An interview with Michelle a South Florida, mold and water damage expert.

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I’m Michelle from Get Dry, Inc.  We own and operate Get Dry, Inc. here in South Florida.

We clean up disasters from small leaks, to big storms and hurricanes that damage homes and businesses. Some of these storms and hurricanes can rip off most of a roof.

We work between Jupiter and Hollywood.  So we’re local!  This means not only do we service the local area, when you call us, you actually talk to us.

Either Todd or myself handle every single call because I’m the one that answers his telephone.  If there is an unusual question, or a complicated mold question that I can’t answer, I hand the call off to Todd because he’s the certified mold expert.  In addition to being a certified mold expert, Todd is also a home construction contractor.  This means that Todd knows how heavy winds and hurricanes affect your homes structure.  In addition, Todd understands how a roof leak or water intrusion can travel through your home.  Over the years Todd has helped hundreds of homeowners and saved them money and unnecessary aggravation.

We are accredited with the Better Business Bureau and a member of several chambers in the area.  We also form great relationships with other home and business property professionals so we can help service you better.

I’ll tell you a little bit about who I am.  First of all, I am a mom of these two. The boy is 30 and the girl is 26.   I’m also the stepmother of four others.  I have two dogs and a kitty cat.  And they’re my new babies because none of our human babies are around anymore.

The youngest is almost 21, and we don’t get our whole group together as often as we would like, because most of them are in Indiana and a few are in Kentucky.  But when we do get together, we’re a fun bunch to hang around with!  All of those kids gave us a big old bunch of grandkids!  These two are my son’s. The middle is my daughter’s and the other two are two of the other daughters’ boys.  So I am Yaya to five grandsons!

Get Dry was formed because my husband Todd, saw a need for a reputable restoration company.  With his background in home building and home inspection and insurance, it was a really good fit.  Todd is a licensed mold expert, so we could analyze home damage situations and get them cleaned up.

The difference between us and other restoration companies is that some of them are in the business just to get into your home and then become represented by an insurance company.   In a rush to get paid, they quickly get things patched up so they can get out of there and collect the fee that the insurance company is paying for them.  This is called “managed repair”.

We don’t do that because we work mostly on mold protocols that say, “This is what’s in the house, and this is our recommendation to get the mold or water damage it out of the home”.  We perform a post-remediation test to show that all the work is done correctly, and that the home is free from toxic mold.

In addition to Todd and myself we also have Keith.  He is our lead technician and partner.  He’s in every home at every job site, making sure everything runs smoothly.  He brings his commitment to excellence because he’s vested in the company.  He is our partner.

Some of the most common calls that we get are not the result of a hurricane ripped off roof, thankfully that doesn’t happen very often.  Many of the calls we receive are the result of strange spot caused from a roof leak.  We often find leaks under a sink, or clogged gutters that have caused other water damage problems.  When homeowners look inside house, they may see a ceiling stain.  As the stain grows the homeowner may think, “Oh, that doesn’t look very good,” I wonder what’s going on there?  As they continue to ignore it. They may think, “Oh, it’s no big deal.  “It’s just a funny color.”  All of a sudden there’s water leaking through!  It’s actually just been slowly seeping into the walls or ceiling.  Or, there could be that crazy little leak under the sink that can turn into this horrible mold condition behind the wall!

Sometimes a small leak in a pipe in a wall could have been there for a long time.  The homeowners may have no idea what’s going on.  Or they might smell something funny when walking into a kitchen or bathroom.   As the homeowner thinks, “Oh, that’s not very pleasant”, it gets ignored.  In some cases a resident may see a little bit of water here and there, and just think, “Oh, that’s no big deal. Just wipe it up”.   However, if it’s inside the wall, it’s really going to cause serious problems.  If it’s mold, the result could be serious respiratory problems!  When there’s something going on inside the walls that you don’t see big problem will happen.

Clogged gutters can cause problems inside your roof.  When the overhang part starts rotting, all kinds of mold growth and weird things may start going on in there.

When water damage starts, or the first sign of water appears, mold or a fungus will grow within 24 to 48 hours.  When we respond to tragedies such as holes in the roof from hurricane Michael, Our first response is to carefully tarp it.

Roof damage needs to be covered so that there’s no further damage on the inside of your house.  This roof has to be replaced, but if you don’t get it covered up, then you’ll have way more problems inside to deal with.  In a terrible situation like this, we just screw tarps down right to the roof so they’re not moving, this way the wind can’t blow them off.  You don’t want more water inside the house.

When we come into your home to clean up something going on behind your cabinets, we always try to brace up your countertops and leave your kitchen as usable as possible.  I some cases, you might be without your kitchen for a while, it just depends on the mold damage situation.  We know you will want you to be able to use your toaster and your coffeemaker, and at least have some kind of sense of normalcy; this goes for in your living rooms too. We won’t leave a gaping hole just covered in plastic. We’re going to cover it up and use the insulation board so it looks a little more tidy.  We know you live there, and we don’t want you to feel like you’re in a demolition zone.

Containment is very important when you’re doing mitigation work because once you start tearing out drywall and cabinets, you’re starting to disturb the mold, and when you do that, it goes through the air. We put in special equipment that scrubs the air, purifies and cleans. When we contain, we keep it in that area.   So when we finished leave your home in really, good condition because we’ve scrubbed all the air and cleaned it all up.  We also use antimicrobials to stop further growth as well.

Many people are concerned about cost, Often will bill directly to your insurance company.  This means that if you have started an insurance claim or you want to get a claim started, we’ll take our invoice and send it directly into the insurance company and just wait for their payment determinations.

This is an important statistic and why our job is so important here in South Florida.  Did you know that 50% of homes and 85% of commercial buildings have water and mold damage!  So if you really think about that… In the coffee room at an office building in a little closet, there’s probably something going on in there and just nobody has inspected or knows about it. If you look at this list you’ll see, Florida is number two on that list!

Well, that really does conclude my presentation. One little thing that I want to share with you is that you should always have your AC inspected, and change your filters. You want to keep your AC working properly.  Your air conditioner is your best friend to control humidity.  You want to keep your humidity level at 45 to 55%. We also have a hurricane preparedness guide. If anyone needs it, just let me know and I’ll send it your way.

Thank you all so much I’m Michelle Jackson with Get Dry Restoration.