Kowalski Construction faced an extraordinary task in one of its recent projects. After a large fire ravaged one of Arizona’s largest malls, one-third of the shopping center was affected with heavy smoke and water damage. As one of the area’s only construction companies qualified to handle a job of this magnitude, they were asked to perform restoration services, but with a twist. Managers wanted to keep the mall open for business.
In this column, Laura Spaulding, CEO of Spaulding Decon, shares three of the toughest hoarding cleanup jobs she has worked on in her 15-plus years specializing in crime scene and hoarding cleaning. “The tougher the challenge, the bigger the reward, and I have faced some tough ones,” Spaulding writes.
On this particular day, Kowalski Construction was called to respond to a unique situation from local law enforcement. Police asked us to secure a home after making forced entry for an unanswered wellness check. To say the scene quickly escalated into a massive operation would be an understatement. Almost immediately, thousands of rats were discovered living both in and out of the home.
In mid-February 2021, Prism Specialties of Greater Wisconsin and Western U.P. received a water pipe break claim at a high-end waterfront home that sits just 40 feet off Lake Superior on Madeline Island, Wis. The first decision to be made: Ice road or ferry?
SERVPRO of Southeast Nashville responded to a historic church after a fire damaged a large portion of its sanctuary. A heater caused the curtains to catch fire, which spread to the walls, damaging drywall, plaster, the stage, roofing tiles and deposited smoke and soot onto the pews, throughout the structure.
Last year, Paul Davis of Greater St. Paul and Minneapolis worked on a major fire damage restoration project for a senior living (age 55+) condominium association community. In addition to the regular challenges of a large loss fire job – from mitigation through reconstruction - the project presented additional difficulties posed by COVID-19, as the residents were considered high risk.
Take an unattended death, resulting in advanced human decomposition, add cross contamination from first responders and throw in cross bio-contamination from vectors creating fomites. Sprinkle in a dog, who has to eat, and just for good measure, throw in a family who is under duress and not happy with the two previous service providers.