Recent Posts

Finding Your Focus for a More Productive Life in New Orleans

1/18/2021 (Permalink)

A lady with headphones on looking at a computer. It is a new year a new start. If finding your focus is a priority then then tune in on The Iris Reading group.

Tune in for tips and strategies to maximize your production by getting focused. 

If you can become easily distracted by just about everything, you might have noticed how challenging productivity can be. The Iris Reading group in New Orleans has put together a short program to showcase some useful tips and strategies for giving you a much better grasp of your attention and focus for whatever you might be working on. 

The short course seeks to increase your productivity, show you apps and online tools to help you hone your concentration, and even a strategy to trick yourself into paying better attention to what you are doing. Tune in live to the online course on Wed, January 27th, 2021, from 1-1:30 PM. For more information about signing up, contact Iris Reading (312) 857-4747. 

It is hard not to be focused on flood damage in your New Orleans home, so trust the fast and reliable response of our SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank team to help. From extraction to cleaning, we can help when you call (504) 348-7526.

Gretna Residents Can Have a Laugh in New Orleans

1/14/2021 (Permalink)

A postcard of New Orleans. Laughter is one of the best emotions in life, go enjoy a great laugh.

Experience some of the best local New Orleans stand up for free. 

The Ugly Dog Saloon & BBQ has been tirelessly harvesting some of New Orleans' rawest comedy talent to take the stage for your enjoyment. As an ongoing event following the state's required guidelines, seating and space are limited within the venue, so it is recommended to reserve your spot in advance. 

Talented local comedians take the stage every Friday night after January 22nd, 2021. The Comedy in the Kennel showcase brings some of the area's top talent live on stage before the crowd of the Ugly Dog Saloon & BBQ on Andrew Higgins Boulevard. For more information or to reserve your spot in an upcoming performance, contact the venue directly at (504) 569-8459. 

When your own barbeque experience gets out of hand, you can count on SERVPRO for fire damage restoration in your Gretna home. We have experienced and talented technicians available 24/7 for soot removal, odor elimination, and fire debris removal. Give our SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank a call today at (504) 348-7526. 

Ready for Disasters to Come That Require Flood Water Removal for New Orleans

1/8/2021 (Permalink)

A ground view looking up at a balcony with ferns and a pink brink building. SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank is here for their city and property damage always. Call them today.

We have the right tools and techniques to manage threats up to the size of Hurricane Katrina. 

The city of New Orleans is no stranger to devastation and disaster, especially with elements like flooding. Despite the alluring heritage and culture of the city, along with the substantial efforts of engineers and educated designers, this threat persists. NOLA had to rebuild from the ground up in many of its populated areas when Hurricane Katrina hit, which posed a considerable danger to many residents. Many homeowners relied on the fast and knowledgeable response of competent restoration specialists and general contractors like our SERVPRO team can offer. Despite the possibilities of flooding for many property owners in years past, there is an unmistakable allure of the city that makes it worth the risks involved.

Hurricane Katrina's Impact on New Orleans Properties 

In late August of 2005, Hurricane Katrina would become one of the most powerful hurricanes from the Atlantic to make landfall in the United States in history. With winds recorded up to 175 mph, structures in the path of this storm stood little chance against the battering conditions. Flooding would be one of the most devastating forces incurred by the residents here in the city, however. Much of this would result from a failure of the levee system.

At one point, 80% of the city was impacted by flooding. This devastation would affect the city's communication and transportation functionality, which made evacuations and unified efforts challenging. In many ways, the city is still rebuilding more than 15 years later in the aftermath of one of history's most destructive forces. In total, the damage was estimated and 125 billion dollars, tying it with 2017's Hurricane Harvey.

How Levees Work and Additions That Better Protect the City

Levees and these systems are created from earth embankments, concrete, or steel walls intended to hold back floodwaters. These systems are only effective when the pumps involved are working to keep intruding water at a manageable level. There are two primary types of levees installed around the city; some to keep back any rising water from the Mississippi River and others to prevent overflows of Lake Pontchartrain when hurricanes and other massive storms swell the water levels.  

