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October is Fire Prevention Month!

10/10/2019 (Permalink)

Home fire Aftermath of Honolulu apartment complex showing fire damage due to negligence

As we enter the middle of October, it is important for everyone to be aware of what they can do to protect their home and family in a time of emergency. October is Fire Prevention Month!

The goal of fire prevention is to educate the public to take precautions to prevent potentially harmful fires and become educated about surviving them.

Below are a few tips and reminders:

Stop, drop and roll...

If one's clothing catches on fire, the most effective method of extinguishing the fire is to stop, drop to the ground, and roll back and forth to smother the flame. Running around will simply fan the flames.

Smoke detectors save lives!!!

  • Working smoke detectors reduce the chances of death in a fire by half.
  • Nearly 900 lives could be saved annually if every home had working smoke detectors.
  • Even just one smoke detector reduces the chances of death by almost half.
  • Nearly half of all fire survivors remember hearing their smoke alarm.
  • Deaths due to fire have decreased by half since the invention of the smoke detector.
  • Most deaths due to fire occur at night when people are sleeping.

Smoke detector maintenance!!!

  • The most common cause of smoke detector failure is missing or disconnected batteries.
  • Nuisance alarms are the most common reason for deliberately disconnecting batteries.
  • Missing, disconnected, or dead batteries account for 73% of smoke detector failures.
  • There are more homes with no working smoke detectors than there are homes without any smoke detectors at all. There are millions of homes in each category.
  • Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of your home.
  • Change your batteries twice a year.
  • Clean your detectors also.
  • Replace the entire unit every ten years.
  • Disconnecting your batteries, for any reason, is dangerous and illegal.

Don't just leave to do something else...

One of the most common reasons for fires is how people often leave stoves, ovens, toasters, clothing irons, barbecues, and candles unattended.

Now, we've covered some important facts about fire safety for the home, don't forget about your business...

Oh, and DON'T forget about fire extinguishers!!

Fire extinguishers are active fire protection devices used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergency situations. It is not intended for use on an out-of-control fire, such as one which has reached the ceiling, endangers the user (i.e., no escape route, smoke, explosion hazard, etc.), or otherwise requires the expertise of a fire department.

Things to Check for if Lightning Strikes Your Home

10/5/2019 (Permalink)

Lightning Lightning is a dramatic display from a thunderstorm, but it can also cause serious complications. Fires, damage to structures and damage to electrical

How Lightning Is Made

All thunderstorms are electrically charged, and this is what serves as a catalyst for every clap of thunder and bolt of lightning. When we see lightning, it is actually the thunderstorm offloading some of its energy, either through the clouds creating thunder or in the direction of the Earth.

Air is not an ideal conductor, which is why lightning often strikes through an object as it heads toward the ground. This is what makes homes so vulnerable and easily damaged by lightning strikes.

Things to Check if Lightning Strikes Your Home

Because a home is full of wiring and water, lightning can travel easily through these things and cause extensive damage along the way. If your home has been struck, here’s what to check for:

1. Hot spots within walls. At around 500,000 degrees, lightning is often hot enough to ignite a house immediately upon striking. Additionally, it can cause damage to wiring so severe that it makes a fire likely to occur within the walls in the future. An electrician can perform an inspection to check for hotspots and make recommendations for repairs.

2. Damaged electronics. The voltage produced by a lightning strike is far more than what household electronics are designed to handle, and they can be severely damaged if they are plugged in when lightning strikes. Surge protectors can prevent damage from occurring, and you should always thoroughly check electronics after a strike.

3. Structure damage. The powerful shock waves that produce thunder can also produce damage when lightning strikes the ground. Because shock waves have been known to crack foundations and shatter windows, it is wise to inspect the home after a storm dissipates.

If your home has been affected by storm damages or lightning-related fires, give us a call today! We are experts in damage cleanup and can restore your damage quickly.

Tub Causes Flood Damage in Your Home

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

Flooded Tub Faulty leak caused water damaged a honolulu home

Accidents can happen to anyone, although some create more problems and have higher financial costs than other accidents. A forgotten and soon overflowing tub is one of the more expensive problems that happen in life. Left for hours, flooding can become extensive. Total costs increase the longer a homeowner waits before calling for restorative experts like SERVPRO to begin mitigation work. Waiting to call for experts to restore a home after flood damage first happens can not only become more expensive but also become much more damaging to areas that were originally untouched by the water. These places that suffer later are a result of the increased moisture within the home. Even though it may not seem possible, moisture easily travels from one vicinity inside a home to another in a search for equilibrium. Dryer areas experience an increase in humidity, and this can affect stored photo albums, clothing, and other fragile items, belongings, and accessories in closets, and so many other locations inside a home.

