ABC of shellac paint
Shellac paint, which we often use when mitigating fire damages, in general, it is best used to seal the wood. Typical fire mitigation process consists of removal of all fire affected materials, followed with pressure washing of the remaining pieces to remove all smoke debris and one of the final steps in fire mitigation is sealing the wood with shellac paint, which seals odor. Shellac has many other uses as well, it is often used by artists to seal the wood, to prevent color changes and to some extent it does make it also waterproof. Others use it as a primer, especially in between coats of paint and colors. If you have any questions about Fire Mitigation practices we are here to help at SERVPRO of Hawaii.
How to prevent mold tips
Mold can be very irritating, those that are allergic or sensitive will have most severe reactions to it. Financially it is a costly problem to eradicate, as well. Mold is also everywhere (to some extent), it is most obviously present in Brie cheese but lets keep it just in there. Mold requires only moisture to grow, with that in mind, most prevention will focus on minimizing the presence of humidity inside. Ideally, we want to keep the humidity below 60%, some states are much drier but here in Hawaii the humidity is always above 50% making perfect conditions for mold to grow. Things to pay attention: most importantly, leaks need to be mitigated and all areas kept dry at all times. Anywhere you can spot a wet area, condensation on the bathroom ceiling or a window, the source of that needs to be tracked and eliminated. All areas of the house need to be ventilated frequently and checked for leaks and moisture needs to be dried. We also need to make sure that outside of the home has minimal water presence, check gutters, all standing water need to be directed away from the house. Those few steps are basic tips to prevent mold, especially here in our local Hawaiian climate where they need to be addressed regularly. If mold will grow regardless of your efforts, we are happy to help here at SERVPRO of Hawaii.
Biohazard according to a definition is a biological agent, that constitutes a threat to humans. Often we get calls to mitigate such biohazardous situation. Corpses and blood are sadly most frequent. Very recently we were called to a very popular coffee shop chain here in Kona to clean-up blood in their public restroom, an older gentlemen had a bloody nose and employees were not permitted to touch it. We were glad, that we could help. Other situations that are technically not biohazardous are mold and category 3 water. Couple of times, when the home was left unattended for extended periods of time, mold has developed so far that entry was dangerous to eyes and lungs. This also required trained and experienced SERVPRO technicians. Most importantly, be safe, do your research and protect yourselves and your property. In case you're not sure, best to call SERVPRO. We are here to help, explain and make it "Like it never even happened."
In the 90s, mold became the Cause Celeb, especially that strain of “Black” mold, Stachybotrys, that struck fear in the hearts of thousands of Americans. Even though that hysteria has passed, it is no joking matter to have mold growing in your home. It is true that mold spores are everywhere, but for mold to grow you have to have two things: 1) food, and 2) water. There is very little you can do to remove all “food” sources in a house, but you can eliminate the water factor. When you have a water loss, it is incredibly important to completely dry the affected area so mold will not grow. If you try to take care of it yourself, you run the risk of giving mold a chance to infiltrate your house deeper. Don't risk that, call SERVPRO of Hawaii at 808-329-6560, and make sure your house is dry.
Preparation is the key
Having a garage in your business building makes life easier for you and your employees. It gives you storage space for extra supplies, a place to park company vehicles to protect them from the weather and in general more square footage for operations. Unfortunately, these useful additions, like every other part of your business building, aren’t immune to flooding. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to get your garage water-free again in no time:
• Install a sump pump and other equipment beforehand
• Use a trash pump to remove water
• Call the pros @ SERVPRO for help
Installing a Sump Pump
There’s no cure like a bit of prevention, especially when it comes to taking care of your business building. Sump pumps act as a preventative measure for spaces that are likely to flood. These pumps are typically installed in special spaces in garage floors called “sump pits.” They’re used to prevent additions like these from flooding in the first place by pumping out invading water as needed to keep floors dry.
A trash pump is a piece of equipment that can be used to pump out massive amounts of water from a space whenever the need arises. These pumps aren’t just limited to liquid wastes, however. They also handle solid waste and other issues so you’re sure to get the full removal work you need. This equipment isn’t installed in a space beforehand like a sump pump is, being used as a form of treatment rather than prevention.
If you’re not comfortable running either a sump or trash pump on your own, you always have the option to call in the professionals to take care of your business’s garage flooding issue. They have both the equipment and know-how to take care of the problem in a hurry, so you’ll get your space back as soon as possible.
Regardless of whether you live in an area with high flood risk or an area with practically no flood threat at all, it’s always a good idea to consider one of these options before inclement weather hits. That way you’re prepared whenever an emergency arises.