The Army Corps of Engineers has worked tirelessly over the past decade to install and repair aging levees around New Orleans. There are more adequate defenses now than what existed in 2005 when facing the devastating Katrina storm making landfall off the Gulf of Mexico. In total, there are close to 200 miles of levee and about 100 miles of flood wall that make up the East Bank System and West Bank System protecting New Orleans from the dangers of the Mississippi River during prolonged flooding possibilities.  

Why is New Orleans Continually at Risk for Flooding Moving Forward? 

Perhaps one of the most considerable risks that New Orleans residents face as time progress is the city's positioning itself. Because of where the municipality was constructed, there is little that engineers can do to stop the steady sinking of NOLA, estimated at around a centimeter every year. After a specific amount of time, defense systems intended to protect the city at its current height become obsolete and require reconfiguration and reinstallation to adequately protect the residents.

The knowledge about New Orleans' sinking keeps city engineers working steadily to continue developing effective strategies to prevent catastrophic losses as were experienced during Hurricane Katrina. Even the science of flood removal has evolved to be more efficient and cost-effective, helping our SERVPRO team to offer more help during an emergency to multiple homes and businesses simultaneously.

Reimagined Pump Systems Improve the Flood Response of the City 

Along with the money spent to fortify existing levees and install rocks and other measures to prevent erosion, the Army Corps of Engineers also installed new hardware in the city's drainage pump stations. In total, there are 24 pump stations designed to reduce the severities of rain or flood water by dispersing it through outfall canals that force water out without allowing water to enter through this same path. The West Closure Complex has the largest drainage pump station globally, providing a suitable defense against the forces of nature against a once-vulnerable New Orleans.

Removing Flood Water from New Orleans Homes and Businesses 

Floodwater removal in New Orleans homes involves an assortment of leading equipment and extractors in our recovery inventory. Many have trusted the fast response and knowledgeable efforts of our SERVPRO team to reach flooded residences quickly and begin vital mitigation. Reducing loss in a home or business falls mostly to water removal actions taken to eliminate standing water to uncover exposed surfaces and contents that require discarding or thorough cleaning.

Much like the drainage pumps designed to remove trapped water in the city through outfalls, our extractors work to pull standing water from flooring and relocate it to nearby drains. Depending on the severity of the flooding, namely the depth of the surface water, various extractors can efficiently recover the property. Among the most common of these options for natural flooding situations are:

  • Wet Vacuums
  • Self-Priming Trash Pumps
  • Truck-Mounted Extractors

Debris and solids are a common concern with standing and pooling water after flooding. The presence of these particles and decaying organic matter can have multiple adverse effects on your home, including introducing bacteria and odors. Extraction can often resolve a majority of small matter through a 3-4" discharge and intake hose. Larger matter can get removed when the muck-out cleaning process occurs, and our general contracting division gets to work on the often extensive controlled demolition necessary to protect the framework and prevent the spread of bacteria and contaminants.  

Flooding is a common occurrence through individual parishes of New Orleans and can be an emergency our SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank team must respond to quickly. We have a growing roster of experienced technicians available 24/7 to help. Give us a call at (504) 348-7526.

New Orleans Residents Deserve an Escape from the Stresses of the 2020 Holiday Season

12/14/2020 (Permalink)

Dinner and a movie banner Enjoy a night out for dinner and a movie at the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute.

Relax and Enjoy Dinner and a Movie December 18, 2020, at the New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI)

Embrace your inner foodie with a full-service two-course dinner, enhanced by a cocktail or non-alcoholic beverage, followed by a screening of 2009’s Nora Ephron-produced film Julia & Julie. Please select your party’s preferred seating from among our spacious, socially-distanced sections, all with clear views of the screen. COVID-19 protocols will be observed.

Doors open at 6:30 pm, and dinner is served at 7:00 pm:

Menu

Salade Niçoise

Seasonal Cassoulet with Crispy Bread Crumbs 

Vegetarian adaptations available

Event sponsor Roulaison Distilling provides a sumptuous cocktail, or alcohol-free option. 

A cashless bar will offer additional cocktails and treats.

