Geoff Ganz is a 20+-year veteran of the restoration industry, who holds 17 industry certifications, including IICRC Master Water Restorer, Master Fire and Smoke Restorer and Master Textile Cleaner. Currently, he’s the owner of Wilmington, Ohio-based ServiceMaster Restoration by Ganz. And one of the technologies he prefers to use on fire and mold losses is blasting.
R&R: How long have you been in the industry and how long have you been blasting?
Geoff Ganz: I started in 1992. However, we didn’t start blasting until 2003. As we grew, we discovered the improved labor efficiencies and better end result is when we began using media blasting.
R&R: What types of blasting media do you use and for what purposes?
GG: We use dry ice and soda depending on the situation. Dry ice is a little trickier to use because of confined space (i.e. crawlspaces/basements). However, (there’s) less clean up after blasting. Dry ice would be mostly on mold in attics and roof deck. We started using soda on the majority of our losses. It is easier to store and use, especially in the summer.
R&R: Why do you prefer blasting to other methods of restoration and remediation?
GG: The greatest benefit of blasting is the production rate and the finished product.
R&R: Are there any recent jobs you used blasting on that you could describe?
GG: We used soda blasting on a home that had a very heavy soot level in the basement from a plastic fire. A dehumidifier caught on fire, however, the PVC plumbing melted and smoldered and eventually put the fire out before the fire department arrived. However, the soot was on every floor joist and poured concrete walls. We were able to vacuum the area and then blast the entire area in just over one day. One thousand pounds of baking soda, 14 man hours on 4,000 square feet of surface area. When we finished, the homeowner’s daughter visited for the first time since the day after the fire and wondered how we replaced all of the wood beams and rafters in the basement. It looked like brand new wood was installed and (there was) absolutely no smell.
R&R: Is there anything else you’d care to share about blasting?
GG: The other advantage of the blasting in a fire loss is the baking soda neutralizes the smoke smell almost as soon as you start the blasting project. Any job over a couple of hundred square feet we blast now.