Start up Restoration

CH20s

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Aug 15, 2019
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Clint Wauters
Hey y'all, I'm in Georgia and considering starting up a water and mold restoration business with my son. He's getting his GC license so we can do the re-build. There are so many types of fans, dehues etc., could anyone instruct me on what equipment I would need to start with?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Mama Fen

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Have you taken any courses on water damage restoration and mold remediation yet? If not, I strongly encourage you to do so. Those classes will cover what equipment to use where, and for how long, and how to use it at maximum efficiency.

I see startups in this area (NC) spend anything from $5k to $65k on beginning equipment, depending on size of company (it does no good to have 60 dehumidifiers if you only have one tech to chart and log the jobs).

With our humidity levels, we typically see a ratio of one dehu to 3-5 air movers, with a mix of about 40% XL/30% LG/30% MD. Air movers tend to be an even mix of axials and radials, with the low-profile ones becoming quite popular due to stackability.

Meters can be even more important than equipment - how can you tell if your equipment is actually doing the job elsewise? A good combo pinned-pinless meter, plus a psychrometer, is a MUST HAVE. A thermal imaging camera can also be extremely helpful AS LONG AS YOU KNOW HOW TO USE IT PROPERLY. Extra accessories like hammer probes, baseboard probes, and the like can come in handy down the road. Make sure you pick a brand of meter and stick with it across all jobs so the techs are familiar with how to use them.

You can reach out to other independent restoration companies in your area and ask for a tour of their warehouse. Offer to bring lunch in exchange. A good company will not be 'threatened' by your presence - in fact, they'll encourage your growth because they'll see you as part of their network and not as competition.

There are several different social media groups dedicated to local restoration professionals, which are also an excellent resource for local input.

Weather conditions and topography in the southeast are rather special, and as such you guys in this area face unique challenges in the field. Networking with those who have experience with local conditions can be a key factor to your success.
 

Scott W

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Great advice from Mama Fen above. Follow that closely, although I might have a few more large and extra large dehus and fewer of the medium size.

Take a Water Damage Restoration Technician (WRT) class. Depending upon where you are in Georgia, we offer classes in Greensboro North Carolina, Nashville, Jacksonville and Pensacola. Mama Fen is in South Carolina. This class teaches the science of moisture and drying, all about the equipment choices, meters and taking readings and such. This is mostly textbook and is the foundation.

Then take an Applied Structural Drying class. This is where you learn to apply what you learned in WRT by going to a flooded location and drying out it. You will have options of what equipment to use and how to place. You learn what works and what doesn't by actually drying a flooded building. ASD classes are not as common. Our company has what i consider to be the premier site in Orlando. There are also locations in Nashville, Philadelphia, Texas, Arizona, Seattle area and a few more.

You can take WRT and ASD course back to back and get it all in one week if you brain can handle all the information.

Here is a class schedule. You can filter by city or topic or dates - https://www.cvent.com/c/calendar/ab53c6cb-fee0-44a6-a384-c51a2a4b32c0
 

Mama Fen

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Actually, Mama's in NC, but she can see Carowinds from the parking lot ;)

I think the preponderance of mediums we see here is due to the popularity of the DriEaz 1200 and the R125 from Phoenix. At the price point, they're a great "starter unit" and a lot of guys don't plan their startup budget appropriately - hence a less expensive unit may be their only option.

Oddly enough, the Phoenix DryMax XL is starting to swing those numbers in the other direction already - its tiny size makes it great for crawlspaces, while its AHAM rating makes it big enough to do commercial areas with enough air flow.
 
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