Operation Save A Life

JP Maguire is a proud sponsor of Operation Save a Life.

Operation Save a Life

JP Maguire serves Connecticut providing cleanup and restoration after fires, natural disasters, and property damage. Now they’re helping to provide smoke alarms to local fire departments through Operation Save a Life.

The smoke alarms are then distributed to community members after the fire service is sent on a call. Following a medical transport, fire, etc. the firefighters will inspect, offer to replace alarm batteries, or the alarms entirely.

JP Maguire is also helping local fire departments by offering turnout gear and truck cleaning for safety and cancer prevention.

Reasons To Question the Restoration Contractor Recommended by Your Insurance Company

When disaster strikes, you want to take measures to get your home back to peak conditions quickly.  Whether damage occurred due to water or fire, the effects can be devastating, and the sooner you take action, the better. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should immediately jump on board with the restoration company that your insurance company has recommended; choosing the right company to perform the repair work should be done carefully. While there are some restoration companies affiliated with insurance companies who are skilled and reliable, there are also many problems associated with working with an insurance company’s “preferred contractors.” Here’s a look a few reasons why you should do your homework before having your home repaired by such a “preferred contractor”.

What Are the Details of the Relationship?

When a restoration company is deemed a “preferred contractor,” this name may lull homeowners into a false sense of security. After all, they are “preferred”. Just because the insurance carrier “prefers” the contractor, doesn’t mean that they are the best at what they do. Consider a scenario where the owner of an insurance company is related to or is close friends with an individual who operates a fire or flood Restoration Company. The relationship between the two owners could be the reason why the insurance company “prefers” this contractor. Therefore the preferred restoration company has not been hired based upon performance which could mean that you miss out on having the best work done on your home.

Loyalty Lies with the Insurance Company; Not the Insured

When you elect to work with a “preferred contractor”, you should be aware of the fact that many contractors are paying to be “preferred”. A number insurance companies have programs with Third Party Administrators (TPAs) to oversee the claim process and limit their out of pocket expense. In order to be a part of many of these programs, restoration contractors have to pay annually, monthly, or even a percentage of the total loss to continue to be considered “preferred”. As a result, you can count on the fact that the “preferred contractor” will do whatever it takes to make the insurance company happy in order to continue to get work.

You May Not Get the Best Job

This point goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. Every restoration contractor is in the business to make money, but if some have to pay to be considered “preferred” they are already playing catch up to meet their margins. The restoration service they perform may not include all of the repairs that are needed or they do more than whats required. This includes cutting corners or doing unnecessary work at the homeowners’ expense. In addition, insurance carriers want to minimize the cost of your restoration in order to maximize their profit. Consequently, they may influence their “preferred contractors” in a way that causes you to get short-changed when it comes time to fix up your house.

Don’t Be a Number

When you hire your own restoration contractor, you can typically count on the fact that the restoration contractor will give you the time and attention that you require throughout the entire repair process. They will work for you, the insured not the insurance company. They have to work hard to earn and retain your business there is a lot of competition out there; the right restoration contractor will provide you with stellar service.

As a homeowner, you have the right to hire your own restoration company after a disaster.  Do your homework; ask for references, check to see what people say about them, how long they have been doing property damage restoration, are they full service or will they bring in other vendors to do the work? When it comes to insurance restoration the price isn’t what’s important, the insurance company is footing the bill. What is important is the scope of the job and that you as a homeowner feel comfortable. This is your home, make sure you hire a company that truly understands that.

Case of the 1,000-Pound Stack of Smoke-Filled Clothes

Contents and Recovery

Strange, how a fire can ignite from the most unlikely source; especially when that source is water related. A condo in an affluent community drew the unlucky straw of being located next to a pump station that ran the lawn sprinkler for six homes. When the lightning struck, it traveled through the pipework of the irrigation system and caught a two-car garage on fire. At stake was a basement stock full of hanging suits, jackets, and pants accumulated over a 70-year period. Belongings of a traveling businessman scientist (not a hoarder) who had passed away a few years prior. A child during the Depression, he could not bear to throw out a rag. This overabundance of clothes included a collection of unusual hats and 15 pounds of socks alone. All told, the smoke-damaged pile of clothes amounted to 1,000 pounds, all of which the policyholder wanted clean as soap.

