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Profile - Steamy's Cleaning and Restoration Services

By HHI Staff

Australian firm - Steamy's Cleaning and Restoration Services - sets a good example as a promoter of healthful cleaning and IICRC Certification. Please see their answers to our profile questions below.

  • How important is it to "clean for health"?

The primary social goal of Steamy's Cleaning and Restoration Services is to provide an environment that is safe for clients and staff while enhancing client assets. Steamy's work therefore aims at protecting clients and building occupants in two ways:

  1. By providing them with a resulting environment that is free from the majority of indoor contaminants together with microflora and microfauna which could potentially negatively affect health while restoring assets to as new a condition as possible.
  2. Steamy's strives to provide clients and staff with an environment that is free from the adverse impacts of cleaning chemicals by identifying toxic substances of concern and promoting the use of safer products and practices.
  • What type of education or training do your technicians receive to help ensure their effectiveness in this regard?

All Steamy's Cleaning and Restoration Services personnel are considered part of the Steamy's “family”. They therefore empower staff to communicate with clients and each other with authority and knowledge in relation to any issues encountered, and to provide appropriate solutions.

 

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All staff including the Steamy's Cleaning and Restoration Services office staff and technicians are fully trained and qualified - or are in the process of being trained and qualified - in restoration practices including workplace Occupational Health and Safety.

 

The Steamy's Operations Manager is a qualified and experienced Civil Engineer and can relate with customers specifically in providing tailored solutions for them.

  • Which tasks or activities do you perform that are most important to your customers in protecting health?
  • Emergency response (within 1 hour of receiving a call) – This service is particularly important to clients who may have experienced a sewage spill and need someone to respond quickly to make their environment safe.
  • Flood damage remediation
  • Grey and black water remediation
  • Structural drying
  • Mould investigation and remediation
  • Fire damage remediation      
  • Domestic cleaning as a consequence of mould, fire or flood issues
  • Mattresses - allergy treatment, cleaning and stain removal.
  • How is IICRC certification important in ensuring and validating technical proficiency in these matters?

The IICRC certification of the Steamy's company as well as of each individual staff member helps assure clients that work practices are based on reliable restoration practices that have been developed through scientific principles and industry experience. Steamy's clients are therefore assured that services and outcomes are consistent, they as individuals are protected, and their assets are restored, protected or enhanced.

  • What is the biggest challenge you face, how are you meeting it, and what prescription would you offer others dealing with similar obstacles?

Steamy's biggest challenge is the lack of regulation in the Australian cleaning and restoration industry allowing either uncertified or untrained personnel to carry out work, which in many cases results in unhappy customers, variable outcomes and inconsistent services.

 

The solutions are not easy, but they are simple.

 

Insurance companies and private clients should insist on IICRC Certified technicians attending their jobs. In addition, insurance companies should insist that all suppliers have or can demonstrate that they are working towards Quality Assurance and Environmental Certification hence helping to ensure consistency in process and elimination of “cowboy” suppliers.

 

Finally industry bodies such as the Specialised Cleaning & Restoration Industry Association Inc. (SCRIA) should lead the way in producing an Australian Standard for Water, Fire and Mould Restoration under the IICRC umbrella.    

 

About Steamy's Cleaning and Restoration Services


http://steamys.com.au/

 

Michael Stamos
Operations Manager
ABN: 47 593 173 453
Tel: (03) 85888207
9am - 5pm Mon - Fri. 
9am - 12 Saturdays by appt.
Phone: 1300 88 11 10 - After hours and emergency calls
Fax: 03 8648 0640

Email: admin@steamys.com.au
P.O. Box 4059 Hopetoun Gardens Vic. 3162
386 Reserve Rd., Cheltenham Vic. 3192

 

Specialising in:

  • Water and Mould Restoration
  • Fire Damage Restoration
  • Deluxe Carpet & Rug Cleaning and Restoration
  • Upholstery, Tile & Grout Cleaning, Sealing & Colouring

Services include:

  • Emergency response (within 1 hour of the call)
  • Damage assessment services
  • Flood damage remediation
  • Grey and black water remediation
  • Carpet, rugs, hard floor, furniture, upholstery and curtain restoration and remediation
  • Timber floor restoration specialists
  • Carpet and rug dyeing
  • Structural drying
  • Mould investigation and remediation
  • Fire damage remediation
  • Domestic cleaning as a consequence of mould, fire or flood issues
  • Contents maintenance storage and restoration
  • Maintenance of tile, grout, and concrete driveways
  • Allergy treatment, cleaning and stain removal of mattresses
  • Hire-out of portable drying and remediation equipment
  • Fabric protection
  • Laundry services; and
  • Storage of transportable assets.

