Make Your Own Air Freshener
Air Fresheners can be quite lovely for the home, they can hide smells, or make your house smell... "fresher".
These industrial air fresheners may be adversely effecting your health
Some of these store-bought air re-fresheners contain chemicals that inhibit your sense of smell to make the product seem better. Have you ever cleaned your kid's soccer cleats with an air freshener and the next day they day they smell just as bad? The chemical inhibiting smell wore off!
Some even cause an oily film in your nose that stops you from really smelling. This oily coat creates a barrier to your receptors which seems crazy to us here at SERVPRO of East Honolulu.
Even those air-fresheners that claim to deodorize and break down toxins contain harmful chemicals that are not good to breathe in.
Conventional Air Fresheners are actually not made for smelling
In a study done in 2018, there were over 350 chemicals detected in the air after using an unnatural air freshener. Some of these included: benzene, formaldehyde, styrene, and phthalates
Here is a natural tired and true air fresheners we use in the office: The lemon basil spray !
- 1 Cup of water
- 2 tablespoons of (60% proof) rubbing alcohol or vodka
- 5-6 leaves of basil
- 5 drops of lemon essential oil
The 1 cup water to 2 tablespoons of alcohol is an universal base that can be used to create any air freshener with essential oils of your choice
Start the New Years with Fresh Air?
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
From our ohana to yours here at SERVPRO of East Honolulu
We hope that 2021 is a prosperous and healthy year for our community and customers.
As many of you know, here in the Hawaiian isles it is a mixing pot of cultures. One of the most celebrated traditions is osoji or "big cleanup" a tradition brought by Japanese plantation farmers.
Here at SERVPRO of East Honolulu we celebrate this, and to start your new years we thought we could talk about quality air.
Clean air in your home is vital to your health
We offer "air scrubbing" services that literally filters your air of particles, we do this in most jobs for:
- cleaning up soot
- mold remediation or cleaning
- water damage
- odor removal
most homes don't have serious air quality issues rather, they just need a good clean to facilitate a healthier life!
So when trying to assess your air quality, here are some things to keep in mind:
- Chemicals (Cleaning products, Art supplies, Kerosene...etc)
- How do you store your chemicals? Are they in the open? Do you consistently use bleach?
- Dust and other Allergens
- Are there visible areas of dust? How frequently do you clean your soft surfaces?
- CO2 levels
- Do you have a CO2 gas protector? Is your gas odorless?
- Are there any water leaks or moisture traps in your house? Are you aware of your areas prone to water leaks or moisture traps
- Does the temperature in your home affect the chemicals residing in your home?
Some side effects of poor air quality include:
- Hay Fever
- Allergy-like Symptoms
- Decrease/Increase of Body Sensations
- Hyperventilation/Shortness of Breath
Your air quality in the home can cause adverse health effects
Here are some tips/tricks to improve your air quality:
It may sound cliche, or even like a no-brainer but, a good ventilation system is vital to the health of your air. Ventilating allows particles to come and go, stagnant air can harbor more toxins and even create a hospitable zone for mildew and mold. This also rejuvenates your air, we recommend for our city customers to open the windows or ventilate at odd times. Keeping your windows open during traffic or rush hour can be counter productive, try early in the morning or late night for the best results.
- Cleaning your AC frequently
Your AC already has a filter that cleans air impurities and pollutants; cleaning it regularly will stop a build up of these particles and release of them. Make sure you read how to clean your AC properly as some methods can damage the air filter.
- Keeping your Sheets and Clothes Clean
Soft goods are really good at holding in air toxins and other harmful particles. Regularly cleaning your sheets stops dust mites from building up and also helps with your skin health; especially for those who acne prone skin. If you have pets washing sheets and clothes frequently also helps stop hair build-up. Keeping clothes off the floor help prevent easy access for particles as well.
- Beeswax Candles
Beeswax candles actually attract pollutants to it. When burned they actually release negatively-charged particles called electrons. These attract dust and impurities which are positively charged. They also smell good :)
- Household Plants
Plants are one of the easiest ways to maintain a healthy atmosphere in your home. Most of these plants are easy to take care and just need some sun light and water to thrive!
Here are some great indoor plants:
- Bamboo Palm
- English Ivy
- Gerbera Daisy
- Janet Craig Dracaena
- Red Edged Dracaena
- Corn Plant
These are simple tricks, but if you believe your air quality is really bad DO NOT hesitate to call us
(808) 395- 9545
let us know if these tips helped!
