Protecting your business from water and fire damage should be a top priority in assuring the safety of employees and physical assets. Adopting a good coverage policy and making sure your safety equipment is up-to-date can go a long way – should an unpredicted disaster arise.
Here to answer this week’s “Behind the List” questions and offer insight on fire and water restorations is Bill Komoroski of ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration in Hellertown.
Lehigh Valley Business: How long has ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration been operating in the region and what are its primary services?
Bill Komoroski: We started in the basement of our home in Hellertown in 1997. One employee and one truck. From day one, we have worked to be the best small-to-mid-size, full-service insurance claim specialist in the region.
A supply line in the ceiling freezes and splits, the hot water tank or washing machine hose bursts, a forgotten pot catches fire on the stove, the sump pump doesn’t work. Life’s little problems can often cause substantial damage. Fortunately, insurance covers bad luck.
We also have worked heavily to partner with many of the great local insurance agencies and property management firms to make each customer feel like that they are the only one with a problem that day.
LVB: What have been some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration has encountered throughout its years in business?
Komoroski: The biggest issues facing our industry today are the detail required by most every insurance carrier for even the simplest loss and the gypsies running around making wild promises.
Originally, our job was 90 percent get to the house or business, clean or dry and send an invoice and some photos. Now, our every effort is audited to the percentage of an hour.
Techs now have to spend 50 percent of their time on paperwork or handheld devices to document every single line item to the ’nth degree.
The “pressure” from the carriers and their TPAs [third-party administrators], compounded with the difficulty in hiring new techs, is a constant challenge. All of these combined make navigating the claims process that much more difficult for the business and homeowners.
LVB: What have been some of the most notable projects and/or restorations that ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration has completed on a local level?
Komoroski: One local hospital installed a brand new MRI unit which had a fire, and they needed to open in three days. We worked directly with the manufacturer to get the unit and area open.
We had a four-story nursing home’s fire sprinkler system cut loose at 8 p.m. one Christmas Eve. We had a full staff there all night.
Right down to the many small kitchen-fires that occurred on Thanksgiving and Christmas mornings where we helped those families save the holiday.
LVB: What safety precautions do you take to assure that you and your clients are safe from any hazards?
Komoroski: We service crime scenes/bio-hazards, sewage releases and many, many mold projects. Safety is always paramount, not only for us but for the residents, as well.
It is truly amazing some of the new technologies our industry has developed to make these situations much safer.
LVB: How does ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration directly stimulate the local economy? How does it get involved with the local community?
Komoroski: Besides the obvious of helping our neighbors get back to a normal life, we use and support the Allentown Rescue Mission. They are a great provider of additional labor when needed, a super charity, and we feel that this is the best way to give back to our community and to know it is staying local.
LVB: What does the future look like for ServiceMaster Cleaning & Restoration?
Komoroski: Ice maker lines, toilet tanks and electrical units don’t know what the stock market is doing, what your office hours are, when you go on vacation or who the mayor is.
The vast majority of our projects don’t reach the news but are just as traumatic for the owners.
There will always be small and large disasters, and we will always respond 24/7.