempting to stick around to protect your home, remember that restoration is always possible later. The most important thing is to stay safe.

Handicap Accessibility Modifications That Could Help in a Disaster

Home Accessibility Modifications

Living with a physical handicap that affects mobility is difficult, but can present real challenges if a disaster strikes. While family members or home care workers may be able to help with daily needs, handicap accessibility modifications can provide greater independence on a daily basis and can be invaluable in case of emergency. The following are a few handicap accessibility modifications that may be of great value to those with a physical handicap in times of disaster.

Ceiling Mounted Lifts

Ceiling mounted lifts can help wheelchair bound individuals transition from the bed, bath, couch, or chair, to the wheelchair. These lifts can be very helpful if the individual needs to become mobile very quickly and is doing something that requires him or her to be out of the wheelchair at the time. Installing ceiling mounted lifts in multiple rooms can help people with wheelchairs to be more prepared for disasters, while maximizing independence with a wide range of daily tasks.

Widened Doorways

Narrow doorways may restrict access with a wheelchair or walker. Widened doorways or doors that have swing clear hinges will allow those with mobility limitations to move easily between rooms and to exit the home if needed during a disaster. After widening doorways or installing the swing clear hinges, it may be necessary to place transition bars between different types of flooring or different levels to make it easier to move over thresholds.

Home Elevators and Stair Lifts

Home elevators and stair lifts may not be helpful in every disaster situation, such as when the power goes out, but can still be a worthy modification that helps in some situations. If a storm warning is issued and an individual with mobility challenges needs to reach the ground floor and evacuate quickly, an elevator or stair lift may be helpful. An elevator may also be helpful in moving medical devices and other necessities from a higher floor to the ground floor quickly for evacuation.

Ramps

Ramps allow a person with mobility limitations to evacuate a home without assistance. This can be a lifesaver if the individual is home alone. If others are present, this can allow them to work on removing other necessities from the home while the individual with mobility limitations moves quickly out of harm’s way.

Keyless Locks

Keyless locks that are activated with a remote control or smartphone can make it easier for anyone to leave the home quickly without pause. For those with mobility limitations, keyless locks may make it possible to unlock the door easily in order to leave during a disaster to or to lock up after leaving to protect the home. This can help to keep both the home and its inhabitants safe.

If you are considering installing handicap accessibility modifications, call 855-352-2281 today. These modifications may be priceless if disaster strikes.

What You Should Know Before Starting a Bonfire

Bonfire Safety TipsThe temperatures may still be pretty warm during the day, but are starting to cool off just a little bit at night. For bonfire lovers, this makes it the perfect time to heat up the fire pit. Fires can be a wonderful compliment to autumn nights in Florida, but there are some things that you should know to protect yourself, your family, and your home before stoking the flames.

There May Be Burn Restrictions

Burn restrictions can vary by area and season. When the weather is drier, it may be illegal to have a bonfire even in places that normally allow it. In some places, a permit may also be required for burning of any kind. Be sure to look into the local regulations so that you do not incur fines or put the environment and neighborhood at risk.

Escaped Debris Is a Leading Cause of Wildfires

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, escaped debris is a leading cause of Florida wildfires. The debris can come from burning leaves, paper, or bits of bark coming loose. If the fire is too close to trees, the home, or other structures the loose debris may start a fire that can be tough to put out.

Waiting for a Fire to Burn out Is Dangerous

Leaving a fire unattended is always dangerous, especially when going to bed. When a fire starts to burn low, many people feel that it is safe to walk away and leave the fire to burn out, but the heat and flames may still catch debris and structures on fire. Before leaving the vicinity of a bonfire, be sure to extinguish the flames using water and stir the ash to make sure that every ember is out.

Having a Hose Close Is Smart

When enjoying a bonfire, it is smart to keep a hose, bucket of water, or other means of extinguishing the flames nearby. This way you will be able to quickly put out the fire if it gets too large or if unintended materials catch fire. Make sure that the hose can be turned on quickly, or keep a fire extinguisher nearby if the fire is very far away from the spigot.

Bonfires Can Turn to House Fires Quickly

If a bonfire catches a home on fire, it can engulf the home within a matter of minutes and cause untold devastation. This can necessitate home restorations and possibly even make it necessary to rebuild. Most people that have lived through house fires have been amazed at the speed at which the fire spread.

If you and your family will be burning bonfires this autumn season, make sure to take precautions to stay safe!

 

Home Construction Characteristics That Can Protect Against Natural Disasters

Home Protection TipsWhen buying or building a home in Florida, it is important to consider the disaster risks that are common in the area. Florida is prone to hurricanes and many areas are prone to floods. These home damage risks cannot necessarily be avoided, but certain elements of construction can mitigate the amount of damage to the home if a natural disaster should occur. When looking to buy or build a home, these construction elements may help to protect your investment.

Concrete Block

Concrete block is used as a main building block of most homes in Florida. Concrete block is much sturdier and more durable than most other home construction materials and will protect against the natural heat and moisture that is present in Florida. Concrete will also stand up to strong winds that may come with hurricanes and will be less likely to wash away in case of a flood.

Downspouts and Gutters

Keeping moisture away from the main structures of a home is always important, but becomes even more imperative in areas that are prone to flooding. Having gutters and downspouts installed or purchasing a home with these features present can help to mitigate water intrusion. These elements may save foundations and help to direct water away from walls and other structures.

Hurricane Wind Resistant Roofs

Metal roofs generally tend to hold up better against wind damage than shingles and other roofing materials. Metal roofs are usually mechanically attached to the home with large screws, which may keep the roof in place better than other types of roofing materials. Roofs with multiple slopes also tend to hold up better in strong winds than gable roofs. In addition to these storm resistant characteristics, homeowners can fasten soffits, caulk gaps, and perform other regular maintenance on roofs to keep the home in top shape for disaster resistance.

Moisture Resistant Furnishings

Mold and moisture resistant drywall, cabinetry, insulation, and other materials can help to protect the home from damage if storms or flooding should occur. Regular drywall, cabinets that are made of particle board, and other cheaper construction elements may deteriorate quickly when exposed to water. Materials that are designed to withstand moisture exposure may simply need cleaning or refinishing instead of replacing after a disaster.

Impact Resistant Windows

Impact resistant windows consist of laminated glass in heavy duty frames. The glass has multiple panes with a shatter-proof membrane in between. While one pane may crack, the window will not shatter, so your home will continue to be protected from the elements and debris that may become airborne in strong winds.

If you are looking to purchase a home in Florida, make sure your investment is protected by incorporating disaster resistant elements.

Tropical Depression 9 Is Heading Toward Florida

Florida Depression 9If you’re in Florida, it’s important to know that a tropical depression is brewing in the Caribbean and weather scientists predict that Florida will be meeting it first-hand this week. As of early morning on Monday, August 29, 2016, the system’s center was located roughly 160 miles west-southwest of Key West, Florida. Experts believe that Florida may be experiencing a tropical storm late Monday or early Tuesday.

Through Wednesday, the depression may bring 3 to 5 inches of rain through the southern area of the Florida peninsula and Florida Keys. Governor Rick Scott has urged South Florida residents to develop an emergency plan in case the area experiences flooding.

Ohio’s Weekend Flooding

Over the weekend, southwestern Ohio was struck with flash flooding that brought three inches of rain in as little as a few hours. Some areas of the city received 8 inches of rain, triggering a number of traffic jams, school closures, and property damage. According to The Weather Channel, flooding even led to closure of certain areas of the highway.

How Can I Prepare?

Luckily, weather reports describe the depression as “poorly organized,” which is good news for Floridians. However, it’s important to make sure that you’re prepared in case the worst of the predictions becomes reality. In many ways, preparing for a tropical storm can be similar to preparing for a hurricane, though fortunately, wind damage is less of a threat.

Here are some considerations for preparing your home this week:

  • If you’re in low-lying areas, consider getting sand bags to help absorb water.
  • Sign up for emergency alerts through your county.
  • Prepare to evacuate if you live in a mobile or manufactured home, or if you live in a flood zone.
  • Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with items like clean drinking water and non-perishable food items.
  • Trim your home’s shrubbery and trees, and make sure that downspouts and rain gutters are cleared.

We urge you and your family to stay safe and prepared as we enter hurricane season in full force!

4 Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe from Water Damage

Home Water Damage PreventionNo matter where you live or what kind of home you own, keeping the home moisture free and safe from water damage is very important. Moisture and the resulting mold can damage a home and threaten the health of inhabitants. Cleaning up after water damage and mold can be very costly; water damage prevention can save a lot of money and trouble. The following are a few tips for keeping your home safe from water damage.

1. Clean the Gutters

Gutters collect rainwater and other types of precipitation and deposit the water in a place where it can drain away from the home without causing damage. When gutters are clogged with leaves and debris, the water is not allowed to flow freely through the gutters. This may cause the water – and debris – to spill down the side of the house and cause damage to siding or other structures. Rainwater may also collect on window sills or around the home’s foundation. Over time, this can deteriorate structures and cause mold to form.

2. Fix Leaks throughout the Home

Even small leaks in the basement, attic, around windows, and around doors can allow moisture to get into the home. Depending on where the leak is, water may seep into the walls, floors, or ceilings and cause mold to form inside where it is difficult to reach or repair. Fixing leaks before they become a problem may prevent you from requiring full restoration and can protect your family from mold related health conditions.

3. Control Moisture Levels within the Home

Differences in temperature and humidity levels between the inside and outside of the home can cause condensation to form on windows and other surfaces. This condensation can cause mold to form just as quickly as moisture from other sources. Using ventilation systems, humidifiers, and dehumidifiers when necessary can help to control the moisture levels in the home and prevent condensation from forming.

4. Check the Sump Pump and Plumbing

A sump pump can help to keep moisture away from the home when heavy rains or other inclement weather causes water levels to rise by draining the excess water away from the home’s sump basin. Making sure that the sump pump is working and keeping other home plumbing in good working order can help to prevent moisture issues that may cause water damage. Since blown washing machine hoses often cause water damage, it is particularly important to check the washing machine hose for signs of wear frequently.

Taking simple precautions may help you to keep you family safe and your home free from mold and water damage.

What You should Know About Hurricanes

Hurricane FactsWhile hurricanes can occur at any time of year, they are more likely during hurricane season. It’s currently hurricane season in the Northern hemisphere; most hurricanes occur between June 1 and November 30. The following are a few things that you should know about hurricanes to best protect your loved ones and your property.

How Do Hurricanes Form?

Hurricanes, also referred to as “tropical cyclones,” form over the Atlantic Ocean or the eastern Pacific Ocean. They only form over warm water near the equator, because the warm, moist air essentially acts as fuel. The air rises upward, leaving less air and lower air pressure near the water’s surface. The surrounding higher-pressure air then pushes into the low-pressure area, which then becomes warm and rises as well. When the air rises and becomes cooler, the condensation forms clouds. This creates a system of winds and clouds that continues to spin and grow.

How Are Hurricanes Classified?

Hurricanes are classified using the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale, which features 5 categories:

  • Category 1: 74 to 95 mile per hour winds
  • Category 2: 96 to 110 mile per hour winds
  • Category 3: 111 to 130 mile per hour winds
  • Category 4: 131 to 155 mile per hour winds
  • Category 5: winds greater than 155 miles per hour

What Are the Risks of Hurricanes?

As any Floridian will tell you, hurricanes can be serious business. They’re known to cause devastating damage to coastlines as well as hundreds of miles inland. In extreme cases, winds can reach more than 155 miles per hour, and can create tornadoes and coastal storm surges. In addition to wind damage, hurricanes can create torrential rainfall with deadly floods and flash-floods.

What Should I Do After a Hurricane?

Those who have lived through a high-category hurricane will attest to the devastating damage that can occur. Especially for coastal towns, it’s possible for entire homes to be destroyed, leaving families with nothing. In cases of less catastrophic damage, homes can experience water damage from flooding, structural damage, and the like. In cases like these, it’s important to have a disaster recovery plan in place, as well as seek assistance from a professional disaster recovery provider.

It’s always best to stay current on the news and prepare as much as possible in the face of a hurricane. For those who experience unfortunate damage to their home, call us at 855-352-2281 to bring life back to normal as soon as possible.

Emergency Preparedness for People with Disabilities

Emergency Preparedness DisabilitiesFor those with disabilities that affect mobility, fires, floods, and other disasters can pose a serious threat. Evacuating a building and seeking shelter is a little more difficult when there are mobility aids involved. Creating a plan and taking steps to ensure preparedness can save lives and prevent injuries, especially when individuals with mobility issues are involved.

Preparing the Home

Home modifications like wheelchair lifts, ramps, home elevators, and keyless door locks can be helpful on a daily basis for people that use wheelchairs, crutches, or canes to move around, but these modifications can become life savers in the case of an emergency. If a fire or flood threatens the safety of an individual with mobility issues, they may be able to safely evacuate themselves from the home if these types of modifications are in place.

Developing an Evacuation Plan

Developing an evacuation plan can help people with disabilities to keep a calm head and go through practiced steps, rather than panicking during an emergency situation. An evacuation plan can be especially helpful for individuals that generally rely on the assistance of others throughout the day. If no one is around, it can make a person feel helpless when they are used to assistance, but they may be able to remove themselves from the premises if safeguards and plans are put in place.

Making Preparations with Support Network

In addition to making sure that immediate family knows what to do to help and that the person or people with disabilities are well informed about how to react to an emergency, it can be helpful to make preparations with an outside support network. Local emergency response agencies or other organizations may be able to provide swift assistance when needed. Agreeing upon communication methods and giving local agencies information about how to help in case of emergency can improve response time.

Assembling Emergency Supplies

Emergency supplies may include medications and spare mobility aids in addition to basics like water, clothing, and important information. When an emergency occurs, it may be difficult to obtain medical supplies, so it is best to have extra medications and spare supplies on hand. A personal contact list should be assembled that will make it easier for the disabled individual to get in contact with doctors, therapists, and other important people. The emergency contact list should also include a restoration company that can assist with home repairs.

To make sure that you or a loved one are as prepared as possible for a disaster, contact an emergency response company in your area today.

Be Aware of Summertime Home Hazards

Summer Home HazardsThe summertime in Florida is an extreme season that brings with it a number of different potential hazards to your home. In addition to environmental hazards, certain activities that are common during the summer may also have the potential to cause damage to your home. As summer approaches, it is important to be aware of these hazards in order to take action to mitigate the risks.

Storms and Wind Damage

Thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tornados commonly occur throughout Florida during the summer months. Many summer days are characterized by an intense afternoon storm that does not last throughout the day, but that may come through with strong winds and cause damage. Winds may knock trees over and cause loose debris to collide with the home.

Cleaning up the yard and securing loose items can help to protect the home from damage. Ensuring sturdy construction of the home and surrounding structures can also be helpful. Hiring professionals to assess the stability of the roof, fencing, and other structures may prevent costly wind damage.

Rain and Flooding Dangers

The powerful storms that are common during the summer may bring heavy rains that can flood a yard and home very quickly. This is an even greater risk in areas that are close to the water. Taking action to ensure that water will drain away from the home can prevent damage to the foundation. Filling in low areas in the yard can help to keep the yard from flooding, possibly preventing damage to the lawn and landscaping.

Lightning Dangers

Lightning strikes more often in certain parts of Florida than most other places in the world. Lightning strikes can cause damage to home structures, electrical systems, and belongings. Lightning can also start fires in homes and yards, potentially burning the home, surrounding structures, and belongings. While it is difficult to protect the home from lightning damage, unplugging appliances when storms start can help to mitigate damage to belongings and possibly prevent a fire from starting.

Campfire and Grill Hazards

Grilling outdoors and starting campfires in the backyard are common activities that have the potential to become hazardous. It is important to keep fire extinguishers nearby when grilling or having a backyard campfire. Fires should never be left unattended and the area surrounding the pit or grill should be kept clear of debris and flammable materials. All fires should be completely extinguished after use to protect the home.

If a home suffers damage due to Florida summertime hazards, it is important to take steps to restore the home right away. If your home has been damaged, contact restoration services in your area to protect the home from further damage and to keep home inhabitants safe.

What You Should Know about Flooding

Flooding FactsFlooding can be caused by a variety of different things, including burst pipes, hurricanes, dam failures, and high tides in coastal areas. It is important to understand that flooding can happen basically anywhere, no home is completely immune to flooding, even if it is uncommon for the area. If the area is prone to flooding, it is even more important to understand a few facts about the phenomenon so that you are better prepared.

Flooding Is Not Always Covered by Insurance

Flood insurance is not always included in homeowners’ insurance policies, particularly in areas where flood risks are highest. If your home is damaged by flooding, this oversight can be costly. Short circuiting by damaged wires and structural damage can put the integrity of the building at risk and make the home unsafe for inhabitants.

Water Damage Should Be Immediately Repaired

Without immediate repair, water damage can lead to serious structural damage and can cause health problems for inhabitants. The longer wood or drywall is allowed to sit with water damage, the more warp and rot is likely to occur. Mold may also form in the moist environment and cause mild to severe health issues. Contacting restoration services immediately after flooding occurs may save the building, mitigate the costs of repairs, and help to avoid these issues.

Flood Proofing Techniques May Protect the Home

In areas that are prone to flooding, it may be wise to take precautions to flood proof the home. Installing plastic sheeting over the foundation can help to keep water out. Sloping the land around the home can help to drain water away, as well. In some cases, it may also be helpful to devise a system to allow some water into the home in such a way that it is dispersed without causing damage. The roof, windows, doors, and other seals should be checked for security.

Restoration Services Can Help Salvage Furnishings

After a flood, it may seem that all furnishings are ruined, which can be overwhelming. Instead of throwing precious heirlooms and favorite furniture away, contact restoration services to find out if items can be salvaged. In some cases, restoration companies may be able to use special techniques to dry items. This can save money on recovery and help you to salvage pieces that had emotional value to the family.

To find out more about how to prepare for a flood or for help with restoration after a flood, contact Florida Catastrophe Corp. today.

Tornado Facts to Help You with Preparedness

Tornado PreparednessTornadoes are violent storms that can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. It may seem that tornadoes come out of the clear sky and cause unpredictable damage, but there are some signs and consistencies that can help you to be more prepared in the event of a tornado. There are also general safety precautions that can be taken so that your home and family are safer if a tornado strikes.

Every State Has Tornado Risks

Tornadoes are generally associated with the Midwest, so many homeowners on the East coast feel that tornadoes are not a concern. This false sense of security can be destructive if a tornado does occur. Tornadoes occur in response to increased sea surface temperature and increased moisture content, especially in cooler months. These correlations allow weather forecasters to predict tornadoes with some accuracy, although the path of the tornado may be difficult to predict.

Certain Signs Warn of a Tornado

Tornado warnings signs may vary, but can include:

  • Hail storms, especially with large hail
  • Low-laying clouds that are very dark
  • Dark skies, sometimes with a greenish cast
  • A loud roar
  • Debris and dust that appears to be suspended in the air

Seeking Shelter Is the Safest Option

Since the main danger of tornadoes comes from the high winds and the debris being moved by the high winds, seeking shelter is the safest way to avoid being injured. Stable rooms constructed with concrete, block, or brick are less likely to be breached by debris. It is important to avoid auditoriums, cafeterias, and other large rooms that have wide, flat roofs, however, as these may be moved by tornado winds. Basements and lower rooms provide the best shelter from the high winds.

Securing Your Home Can Reduce Damage

Taking the time to secure your home can greatly reduce the damage that occurs if a tornado does come through. Making sure that the roof is secured with hurricane clips and that the walls are secured to the foundation can mitigate damage. Moving large objects away from windows and storing heavy items and toxic chemicals in low and enclosed areas can reduce injury risks as well as home damage risks.

Having a Plan Can Increase Safety

Formulating an emergency preparedness plan can help to keep family members safe. Making sure that all family members know about local warning sirens and understand where to go in the case of a tornado can help to ensure safety. Having first aid supplies available and keeping important documents in water and fire proof storage containers can help to expedite recovery after a storm. Knowing who to call for restoration services can help to mitigate damage to the home caused by elements.

To find out how we can help you to be prepared for tornadoes, call us today!

