Recent Posts

Every Fire Is Constrained by These 4 Things

1/27/2022 (Permalink)

stock fire  photo Stock Fire Photo

Fire seems like a wild, almost uncontrollable force—we use words like raging to describe it because it seems so wild. And while fires are certainly difficult to manage, the truth is that every fire has its limits, and every fire’s limits are the same. How can this be true?

Enter the fire tetrahedron. Its shape may seem a little random, but it only matters in that it represents the four equal things of which every fire consists.

Each side is a vital part every fire must have—and without any one side, a fire falls apart.

The 4 Things a Fire Needs to Live

Fuel. Every fire requires that there be something consumable upon which it can act. In other words, a fire has to happen to something.

Heat. Whatever object or material a fire happens upon must first be heated to a high-enough degree that it combusts. Some objects’ flash points are lower than others, thus they combust more readily.

Oxygen. The combustion reaction requires oxygen, and the oxidation process (of converting said oxygen to carbon dioxide) has to happen not only once, but…well let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Chemical Chain Reaction. All of the above conditions must not only be met, but maintained—in a chain reaction that must continue in order for a fire to survive.

The 4 Ways to Stop a Fire

Cool it. If a fuel source can be cooled by, say, pouring water on it, the fire can’t continue. The reestablishment of a thermal balance keeps the rate at which the fuel source rises in heat unable to compete with the rate at which it cools.

Smother it. Shielding a fire from the oxygen it needs keeps it from fueling the combustion and oxidation processes—so keep that fire blanket handy at home.

Starve it. When all a fire can readily eat has been devoured, it can’t continue. It stands to reason, then, that removing a fuel source is one way to mitigate a fire’s destructive potential.

Interrupt the chain reaction. As we said earlier, every fire has to have all these elements together, in a continual dance, in order to keep moving. As it turns out, there are certain compounds which, when introduced into a fire’s atmosphere, actually disturb the chemical chain reaction itself, causing the fire to hiccup and eventually halt.

If the fire tetrahedron makes a wreck of your home or business, we’re ready around the clock to help you recover. Contact SERVPRO anytime for fast, thorough cleanup and recovery after a fire.

The Water Damage Restoration Proces

1/27/2022 (Permalink)

Stock Water Damager Floating House

Every day, 14,000 Americans experience a water damage incident. If you happen to be one of them, you can trust SERVPRO to see you through the cleanup and recovery process.

When you contact your local SERVPRO team, we’ll get you back in the dry with a thorough, methodical process. Here’s what you can expect in a typical water damage cleanup scenario:

Emergency Contact. When you reach out to us, our specialists will ask you several guiding questions to help us understand the nature of your specific emergency. Once we know what’s going on, we will create an appointment time for you and your local SERVPRO professionals to meet, survey the damage and create a plan for restoration. We’ll do this as soon as possible, since taking action quickly is critical.

Inspection and Water Damage Assessment. When the SERVPRO team arrives on the scene, they will first help you stop the source of the water damage if necessary. They will then evaluate the damage and walk you through the damage present, noting any hazards that may be caused from it. They’ll then determine what can be restored versus what needs replacement.

Water Removal. Typically, water extraction is the next step. Hundreds, maybe even thousands, of gallons of water will be sucked out with powerful pumps and extraction units. Complete removal of the water damaging your property stops the spread of water, reduces your home’s drying time and prevents mold growth.

Damaged Material Removal. We will convey to you any items and materials that will need replacement, and these things will be removed as quickly as possible in order to speed up the drying of the materials that can be restored.

Cleaning, Sanitizing and Deodorization. It’s no surprise that water damage can create the need for cleanup and deodorizing of many materials in the home. We’ll quickly get to the task of making this happen, using industry-leading equipment and time-tested techniques to restore your belongings and remove the effects of water.

Drying. The drying process doesn’t end there. When the bulk of the water is gone, there is remaining water that eludes the eye, which we will remove with powerful pumps and cutting-edge equipment, based on the unique needs of your situation. Returning moisture levels to normal is crucial in the prevention of mold.

Monitoring. While your home dries, your SERVPRO team will be in constant contact, visiting daily to make sure the drying process is going as it should, adjusting equipment performance as needed, and monitoring the situation for peak effectiveness.

Repairs and Construction. Once the drying is done, we’ll handle any reconstruction or repair that may be necessary to restore your property to preloss conditions, from minor resurfacing to large-scale rebuilds. We can keep your costs and time down by being your one-stop solution for mitigation, drying and reconstruction.

When water damage strikes, make the call to SERVPRO for A-to-Z cleanup and restoration. We’ll make your damaged property look “Like it never even happened.”