Sewer backflow preventer
Sewer Backflow Preventer.
Sewer back-up is one of the worse accidents that can happened to the homeowner. One local apartment complex had two such emergencies in the span of a couple of years, until they have installed back-flow pressure release valves that release pressure in the lawn before potentially reaching bathrooms, smart solution that required the association to work together with utilities and the insurance company. Individual homeowners, here in Hawaii, are often working with septic tanks which in most cases also have backflow valves and the problem manifests itself in the yard before making its way back to the house. Regular and frequent plumbing inspections can prevent most of potential emergencies related to sewage but all other related water issues as well. Sewer backflow preventers are often the most efficient and the most affordable solution to prevent any sewage back-up in your bathroom. While most water/sewage emergencies are covered by homeowners insurance policies there is a deductible in most policies and the head aches associated with dealing with such damages are priceless.
Mold Test Kit.
Over the weekend we were called to do a mold test in a remote location in Hawi. House was a few miles from the town, up on the hill with beautiful views of local pasture fields. It was also recently remodeled, with new fixtures and modern design, very attractive rental property. Before the renters moved in, the house was unoccupied and most likely with a limited air flow, closed doors and windows. We were called to do a mold test because the renter has a mold allergy. First remedy offered by the property owner was a deep cleaning, that did not help much because the cleaners used bleach, which is not effective in remediating mold. The renter continued to have adverse reactions to mold and we were called. We performed an air test. Before we will draft a protocol for mold remediation few tips on how to avoid it in the future. Hawaii has a lot of vacations rentals and "snow birds" condos, which are not always occupied. That vacancy combined with high humidity creates a perfect environment for mold. To minimize the likelihood of mold, every property should be frequently aired and checked for leaks. If you can't avoid mold or if you're not sure if you have it, SERVPRO is a licensed company to test and remediate mold. We are happy to answer all your questions and walk you through the process.
Copper water lines.
Copper water line fixed after a leak with a coupling.
Recently we were called to mitigate a water leak which was caused by a copper line. Surprisingly, the leak was slowly developing in the wall until the owner noticed a wet ceiling in the garage beneath. The wall was cut, the leak was located and fixed with a coupling. This was just a tip of the iceberg of what needed to follow. Next we are removing the floor, the ceiling in the garage below, clean, sanitize and setup our drying and dehumidifying equipment. Then comes the costly and time taking reconstruction. It is always surprising how a small dripping leak can put a household into a construction site for weeks. After a short conversation with an owner, he said that the type of copper pipe used was different than what should, there was type M used (which is up to specs in most cases) and he thought that L should have been used, which is always better to overbuild but it is also more costly. We can't stress enough how crucial it is to use licensed, reputable and trusted plumbers and electricians. Besides the type of the line, we also had an issue with Chinese copper products in California in 2003-2008 which made its way to Hawaii as well. There is plenty of information on that topic online. Currently, we are responding to a lot of leaks and some were caused by Chinese products. One more thing that might develop a small leak are humans, often when we are putting a picture frame on the wall and use incorrect or too long nail and this nail is accidentally touching the copper line hidden in the wall, it develops corrosion besides a potential puncture. What we should learn from it is the following: before closing on a property, home buyer should get the warranty information in writing on the pipe and or fittings from the builder. When building a new installation, always use products made in America since some stores still sell Chinese defective products. Plumbing inspections are another great way trying to spot and prevent potential leaks in existing installations.
Washing machine water hoses.
Plumbing inspection, what is that? Most of us overlook that. While the manufacturers are recommending to replace your washing machine water hoses every 4 to 5 years we very rarely do that as well. Plumbing inspection can take care of that and more.. very easily. Their short visit will save you money and a lot of headaches. Quick look at the hoses by a professional will determine if they need replacing, check on the water pressure will check the pressure regulator and check of all other water connectors including fridge and faucets will stop small leaks before developing to floods. Just like we take insurance, preventive maintenance is a form of insurance. But if you ever develop an issue, we are here to help 24/7.
Veteran Hiring Pledge
Holidays are around the corner and it's the time to receive and to give back. With that in our hearts, we are committing to hiring veterans. We are always striving to be a vital part of our community and we want our veterans to be a part of our professional family. Leadership training taught by military is essential for our teamwork and very valuable for our professional growth. In return we offer a clear career path, a healthy working environment, a competitive pay with benefits and a room for growth. Anyone interested please go to our website and simply submit your resume, simple resume submission, no long forms or registration procedures. Please pass this information (link) to anyone interested.
Happy Holidays From our Ohana to Yours!