4 Signs That You May Have Mold Growth

Mold PreventionMold can turn into a major problem that makes it difficult for you to sell your home and puts your health at risk. Unfortunately, many people live with mold in their homes for a long time, dismissing signs as being caused by other factors. Spotting mold early and taking a proactive approach to treatment and prevention can help to protect you, your loved ones, and your assets. If you notice any of the following signs, contact a professional to inspect your home for mold.

Strange Odors in the Home

Mold does not always smell exactly the same, so don’t discount an odd smell as something else just because you don’t immediately recognize it as mold. If mold is in the walls or vents, it may take on a different odor depending on the surrounding materials. Mold may also be hidden, so don’t make the mistake of assuming that it isn’t mold because you can’t see it.

Respiratory Problems

Sneezing and congestion are common reactions to mold. If you or your family members experience these symptoms while in the home, but the symptoms subside when you go out, it may be a sign that there is mold in the home. In some cases, symptoms may only present when you are in a certain room, if mold is only growing in one place in the home.

Visible Mold Growth

Sometimes mold is visible and is still missed by homeowners because they do not recognize the appearance of the mold. Mold can be brown, black, white, green, grey, orange, pink, or purple depending on the material that it is growing on and the type of mold. Mold may also hide in grout and other places where it is disguised.

Water Damage

Mold growth occurs in nearly any environment, as long as there is water present. If water damage has occurred, the conditions are most likely right for mold growth. Water damage may cause stains or discolorations on the walls, cause flooring materials or wallpaper to bubble, or may even cause the walls or ceilings to bulge and warp if it continues long enough. If any of these signs are present, mold may be growing already or may begin at any time.

If you notice any of the signs of mold growth, it is important to have professionals come in to inspect and treat the home right away. With the right treatment and mold restoration, you may be able to prevent costly damage while ensuring the safety of your loved ones.

Water Damage Restoration Tips for Homeowners

Water Damage Restoration TipsDid you know that about 40 percent of home insurance claims are due to water damage? This unfortunate event can result from plumbing leaks, natural disasters, and old appliances. Water damage is costly and inconvenient. Preventing it is much cheaper than paying for repairs.

Simple things, such as cleaning your gutters, repairing leaking pipes, and checking the roof, could save you a fortune. Water damage restoration costs thousands of dollars, so it’s better to prevent these problems in the first place. It’s your responsibility as a homeowner to protect your assets.

How Does Water Damage Occur?

Water damage is often caused by old or poorly maintained appliances, leaking pipes, and sewer backup. Most times, it occurs because homeowners fail to check the connection between their washing machine and the water line. Snow on the roof, flooding, and rain can cause water damage too. Fortunately, this problem is completely preventable.

The best way to avoid water damage is to check any sources of leaks in your home regularly. These include hot water tanks, washing machine hoses, dishwasher hoses, frozen pipes, broken or burst pipes, and home appliances. Sewer and sump backups, water escape, and water seepage are common causes of flooding. Even a small leak can cause major problems.

If you believe your home is at risk for water damage, check the plumbing system yourself or call an expert. The detection of water into structural cavities can only be discovered with special equipment. A professional water damage restoration firm can assess the situation, clean up the mess, and fix burst pipes. Some companies provide emergency building services to prevent additional damage. They can fix your roof, repair the floor, and rebuild the affected areas.

What to Do after Water Damage

When your house is flooded, the water can ruin its structure and your personal assets. It’s essential that you clean up the area immediately in order to prevent mold and minimize losses. The danger is not over when the water goes down. Your electrical system could be severely affected, and the home’s foundation may have been damaged. Furniture, carpets, wallpaper and other items in your home will hold mud and contaminants forever, so it’s better to replace them.

As soon as you enter the house, unplug any electronics and remove furnishings. Turn off the gas and check the foundation for cracks. Do not use candles before or after a flood. Report any gas leaks or downed power lines. Look carefully at the ceiling before going inside the building. Look for signs of sagging.

Use buckets, mops, and towels to get rid of the water. Pour it down the drain if the sewers in the area are not backed up. Consider using a wet/dry vacuum. Clean and disinfect every surface, remove the mud, and dry out the affected areas. Throw away tree limbs and other trash. Call a water damage restoration expert if needed.

Once these steps are complete, contact your insurance agent to tell him about the damage. Check your insurance policy so that you will know what’s covered. Take photos of the building as you clean up. Get organized and create a recovery plan. Do not move back into the house until restoration is complete.

Source: http://orange-restoration.com

Catastrophe Preparedness and Global Warming In the State of Florida

Global WarmingIt is important that individual homeowners and renters have a plan in case of a catastrophe or emergency, but all levels of government are also making sure communities are safe. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a federal agency that provides financial assistance to states pre- and post-catastrophes. In light of the increased concerns over global warming, the state of Florida has proactively begun to protect its residents in case of an emergency.

State Buys Additional Insurance to Protect Against Catastrophe

The state of Florida recently bought $2.2 billion of additional insurance coverage for the entire state due in part to forecasters predicting the remainder of 2016 be a busy year for weather-related catastrophes. Those costs are passed down to policy holders all across the state, which will increase their premiums less than $15 a year. Government’s goal is for there to be enough funds to cover all storm claims within the season.

Florida Plans for Potential Catastrophes

Florida’s increase in insurance protection is part of its overall action to meet the Federal Government requirement to have hazard mitigation plans in place for catastrophes related to global warming. A state will not be denied federal money for relief from hurricanes, but FEMA will deny preparedness funds if states don’t start planning now. The state is now working with the Army Corps of Engineers and The American Red Cross in drafting their emergency plans.

FEMA Increases Requirements to Receive Catastrophe Aid Money

FEMA had recently updated their procedures stating that climate change will significantly alter the magnitude of hazards that can impact a state. Florida’s cyclical weather patterns that involve severe storms, droughts, heat waves, and flooding can be more severe. In the past decade, the state of Florida has received nearly $4 billion in grants from FEMA.

Research Shows Florida at More Risk for Catastrophes

Research provided by Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity found that the state will be at a higher risk to wildfires due to prolonged periods of drought and extreme heat caused by climate change. With most of the state at sea level, government is exploring ways to mitigate the risk of rising sea levels and increased flooding. Scientists have explained it that, rain will become less frequent, but when it does occur it will be more severe and extreme.

Florida Catastrophe Planning Adapts to Climate Change

Florida’s local, county and state governments are hard at work evaluating communities’ vulnerability to various catastrophes as a result of global warming. This entails updating growth plans based upon information gathered, as well as, having post-disaster recovery and redevelopment plans in place. The state of Florida is sponsoring webinars and conferences involving climate change for emergency planners that residents, business leaders, and community policy makers can attend.

Contact Florida Catastrophe today to see how we can help safeguard you against any potential catastrophes!

6 Steps For Creating Your Family Disaster Plan

Family Disaster PlanDisaster can strike at anytime and the most severe of tragedies have no warning whatsoever. Are you and your family prepared for an emergency? What plans do you have in place to ensure your safety and potential evacuation? Go over our family disaster plan steps to make sure you’ve included them in your own family plan.

1. What Kind of Disasters Can Happen Where You Live?

Begin with assessing what types of disasters are most likely to happen in your area. Your local Red Cross is a great resource for providing you with what types of disasters occur and what plans your community has in place. Find out the various warning systems for each disaster type your city utilizes.

2. Disaster Plans for Work and School

Disasters will never happen at a convenient time, which may place your family members at different locations. Discover the disaster plans for your work, your partner’s job, your children’s school, and any other places your family members may be when tragedy strikes. Adapt your family plan to their’s so everyone is accounted for when you’re separated.

3. Evacuation Plans

For home tragedies, go over the various types of evacuation plans with family members. Make sure everyone knows how to reach exit and meet-up points from each room. Some emergencies will require you to leave the home and meet each other outdoors while other strategies may be to go to a specific location in your home.

4. Emergency Contact List

Create a list of emergency contacts for your family and equip each member with a physical copy to keep with them at all times. On these lists include standard emergency numbers, contact information of friends and family, as well as any pertinent medical information and insurance details. Let family members and friends know that they are your emergency resources and provide those individuals with your list as well.

5. Fresh Emergency Supplies and Batteries

Keep your home stocked with emergency supplies. Make sure you have three days of water and food that won’t spoil. Keep a first-aid kit, flashlight, radio, and extra batteries where they can be easily accessed. If you can, duplicate any of this in or near your automobile in case you have to evacuate.

6. Practice Makes Perfect

At the end of the day practicing your emergency plan is what’s going to keep your family safe. Conducting emergency drills and quizzing your children will help keep everyone current with what to do in case of an emergency. Making the time to update your emergency contact information and plans will save your family’s lives.

Contact Florida Catastrophe so we can help you through any disaster emergency.

How to Prevent and Protect Against Mold

Mold PreventionYou may notice some funny, unfamiliar smells in your home and not realize how dangerous they can be to your health. This more than likely is mold and mildew. These agents can weaken the integrity of your home and ruin your family’s health. You can protect your house and family from these dangerous invaders with some simple tips.

Where Mold and Mildew Creep In

Mildew loves to grow in places like closets, dresser drawers, and of course basements. These locations can create the ideal environment for mildew growth with the right temperature and any amount of moisture. Keep these areas clean as well as thoroughly clean any articles of clothing or items you store in them.

Limit the Moisture in Your Air

To limit the amount of mold spores floating in the air of your home, you need to reduce the moisture. Making sure your air conditioning unit is properly working because cooler temperatures are an inhospitable place for these spores. Dehumidifiers are also useful in basements and other parts of your home as they pull moisture out of the air.

Keep All Surfaces Dry

Defeating dampness is one of the most important factors in combating mold and mildew. Mold spores are prevalent throughout the air we breath and if you have surfaces where water pools, these spores will land there and grow. Waterproofing any cracks and crevices as well as staying on top of any leaks will prevent a mold and mildew takeover in your home.

Odors Might Mean You Have Mold or Mildew

Musty Odors are an alarming indicator that you may have been invaded by mold and mildew. To remove the musty scent in your basement sprinkle chlorinated lime and let it set until the smell disappears then sweep it up. For cement floors and your tiled bathroom walls use a diluted solution of sodium hypochlorite or chlorine bleach, keep your windows open while you wipe the area and don’t close your windows until the area is completely dry.

Beating Mold and Mildew with Chemicals

There are chemical alternatives available to you if you find that most conventional means just aren’t working. You can purchase granules of anhydrous calcium sulfate, silica gel, or activated alumina. Place them in a cloth bag or in an open container and put it in the closet, on a shelf, or out on the floor. These chemicals aren’t harmful to fabrics and can be reused repeatedly.

Mold and Mildew Can Be Fatal

Mold and mildew invasion is very serious, with the latest World Health Organization (WHO) statistics showing that over 7 million people died as a result of these air pollutants. There are plenty of easy steps you can utilize in removing mold and mildew from your home. Sometimes you may need to contact a professional with reinforcements for your battle, but don’t be worried, your home and your health can be protected against these pesky invaders!

Contact Florida Catastrophe today with your have mold and mildew concerns so we can inspect your home!

Beware of Housing Hazards and Deadly Materials

Asbestos HazardWhile the home provides a happy refuge from the elements and outside world, it’s important to take into account the oftentimes dangerous materials and hazards used in its construction – mostly after parts of the building have been exposed due to disaster or negligence. These materials can be dangerous to both your health and the environment.

Handling And Identifying

Some hazardous materials may involve federal, state and local laws or regulations. Before handling them in reconstruction, it’s important to know which ones are reusable or which materials should be disposed of in ways that are compliant with your local environment safety laws. It’s serious business. Older homes built before 1978 require certified environmental consultants by law to consider which materials do and don’t follow modern day standards.

Most Common Deadly Materials

The two most common hazardous materials that can be found in your home are asbestos and lead-based paint. Even contractors who work on homes built before this time need to be trained and certified to ensure maximum safety. In a nutshell, reconstruction should be taken extremely cautiously.

Dangers of Lead-Based Paint

Lead is a highly toxic substance that can cause a range of health problems, especially for younger children and babies. It can cause damage to the brain and other organs, specifically the kidneys. In extreme cases, lead poisoning can even cause behavioral problems such as learning disabilities or seizures.

If you have a child in a house built before 1978, it’s important to remember to frequently wash their hands and toys that come in contact with dirt and dust. Keep the area clean and wash down flat surfaces with a paper towel and throw it away on a regular basis.

Deteriorated lead-based paints can chip or melt off and combine with the soil and dust around your home. While this is rarely a problem in a normally standing structure, older devastated homes can quickly become a dangerous place.

Dealing with Asbestos

When materials containing asbestos are damaged, fibers are released into the air that can cause some various lung diseases when inhaled. The longer a home is left damaged, the more potential asbestos has of becoming significant medical hazards.

The scariest threat involving asbestos is Mesathelioma, a lung cancer that is almost specifically related to asbestos and once diagnosed, is almost always fatal. It involves inhaling asbestos for a long period of time. In extreme cases, a person can develop asbestosis, a scarring condition of the lungs that produces shortness of breath.

While it may seem like an outdated concept, don’t be so sure that you’re out of harm’s way. Asbestos can be even found in buildings built or refurbished before the year 2000.

Both these illnesses occur because of long-term, constant exposure and can completely be avoided by doing proper renovations and keeping up with modern day safety measures. Call us if you need help.

5 Tips for Storm-Proofing Your Home

Storm-Proof HomeWhen it is sunny, there isn’t a place in the world that can beat Florida, but during a storm, the weather here is severe. Most of Florida averaged well over 50 inches of rain last year with quite a few areas averaging over 70 inches. That is Mother Nature’s way of telling you she will bring severe storms to Florida no matter what time of year it is.

Keeping Your Home Safe

Don’t be fooled by Florida’s “Sunshine State” motto — we average more than 100 days of the year with thunderstorms. No matter how much notice a meteorologist can give you, moving your home is not an option. You can protect your house against severe weather, keeping your family, your valuables, and your home safe.

Here are some ways you can safeguard your home from severe weather:

  • Window protection
  • Keeping your roof attached
  • Landscaping
  • Reinforcing your doors
  • Keeping your house high and dry

Protecting Your Windows

Your home’s most vulnerable and beautiful asset is your windows. Installing shutters may be an aesthetically pleasing option for you to consider that allows protection and keeps the elements outside where they belong. There is also impact-resistant glass available to you. If windows shatter, more than just property could be hurt or damaged.

Keeping Your Roof over Your Head

Severe wind and heavy rainfall will take years off of your roof shingles or just take your roof off. It is important to remember that you can add more bracing to your roof through the attic of your home for reinforcement. One option many Floridians have decided with is going with a metal roof. It is an incredibly low-maintenance option that has an expected service life of 40 years.

Lawn Maintenance Will Make a Difference

Keeping your lawn well-manicured will make a difference when severe weather strikes. Making sure all of your tree’s branches are far from your roof and power lines will eliminate severe hazards and costly damage. Hedging and bushes could also cause potential problems, so keep in mind that you may want any and all foliage away from windows, entry ways, and any other locations where they could cause damage or obstruct access.

Keeping Your Door on Its Hinges

Don’t let your door be the last thing you think of in severe weather. Check the weather stripping around your door to prevent leaks from heavy rain and strong winds. Make sure that your door’s hinges are securely attached to their frame and that the deadbolt works, as weather could potentially be strong enough to blow the door open. If your doors are older, you may want to consider reinforcing the frame with weather-treated wood.

If the Water Does Rise

Flooding is an expensive and real hazard all across Florida, but you do have options to keep your home dry. If you can’t afford to raise your home so that the bottom level is above the flood plane, you can have floodwalls and berms built to fend off rising water. You will also want to seal every part of your home tight with waterproofing composites and rubber sheeting to keep it dry.

You’re not alone if your home has taken a beating from severe weather. Contact Florida Catastrophe today and we will help you bounce back from disaster.

What You Can Expect after a Fire

4Having your home damaged due to fire is a traumatic experience. The toll this catastrophe will take on you can be measured in physical loss as well as emotional trauma. It’s surreal and very scary which makes it difficult knowing what to do next.

Physical Damage

When a fire tears through your home it leaves a path of damage and destruction you may never have thought possible. A fire’s temperature can exceed well over 1,200 degrees with this heat causing more damage than the flames themselves. Smoke weaves its way into every available space in your home as well, leaving stains and smells that are difficult to remove.

Coming Home

After the fire has been completely extinguished and you’re allowed to return home, it will be hard to not be heartbroken. Depending on the severity of the damage, you may not be allowed back into your home due structural integrity. To prevent further damage from the fire being put out, you will want to act fast.

Who To Contact

Call your insurance company first. They will talk you through emergency lodging and living expenses. If they aren’t able to provide timely assistance, organizations like the American Red Cross offers assistance with expedited services.

Clean-Up Services

When you contact FLA-CAT for a damage evaluation plan and demolition, we will remove all debris and material affected by the fire. Every area affected by smoke contamination is contained by a thermal fogging and seal coating detoxification process. Any odors will be completely removed from your home.

Emotional Recovery

The resulting trauma of a fire is not an easy thing you can shake off and you’re not expected to. You can work through your anxiety and stress with meditation and deep breathing exercises. Communicate your thoughts with your close friends and family. It’s important that you don’t isolate yourself during such tragedy by taking full-advantage of your support system.

Reconstruction

Your property can be replaced and rebuilt. FLA-CAT provides the industry’s best reconstruction team. We’ll return your house back into to the place you called home before the fire. Any part of your home that was damaged can be brought back to its former glory. There is no need stress – we have you covered.

You’re Not Alone

Getting your home back to the way you remember it being is what FLA-CAT does better than anyone else. Don’t let the task at hand seem overwhelming or stressful. As traumatizing as a fire is, we have the resources to return your home to the way it used to be while keeping you stress-free.

If you’ve had a fire emergency or just have some general questions, give FLA-CAT a call. We’re here for you!

4th of July Fire Safety

Fire SafetyThe Fourth of July can be a time filled with food, family, and fun. However, complications can arise when you add fireworks into the mix. Each year, Americans will spend over 10 million dollars on fireworks as a celebration of their independence. While it is a great tradition when done safely, there are several potential risks involved with shooting fireworks. Adhering to a few simple guidelines can reduce the risk of accidents putting a damper on your parade.

Risks Associated with Fireworks

Most states have their own guidelines to protect people during the Fourth of July. In drier states, it is illegal to buy or use fireworks due to the potential for wildfires. Other states may limit purchases to those above a certain age, 18 years old in some states and 21 in others. Many of the risks can be mitigated with a bit of planning and preparedness.

The most common risks associated with fireworks include:

  • Fire in areas with drier climates
  • Burn injuries
  • Cuts or punctures from being shot with fireworks
  • Misuse by underage or intoxicated persons
  • Falling debris

Fire Risks

The most serious risk involved in a Fourth of July celebration is the risk of a wildfire, especially in drier areas. Fireworks may rain down hot embers or non-extinguished fragments that could smolder and start fires that don’t fully develop until after the festivities have stopped. This can be a huge risk to homes and neighborhoods, especially in the evening after a day of celebrations. It is imperative to know the weather conditions of your area and to educate anyone handling fireworks with proper techniques and safety procedures.

Be Smart with Alcohol

The consumption of alcohol has long been associated with the Fourth of July. While many people enjoy it responsibly, alcohol can lower the judgment of those consuming it. This may lead to people being careless with fireworks, sometimes shooting them at people or objects. Other times, intoxicated people may behave in riskier ways than a sober person resulting in injury, fire, or possibly both. Whenever possible, fireworks should not be used by persons who have been consuming alcohol.

After an Accident

If you or someone you know has suffered property damage as a result of a fire, Florida Catastrophe can help. They are experts in fire damage, flood damage, mold removal and more. Losing your home is painful enough. The restoration process doesn’t have to be. Call Florida Catastrophe for a consultation and let them begin the process of building your new life.

4 Tips for Protecting your Building from Flooding

Protect FloodOf all of the types of natural disasters, floods can be the most potentially devastating to a home or business. The most optimal solution to avoiding flood damage is to ensure that the house is built in such a way that water flows down from it rather than pooling up around it. However, for most people, simply moving their house to a more elevated area is not an option. There are several other steps that may be taken to reduce the risk of flooding and water damage to your home. While some of these tips may require a lot of effort, money, or time, many of these tips are simple solutions that anyone can do to reduce the risk of flood damage to their building.

