The day after my son was born, I got a call for one of PureSpace's largest clients to come down and meet to discuss the logistics and numbers for a very large bid package we were collectively putting together. My wife graciously told me to go before I even had to sheepishly ask; her knowing how important this client and this potential job were for our company. So I head down to the Portland office on about 25 minutes of sleep to negotiate the largest job we have done to date. Luckily, the guys that we work for are good people, and ‘negotiate’ more meant what we needed in order to do the job, not a session of hardball figure throwing! Once everything was agreed upon, the contracts were signed and dates scheduled.
The first speed bump was the original start date being pushed back a month while the general contractor (our client) negotiated the logistics and terms with the property owner (their client). The property is a multi-unit apartment complex consisting of about 30 buildings that range from 2-7000 square feet in attic space. We were contracted to perform remediation in 9 of them for phase 1, totaling 35000+ sq ft. The goal, and my preference from the beginning, was to dry ice blast each building rather than the traditional method of manual sanding. Dry ice blasting is a more effective and faster method of mold removal, and is also a lot cleaner as well. Unfortunately, the logistics of the project and the need for additional hoses etc. (these are big buildings!) meant that dry ice was about 5% more expensive, which is usually not the case. But we all have a threshold of incurring additional costs in the name of quality, and apparently 5% was beyond that of the property owner. So hand sanding it is!
I gathered my power-team of 5, and added 2-3 more temps, and we got to work. The first building went by a day faster than our client budgeted for, which was even a surprise to me, as this was one of the smaller buildings. I just didn’t think there was enough available square footage to make up that kind of time. I had a word with the crew lead, and he assured me that not only would we pass, but that he was thinking that we could see ridiculously low numbers with how good of a job the team did. Never having been one to exaggerate, I took him at his word, with the warning that it was vital to start the project off on the right foot. The building was tested two days after, and passed with flying colors.
The next building was the only building that gave us any hassle. The process went just as the first one, again finishing about a day ahead of schedule. However, there was some internal discussion between the IH, the general and me regarding process, and who and how we were going to proceed. While the process in the first building worked, it wasn’t as efficient as it could be, and it was determined that my team would not only be doing the remediation and treatment, but would also be doing the HEPA vacuuming, originally a task that the general contractor wanted to take on. This put the testing for the second building back by well over a week as this all got hashed out, and I made a critical error in the process. I was told to halt work entirely while we got everything settled but as the expert in remediation on the project, I should have made the decision to go ahead and apply the anti-microbial so that all of our work was not impacted by the wait, during which we had lots of rainfall, which lead to lots of humidity.
Once the building was finally tested, we passed in all but one location, and barely missed as it were. When I asked the IH why he thought the one area didn’t pass, he thought that it was because in the time in between sanding and applying the anti-microbial, new growth emerged. So we addressed the few square feet, retested, and passed with the usual ‘flying colors’ that we have become so accustomed.
The third building went by without incident, and again, passed with excellent results. But about this time, the second roadblock reared its head. Since we were delayed a month on the original start date, it was now mid-December, and even though it was an exceedingly mild winter, the property owner was concerned about the potential for freezing pipes, given that all of the insulation was removed to facilitate the mold removal. So at this point, the only option was to put the project on hold until the spring, which was disappointing, but understandable.
While this made the winter a little difficult on me as I had to quickly come up with jobs for three months that we were planning on being booked for, I managed to keep the guys busy enough, and keep my sanity in the process, which is a win-win.
Finally, in early March, we got the call to restart the project. With six buildings remaining, we got right to work on the biggest and most heavily affected of them. Once again, my team outperformed the schedule, all the while passing the IH testing, often with truly impressive numbers.
The final count saw 18 different testing site, 17 of which were passed on the first go, and the one with the logistical issues passed with minimal additional remediation. While I wish that I had made a different decision and treated immediately, everyone involved took a bit of the blame, and it turned out to be a non-issue with regard to the overall project. With everything considered, we completed the job under time, on budget, and with no injuries, secondary damage or other job site issues.
The best part? About two weeks after we completed the work, our client, the general contractor for the project asked if we wanted to bid on Phase II, which, of course, we did! Now that all of the logistical issues are again worked out, and the project has resumed, we are set to begin Phase II of the remediation next Monday. While PureSpace is the best product, not only providing non-toxic, but long-term mold protection, the best product in the world cannot overcome shoddy work. No product will give you the results we were able to attain without a dedicated team of detail-minded individuals who pull together to provide excellent quality and craftsmanship. When you hire PureSpace –whether it be for a 500 SF minimum job, or a 35000 sq ft project – you are not only getting the highest quality mold removal treatment, and the industry’s only mold prevention treatment, but more importantly, you are getting a team dedicated to performing the process each and every time to only the highest quality and with the utmost care.