Summer Storm Awareness

1/27/2022 (Permalink)

Summer is in full swing, and it brings with it all the things about summer we love. Many of us have vacations we’ve been waiting on seemingly forever, higher temperatures practically beg us to hit the pool or beach, and days are long and full of sunshine—well, most of the time, that is.

If it sometimes seems as though summer months lend themselves to more thunderstorms, that would be because it’s totally true. Atmospheric conditions, especially in certain parts of the country, are more amenable to creating them, given the presence of the two things most necessary for storms to emerge, namely moisture and warm air.

Here in Hawaii, our storms are more rare, though, but Kona storms do come and cause inconvenience. Last year, we received our first tornado warnings in over a decade.

Though storms may be a common part of summer, that doesn’t mean they should be treated lightly. Always pay attention to storm alerts, and consider cancelling outdoor events if heavy storms are predicted.

Pay attention to local weather forecasts, and get yourself an NOAA Weather radio to continue to receive alerts if power is lost.

Flooding is always possible and rarely predictable, but if it’s deemed likely, you should plan to stay at home and off the roads. Extreme storms can break tree branches and throw backyard objects and trash cans around. Keep trees trimmed and move garbage cans and patio furniture to safe locations.

Dozens of people die every year in storm-related incidents, so caution is always the best choice. Taking storms for granted is a mistake.

Stay indoors when lightning is present. It’s not safe to go back outside until you haven’t heard thunder for a full half hour, because lightning can strike up to 10 miles from the nearest rain.

Your mother was right—you should stay away from windows and avoid bathing or showering during a storm.

In cases of tornadoes or extreme thunderstorms, make sure you have an emergency kit prepared, and that you know the evacuation route for your area.

If flooding occurs, stay on high ground and avoid flood waters if at all possible. Do not attempt to drive or walk through moving water, as it can easily knock you down or even carry your car away. It can also conceal roads that have been totally washed away.

There are any number of dangers that can come into play in a thunderstorm, and it’s always best to be cautious and put things on hold until storms safely pass. If storms cause damage to your home or business, SERVPRO is ready to make things right again.

Make the Most of Minutes if Your Pauoa Home Is Damaged

1/27/2022 (Permalink)

Insurance Insurance Liason

Do you know how common home damage claims are in the United States?

If you guessed a few thousand or even one-hundred thousand are reported each year, your estimate would be very low. In fact, experts estimate that millions of American homeowners file damage claims each year.

Homeowners file claims for a variety of reasons. They can include severe weather issues, like wind, hail and rain. Other claims happen because of home accidents and appliance malfunctions.

On the surface, it might seem like these different types of claims have little in common. But in reality, they do have one important similarity: The sooner the repair process gets started, the better your outcome is likely to be.

Minutes and hours make a difference, especially if your home suffers water damage. You’ll want to move quickly to stop it from spreading.

Floors can buckle and warp within a few days. Upholstery can begin to fade and stain. You may even begin to smell the first signs of mold (a musty smell in the air) within a few hours.

Work With a Team That Is Ready to Go

If you need water or fire damage restoration services, you don’t have to wait.

We know how quickly damage can worsen, so we’re always available to help during an emergency. We’re ready to work with you 247, including weekends and holidays. All you have to do is call.

The technicians you’ll meet when you work with our team are highly trained experts. They’re ready to assist you with the knowledge and experience from high-level training and the best certifications.

Plus, they’re able to use SERVPRO’s advanced technology to create a personalized, powerful and effective restoration plan for your home.

If your home is damaged due to fire, water or any other cause, you can always count on us for restoration assistance. We have teams who are available 247 in the event of an emergency. Contact us at any time to learn more about our restoration services and how we can help your family.

Preparing for Tropical Storms on Oahu HI

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

Storm Damage Tropical Storm on Oahu

Preparing for Tropical Storms on Oahu HI:

On Oahu, a good practice is to be prepared for Tropical Storms and heavy rains in Hawaii. We do not know what is in store for the next several months, or next year for that matter. Below are some best practices for Preparing for a Tropical Weather in Hawaii. Please, start thinking about and doing these things if you haven’t already. They can make a difference in both the safety of you and your family, and the damage to your home.

  1. Get Hurricane AND Flood Insurance Coverage for Your Home Before a storm is on its Way

Many people in Hawaii have hurricane insurance for their homes. It is strongly recommended. But did you know that hurricane insurance is only WIND insurance. Whether or not you are in a flood zone requiring mandatory flood insurance, it is also a good idea to also have FLOOD insurance. This can help protect you from the water damage caused by a hurricane. Water damage can be immense in a hurricane, but also in other events such a tropical storms and tsunamis. BOTH hurricane and flood insurance are important items to consider when preparing for a hurricane in Hawaii. Keep your insurance contact in a place where you can easily find it.

