Got a call and went for it

Bryce C

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A sweet older lady called me up earlier today. It was an organic hit from an internet search which is still fairly rare for us. Her water heater broke last night and leaked onto her basement floor, half of which was carpeted. She only needed the room with carpeting addressed which had water underneath it in a 10 x 12 area.

Using my SOS tool I extracted about 15 gallons of water from underneath her carpet, setup 2 air movers and a dehumidifer in the room and will leave it there until tomorrow morning. It went great, took me 3 hours on site and I charged her $400. Im thinking for basic residential water extraction and drying all I need to get is extra air movers and a proper dehumidifier to go for it when local emergencies pop up.

I don't mind working second shift and weekends to make some extra bucks while growing the cleaning side of our new business. Are there any dangers of getting involved in simple residential water extraction and drying work that I may be missing?
 

Jim Pemberton

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This job would be an ideal example of what a carpet cleaner might want to try, but most water damage restoration jobs have issues beyond the capabilities of an extractor, dryers, and a dehumidifier.

I would be very careful to limit the amount of this work that you might want to take on until you are equipped, trained, and experienced in this field.
 
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what's an SOS tool?
that reminds me, I have medium size Water Claw you can have when you grab the rotary in June

..L.T.A.
Screenshot_20240504_225110_Chrome.jpg
 
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Bryce C

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This job would be an ideal example of what a carpet cleaner might want to try, but most water damage restoration jobs have issues beyond the capabilities of an extractor, dryers, and a dehumidifier.

I would be very careful to limit the amount of this work that you might want to take on until you are equipped, trained, and experienced in this field.
I appreciate your concern Jim and will definitely heed your advice. Is this guy's boundaries and attitude to this work the most I should be considering until that happens? He mentions it around 3 minutes and 25 seconds into the video.


View: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=NzH8zxHmRc8
 
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A sweet older lady called me up earlier today. It was an organic hit from an internet search which is still fairly rare for us. Her water heater broke last night and leaked onto her basement floor, half of which was carpeted. She only needed the room with carpeting addressed which had water underneath it in a 10 x 12 area.

Using my SOS tool I extracted about 15 gallons of water from underneath her carpet, setup 2 air movers and a dehumidifer in the room and will leave it there until tomorrow morning. It went great, took me 3 hours on site and I charged her $400. Im thinking for basic residential water extraction and drying all I need to get is extra air movers and a proper dehumidifier to go for it when local emergencies pop up.

I don't mind working second shift and weekends to make some extra bucks while growing the cleaning side of our new business. Are there any dangers of getting involved in simple residential water extraction and drying work that I may be missing?
Taking as much education as you can on water damage is important. I'm still learning everyday. You also want to make sure you have proper insurance.

Becareful with those airmovers you could be making a bad situation worse.

Get a copy of the S500 and take a class asap.

 
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Bryce C

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what's an SOS tool?
that reminds me, I have medium size Water Claw you can have when you grab the rotary in June

..L.T.A.
Wow thank you Larry! I'm stoked to come down there. The SOS is a small inexpensive subsurface extraction tool.
 

Bryce C

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Taking as much education as you can't get on water damage is important. I'm still learning everyday. You also want to make sure you have proper insurance.

Becareful with those airmovers you could be making a bad situation worse.

Get a copy of the S500 and take a class asap.

Great advice man. I've got some reading to do. From what I'm sensing in this thread I may wait on doing any more of this work until I've taken a class.
 
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Great advice man. I've got some reading to do. From what I'm sensing in this thread I may wait on doing any more of this work until I've taken a class.
You just want to make sure you've got all your bases covered. You don't want to get blamed for an improper job or mold. Liability waivers are a must.
 
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FredC

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A sweet older lady called me up earlier today. It was an organic hit from an internet search which is still fairly rare for us. Her water heater broke last night and leaked onto her basement floor, half of which was carpeted. She only needed the room with carpeting addressed which had water underneath it in a 10 x 12 area.

Using my SOS tool I extracted about 15 gallons of water from underneath her carpet, setup 2 air movers and a dehumidifer in the room and will leave it there until tomorrow morning. It went great, took me 3 hours on site and I charged her $400. Im thinking for basic residential water extraction and drying all I need to get is extra air movers and a proper dehumidifier to go for it when local emergencies pop up.

I don't mind working second shift and weekends to make some extra bucks while growing the cleaning side of our new business. Are there any dangers of getting involved in simple residential water extraction and drying work that I may be missing?

Two things are missing in this that can cause you issues. 1. How did you determine what was wet? 2. How did you determine when it was dry?