Steamy's Cleaning & Restoration Services has been carrying out restoration work within the Melbourne Metropolitan area for 16 years, and the company’s reputation for providing the highest quality work has created exponential growth.

 

Steamy's Cleaning & Restoration Services assists clients throughout Victoria and provides a service to a wide range of clientele including YOUi (major car insurance provider in Australia), Network Restorers and Oriel. In addition they assist many private as well as commercial clients including real estate agencies, corporate management providers, government facilities and insurance companies.

 

All Steamy's Cleaning & Restoration Services technicians are fully qualified and have been employed by them for a significant number of years. They have the latest restoration plant and equipment and have on-duty four fully equipped water restoration vans at any one time. Steamy's also operates a 24hr duty team to ensure a rapid response to any emergency call.

 

Steamy's extensive fully owned inventory of plant includes 350 air movers, 60 dehumidifiers, injector dry systems as well as specialized extraction equipment. In addition they have 8 hydroxyl machines, 12 air scrubbers, 2 heat drying machines and various chamber-fitting equipment.

 

Steamy's has extensive experience in specialty type work. They recently completed the drying of an entire basketball court and have also restored the floating timber floor of a residential property at a fraction of the cost that would have been incurred by the insurance company if they needed to replace it.

 

Steamy's teams consist of highly trained, certified technicians with specialised experience and knowledge, allowing them to guarantee the quality of work and services. They have a resident mould remediation expert and their inspectors have received international training and certifications.  

 

Steamy's Cleaning & Restoration Services is an experienced, leading full service mitigation and Restoration Company in the Melbourne Metropolitan area and its immediate surrounds.

Established in 1997 by the Kabaker family, Steamy's has become the restorer of choice of many of Melbourne’s commercial companies. Having established itself as a high quality restoration provider, Steamy’s has crystallised its value from three key areas:

  • Water Damage,
  • Mould and Fungal Damage
  • Fire/Smoke Damage.

Steamy's aim is to establish and maintain long term relationships through the delivery of high quality, cost effective service solutions. They are progressing along the quality road and developing standardised systems to enable to continue to be quality, environmental and safety accredited. The quality path they have embarked on will add to the assurance for all clients that the service they get will be consistent, with results being produced in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.

 

Steamy's has a unique approach to success, characterized by these critical success factors:

  • Respect for the Client, the Client’s Customers, and their Property. Gloves are worn where applicable. Booties are worn so carpets are not impacted. Furniture is placed on foam blocks to prevent impacts in areas restored. Customers are always addressed politely and with courtesy and respect. If customers have queries or questions that cannot be answered by the technician, the technician will always call the Operations Manager who then speaks with the client to ensure their questions are fully answered.
  • Steamy's has a True Team Working Ethos. That means employees have some control and decision making authority. In addition, Steamy's provides employees with generous incentives to foster a positive, “best for project” environment, allowing all employees to express their ideas without anxiety in a positive atmosphere. All employees know they are an integral and vital part of Steamy's.
  • Value Add for Clients - whether it’s from the reports provided to the client to the data collected. Regular weekly meetings with all employees helps ensure that value-add services are discussed regularly including how they affect clients and what positive impacts they have on client business.
  • Highly Experienced Project Managers carry out the initial inspection of all water/fire/mould damage jobs. As a consequence, a comprehensive initial report is produced coupled with detailed photos of the damage and the damaged areas. This has the potential to save the insurance client the time and expense of sending out an assessor as Steamy's can provide the assessment details required. Alternatively, Steamy's can attend the property together with the nominated assessor and provide a scope-of-work and capture details during the assessment process. This service is provided to the client as a no-cost value-added service.
  • All Major Projects are Formally Reviewed in conjunction with the team and subcontractors involved in the project. The results are sent to all associated members of the team and communicated to all Steamy's supervisors and project managers during regular management team meetings. As a consequence, any issues during a job and their solutions are communicated across staff so Steamy's as a company is continually improving. 
Commercial Services


Water Damage

 

Water damage to a home or business can be devastating, posing a serious threat to building components, interior furnishings and belongings. If not treated promptly the initial damage can result in secondary damage to other parts of the building and contents. The results can be costly repairs.