1. Measure Flood Levels Around Your Home

By analyzing the levels of water around your home during an average rain storm, it is easy to determine whether or not your building is at risk for flood damage. You can also determine the way in which water flows around the building to see if water is likely reach places where it will cause damage.

Possible warning signs that a building is at risk of flood damage may include:

  • Pools of standing water that remain after a storm has stopped
  • Backed up sewers during storms
  • Water marks or swells on the walls or baseboards of the building
  • Mold
  • Low elevation in relation to surrounding areas

2. Install Special Valves to Regulate Water Flow

Services like FEMA and FLASH recommend specialized valves to redirect water in the event of a flood. By installing a backflow valve, you can avoid filling your home with water and sewage in the event that the sewer system becomes backed up.

3. Add Modifications to your Home

This option can be expensive depending upon the types of modifications you choose to make. A common way of preventing flood damage in high-risk areas is raising the house on stilts so that water can pass under it. Certain drains can be installed to redirect the flow of water through the house so that the water levels do not rise up to the house. Finally, as a cheaper option, many people opt to apply a dry coating to certain high-risk walls or areas of the home. This will minimize damage to these areas in the event of a flood.

4. Protect Sensitive Equipment

Certain electrical and heating equipment are typically situated in locations that would be prone to water exposure in the event of a flood. By raising equipment like circuit breakers and furnaces out of a potential flooding zone, you can save thousands of dollars in damages in the event that the home is flooded. The same actions should be taken to protect gas lines, fuel tanks, and generators.

If you have concerns about floods in your area and are looking to safeguard your home, call or stop by Florida Catastrophe. The experts at FLA-CAT have been handling emergencies repairs from incidents such as floods for years. They will help you assess the risks that flooding poses to your building and help you find the appropriate measures to take to ensure that your property is protected.

Barriers to Home Modification

Home Modification BarriersAs medical and technological advances continue to accelerate, many people are now able to retain more of their independence at lower costs than available in the past. Home modification is the process of modifying the home in order to allow for more accessibility for those who would otherwise need assistance. However, despite the increases in functionality and the decreases in costs, many barriers to home modification still exist. Some of these barriers are more easily overcome than others but there are many effective resources available regarding the home modification process.

Insufficient Public Awareness

Many people incorrectly assume that home modification is simply not an option because of costs. While certain situations call for more costly machinery, many of the most common home modifications are inexpensive and can be purchased at a hardware store. These types of modifications require very little investment and can potentially save large amounts of money by preventing accidents.

While average life expectancy is increasing, the issue of disability and home modification has not received much public attention. Many people who would greatly benefit from home modifications believe that they will be stigmatized if the modifications are visible to their friends and neighbors. This slows the innovation process because many companies do not believe that a sufficient marketplace yet exists to justify creating more consumer-conscious home modification devices.

Lack of Financial Assistance

Another barrier to home modification includes a lack of financial assistance to those who would benefit the most from it. Low-income families often struggle to support special needs members of the family. Costly medical bills often leave little remaining for home modifications. Government programs do exist to assist in home modifications for qualified applicants. However, they are typically not publically known and are rapidly losing funding due to the lack of awareness regarding the issue. Non-profits have stepped in to provide resources and assistant for those in need but there is still a large gap that needs to be filled in terms of funding for those who need assistance.

Substandard Integration of Services

Currently, there is very little being done to integrate the medical, insurance, and home modification industries in order to better service those in need. Many businesses simply do not see it profitable to invest in a home modification infrastructure. A more streamlined process is required to better serve low-income families. This would allow doctors to communicate with insurance providers and home modification companies to coordinate a plan to help patients requiring home modification while still encouraging industry growth and innovation.

Companies like Florida Catastrophe specialize in major home repairs due to natural events and disabilities. Speaking with a qualified agent like those at FLA-CAT can give you a better idea of what home modification options exist for you.

Do You Live Near the Beach? Plan Ahead for Risks

Beach Risks

For many Americans, living by the beach is the embodiment of the American dream. When people fantasize about living by the beach, they think of the tranquil sound of waves rhythmically lapping at the shore, gulls floating overhead, and a profound sense of peace. While the beach does bring with it a sense of peace and serenity, it is easy for romanticized notions to eclipse the considerations and dangers of living by the beach. In order to fully enjoy your tranquil oasis, it is important to be aware of possible dangers and how to minimize beach risks to you and your family.

Flooding

In states like Florida, severe storms and choppy seas are a regular occurrence. Anytime houses are built near the water, proper precautions must be taken to avoid flood damage. Sometimes this can include raising up the house which can sometimes reduce stability. In addition to being a risk to the actual house, flooding can also cut you and your family off from supplies so it is essential to always keep spare emergency supplies in a safe place. It can also be a good idea to have a boat or a raft to use in the event of the need to evacuate.

Some have suggested that rising sea levels will soon become a problem that seaside residents will have to begin dealing with. Depending on your region, tidal waves and tsunamis can also damage your home and cause problems for your family.

Lightning

Some cities in Florida are considered lightning strike capitals of the world. The violent thunderstorms that can occur during the summer months and in the rest of hurricane season can often cause injury and property damage. One of the biggest risks associated with lightning besides risk of injury is risk of fire. Storms are often very powerful near warm-water beaches and can generate violent lightning. Even though the home is surrounded by water, fires resulting from lightning strikes are a very real danger.

Hurricanes

The state of Florida is no stranger to hurricanes. Florida is often almost always hit by major hurricanes during the season. Hurricanes are usually stronger when coming off of the warm waters near the coast. This can make beachfront property seem much less attractive when considering the scale of damage done as the result of hurricanes like Katrina and Andrew. These storms can produce strong enough winds and rain to break windows, blow debris, and even erode the foundations of the house. It is important to take proper precautions to prepare for hurricanes and to be aware of evacuation routes.

If you live near the beach and are interested in options for protecting or restoring your home, don’t hesitate to call Florida Catastrophe. At Fla-Cat, we have all the experience and equipment needed to service any of your beach risks and disaster needs.

Barbecue Grilling Safety Tips

Barbecue Grilling SafetySummer is quickly approaching and as the heat starts to rise, people all across America are firing up their grills. Barbecues are a great way to bring friends and family together during the summer. However, barbecuing often brings with it its own set of dangers that anyone involved in a barbecue should be aware of in order to avoid injury or property damage. By following these barbecue grilling safety guidelines, you and your family can be sure to enjoy a safe and fun-filled summer day.

Avoid Flammable Areas

The biggest danger associate with barbecuing grilling safety is the risk of starting a fire. For this reason, it is imperative to never barbecue indoors or areas that are dry or densely wooded. Careless barbecue behavior can translate into danger for everyone in the vicinity. Last year, forest fires devastated areas of the United States in mountainous or drought-ridden areas. Many people lost their homes and the fires caused millions of dollars’ worth of damage.

Know How to Handle Flammable Materials

Whether using charcoal, wood, or propane, it is important to know how to properly handle each incendiary medium. Charcoal should be handled with caution and disposed of properly as it can smolder and cause fires after people think it has been extinguished. Only lighter fluid designated as charcoal lighter fluid should be used. Propane should be handled cautiously as it can leak and combust or fill the area with toxic fumes. Wood fires can be dangerous due to erratic burning and smoldering ash. Also, if it is not properly extinguished, it can smolder and spread to the surrounding areas.

Keep the Grilling Area Clear

Make sure that children and adults alike understand the importance of keeping the barbecue area clear. This could include people crowding around the grill, children running near the grill, or people throwing a ball around the grill. Any of these activities could result in someone being burned or the surrounding areas catching fire. The barbecue grill should be kept away from the main areas of activity and firm rules should be in place to limit the amount of people around the grill.

Keep the Grill Clean

Grease and ash can accumulate on the trays and trough of a dirty grill. When the grease gets reheated, it can splatter and cause fires and severe burns. Cleaning the grill after each use is the best way to ensure that these kinds of injuries are prevented.

If you have experienced property damage as a result of a fire, don’t hesitate to call Florida Catastrophe (Fla-Cat). They have years of experience in getting people’s homes restored to the way it was before the fire. Call today and speak with a representative who will help you with you case.

4 Summertime Campfire Safety Tips

Campfire Safety

As summer fast approaches, so too does camping season. Florida is a prime state for camping, with its beautiful landscapes and warm, inviting weather. Even for families, camping in the backyard can be just as fun as the real deal.

But unfortunately, camping in an form can be dangerous for those who aren’t well-versed on safety tips, especially when it’s time to light the campfire and chow down on some s’mores. Keep reading for some key camping safety tips to keep in mind while you enjoy the great outdoors this summer.

1. Build Fires in Safe Spots

It’s critical to make sure that you choose a safe spot to build your fire, whether it’s an open fire or one that uses fuel-burning appliances for cooking. Rule number one is to ensure that the fire is far enough from your tent to make sure you’re not at risk of spark ignition, heat, and flames. Under no circumstances should any heating devices or flames be used inside a tent. Additionally, make sure you’ve purchased a tent with flame-retardant fabric to avoid any unexpected emergencies.

2. Always Attend a Campfire

It may sound like campfire safety common sense, but it can be easy to get distracted and fail to keep a constant eye on the fire. While a safe spot should prevent a fire from spreading vertically or laterally, keeping an eye is always important as these issues can still arise unexpectedly.

3. Keep the Fire Safely Maintained

Going hand-in-hand with attending the fire, you should be sure that it’s properly maintained for a steady, enjoyable flow. Once the fire is going, add larger dry wood pieces to maintain a steady burn. Do not cut live trees or use branches from live trees to light your fire. Make sure that it always stays at a manageable size to avoid surprises.

4. Extinguish the Fire Safely

The best way to extinguish your fire is to let all the wood burn into ash. Douse the fire with plenty of water – including all embers, even those that aren’t glowing red. Continue pouring water until the fire stops making a hissing sound, which will indicate that the flame is completely gone. Use a shovel to stir the ashes and to scrape logs and sticks to ensure that embers are removed.

It’s critical that fires are not buried with dirt or other materials, as fires that are still lit may continue to smolder until they reach the surface, which can lead to a wildfire!

4 Home Maintenance Tips for Your Spring Cleaning

Spring Home MaintenanceSummer is on its way! For those of us who haven’t done our ritual spring cleaning, we’d like to provide you with some key considerations to keep in mind on the home maintenance side of things. By paying attention to these details, you’ll help to boost the longevity of your home, minimize the need for repairs, and lessen your chances of experience severe damage that requires restoration work.

1. Fill Low Areas with Compacted Soil

If you have low areas in your yard or next to the foundation of your home, it can be beneficial to fill them with compacted soil. By doing this, you can help to prevent yard flooding when those reliable Florida showers roll around, which helps to prevent damage to your home’s foundation. As an added bonus, this helps to prevent pools of water, which create the perfect breeding ground for nuisance bugs.

2. Check Exposed Wood for Damage

You can use a screw driver to check exposed wood areas around the exterior of your home, such as doors, windows, decks, and railings. When you find soft spots or see noticeable damage, make those repairs as soon as possible. This way, you can work to prevent further damage that can result from spring and summer rain.

3. Make Sure Concrete Is Sealed

Take the time to thoroughly inspect all concrete for any movement or cracks. If you find any cracks, fill them with silicone caulk or a special concrete crack filler to make sure the areas are firm and sound. Before sealing, power-wash the area to remove any dirt or debris. Additionally, make sure that concrete slabs around the home drain away from the foundation of the home, except for pool decks. This also helps to prevent flooding and water damage.

4. Keep Firewood Away from the Home

If you have a fire pit or otherwise have a need for storing firewood, keep your home free of fire hazards by removing any wood from the immediate perimeter of the home. For best practice, it should be kept at least 2 feet away from any building structures, and 18 inches above the ground. This way, if firewood catches fire unexpectedly, the flames will be separated from your home.

The Dangers of Mold in the Home

Mold HomeMold is the common name given to a certain class of fungi that grow on anything from trees forests to homes. It thrives in warm, dark, and damp places. Therefore, the walls of your home can be a perfect home for mold if liquid has gotten inside. Mold reproduces by ejecting spores out into the air. When these spores come into contact with a suitably damp environment, they grow into mold and repeat the process.

The spores also go out into the air and can even grow within air conditioning vents. A person will then breathe the spores into his or her lungs. The lungs provide the spore with the perfect environment in which to grow. Once inside the body, it produces toxins that can cause sickness. The mold can also spread to other parts of the body, releasing toxins into various organ systems.

Symptoms of Mold Exposure

While some mold is harmless to humans, others can have potentially devastating effects on the human body. The toxins released by the mold can harm human tissue and organs, including the brain. Therefore, it is important to note changes in health and be aware of the symptoms that coincide with exposure.

Common symptoms of mold exposure may include:

  • Stuffy or runny nose
  • Skin irritation
  • Wheezing cough
  • Asthma
  • Lung infections

Examination and Treatment

If you suspect that your home might be contaminated, it is a good idea to have the house professionally tested. If it is confirmed that there is a mold infestation, the house will be quarantined and the mold will be professionally treated and removed. Infected areas are sealed and removed in such a way that does not allow the further spread of the mold. In some cases, mold infestation was sufficient enough to warrant condemning the building.

Mold Damage Restoration

After the infected areas have been removed, the house is tested again by a third party service. After the tests are clear and any sources of moisture are addressed, the house can be restored with new materials. It is important to note that mold spores can remain in furniture, clothing, or carpet until it finds a suitable environment. For this reason, it is important to have professional tests and restoration carried out. Companies such as Florida Catastrophe use advanced testing methods and certified inspectors to ensure that the mold problem is no longer a threat to you or your family.

Tips for Protecting Your Business during a Hurricane

Hurricane ProtectionPeople in Florida are no strangers to stormy weather. Thunderstorms can be a daily occurrence and heavy rain and lightning do not really pose much of an inconvenience to Floridians. However, hurricane season often brings with it a touch of concern even for the most seasoned of storm veterans from early June to late November. During this period of potentially devastating storms, it is imperative to provide adequate protection and planning to preserve your business. Here are some tips to ensure that your business is protected during a hurricane.

Have an Official Emergency Plan

In order to effectively deal with any emergency, it is imperative that businesses have an official emergency plan that can be implemented quickly. In order to be implemented quickly, employees must be aware of it. Employee training is essential to a smooth execution of the emergency plan. If employees are unaware of a codified plan, the situation could become chaotic should an emergency arise. Effective communication prior to the hurricane can help prevent casualties as well as property damage.

Possible elements of an emergency plan could include:

  • An established evacuation route
  • An established “safety room” in the interior of ground floor
  • A protocol to dismiss employees given enough advanced warning
  • Obvious placement of first aid kits throughout the building
  • An emergency supply of food and clean water

Take Preventative Measures

In addition to an established emergency plan, other preventative measures may be taken to mitigate potentially costly damage to people and property. Preventative measures might include anything from protecting equipment to reducing flying debris.

The idea behind preventative measures is to minimize damage and reduce the time period between the disaster and the day when the business can resume normal operations. Reducing damage to electronics, protecting sensitive data, avoiding damage to the building, and protecting employees are all measures that strengthen the ability of a business to recover quickly from any natural disaster.

Other potential examples of preventative measures could be:

  • Trimming weaker tree branches that might break
  • Covering patches of rocks in gardens
  • Boarding windows
  • Turning off gas lines
  • Unplugging sensitive electronic equipment
  • Maintaining an up-to-date insurance policy

A Little Goes a Long Way

Natural disasters have been known to cripple underprepared companies due to property damage and an inability to conduct business. If these measures are followed both before and during a hurricane, the likelihood that the business will be able to resume normal operations immediately after is much higher.

Lightning Safety Tips

Lightning safetyThose who live in Central Florida know that is the lightning capital of the United States. With potential thunderstorms every day during the rainy season, it is no wonder that Floridians must take extra precautions to protect themselves, their families, and their property. Safety begins with education and by following these tips, you can sharply reduce the risk of harm to you and your loved ones during any and all of Florida’s infamous lightning storms.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family Outdoors

First and foremost, it is imperative to know how to react to lightning when outdoors or indoors. The most important thing to do during a severe lightning storm is to seek shelter indoors. If you cannot go indoors, it is imperative to stay away from bodies of water, trees, and elevated landmasses. It is critical to remain lower than surrounding objects but do not ever lie flat on the ground.

Educating Children

Educating your children on how to behave during lightning storms is a powerful factor in keeping them safe. It is important to teach them that, if they hear thunder, lightning is probably close and they should seek shelter inside. Remind them that they should never seek shelter under a lone tree and swimming pools should never be used during a storm. Make sure that they understand that they need to stay away from metal objects and avoid the use of electronics. If you have a family pet, make sure that the children know to bring it indoors during a storm.

Protecting Yourself and Your Family Indoors

If you can find shelter indoors, stay away from windows and do not use any electronic devices that are plugged into the walls. It is also better to avoid plumbing such as showers and baths. Both electronics and plumbing have the ability to conduct electricity during a storm and could result in explosions and injuries.

Concrete floors and walls also have the potential to conduct electricity and should be avoided. Make sure pets are away from windows, preferably an interior room that will allow them to remain calm. It is typically a good idea to unplug electronic devices or to purchase a surge protector to avoid damaging the electronics or causing injury.

In general, lightning safety tips consist of the following:

  • When thunder is heard, proceed immediately indoors
  • If no shelter is available, get low to the ground without lying flat, and separate
  • Avoid high, isolated objects such as  trees and towers
  • Avoid bodies of water such as swimming pools and lakes
  • When indoors, stay away from doors, windows, plumbing, and electronics
  • Educate all members of the family on lightning safety

Fire Safety Tips for Christmas

Christmas is the perfect time to relax next to the fire, bundle up with a blanket, and enjoy a nice, warm drink. However, Christmas also comes with many potential fire hazards, which means your Christmas could be ruined if you are not careful! If you want to enjoy your Christmas fully, without having to worry about fire damage in Orlando, be sure to follow these helpful guidelines from the fire repair experts at FLA-CAT.

  • Make sure you buy a fire-retardant tree. Many more people are choosing artificial trees every year, but they can actually be more of a fire hazard than natural trees are. If you buy an artificial tree, make sure it is fire retardant. Furthermore, if you choose a natural tree, make sure it is a healthy one, as unhealthy, dry trees are far more likely to catch on fire.

  • Choose a proper tree placement. Most Christmas tree fires are started when people accidentally place their trees near heat or fire sources such as fireplaces or radiators. To prevent these fires, you simply have to make sure your Christmas tree is placed at least three feet away from any source of fire or heat.

  • Water your tree regularly. If you decide to buy a natural tree, be sure to water it on a regular basis. Doing so ensures that your tree not only stays healthy, but also remains moist. Dry pine needles are a major fire hazard and can easily catch on fire.

  • Use indoor lights only. One mistake that many people make each year is to put outdoor lights on their Christmas trees. These lights are meant to burn brighter, which means they become very hot and can potentially cause Christmas trees to catch on fire.

  • Avoid candles. Even if they make your tree look nice, never use candles to decorate your Christmas tree–whether it is real or fake. Candles are just too much of a fire hazard.

  • Turn off your lights. Make it a habit to turn off your Christmas lights when you go to bed or leave your home. This is fire safety 101, but you would be surprised by how many people damage their homes every year because they forget to turn off their Christmas tree lights.

You can significantly reduce the risk of having your Christmas ruined by an unexpected fire just by following these simple tips. However, if you do run into some fire trouble, you can always contact the fire damage specialists in Orlando at FLA-CAT!

How to Navigate the Insurance World When Disaster Strikes

Most homeowners never expect to have to submit insurance claims when damages occur to their homes, but unfortunately, accidents do happen. Whether it is damage from a flood, a storm, or a fire, it can be an emotional experience that leaves you feeling alone and frustrated. However, by following these guidelines, you can easily work with your insurance company to submit an insurance restoration in Orlando claim for the damage to your home and get back on your feet.