Our goal is to restore the humidity level inside your home after a flooding event. We begin by removing as much of the water as we can extract with different pieces of equipment. When things feel dry, we start with the removal of the extra moisture. Dehumidifiers, vast and powerful air blowers, and even heaters when conditions warrant their usefulness help remove moisture from materials inside your home quickly, minimizing damage. Carpets and flooring such as hardwood and parquet can suffer greatly when there is a delay in these efforts. The implementation of heating mats increases the rate of evaporation from these horizontal surfaces so that the dehumidifiers easily remove the moisture. This process can help save carpets and floors that were damaged by clean water. Even with structural damage halted and kept at a low level, any flooding can create a stagnant odor that is present in almost every area of the home. Whenever this occurs, we use special deodorization techniques that effectively eliminate the scent.

For catastrophes that occur inside your home, do not hesitate to call us. We are SERVPRO of East Honolulu and answer our phone at any hour and every day of the year. Our number is 808-395-9545. We want to assist you and your family by restoring your home so that it is “Like it never even happened.”

Guide to Mold Colors

9/6/2019 (Permalink)

Damaged drywall Mold produced by moisture behind home's washer unit

Like most fungi, molds grow best in damp conditions — think bathrooms and basements. If the spores find a moist surface to land on, they grow.

Here, a color guide to molds commonly found in the house.

Green

If you see green mold, it could be just about any type of unwelcome fungus. There are more than a hundred thousand types of mold — and thousands of species of green mold. So what does the color green tell you? Not much.

Olive-green, brown, grey or black

These are common molds. Outdoors, they lurk on plant leaves. Indoors, they're often found on walls and insulation and can grow on damp carpet, too. 

Blue, green, or white

These molds are also common. It’s usually found on food and walls. 

Yellow, green or black

According to the CDC, people breathe in these molds every day, usually without getting sick. It’s a very common household mold and can found virtually everywhere you’ve experienced water damage.

Black or grey

These is most common as an outdoor mold, growing around damp, dusty areas, soil and plants. But it has made its way indoors. 

Pink

The pink “mold” often seen in the bathroom in the form of a slimy, pinkish discoloration on sinks and tubs is actually bacteria, not mold. It thrives on soap and shampoo residues.

Greenish-black

This mold is the infamous “black mold." It's less common than the molds described above. It prefers to live on high-cellulose, low-nitrogen surfaces, which include drywall, gypsum board, paper, dust and lint that is regularly exposed to moisture. The CDC notes, "Growth occurs when there is moisture from water damage, excessive humidity, water leaks, condensation, water infiltration, or flooding. Constant moisture is required for its growth."

If there is any indication or question if there is mold in your area, do not wait and call SERVPRO of East Honolulu any day, any time at 808-395-9545 

Levels of Water damage caused by storm

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

When we receive a call to help with flood damage, we can never be sure how severe the damage is until we arrive on-scene to evaluate the situation. Different levels and volumes of flood waters can turn into drastically different damage cleanup and restoration processes, so we must be flexible and able to accommodate any scenario in a timely manner. We look for these following signs of damage to determine how extensive the problem is.

Standing Water

A consistent indicator of some of the most severe flood damage is the presence of standing water. When water remains in your home at a measurable depth, it can begin to cause expensive and permanent damages to the structure of the building. Alert us if any standing water remains in the building so that our primary response teams can bring water extraction pumps and respond Faster To Any Size Disaster.

Soaked Walls

We expect flooring materials to be soaked as a result of flood damage, but when the walls of your home have sustained significant damage, this may be a sign of additional problems that require a more thorough investigation to identify. Sometimes, when water reaches a substantial depth and later recedes, it can still create pockets of moisture in the walls of your home that degrade materials and can cause mold issues later on. SERVPRO technicians use advanced moisture detection tools such as infrared imaging devices and hygrometers to identify these wet areas and treat them accordingly.

