Early Air Mover Wars - Claude Blackburn's Dri Eaz vs. Lloyd Weaver's Porta Dryer
As a carpet cleaner in the 1970’s, Claude Blackburn noticed a negative trend with his fellow professionals, “Twenty percent of our industry is going out of business every year.” He wanted to find a way to help entrepreneurs like himself to keep themselves working in the slow season. Claude’s first invention was the foam EZ Block which he mailed from his operations center (his garage) for $27 a sheet to cleaners replacing the wood blocks that were common in the industry.
Claude Blackburn attended a water damage seminar taught by the second face on “Mount Restoration”, Lloyd Weaver. The “Industry Watchdog” Pete Consigli writing for C&R Magazine in 2007 noted, “Lloyd introduced the first specialty designed Porta Dryer for on-location wet carpet drying. While that might not seem like much in today’s sophisticated world, 35 years ago Lloyd’s methodology challenged the rug cleaning establishment and its in-plant wet carpet service.” Shortly afterwards Claude experimented with his own metal carpet dryer and eventually produced ten units, sent out 24,000 expensive mailers to advertise the product, and only sold four. He was contemplating abandoning the idea.
Claude shares an interesting story about the device that would become the flagship of his company and an interaction with Mr. Weaver. At an industry trade show in Vancouver, Washington, Lloyd didn’t take kindly to Claude’s creations and publicly challenged him. While he physically shook the meek mannered innovator from Mt. Vernon, he also rattled his entrepreneurial spirit and only deepened Claude’s commitment to making his then fledgling invention work. With the arrival of an unlikely partner, Harlan Wright, Mr. Blackburn developed the first fiberglass molded air mover for the carpet cleaning and water damage restoration industry in the early 1980’s.
As Claude innovated products, he also developed methods for training contractors to utilize these evolving water damage tools in a manner that could be repeated across the country. Consigli recounts, “Claude was sometimes mocked for pricing his seminars under $100. But he knew exactly what he was doing; he consistently played to packed rooms, while the attendance of others’ seminars dropped off.” Claude wanted to help his fellow professionals to shorten their DANG learning curve and offered water damage training courses at pricing significantly lower than his competitors.
Mr. Blackburn also wrote the Carpet Cleaner’s Guide to Water Damage Restoration which he marketed via a dual sided mailer which promoted the popular EZ Blocks on the other side. Both sold really well, enabling Claude to further invest in innovation. Our industry is full of stories of trial and error and Claude was no stranger to this process. He shared on IAQ Radio Episode 473 that he ran his company by the 51% rule, “As long as I was right 51% of the time, we had a shot at staying in business.”
When Claude sold Dri-Eaz in 2006 it had:
Hear the rest of Claude Blackburn on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 47 “The Found of Dri Eaz Life Before, During, and After Property Restoration.”
The term “Founding Father” comes from the March 2007 cover of Cleaning & Restoration Magazine. Pete Consigli wrote an article titled The Four Faces on Mount Restoration wherein he said this about Claude’s entrance into the carpet cleaning profession,
“In the mid to late 1970s, Claude was a struggling young father and carpet cleaner with two little mouths to feed. With only $35 dollars in the bank, he moved his family to Skagit County, Wash., about 60 miles north of Seattle. After paying $27 (of the $35) for a partial rent payment on his apartment, he had $8 to fill the refrigerator. He had no choice but to get out and knock on some doors; he needed money and he got it by cleaning carpets.”
His story reinforces the truth that there are no substitutes for hard work in this industry which has been built up by people both willing to try something new and willing to share what they have learned by trial and error. Mr. Blackburn’s first invention, a high density foam block that he would mail to cleaners nationwide and thereby founding Dri Eaz from his basement. Out of fear of being copied by others he set out to create his first air mover.
Claude shares an interesting story about the device that would become the flagship of his company that would grow into the industry leader for water damage restoration equipment. The man credited with creating the first air mover, Lloyd Weaver, publicly challenged Mr. Blackburn which only deepened his commitment to making his then fledgling invention work.
Pete writes of Lloyd, the second face on Mount Restoration, “Lloyd introduced the first specialty designed Porta Dryer for on-location wet carpet drying. While that might not seem like much in today’s sophisticated world, 35 years ago Lloyd’s methodology challenged the rug cleaning establishment and its in-plant wet carpet service.” With the help of Harlan Wright their plastic mold prototype was developed in the early 80’s.