I've done a lot of wdr jobs that seemed small until further investigation (meters/thermal)

Leaving or missing wet areas can cause odor or in the worst case mold.

Picking up water jobs when you are untrained even with "disclaimers" does not keep you from being held to standards (s500) or what is considered "state of the art". You providing this service indicates to the customer you know what you are doing.

Besides the mold, rot, etc you are also more likely to be using biocides that open you up to increased risk.


at the very least take an IICRC WDR class before you do any more .....and make sure your insurance covers you (it likely doesn't)
 

Bryce C

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Two things are missing in this that can cause you issues. 1. How did you determine what was wet? 2. How did you determine when it was dry?

I've done a lot of wdr jobs that seemed small until further investigation (meters/thermal)

Leaving or missing wet areas can cause odor or in the worst case mold.

Picking up water jobs when you are untrained even with "disclaimers" does not keep you from being held to standards (s500) or what is considered "state of the art". You providing this service indicates to the customer you know what you are doing.

Besides the mold, rot, etc you are also more likely to be using biocides that open you up to increased risk.


at the very least take an IICRC WDR class before you do any more .....and make sure your insurance covers you (it likely doesn't)
Yep I screwed up and got lucky. Everything else I've approached with way more caution and diligence. I'm not touching any more of this work until I learn the ropes and make sure I'm covered. I appreciate you taking the time to give me helpful advice. I'm very very grateful for you and the others who have responded to my post in sincerity. It means a lot to my family and I.

Thanks a million my friends. This is all quite humbling.
 
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Bryce C

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In light of the advice I was given here, and realizing the error of my ways, I decided to leave a dehumidifier and an air mover in the clients basement for at least 3 or 4 days to be cautious. There was no pre-existing or current mold damage anywhere I could see so I hope the air mover in this instance is only helping..
 
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Bryce C

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What kind of Dehu are you using?
This post has me feeling a little queasy. It's not something you learn on the fly.
Yes I was a genuine idiot. I do realize now that isn't something one learns on the fly.

Unfortunately it is not a commercial grade dehu but rather a larger residential grade dehu that is rated to pull 2.5 gallons of moisture per day.

The whole basement seemed pretty dry aside from the carpet we extracted water from underneath. I didn't feel any moisture that wicked up into the walls in the affected area. Nor did I see or smell anything that indicated mold problems. The client is emptying the dehumidifier twice a day and the air mover is running non stop. I understand I didn't measure anything with meters so my sense based uneducated assessment is not great.

How do I make this right? Should I go buy a $2k small commercial dehu and a proper meter tomorrow morning? Or based on the sound of things did I most likely luck out and avoid catasrophe?
 
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Yes I was a genuine idiot. I do realize now that isn't something one learns on the fly.

Unfortunately it is not a commercial grade dehu but rather a larger residential grade dehu that is rated to pull 2.5 gallons of moisture per day.

The whole basement seemed pretty dry aside from the carpet we extracted water from underneath. I didn't feel any moisture that wicked up into the walls in the affected area. Nor did I see or smell anything that indicated mold problems. The client is emptying the dehumidifier twice a day and the air mover is running non stop. I understand I didn't measure anything with meters so my sense based uneducated assessment is not great.

How do I make this right? Should I go buy a $2k small commercial dehu and a proper meter tomorrow morning? Or based on the sound of things did I most likely luck out and avoid catasrophe?
Our Dehus cost $3500 each(Drieaz 7000). Meters-$2000. Get the education first, then buy equipment. Better yet, get the education, buy the meters and rent the equipment if that is an option in your area. 1 dehu/2 or 3 air movers to spike the job. Then rent if possible. Tell the customer all of your equipment is out on other jobs.
I wouldn't buy anything for this job if the customer is happy. Good luck, you seem to be a go-getter. I'm with Mike on the 5 year thing. You'll be fine.
 
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Dolly Llama

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The client is emptying the dehumidifier twice a day

yeah, that's what they all say.
You can't trust a homeowner to do your job.

no drains?
every homeowner grade dehu I'm aware of are able to connect/utilize a garden hose that can run to a drain
if the drain is too high like a wash tub, toilet, sink etc...bring in table and put the dehu on it

too..and 20 pint dehu is damn anemic
(did it come from your home? )
a 50 pint is a couple hundred bukz at Lowes/HD

Is the room contained (meaning you're only dehu-ing a 10x12 space and not half a basement )

and as mentioned, you can rent a com unit


don't freak though...it's unlikely the Old Girl will get sick and die a horrible death because of YOU!!:eekk::dejection: :icon_razz:

is the carpet glue down or over pad?
If over pad, are you floating the carpet?

if it's not dry or damn near dry tomorrow (day three) .....




