Editor’s Note: ServiceMaster by Disaster Recon is among the top 10 ServiceMaster franchises for commercial mitigation work. Owned by Greg Dennison, the company is always growing, expanding, and tackling big jobs with big success. Meet Greg, and hear about a recent large loss job, in this R&R Q&A!

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company.

I grew up in the restoration industry and have been doing mitigation and reconstruction since I was 12 years old working for my dad’s company. There are definitely child labor laws against that now, but it was a family business and I needed to work on summer breaks from grade school through college.

I have always loved doing water mitigation and large losses specifically. I started Disaster Recon nine years ago and we converted to ServiceMaster by Disaster Recon six years ago. We have 56 full time employees with two main offices in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, with a recent acquisition giving us a satellite office in Creston, Ohio. Currently, our company ranks in the top 20 ServiceMaster’s by volume in the country and top 10 in commercial mitigation. Our company does about 60 percent residential work, and 40 percent commercial.

Our specialties? Urgency and getting our customers taken care of whether commercial or residential. We do a lot of commercial losses and have a fleet of generators, trailer-mounted desiccant dehumidifiers, and indirect fired heat drying units. We also mobilize nationally for hurricanes and commercial losses for our clients. In the past two years, we have performed work in Ohio, Iowa, Texas, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New York, and Florida.

  1. Walk us through one of the more interesting large losses you’ve handled recently.

Scope of Work

We recently handled a 100,000-square-foot fire at an indoor sports facility. There are soccer fields, volleyball courts, basketball courts, a kitchen and bar, as well as a fitness center, locker rooms and offices.

We got the call first thing in the morning and responded immediately to mitigate the damage from the sprinklers first while we came up with a game plan and determined the extent of the damage from the smoke and soot. We also put in a call to Odorox to get us 76 XL-3 machines immediately to begin the deodorization process.

The fire originated in the kitchen from a chemical reaction and the entire kitchen had to be removed and replaced including all of the commercial appliances. The hallway, locker rooms, kitchen and bar were by far affected the most; the volleyball and basketball courts as well as the soccer field were affected moderately. The fitness center and offices were the only areas where hardly any damage occurred.

Cleaning & Demo

The offices needed to remain open and we had to perform work around the volleyball tournaments. However, the facility agreed to hold as many tournaments outside as they could in their sand courts which allowed us to clean inside.

The courts had moderate soot contamination and needed to be contained and cleaned so that we could have them operational quickly. Our crews cleaned the ceiling, walls and floors in the soccer fields and volleyball courts with multiple lifts.

All ceiling tiles had to be removed and replaced and the decking and bar joists were cleaned in the hallway, bar and offices as well.

Once investigation was complete, we could begin demolition of the source room and get it ready for reconstruction.

  1. What were some of the biggest challenges on this job?

The biggest challenge was the sheer volume of square footage that needed to be deodorized quickly so that the offices could stay open and the courts could be usable when needed. Again, this is why we called Odorox to send us 76 Hydroxyl XL-3 units ASAP – they arrived the same day. This helped us put the client at ease, and further secure the loss.

The next challenge is that we were not allowed to touch the kitchen for a few weeks. This made odor removal more challenging considering the source room was still intact and the ceiling was open to the rest of the bar and hallway. We contained the kitchen including above the drop ceiling and ran hydroxyls and air scrubbers to help mitigate the odor before demolition was allowed to begin.

Another challenge was the client's concerns about putting scissor lifts and articulating boom lifts on the volleyball court floor. We had to get the flooring manufacturer involved to determine the load that could be applied to the floor without damaging it. This delayed the project because it took a while for the client to authorize us to use the lifts. In the end, we put plywood down on the volleyball courts to protect the floor even more for the clients’ peace of mind as well as got a statement in writing to assure the client that we could put the necessary lifts on their floors.

  1. How do relationships you have within your local community affect your ability to get large losses?

Our relationships and involvement in the community make us the first call on many large losses as we have developed a trusted reputation for quality, resources and immediate service while doing everything we can to get the client operational and back up and running fast.

  1. Does ServiceMaster corporate help you on losses like this, when you need it?

We have the ability to partner with our CRT Commercial Recovery Team partners or ServiceMaster Recovery Management when we need assistance on large losses. We love mobilizing to help our partners across the country when the need arises and helping their clients.