Date And Time: Friday, December 18, 2020

6:30 PM – 9:00 PM 

Location: NOCHI

725 Howard Avenue

New Orleans, LA 70130

Tickets are $45. Purchase at Eventbrite New Orleans webpage.

Rely on the water extraction experts at SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank if your home experiences plumbing, roof, or other leaking. Contact the team at  (504) 348-7526 for a prompt response.

Enjoy That Festive Holiday Glow in New Orleans

12/7/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicles parked outside building Contact our experts at SERVPRO today for mold removal in your commercial property.

Celebrate the Greenway Supernova this December, a Light Enhanced Art Exhibit at New Orleans Greenway Plaza

Join The Friends of Lafitte Greenway, teamed with NORD and LUNA Fete, for a glorious illuminated art exhibition. Located at the former old Brake Tag Station, the new Greenway Plaza is a covered, open community space New Orleans residents embrace enthusiastically. 

Support Greenway programs and enhancements when attending the Supernova through free-will donations. Receive "doubluminary" tokens for your contributions, redeemable at participating businesses December through January 15, 2021. Learn more about the "Star Business" program to aid local endeavors struggling during the pandemic and Supernova's corporate and foundation supporters by visiting the Lafitte Greenway website.

Location: Greenway Plaza on the Lafitte Greenway

Dates: Wednesdays through Sundays

Beginning December 9 until December 20, 2020

Time: 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Free of charge, but donations are strongly encouraged to benefit the Lafitte Greenway.

Masks and safe social distancing are required. 

Find unparalleled support for your retail shop's mold removal needs from the remediation experts at SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank. Call (504) 348-7526 for an assessment now.

How Can New Orleans Restaurants Recover from Fire Damage?

12/2/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO vehicle parked outside building For fire remediation on your commercial property, contact our experienced team at SERVPRO.

New Orleans Chefs Find a Fast Track Back to the Kitchen When SERVPRO Offers Professional Restaurant Fire Cleanup

Many colorful events and traditions make New Orleans an intriguing and festive city in which to live, visit, and, perhaps most iconically, dine. What are the historical forces in play that give NOLA its reputation as one of the world's most ideal places to enjoy a variety of both classical and innovative food experiences that define the Big Easy cuisine? 

What Are the Foundations of the Foods Served Today in New Orleans?

Food historians realize that an area's cuisine can reach back hundreds of years, if not millennia. For example, long before the Creole and Cajun influences that are ubiquitous today in New Orleans, Indigenous people hunted, farmed, fished, and thrived in the region. Because of experiences they had as trappers in "New France," part of what is now Canada and the United States north and east of New Orleans, New Orleans's founders, the Le Moyne brothers, chose to learn in 1718 how to eat in an area foreign to them from earlier populations. As common in human history, the colonizing French took careful note of what the Chitimacha, Atakapa, Caddo, Choctaw, Houma, Natchez, and Tunica inhabiting proto-New Orleans chose to nurture and gather for food. The original inhabitants were doing the following, among other things, to provide food stores:

  • Cultivating oysters
  • Hunting and preserving bison (precursor of Cajun tasso)
  • Growing tomatoes and pecans
  • Making file out of sassafras
  • Eating opportunistically -- alligator and crawfish (crayfish)

Why Is Eating What the Land Already Provides Important to the Evolution of New Orleans Cuisine?

Essentially, the first citizens of New Orleans were locavores, anticipating a movement 300 years in the making. Developing a cuisine reliant upon the fruits, vegetables, and protein sources naturally available ensures a menu of food unlike that found elsewhere. Although routinely imitated in other regions now, the Creole and Cajun cooking found in New Orleans dining venues was unique and became indistinguishable from other features that make the city a one-of-a-kind experience.

What Were Other Elements that Shaped New Orleans' Food Culture?

After its founding by French trappers in the early 1700s, it was not long until France ceded the city to Spain. France lost the French and Indian War in the Western Hemisphere, giving up New Orleans in the Treaty of Paris. From 1763 until 1803, the city's cooks absorbed Spanish influences, including a robust interest in exotic spices and a love of rice. Meanwhile, various wars and skirmishes occurred among the Spanish, the French, and the young United States:

  • The American Revolution
  • The French Revolution
  • The Quasi-War

Napoleon Bonaparte forced Spain to return Louisiana, including New Orleans, to France through the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso in 1802. President Thomas Jefferson worked to establish US control of the lands, now again in the hands of the French, negotiating the Louisiana Purchase, signed on April 30, 1803.