Meet With Your Representative

Submitting a claim sounds easy, but if you’re not exactly sure what you are doing, it can be a difficult process. When submitting a claim, you should try your best to speak with your insurance representative one on one. Having a good relationship with your representative can lead to a better understanding of the entire claim process.

What to Expect

Depending on the amount of damage to your home, you should expect any of the following to happen after you submit your claim:

  • Reimbursement of Living Expenses if Home is Unlivable

  • Removal of Debris When Applicable

  • Reimbursement of Common Household Property Such as TVs and Computers

  • Repairs–Even When Someone Else’s Property Damages Yours

Be Firm

If you initially face a little resistance from your insurance company, you need to be firm with them. Call or meet with your representative on a regular basis to make sure you are being kept up to date on your claim process and that you are submitting all of the required paperwork. It never hurts to be a little assertive, especially if your home has suffered significant damage.

Seek Help

If your claim is rejected, or it is taking too long to process, you need to seek the help of an experienced insurance attorney immediately. He or she can help expedite the entire claims process and will make sure that you receive the money you deserve from your insurance company.

Submitting a home insurance claim can be a difficult process, especially if your home has been damaged significantly by a flood or fire. Nevertheless, as long as you maintain a good relationship with your insurance representative and stay on top of the claims process, you should receive the money to which you are rightfully entitled. If you have any questions about dealing with your insurance company during your home’s restoration process, contact the Orlando insurance restoration experts at FLA-CAT today!

Tips To Help You Avoid a Disastrous Fire During Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to spend with family and enjoy some home-cooked food, but it is also a time when thousands of families across the United States make costly mistakes that cause needless fire damage to their homes. If you want to avoid Thanksgiving fire damage in Orlando, brush up on your fire-safety cooking tips.

  • Keep a watchful eye. Most kitchen fires are simply caused by people who do not pay attention to what they are doing. It does not matter whether you have done it many times in the past; you should never leave food unattended on your stovetop. This is especially true if you are using a deep fryer to cook your turkey, as they are among the most common fire hazards during the Thanksgiving holiday.

  • Always be ready. Even if you are confident in your cooking abilities, it is always a good idea to be prepared. If a fire does happen, you will definitely want to have the proper equipment ready to help put it out. Always know where the fire extinguisher is kept, and if you do not have one, buy one immediately. It’s also important to always keep flammable things away from your stovetop such as paper towels and anything made of plastic.

  • Wear appropriate clothing. Thanksgiving is usually a time when people like to bundle up in comfortable winter clothing, but if you are responsible for cooking, you should still wear short, tight-fitting clothing that will not be at risk of catching fire. You should also tie your hair back if it is long, as you certainly do not want it to catch fire!

  • Keep children out of the kitchen. Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family, but if you want to lower the risks of a fire, make sure that younger children stay out of the kitchen. This will not only prevent them from being a distraction, but also keep them from potentially burning themselves.

  • Act quickly if you are burned. If an accident does happen, and you do suffer a burn, put the burned area of your body under cold water for three to five minutes and then apply a soothing ointment. If the burn is any larger than a fist, you should seek medical attention immediately.

By following these tips, you are sure to have a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday. If you want to learn more tips to avoid fire damage in Orlando, browse through the FLA-CAT blog posts today.

Do you have fire-safety precautions set up in your home? Tell us how many fire extinguishers you have and where you keep them for easy access. We’ll share your tips to help out our other followers.

Home Maintenance Tips for First-Time Homebuyers

Purchasing your first home can be an exciting experience, but it can also be an incredibly daunting one. It comes with a lot of responsibility and is a potential lifetime investment. This means you should properly be prepared, especially when it comes to performing standard home maintenance. If you recently purchased your first home, follow these guidelines to try to prevent any major home accidents from occurring:

  • Ensure water drains are properly installed and functioning. Water drains that are not properly set up can lead to significant water damage within a short period of time. Drain water away from the foundation of your home and ensure that no obstructions prevent your drains from working correctly.

  • Regularly inspect your roof. It’s important to inspect your roof for any missing or broken shingles. In addition, you should check your attic for evidence of leaks.

  • Examine your home siding for damage. Whether your home is made of brick, stucco, wood, or any other type of material, you should thoroughly inspect the siding at least twice a year for any type of cracks or separations in its foundation.

  • Check your HVAC system. If you do not take care of your HVAC system, it could potentially cost you thousands of dollars to repair or replace. Be sure to have your unit checked out on a regular basis. This regular maintenance includes keeping the lawn and weeds trimmed, as well as preventing insects from building their homes in or around the unit.

  • Test smoke detectors frequently. Thousands of homeowners deal with fire damage every year, but damages from house fires can be significantly reduced by maintaining your smoke alarms. Check your smoke alarms at least twice a year to make sure they work properly and have fresh batteries.

  • Perform routine home maintenance. Home maintenance includes things such as checking air filters once a month and making sure the moisture-prone areas of your home (such as bathrooms and kitchens) are well-ventilated to prevent mold from growing. You should also use surge protectors to avoid overloading your electrical systems.

By following these tips, you can easily avoid most home disasters that a significant number of homeowners experience every year. If your home does suffer any type of damage from a flood, storm, or fire, you can always depend on FLA-CAT to provide you with outstanding repair services!

Do you have any tips for first-time homeowners? Share your suggestions with us and we’ll share them with our followers.

Toilet Backed Up?

One of the most disgusting and inconvenient things that can happen in your home is a backed up toilet. If you have dealt with this issue before, you know just how frustrating it can be to find out there’s a clog. What causes these backups to happen? You might be surprised to learn that there are multiple reasons a toilet becomes backed up–reasons that go beyond a clogged U-bend. To better prepare yourself for the next time the flush handle produces no flushing results, take a look at these reasons your toilet could be backed up.

Wet Weather: Nature’s Clog

You may be surprised to find that a frequent cause of toilet backups is wet weather. Heavy rain, thunderstorms, and even hurricanes can cause toilet backups if you live in the right (or wrong) area. Clogs occur in wet weather because the sewer systems we use are also built to collect excess rainwater. The grates you see in the streets allow water flow to travel into the sewers, keeping the ground level free of flooding. However, flooding can also happen in smaller and older sewers, causing toilet backups throughout the city.

What May Be Happening

Many different issues can cause an excess of rainwater to create backups in your toilet. The most frequent causes of toilet backups include:

  • Small Sewers. Sewers built for older residences are often smaller than more modern sewers, since the population was often smaller at the time. Some old sewers might be too small to carry everything, causing backups around the area.

  • Blocked Pipes. Clogs in the sewer can affect the rest of the system all the way back to your toilet. Roots, trash, machinery, and other items can find their way into your pipes, making it impossible for the rest of the system to function.

  • Old Pipes. As with all technology, things get old and break, and sewer systems are no exception. Old pipes can collapse or fold in, which can cause buildup or flooding that takes immense effort to fix.

Unclogging Your Toilet
There are a lot of reasons why your toilet could be backed up, and you may not be sure where to start. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with the aftermath on your own. Call FLA-CAT for professional water damage repair in Orlando help.

How Flood Damage Repair in Orlando Can Help You

Have the rains been falling down heavily, leaving you with multiple water leaks throughout your home? Perhaps your toilets have been overflowing and your house and carpet is starting to pay for it. Flood damage repair in Orlando is important for anyone who finds their home overcome by water. Water causes significant damage, whether its from plumbing issues, toilet flooding, or natural disasters.

When May You Need Flood Damage Repair in Orlando?

Storms are one of the main reasons for flood damage. With heavy rains or hurricanes hitting Florida often, one can imagine that at some point or another, you will need flood damage repair. Damaged roofs cause leaks, leading to further in-home damages. Flash floods are another way that water may cause damage to your hardwood floors and it can be the origin of deterioration for other areas of your home.

The longer water damage is allowed to remain, the more difficult and time consuming repairs may be. To avoid higher costs in damage repair, and to keep your home free from the troublesome outcomes that come with flood damage, it is highly suggested that you find someone who can perform flood damage repair in Orlando as quickly as possible..

Other sources of flood damage in your home may not be caused by natural disasters such as storms or floods, but simply by faulty plumbing. If you find your home flooded by toilet water and water leaks from your plumbing system, there is no need to panic. A flood damage repair company can help remedy the situation with the proper materials and equipment.

Flood Damage Repair in Orlando: Call in the Professionals

If you and your family end up with a serious flooding situation that is damaging the walls and floors of your home, it is important to get help right away. Flood damage that is left unattended has the potential to ruin your floors, carpets, walls, and much more. The key to having your home restored to its previous state is to act quickly and get help before it’s too late.

If you need flood damage repair services in Orlando, contact FLA-CAT today. You can get the 24/7 service you want, when you need it. FLA-CAT will work tirelessly to return your home to its normal, undamaged state.

Understanding Possible Storm Damage Repairs

Given the weather we experience, Florida can be a crazy place to live. Hurricanes are more of a threat to us than to any other location in the country. Even beyond hurricanes, we still have to deal with a slew of different storms, from the light drizzle of an afternoon shower to the thunderstorm that causes flooding. This wide spectrum of weather is not only inconvenient, but it can also cause real damage to your home or business. Understanding the different possibilities can help you find solutions.

Whether you have experienced storm damage in Orlando in the past or you just want to be prepared for the future, take a look at this list to help increase your awareness about the various types of storm damage than can occur at your home or business.

  • Roof Damage and Leaks: We do not often think about our roofs until something goes wrong with them, but roof damage from a storm can be a huge problem. Strong winds can tear off sections of your roof, which allows for leaks and interior damage.

  • Broken Windows: When something flies through a window in the middle of a storm, there is suddenly no protection from the elements. Windows can be shattered by debris or strong winds and excess rain can rot frames, which can also cause damage to the pane or wall.

  • Structural Damage: If you live near the Everglades or in a part of Florida that often suffers from flooding, you understand this concern all too well. Flooding and excess water can cause a building’s foundation to shift, creating structural damage. The foundation does not have to move for the structure to suffer, however. Sagging wet walls or exposed parts of the home can ruin the framework of a building, creating danger for everyone inside.

  • Lightning Strike Damage: Lightning can be just as frightening from far away as up close, but the effects are much more real when a bolt hits your home. Lightning can destroy sections of a building, burnt out electrical wiring, and even start a fire in some cases.

  • Floor Damage: Your floor is more than just carpet or hardwood, and storm exposure in the wrong place can do real damage to the floor of a home. Of course, carpeting and hardwood flooring can be ruined by rain, but breaking and slanting can also occur.

If you’re home or business has suffered any storm damage in Orlando, and you’re in need of repair, contact the experts at FLA-CAT. Have you experienced damage from a storm? How do you protect your home from the threat of storm damage?

Secure Your Home and Peace of Mind During National Fire Prevention Month

3The second week of October marks the 143rd anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire. The legend goes that the fire started when a cow kicked over a lamp, first setting the barn ablaze, and then the city itself, leaving over 100,000 people homeless. Though historians have since discredited that story, the utter devastation left in the fire’s wake is a lesson in how important it is to fireproof your home or business. Even though the second week in October has passed, fire safety should always be a priority for property owners.

Updating and Maintaining Your Basic Fireproofing Tools

The fire extinguisher is the most obvious and symbolic tool in fire defense; however, one fire extinguisher is not always enough. Is your fire extinguisher in a place where you can access it easily and quickly? Do you have one on each floor of your home or business? Are all the residents in the building aware of where the extinguisher is? Do they know how to use it? These are all questions that home and business owners must ask themselves so that they can fight a fire if, in fact, one does start.

Smoke alarms are also an important tool when it comes to fire prevention and safety. Modern homes and businesses already have these alarms installed, but it is not enough to have them–they must be maintained. This means testing alarm batteries every four months and replacing those that are weak or dead.

Fireproof Your Furniture and Floors, Secure Peace of Mind!

Keep in mind that smoke alarms and fire extinguishers are ideally last resorts. There are other proactive steps that can taken to ensure for your home or business is fireproof. For instance, fire-resistant rugs are sold in a variety of colors and patterns, making every room look good while being one step ahead of fires. Furniture can be sprayed with fireproof chemical, as well. It may cost a bit of money, but that money is nothing when compared to the cost of damages caused by a fire, or the peace of mind that comes from protection.

A fireproof home is a clean home. Excess junk or clutter, such as newspapers, cardboard boxes, or old magazines are all flammable materials that could catch fire at even the smallest spark. Keeping floors clean serves the dual purpose of ensuring your home or business is free of rodents, which have a habit of chewing through electrical wiring which could then create a fire hazard.

The Best Defense is Common Sense

Ultimately, some fireproofing is common sense, such as turning electricity off when leaving a room or making sure all fires or matches have been properly extinguished. Other fire preventative measures are not as obvious, but by taking these steps in your home or business, you are not only securing your property but allowing yourself to have peace of mind in everyday life.  If your home actually does experience fire damage in Orlando, call the experts at FLA-CAT.

How else do you practice fire prevention? Share your tips and tricks with us and we’ll share them with our followers.

How Regular Inspections Can Help You Avoid Water Damage

Serious water damage is a homeowner’s biggest fears. For people who live in apartments and condos, there could be legal issues involved as well–after all, if your floor suffers significant water damage, your neighbor’s ceiling may also have been destroyed. However, water damage in Orlando is often completely avoidable with regular inspections.

Don’t live in fear of coming home to a house that has been flooded, leaving you with thousands of dollars of damage. Keep an eye on all of your home’s appliances that use water and make sure they’re inspected regularly to avoid water damage in Orlando. Here are a few that should be inspected regularly:

Your Washing Machine

Washing machine supply lines should be inspected on a monthly basis. Signs to look for include blisters in the hose, worn out tubing, and cracks. The connection should also be tight. In fact, problems often occur near the point of connection where the hose bends. A washing machine should be kept at least 4 inches from the wall in order to prevent kinking and bending. Preformed metal elbows are available at hardware stores and you should have no problems if you run your supply lines through these.

Your Refrigerator

The ice maker component of a refrigerator also has supply line tubing that should be checked on a monthly basis. If left unchecked, this seemingly harmless feature can cause significant water damage in your home.

Your Water Heater

Leaks in a water heater usually occur at plumbing joints. The joints should also be checked for corrosion. Also, any unusual pinging or hammering noises coming from your water heater could indicate a much more serious problem.

Likewise, you should also pay close attention to the water heater’s flame. It should be burning bright blue with yellow tips. A yellowish/orange hue indicates that the heater is struggling, which means that your energy bills are probably higher than they should be. In the worst-case scenario, it could also mean that toxic carbon monoxide is escaping.

Your Roof

While your roof is not an appliance, it’s an important area that could incur a significant amount of water damage if it’s not checked regularly. It is not uncommon for roof shingles to be jostled loose during one of the many ferocious wind storms that we experience here in Florida.

Schedule an Inspection

If you would like a professional to come and inspect your property for water damage hazards in Orlando, or if you are in need of water damage repair services, contact the experts at FLA-CAT. FLA-CAT specializes in preventing and repairing water damage and can help protect your home.
Can you think of any other possible water damage hazards in your home? Share your ideas with us.

Common Causes of Water Damage

5Water damage in Orlando can happen to any homeowner or business owner. When it does, it can be devastating. Not only does the water cause destruction to your property, but the cleanup can also be very dangerous and extensive. Prevention is the most effective way to minimize water damage. Let FLA-CAT give you some ideas on how to prevent the three most common types of water damage.

Leaks

Water damage most commonly occurs because of leaky plumbing. Water damage from leaky plumbing can cause hidden, long-term damage by rotting through the timber or dry wall under your pipes. The quicker you deal with a leak, the less damage you will have. If you suspect you have a leak, you can check your water usage through your meter. To check your water usage, turn off the meter to your home and take a reading. Wait a couple of hours, and do not use any water during this time. Then, check the reading again. It should not have changed. If it has, you may have a leak.

Other signs of leaks are a higher-than-usual water bill, water in places it shouldn’t be, and discoloration on your walls, floor, or ceiling where the pipes run. You may also see mold or mildew. If you can’t find the leak, you may need to contact a plumber. Most importantly, do not try to clean it up yourself.

Sewer Line Failure

The second most common cause of water damage in Orlando is sewer line failure. Your residential property is probably connected to your town’s sewer system by one main line. Roots and deterioration can damage this line, causing water to back up into your home. If you discover that your sewer is not flowing properly, call a plumber before it worsens. A plumber can tell you if the problem has occurred because of blockage in your pipes or blockage in the main line.

Burst Pipe

Another common form of water damage occurs as a result of burst pipes. Deterioration of pipes, or even freezing (although it is uncommon in Florida) can cause pipes to burst. Have your pipes inspected and regularly check places that could corrode. If you have older pipes, one of the main reasons they burst is due to high pressure. You can install a valve to help reduce pressure, or you can replace the plumbing. Concrete adds pressure to pipe lines, so do not lay it over your water lines.

Call an Expert

If you experience water damage in Orlando for any reason, call your insurance company first. Then, contact the water damage repair specialists at FLA-CAT for quick and professional service. Keep your family safe and get your home back to normal while FLA-CAT does the work.
What other common causes of water damage do Floridians experience? Join the conversation and tell us what you think. We’ll give you suggestions for how to avoid your suggested cause.

Do You Have a Hidden Fire Hazard?

Where there is smoke, there is fire. That old saying does not always hold true. Quite often, there are hidden fire dangers that remain unseen, even when there is no smoke. By the time the smoke becomes evident to you, the fire may have developed beyond a manageable state.

Electricity: Friend and Foe

In most homes or businesses, electricity is at the root of accidental fires. Appliances plugged into the wall outlet are the most obvious danger, but a more subtle cause is electrical wiring. Your home or office has hundreds of feet of electrical wiring, all hidden behind walls. Although, today’s construction standards require electrical wiring have sheathing–usually plastic–it does not take much to pierce that thin plastic shield.

Something as innocent as a nail or screw driven into your wall when you are hanging a picture can accidentally penetrate your wiring. This, in turn, causes a potential fire hazard. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), electrical fires account for more than 50,000 home fires each year, resulting in over one billion dollars in property damage.

Electrical wall outlets themselves are also a likely suspect in hidden fire danger. When a plug enters into the wall outlet, the blades must be tight fitting. A loose connection between blade and socket is a perfect place for sufficient heat to build up to cause an accidental fire.

Check Your Laundry Room

Another possible cause of hidden fires is in your laundry room. All clothes dryers build up lint in the process of drying your clothing. While you may regularly clean your dryer’s lint trap, that may not be enough to safeguard your home from a hidden fire mishap. Lint also accumulates inside the dryer cabinet, where the heating elements are located. Once there is enough build-up of lint in this area, those heating elements can ignite the lint, and that hidden fire potential becomes a reality.

Some of your more obvious household appliances can also be a hidden fire danger. Laptop computers, for instance, have a tendency to get hot while operating. If these devices are located in places without proper ventilation, and around combustible materials such as bedding, clothing, or pillows, it is possible for the computer to ignite those materials.

If your home or business is unlucky enough to experience an accidental fire, contact the professionals at FLA-CAT. They are the fire damage repair professionals in Orlando who will be glad to give you a quote, and help you get your home or office restored.
Do you have hidden fire hazards in your home or office? Share this post, seek them out, and send us pictures of your hidden fire hazards. We’ll tell you how to fix them and share them with our followers.

Common Misconceptions About Restoration

OC Convention Ctr (5)After your home has been subjected to a catastrophe, you may hear many misconceptions about the restoration procedure. However, don’t believe everything you’re told, unless it’s coming from a specialized expert in insurance restoration in Florida.

The FLA-CAT professional team of restoration experts can recognize misconceptions and misinformation in order to prioritize mitigation so that the expense accompanying damage after a disaster stays low. Mitigation stops further damage when it is performed quickly. This helps keep restoration costs lower. You do need to call a restoration expert quickly, within 24 hours or less, when your property experiences damage.

Misconception #1: Replacement or Salvage

A very common misconception is that replacing is more inexpensive than recovery. When you clean up water or smoke damage and prevent further loss, you actually save more of your property. If you delay action, not only do you have hundreds of dollars in cleaning, but you’ll also have thousands of dollars in restoration. The FLA-CAT restoration experts understand how to remove the contaminants that are harmful to your health, as well as how to keep water damage contained.

