Friends for three decades, Robert Bourns and Daniel Wakefield decided to become business partners last summer in a service they both believe in — disaster remediation services for homeowners and commercial property.
“I became aware of SERVPRO in Sequim being for sale and started researching it here,” Wakefield said. “For 11 years, Rob has operated America’s Finest for smoke, water and fire restoration so we decided to go into business on Feb. 1.”
The new merged company SERVPRO of Clallam and Jefferson County has the capability of more specialized work such as the clean-up of biohazards — human bodily fluids and tissue, animal infestations and feces/urine contamination in negligence or hoarding situations.
“Any time there’s a biohazard — a homicide, suicide or unattended death — plus cases of mental infirmity where the people are very reclusive so they don’t fix their non-functions fixtures (i.e. broken toilets) — we would go in,” Wakefield explained.
Homicides and suicides are especially difficult for employees, they said. Recalling a Sequim murder several years ago, Bourns said in a reverential voice, “You really have to try to go into situations without emotion. You have to be able to handle people and their stressful moments.”
Wakefield said he likes the business for several reasons.
“I like that we’re able to come in during a stressful and difficult time to provide a valuable service. It’s gratifying in providing a service where you have water coming down the walls, paint peeling and the carpet being soaked. Water damage turns your life upside down but you can control what you can do about it.”
“You are going into a bad situation, trying to make it bearable and letting the customer feel it’s going to get better,” Bourns said. “The initial shock is hard — we’re going to be as helpful and receptive to their needs as we can be.”
“I feel like this (service) is needed in the community,” Wakefield said. “We have special cleaning chemicals and cleaning agents which do a much more thorough job.”
For all employees, the goal is to restore the property to its pre-loss condition. For example, with a water leak, when you contact SERVPRO, which is available 24/7, a representative will come on site and will ask questions about the damage, followed by an inspection and assessment for an action plan.
As soon as possible, standing water is removed by the company’s power pumps. After the bulk of the water has been removed, employees certified in water damage restoration and structural drying use designated equipment to target water that’s harder to access with air movers and dehumidifiers.
A substantial part of the technicians’ jobs is cleaning furniture, clothing and personal items with specialized cleaning techniques. They also sanitize with antimicrobial treatments and remove odors using industrial air scrubbers and fogging equipment. Restoration also can include replacing drywall, flooring and insulation — whatever it takes to make it “like it never even happened,” according to the company’s logo.
“SERVPRO is a national company and there’s nobody in the business nationally that’s as good them,” Bourns said. “If there’s something (a job) locally on a really big basis, we have the ability to call in others (franchises) from all over the state and beyond.”
The new company has two box trucks, two trailers, a carpet cleaning van, duct cleaning and sewage cleaning equipment, four SERVPRO vans, 100-plus fans, 30 dehumidifiers and nine HEPA air scrubbers to keep its 10 employees on the go.
“This was a wonderful opportunity to become part of the community — it’s been quite rewarding to bring it all together,” Bourns said. “We are looking for good qualified people that are reliable — we’re a team-oriented business.”
“I really expect us to grow in Clallam and Jefferson counties,” Wakefield said. “It is rewarding to help people.”
Contact SERVPRO of Clallam and Jefferson County at 360-683-0773 or visit www.servproclallamandjefferson county.com.
Reach Patricia Morrison Coate at firstname.lastname@example.org.