Instagram handle: @ SERVPRO_e_honolulu
We are Here to Help 24/7
We, at SERVPRO of East Honolulu want to give our deepest mahalo for allowing us to continue to service you this year.
2019 brought an epidemic, turmoil, and fear for the future. SERVPRO of East Honolulu has been here for you and your ohana, even working through COVID-19 following the strict CDC guidelines when working for you.
And as many of you know disasters and messes can come in all shapes and sizes, whether it is in a work environment or in your home; we know how much stress it can be. Especially now during the holiday season.
Here are some important things to keep in mind as you enjoy your holidays.
- If you have been celebrating your holiday with a tree make sure there is always water inside. Just so the tree is receiving some sort of nutrients and is less of a fire hazard
- If you also celebrate with putting lights on the tree make sure that when you go to bed that the lights are turned off and un-plugged. This will ensure that a fire will not occur, it is always good to watch these kinds of lights for fire prevention.
- Inspect the chimney, if there is a build up of soot this could be a fire hazard and an additional hard clean. We at SERVPRO of East Honolulu know how hard it is to clean soot once it affects objects and soft surfaces. The best way to prevent this is by consistently cleaning your chimney
- Remove any items near your furnace, furnaces are handy and scare here in Hawai'i. But if there is a slight chance one has it in our community we want to bring awareness to having flammable items near the furnace.
- Keep combustible products at least 3 feet away from a light source or heat source. This will ensure that these products can not and will not go into flames.
- Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking something. During this holiday season we always enjoy the aunties cooking. The delicious butter mochi, cookies, and other goodies we are all to familiar with. With an increased amount of goodies and cooking, there is a higher risk for one to walk away and a fire to start. Remember even an electrical counter top can set on fire depending on the conditions.
- Menoras and Kinaras should also be placed at least 3 feet away from flammable products. Make sure to also monitor the open flame when in use, we only wish you a safe and healthy holiday.
- If you have a pet make sure that you keep all fragile ornaments out of their reach. We love our furry pals and also wish for their safety.
As always we are here for you this holiday season, and wish you the happiest and safest of all holidays. And to take the time off and enjoy yourselves. So choose us to make sure that
SERVPRO of East Honolulu
Water Damage on Your Ceiling, Now What?
Water damage on your ceiling can happen to anyone and everyone, it may be from clogged pipes, faulty toilets, overrun showers or your neighbors upstairs. Whatever the cause, business owners end up facing the mess of sewer damage, an absolute physical, emotional, and financial drain. It's even harder when that break happens on the second story, allowing the polluted fluid to seep down below, ruining not just one floor but two. If this is the case, consider the following to get the building back to normal.
1. Have a Thorough Inspection
First, contact SERVPRO of East Honolulu. Our expert team have specialized equipment and knowledge. When they arrive on scene, our staff should begin to survey the damage, section off the impacted zones, and prepare a plan to sanitize your space or take care of the damage.
2. Take Care of Soaked Material
Unfortunately, most water damaged goods have to be cleaned heavy duty style. It's not something that is simply dried up due to the smell of most water damages. Our crew will begin removing the soaked flooring as well as the affected portions of the ceiling. If the liquid penetrated through, it may have harmed the downstairs. If that is the case, they could begin tearing out items from here as well.
3. Restore the Rooms
The flooded toilet and other fixtures may be replaced with newer items. The spaces are dried with dehumidifiers and then sprayed with antimicrobial spray. At this point, one of our contractors or your insurance's contractors begin construction, patching, painting, and replacing anything lost from the flooding. By the end, both floors should look like they did before.
Sometimes sewer damage is unavoidable. While you can't stop it, you can fix it. Seek the aid of experts who can lead and advise.
We do our part so everyone else can do theirs, and just like that it looks "Like it never even happened."
Do You Have Signs of Mold in Your Honolulu Home?
If you're a homeowner in the East Honolulu area, there are a few warning signs of mold/mold spores growing. It is essential that you know how to keep you and your ohana family especially if there is a mold infestation. Here are some indicators that you may have a mold problem:
-One of the first things that indicate that there is a presence of mold in your house is the smell. This presents itself as a musty smell. Do not avoid this smell, make sure you can find the source of the odor.
