Monitor Articles

The Ultimate No-Brainer

It may sound TOO-GOOD-TO-BE-TRUE, but the Hydro Lab Training and Research Center in Cicero, IN has set up scholarship opportunities for 80 SCRT members to attend one of four courses leading to IICRC certification in the areas of water damage restoration and microbial remediation at  The Hydro Lab Center:

Commercial Drying Specialist                   20 Scholarships @$700.00 each
Applied Structural Drying                         20 Scholarships @$500.00 each
WRT/ASD Combo course                          20 Scholarships @$500.00 each
Applied Microbial Remediation Technician  20 Scholarships @$300.00 each

Only SCRT “Regular Member” companies in good standing for more than one year at the time of the event are eligible to participate.  Members who pay dues quarterly and “Associate Members” are not eligible to participate. The scholarships are intended to help underwrite the cost of the approved event and not for personal, travel, lodging or per diem expenses. Fees will be paid directly to the event’s sponsor. Fees due to the IICRC for testing are not included in the scholarship offer. Class descriptions and schedules are available at Click HERE to download the HydroLab Scholarship Application

Successful Contents Processing Requires Dedication- by Bruce Jones

While your crew is setting up drying equipment on a small fire loss and doing the demo needed for drying, you take a look around. A lot of contents will have to be moved out in order to get to the flooring, which is cupping already.

As your crew begins to move a curio cabinet, the homeowner says “Please be careful. That is my entire Lalique collection.” You are not sure what Lalique is, but it sure sounds expensive.

You pull out your smart phone and search “Lalique” and find that the prices range from $200.00 to $5500.00 per piece. Damaging just one of those could erase the profit on the entire job. And that doesn’t even include the contents that will have to be moved, cleaned and stored while the drying and reconstruction are being done. You begin to wonder if maybe there is a better alternative to a storage trailer.

Contents processing can be rewarding and profitable but success requires an investment in time, money, personnel and training. More than anything else it takes dedication:
Dedicated resources – Equipment and vehicles specific for contents. Using your production vehicles to transport contents is not a good use of that resource, and invites damage. Contents processing demands a variety of specialized equipment.   

Dedicated personnel – A crew specifically trained in contents packing and cleaning rather than someone splitting their time, skill and knowledge between mitigation and contents. Think about why you separated mitigation from reconstruction. Onsite mitigation requires a different skill set (technical and interpersonal) from in-plant contents processing.

Dedicated warehouse space – Enough space to prevent the co-mingling of a client’s contents with other contents or company supplies and equipment. This helps prevent damage and losses as well as allowing for more efficient operations.

Dedicated Insurance Coverage – Many contractors are woefully underinsured as it pertains to contents, assuming their General Liability policy will cover everything. Check with your insurance agent. Make sure you have coverage during transport to and from the job site as well as inside your facility.

Putting the customer’s contents into a storage trailer is usually not the best solution. In most cases, once you remove an item from a structure, you have assumed “care, custody and control” of that item.

Think of what could happen to furnishings stored in a trailer without temperature or humidity controls. Even a small leak in the roof could cause major damage to stored contents. You could find yourself without coverage for those damages.

Unless you have these dedicated resources, I would strongly suggest that you refer the contents portion of your losses to a Contents Processing Specialist, just like you do your textiles, piano moving, pool tables, etc.  

In a future issue of the Monitor, I will expose some of the lesser-known pitfalls of contents processing.

Bruce Jones is the Marketing Director at Only Contents. He has been in the restoration industry since 1978, is certified in FSRT and OCT and has focused exclusively on contents for the last three years. He can be reached at 678-654-7377 or

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