..L.T.A.
 
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Bryce C

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Our Dehus cost $3500 each(Drieaz 7000). Meters-$2000. Get the education first, then buy equipment. Better yet, get the education, buy the meters and rent the equipment if that is an option in your area. 1 dehu/2 or 3 air movers to spike the job. Then rent if possible. Tell the customer all of your equipment is out on other jobs.
I wouldn't buy anything for this job if the customer is happy. Good luck, you seem to be a go-getter. I'm with Mike on the 5 year thing. You'll be fine.
Great words you're a gem. Sounds like a sensible approach I should take with education, equipment, and such. Very much appreciated. Yea I had already told her something like that to maintain appearances. Your encouragement is a small treasure for me right now. Thanks man :)
 

Bryce C

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yeah, that's what they all say.
You can't trust a homeowner to do your job.

no drains?
every homeowner grade dehu I'm aware of are able to connect/utilize a garden hose that can run to a drain
if the drain is too high like a wash tub, toilet, sink etc...bring in table and put the dehu on it

too..and 20 pint dehu is damn anemic
(did it come from your home? )
a 50 pint is a couple hundred bukz at Lowes/HD

Is the room contained (meaning you're only dehu-ing a 10x12 space and not half a basement )

and as mentioned, you can rent a com unit


don't freak though...it's unlikely the Old Girl will get sick and die a horrible death because of YOU!!:eekk::dejection: :icon_razz:

is the carpet glue down or over pad?
If over pad, are you floating the carpet?

if it's not dry or damn near dry tomorrow (day three) .....




..L.T.A.
That's a good call Larry. I do know that she is dumping it twice a day though, she just sent me an email describing to me how full the 5 gallon buckets with lids I left her to dump the water into are (she's fairly hefty and couldn't carry it upstairs). She also said the carpets have almost completely dried and there is only a touch of moisture left in one small area. More than 95% of the 10x12 carpeted area is 100% dry right now though. I was planning on heading there Wednesday morning but maybe I should go there tomorrow morning.

Yea it came from my home. Anemic indeed. You're right I could go rent a dehu to be safe. But from the sounds of things it seems like there won't be any detectable moisture in the carpet by some point tomorrow evening at the rate things have progressed. About the padding I don't know, more proof that I'm a dumb cowboy.
 

Bryce C

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My apologies for making you want to smash your head against a wall in frustration. I couldn't tell by walking on it and didn't know to pop some trim or something to see what was underneath it. Considering it is a serious situation will you share with me what is concerning? Could water be trapped under the pad and only be sucked out by a commercial dehu? Or...?
 
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My apologies for making you want to smash your head against a wall in frustration. I couldn't tell by walking on it and didn't know to pop some trim or something to see what was underneath it. Considering it is a serious situation will you share with me what is concerning? Could water be trapped under the pad and only be sucked out by a commercial dehu? Or...?
If nothing else, pull back a corner of the carpet in the affected area and feel, see, taste the pad (JK) to see if its wet. Do you have anything that detects moisture? A cheap "wet check" meter is better than nothing. If this basement is on concrete (probably) you might see it is wet.
 
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Bryce C

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Unfortunately I don't have any meters. Unprepared as could be aside from an extractor, air movers, and a knock off water claw. Despite my hesitancy when I agreed to take the job I thought to myself all I needed to do was extract as much water as I could with my portable and speed up the drying process with an air mover and my puny dehu. When she inquired if I would do this work I told her my larger dehu was down at the moment and I'm not offering this work publicly but that I would help her out.
 
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Bryce C

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:headscratch: :headscratch:

there are no drains in the basement?!?!


..L.T.A.
Yes she does have a small drain next to a pump that no longer works. I should've went and got a length of garden hose and ran it into it from the dehu. Still can, then maybe leave the dehu there running for several more days eh?
 
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Yes she does have a small drain next to a pump that no longer works. I should've went and got a length of garden hose and ran it into it from the dehu. Still can, then maybe leave the dehu there running for several more days eh?
Bryce, our dehus pull about 130 pints per day (16 gallons). Pull back the carpet to see if the pad is wet. Bs'ing will get you so far, but I would be honest with the homeowner and tell them you're just trying to help them out, with limited resources. That you are a carpet cleaner (or whatever way you want to phrase it) and trying to save them money rather than calling a restoration company.
 
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