  1. Declutter Your Yard & Garage, Trim Your Trees

During a recent storm threat, we and many of our friends and neighbors worked in our yards for a day or more preparing for the storm. It is recommended to remove lawn furniture, potted plants, decor, patio umbrellas, etc. that may become projectiles which break and fly through your windows. These can harm both people and property. You are advised to bring these items inside where they won’t cause harm. But do you have room for all these items? Consider getting rid of unused items and old junk that may be in your yard before hurricane season or now, if you haven’t already. At the same time, declutter your shed, garage, or carport, so that you have room to put all these items when preparing for a storm in Hawaii. Apparently, many people had this idea, but too late, as the lines at the dumps on Oahu were reportedly very long, the day after Hurricane Lane’s demise.

  1. Figure Out a Water Storage Plan When Preparing for a Storm in Hawaii

Don’t run out and buy cases of bottled water (unless that is your only alternative). It is not only expensive, but the bottles are harmful to the environment. Plan ahead and use water from the tap. Hawaii water is safe to drink from the tap and is important in preparing for a storm in Hawaii. In this recent storm, I heard several creative ideas on how to store tap water. A few of our neighbors purchased a large (100 gallon) bladder that can be filled from the tap and stored in the bathtub. It comes complete with a pump. We don’t have a bathtub to fill in our home, but purchased some food-safe garbage cans which held 32 gallons each and were filled from the tap. One fit perfectly in our shower. Stored water is necessary for both drinking and cooking, and for hygiene, bathing, and flushing toilets, if the water supply is compromised. Make sure you also have liquid bleach available and add a drop or two to your water, as necessary.

  1. Pack a Storm/Emergency “Go Bag”

In the event you must evacuate in preparing for a Storm in Hawaii, you should have a “Go Bag” packed and readyHawaii Emergency Management Agency has prepared a suggested checklist for this, which includes items such as flashlights, batteries, food, water, first aid supplies, important documents, hygiene supplies, etc. You should find the lightest weight (but sturdy) bag possible, and also, consider rolling storage for these items, since you will need to carry them, and food and water can be heavy. A waterproof bag would not be a bad idea either.

  1. Prepare for high rising water.

In a Tropical Storm the water will rise. Depending on how close you are to the ocean, streams, or mountains the water must go somewhere. Be prepared to allow the water to travel towards the ocean and unfortunate your home may be in the way. As the storm increases watch for water build up areas around your home and on the roof, freeing up anything that stops the water from flowing. Sandbags can be heavy and hard to move around. There are several other alternatives to use in a pinch, most of these eco friendly bags fill with water and will help guide the water to where you want it to go VS creating a dam.

Mold Growth behind cabinets.

1/19/2022 (Permalink)

Mold Mold growth behind cabinets in a Kitchen

"Mold is not something to mess around with."

Microscopic mold spores naturally occur almost everywhere, both outdoors and indoors, especially in Hawaii. This makes it impossible to remove all mold from a home or business without a professional. Therefore, mold remediation reduces the mold spore count back to its natural or baseline level. Some restoration businesses advertise “mold removal” and even guarantee to remove all mold, which is a fallacy. Consider the following mold facts:

  • Mold is present almost everywhere, indoors and outdoors.
  • Mold spores are microscopic and float along in the air and may enter your home through windows, doors, or AC/heating systems or even hitch a ride indoors on your clothing or a pet.
  • Mold spores thrive on moisture. Mold spores can quickly grow into colonies when exposed to water. These colonies may produce health effects.
  • Before mold remediation can begin, any sources of water or moisture must be addressed. Otherwise, the mold may return.
  • Mold often produces a strong, musty odor and can lead you to possible mold problem areas.
  • Even higher-than-normal indoor humidity can support mold growth. Keep indoor humidity below 45 percent.

This home in Kailua had a leak from the upstairs into the Kitchen a different company fixed the leak and then the home sat for almost 1 year. By the time we showed up and removed the cabinets there was mold present and we had to further mitigate.

If your home or business has a mold problem, we can inspect and assess your property and use our specialized training, equipment, and expertise to remediate your mold infestation.