Exterior Damages

Although the exterior of your home may be much more resistant to the effects of flood damage than interior areas, it can still sustain significant damage during a storm. We can help with repairs and restorations that may be necessary to leave the exterior of your home looking "Like it never even happened."

SERVPRO of East Honolulu can help you recover from flood damage. Call us 24/7 at 808-395-9545.

Facts about Smoke and Soot

7/26/2019 (Permalink)

Smoke and soot is very invasive and can penetrate various cavities within your home, causing hidden damage and odor. Our smoke damage expertise and experience allows us to inspect and accurately assess the extent of the damage to develop a comprehensive plan of action.  

Smoke and soot facts:

  • Hot smoke migrates to cooler areas and upper levels of a structure.
  • Smoke flows around plumbing systems, seeping through the holes used by pipes to go from floor to floor.
  • The type of smoke may greatly affect the restoration process.

Different Types of Smoke

There are two different types of smoke–wet and dry. As a result, there are different types of soot residue after a fire. Before restoration begins, we will test the soot to determine which type of smoke damage occurred. The cleaning procedures will then be based on the information identified during pretesting. Here is some additional information:

Wet Smoke – Plastic and Rubber

  • Low heat, smoldering, pungent odor, sticky, smeary. Smoke webs are more difficult to clean.

Dry Smoke – Paper and Wood

  • Fast burning, high temperatures, heat rises therefore smoke rises.

Our Fire Damage Restoration Services

Since each smoke and fire damage situation is a little different, each one requires a unique solution tailored for the specific conditions.  We have the equipment, expertise, and experience to restore your fire and smoke damage.  We will also treat your family with empathy and respect and your property with care.

ACT QUICKLY DURING A STORM

7/19/2019 (Permalink)

Watching the news can fill you with dread as the weather threatens the integrity of your home. As you prepare for a possible emergency, knowing who to call when extensive areas are being affected is extremely important. Experience and technical knowledge are your greatest assets in combating the effects of flooding in your home.

When there is the threat of flood damage to our home make sure to contact SERVPRO of East Honolulu as soon as possible. Our crew is ready 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and trained to work when disaster strikes. Being among the first to contact our technicians helps mitigate your losses as well as the disruption to your daily life. Making a call to our team is the first crucial step in restoring your home.

Flood waters bring debris and unwanted organisms into the sanctity of your home. Our SERVPRO team is IICRC-certified to handle the toughest emergencies.. For tough jobs, we use both submersible and truck-mounted pumps to extract unwanted water from your home. Our field experience and preparation allow us to dispose of wastewater while respecting local ordinances appropriately. Local regulations also play a role in the removal and disposal of contents that cannot be salvaged.

Once we can extract all the water from your home, we proceed with drying and disinfecting. Keeping in mind the nature of each surface, we can tailor each cleaning agent to address its specific needs. Our SERVPRO technicians closely monitor all aspects of the process to ensure no further threat of bacteria remains in your home.

Do not let flood damage overwhelm you. Call SERVPRO of East Honolulu 808-395-9545 as soon as possible to help restore your property. With our help, your home will look “Like it never even happened.”

Does Bleach Kill Mold?

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

Bleach is probably the most well known mold killer. In fact many commercial mold killing products contain bleach. 

Does Bleach Kill Mold

Bleach kills bacteria and viruses and sanitizes the surfaces it's used on. Bleach also kills mold if it comes into contact with it. The spores and allergens from mold are neutralized as well.

Bleach will kill mold growing on non-porous surfaces like glass, tiles, bathtubs and counter tops. However bleach cannot completely kill mold growing in non-porous materials like drywall and wood. Bleach does not penetrate into these non-porous substances and so only the mold growing above the surface is killed.

Should You Use Bleach to Kill Mold?

The EPA does not recommend you use bleach for killing and removing mold. Bleach is a chemical, and it is better to use natural mold killing products instead. Some good alternative mold killing products are borax and vinegar. Bleach also loses its power with time. Even if bleach is not opened, in 90 days it loses 50% of its killing effectiveness.

Another disadvantage is that bleach is corrosive. Bleach deteriorates materials and the fibers of porous substances. The gas from bleach can even damage your lungs. If bleach touches your skin it can also give you chemical burns.

There is also concern about whether bleach leaves dioxins. Dioxins are highly toxic and carcinogenic substances. They are also teratogenic and animal tests have shown dioxins can cause birth defects.

