Rescue Your Stuff

We’ve scoured Honolulu for the quickest, easiest and most reliable repair ideas. If you don’t need this now, count your blessings and bookmark this story for future use—sooner or later, you’ll have to fix your stuff.


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FREE Professional Advice:

• “Know your trees,” says Undan. For example, planting a monkeypod near your house’s foundation is begging for trouble, as the roots need a lot of room to expand and elongate.

• Bob Loy, director of environmental programs at The Outdoor Circle, says the group is happy to field tree-help calls, such as determining if you should contact the state or the county to report a tree issue. Call them at 593-0300, or, for a handy cheat-sheet of resources, to go

• Should you water that tree or is the rain enough? “Generally, large, mature trees don’t need supplemental watering, while smaller, newly planted trees do,” says Undan. If you look at the leaves and the texture looks good, chances are you don’t need to add water or fertilizer. “The trees tell you what they need.”

Your tree is towering over your house—and hurricane season is coming up.

Solution: Rest easy, says Abner Undan, president of Trees of Hawaii. “People perceive that a tall tree is a dangerous tree. They see a 40-foot tree and want us to reduce the size, but actually, a tall tree has its own architecture and structure, and reducing the size can make it less sound. Our job is to fix tree problems, not create them.” When pruning is called for, Undan’s staff of arborists will remove deadwood and trim branches, to keep them away from power lines and roofs. Treatment for an average size tree is about $500 to $600 per tree, but you only need it every other year or so. “Excessive pruning can cause excessive growth,” Undan notes. 682-5771.

Auntie’s beloved jade bracelet is cracked in half.

Solution: Jade doesn’t break often, but when it does, don’t worry. Most breaks—both clean and jagged—are relatively easy to fix as long as you don’t expect your repaired jewelry to look exactly the same as before. Pacific Jade House repairs all kinds of jade jewelry on a case-by-case basis with the use of gold sleeves, mountings or even carvings, depending on the break. 1078 Alakea St., 536-3227.

Photo by Sergio Goes

Vacuum cleaner legend Norman Schneider with a vacuum from 1911.


The vacuum’s lost suction.

Solution: Does your vacuum crisis sound like a Dyson commercial? Blame the filter. “Filters in bagless vacuums often get clogged,” says Barry Schneider. Eventually the dirt and dust can get into the fans and motors and wreak havoc on your machine by decreasing all-important airflow and its ultimate efficiency. Schneider, son of Vacuum Cleaner Center founder Norman Schneider, has pretty much seen it all. The center has been selling, servicing and repairing vacuums since 1953. Most people probably don’t realize they need to service their vacuum from time to time. Is your vacuum hard to push? You might want to try having the rubber belt cleaned out or changed once a year. The center carries a stock of hard-to-find parts and supplies, and is a warranty station for several popular brands, including Eureka and Bissel. 1116 S. King St. 593-2530.   


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Honolulu Magazine June 2018
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