If You See Signs of Mold, Call Us Today – (808) 395-9545

Beware of Dangerous "Red Flag" Weather This Weekend

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

A stock photo of a glowing wildfire at night In the event that your home suffers from fire or smoke damage, call SERVPRO of Central Honolulu 24/7 at  (808)235-5015

The trade winds are picking up and will continue with gusto through the weekend. Considering the high temperatures, low humidity and existing dry conditions, the leeward sides of all islands are under a Red Flag warning. You can read more about this weekends conditions here

Red Flag warnings are issued when the conditions are ideal for dry brush to catch and blow in the wind, which can cause the fire to grow larger. 

SERVPRO of Central Honolulu has a few reminders on fire safety to keep your family safe. 

  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms 
  • Make sure your smoke alarm has a backup battery 
  • Use surge protectors 
  • Consider unplugging unused appliances 
  • Disconnect motor vehicle batteries in flood-prone areas
  • Review your home fire escape plan 
  • Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what to do when they hear one 

Let SERVPRO Clean Your Space After a COVID-19 Case

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

A digital image of the COVID-19 virus When your business needs to get rid of COVID 19, call SERVPRO of Central Honolulu to get the job done safely!

Has your home or business hosted a person with COVID-19 by accident?

The virus can stay active on surfaces and should be thoroughly cleaned to prevent the spread of more cases. Call SERVPRO of Central Honolulu to clean your home or business. We have extensive knowledge and equipment to clean your space safely and effectively. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the expectation of "clean" has changed. SERVPRO has developed a program to help your business meet the new higher standard of clean that is now expected.

Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned is a defensive cleaning program we’re offering to address the current pandemic. This proactive, viral pathogen, cleaning program goes well beyond janitorial or carpet cleaning. By choosing Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned, you, your employees, your customers, and your community can rest assured that you’ve selected a higher cleaning standard – you are Certified: SERVPRO Cleaned.

SERVPRO has helped many businesses on Oahu ensure the safe return of employees and customers with peace of mind. Let us help you! 

Local Walgreens Location Calls SERVPRO of Central Honolulu to Solve Mold Issue

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

A photo of our containment area established at the job site If you are in need of restoration services call our SERVPRO team at (808)235-5015

Walgreens, located in Honolulu, was affected by water damage that was left untreated and grew mold. Luckily the damages to this commercial building were isolated to just one room.

SERVPRO of Central Honolulu was able to identify all the mold present. Unfortunately the water had seeped into walls and therefore demolition was needed for full restoration. We established a containment area, removed the affected drywall and left air scrubbers overnight to help remove any leftover mold spores that may have loosened during demolition. This helps ensure that all the mold is gone before our reconstruction team comes to make the space "Like it never even happened."

If you are in need of restoration services call our SERVPRO team at (808)235-5015. We specialize in commercial and household cleaning, as well as restoration and reconstruction services for mold, fire damage, floods, and storms. Call today for an inspection.

Follow These Safety Tips If You Suspect Sewage Water

8/27/2021 (Permalink)

Drywall removed from the bottom half of a home to be replaced Affected drywall has been removed and will be replaced

If you see visible sewage, do not disturb it. You can inadvertently spread the bacteria throughout your home. When bacteria is disturbed, the bacteria can become airborne and can circulate inside your home.

What to Do:

  • Stay out of affected areas.
  • Turn off the HVAC system and fans.
  • Contact SERVPRO of Central Honolulu for sewage water remediation services.

What Not to Do:

  • Don’t touch or disturb the area.
  • Don’t blow air across any surfaces with visible or suspected sewage water.
  • Don’t attempt to dry the area yourself.

We received a job in a condo in Salt Lake. The unit had a Sewage Drain pipe break. The Sewage Drain pipe leaked into their unit affecting their hallway, bathroom, and bedroom. Because the water was from a drain pipe it is considered category 3 water. Category 3 water is considered grossly contaminated, which means everything that is affected by category 3 water is considered unsalvageable. The pipe break was right above the floor. The water leaked across the top of the tile, and ran along the lower part of the drywall. Fortunately, the tile was sealed which stopped the water from getting underneath of it. Since the IICRC standard states that all affected materials are unsalvageable we had to perform a 2 foot flood cut on the drywall to remove the affected drywall. We also needed to remove the sink vanity because the bottom and sides were swollen. We performed services by removing all affected materials, bio-washing the floor to sanitize the tile, removing the affected drywall, and sanitizing the steel framing. Once all the procedures were complete and everything cleaned up, our reconstruction team was able to replace the drywall.

About Our Sewage Water Remediation Services:

SERVPRO of Central Honolulu specializes in sewage water damage cleanup and restoration, in fact, it’s a cornerstone of our business.  Our crews are highly trained restoration professionals that use specialized equipment and techniques to properly remediate your water problem quickly and safely.

If You See Signs of Sewage, Call Us Today – (808) 235-5015