Misconception #2: Carpet Cleaning

Another misconception is that cleaning carpet causes them to get dirty more quickly. Although this was true in the past, with updated equipment, methods, and cleaners, this is no longer the case. Older carpet cleaning equipment leaves soap deposits on your carpet which does attract dust and dirt. If your insurance restoration company uses modern and efficient equipment, this should not be a concern.

Misconception #3: Smoke Damage

There is a misconception that smoke damage causes a permanent smell in the building, so there is no point in rushing the clean-up. This is completely false. Although odor elimination can take time, it is possible when the restoration company uses the proper tools. The restoration company needs to make sure that every area is cleaned and deodorized, and where applicable, sealed. Quick action to neutralize odors is very effective when done properly.

When it comes to mitigation and restoration, a professional company is your best choice. They stay up-to-date with the most current and effective techniques for clean-up and restoration, and they have the tools to measure moisture levels.

If you require the services of a professional insurance restoration company in Florida, call the professionals at FLA-CAT and request a quote. Our specialists work with you and your insurance company to mitigate your damages after a catastrophe. When it’s possible, we will salvage your property.

Can you think of any other common misconceptions regarding restoration? Share your ideas with us–we’d love to share other misconceptions with our followers. If you have a question regarding the restoration procedure, feel free to ask in the comments below–our goal is to keep the public informed and educated about the restoration process.

Do You Need Renter’s Insurance?

4-4-11 154If you are renting a home or apartment, you may think that any damage will be covered by the owner’s insurance. Though homeowner’s insurance will cover structural damage to your living space, it will not cover your belongings and property. To protect yourself if your home is burglarized or damaged, you need renter’s insurance.

You Own More Than You Think You Do

Take a look around your living space. What would it take to replace everything if there were a fire tonight? Imagine your laptop, your television, your clothes, your bed–all gone in one night. Renter’s insurance will give you the money you need to replace the items you lost. A small monthly payment can pay off big when you need it the most.

Liability

If someone is hurt in your apartment, you may be responsible for the resulting medical bills. If a repairman trips and falls on a badly placed rug in your apartment, you are liable. Renter’s insurance would cover such an accident. If you caused a fire in your building, the damage will be your responsibility–renter’s insurance is your financial lifesaver in situations like this.

Displacement

If your apartment or rental home is damaged so severely that it is no longer considered livable, renter’s insurance will cover the cost of a hotel or other lodging. All policies have limits, but if a hurricane stripped your home off the ground, at least you would have the means to cover a temporary place to stay.

Can You Afford Not to Have Renter’s Insurance?

If you think renter’s insurance is too expensive, shop around. You can generally find a policy for an annual fee of about $120. You may even receive a discount on your car insurance if you use the same company for both policies.

More landlords are requiring their tenants to purchase renter’s insurance, but 81 million people who rent their homes are uninsured for their own contents. Individual items can cost more to replace than you think. Even if your landlord does not require it, you should protect yourself financially with a renter’s policy.

Renter’s insurance protects the personal property within your home or apartment much like homeowner’s insurance would. Fire, theft, vandalism, and water damage would be covered, but flood or earthquake damage may cost extra. Your financial interests would also be protected in case of an accident that you might be held accountable for.
If you are a homeowner or a renter who is looking for a insurance restoration company in Florida to cover potential damage to your home, contact us today for a quote.

Minimizing Damage During a Hurricane

2Minimizing Damage During a Hurricane

If you live in an area that is affected by hurricanes each year, then hurricane damage is not an unknown fact of life. Protecting your home and family during hurricane season is stressful and tiresome, and hurricanes can wreak havoc on your home if you haven’t taken the necessary precautions. We have some great and effective tips to help you get your house and your family ready for hurricane season this year.

Protect Doors and Windows

One of the most important things to do before a hurricane is to ensure that all of your windows and doors are properly covered. This means installing shutters that are the correct size for each window and door. Despite its popularity, duct tape is not an effective way of protecting your windows from shattering. Don’t waste your time taping your windows, instead, install sturdy shutters–not only are they reliable, but they’ll last you for hurricane seasons to come.

Infrastructure Check

Before a hurricane hits, take a very close look at your home’s infrastructure. You should pay special attention to your shingles. Loose shingles can cause significant damage during a storm with high winds. Also, make sure to check your roof for any damage. By completing a thorough inspection before the storm hits, you’ll increase the likelihood of finding that leak before the hurricane, instead of during it.

Minimize Debris

One factor that causes more storm damage in Orlando than anything else during a hurricane is flying debris. Before a hurricane, you should bring in any lawn ornaments that could turn into dangerous projectiles during a hurricane. This includes pots and plants, wind chimes, and any other yard accessories you may have on your property. Be sure to securely stash away any trash bins or other outdoor objects while you’re at it. If you own items that are too large to move or that you don’t have room for inside your home, you can tie them up so that they do not shift during the hurricane. Making sure that there is no debris flying around your property can make the whole hurricane experience much safer for everyone.

All of these tips can help you prepare your home and your family for a hurricane. Being aware of the danger and taking the appropriate steps to prevent damage will make you feel safer. If you need storm damage repair in Orlando, contact the insurance restoration experts at FLA-CAT.

How to Prevent Water Damage in Orlando

If you are like most Americans, your home is your biggest investment, and you want to protect it from both natural and man-made hazards. Water damage in Orlando is one of the biggest threats to American homes. While storms, hurricanes, and floods can cause significant water damage, water can also enter your property via broken pipes, leaky dishwashers, overflowing washing machines, and cracks in the foundation or roof.

Not only does water corrode your home’s drywall, baseboards, and overall foundation, but it can ruin your furniture, upholstery, appliances, and electronics. Statistics reveal that 37% of homeowners claim monetary losses due to water damage. Experts from the insurance industry also believe that 98% of the basements in U.S. homes suffer some water-related damage during their lifetime.

Water damage is usually categorized into three major groups.

  1. Category 1 is also known as clean water. This form of damage is not harmful to the residents of the property and is commonly caused by overflowing sinks and broken appliances.

  2. Category 2, or grey water damage, is caused by broken toilets and sump pumps. The running water in the house may be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria that can make humans sick.

  3. Sewage problems and contamination of standing water can lead to Category 3 water damage. This can have a debilitating impact on the health and well-being of the residents of the property.

Water damage repair in Orlando is a lengthy and expensive process, however, there are several steps that homeowners can take to lower the risk of water damage.

  • Always elevate appliances. This will help protect your washing machine, dryer, refrigerator, and music system in case of a flood. Excessive water will not only saturate and ruin these devices, but it can also cause a dangerous situation with the electrical components of the machine.

  • Tighten faucets. All the taps in your kitchen and bathroom should be tightened. Check for leaks frequently and seek professional help to fix them quickly and efficiently should a faucet begin to leak.

  • Shut off supply valves. You should also turn off the supply valves to your washing machine, especially when you do not intend to use it for a long time.

Remember, water damage can occur in spite of preventive efforts. Do not handle noticeable water damage by yourself. Always seek the services of a professional.

FLA-CAT has been dealing with water damage for decades. Our trained technicians have the experience to assess and contain your home’s water damage. We will work tirelessly to ensure that the water damage does not spread to other parts of your home. You will save time, money and effort. You will also enjoy the benefits of a job well done.
Have you experienced water damage? Share this post and tell us about your experience. Also, give others some advice on how to deal with their water-damaged home.

How to Avoid Dangerous Grease Fires in Your Kitchen

Grease fires are one of the most dangerous and preventable incidents that can befall a home. There are simple steps that you can take to avoid a grease fire from occurring in your kitchen.

Keeping It Clean

We all lead busy lives, and sometimes there just isn’t time to clean everything the way we would like. However, cleaning any spills and drips from your stove on a daily basis is one of the easiest ways to prevent a grease fire from starting. Large spill are very noticeable and are often cleaned quickly, it’s the small drips and splatters that can accumulate over time, becoming fuel for a grease fire. Also, when you are cooking, always wipe up food that spills onto the outside of the pan, as this is another way to start a grease fire. Keep the area around the flame or burner free of grease and spills at all times.

Recipe for Safety

When cooking with oil, make sure you know the temperature rating. Not all fats and oils are alike. The more refined a fat, the higher temperature it can safely be heated to, as there are less impurities in it to make it smoke. If you let cooking oil get too hot, it can ignite. If you see oil beginning to smoke, remove it from the heat source immediately. If a fire does ignite in the pan, do NOT throw water on it.

Know Your Fire Extinguisher

Always keep a working fire extinguisher on hand, and make sure it is the right type for a grease fire. Type B or Type ABC fire extinguishers are designed to extinguish grease fires. Never use a water-based extinguisher on a grease fire. Water of any type will actually fuel the flames, causing the fire to spread and intensify. Make sure your kitchen extinguisher is a dry chemical or CO2 extinguisher. If you do not have a fire extinguisher and the flame is still small enough for you to safely manage, dump baking soda on it or cover the pan with another pot or baking pan. This will remove oxygen from the flame and possibly extinguish it.

Even though grease fires are usually preventable, once one starts, it may be hard to stop. Never put yourself at risk trying to stop the spread of a fire of which you are losing control. The most important thing is to make sure you and your family members are out of immediate danger.

If you do sustain damage from a grease fire, or any other fire, call the fire damage repair professionals in Melbourne at FLA-CAT at 855-352-2281. We can take care of your claim, and get your home put back together quickly, so that you can get back to your life.

Share this post and help to educate others of the importance of grease fire prevention. Also, tell us what you do to prevent kitchen grease fires.

Clearing the Ashes: Cleaning After a House Fire

A house fire is a terrible thing that no one should have to experience. Dealing with the loss of your home and possessions can make you feel incredibly vulnerable, and getting back on your feet can be hard. Often times, fire damage in Orlando is only partial, which means that you have the ability to salvage part of your life instead of starting over from scratch. As relieving as it may be to find that you have not lost everything, certain risks to your home and possessions still exist after the fire is extinguished.

One of the biggest mistakes that a homeowner can make after a house fire is to immediately begin cleaning. With little to no understanding of the extent of the damage to the house, you may actually be doing more harm than good. Soot and smoke can linger in unseen places, and if exposed, can cause even more damage to the house’s structure, furniture, and other possessions. Much of the debris may still be hot and can burn anything it touches, including your skin.

Instead of stepping blindly into cleanup, your best option after a fire is to call in a fire damage repair professional in Orlando to help you assess the damage and to clean up. At Florida Catastrophe Corp., we provide damage evaluation, odor control, and even demolition and reconstruction if needed. When you bring FLA-CAT on the job after a house fire, you are not only taking steps to reclaim your life, but also minimizing the danger that you and your home may still be facing.

No one expects a house fire to happen, and there is never a preferred time for it to occur. That is why FLA-CAT offers 24-hour response service for fire damage repair in Orlando and cleanup. You should not have to wait to reclaim your life after a fire, and when you call us, you will not have to. The moment we receive the call, we will be on the way to your home, ready to help in any way we can. Our staff will immediately begin to assess the situation on arrival, and you can rest easy knowing that you will have your life back in no time.

If you have been the victim of a house fire, do not take any risks with the cleanup and repair. Call FLA-CAT at 855-352-2281, day or night, and take back your sense of security.

Does your family have an emergency house-fire plan? What would be your first step following a house fire? Share this post and tell us what you would do, we’ll let you know if your first instinct is the best first step in the house-fire recovery process.

The Value of Keeping Seniors in the Home

AARP reports, now that the baby boomer generation has reached retirement age, approximately 8,000 individuals will turn 65 every day for the next fifteen years. As this generation grows older and lives longer, we are learning more and more about health and well-being in the senior years–and many studies show that aging adults who stay in their own homes, or at home with loved ones, find greater satisfaction, well-being, and better health as they age.

In fact, a study by AARP found that 71% of surveyed Americans “strongly agreed” that they wanted to stay in their homes as long as possible–a trend AARP calls “aging in place.” As our aging loved ones live longer, many people find themselves needing to make household accommodations to help make that desire a reality.

Home Adjustments

Whether you are a senior who chooses to age at home, or perhaps a caregiver helping a loved one to remain at home, there are a variety of home modifications in Orlando that can make a home safer and more accessible. Some steps you can take to ensure that a home is safe and easy to navigate through old age include:

  • Home Accessibility –  Entryway modifications, stair lifts, elevator installation, and automatic door openers are modifications that make it easier and safer for a senior to get in and out of the structure, or navigate multiple levels, if necessary.

  • Bathroom Modifications – Walk-in or roll-in tub or shower conversions from a traditional bathtub design, along with additions of in-shower benches, shower chairs, and grab bars, greatly improve a senior’s stability. Additional modifications may include toilet adjustments to create access at the appropriate height.

  • Bedroom Adjustments – Bedroom adjustments may include bed height adjustments, modification to closet door widths or access types, door-activated light switches, and closet storage at different heights for easier access.

  • Kitchen Modifications – Changes may include raised or lowered workstations and appliances, lever faucet controls, under-cabinet spaces to accommodate wheelchairs or walkers, and roll-out drawers and storage spaces to minimize stooping and bending.

How We Can Help

Our C.H.A.M.P. certified professionals at FLA-CAT are experts in home modifications in Orlando and can work with you on your home’s accessibility issues. Call us for a quote regarding options for making homes more accessible for anyone choosing to age gracefully in the comfort and convenience of home! Share this post if you are or have been through a home modification project. Let us know about your experiences on our Facebook page.

Safety Tips to Prevent Fire Damage in Your Office

You take the utmost care of your home to ensure the safety of you and your family, but did you know that your office or place of work is just as, or even more, susceptible to electrical and fire accidents? This is due to the fact that places of business, especially offices, have multiple machines and electrical components functioning at the same time.

Here are a few tips to ensure electrical safety. By following these simple suggestions you could drastically reduce the chance of fire damage occurring in your office.

Don’t Overload the Outlet

Using more than one adapter in one outlet can cause electrical overload and lead to an electrical fire. Before doing this, consult an electrician to ensure that your outlet can handle this much electrical flow.

Instead of using an adapter, try using a power strip or surge protector. These will shut off before any electrical overload. Plus, it prevents computers and other devices from frying in the event of an electrical overload.

Keep Extension Cords in a Safe Place

Extension cords should be tucked away as much as possible. If left out, assure that they are not in high traffic areas like hallways, doorways, or any place where they can be damaged.

Follow the Correct Steps When Unplugging

It’s easy to become lazy and skip a few steps, especially when it comes to unplugging electrical machines. Some people have the bad habit of unplugging without turning off the machine first. It may sound silly and commonsensical, but here are the correct steps to safely unplug your electrical machines:

  1. Turn off the machine

  2. Unplug the machine

  3. If you’re using an adapter or surge protector, don’t just unplug the whole thing. Unplug each machine from the adapter or surge protector, then unplug the adapter or surge protector from the outlet.

Before you leave your office, make sure everything is turned off. If anything can be unplugged, feel free to do so for added security. This not only keeps your office safer, but it’s better for the environment. Overtime, turned off machines actually take up a lot of energy just by being plugged in to their outlets.

Don’t Eat or Drink Near Electrical Wiring

Having your morning coffee or midday-slump coffee at your desk is a usual practice. But if you have multiple electrical cords under your desk, this routine may not be the safest practice. If you must have coffee, other drinks, or food in your office, keep them on another small table that is away from electrical cords.

These tips are a great way to prevent electrical hazards and potential fire damage in Orlando. Most of the time, this is enough to prevent such issues altogether. However, even the most safety-minded office can face some electrical problems. If you notice anything out of the ordinary with your electricity, consult the professionals at FLA-CAT for fire damage repair services in Orlando, FL.

Share this post and spread the word of office fire and electrical safety with your friends and family. Who knows; one of these tips could help save your office building from a preventable disaster.

Understanding Storm Damage Repair in Orlando

Summers in Florida mean warm days at the beach and lots of sun. However, those days of beautiful weather can soon be accompanied by dangerous storms. These storms move in very quickly and are capable of causing a significant amount of damage. It is common for these storms to have high winds and ferocious hail, both of which result in a lot of damage to homes and outdoor fixtures. The best thing to do if your home suffers storm damage in Orlando is to call FLA-CAT. But first, there are some things you should know about storm damage.

It is often thought that only tornadoes and hurricanes can be damaging, but even strong thunderstorms inflict considerable damage to residential homes. The most common types of storm damage include broken windows caused by trees blown over by the wind and larger pieces of hail. Fallen trees can also cause damage to roofs, resulting in the need for roof replacement or repair. Siding damage can also occur because of a strong storm.

What to do if Your Home or Business is Affected by a Storm

In the aftermath of a serious storm, it is best to assess what damage has been done to your home. Do not try to fix anything yourself, as it could cause further damage. The cost of storm damage repair will vary depending on the severity of the damage that was done. After assessing the damage, you will want to call a storm damage repair service as quickly as possible. Fallen debris can be hazardous, and if there are any broken windows or entryways, your home now has a serious security risk.

Storm damage, when handled by experts, can be repaired in a timely manner. The sooner you call in a team of experts, the less time you will have away from your home or business. Storms can hit suddenly, and people are not always prepared for the damage that follows a severe storm. Should you find yourself in this situation, don’t hesitate to call FLA-CAT at 1-855-FLA-CAT1. We are the leading storm damage repair company in Orlando, FL, and we’re happy to help you when and where you need it. Share this post if your home has experienced severe storm damage. Tell us your stories and educate your friends and family of the importance of being proactive when severe storms hit their homes.

What to Look for in an Insurance Restoration Company and How to Choose One

Fires, storms, flooding, and sinkholes can devastate a home or business and leave the owner with thousands of dollars in repair costs. Luckily, those with restoration insurance can find some relief in these dire situations. Residents of Orlando, FL are not exempt from these damages. If you’re looking for a trustworthy insurance restoration company in Orlando, here are a few things you should consider:

Internet Research

Before making any calls or final decisions, shop around online. See which companies are best for your situation and read online reviews for the company in question. If you see any ads or receive any referrals for an insurance company search them as well.

Make a compare and contrast list and begin removing the bottom picks; ones that you won’t be choosing for sure. This will help you narrow down your search so you can find the best company to suit your need.

What to Look for in Your Research

The very first thing you should look for in an insurance restoration company in Orlando is whether they are certified and licensed. Copies of this information should always be available to customers upon request, and these documents should be filed with your homeowner’s policy and insurance papers. If you’re looking for a specific type of damage repair or your area is susceptible to a specific type of damage, look for a restoration insurance company that specializes in that field of damage.

Disasters can happen at any moment. It’s a great idea to choose a restoration insurance company that has after hours or 24-hour availability.

Start Making Calls

Once your research is finished and your list is narrowed down to the top few, start making phone calls. Ask how the process of making a claim works–each insurance company is different in this area. Be aware that phone operators may try to sell to you. Be firm in your choice, and if you’re not ready to choose a certain company do not feel obligated to do so.

Finalizing Your Choice in Restoration Insurance

Once you’ve made a final decision, request a quote. If possible, visit an office near you to finish asking any last-minute questions. Make sure you read all documents before signing and request copies of your own, including a copy of their certification.

Now that you know everything there is to choosing an insurance restoration company in Orlando, why not get started? One great company to start your research with is FLA-CAT in Orlando, FL. The experts at FLA-CAT have years of experience in disaster repair and recovery, and they’re happy to provide you with 24/7 assistance in case of an emergency.

With restoration insurance protecting your home or business, you can have peace of mind knowing that you’re ready for any disaster that may strike. Share this post and educated your friends and family of the importance of finding an insurance restoration company.

Keeping Pets Safe When Dealing With Disaster

For many Floridians, pets are an integral part of the family. When a disaster strikes, it’s important to make sure that all the members of your family are safe—including pets. The scary thing is that many times the well-being of your pet depends on your preparedness and the quality of your emergency plan.

To put you at ease and help you be prepared for anything, we’ve prepared some tips for keeping your pet safe in the face of disaster.

