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Flood Industry

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Flood Industry

Post by milspec6 on Fri May 19, 2017 7:39 am

We have been getting hit by severe storms for the last 3 days and sounds like it will continue this weekend. Needless to say, that means basements getting wet and my phone blowing up. The problem is that nobody is calling for response, just for estimates.

I was called last night at midnight regarding a flooded basement bedroom about 35 minutes away. The gutters were not maintained and over-flowed. I told him that I could be there in an hour, but he asked me to come over this morning instead.....around 11 am.

I just called him to confirm his request and he tells me that he just wants an estimate right now. The man is a dentist living in a gated community so I would have expected that he would act faster to protect his home from further damage, but maybe not.

Just drives me crazy....now I have to load up in case he decides to fix the problem right away, but might end up driving heavy just to give an estimate. People are just plain nuts. I am beginning to think I need to drop this service.
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by Freemind1 on Fri May 19, 2017 8:51 pm

If you are having problems with this, may I make a suggestion?

Next time you run into this situation where someone is giving you the run around or just asking for a "price"....

"Sure, I'd be happy to come give you an estimate. Our fee for this is $100. Should you decide to use our services, we will cheerfully take that price off your final bill."

If these people just want a price, and don't value your time and expenses, I'd say you are better off without them. A "free" estimate is not free. If they aren't willing to pay you for your time and expenses so they can mull over how much they are GOING to pay to get the job done right, then maybe this is needed to at least save you money.

I HATE when people waste my time. I can always seem to tell when someone calls me for an estimate, and I already know BEFORE I give them the price, they aren't going to buy.

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Re: Flood Industry

Post by milspec6 on Fri May 19, 2017 10:43 pm

That is excellent advice and I plan to follow it down the road.  This turned into an odd situation.

I was the 3rd company to give an estimate and the only non-franchise one.  It was a simple job, a basement bedroom took some water damage, yet the 2 franchises wanted to tear everything out down to the studs and rebuild.

They both felt that the water was coming in from a transom window, but it was clearly coming up from the cold seal instead.  It took me about an hour to confirm it, but it was clearly correct.

They asked me to start right away, which I did.  The space is nearly dry already minus some damage to the lower drywall panels because a fool installed them flush with the cement floor.  I received a cool reception when I pointed that out to owner, right before he admitted to installing the drywall and base moldings....oops.

The real problem now is that they want me to do the replacements as well.  Not complex, just cutting back the drywall panels, replacing tack strips, new pad, moldings, and then re-install / clean the carpet.  The carpet is 6 month old nylon and only took some water over about half of the room.  The backing was fine and is being floated dry as I write so it should be ready for treatment and re-installation this weekend.

My only problem is that I do not have the tools nor experience to re-stretch the carpet and hide the seam leading into the closet.  Normally, I end my role at getting the space ready for rebuild and let the next guy take care of that problem, but they are insistent that it be me.

I called 4 installers and none of them were interested in such a small job, so I might be on my on.  I did get one that said he would be glad to re-install the carpet, but would not stretch.  I really don't understand how a professional carpet installer can say such nonsense, but that is another industry full of hacks.

Times like this one keeps convincing me that I should take that RRT class this summer, but then I really don't like getting into the replacement side of the job.

I think I will stay away from water jobs after this one since it ends up being a headache.  Either they waste my time or get me too involved in their problems and neither one makes me happy.

I am still rolling my eyes at the estimates given before me, but I was up in those walls with scopes and meters and they were just plain wrong.  The house does have a TON of carpet and furniture though, so this might lead to a pretty good pay-back before it is over.
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by Freemind1 on Sat May 20, 2017 5:33 am

Wow. What a story! Water damage was never something I wanted to tackle. Too much liability and too many headaches. I empathize with you!

I don't know where you are thinking of taking classes, but I know of a guy in Phoenix Arizona that teaches carpet repair/stretching. Robert Atlas is his name. You may want to look him up and check his deal over. Maybe what he offers would be a better value?

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Re: Flood Industry

Post by milspec6 on Sat May 20, 2017 7:49 am

I will check him out, thanks.

It has been raining heavy here for 4 days straight now...temps also in the upper 40's, so there are a lot of wet basements. Hell, even mine has some seepage this morning.

That is great news for the franchise disaster folks, but I don't make a lot of money off these jobs since I don't do the construction. It is just more of a hassle really, but people keep referring me.
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by milspec6 on Sat May 20, 2017 10:36 am

Rain gauge shows a total of 6.5 inches since Wed. night. I would bet that there are a ton of wet basements right now, but I think I will bow out of this mess and let the vampires have them.

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Re: Flood Industry

Post by Freemind1 on Sat May 20, 2017 10:56 am

Is there a contractor you could team up with? Or maybe more?

You could take care of the flood work, they could take care of rebuilding. You make it one bill for the homeowner, and you pay the contractor, and make 10%+ in doing so?

Being small town maybe not. It could work well for someone small with not a lot of work. Or helping someone grow.