Bleach can create dioxins in processes like bleaching of wood pulp. Fortunately though, studies have found that bleach cannot form dioxins when it's just used for household cleaning. The materials which are needed for bleach to form dioxins are not usually present when cleaning the home.

Bleach is ineffective at killing mold on many materials, including carpet and upholstery. Bleach won't kill mold on dirty, metallic or porous substances either.

PLEASE CALL SERVPRO of East Honolulu 808-395-9545 IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING MOLD PROBLEM IN YOUR AREA

Hiring a Professional for Mold Removal

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

If the size of the mold growth in your home is greater than 10 square feet (about 3 feet x 3 feet) the EPA says you should hire a professional mold removal service - SERVPRO of East Honolulu 808-395-9545


Even if the area of mold growth is smaller it's still best to hire a professional. This way you can be certain that the mold will be completely removed without contaminating the rest of your home. Hiring a professional will also ensure that the mold will not come back and that your symptoms will disappear.

A mold professional can also inspect and test for mold in your entire home. This way you can be sure that all mold growth will be found and removed, even if it is hidden.

If you have toxic mold in your home then it's important to hire a professional, even if the mold growth is small. If toxic mold is not removed in the right way it can spread dangerous mycotoxins throughout your home.

How to Prevent Mold

4/5/2019 (Permalink)

The key to mold growth is moisture. Mold can grow on a food source in 24 to 48 hours if the material remains wet. So the best way to prevent mold is by keeping your home dry. 

  • Inspecting Your Home For Water Leaks

Check your home for any water leaks. Especially look for leaks in water pipes in hidden areas such as in the basement or below the sink. If you find a water leak, you should fix it as soon as possible.

  • Ventilate Your Home to Prevent Mold

Exhaust fans help to reduce moisture in areas where water is often used such as the bathroom and kitchen. You can also open the windows for a while when the weather is dry. Outdoor air might bring in moisture when it is raining or during the night, however, so it's a good idea to shut your windows during these times.

  • Minimizing Humidity Helps Prevent Mold

It also helps to check the moisture level of your home. The ideal humidity level is between 30% and 50%. A humidity level of 60% or higher can put your home at risk of mold growth. 

  • Reduce Clutter

Decrease the number of things stored in places like the basement. These materials can grow mold, especially if they are made of paper or fabric. Consider throwing away furniture, papers, clothes, and other items if they haven't been used in the last two years. A lot of the time these stored materials are in a bad condition anyway because of their age, so there is often no point in keeping them inside and risking mold.

Indoor plants in pots of soil can also lead to mold. The soil can provide mold with the moisture and nutrients it needs to grow.

  • Maintain Air Conditioners

Properly maintaining air conditioners helps reduce the moisture in a home. Air conditioner drip pans should be cleaned regularly. The drain lines should flow unobstructed.

  • How to Prevent Mold in the Basement and Storage Areas

Avoid cluttering the basement and other storage areas. Less clutter can increase the air circulation in these areas. If possible, throw out old or damaged materials to create more space. It's also best to keep mainly washable items in the basement, since these can easily be kept clean.

During warm months, install a dehumidifier to make sure the humidity stays relatively low. Replace furnace filters regularly. The basement floor drain should also be regularly cleaned using bleach and water.

  • How to Prevent Mold in the Bathroom

Turn on the exhaust fan when you take a bath or shower. Let it continue to run for a few minutes afterwards as well. You should also check the exhaust fan regularly to make sure it is exhausting the air out of the bathroom properly.

If you don't have an exhaust fan then open the windows instead while you bath or shower. Inspect the bathroom for any water leaks too. And wipe dry any surfaces that often get wet.

  • How to Prevent Mold in the Kitchen

Make sure the stove exhaust fan works properly and removes steam from the kitchen. Keep the lid on pots that are boiling, if possible, to prevent the kitchen becoming steamy. You should also clean and dry the drip pan of the refrigerator regularly. Make sure to empty the garbage every day and look out for any leaks around the sink.

  • How to Prevent Mold in Bedrooms

You spend much of your life in your bedroom so it's important that you keep it mold free. Make sure to keep your bedroom clean and tidy. If possible, discard any clothes, papers and other things that you no longer use. You can also install a dehumidifier in bedrooms to help prevent mold growing from humidity.