If one is incapable of finding the source that is OK! Here at SERVPRO of East Honolulu we can find that source for you, but call us as soon as you smell a possible mold smell.
- Often if there is visible mold growth in a home one can mistake it for soot or dirt. Make sure that anything that looks remotely like mold is assessed. Even small patches of mold can grow exponentially and cause an even bigger problem.
When you do find VISIBLE mold that means that the spores can know germinate. This germinating process can cause health effects for your ohana as the spores of mold are airborne and can interrupt healthy organisms such as you or your pets of any kind.
- Taking care of moisture in the home, here in Hawai'i we know how humid it can get. Make sure that you try to do your best in taking care of moisture in the house.
The best way to avoid mold spores or growth in your house is to ensure there is no place it could grow. There aren't any areas with concentrated moisture or show any signs of becoming a mold nursery. For more information on controlling humidity or preventing mold growth refer to our previous blogs on mold growth.
As always SERVPRO of East Honolulu is here for you whenever needed and our experts in cleaning and curing your hale of mold and remediating.
Fire, What's the Next Steps?
Fire damage cleanup and restoration are some of the many services we offer here at SERVPRO of East Honolulu.
We know how stressful fire damage can be, and after the fire men are gone we'll be here to clean up the soot and fire damages! Our teams consists of IIRC certified individuals who can assess and properly clean your damaged goods. We can ensure that there are no lingering soot particles or odor, these particles don't get addressed using tried-and-true expert techniques, there is the potential to spread throughout the home. This odor is unpleasant and can be a reminder of the fire.
So, what do we do to fight smoke odors?
When our skilled technicians get called to help with fire damage in East Honolulu, we pay close attention to the entire job. This means assessing the full scope of your loss, including any areas where soot particles and smoke residue settled. Even the smallest bit of residue left behind can cause odors to sprout up weeks or months down the road. This is why we have a series of carefully planned steps we take to execute a full restoration on your property.
What's our fire process?
Once you call us for fire restoration services, a fully equipped crew arrives at your property in as little as 4 hours or less. Our crew chief begins the assessment so that a detailed plan of action can get put into place. Addressing a fire loss with heavy smoke damage includes:
Once your interior is deemed safe to enter, and the plan is formulated, we work to remove items that are too charred to salvage. This helps us to limit the amount of soot spread from one location to another while also lessening odors throughout the interior. Our technicians test the smoke residue, which allows us to select cleaning agents carefully. This ensures more efficient cleaning as well as cuts back on the potential for damage using incorrect cleaning measures.
We see two main types of smoke damage after a fire loss. Dry smoke requires careful cleaning because wet cleaning agents might drive the residue further into the surfaces. We take our time, using care to lift the dry smoke using sponges and soft cloths. With wet smoke, it often binds to surfaces. This calls for solvent-based cleaners to lift it for removal safely. The initial testing done helps ensure no marring happens on any surfaces.
There will be items within your home covered in soot and smoke residue. We handle all of these items on a case by case basis, using a variety of methods to suit each item. Non-porous items can be cleaned using our specialized immersion method. This is when items get immersed in a cleaning solution that helps carefully remove the residue, restoring it to like-new condition. Fabric items and upholstery get tested to ensure no damage comes to the materials, with our technicians often using soft bristle brushes to remove particles.
Here's some reasons you should trust SERVPRO of East Honolulu
Regardless of the nature or scope of the blaze, we have the cleaning technicians equipped to handle the job. Our team is fully accredited in both Odor Control (OCT) and Fire and Smoke Restoration (FSRT). Just a sampling of the tasks we cover throughout the restoration process includes:
- Debris removal
- Pack out services
- Dry vacuuming
- Surface cleaning
- Moisture detection
- Soot removal
- Controlled demolition
We Make Sure No Foul Odors Linger
For any fire damage call, addressing odors is paramount. Deodorization is a critical element of the process, no matter the severity or size of the fire loss. Burning odors and smoke can intensify without professional mitigation such as removal of charred debris and surface cleaning. Our skilled technicians remove all of the noxious odors and neutralize them with a variety of advanced equipment, such as:
- Thermal Fogging Equipment: These are units that heat up a deodorizing compound to put a fine mist on surfaces. This compound penetrates the porous materials to trap the odors in both your contents and structural materials.