Emergency Supply Kit

Every home should have an emergency supply kit just in case the unthinkable happens. Pet owners need to remember that along with supplies for their family, they need supplies for their pets too. Here’s what should be in every pet emergency kit:

  • Food

  • Water

  • Bedding

  • Toys

  • Sanitation Bags

  • An extra collar and leash with your pets credentials

  • Any extra supplies you know your pet needs

While you can create your own, pre-packaged animal emergency bags can also be purchased from various companies and can easily be stored with your family’s emergency kit.

Evacuation

In the case of an evacuation, never forget your pets. Find out ahead of time which public shelters will take pets and always have a backup plan. Many people think dogs and cats can fend for themselves in emergencies, but that is simply not the case. They rely on us for their well-being and it’s our job as pet owners to make sure they’re safe.

In the instance that you and your family might need to take a plane to safety, make sure you own an animal travel bag that allows your pet to travel as a carry on. This isn’t an option for pets of all sizes, but can greatly reduce the stress your smaller furry friend is put through.

Training

While it may seem silly to train your dog on the off chance you’ll encounter an emergency situation, it’s been proven that trained animals provide the best results in an emergency. Taking your dog to obedience classes will not only makes your life easier, but it could also save your pet’s life.

Animals can become distressed and nervous during emergency situations. A well-trained pet is far less likely to run away out of fear and endanger themselves. Trained pets are also easier to handle when receiving emergency care. Injured or lost pets can act aggressive when frightened, and often just being given simple commands can help them trust whoever is trying to help.

No matter what happens, the trusted disaster recovery team in Orlando at FLA-CAT is familiar with what to do in the face of an emergency. That’s why we understand the need to be available to you after disaster strikes. If you’re looking at fire, water, or storm damage to your home or business, contact us immediately.

Preparedness Tips for a Disaster

Disasters can strike without warning, but you can give your family the tools it needs to adapt to changing situations and stay safe. Although you probably cannot cover every contingency, having a plan in place when an emergency situation occurs will help your family know what to do and where to go. Your plan should include an evacuation shelter, communication directions, and a supply kit.

An Evacuation and Shelter Location

Your family should know how to exit the house in case of a fire or other disaster. Each person will need to know alternate routes out of any room. Once outside and safe, you should also have a place to meet, such as a neighbor’s house or corner store so you don’t waste time looking for everyone. You may also want to have a person responsible for each pet.

If you have to leave the area, you should also be familiar with alternate driving routes, in case roads are closed or congested. Should a member of the family not be able to get to the safe shelter location, they need to know other places within the community that will be able to offer them safety until the crisis is over.

Communication Plans

Having one point of contact during an emergency will also save time. Family members should know who to call if they are separated during a disaster. If the entire community is affected, the network could be disrupted, making local phone calls difficult. In that case, having an out-of-town contact will be beneficial in coordinating everyone’s safety. Memorizing one or two key phone numbers will keep everyone in touch even if they do not have access to a cell phone. In the case of a community disaster, the American Red Cross has a registry to help families reconnect.

Supply Kit

Prolonged and community-wide disasters often affect utilities and businesses. Keeping basic supplies readily available will help you and your family cope with an already stressful situation. Your list may include water, food, medicine, a first-aid kit, radio, batteries, and blankets. Thinking about this ahead of time will help you have peace of mind when the unthinkable happens.

By taking a few minutes twice a year to prepare your family for emergencies, you give them the tools to stay safe during a crisis. When they know what to do and where to go, they are less likely to panic.

Once your family is safe and the crisis has passed, make sure to call the disaster recovery experts in Orlando. We can help you recover from water damage, fire damage, or storm damage and will work with your insurance company to provide quality restoration.

Fire Insurance Claim Tips for All Florida Homeowners

Fire damage in Orlando is one of the most devastating things that can inflict your property. No matter how small the fire is, there will always be damage. To make sure that you have the best chance of getting help from your insurance company, the professionals at FLA-CAT have gathered some of the most important fire insurance claim tips out there:

Evaluate the Damage and the Loss

The first thing you should do after a fire is take stock of the damage. This should be done as soon as possible. Write up a list of everything damaged or destroyed. Be sure to take your time so you don’t miss anything.

Your impulse may be to immediately start cleaning up and tossing things away. Don’t do this! You need every bit of proof, keep everything as untouched as possible. Insurance companies are tricky to deal with, so the more proof you have, the better the chance of getting the insurance money you need.

File the Claim as Soon as Possible

Insurance companies have different priorities and may delay the claims process for various reasons. To avoid this, make sure you file the fire insurance claim quickly, and request that they start working on it immediately. This is especially important if your property is severely damaged and you need a place in which you and your family can stay.

Be sure to also keep receipts and a list of all your daily expenses while you are out of your home, these expenses may be covered under the terms of your policy. If you need to, ask for a cash advance against the total claim to cover the expenses of living away from home.

Get Expert Estimates

You should look for experts to give you the estimated value of the items you’ve lost. These experts will provide you with documents which you should keep as proof if any issues with the insurance company should arise.

An insurance company will reimburse you for either the current market value or the replacement cost of your lost item, depending on the terms of your coverage. Check your policy to understand your coverage, and keep receipts, photos, and professional assessment documentation.

Fire insurance claims can take a long time to be settled. You have to be patient and know that, as long as you’ve filed the claim in good time and provided your insurance company with all the right documents, you should have little problem getting the money you are entitled to. Although it can be heartbreaking to lose property in a fire, there are ways in which you can recuperate and start again.

Once you’ve contacted your insurance company, contact FLA-CAT, your fire damage repair experts in Orlando. We’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Recovering From Fire Damage Quickly

While our modern society has progressed in many ways and is now able to stop thousands of potential disasters in their tracks, fire is still a common danger. A fire in your home or business is devastating. You may be facing loss of property, money, and even wellness or life. However, with Florida Catastrophe Corporation (FLA-CAT) by your side, you can get fire damage repair in Orlando quickly, efficiently, and safely.

If you or a loved one has suffered a fire in your home or business, follow these steps to ensure that you will quickly recover from all aspects of the fire damage.

Think Big Picture

Yes, your home or business has suffered fire damage, and yes, you are facing large property and monetary losses. But, you have to remember that you and your loved ones or coworkers survived. Loss of property and money is hard, but can always be fixed. Loss of life or health is much worse, so remember the bigger picture.

Stay Organized

The moment the fire is stopped and the smoke begins to clear, you need to start planning, thinking, and organizing. Record and keep track of any and all correspondence, conversations, or dealings with your insurance carrier, firemen, and even witnesses. While you might not need all the information at a later date, it is always best to be absolutely prepared for any possibility.

Call Your Insurance Carrier

While you may not want to deal with your insurance agent immediately following a fire, he or she should be the first call you make. Insurance claims often take a very long time to process, so you want to get the ball rolling as soon as you can. The sooner you get your claim processed, the sooner you can receive your insurance check and begin repairs.

Call Florida Catastrophe Corporation

We are experts when it comes to fire damage repair in Orlando. At FLA-CAT, we have years of experience dealing with all different types and sizes of fires. Our team will help you evaluate, repair, and reconstruct any and all of your fire damage.

Trust the Professionals

Do NOT try to repair the fire damage on your own. If you do, it might have a damaging effect on your insurance claim. Also, fire damage can be very tricky and dangerous, and a wrong move could lead to more damage or even health risks. Always call a professional fire damage company, like FLA-CAT. There are many unknown dangers that can be lurking in a fire-damaged home or business, so always leave the assessment and repairs to the professionals. Never turn on any electronics until they have been evaluated.

Use these tips to get started on recovering from fire damage quickly. If your home or a loved one’s home has recently incurred extensive fire damage, contact FLA-CAT. We are the fire damage repair experts in Orlando.

How to Save Furniture After a Flood

When your home is devastated by a flood, your situation can seem hopeless. You may think that all your furniture is ruined, but the experts at FLA-CAT are here to tell you that all is not lost. You can save your furniture and your home! Whether your furniture has been in the family for years, passed down from generation to generation, or maybe it’s something you’ve worked hard to obtain–whatever it is, we understand that some furnishings are irreplaceable.

After a flood, you may want to go in your home and start salvaging furniture and other possessions immediately. This is a mistake! First, it’s important to make sure your home is safe before re-entering. Flooding can weaken floors and walls and make them unstable, creating an even more dangerous environment. Prevent another disaster by being safe and call in the experts to check your home for danger.

After the experts have cleared your home for re-entry, you can check your furniture and see what can be saved. Keep in mind, there are still steps needed to prevent further damage to your furniture. Just because the flooding is over doesn’t mean your furniture is in the clear. The first thing you should do is see if there’s still water around the furniture. If there is, move the pieces away from the water.

Next, determine the material with which your furniture is made. If the furniture is made out of wood, the first thing you need to do is make sure all of the wood is out of water and dried. It may take a long time, up to six months in some cases, to completely dry. A common mistake is putting wood out in the sun to dry. This is a mistake! The sun can warp the wood, preventing any sort of reassembling.

If your furniture is made of upholstery, separate colored items to prevent colors from bleeding. Drying out individual pieces is next. It’s important to conduct a thorough inspection of mildew and mold in your furniture. If you find any, treat immediately with turpentine, or ammonia and water. Mold and mildew can cause serious health problems.

 If you have water damage in Florida, or don’t know how to clean up, give us a call. The disaster experts at FLA-CAT have been in the business since 1998 and have helped numerous residents and companies clean up and restore homes and businesses after floods.

Types of Smoke Damage

House fires are devastating.  Once you get over the initial shock, it’s important to stay as positive as possible and take action.  When it comes to assessing what’s left behind, be mindful of the different kinds of damage, visible and non-visible, that affect your family’s health and safety.  Often times, there’s damage done to a home even when it isn’t burnt by the flames.

Two Kinds of Damage

When it comes to smoke damage, there are two different but equally harmful and destructive types: visible soot and invisible odor/residue.

There are a variety of different forms of soot, many of which can be cleaned up. Dry smoke, or the result of a fast burning fire from high temperature, leaves a dry and powdery soot that’s relatively easy to clean up. There’s also wet smoke, or the result of a slow burning, low temperature fire.  Wet smoke leaves a sticky residue fuels oil smoke (the result of burnt oil) leaves the classic black soot and protein smoke (the result of protein rich substances burning) leaves virtually no visible residue behind.

Once the soot is cleaned up, you might think you’re home free, but sometimes, there’s the lasting odor and chemical residues you can’t see.  All types of smoke leave pungent smells behind, even after the visible evidence has been removed, especially protein smoke and wet smoke.  Having a professional come test your home is the best idea, especially during dialogues with the insurance companies.

Restoration Options

Once you’ve determined what kinds of smoke damage your home and furniture have sustained, the next step is deciding what type of fire damage repair is necessary. There are three basic options:

  • Cleaning – This is the initial step of restoration and the easiest. The removal of some residues may be more difficult than others.

  • Resurfacing – If simple cleaning is not enough, the next step is to attempt resurfacing. If the damage hasn’t penetrated too deeply, replacing wallpaper, carpets, and upholstery is the next best option in ridding yourself of the smoke damage.

  • Replacing – If your home and the items in it cannot be salvaged through cleaning or resurfacing, then there’s only one thing left to do. For the sake of everyone’s safety, the best and most expeditious option is to get all new furnishings. Fortunately, this is only needed if the home is beyond the help of general cosmetic repairs.

Helping Florida Heal

If you live in Florida and are looking for the best fire insurance and restoration specialists, give Florida Catastrophe Corporation (FLA-CAT) a call today.

Ways to Avoid a House Flood

Homeowners should always prepare for the natural disasters that could affect their area. Knowing the common sources in your region is important. In Florida, flooding can occur at any time due to natural or unnatural causes. It’s important to be ready for things you can account for, like the summer rains, and to prevent and counter the things you can control, like your in-home plumbing.

First, find out the type of house and foundation you have. Depending on the materials used to build your home, the strength of the walls and their vulnerability to water damage may vary. By the same token, the type of foundation supporting your structure will impact the methods you use to protect your home. Your house may be better suited to dry flood-proofing techniques, like coating the foundation in plastic sheeting, or wet flood-proofing techniques that allow some water to enter the home.

One of the simplest, yet often overlooked, prevention methods is the cleaning of gutters and a general understanding of the surrounding landscape. Improving the flow of water in your gutters keeps pressure from building up on the roof. The water should flow to areas designed for removal. By designing your landscape to slope away from the house, you better protect your foundation from imminent danger.

It’s also important to make sure the rest of your house is properly maintained. Be aware of potential leaks in the roof and respond to them quickly. Make sure all windows are properly sealed and secured. Protect yourself against the other dangers often accompanying floods, like high winds and debris.

Always follow the guidelines provided by the Center for Disease Control for flood emergency. Keep a full tank of gas in the car. Move all your appliances above subterranean floors and elevate them off ground level. Gather important documentation in a secure and mobile storage. Have an emergency kit and evacuation plan ready.

Dealing With Flood Damage

Attempting to deal with water damage by yourself can be costly and dangerous. Without proper tools and know-how, you leave yourself open to mold and structural damage. You can use an industrial dehumidifier, but homeowners oftentimes overestimate their effectiveness. Letting professionals immediately handle the problem is essential to limiting further damage.

You need a structural assessment to ensure the materials in your walls are sound. Drywall is highly susceptible to disfigurement and can affect the electrical components in your home. Monitoring the moisture levels throughout the premises ensures the water hasn’t spread into unforeseen areas. If you have had issues with an appliance and aren’t sure if water damage has occurred, you can seal a plastic sheet to the wall to see if condensation occurs.

FLA-CAT can help you deal with water damage in Florida and get your home back to new. Contact FLA-CAT for flood and water damage repair!

Let the Professionals Save Your Home and Give You Peace of Mind

Dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster or catastrophic event can be devastating. Not only do you have to figure out what is salvageable, you also have to figure out how to start over again. Even though it’s natural for you to feel upset, now is not the time for you to let your emotions get the best of you. If you feel lost and unsure of what to do next, it may be time for you to hire an insurance restoration company in Florida.

Choose an Insurance Restoration Company That Has Experience

You need to choose a company that specializes in the type of damage your home has encountered. This will ensure that your home and possessions receive the care they deserve. By choosing a company that specializes in fire, wind, or flood damage, you can improve the likelihood of saving more of your home, while keeping your expenses low. You should only consider restoration companies that have been in business for a long period of time versus those that have only been around for a few years. Their longevity in the industry is a testament to their commitment to their customers, their level of expertise, and the overall quality of the services they provide.

Communication is Important

This is a situation where communication is extremely important. One of the biggest challenges that people face when dealing with a catastrophic event is all of the uncertainty. You need to hire a company that values your time, business, and feelings. An insurance restoration company that caters to its customers will be in constant communication with you, every step of the way. They’ll do everything in their power to make this situation less challenging. A good restoration company knows that by keeping the lines of communication open, they’re able to gain the trust and loyalty of their customers. Moreover, that loyalty is necessary for them to stay in business.

Step-by-Step Guidance

A great remediation and restoration company will provide you with guidance from the very start. Trying to navigate through the process of what needs to be done can be overwhelming. That’s why a good professional insurance restoration company will be your counselor from the very first time you contact them.  They’ll provide a free estimate, answer any questions or concerns you have, explain the remediation process, and work with you until everything is completed in a satisfactory manner.

If you’re in need of a professional insurance restoration company in Florida, then get on the phone and contact FLA-CAT to request an evaluation and estimate today!

The Key Differences Between Remodel and Renovation

You’ve reached a decision.  You want to do something to your home.  You want to make a change, and you’ve started researching different home improvement contractors.  The thing is, you have come across two different terms, and you’re not sure about which one applies to you.  Are you thinking about a Florida kitchen or bath remodel?  Or are you considering renovations?  What’s the difference?  You could easily argue that they’re basically the same thing, they are both home improvements. This is right and wrong. Both are home improvements, but there are key differences between a remodel and a renovation.

Why the Distinction is Important

First, it’s important to underscore the difference before hiring a contractor. It has to do with the scope of the change you’re looking to do.  In other words, what and how much will the contractor actually change? Below is a run through of the key differences between a remodel and a renovation, which is intended to help you determine what type of home improvement experts you need.

The Scale of the Change

  • Remodel – Remodeling is a lot more comprehensive than a renovation. It often involves changing the layout of a room or home, which can require moving walls, changing floor plans, making new installations, and much more. Remodeling goes deep into the core structure of your home, and depending on your home’s condition, it can be detrimental if the structure isn’t able to support all the changes.  Before any type of remodel, a thorough investigation of your home’s basic condition is needed to ensure remodeling plans are realistic.

  • Renovation – A renovation can change the look and feel of a home, but it doesn’t require major structural changes.  Instead, a renovation improves the appearance of your home through external means.  For instance, redecorating walls, refinishing all your woodwork, and changing fixtures can update your home without thorough investigation or the need to spend a lot of money.

The Required Labor

  • Remodel – A remodel is challenging, because it requires more physical labor than a renovation. Walls have to be moved, old floors pulled up, new ones installed, and new appliances need to be brought in—all of which require a lot of manpower.

  • Renovation – Renovations are delicate. Refinishing woodwork and painting walls require a steady hand and patience. Renovations don’t require as much manpower but its’ still important to conduct a complete investigation of your home beforehand.  It’s also important to find the best way to treat your home’s interior, while at the same time, doing it in the most cost-effective way.

If you’re interested in doing some Florida kitchen or bath remodeling to your kitchen or bath, contact the experts at FLA-CAT. From basic room addition, to simple cabinetry work, the FLA-CAT team has the expertise and experience to get the job done quickly and efficiently.

How to Fire-Proof Your Kitchen

A fire is one of the most devastating events that can happen to your home. Unattended candles, discarded cigarettes, and faulty electrical equipment are just a few hazards that can cause fires, but your kitchen is actually the breeding ground for potential fire hazards. Firefighters and emergency personnel are there to help save your life, not your property so it’s important to take the proper precautions to avoid a fire in the first place.

Cooking brings families together and provides an outlet for creativity for those who like to cook, and a treat for those who like to eat, but did you know that cooking fires are the number one cause of home fires and injuries?  By following a few safety tips you can prevent home fires.

  • Keep a fire extinguisher in your kitchen. Grease fires cannot be contained by water so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • Double check your smoke detectors. A working smoke alarm is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke.

  • Don’t wear loose or ill-fitted clothes while cooking. Hanging sleeves can brush stove tops and ignite quickly.

  • Don’t leave cooking food unattended, even in the oven. If frying grilling, broiling, or boiling, don’t leave the kitchen. If you’re simmering, baking, or roasting, don’t leave the house without turning off the oven.

Knowledge is power; educate yourself and your family on how to react if there’s fire. Calm, cool collected heads produce better outcomes in emergency situations.

  • Grease fires – Keep lid closed to smother flames, never pour water over a grease fire!

  • Oven fires – Keep door closed and turn off oven.

  • Always keep emergency contact phone numbers nearby.

  • Plan emergency exit routes and practice with your family.

Fire can cause major smoke, water, and burn damage to your home and the things you cherish. Follow the above safety tips and teach your family fire prevention and what to do in case of a fire. If you have recently had a fire in your home, please contact the disaster recovery experts at FLA-CAT by visiting our website. Our team is ready to respond 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

Smoke, soot, water and odor from a fire can linger and spread to other unaffected areas of your home or business if not properly treated.  Whether it’s grease, plastic, wood or electrical fire, FLA-CAT has experience responding to all types of Florida fire damage. We will help prevent further damage and ensure a successful restoration of your home or business.

Breaking Down Flood Insurance

Florida flood damage can be caused by severe weather, water main breaks, interior water leaks, and a variety of other things.  Floods are the most common natural disaster and they cause the most damage.

Low Risk Areas are Still at Risk

Even in low risk areas, heavy rains cause more runoff because trees and grasslands have been replaced with shopping malls, streets, buildings, and parking lots.  The National Flood Insurance Program has paid out 24% of its claims to homes and businesses in low risk areas.

Flood Insurance is Available

Some homeowners are required by their mortgage lender to have flood insurance because of their location in a flood zone.  For others, flood insurance is simply recommended. When signing up for a new policy, there’s usually a thirty day waiting period and flood insurers generally require a single, annual payment.