 

The harmful effects by water are sharply reduced by prompt action. Steamy's offers a 24-hr emergency response service where experience, qualified and knowledgeable water damage technicians will attend to stabilise the damage and keep it from progressing. Thus, secondary damage will be minimised if not eliminated.

 

When water damage occurs, Steamy’s promptly attends the site and inspects the damage using accredited and experienced Damage Restoration Inspectors. An initial report together with photos and an infrared photo assessment is carried out on site and sent to Steamy’s head office for processing and forwarding to the insurance client and relevant assessors. Meanwhile Steamy’s emergency response team will extract standing water or water that has saturated carpeted areas. Upon receipt of approvals, specialised drying equipment is set up to expedite drying. Equipment includes air movers, heat driers, dehumidifiers and Negative Air Scrubbers. Steamy's aim is always twofold:

  1. Minimise primary damage and
  2. Eliminate, if possible, secondary damage.

Floor coverings may or may-not be removed during restoration, depending on a number of factors:

 

•          Category 1 water is clean water from a source that does not pose substantial harm to humans, i.e., potable water. If the flooding is Category 1 and the floor covering is “floating floor boards” – some floating floor boards can be saved. Factors influencing this range from the material construction of the boards, type of manufacture, volume of water absorbed, etc. If Steamy’s sees that it may be possible to save the floor boards, they bring in an accredited hard floor specialist who advises how to properly restore the hard-floors to their pre-flood condition.

 

•          If the flooding is Category 1 and the floor covering is carpet – most carpets will either delaminate or shrink if removed. In addition, all furniture has to be moved out of a room when drying with the carpet lifted otherwise the wet carpet will stretch unevenly in areas where furniture remains on the carpet. As such, under these circumstances, all furniture is placed on foam blocks to prevent the potential of further secondary damage to the carpet - and top-down drying is carried out. The “top down” drying method for carpet and underlay is an “in-place” method that is usually carried out in conjunction with structural drying of clean-water floods. This is a system that allows a restorer to completely and safely dry the structure, carpet and underlay without removing underlay/carpet from the structure. This method does save the property owner and the insurance company time, mess and inconvenience.

 

•          Category 2 water is water that is considered unsanitary as it contains some level of contamination. This type of water can potentially cause illness to humans as it carries nutrients favourable to accelerated growth of microorganisms and fungi. Some examples of grey water are washing machine overflows, dishwasher overflows etc. If the flooding is Category 2 and the flood occurred less than 72hrs before Steamy's attends a property then the carpet has to be lifted and the underlay removed and disposed. The underlay is removed and disposed and the carpet is laid back down flat - and top-down drying is once again carried out. The carpet is not stretched at this stage. Once the subfloor reaches normalised moisture levels, new underlay is place and the carpet is re-stretched back into its original position.

 

•          Category 3 water is water that contains pathogenic agents making it grossly unsanitary. This type of water is considered as posing a serious health risk to humans. The main source of “black water” is sewage, runoff from flooding external to the premises, gutters and drainage overflow and Category 1 and 2 water than has turned septic (i.e., water that has been standing in the premises for longer than 72 hrs.) Under category 3 conditions, the carpet and underlay must be removed and disposed, the subfloor and surfaces that were in contact with Cat 3 water are disinfected and then the subfloor is dried. Once the subfloor reaches normalised moisture levels, new carpet and underlay replaces the original carpet.

 

The period for drying subfloors varies depending on subfloor material. For timber or timber product subfloors, moisture can take anywhere between 3 to 7 days to normalise. For material such as concrete, if the water has been standing on the subfloor, it means that the concrete has absorbed significant quantities hence drying can take up to 2 weeks to normalise the moisture. If water has not been standing on the surface but flowed over it, then the concrete subfloor can be dry within 4 days.

 

Once the equipment has been set up to optimally dry the structure and contents, Steamy's technicians monitor the effectiveness of the equipment against the rate of drying and adjust accordingly to ensure that the time it takes to normalise the structure and contents is minimised thus reducing the costs to the insurance and the inconvenience to the tenants.

 

Once drying is completed, the property is ready to be restored. Either the carpet is extraction (or “steam”) cleaned if dried using the top-down method, or the underlay is replaced, the carpet placed back, re-stretched and steam cleaned or new carpet and underlay is placed back.