- Hydroxyl Generators: These units utilize UV cleaning to help neutralize odors across an open area. The equipment features a HEPA filtration system that works to cut back on harmful particulates in the air.
When Will My Home Be Ready?
Our team does everything we can to provide you with a working timeline of the project from start to finish. The crew works according to a plan that helps us to maintain efficiency without leaving anything unattended to. The job is wrapped up with a full cleaning and deodorization to ensure everything is sanitized and safe for your family to enjoy. We make it, “Like it never even happened.”
Storm Tips for East Honolulu
Here are some quick tips to prevent water damage:
- Repair/replace roof shillings or tiles as needed
- Apply a waterproofing coating to the interior or exterior basement walls
- Create a slope away from the structure to drain runoff properly
- Make sure garden areas have adequate drainage
- Be sure soffit vents are clean and unobstructed
- Check for any cracks or peeling paint
- Fill low spots around building foundation
with clean fill dirt
- Keep downspouts cleat of any blockages
- Clean and inspect gutters regularly
Heavy rains and strong winds can all cause problems with your property. Roofs, gutters, and landscapes are exterior elements that should be checked to guard against water damage. Remember to look in attics, basements or crawl spaces for visible signs of water intrusion. Make sure outside vents are clear of any obstruction to ensure proper airflow.
If you find a problem and need restoration help or want spring cleaning assistance, call your local SERVPRO of East Honolulu professionals. We are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
(808) 395- 9545
What are Sump Pumps?
Sump pumps move water from your basement out of your home. A sump is a naturally constructed pit, usually a hole carved below the main surface of your basement floor. This pit, known as a basin, holds the sump pump. The pump is equipped with valves that sense escalating water levels or pressure. When the water gets too high, sump pumps automatically pump excess water out of the basement and away from your property using a discharge line. This line, called an effluent, connects the sump pump to a designated drainage area.
A sump pump protects your home from heavy rains and rising waters that leave behind enormous repair costs and structural damages. It's important to know which of the different types of sumps pumps best fits your needs.
Sump pumps are typically installed at the lowest point of your home. A properly functioning sump pump will kick on when water levels get too high, sending water out to help keep your basement dry. The typical sump pump runs on electricity, but if you live in an area prone to violent storms that can cause power outages you may want to consider purchasing a battery back up-operated sump pump or a water pressure-activated sump pump. The middle of a storm is a terrible time for you to discover your sump pump has failed.
Cost of a sump pump
Generally, a basement submersible sump will cost anywhere from $100-$400 depending on the horsepower and flow rate, with $500-$1000 prices for sump pumps with commercial uses. Below is a list of considerations for calculating the cost of a sump pump in your home:
1. Type of sump pump
The type of sump pump you choose for your home will determine your cost. Factors such as the material used to make the sump pump, size, horsepower, additional features, including backup battery or a specified switch type can all contribute to the cost.
2. Basement material
The floor of your basement can play a part in the cost of installation. If your basement is made of cement or concrete, then the floor will need to be removed in the lowest point of your basement where you plan to install the pump. The thicker the cement, the higher the cost of labor.
If your city requires a drainage point a distance from your house, yard drainage lines or extension hoses can increase the cost of installation. Not to mention, they can be hazards to your yard or even freeze in the winter.
The cost of a permit will vary depending on location, so it is best to consider beforehand. The guidelines will also help you factor the cost of the job.
5. Licensed professional
Installing the sump pump yourself can cut costs dramatically if you know what you are doing. But if you are unsure, it is best to go with a licensed professional. Installation cost is cheaper than treating a flooded basement.
Performing a full maintenance check on your sump pump system is a pretty simple process that can potentially help you avoid a costly water loss.
- Before adjusting or moving sump pump, disconnect the sump pump from its electricity source.
- Remove the pump from the well and check the intake grate for any rocks or debris that could have been pulled in.
- Clear well of any debris.
- Put sump pump back in to place and reconnect to power source.
- Fill a 5 gallon bucket with water and pour in to the sump well to make sure the system kicks on and is operating as should.
- Outside your home, check the condition of the pump discharge pipe, making sure it is free of blockage and debris.
If your sump pump appears to not be operating as intended, do not hesitate to call a professional to assess your system.