Claude noticed a negative trend with carpet cleaners, “Twenty percent of our industry is going out of business every year,” and wanted to find a way to keep entrepreneurs like himself working in the slow season. As he innovated products, he also developed methods for training contractors to utilize the tools in a manner that could be repeated. Consigli notes, “Claude was sometimes mocked for pricing his seminars under $100. But he knew exactly what he was doing; he consistently played to packed rooms, while the attendance of others’ seminars dropped off.” Claude wanted to help his fellow professionals to shorten their DANG learning curve.
In addition to providing greater details about his journey in water damage restoration, Claude shared some interesting principles that transformed his business while a guest on IAQ Radio (Episode 473). Mr. Blackburn and a third member of the Founding Fathers Quartet, Cliff “The Z Man” Zlotnik discuss the evolution of the industry. Claude discussed the benefits of profit sharing, “That decision made me the most money of anything I ever did. Most other business owners are afraid to share the financials, I made more money in the five years after implementation than in all the years before.”
When Claude sold Dri-Eaz in 2006 it had:
The opening segment of The DYOJO Podcast goes into some depth regarding Claude’s post retirement activities which include efforts to elevate pickleball to an Olympic sport. A local paper dubbed him The Pickleball Philanthropist.
South Sound Connection (SSC) LIVE - Episode 008 - Part B
SSC LIVE is brought to you by The DYOJO Podcast (thedyojo.com) and All American Restoration Services (Tacoma, WA - allamericanres.com).
Tuesday, January 12, 2021 9am PST - LIVE
Korbett Mosesly - Creator of Success Factors and Founder of Mosesly Consulting (Tacoma, WA)
Korbett was our inaugural guest and returns to tell us how his game Success Factors is doing now that copies are being distributed. We will also discuss what 2021 looks like for Tacoma Publishing.
Korbett shares his thoughts on:
You can tell Success Factors was designed by a father who wants to pass his knowledge and curiosity on to his sons as it does a wonderful job of drawing out discussions related to life, career, goals, and financial literacy:
The DYOJO publication announces book number two, Be Intentional: Culture, which is now available from Amazon via Kindle and paperback. This is a collaborative work with authors who are professionals in various industries.
The reader knows a bad culture when we they it, yet it may not always lend itself to clear definitions. One common factor in the mindset and habits that lead to enhancing a strong and productive culture are these truths:
Therefore, developing, adapting, and caring for your culture is vital to your vitality as an organization. Your input of time, effort, and resources towards developing an intentional culture is directly linked to achieving optimal business outputs. Be Intentional: Culture digs into this subject matter, asking the question: What are some of the small things that have helped to enhance, or undermine, culture in the experiences of our talented group of authors?
Contributor Bio’s (in alphabetical order):
Technician, Property Restoration
Technician with experience in water mitigation, fire mitigation, mold remediation, contents packing and cleaning, and tarps. Can take a customer from initial loss and lead them throughout the process to the end. I also have experience with back-end tasks, such as getting the proper paperwork and communicating in office with estimators and project managers.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/tiffany-acuff-21a525157
Editor in Chief, Restoration and Remediation Magazine
Award-winning journalist and communications specialist dedicated to top-notch, innovative writing to promote my company's brand while fostering strong B2B relationships and spreading knowledge among readers.
R&R is the leading publication for professionals in the restoration and remediation industry. As the thought leader in the restoration world, R&R provides expert information on a variety of topics including forensic restoration, drying, software, thermal imaging, moisture meters, media blasting, and much more.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." - Oscar Wilde
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/michelle-blevins-821bab22
Author page at R&R - www.randrmagonline.com/authors/2080-michelle-blevins
Michelle Blevins was a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 25
Outside Sales, Aramsco
Outside sales representative for the largest supplier to the abatement and mitigation industries. Specifically, I have extensive knowledge of equipment and supplies pertaining to the disaster restoration field, ensuring I bring a high level of service to Aramsco's valued customers.
A·nom·a·ly: "Something that deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected."
I think this word - "anomaly" - describes me well. An English major with a heart for higher education, I found myself through a series of coincidences in the field of disaster recovery.
For eight years, I supervised and performed mitigation services in homes and businesses, encountering losses large and small. After nearly a decade of 2am phone calls, dealing with insurance claims, consoling homeowners, and swimming in lots and lots of raw sewage, I found I was ready for another challenge.