People who live in Florida understand the constant risk of flooding, especially those located in inter-coastal areas.  Many, however, may not realize that flood coverage is not included in homeowners insurance.  Fortunately, it’s very affordable.  Even renters can and are recommended to buy flood insurance.  Basements and attached, below-grade rooms are subject to limited coverage by flood insurance.

Flood Insurance Prices Vary

Rates are dependent on several factors including: the age of home, type of building construction, previous flood damage claims, and the property’s location. There are flood plain maps that assign a level of flooding risk. Some areas on these maps have mandatory flood insurance requirements.  Also, just like other types of insurance, a higher deductible lowers the premium required as well as your claim payment amount.

Why You Many Need Flood Insurance

People hear about Federal Disaster Assistance through news stories.  This, however, is usually a loan and not a grant and it’s only available for properties with severe damage. Similarly, federal rental assistance is also only available under the same circumstances.

Flood Insurance Policy Coverage

Before buying flood insurance, make sure it covers both:

  • Building Property – This includes your house, foundation, the electric, central air/heat and plumbing systems, and built in items.

  • Personal Contents – This covers what you might take with you if you move, such as clothing, electronics, and furniture.

There are certain aspects of your home that are not covered by flood insurance. Consult your insurance agent regarding:

  • Free-standing/unattached sheds and outbuildings

  • Property that is permanently located outside the house like landscaping, septic systems, walkways, decks/patios/fences, and pools

  • Loss of home-based business income

  • Vehicles

  • Sewer line backups

  • Wind-driven water (hurricanes)

Homeowners and home-based businesses can get low-interest disaster loans which they are required to pay back over a thirty 30 year period. That money could easily exceed the average annual premium of approximately $500 under the National Flood Insurance Program. Getting insurance is always a better option and is something every property owner should investigate.

If your home has suffered Florida water and flood damage, contact the disaster recovery experts at FLA-CAT. Visit our website for more information about our services and disaster recovery.

How to Determine If Your Disaster is an Act of God

We’re all familiar with the phrase, “fire, flood, or act of God,” as a way of describing natural disasters.  It can be difficult to determine what actually constitutes an “act of God” for legal and insurance purposes.  Here’s a quick guide to help you determine whether or not your disaster may be considered an “act of God.”

What is an “Act of God?”

In layman’s terms, an “act of God” is usually understood to be a natural event—something humans have no fault in or control over.  Legally, an “act of God” is a term for a natural disaster that causes extensive damage and in which no human is at fault. Living in Florida, we’re all too familiar with “acts of God” because of the many hurricanes and tornadoes we often face.

How do Insurance Companies Define an “Act of God?”

While all insurance companies are different, many insurers follow similar criteria to determine whether or not an event is an “act of God.” Here are a few of the guidelines used by many insurance companies:

  • The disaster is impossible to avoid. Sudden, uncontrollable events, like earthquakes.

  • The disaster is a weather occurrence caused entirely by nature. Hurricanes and tornadoes are examples of natural weather patterns that often cause property damage.

  • The disaster is a large-scale event. From hurricanes and tornadoes to fires caused by lightning strikes, natural disasters affecting a large area or many people are usually considered “acts of God.” These events are unpredictable and unpreventable.

What Disasters do not Qualify as “Acts of God?”

While an “act of God” seems like a broad term that’s widely applicable, there are some disasters that don’t qualify.  Here are some reasons an event might not be considered an “act of God:”

  • The disaster is caused by human activity. Whether the event is directly or indirectly caused by humans, it cannot be considered an “act of God.”

  • Natural forces that don’t cause the disaster, like drilling disasters or earthquakes caused by geothermal injections.

What to do if You’re Affected by an “Act of God:”

We know how stressful it can be to begin the repair and rebuilding process after any disaster. The Florida disaster recovery experts at FLA-CAT can help you figure out the cause and we can help you restore your property. If your home is a victim of an occurrence that is an “act of God,” contact the disaster recovery experts at FLA-CAT by visiting our website.

Your Home Fell Victim to a Flood: Now What?

When your home suffers from a flood, the situation can at first be overwhelming. Not many homeowners are readily prepared to handle an emergency that can cause such widespread damage. No matter the cause of the flood, whether it be a burst pipe, or a natural disaster, it is mandatory that you follow these instructions to have the flood cleaned and repaired swiftly, at the right price, and most importantly, as safely as possible.

  • File a Claim: The very first step you should take is to call your homeowner’s insurance agent and file a claim for flood damage. This will ensure that all processes involved, from emergency repairs to the damage restoration in the future, will go through your insurance, preventing any costly oversight in payment.

  • Check for Damage: Do not re-enter your home before checking for any structural damage. If necessary, contact a building inspector and schedule a full inspection. Without following this vital step of the process, you risk your safety with a possible structural collapse, as water damage is among the most crippling to buildings and their foundations.

  • Avoid ALL Electricity: Do not use any electrical appliances or engage the power main in your home until it has been inspected and verified as safe for use by a professional electrician. Extensive flood damage can make the home a very dangerous environment. Water damage restoration experts can aid in assessing the degree of damage a flood has caused the electrical system within your home.

  • Provide Evidence: Before beginning any cleanup process, you should photograph all visible damage to your home and property, capturing every issue that will require restoration or replacement. Your insurance company may also have an inspection where they will take their own photographic evidence, but having your own set of backup evidence may be needed in the future when dealing with them.

  • Use Caution With Water: Flood damage affects not only the building, but the surrounding sewage and plumbing systems as well. Until your local authorities rule that your running water is safe for consumption, all water used in the home should be treated either by boiling or water purification tablets.

  • Begin Damage Restoration: Take steps to begin the restoration process as soon as possible to avoid further structural damage to your home, thereby keeping costs at a minimum.

Following these instructions will keep your family safe while restoring your home to its pristine state. If your home has been involved in a flood, contact the Florida water damage restoration experts at FLA-CAT by visiting our website.

What Do You Do If a Tree Falls On Your Home?

One of the most catastrophic events that can happen to a home is having a tree fall on its roof. A large, heavy tree can cause massive damage when it falls on a structure, triggering a crisis that homeowners often struggle to resolve on their own. As Florida residents enter the season of tornadoes, hurricanes, and other severe weather, it’s important prepare for the worst.

If a tree falls on your home, the first thing to do is to remain calm and remember that this situation can be dealt with if you are prepared. The steps you should take include the following:

  • First, make sure everyone is safe and exit the house, if possible. If you and your family are at home when the tree falls, you need to move quickly to get everyone out of the building safely. If the structure has been damaged by the impact, the tree’s weight or other environmental factors, such as strong winds, could cause further collapse and injuries. Even if it’s raining, getting everybody outside will reduce the risk of you or your family being harmed.

  • Avoid downed power lines. A falling tree in a residential area will often take power lines with it. A live electric line is a deadly hazard and something you need to avoid at all costs.

  • Contact the appropriate authorities. If anybody has been injured, is missing, or is unable to exit the structure, call for emergency help immediately. Rescue personnel will be able to rescue trapped members of your household and provide medical care for anyone who is injured. If there are downed power lines in the vicinity, contact the electric company at once to take care of this potential threat.

  • Make a record of the damage via photographs or videos.

  • Next, call an insurance and restoration company at once. Being on an insurance plan that covers all kinds of disasters, whether caused by humans, the weather, or some other environmental cause, is a must for homeowners. FLA-CAT has the storm-damage experience to help you clear up the mess and restore your home to its original state.

Remember, preventing this kind of catastrophe from happening in the first place is always the best course of action you can take. Make sure you and your neighbors have dead trees and branches properly removed.

A fallen tree can cause big headaches, but you don’t need to panic. This situation can be satisfactorily resolved if the right steps are taken. If a tree falls on your home, contact Florida catastrophe services at FLA-CAT at 1 (855) FLA-CAT1 right away!

Things to Remember After a Fire

Enduring a fire on your property can be an extremely upsetting experience. After experiencing a Florida fire damage to your home or business, you may feel overwhelmed and underprepared. FLA-CAT wants to make sure that you remember the things you must complete after a disaster hits. This article offers a better understanding of what you should do immediately following a fire.

The first thing you need to do is ask a professional if it’s safe to enter the building. A home damaged by fire can be structurally unsound, and you’ll want to make sure, not only that the fire is extinguished, but that the fire authorities have gone through the area and have given you a clear understanding of the severity of the damage, and whether it is safe for you to enter. If you can, gather up and pack any valuables and necessities. Afterwards, secure your home from burglars.

Making a Claim and Fire Report

A fire report states the condition of the house, the area in which the fire was involved, what time the incident occurred, and the date of the incident. You’ll want to get a copy of the fire report from the fire department that assisted you. You’ll then want to call the insurance company yourself and let them know what happened. Document every single person you spoke to about your claim from your insurance company to any officials. Be as specific as possible, the more details the better.

Review a copy of your insurance policy. Your policy will clearly outline your limits, rights, and responsibilities. This will help you make informed decisions, receive the most compensation possible, and save you from any nasty surprises.

Living Arrangements

If your home is no longer available for you to reside in, you may have to stay with family or in a hotel. Request a monetary advance from your insurance company for purchases that are immediately necessary. If you need to temporarily relocate, the monetary advance would be your first month of lodging and any required security deposits. Your insurance policy may even cover many of your living expenses after the fire, so save every single receipt for any meals, hotels, purchases, toiletries, cosmetics, clothing, etc.

Fire Restoration

It’s time to consider clean-up arrangements; you’ll need to find professionals to fix the damage to your home as the effects of fire damage can often be hard to notice to an untrained eye. As a consumer, you need to make sure you understand that you can choose who your Florida fire damage repair company will be; this choice does not necessarily belong to your insurance company. Make sure to do your research.

If you’re looking into fire restoration companies in Florida, visit the FLA-CAT website for more information on our restoration services after a disaster strikes.

Kitchen Remodeling Trends to Avoid to Keep Your Kitchen Timeless

Kitchen remodeling is a major project. The average high-end kitchen makeover costs over $53,000. With the potential high cost of a remodel, you want to make the most of your investment and its longevity. To ensure that you’re happy with the end result of your Florida kitchen remodel, purchase high-quality materials and pick styles that are timeless not trendy.

Before taking the first steps towards kitchen remodeling, you must assess why you want to remodel your kitchen in the first place. Are you selling your home and looking to increase its value? Is your kitchen old, outdated, and in dire need of an update? This decision will help you decide whether functionality or aesthetic is more important to you and how to efficiently tackle your remodeling project.

Although tempting, trendy modifications fall out of style within a few years. Eventually, you will want to try another modification to keep up with the trends. To make things simpler for you, here is a list of kitchen remodel trends to avoid.

Trend #1: Colorful Additions

On today’s market we see a lot of white, black, and even red appliances. While these may add character and a splash of color to your kitchen, color trends fade quicker than most. Stainless steel is now considered a staple in kitchen appliance color and will be popular for years to come.

It’s also a great idea to pick neutral colors for your kitchen walls. White, off-white or beige are the safest choices, especially when selling your home. These colors will make your kitchen more appealing and home-like. Wall tile may be trendy, but it is very hard to keep clean and repair when damaged.

Trend #2: Appliance Garages

Most people own a number of small kitchen appliances; from a blender, to a juicer, a coffee grinder, to a coffee maker, and everything else in between. Consumers nowadays have one appliance for each task in the kitchen.

Due to the abundance of kitchen appliances, appliance garages have made a comeback. But just like they faded out of style in the past, they eventually will do so again. It’s much better to invest in more counter space or a larger pantry with additional shelves. Not everyone has multitudes of appliances, but those who do will still have the counters or pantry to store them. For those who don’t, ample counter space is a much more attractive detail for buyers when selling your home.

Trend #3: Farmhouse Sinks

Large rectangular sinks that look like they came from a barn were all the rage back in 2011-2012 for their quirky charm. But they faded just as quickly as they become popular. Pretty much no one requests a farmhouse sink anymore.

Trend #4: Small Kitchen Add-ons

These add-ons include built-in nooks for mixers, phones, tissue dispensers, and the like. Many times these nooks and places to put small items are forgotten and rarely used. Most people have their phones in the living room, bedroom, or they just a have a cell phone. Consumers go through so much tissue that it’s a hassle to always change the holder.

Where to Go for the Best Kitchen Remodel Estimation

As you can see, many of these trends are temporary. It’s always best to go simple and classic. Invest in ample space rather than special nooks and appliances.

If you reside in the state of Florida and are looking to remodel your kitchen contact FLA-CAT, or Florida Catastrophe Corporation, for a risk-free, no-cost estimate.

Hurricane Sales Tax Period

A proposed piece of legislation up for consideration in the Florida State House of Representatives would eliminate the state sales tax on storm equipment and supplies for a period at the beginning of hurricane season.

Entitled, the Hurricane Sales-Tax Holiday (HB 567), this piece of legislation’s sponsor is Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Fort Walton Beach. The House Economic Development and Tourism Subcommittee cleared the proposal unanimously, and it has the strong support of Florida Governor Rick Scott. The proposal will likely be included in a package of economic measures along with tax relief for back-to-school purchases and for energy-efficient appliances.

Here are some facts you should know about this proposed legislation:

  • It’s affordable. All tax-relief measures are accompanied by the concern that they will put the government into the red. However, the Florida legislature estimates that the current budget will result in a surplus of approximately $1.2 billion, more than enough to offset the revenue lost to the Hurricane Sales-Tax Holiday.

  • The proposed holiday will take place at just the right time to get ready for the hurricane season. Currently, the proposed tax holiday will run from June 1 until June 12. However, Gov. Scott has asked that the holiday be expanded by an additional three-day period.

  • The legislation will help increase Floridians’ preparedness for the dangers of the coming storm season. Eliminating the sales tax on a variety of items for a two-week span at the beginning of June will draw the public’s attention to the necessity of having an emergency plan in place, and making arrangements for safety and security before a storm hits. It will also ensure equipment, that could make a substantial difference in a crisis, is affordable for everyone.

  • If the proposal goes into effect, a range of items would be exempt from sales tax. Items that could be included in the final bill are portable generators, light sources, radios, and food storage coolers that can continue to operate even if power is lost, some kind of fuel tanks, various types of batteries, first-aid kits, tarpaulins, and other products that will enable people to remain secure during a hurricane.

  • It could also boost the economy. In addition to encouraging Floridians to take steps that will prevent storm-related injuries and damage, the tax-holiday will give a boost to sales, putting money into the pockets of local merchants.

If Florida legislators give the Hurricane Sales-Tax Holiday their support, and its proposed measures are put into effect this coming June, then the people of Florida will have all the more reason to make preparations and develop plans of action for the next big storm and its aftermath. For more information on disaster preparation, Florida insurance restoration and recovery, visit the FLA-CAT website today.

How Water Damage Restoration Can Limit Your Losses

If your home has incurred water damage due to a leaky pipe, overflowing bathtub, natural disaster or by any other means, it is vital that you have the water cleaned up as soon as possible. Water can cause significant structural damage to your property or cause mold growth if it’s not dealt with quickly and efficiently. Mold can actually start growing in your home and on your personal belongings in as little as 24 hours.

Work With Professionals

While you may be tempted to start cleaning up the water damage on your own, this can be extremely dangerous. First of all, water that is grey or black in color could be toxic and if you are not wearing the proper protective gear while cleaning, you may become ill. Secondly, if the water is not cleaned up correctly, it will continue to cause a risk to your home’s structural integrity and it is likely that mold will start to grow and expand over time. It is always best to work with professional restoration technicians.

Water Damage Restoration Services

Florida water damage restoration technicians can properly clean the water from your home and personal belongings. These services include water removal, deflooding, mold removal, specialized drying, reconstructions, and board-ups. A water damage restoration service will not only remove sitting water from your property, but will also dry out your belongings to prevent mold growth.

Professional disaster recovery service experts, such as FLA-CAT, will come to your home and evaluate the water damage done to your property. They will then determine what services are required to properly clean up the damage and restore your property and belongings to safe and functional conditions. This will ensure that everything is taken care of and that the water is completely removed from your home.

Working With the Right Company

It is important, however, that you work with a water damage restoration company that has experience in handling all types of water damage, and a proven track record of providing excellent services. FLA-CAT is one such company. Servicing the residents of the Central Florida and Orlando area for more than 30 years, they maintain a reputation for providing exceptional residential and commercial water damage restoration services.

The most important thing to remember is to take care of the water damage as soon as possible to avoid further damage. Using a quick and efficient water disaster recovery service will help limit and prevent additional damage to your home. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can take care of the water damage yourself. This could cause permanent damage to the structure of your home or your personal belongings. Instead, call in the Florida water damage professionals and let them do the work for you. Get in touch with FLA-CAT at (855) 352-2281!

Creating a Disaster Recovery Plan

The Florida disaster recovery experts at FLA-CAT understand that a good disaster recovery plan is just like an insurance policy. It contains a process of steps and procedures that business owners and homeowners can take to get back on their feet after facing a disaster of some kind.

What to Plan For

Generally, there are three types of disasters to plan for:

  • Man-Made Disasters: Man-made disasters usually include technological hazards and sociological disasters.

  • Natural Disasters: Natural disasters include things like hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and wildfires.

  • Environmental Disasters: Environmental disasters are usually the direct result of human activity such as nuclear radiation.

If your disaster recovery plan does not include preparation for these three things, even the smallest type of disaster can leave you feeling unprepared and helpless. A successful disaster recovery plan places significant focus on disaster prevention and can help minimize the effects a disaster may have on your home or place of business.

Where Do I Start?

First and foremost, whether you are preparing a disaster recovery plan for your business or your home, you should have the following on hand:

  • Emergency contacts

  • Backup plans in case of phone or internet failure

  • Evacuation routes

A good place to start when developing your recovery plan once these things have been determined is to list the potential disasters that threaten your area and the likelihood of them occurring. It’s crucial while developing your plan that you take preventative, detective, and corrective measures to ensure the safety of your home, business, family, and employees.

Other important things to consider when developing your disaster recovery plan include:

  • Developing and practicing an emergency drill so everyone knows what to do if disaster should strike.

  • Determine safe locations to meet should anyone get separated.

  • Consider investing in alternative forms of communication, like walkie-talkies and radios.

Appropriate plans vary widely, depending on things such as the level of security needed, processes involved, and whether or not you are preparing a recovery plan for your home or business.

By the Numbers

According to one disaster recovery website, only about half of the companies in the US report having a disaster recovery plan in place. Out of the ones that do have a disaster recovery plan, only half of those companies have ever even tested their plans. FLA-CAT understands the importance of disaster recovery plans and hopes to see these numbers rise soon.

When disaster strikes, we want you to have a recovery plan in place that will get everything back to normal as soon as possible. If you want to ensure that you have a solid recovery plan that will guarantee the survival or your home or business, and for more information regarding Florida disaster recovery sources and insurance restoration, contact FLA-CAT today or visit their website.

Severe Weather in Central Florida Brings Potential for Tornadoes

In late February, a major storm system swept across the Eastern United States, bringing severe weather to Central Florida. Torrential rain and dime-sized hail brought traffic to a complete stop on County Road 437. With reports of quarter-sized hail around the Sanford area, Florida appeared to be facing another disastrous bout of unexpected weather.

On the 23rd, the severe system forced the delay of the Daytona 500 as tornado warnings spread throughout the region following a sighting just north of Orlando.

  • Harsh rainfall that led to dangerous track conditions led to the initial delay

  • The grandstands were evacuated after tornado warnings and fans were forced to take shelter underneath them.

  • Half an hour later, the National Weather Service detected a tornado near Plymouth moving east at 30 mph.

Within an hour and a half of the initial tornado warnings the storm cell had moved offshore. The tornado warnings were prompted by a warm front passing through, bringing moisture and producing favorable conditions for the creation of tornado formations.

Luckily, no significant damage was reported after the system passed. However, the harsh winter and multitude of powerful storms across the country continue to send shockwaves through the state. These tornado warnings came on the 16-year anniversary of the worst tornado disaster in Florida’s history. In 1998 a series of tornadoes killed 42 people overnight across the Osceola, Orange, Seminole and Volusia counties.

Will Ulrich, a meteorologist at the NWS, warned that some of the most severe weather occurrences can happen during the first months of the year, due to the dynamics of various fronts and their interactions. Historically, tornadoes have caused significant amounts of damage in Central Florida during the same time frame. The tornadoes that arrived in the region in February of 1998 killed 42 residents and caused thousands of dollars of property damage.