What About the Influence of African Foods and Cooking Traditions?

African chattel slaves arrived in Louisiana with the French in 1710, after capture as plunder during the War of the Spanish Succession. After the founding of New Orleans, more than 2,000 Africans were forced to New Orleans between 1717–1721. The enslaved Africans were familiar with rice horticulture and the successful raising of a rich variety of other foodstuffs. This background enhanced the local options and brought different ways to prepare meats, fish, and vegetables, still representative of how food is made in NOLA today. 

What Are the Differences Between Creole and Cajun Cuisine?

People who identify as Creole often trace their heritage to the founding of New Orleans by both recent French and Spanish settlers. Indigenous peoples and enslaved Africans and their descendants are also part of the Creole community. Typically they are associated with the city itself. Conversely, those who consider their background Cajun have roots in the Acadia region of Canada. They traveled to rural Louisiana near New Orleans after British settlers pressured them out. 

  • In general, Creole cooking replicates elements of fine French cuisine:
    • Butter-based roux
    • Preeminence of creamy sauces and soups
    • The use of tomatoes and spices that would have been expensive during colonization
    • An emphasis on fish and seafood
  • Conversely, Cajun cooking features:
    • Oil-based and darker roux
    • One pot, rustic meals
    • Heavy use of meats, especially salted and preserved meats

Note: both cuisines rely on sauteed onions, celery, and green pepper, the "holy trinity" similar to the French mirepoix of onions, celery, and carrots. 

Are There Other Elements and Food Traditions Rounding Out New Orleans Cuisine?

New Orleans grew into an important shipping center, with commodities like coffee, tropical fruits, and spices passing through and enriching the food scene. Labor shortages after the Civil War encouraged immigration from Italy, China, and the Philippines. Vietnamese immigration swelled in the 1970s after the fall of Saigon. All of these groups brought foods that added to the robust restaurant scene already in place featuring Creole and Cajun foods. After Hurricane Katrina, rather than disappearing in the rain, winds, and destruction, New Orleans cuisine resurrected, determined to fold together the many food-related traditions found nowhere else on earth.

Can NOLA Restaurants Arise from the Ashes After a Kitchen Fire?

When your New Orleans restaurant suffers a kitchen fire, you need a professional response that gets your crew cooking the distinctive NOLA cuisine you are known for again with minimal downtime. Fast response from highly-trained professional technicians is essential. Do not rely on your own staff or cleaning company to deal with the lingering smoke, residues, and odors.

What Should Restaurateurs Look for in a Fire Recovery Company?

When you need fire cleanup in your New Orleans restaurant, SERVPRO meets your needs for a company and technicians that are

  • Trained through the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC)
  • Ready to respond immediately
  • Equipped with state of the art equipment, including curated innovations that improve response
  • Experienced in commercial fire damage mitigation, remediation, and restoration 

Call on the SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank to deliver comprehensive fire cleanup services for your restaurant. We are poised to help 24/7 after your call to (504) 348-7526.

Experience the Paranormal in True New Orleans Fashion

11/11/2020 (Permalink)

An above gravesite. These tours really are a unique part of New Orleans history.

As a city rooted in superstitions, haunted tours add a historical twist on classic ghost stories rooted here in New Orleans.

The Haunted History Tours company has been serving up slices of the paranormal for eager tourists and locals alike day and night for years. You can learn about the legends and ghastly misfortunes of those unlucky enough to die in the French Quarter or take a guided tour through cemeteries loaded with towering mausoleums and stories to give you the shivers.

With a history of satisfied customers dating back more than 20 years, this iconic tour circuit has been mentioned and applauded on many media outlets such as A&E, SyFy Channel, the Travel Channel, and the History Channel. Visit the website to book your spot and find out where your preferred tour departs. Just be on the lookout for spirits.