The claimant was the daughter who had moved into the home as a caretaker. Her intention was to donate her father’s wardrobe to veterans because the clothes were of high quality. She asked that the entire collection, including duffel bags, luggage, and briefcases, be fully restored if possible. A soft contents washing system developed by Esporta of Kelowna, BC, Canada, was put to the test.

JP Maguire Associates is an independent 24/7 cleaning and property restoration and reconstruction services firm operating in a 37,000-sq. foot facility. We’re located in the northwest corner of Connecticut, surrounded by rural areas that are typically serviced by all-volunteer fire departments. In this case, we arrived while the firemen were containing the fire, blowing out windows, ripping off doors, and removing contents from the home. We typically begin our mitigation process with boarding and securing the property, then move to extracting the standing water, installing drying equipment if power is available, hauling in backup generators if not. We try to protect the structure from further damage and mitigate as quickly as possible.

J.P. cleans gear for fire departments statewide, which accounts for a very steady stream of revenue. When it comes to this treasure trove of clothes, we successfully cleaned them, and they’ve since found new homes through a local VFW.

J.P. cleans gear for fire departments statewide, which accounts for a very steady stream of revenue.

So now that you’ve heard a couple nuggets of success, let’s talk process. We use a crew of three employees to run the Esporta Wash System, which can process a 100-pound load max at a time. Given an average Esporta wash cycle of two hours, the job took about 20 hours plus the time allotted to drying, pressing, and delivery.

The wash system utilizes a patented hydraulic action to force organic and inorganic contaminants out of the objects to be cleaned. The force applied can be compared to the force of waves crashing against sand on a beach.

The wash system utilizes a patented hydraulic action to force organic and inorganic contaminants out of the objects to be cleaned.

Laboratory testing shows the technology removes 99% of contaminants and restores close to 90% of soft contents damaged by odor, soot, grime, mold and mildew to “food-grade” clean.

It is capable of removing toxic substances from soiled items previously thought impossible to clean and it results in no shrinkage, fabric damage or color migration. In short, the ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures look like miracles.

After securing the premises, we offer an emergency cleaning service that provides homeowners with clothes to wear. On the day of the fire loss, we ask each of the house occupants to select two weeks’ worth of clothing, shoes, undergarments, kid’s backpacks – any item normally worn within a two- to three-week period. It’s an interim solution with a 24-hour turnaround. For people who’ve had their lives upended, this service is deeply appreciated and always results in high customer satisfaction marks. One claim involved a single mother and her four daughters who were especially attached to their leather handbags, stuffed animals and cherished outfits. They were thrilled we could remove the toxic smoke and water damage quickly.

We return later to categorize and document every item that can be restored. We use claims software that has a direct link to our carrier partners and allows each item to be billed and accounted for, automatically setting the price for each polo shirt or pair of L.L. Bean duck boots, for example. We enter item quantities across two column categories; one category is hanging, or full-service items. This includes wash, iron, plastic sheathing and hanging on hangers. The other category we track is our wash & fold service. We charge by the pound and this includes pick-up and delivery, even hanging garments right back up in the homeowner’s closet.

25 year old goalie pads.

Having the right equipment really helps us dial in on specific losses and cleaning needs such as materials contaminated by chemical-laden fabrics, toxic soot, sewage, bacteria, and other harmful substances. The system is internet connected and provides reports on every wash as well as receives updated cleaning protocols to optimize the restoration process.

Operating a contents line has been good for our business on five major fronts. First, there is the green consciousness mindset of knowing you’re not contributing to landfills or using hazardous chemicals associated with dry-cleaning, such as perchloroethylene (perc). Secondly, by bringing cleaning in-house, we realized a new source of profit by not having to outsource textile restoration. On top of that we realize higher margins and increased profits from processing our own contents. Then there is the CX factor. In this business, a positive customer experience is everything. Lastly, our insurance carrier partners realize substantial savings per claim settlement, which should translate to lower premiums for insureds. It’s a win-win solution for all parties, and that’s quite a rare feat in this business.

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