Through yet another coincidence, I found myself interviewing for the manager job at Interlink Supply of Seattle. The position proved to be one of the most challenging and rewarding of my professional life.
Following the acquisition of Bridgewater (Interink's parent co.) by Aramsco, I am taking on a new challenge as restoration sales manager for the Seattle region.
My approach to sales is unique. We hear all the time that sales is all about relationships, which is certainly true, and I greatly enjoy the relationships I'm able to cultivate each day, but I also think sales is about caring. I think sales is a lot about listening and responding with the heart of a teacher.
My truest passion is for writing. I maintain a blog at legionwriter.com, where I attempt to publish musings at least a few times a month. I also enjoy teaching others to write. I volunteer as a tutor through the King County Libraries.
Some day, that novel I've been pecking away at for six years will see the light. Some day.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/luke-draeger-892b4022
Website - www.legionwriter.com
Host, The DYOJO Podcast & author, Be Intentional: Estimating
For nearly 20 years Jon Isaaacson, The Intentional Restorer, has exemplified consistent achievement in leadership roles within the skilled trades including property restoration, construction, and abatement.
As a business coach, Jon is able to assess issues, identify creative solutions, and implement processes that drive long term success in an organization. You can read his monthly column, The Intentional Restorer, in Restoration and Remediation Magazine (R&R).
Jon regularly speaks, writes, and consults through his organization The DYOJO. He is the host of The DYOJO Podcast and recently published his first book Be Intentional: Estimating.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/jon-isaacson-izvents
Website - www.thedyojo.com
The Intentional Restorer monthly column - www.randrmagonline.com/topics/4576-the-intentional-restorer
The DYOJO Podcast - www.thedyojo.com/listen
Chief Operating Officer (COO), Restoration Technical Institute (RTI) and Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc.
Restoration Professional that is passionate about serving others. As Chief Operating Officer of a full service restoration company and training center, manages daily operations so as to deliver services that have a positive meaningful impact on the lives of others.
Oversees operations of Technical Training center serving restoration, insurance, construction, cleaning and related technical industries. We BELIEVE in inspiring happiness, pride, and innovation in others.
Oversees the day to day operations of Berks Fire Water Restorations, Inc.℠, a local provider that specializes in the restoration and reconstruction of residential and commercial properties damaged by fire, mold, sewage, smoke, storm, water, wind, or any other damage. Our complete restoration approach involves the coordination and supervision of every facet of the project, ensuring the best possible service. We deal directly with the insurance provider, helping to satisfy the needs of the property owner.
We are fully staffed with a team of restoration technicians, carpenters and tradesmen, providing 24 hour/7 day emergency service with a one hour response time.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/llavender
Restoring Success monthly column - www.randrmagonline.com/topics/4578-restoring-success
Lisa Lavender was a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 36; you can read her monthly column Restoring Success in Restoration and Remediation Magazine (R&R)
Large Loss Claims Consultant & Xactimate Estimator, Claims Delegates & author, The 24 HR Tech
Andy has spent 20 years in the property damage restoration industry. He is an experienced water damage expert and licensed claims adjuster. He specializes in property damage insurance claims resolution and complex building envelope issues. Andy settled in Bend, OR which serves as his base of operations for national consulting operations.
"The simplest solution is the best solution." - Andy's derivative of Occam's Razor
Everyone has their own way of doing things. I'm always looking for the "right" way. That isn't always the popular choice. I would rather "get it right" than to be right. I'm poised to set the world on fire. I've been burnt along the way, but that just builds character. Don't you think?
I'm a property and casualty (P&C) claims expert, licensed property adjuster and Xactimate professional. I have served as an expert witness and appraiser in contractor disputes and insurance claim arbitration situations. My favorite thing is public speaking and education. I love to teach and inspire folks to be their best.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/andymccabe
Website - www.claimsdelegates.com
Andrew McCabe has been a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 5 and 37 (Pro vs. Joe 009)
Nunery II, Leroy, Dr.