Don’t let your home feel like the damp, dark crypts you might see throughout the historical tour. Our SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank team can help give you a clean, dry home whenever an issue arises. Call us today at (504) 348-7526. 

Make a Toast to the Wettest City in America During the 1920s: New Orleans

11/5/2020 (Permalink)

SERVPRO trucks in a parking lot SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank will always gather for for a history lesson.

Learn a little about ' The Noble Experiment' and how it impacted life in New Orleans while appreciating a cocktail or two. 

Nothing says ironic like having a drink or two while discussing the ultimately failed experiment of prohibition in America. In no place was prohibition more fought and more defied than in New Orleans, and that is why lawmakers of the time considered it the Wettest City in America. 

Join Elizabeth Pearce and cocktail experts from Sazerac House on November 11th, from 5-6 PM, for the Drink & Learn: Prohibition event. They walk you through a virtual history lesson and get some lasting knowledge about a delicious cocktail created during this period. While you can read ahead about the ingredients you will need, you are also encouraged to purchase a kit with a curbside pickup before the event to benefit the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation. 

Whether you cause a flare up with your cooking wine or leave a candle unattended, you can count on our SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank team for thorough fire restoration for New Orleans homes.

Has Flood Recovery Efforts Changed Since Hurricane Katrina Hit New Orleans?

11/3/2020 (Permalink)

A SERVPRO truck and trailer in front of a building. SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank was there back then, and they will be here for any other issues in the future.

After natural disasters like hurricanes, the vulnerabilities of the infrastructure for cities like New Orleans can get exposed. 

Flooding is not a new concept to those living in New Orleans and its surrounding areas. Because of the placement of many structures beneath sea level and in otherwise low-lying regions, severe weather events can continually threaten homes and businesses throughout the city. Even crawl space flooding can directly impact structures and must get resolved as soon as possible through the efforts of competent restoration professionals like our SERVPRO team. Standing water always has the potential to compromise the structural integrity of the building. It can also allow for more severe hazards like bacterial pathogens, viral microbes, and mold growth to spread.

The Initial Impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans 

In what was known as the single worst engineering disaster since the tragedy of Chernobyl, the Federal levee system designed to protect New Orleans and its surrounding areas failed catastrophically on August 29th, 2005. In total, the Category 1 winds, along with the torrential rainfall, allowed for 23 breaches in the drainage canal. While flooding did not happen all at once, more than 80% of the city was compromised within two days.

Thousands upon thousands were displaced from their homes, and many died in unprecedented circumstances. It was fortunate that the city had developed successful evacuation protocols and measures before this terrible event, as an estimated 80-90 percent of the city's population were able to get away from the parish safely before the hurricane initially struck the area in late August. For those individuals that could not make it out, a large number took shelter in the Superdome that typically hosts our Saints on Sundays and Monday nights.

Building Back the City 

As you might expect, the release of tens of billions of gallons of floodwater can have a widespread and disastrous impact on everything the water touches. Thousands pledged their support and their resources to build back The Big Easy, knowing that with more than 200,000 homes suffering water damage, this was something that initially seemed insurmountable. Restoration companies like our SERVPRO team contributed time and effort to help damaged homes and businesses after the hurricane. Reconstruction efforts relied extensively on volunteer efforts and the ongoing financial support of government agencies, including:

  • The American Red Cross
  • Southern Baptist Convention
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Catholic Charities
  • Build Now

To many, the city of New Orleans is still working to clean up the messes that Hurricane Katrina left in her wake. Restoring the original population before the disaster is the ultimate goal and remains a significant motivator in the placement and pace of new developments and remodeling efforts.  

Preserving Our Heritage and Traditions 

After Katrina, many residents worried that the feel and culture of New Orleans might be lost forever. Because the city dates back into the early 1700s, the influence of several cultures and a unique blend of Creole heritage was at stake. City officials knew that by shutting down annual festivals and events that were the community's trademarks, they risked a more significant economic fallout. Therefore, Mardi Gras and the Voodoo Experience were never shut down.