In summary the steps in The Water Damage Process are as follows:

 

1.        Emergency Response - 24/7/365

2.        Thorough inspection using state of the art moisture detection equipment including the production of an initial detailed report, infrared and normal light photo report and scope of work. (Note: infrared is used to detect any secondary water damage)

3.        Contents protection and moving

4.        Extraction of water using the truck mounted ride-on extractor, “water claws” and water wands, and/or a combination of all three

5.        Assessment of the flooring materials and determination of the best restoration method

6.        Removal of plaster to expedite structural drying (only when absolutely necessary)

7.        Clean and sanitising affected areas (depending on source of water and water category)

8.        Determining the most effective drying equipment

9.        Setting up drying equipment to maximise drying and minimise tenant inconvenience

10.      Monitoring drying equipment daily to ensure drying effectiveness

11.      Removal of drying equipment after verifying materials are at normal moisture levels

12.      Restore carpets and underlay and any affected soft furnishings.


Value Added Services provided in-house include:

  • Furniture and contents storage
  • Isolation room for odour removal of heirlooms and items of monetary or sentimental value
  • Dehumidification/drying room for the drying of contents
  • Laundry service including sorting, washing and non-mechanical drying of clothing, bedding etc.
  • Carpet dying service using Steamy's dying and colour matching officer
  • Rug washing/cleaning/decontamination using our traditional rug cleaning processes
  • Upholstery cleaning and decontamination
  • Mattress cleaning and deodorization.
Commercial Services


Fire Damage

 

Few events match the trauma caused by fire. Fire/smoke damage requires more service and expertise than an ordinary restoration contractor can provide to restore a property back to livable condition. Steamy's Cleaning & Restoration Services can remove smoke and soot from upholstered furnishings, carpets, draperies and building interiors. Steamy's will clean, deodorize, refinish and restore hard furnishings; such as desks, tables and credenzas. Steamy's experience includes residential and industrial smoke damage restoration. If not flame damaged, carpet, furniture, draperies and other building contents can be restored to their pre-loss condition. Please note that a light coating of soot might be removed easily by the correct specialised technique, yet the soot could be permanently embedded by improper cleaning. Highly trained technicians have the experience and capability to serve any residential and industrial emergency.


Services include:

 

•          Smoke and protein odour removal

•          Hydroxyl treatment

•          Document drying

•          Art restoration

•          Contents pack out service

•          Contents restoration and refinishing

•          Electronics cleaning

•          Ultrasonic cleaning for window coverings.


This process covers the 10 Steps for fire damage cleaning:

 

1.        Proper evaluation to determine cleaning process required

2.        Determining the most cost effective cleaning method and scope-of-work development

3.        Assignment of appropriate professionals specialised and trained in this area

4.        Selection of proper tools and equipment

5.        Utilisation of proper cleaning solutions

6.        Implementation of the 5-Step Cleaning Process: Time, Temperature, Volume, Chemical and Mechanical

7.        Execution and the management of a detailed cleaning process

8.        Soot and carbon elimination inspection

9.        Odour elimination inspection

10.      Final inspection done by a Steamy's Senior Technician.

Commercial Services

Additional Services

 

In addition to the services already detailed, Steamy's has the capability and capacity to provide the following in-house services, using its own facilities, fully owned equipment and full time staff.


In-House services include:

 

•          Test and tagging

•          Furniture and contents storage

•          Contents packing and unpacking

•          Transport and disposal of debris including category C and category B contaminants (prescribed waste)

•          Permanent isolation room and odour removal of heirlooms and items of monetary or sentimental value

•          Specialty built dehumidification/drying room for the drying of contents

•          Laundry service including sorting, washing and non-mechanical drying of clothing, bedding etc.

•          Carpet dying service using Steamy's dying and colour matching officer

•          Rug washing/cleaning/decontamination using Steamy's traditional rug cleaning processes

•          Upholstery cleaning and decontamination

•          Mattress cleaning and deodorization

•          Mould sampling including airborne and surface sampling.


Steamy's has close relations with exclusive suppliers to also provide the following services:

 

•          Hard floor sanding and polishing

•          Transport of furniture and contents

•          National Association of Testing Authorities, Australia - NATA accredited mould testing and reporting services

•          Carpet and floating floor board replacement

•          Electrical and plumbing make safe

•          Rubbish removal and disposal

•          Long term storage for furniture and contents.

 

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Profile - Steamy's Cleaning and Restoration Services:  Created on August 14th, 2013.  Last Modified on August 14th, 2013

 

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