Founder & Principal, PlūsUltré LLC
PlūsUltré LLC Background and Qualifications
PlūsUltré’s mantra of “Inspiration. Imagination. Innovation” reflects our approach to enhancing the strategic and operational capacities of educational, non-profit, and entrepreneurial entities. Our breadth of experience and competence is demonstrated through inspired, objective, and creative problem-solving. Our clients engage us because we think and act objectively and critically, and with their interests in mind.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/ldn2educate
Website - www.plusultrellc.net
Mobile Equipment Repairs, Born to Repair
My mission is to transition the damage restoration industry to inhouse equipment repairs. Providing mobile equipment repairs for water damage equipment such as air movers and dehumidifiers. Born to Repair is also able to provide phone and video consulting to assist people outside of his service area.
Elan is preparing an online repairs seminar as well.
Website - www.facebook.com/borntorepairsd
Check out Elan Pasmanick’s water damage equipment maintenance and repair Tip of the Week as a regular feature on The DYOJO Podcast.
Principle Consultant, Advocate Claim Service
Specializing in Contract Analysis & Risk Management.
Results-focused strategist with 16+ years of progressive career growth in the Insurance and Risk Management field. Tenaciously persistent in determining and attaining optimal outcomes. Astute negotiator. Background includes value-added, comprehensive expertise in analyzing insurance contracts, claim practices, and managing complex claims.
Advocate Claim Service was founded to provide policyholders with a dedicated claim professional to develop a comprehensive claim presentation strategy. While ACS does not sell insurance, we do make it work for you. ACS's Principle Consultant, David Princeton, has resolved disputed claims resulting in total resolutions in excess of $25,000,000.
Specializing in the strategic presentation of claims, Advocate Claim Services looks to aid businesses in the presentation and resolution of doubtful and disputed claims. Our brand of advocacy focuses on the challenging claims that threaten to disrupt our clients' ability to do business.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/davidrprinceton
Website - www.advocateclaimservice.com
David Princeton was a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 1, 32 and 35 (Pro vs. Joe 007 and 008)
Founder, IA Path & author, Independent Adjuster’s Playbook (and many more)
We help new adjusters get to work in 90 days with our online adjuster mentorships.
Most new adjusters struggle to meet hiring companies' experience requirements and have no way of getting started. At IA Path we created a mentorship program that gets the experience requirements waived with over 20 companies so you can start working in the next 90 days.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/iapath
Website - www.iapath.com
Chris Stanley was a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 38
Director of Customer Experience and Support, NumberBarn
Proven visionary leader, seasoned manager, and lifelong learner experienced in building both customer service teams and customer experience programs. Capable of creating a customer service operation from scratch and technically savvy enough to scale it with a rapidly growing business.
LinkedIn - www.linkedin.com/in/jtwatkin
Website - www.customerservicelife.com
Jeremy Watkin was a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 42
Our previous video provided you with some early reading suggestions from the property restoration ranks. Now its time to tickle your ears with the silky voices of podcasts made by and for property restoration professionals.
Apologies if we missed you and/or your podcast, shoot us a message and a link so that we can add you to our list. If you listen and/or watch any of these podcasts be sure to subscribe, like, review, and share as these simple actions go a long way in helping the creators to better distribute their content.
The DYOJO Podcast - www.thedyojo.com/listen
The DYOJO Podcast and Born to Repair have teamed up to provide the water damage restoration equipment maintenance and repair tip of the week. Elan Pasmanick of Born To Repair (@borntorepair) was a guest on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 8 where he shared tips for extending the life of your water damage restoration equipment.
In this video, for Tip of the Week Episode 002, In this video, Elan shares how to select the right filters for your low grain refrigerant dehumidifier. Often restoration owners, warehouse managers, and mitigation supervisors think they need expensive filters, but Born To Repair shares their opinion on how the best filter is one that fits correctly and is changed frequently. Don't allow the wrong filter or lack of maintenance to keep your money making equipment on the sidelines. Elan is a poet, performs mobile local equipment repairs in the San Diego, California area as well as distance repairs coaching via calls and/or facetime.
We first aired this segment on The DYOJO Podcast Episode 39 with Shannon Tymosko aka "Lady Voltz" who is an electrical apprentice with IBEW Local 105 and an ambassador for Kickass Careers. Check out Born To Repair on Instagram @borntorepair.
The DYOJO Podcast is the INFOtainment podcast for the skilled trades - helping you shorten your DANG learning curve. Watch on YouTube or listen on Spotify and/or Apple podcasts.
Jon Isaacson, The Intentional Restorer, is a 19 year veteran of the property restoration industry and a business coach through his organization The DYOJO.