What is one of your most challenging or memorable water damage experiences?
The hardest call we’ve ever had was for a 12-inch main fire suppression line blowout at a manufacturing facility which contained a lot of intricate machinery. We’re talking hundreds of thousands of gallons of water throughout an extremely large plant. Water was anywhere from two inches to six inches deep.
Plus, the water damage happened over the Thanksgiving holiday. It was a massive challenge to get everything cleaned up and dried out.
How did Burggraf Disaster Restoration help the client?
We had three main goals during this job:
- Protect the intricate machinery as much as possible.
- Get the client back where they could at least get around in their manufacturing facility as soon as possible.
- Make sure that we maintained the building owner’s perspective as far as what they needed and their most important objective.
With the amount of water in the building and the time it took us to get it out and get the client back to production, this was one of the fastest and most unique jobs we had done at that point in time.
What was the restoration process like?
I call it a “coordinated dance.” We have to get the equipment set up to extract the water as quickly and safely as possible. Then we move in the drying fans and dehumidifiers to dry out the walls and the structure. You really want to get that dried out within the first 48-72 hours to prevent microbial growth.
Then, there’s all the people needed to get everything cleaned up and fixed up: electricians, plumbers, drywall contractors, and the fire suppression team. Everyone has to be coordinated and has to be in the right place at the right time to keep the water damage restoration process going smoothly.
We got the call the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I got out there by noon. By Thanksgiving night, we had 75 people on the job site. It was a lot of manpower over a holiday weekend.
What kind of education did you have to do with the client?
One of the very first things that we do on a water loss of any size is meet with the client and explain to them the process. The larger the loss, the more intricate and complicated the process is, especially when you’re dealing with manufacturing plants or a large, large building as we were at that time.
You have to help the client understand that we will do this as efficiently as possible. However, we’re not going to cut corners just to get out of there quickly. We’re going to do what we have to to make sure that we’ve got the structure dried down.
Then we give them a daily goal of what we’re hoping to accomplish from the first few hours we’re on site. So we’ll tell them, “Here’s where we should be within eight hours. Here’s where I feel like we should be within 24 hours. This is what I think will happen in 72 hours.”
And we consider the client’s needs in that as well. For example, what are their most important needs in the first 48 hours? How about the next 48? That helps us set our daily goals.
As the time goes along, we do sometimes have to adjust what our goals may be. There are still times that things come up that you don’t or can’t anticipate. But for the most part, someone on our staff has been there, done that, seen it, taken care of it, so within a few hours of being on site, we have a pretty good idea of what we’ll need.
That’s pretty amazing. Do you use the same process for corporate and residential projects?
It’s very similar. Each job is generally unique, whether commercial or residential, but the processes are similar. It’s just that how we go about that process changes in each individual case depending on what we’re dealing with.
For example, in a residential water loss, how much furniture is in there? How much of the flooring is carpet, vinyl, plank? Is it a type of flooring that we’ll have to remove in order to dry the structure?
And we ask the same kind of questions with commercial water losses, too. If there’s carpet, what do we need to do? How many desks and chairs do we need to move?
We address each job individually, but as a whole, you can start and go through a process and keep that process going. And with the experience that we have at work at restoration, we can get a pretty good flow going of how we take care of each individual loss.
What was the client happy or impressed by with this Tulsa water damage job?
I think the biggest thing that I hear from our clients, especially on a large loss, is how coordinated our team is. It does take a lot of help and people and manpower and things like that to do an exceptional job.
You know, when you start delivering hundreds and thousands of pieces of equipment to a job, it takes a lot of coordination to get that done, get that in the building, and get it set up.
And the thing that I hear most is how impressed our clients are with our coordination on our jobs from the very start to the end of getting the building completely dried out.
Does that also apply to how you handle residential water damage jobs?
Yes, residential jobs are on a much smaller scale, obviously, than big commercial jobs, but it’s a matter of going and assessing the damage, assessing what we need to do, getting the plan together, and then executing the plan.
Water Damage Recovery By Burggraf Disaster Restoration
Any commercial company or residential property owner can suffer water damage anytime. Burggraf Disaster Restoration has been in the business of cleaning up water damage for over three decades and has the experience to respond to emergencies effectively.
When a water damage emergency occurs, call us at (918) 584-3737.