The DYOJO Podcast SOCKTember is an annual competitive community involvement event (see video). It was designed as a team-building exercise as well as a great outreach tool for local restoration contractors. Would you believe that SOCKTember started with four teams in Washington State raising over 5,500 pairs of NEW socks for local charities in 2020?
Each team leader reached out to their local vendors, clients, team, and community members to raise as many pairs of NEW socks as they could. During the shutdown, this event provided us all with something to talk about and safely interact with each other. Socks came through physical donations and via Amazon wishlists. They were counted and distributed to local charities selected by each team. As you are likely aware, NEW socks are a huge need for many local community members in need including shelters, care closets, and other outreach programs.
Join The 66 Companies That Participated In SOCKTember 2021
In 2021, we were excited to see an increase in interest by contractors and entrepreneurs across the United States as well as every office for On Side Restoration in Canada. For the second annual DYOJO SOCKTember, we grew from 4 local teams to 66 teams in 2 countries. The competition elevated intensely and combined we were able to raise over 66,000 pairs of NEW socks for local charities. The top five teams of the 2021 event were:
Reach out to Jon Isaacson, The DYOJO Podcast, if you would like to START, JOIN, or SUPPORT a local sock-raising team. Our goal is to raise OVER 100,000 pairs of NEW socks for local charities this year and we need your help. Read the prior article from C&R Magazine for more information and check out the 3rd Annual SOCKTember webpage.
To help you promote the event:
Industry icon and property restoration founding father Cliff Zlotnik can be heard weekly on the O.G.'s of industry podcasting, IAQ Radio. Among his many contributions to the professional practice of water and fire damage remediation, Cliff developed an anti-microbial product that was ubiquitous in the industry. There was a time when you would be hard pressed to find a carpet cleaning extraction van or water damage emergency response vehicle that didn't have at least one gallon of Microban on the shelf (or rattling around in the cabin).
For this week's episodes of The DYOJO Podcast (#87) Cliff shares a few stories about this product, some historical figures, and a few other nuggets of wisdom that will be of great benefit to intentional restorers.
In this episode
0:00 The DYOJO Podcast Episode 87
5:30 I put that *Microban* on everything
13:00 Cleaning vs. disinfecting vs. sanitizing
24:00 Lloyd Weaver - Restoration Founding Father
28:30 Martin "Marty" L. King - Restoration Founding Father
35:30 Ed York - Founder of IICRC
40:30 Thoughts from Cliff for the modern restorer
The podcast includes clips from The DYOJO Podcast Episode 60 and Episode 81.
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Contractors in the propeprty restoration industry will often come across hazardous materials, two of which are asbestos and mold. Episode 83 of the DYOJO Podcast discusses these key items of concern as well as the precautions that should accompany for proper testing and removal. Listening to this episode will inform owners, managers, and restoration professionals on why they need to know if asbestos or mold is being dealt with. This article will review how the intentional restorer should structure their mindset and habits for success when dealing with mold and asbestos in construction materials.
Mold and Asbestos in Construction Materials
There exists a dangerous mindest that asbestos containing materials (ACM) are a thing of the past, the reality is that they are still found in current construction and building materials. These materials can be hazardous to people’s health, including workers, occupants, and anyone who comes in contact with the structure. Asbestos is a legally regulated material. The restoration contractor MUST be mindful of what materials they are dealing with before any kind of demolition is performed. Asbestos becomes troublesome when it becomes friable (aka airborne) when stirring up dust while making flood cuts or removing other materials. Air movement over an area of drywall that has microbial growth on it, in an attempt to dry it, can spread mold spores throughout the home and potentially spread mold to previously unaffected areas.
Mold and Asbestos at the Worksite
Due to the particulate matter of asbestos and mold, their protocols are similar. The contractor will need to make sure they are in compliance with regulations and standards. Each state is unique in how they handle asbestos, so each contractor will need to be mindful of the rules in the state (or states) they work in. Asbestos is regulated by law - there is no straying from the regulations without consequences, which could include steep fines and imprisonment. The contractor will want to be mindful of these so proper protection of their workers will be provided (respirators for technicians, properly sized via fit testing by a certified fit tester, etc.)
Mold and Asbestos Removal Best Practices
The Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) has published ANSI standards for water damage mitigation and mold remediation. These property restoration standards are voluntary compared to those that are regulated for asbestos and other hazardous materials. The IICRC S520 is what outlines consensus standards for professional mold remediation. Owners, managers, and professionals who seek best practices will find these standards and training to be essential to their operations. The IICRC standards are a solid starting point, but restoration and remediation contractors may have to deviate when appropriate. Whether a project is typical or non-standards, the job is only as good as it is documented, and deviations should follow a clearly executed plan.