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Re: Flood Industry

Post by Freemind1 on Sat May 20, 2017 10:58 am

Oh, and here is Rob's website:
http://www.phoenixcarpetrepair.com/

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Re: Flood Industry

Post by dp1 on Sat May 20, 2017 3:40 pm

Wow, what a story ! I agree with James 100%, I can almost guarantee you though, if you charge $ 100 or $ 200 for estimate, in that dentist case, you wouldn't have gotten the job because he sounds like a cheapskate and he would end up paying one of those two franchise a whole lot more $$. Isn't it ironic how this industry is ? I wonder if any other industry faces similar issues as we do.
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by Freemind1 on Sat May 20, 2017 4:01 pm

You are right DP, the guy sounds like a cheapskate.

I get tired of dealing with people like that, but it's part of the game of business.

Those cheapskates wouldn't call though, unless there are people everywhere, in EVERY industry, that are willing to do a half assed job for beer money. It's a reason why so many businesses fold up. People don't know their costs of doing business, and they end up taking it in the short hairs. The one buying the service gets a "deal" and that's really all they care about.

It upsets me when someone wastes my time, but in reality, I know it's all on my shoulders. I allowed it to happen.

Just today I called a dealership looking for a new zero turn. Told them I would spend up to 4k, but no more. The salesman kept trying to sell me a toro and a exmark for 5-6k. He also told me they wouldn't give me more than 200 bucks for my John Deere rider, and I know it would sell for no less than 800 on their lot. I ended up hanging up on the guy because he wouldn't listen to me and kept trying to take control of the conversation.

I hung up because I wasn't going to allow him to waste a minute more of my time.

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Re: Flood Industry

Post by milspec6 on Sat May 20, 2017 8:40 pm

All valid points, I appreciate the advice. I returned to that home today for a bio-wash and re-inspection since it rained like hell again. The room remained dry, but the couple runs their whole house humidifier set at 58.5%! Hard to speed drying and control microbial growth at near 60%. I advised them to reduce the humidification, but it turned out that the husband has lung cancer and is starting chemo on Monday so it helps him to have the high humidity. Just one problem after another with this job.

Then I ended the day heading to another flood in the next town over around 6 pm. This time, I made it clear that I was not in the rebuild business, but I agreed to remove the pad, carpet, extract the water, and set up a drying grid.

After 600 gallons, I had to pull the plug as the water was coming in faster than I could pull it out. A wasted effort, all I got accomplished was pulling the pad out. I left her with a couple of sump pumps for the night, but it will not be able to keep up and the place will likely be under another 2 inches of water by morning. Mad

I am just not finding the flood game to be much fun this time around. Despite my best efforts, things just seem to go side-wise.
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by Mo on Mon May 22, 2017 7:36 am

At least youre making big money Bob. I here WDR is very profitble
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by milspec6 on Mon May 22, 2017 3:06 pm

It is VERY profitable if you act like a vampire. People are in shock after a big flood and can be scared into writing very large checks to stop the doomsday predictions.

Flood contractors and funeral directors have a lot in common. I don't take the same approach and prefer to attack things from a common sense perspective based on sound logic. My method doesn't make a lot of money, but most of it is really just in rental fees so I don't have to work hard to get it either.
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by UtahTheo on Mon May 29, 2017 1:42 am

Water/Flood removal is a big business, I mean they make what, like 8k on an average job ?

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Re: Flood Industry

Post by milspec6 on Mon May 29, 2017 11:11 am

Around here is between $5k - $8k.

Big money, but you also have to be a bit of a vampire to take advantage of those people to make it work.
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by ACpower1 on Tue May 30, 2017 1:03 pm

Find a good contractor Rob, not hard to do around here, theres a lot of reputable guys out there doing construction.

Subbing out work can be an excellent source of income.

My friend David became a millionaire doing this.
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by milspec6 on Tue May 30, 2017 5:52 pm

I am probably going to follow that route the next time around. I just need to remove myself from the labor part of it.
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by dp1 on Thu Jun 01, 2017 12:49 pm

The only bad thing about subbing it out is the detailed of transactions have to be separated out, and some insurance companies frown to that idea since they will have to do 2 paperwork instead of one, another idea is to have everything done through you but then you would have to make sure you make a proper contract with the construction company regarding the details of what they need to do and you also have to get them to sign form 1099 so that Mr. Taxman isn't going to go after you for your failure to pay an extra $ 50 grand at the end of the year Very Happy
There is a LOT of money can be made but it's a high risk business.
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by dp1 on Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:18 am

I got a voice mail from yesterday, a guy said "I had a leaked pipe that flooded some of my carpets and we've fixed the pipe and we tried to dry the carpets for 5 days" Shocked Shocked
"Now we're just trying to get the carpets cleaned, please give my wife a call back" Shocked Shocked
I'm just baffled by some of these people.
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by milspec6 on Mon Jun 05, 2017 8:42 am

There are a lot of them out there, but remember, the last step on a flood job is cleaning the carpet. Even if the carpet wasn't saved, the new carpet still gets cleaned as well.

So, they may have replaced the carpet and you missed the easiest job a carpet cleaner can ever have. Worth clarifying that before passing.
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Re: Flood Industry

Post by Mo on Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:01 pm

With some cleaners It usually takes 5 days for carpet to dry after cleaning Very Happy

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Re: Flood Industry

Post by milspec6 on Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:29 pm

Many of them at least 3 days anyway.
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