HURON TWP. - January 30, 2009 (The NewsHerald) --  December through March is the freeze season for Don Hildebrand and his son, Ben.

“It’s one of our busiest seasons, along with summer,” Don Hildebrand said. “Broken pipes and damaged sump pumps when roots take over drains often lead to flooding.”

Hildebrand owns and operates Hildebrand’s Inc., a home-based business specializing in residential and commercial carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, pre- and post-move-in cleaning, stain removal and flood restoration.

The father of three started his carpet cleaning company in 1986 and was trained and certified by the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration.

“Before, my children never got to see me except for late at night or very early (in the) morning because I was managing grocery stores,” Hildebrand wrote on his Web site,

“When I got home, I would always bring Coney dogs or something from the grocery store. We would sit up in the middle of the night or early morning before school and catch up on everything that was happening. This was very stressful on the kids and (me). I finally decided that I wanted to do something where I could see my children more. I decided to start a carpet cleaning business, not realizing how hard it is to run a business.”

Hildebrand said as he looked at his children, he remembered how hard he had to work and the struggles he had to overcome.

“I wanted to teach my children the value of a dollar at a young age so they would understand that you have to work hard for your money,” he wrote. “With this company, I was able to teach my kids a good work ethic. I would take them with me on my jobs and introduce them as ‘the boss.’”

Ben Hildebrand of Riverview started going to work with his dad when he was 5 years old. Today, he’s a master textile consultant and journeyman water restorer.

According to Don Hildebrand, when he first started in the carpet cleaning business, there weren’t many advertisements or commercials.

He said he got most of his clientele by word of mouth.

Along with residential customers, Hildebrand’s has provided cleaning services for offices, bowling centers, restaurants and other commercial locations, including large contracts with Detroit Metropolitan Airport and the GM Renaissance Center.

“We take great pride in our work and have always offered a money-back guarantee,” he said. “If you are not 100 percent satisfied, we will reclean the areas and then if you are still not satisfied, we will refund your money.”

To stay competitive and diversified over the years, Hildebrand said he expanded his services to include flood restoration.

He recently added a Thermal Energy System, a machine that uses heat and air exchange differently from conventional methods.

He said mold and water damage occur over the time water is trapped in a building. The more you can cut that time, the less mold and water damage you’ll have.

“Most companies who do flood restoration work do a fine job of heating up the air in a building and drying it out within a few days,” Hildebrand said. “What makes this new technology so different and exciting is that it applies heat directly to the water in the structure, not just the air. As a result, the heat transfers energy to the water molecules trapped in the building material, causing more of them to achieve escape velocity.”

Hildebrand said the time it takes to dry a building using conventional methods has gone from one day or less using TES, depending on the size of the building and the severity of the flood.

He said its good news to anyone who has had damage from floods and hurricanes, or a broken pipe in their basement.

“If the insurance on your home or business is up to date, flood emergencies should be covered by it,” he said. “You need to make it clear to your insurance adjuster that whatever company they hire to do the restoration needs to use TES in order to cut the drying time down and get your life back to normal faster.”