Contractors should be careful not make any health claims when it comes to mold or asbestos. The job of the contractor is to successfully remediate the mold or abate the asbestos in the structure. Doctors are the ones that should discuss the health concerns of the homeowner, and the contractor should direct any health concerns to those qualified professionals. Intentional restoration contractors and their team members place a high priority on educating themselves on the scopes of work that they plan to perform so that they can keep their clients and their team members safe. Owners, managers, and contractors will do well to keep themselves out of needless legal trouble through studying and executing industry best practices.
This article was written by Tiffany Acuff. Through a chance meeting of a friend, I was brought into the restoration industry. I have seen just about every aspect of working for a restoration contractor. I love this industry because it allows me to make a difficult situation a little bit better. I am constantly on the lookout for ways to contribute to the restoration industry as a whole so that we don't stay stagnant and continue to be leaders of mitigation and preservation. Tiffany has assisted in editing the last three books from The DYOJO, including the latest one, How To Suck Less At Estimating.
The DYOJO Podcast released a clip titled, "Igniter of an Industry - Remembering Martin "Marty" L. King." This phrase was penned by an industry Founding Father recognizing another property restoration historical icon, Cliff Zlotnik. Unfortunately Marty passed away in 2015, but as our good friend Pete Consigli, who is also the technical advisor for PropertyRestorationHistory.com, says,
“Marty had a vision for a new and emerging industry he called “damage repair.” Marty’s life’s work was to see the business of damage repair evolve into a profession. Fifty years after Marty had that dream, the legacy of the restoration industry is in the hands of those he influenced and many of those people are preparing to pass on the stewardship of the industry to the next generation. It is the hope of many that the next generation will take the industry to a place never imagined by the industry’s founders.”
In this video, which originally aired as part of The DYOJO Podcast Episode 85, we talk to John Pletcher. Mr. Pletcher was awarded the 2022 MLK Award at the Restoration Industry Association (RIA) Annual Convention. John shares his fond memories of being mentored by and working with Marty.
The DYOJO Insurance Claims Standard is a guiding principle that will assist owners, managers, and aspiring professionals to train their mindset and habits for success in the property restoration industry.
"Restore the property to resemble pre-loss conditions, with materials of like kind and quality; no more and no less."
The content of the video below is adapted from Chapter 1 of Jon Isaacson's latest best-selling book, How To Suck Less At Estimating: Habits For Better Project Outcomes. The same content will SOON be released as a training course through the Restoration Technical Institute. Included in this segment is an explanation of The DYOJO Claims Standard as well as a common scenario that a restoration professional might come across and how they would use this resource to help set the right expectation with all parties involved in the insurance claims project.
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What is one item that most property restoration owners and managers will agree is an issue in their business? Within the Top 5 responses will be some aspect of documentation. Anyone who has been working with water and fire damage mitigation or renovation for more than six months knows that documentation is the key to getting paid in this industry. Owners and managers regularly express that the pain of poor documentation is consistent, if not unbearable, in their businesses. So, how do we go about fixing this?
The unpopular truth is that poor documentation starts at the beginning of the process. As an owner or manager, before you can complain too loudly about the lack of thorough and consistent documentation from your team members in the field when was the last time you monitored your client intake process?
How would your technicians answer these questions:
Your client intake process is critical to setting up your team for successful outcomes. The estimator needs as many details as possible to be successful in invoicing for the work that your mitigation team has completed. Your mitigation team needs as many details as possible to be successful in responding intelligently and expediently to the needs of your customer.
Client intake is not something that should be left to chance, there should be a script and a form that gets filled out each time, regardless of who takes the call.
While many owners and managers have high aspirations for their businesses, many times what we do is not in line with what we say. Our habits do not reflect our expectations (dissonance - see Diagram 1). In chapter 9 of So, You Want To Be A Project Manager? I share a simple test for new managers,
“When you are having issues with performance, you should take a step back and ask as a leadership team, ‘Are we holding our team members to a higher standard than we are holding ourselves to.’”
While owners and managers preach it all the time, they must remember that success is a team effort. If you want your team to care about the mindset and habits that lead to clear and consistent documentation, they must observe everyone else working to do the same. You can’t just say that we all follow the same process, your team has to demonstrate it. Managers must be accountable for information flowing downstream if them want to see that example followed as information flows upstream.
When was the last time the managers or the owners went out on a call using the information and tools that their team members receive on a daily basis?
If you are experiencing the pain of poor documentation, there are no silver bullets or easy fixes. You should be encouraged to know that you are not alone and that improvements in these areas will be the result of committing to a few simple habits. Start with your client intake form and process, it may not seem like it will make a difference but accountability comes from clarifying the vision and being consistent with the process.
Clarity + Consistency = Accountability
Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, is a 19 year veteran of the property restoration industry and a business coach through his organization The DYOJO.