As a homeowner there are several things you can do to try and prevent or at least limit storm damage.

  • Board up windows (plywood works very well)

  • Secure and reinforce all doors to the home

  • Reinforce roof shingles. Shingles can come flying right off with strong enough winds. Just a little extra hold-down power can prevent water from damaging your roof.

With the potential for more severe weather ahead, the task of preparing homes for storms becomes a necessity. After storm cleanup can be especially hard on home owners. Not only can it be difficult to know where to even begin, storm cleanup can be dangerous. Storms can cause unnoticable structural damage to homes. Take care after storms and avoid risking your wellbeing when repairing damage caused by storms this season.

Casualties caused by storms are devastating, but casualties can even occur once the rain and wind have stopped. Cleanup following natural disasters can be particularly hazardous if not left to the professionals. Always be prepared, and contact Florida Catastrophe Corp. today at (855) 352-2281 to safely recover your property following a major storm with our Florida disaster recovery services.

Scientists Fear “Hurricane Amnesia” in Florida Residents

There is an old saying – “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This applies to several areas of life, however Florida residents may be forgetting that it also applies to the weather; specifically, hurricane season. Hurricanes are more than just seasonal storms – they can be devastating, sometimes fatal weather events. Despite this, scientists have noticed a disturbing trend among Florida residents in terms of their hurricane preparation – or lack thereof.

2013 brought with it another relatively quiet hurricane season, marking the 8th year since a hurricane higher than a category 2 made landfall in the United States. While this news is great for home and business owners, scientists are wary that this extended dry spell will result in a case of “hurricane amnesia.” This is eerily common amongst areas prone to hurricanes. Scientists agree that this trend can be blamed on the gaps between storms. Even though “hurricane season” occurs during late summer and fall each year, hurricanes rarely strike an area two years in a row. Instead, hurricane-prone areas have intervals of safe time, which can last a few years or several years, depending on the area.

These periods of safety may seem like a blessing, and can lull many Floridians into a state of hurricane amnesia, causing them to forget the severity of previous storms and disregard warnings about upcoming storms. Studies have found this alarming habit happens even after the most severe, devastating hurricanes.

Instead of taking proposed safety reforms or hurricane awareness campaigns seriously, they regard them as mere scare tactics. Because people do not take hurricane warnings seriously, they do not take the proper precautions for the oncoming storms. It is easy to see how hurricane amnesia can actually lead to more severe hurricane damage in communities.

People afflicted with hurricane amnesia may fail to put together organized evacuation plans. All too often, this results in a failure to evacuate quickly, which makes it increasingly difficult for emergency services to assist these families. According to a study by the Florida Governor’s Hurricane Conference, one in three Floridians has neither a hurricane preparation kit nor a family disaster plan.

For many, hurricane amnesia is an unfortunate side effect of trying to forget the tragedy of a previous hurricane and move on with life. When a person must acknowledge each and every year that they live in an area prone to dangerous weather, it can be difficult for them to ever feel safe and comfortable. Failing to prepare may cause tragedy to strike again. Floridians need to acknowledge their hurricane anxiety and study the weather patterns, so that communities and families can be safe.

Do you and your family need tips on staying prepared for hurricanes? Contact Florida Catastrophe Corp. today at (855) 352-2281! Our experts can assist with Florida insurance restoration and disaster recovery.

What Kind of Damage Can Mold Cause in My Home?

Mold is a type of microscopic organism that can occur both inside and outside of your home. Mold needs a source of food to grow and thrive and will feed off of different organic materials, including wood, dirt, leaves, paper and moisture. It digests these materials as it feeds and this leads to the destruction of whatever it is growing on. Mold can occur in a variety of colors, such as green, brown, gray, white and black, making it quite noticeable.

As long as the conditions are right, meaning sufficient organic material and moisture, mold will flourish. Homes in Florida are particularly susceptible to mold problems due to the high humidity levels in the air. Major weather systems and flooding similarly contribute to moisture levels, increasing the possibility of mold contamination.

Mold can wreak havoc in your home in a number of ways:

  • The growth of mold can damage furnishings, such as sofas, carpets and cabinets.

  • Shoes and clothes can become soiled and degraded.

  • Mold left unchecked can cause structural damage to your home.

  • It can contaminate the air and potentially lead to health issues for both humans and pets in your home.

Mold Damage Repair

If you notice mold growing in your home, it is important to stop the growth and remove it right away. Minor mold may only discolor walls and be a bit of a nuisance, but as it gets worse, structural damage can result. There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to fixing mold damage:

  • Stop the Growth – You want to stop the growth by removing moisture and organic materials so that the mold no longer has a source of food. Like all living things, mold cannot flourish without food.

  • Assess the Growth – After preventing mold from getting worse, you will need to inspect your home to assess how far it has spread. Make sure to check both inside and outside of your home, especially in places prone to moisture like basements, crawlspaces and attics.

  • Remove the Mold – You must remove the mold completely or else the growth can recur. Professional mold removal helps to ensure complete removal and the right conditions to rebuild.

How to Get Started With Mold Damage Repair

It can be hard to know where to start when it comes to mold remediation in Florida. There are things you want to attend to right away to stop the growth and work toward removing what already grew:

  • Reduce humidity levels throughout your home to 50 percent or lower.

  • Ensure adequate ventilation throughout your home.

  • Remove all affected rugs, furnishings and other movable items in your home.

  • Identify any water problems and fix them promptly.

  • Use mold-killing products to target visible mold on walls and other surfaces that cannot be moved.

All homeowners need to be aware of mold and the potential issues that it can cause. It is a fixable problem, but it becomes more difficult to repair mold damage when left to fester, so you want to repair it right away. Even if mold seems to have been eliminated throughout the home, it still has the ability to grow back if proper measures are not taken to completely dry and aerate the source. Contact Florida Catastrophe Corp. for all your Florida mold damage. We will analyze, contain, remove and restore all areas affected by mold damage.  Contact us if you’re interested in our mold remediation services.

Home Modification for Better Accessibility by Florida Catastrophe Corporation

Individuals with physical limitations or severe injuries know that even the simplest task can become a major challenge. Accessibility to certain rooms or places in your home can become hindered or even impossible. This causes everyday tasks to become more difficult and lessens a person’s independence.

We all want our independence, even if we are injured or have physical limitations. Unfortunately, for many individuals, independence is not possible; or so you think. Home modification provided by Florida Catastrophe Corp. (FLA-CAT) can make maneuvering through your home much easier. In the end, that means you will gain more independence.

Florida home modification can come in many forms to meet a variety of needs. They include and are not limited to:

  • Chair lifts (for going up and down stairs)

  • Specialized door handles

  • Installing Elevators

  • ADA cabinets and drawers

  • Specialized tubs

The Process of Home Modification

Especially when it comes to an injury, FLA-CAT understands that you require the least amount of stress possible to focus on recuperation. That’s why their process for home modification is made to be as simple as possible. The Certified Home Assessment and Modification Professional, or C.H.A.M.P, assures that FLA-CAT takes the utmost safety precautions, customer concern and considerations, and modern techniques to meet the completion of all home modification claims.

The Steps

  1. With your insurance agency, file a claim requesting your need for home modification. Your insurer will ensure that your file reaches the service center.

  2. Accessibility specialists will review your claim and determine whether your request is possible. This decision is made by either the insurer submitting a survey of the scope of your home, conducted by a licensed therapist, or by an accessibility specialist who will visit your home to determine what modifications are necessary.

  3. If the insurer will then request a phone survey with the customer’s primary caretaker to determine living arrangements and the amount of involvement in the homeowner’s life.

  4. After the survey is completed, an accessibility specialist will visit the customer’s home to take measurements and photos of specific areas where modifications will be made. They will also create the final report, which contains medical and functional status requirements of the modifications, accessibility barriers, final recommendations and floor plans.

  5. The claim becomes final after a claims adjuster, handler, nurse case manager, and accessibility specialist go over the home modifications report and come to a final agreement.

  6. A certified contractor is assigned to create a cost estimate and will be responsible for completing your modifications.

  7. Florida Catastrophe Corp. and your insurance company will review your estimate for compliance, standards and pricing accuracy.

  8. The hired contractor can now begin work. The homeowner will receive weekly phone calls to go over any concerns they may have and to ensure that the contractor is doing his job according to his weekly reports. These reports indicate completion status and objectives for the next week of work.

  9. The process is complete once the contractor is finished and the homeowner signs off that they are satisfied with the work.

As you can see in these steps, there is very little work for the homeowner. The process is simplified on your part so you can focus on what’s most important to you. After the whole process is completed, you will feel more comfortable and independent in your own home. FLA-CAT is C.H.A.M.P certified with the David Corey Company, and we’ve been remodeling for over 30 years. If you’re interested in remodeling for disabilities, contact the Florida home modification experts at FLA-CAT today.

Unpredictable Weather Brings Hail to Florida

Florida has seen quite a bit of unpredictable weather as of late. This recent erratic weather has included fluctuating temperatures, tornadoes and even some intense hail storms throughout Central Florida. These hail storms in particular have caused unforeseen destruction to cars, homes, businesses and other structures.

Hailstones begin as large water droplets and form in strong thunderstorm clouds that have strong tilted updrafts. These water droplets are then “supercooled” by temperatures below freezing, causing the water to freeze in layers. Hailstones continue to grow larger, with the quickening updraft. As the storm system becomes increasingly unstable, it can no longer contain the hail in the atmosphere, sending hailstones showering down. The larger hailstones become during a storm, the more damage they create to your home or business.

The ice chunks raining down during hail storms may create slits and holes in roofs, siding, and other critical areas of homes and businesses. Building and vehicle windows are also at great risk during a hailstorm. Hail has an escalating scale of damage, depending on the size of the hailstones.

Below is a damage profile for varying sizes of hail:

  • 0.5” – bushes and tree leaves are damaged and stripped; building siding is damaged with “skid” marks where hail removed oxidation.

  • 0.75” – rolled roofing sustains damage; thin metal surfaces will have some denting.

  • 1.0” – composed shingles, windows, vinyl siding and thinner skylights are damaged.

  • 1.25” – automobiles are lightly damaged; heavy shingles are moderately damaged.

  • 1.5” – automobiles are heavily damaged; home and building wood shakes are damaged.

While the damage sustained during hail storms is largely dependent on the size of the hail, remember that heavy winds during a storm can also cause additional damage, outside of the profiles outlined above. In fact, storms that contain both hail and strong winds have been documented to be the most dangerous and destructive. These intense storms can result in dented, cracked siding, broken windows and other extensive property damage, which will affect both urban and rural areas.

Although hail damage may not be immediately noticed, as soon as you do become aware of any unexpected structural damage caused by these storms, immediate response is essential to ensure that these structures do not sustain further damage (especially if the weather remains unstable and unpredictable). Broken windows are one of the most important concerns that you’ll want to address especially if heavy rains accompany the hailstorm – otherwise, water damage will be compounded with your structural damage.

At Florida Catastrophe Corp., we understand the importance of fast response in repairing damage from hail storms. If your home or business has experienced Florida storm damage in the recent storms contact us as soon as possible to learn more about your options for repair and restoration.

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire: Understanding Smoke Damage

When dealing with indoor fires, usually it’s the fire damage that is most readily visible and most concerning. While people are generally aware of the harmful effects of smoke on humans and our respiratory systems, they are not always aware of the many ways that smoke can actually harm a building.

The same harmful particles that affect human organisms negatively, like carbon monoxide, formic acid, methane and traces of heavy metals, can also significantly damage your home long after the firefighters have left. Take a look at some of the reasons why smoke damage should be taken as seriously as fire damage.

Smoke Damage Occurs Extremely Quickly

What begins as a little discoloration can end in thousands of dollars in restoration costs if not taken care of quickly. Things close to the fire, particularly plastics, will start visibly discoloring in mere minutes.

Any fiberglass or finished appliances will begin to show the effects of smoke damage within a few hours. In days, your walls, upholstery, clothes and carpet will show permanent discoloration. Your metals will tarnish and begin to corrode, and glass may become permanently etched. Ash from the fire is extremely acidic and causes more destruction the longer it remains on surfaces.

Damage Goes Beyond What You See

Smoke rises, and can actually migrate and travel through plumbing systems, air conditioning systems, small holes in walls, and so on. Often, smoke damage will be present in places where there was no fire. Sometimes, it will even affect the hidden cavities of a building, causing structural damage if not taken care of immediately. It is necessary to thoroughly investigate the entire structure, be it a single family home or an apartment building, and eliminate any leftover ash and soot immediately.

It’s Important to Call a Professional

Attempting to clean the remnants of a fire without the proper knowledge can actually result in more damage to your home and belongings. For example, did you know that picking up something affected by smoke makes its condition worse? The oils present in human skin react badly with toxic smoke residue, and you may not be able to notice the presence of either.

It is also necessary to be extremely thorough when removing ash and smoke residue. Ash can spread through an entire building easily, and for effective build-up removal, specialized cleaning products that will also neutralize any related odors are required.

At Florida Catastrophe Corporation, we have the knowledge, skills and materials to take care of smoke damage in your home quickly and professionally. We have experience with cleanup and restoration following all types of fires and can ensure the prevention of further damage. Contact us today for more information about our Florida fire damage repair services.

Recovering From Commercial Building Storm Damage

Every moment counts when you are recovering from commercial building storm damage. Here in Florida, violent, damaging winds and storms can come at us seemingly out of nowhere, particularly early in the year and during the hurricane season. They can bring with them torrential rains and lightning that can ruin whole electrical systems.

Most commercial buildings, of course, rely on their electrical supply in order to perform the simplest business tasks. Others, however, demand it to preserve perishables like food or medicines or to secure computers and data. Structural damage to roofs and walls caused by high winds, in addition, can lead to devastating water damage, which can then lead to the growth of mold and bacteria if not tackled promptly.

Recovering from commercial building storm damage is not something that can wait. The longer it takes, the more it will cost the business in down time, particularly for those businesses that are unprepared and lack a storm emergency plan.

Most storm restoration companies are on call to bring their catastrophe recovery services to the location as quickly as possible, often as little as one hour after they are contacted. They can detect even the tiniest hint of a mold infestation, which can cause additional devastation with the added cost of remediation and the removal of infected equipment and materials.

Stay Up to Date With Storm Recovery Technology

Storm damage restoration techniques continue to be modernized and the best recovery companies will stay abreast of the newest and most effective technologies. These can include:

  • Moisture mapping with infrared cameras

  • Truck-mounted water extraction

  • High volume dehumidifiers and air movers

  • Temperature and humidity monitors

Once any water is removed and the area is dried, the restoration team will move on to perform a thorough examination of what is needed to clean up the damaged section so it can return to service. For example, carpeting and padding that had to be removed during the water removal activity may be dried and returned to its location if not severely damaged.

All the equipment and furnishings will have to be reviewed for damage and to see if it can be returned to work. In the meantime, structural specialists can inspect any damage to the building itself and schedule the needed repairs. In fact, depending on the type of internal and external damage, structural repairs could be complete before the inside is ready for occupancy.

The best defense against major storm damage devastation is preparation. Storm recovery experts often offer their specialized knowledge to business owners who want to establish an emergency plan that, while it won’t protect against the storm, could lessen a storm’s impact on the company’s bottom line. For additional information about Florida commercial storm recovery services, contact Florida Catastrophe Corporation today.

Why Hurricane and Flood Insurance is Important for Florida Residents

Florida is right in the path of many storms during hurricane season. The season, which lasts a number of months, can be a very stressful time for anyone residing in the sunshine state. To be sure that your property and your loved ones are as safe as possible, you need to get the right kind of hurricane and flood insurance for your area. This can protect you during a worst-case scenario.

Hurricane Insurance is Vital

Hurricanes are violent weather patterns that can easily damage your property. Houses have been completely destroyed by the powerful winds that hurricanes create, forcing people to rebuild or move.

Hurricane insurance gives you the appropriate coverage if this does occurs. Although it can be a horrible experience to go through, knowing you have the right insurance will give you the peace of mind to get on with your life. Without insurance, you will be required to pay for all the repairs out-of- pocket, adding to the stress of the entire situation. Don’t shoulder the costs of repairs on top of finding a temporary place to live; the better option is to get the right hurricane insurance.

Why Flood Insurance Matters

Many people in Florida assume that just because you have homeowner’s insurance and hurricane insurance, they have coverage against floods as well. This is not the case. Flood insurance is a completely different type of insurance that is not included to standard insurance plans in most areas of Florida.

Hurricanes bring with them torrential rains that can flood whole neighborhoods. Lakes and canals can overflow, putting nearby homes at risk. Although it may not seem like a flood can cause much damage, it is important to note that just an inch of water inside your home can weaken the house’s foundation, destroy appliances and other property, and possibly force you out of your own home. Floods can even cause electrical fires by short-circuiting cables. This can be extremely dangerous, and a costly repair without the assistance of flood insurance.

What You Should Do

When hurricane season approaches in Florida, you should make sure that all of your insurance information is up to date and in a safe place. If you don’t have flood insurance, contact the right insurance company to provide it for you before the season even starts.

There is always a chance that a large storm is headed Florida’s way during hurricane season, so don’t wait until the last minute to make the proper arrangements. By getting the right insurance, you will be giving yourself and your family the protection and peace of mind they deserve. The experts at Florida Catastrophe Corporation have over 30 years of experience in the insurance recovery industry and can act as a channel between companies and homeowners if your home suffers Florida water damage.  Visit our website to learn more.

3 Reasons Water Damage Needs Immediate Repair

In states that experience heavy rains, storms, and flooding, water damage can easily occur. Without immediate attention, water damage can cause larger structural concerns and ruin your home, business, or belongings. Although water damage may seem minimal, it’s important to get it checked out immediately to avoid costly repairs down the road. Take a look at the top three reasons to immediately repair water damage.

  • Structural concerns. If left untreated, water damage can cause serious structural concerns due to warped or rotted wood and disintegrating drywall. In order to preserve the integrity of your home or business, repair water damage immediately.
  • Allergens. When water damage is left untreated, the moisture collects and creates an ideal environment for mold, mildew, and other allergens to thrive. Letting this go for too long may turn your home or business into an uninhabitable space.
  • Save money. Ignoring water damage will lead to expensive and complex repairs. Save money in the long run by having any water-damaged area immediately inspected and repaired.

Are you battling water damage in your home or building? Contact Florida Catastrophe Corp. today at (855) 352-2281!

Storm Damage Repair

If your home has been damaged in a storm, it is vital that you get it repaired as soon as possible. Storm damage to a home, left untreated, can worsen into a number of other problems, including structural damage that could render your home unlivable. Here are a few facts you need to know about storm damage repair.

  • Debris. Storm damage tends to cause major amounts of debris and construction materials to be strewn about your property. Taking care of this debris and clearing it out safely is priority number one.
  • Assessing the damage. Taking quick and decisive action in assessing and repairing damage after a storm can save big in the long run. This includes boarding up windows, checking for water damage to structural supports, and more.
  • Demolition. There may be sections of the home that simply did not survive the storm, and in these cases demolition is the best option. Professional demolition can set the stage for a clean and easy rebuild.

Contact Fla-Cat today for your storm damage repair needs.

How to Begin the Process of Fire Damage Repair

When dealing with fire damage in your home, it can be challenging to know where to begin. The first step is to get in contact with your insurance company in order to notify them of the damage and begin the process of making claims. Before you begin the process of repairs, the insurance company may need to send a representative to assess the situation and collect hard evidence.

Once you have discussed the situation with the insurance company, you can begin the fire damage repair process. Some issue that may need to be addressed include the following:

  • Smoke damage. In some cases, smoke stains can be scrubbed off of the walls and ceiling, but many times smoke damage may force you to simply repaint or put up new wallpaper.
  • Cleaning clothes. Don’t just throw your clothes into the washing machine! The greasy soot left behind by smoke may only come off through dry cleaning.
  • Protecting against mold. The water used to extinguish a fire often causes mold or mildew to form, so make sure to seek professional help in airing out your home.
  • Contact Fla-Cat today for further information on dealing with fire damage.