As a city, even in the throes of rebuilding and reconstruction after one of the country's worst natural disasters in our lifetime, managed to still provide a venue for the NBA All-Star Game in 2008, Super Bowl XLVII in 2012, and resumed seasons for our professional sports teams like New Orleans Saints and Pelicans as soon as facilities became usable again.

Why Is NOLA at Flood Risk? 

With much of the area sitting below sea level, even with a complex system of levees and drains, heavy rainfall attributes to the potential flooding scenarios that threaten the site in every season of the year. With a magnetism of The Big Easy for severe weather events, it does not take much for the conditions to get met to allow for flash flooding and naturally rising water conditions from the higher number of creeks, streams, and marshy areas in and around the city.

To this day, structural engineers continue to develop advanced strategies to protect the city better and prevent the next large-scale catastrophe like Katrina. However, little can be done to avoid the immediate effects of the storm itself on structures. Except for the French Quarter, the Garden District, and a handful of other prominent locations throughout the city, all lower-lying areas can experience flooding after steady rains. Our SERVPRO professionals are ready to help when these situations arise.  

Reliable Storm Removal Services When You Need It

With most of the city constructed in lower-lying elevations, residents from the West Bank to the downtown are susceptible to flooding scenarios like a need for storm removal in crawl spaces of New Orleans residences. Property owners have come to expect a fast and knowledgeable response from restoration professionals, and with our preparedness for emergencies, our SERVPRO team can meet this demand.

We prioritize mitigation efforts that your property needs after a flood, even in the crawlspace, as these situations can promote more hazardous conditions for the residence. There are multiple tools designed to remove any standing water that might exist. Eliminating this pooling can decrease moisture content that permits the growth and spread of microbial threats or weakens the structural integrity of joists, subflooring, and supports for the property. High-pressure pumps can be an ideal choice for extraction in crawl spaces and other areas with accessibility issues.

Crawlspace encapsulation is another possibility that many homeowners have considered after recurring flood concerns impact the property. Our general contractors work to install drainage and water removal equipment permanently. Also, we cover exposed surfaces with thick 12mm poly-sheeting as a protective barrier for any future water penetration into the area.

Flood recovery and storm removal services must happen quickly after emergencies, and our SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank team can show that We're Faster To Any Size Disaster. Give us a call today at (504) 348-7526.

Is Mold Growth Avoidable For Residential Properties Close to Water?

10/30/2020 (Permalink)

Mold on walls Mold easily grows in properties close to water. Call SERVPRO at the first sign of mold damage.

SERVPRO Mold Remediation Can Help New Orleans Residents Tackle Moisture Problems and Get Control Over Microbial Growth.

Are waterside properties susceptible to mold?

Oceans, gulfs, and lakes surround New Orleans, leading to moisture problems for some homeowners. The presence of moisture in a home can lead to the reproduction of mold spores, forming colonies in as little as 72 hours. The key to controlling the growth of mold spores is not to eliminate them but to correct the latent moisture problem. SERVPRO technicians employ various drying technologies and techniques in residential properties to help reduce a microbial growth issue.

What are hidden areas checked for mold?

The backside of wallpapers, drywall as well, as paneling which can often have hidden mold growth

The underside of carpets or pads which can support mold when there is a delamination issue or lack of a vapor barrier

Pipe chases as well as utility tunnels like crawlspaces where water can condensate and provide microbial growth conditions

Is it easy to access hidden mold areas?

Many residents in need of mold remediation in their New Orleans are unaware of the exact mold source. It is not uncommon for a musty odor to prompt a more extensive inspection of microbial activity. The issue with disturbing wallpaper or drywall to check for mold is that it can lead to mold spores becoming airborne and spreading. Our technicians focus strongly on containment before disturbing potential infestations. Containment could include deploying an air-filtration device or negative air pressure before remediation. 

What issues can affect standard mold remediation strategies?

If an industrial hygienist identifies an incredibly toxic species of mold

When indications show a massive hidden mold network behind building assemblies

When the chances of mold becoming airborne are high, or if individuals in the property are sensitive to mold toxins

Mold recovery can be a complicated procedure but helps to prevent damage to your home and contents. Contact SERVPRO of The New Orleans Westbank at (504) 348-7526.