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Profile: Clean Pro Restoration - Meridian ID

By HHI Staff

The Healthy House Institute (HHI) and The Healthy Facilities Institute (HFI) are pleased to provide this profile of Clean Pro Restoration, Meridian ID, specializing in water and fire damage, and mold remediation for residential and commercial properties. This article is part of a series highlighting service professionals that emphasize healthful methods, high ethical standards, and staff training and education.

 

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Given your focus to win the trust of households and contractors in the Boise area through honesty, understanding, and professionalism - and to make customers’ homes cleaner and healthier - how important is it to "clean for health"?

 

Most of our business comes through customer or insurance agent referral, so it’s important that our clients are happy when we leave, and long after the job has been completed. Since much of the work we do involves contamination that cannot be seen - such as mold or bacteria - leaving contaminants on the job could cause health or other problems for a client later. Because of this, we expect technical proficiency and honesty from every technician on every loss. This expectation is modeled and communicated on a daily basis. So that clients feel reassured of our integrity and technical competency, we always share with them the details of our assessments and the specific steps we will be taking to mitigate the loss. When a loss is very small, with uncomplicated procedures, if the client desires, we can provide instructions on how to treat the loss themselves. In those cases we return, free of charge, to inspect the loss afterward, ensuring that procedures were completed safely and properly. We document our work processes carefully on a daily basis, and record daily progress, such as measured reduction in moisture levels or contaminants. We also recognize situations that are outside of our expertise and call on specialists as needed, who we know share our commitment to service and technical excellence.

What type of education or training do your technicians receive to help ensure their effectiveness in this regard?

All of our technicians are IICRC-certified, and, where possible, trained in advanced skills. We spend a lot of time at our office in general, training in technical processes and procedural improvements. We discuss each job regularly to ensure that we are using the most effective method for handling the loss. After each job is completed, we evaluate and discuss any needed technical improvements on similar jobs in the future. Less-experienced technicians are always paired with more experienced ones, so they can learn on the job from senior technicians. We also consult regularly with indoor air professionals to get input on best practices and feedback on specific jobs. 

Which tasks or activities do you perform that are most important to your customers in protecting health?
First, we take time to identify potential health or safety hazards and deal with them at the beginning of the job process. Safety, both for the homeowner and our employees, is the highest priority on any loss. Potential problems, such as tripping hazards or electrical shock risks are immediately addressed or eliminated. When we can't eliminate trip hazards, we often use colored tape on raised edges to make them more visible. We only use 12-gauge grounded cords. We also discuss any potential hazards with the home or business owner, and explain any precautions they may need to take. Any mold growth is removed before drying equipment is employed, preventing the travel of mold spores and other contaminants. Often we set up containment structures to isolate affected areas from the rest of the home or business. Even when we don't find significant health hazards up front, we establish a clean environment by vacuuming and wiping down affected areas. In losses where there is potential for significant contamination, we bring in an air-quality expert such as a Certified Mold Inspector and adhere to the BSR-IICRC S520 Mold Remediation Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation. The CMI helps to establish the existing level of “invisible” contamination, and the actions needed to bring the air quality to acceptable levels. Also, we assess the risk of using chemicals on each job, and only use them in cases where we feel it is essential to do so. 

How is IICRC certification important in ensuring and validating technical proficiency in these matters?

IICRC courses and the requirement of successful testing afterward, ensure that restoration technicians understand the behavior of water, mold, and other elements we are dealing with; how to properly assess moisture and contaminant levels; and how to safely mitigate those. Also, IICRC standards set a baseline for dealing with each loss. They give us a consistent method for approaching each job. Having that baseline helps us to ensure that proper procedures are followed each time we work, and makes it easier for us to evaluate each job and identify opportunities for improvement. IICRC also provides quality training at a reasonable cost.
 
What is the biggest challenge you face, how are you meeting it, and what prescription would you offer others dealing with similar obstacles?

 

The biggest challenges we face are identifying potential hazards up front, and treating losses thoroughly on the given budget. Careful consideration is important at the beginning of any job to identify potential hazards and determine how to handle them. You then have to be continually on the lookout for unexpected concerns exposed during the mitigation process, especially when walls or cabinets are removed. Budget is always a challenge. Many insurance companies are reluctant to pay for any more than is absolutely necessary, and homeowners are always cost-conscious. Sometimes there is the misconception that mitigation companies are purposely adding extras to the job to increase the cost. It is important to clearly document and explain to clients and adjusters up front, any health or hazard concerns and any extra steps needed to address those. We have often put extra equipment on the job to help with air quality even though we know we won't be able to charge for it. Ultimately you need to be willing to walk away from a job where you can't perform the mitigation in an effective and safe manner, due to budget constraints on the part of the insurer or the client.

Would you briefly document the steps taken in restoring a residence with significant mold?

Due to a significant amount of mold, for example, in the crawl space, our first step would be to put the area under negative air pressure, by setting up an air mover on the outside of the home to draw air out from the crawl space - preventing the mold-affected air in the crawl space from traveling into the living area any further. We would then "meter" all of the floors in the home, assessing moisture levels to determine where unseen mold inside the home might exist. We would often call in a third party - a Certified Mold Inspector (CMI) - to provide an independent visual inspection of the crawl space, and to take air samples in the living area to determine how much mold had entered the home interior. Fortunately, in one recent example, although the interior air had been affected during the initial loss period, the mold levels weren’t significant enough to require immediate attention. The CMI in this case then helped to develop a mitigation protocol for us to follow adhering to the BSR-IICRC S520 Mold Remediation Standard and Reference Guide for Professional Mold Remediation.

 

As part of the mitigation process, we use a HEPA filter or air scrubber in the living area to reduce contamination. Before beginning the mold mitigation in the crawl space we typically build a containment around the crawl space access, and tape off the interior air vents. We then often remove the crawlspace-mold by [baking] soda blasting [along with blasting using ground walnut shells], followed by thorough HEPA vacuuming and vapor barrier replacement. As a final step, the CMI will again perform an inspection of the crawl space and take air samples in the living area, to ensure that everything has been completed properly.

 

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Profile: Clean Pro Restoration - Meridian ID :  Created on September 24th, 2013.  Last Modified on June 23rd, 2015

 

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