The Dangers of Flood Water
Nature can be unforgiving at times, and when it is, we at SERVPRO of East Honolulu are here to help. We have seen all types of water damage, yet one of the worst types is due to storm damage.
There are a variation of types of water categories in regards to the cleanliness of the water/source. Flood water can be a category 3 which is the worst category. Meaning that it can possess extremely dirty water and harmful foreign objects including but not limited to blood borne pathogens or other diseases.
Here are some commonalities in most flood waters that have been in some we dealt with:
- human and livestock waste
- household, industrial, or medical waste
- ash waste that can contain toxic chemicals
- objects such as debris, or metal
- wild or stray animals
These type of containment can create a foul odor, and are extremely dangerous if not instantly dealt with. Due to the high chance of harmful bacteria inside flood water, letting it stand still without cleaning it can cause an increase of bacteria. This type of bacteria can be harmful and cause adverse side effects.
Make sure that you stay away from the flood water, whether you have to drive through it or it is in your home. You never know what is in flood water as there can also be electrical or chemical problems inside of the water as well.
Some types of flood water can cause health issues if one is exposed to it like,
- wound infections
- skin rash
- stomach problems
If you are touching/ cleaning up flood water, first call professionals like us. Here at SERVPRO of East Honolulu we have an able and equipped team that is frequently tested in case of exposure to health issues and can clean up any natural disaster.
But if you do come into contact with flood water make sure,
- you wash the area that has been touched with soap and CLEAN water. Soap is a tame basic solution which if used correctly can be very effective. That is, by washing for at least 45 seconds. Since soap attracts dirt-like particles the longer you clean the area the safer you're skin becomes.
- if there are wounds or punctures that occurred because of the flood water immediately seek medical attention. No one has any idea what type of concoction that can be within the flood water, and due to the increased risk of illness inside the water. It is best to seek medical emergency as soon as you feel like you have been injured.
- If you are trying to restore your soft goods and materials, make sure that you used an increased amount of laundry detergent, hot water, and a slight amount of bleach. Wash these items more than once, again flood water can be extremely gross.
-prevent wounds and injuries by not attempting to go into the water if you can not see the bottom of the floor. That means there are so many contaminates in the water that you can't see your floor. This is dangerous, you have no idea where you're stepping or what lurks underneath the water. There could be a chance of foreign objects that are harmful and pointy, because of the hindrance of the contaminants in the water you will not know.
If you have any questions, refer to the CDC guidelines and health cautions of flood water. As always we only wish the best for our community in all regards but especially in health and safety. If you or a loved one are experiencing flood water issues please call us at
Candle Free Alternatives
If you are thinking about using alternatives other than candles this holiday, you probably should. Here are 5 different alternatives!
Aloha supporters of SERVPRO of East Honolulu,
We would like to extend a huge mahalo to everyone who reads our blogs and also request our services. We are happy to serve East Honolulu and share these tips with you.
As we are in peak holiday season the use of candles has risen, with candles being used as decorum or mood setters for this time of year.
It is also important to note, the use of candles do not equate to fire starting.
The issue with an increased use of candles is the increased use of negligence with respects to candles themselves. While many of us don't practice proper fire etiquette to sustain a candle flame; here are some great alternatives for a fire-free holiday.
1. Fairy Lights
Because they are usually battery-run or with electricity, these are great alternatives to candles especially if you're just using a candle for mood setting. It will out live a candle, while also being a great way to even spice up one's light theme. With many different types of Fairy Lights some are even 10+ colors.
2. Wax Warmers
If you like candles for the warm scent they bring, wax warmers are a great alternative. Bringing in new aromas in a more controlled setting; they also either use electricity and have no open flame.
3. Essential Oil Diffuser
Essential oils create added scent to a room, with some good health benefits. There are many different diffusers to choose from, so you can easily find one that matches your home. Beware of oil diffusers if you have pets, as some can not handle essential oils nor diffusers creating adverse effects to certain pets.
4. Stick Diffuser
These are both easy and care-free, these simply add scent from the scented oil the sticks reside in. Being a simple gesture to a great-smelling holiday season.
5. Battery-Powered Candles
The easiest change from open-flame candles to safer alternatives is to a battery-powered candle.
Be safe over the holidays, everyone at SERVPRO of East Honolulu wish you the happiest of holidays.
We are here 24/7 365 days of the week, call for any emergencies: