Kent Rawhouser – Disaster Restoration Meets Indoor Air Quality

Air Date: 8-5-2011| Episode: 216

Mr. Kent Rawhouser is a veteran disaster restoration professional with a thriving business in Wisconsin...

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Mr. Kent Rawhouser is a veteran disaster restoration professional with a thriving business in Wisconsin. Kent has been active in the disaster restoration community for decades and could have stayed within his comfort zone for the rest of his career. In the past 5 years Mr. Rawhouser has immersed himself in all things IAQ including becoming a member of the Board of Directors for the largest IAQ association in the world the Indoor Air Quality Association (IAQA). We will discuss some of Ken’s thoughts on the state of disaster restoration, the intersection of disaster restoration and indoor air quality and his impressions about Indoor Air 2011 where Kent was one of the practitioners that attended what has historically been an IAQ research oriented conference.


Z-Man’s Blog:

Kent Rawhouser, A & J Specialty Services

After working in asbestos abatement, Kent Rawhouser was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug and started a ceiling cleaning business that soon diversified into carpet cleaning, water damage restoration, and mold remediation. Kent’s business performs both restoration and indoor air quality services and he observes some distinct differences between disaster restoration and IAQ projects. Disaster restoration projects are often triggered by an emergency response, on disaster restoration projects the client relies upon the contractor to provide guidance, make key decisions and do the work. IAQ projects involve thought, advance planning and may involve conflict of interest considerations that entail the contractor to work scopes of repair and work specifications prepared by and under the supervision of a 3rd party consultant.

Nuggets mined from the show:
•Kent, echoed the frustration of a contractor working under the supervision of consultants who are less knowledgeable and less experienced.
•If you know through your training that something should be done such as installing an air scrubber, it is cheaper and better to install the equipment even knowing you won’t be paid for it than to not install it and be sued for not doing something according to industry standards,
•Relationship management: client, contractor, consultant.
•Listen to the client, commenting that he received highest accolades and praise from a client to whom he said the least.
•Some insurance companies are covering the costs of indoor environmental consultants on projects.
•Property owners have the right to choose the restoration contractor who does the work on their property.
•Property owners must live with the scope and quality of the work performed on their property.
•Property owners should be comfortable with their restoration or remediation firm
•Seek consultants who understand what the books and standards say and have the practical experience and common sense to apply it.
•Sometimes performing work to industry standards is impossible and/or cost prohibitive.
•Stay within your means, seek help on projects too large or too complicated to handle.
•Kent opined upon a level playing field where contractor licensing was state mandated that the importance of industry certifications would be minimized.

Kent would like to see more research on efficacy and efficiency of cleaning methods including air scrubbing post remediation.

Today’s music Growing Mold by radioactive Chicken Heads

Z-Man signing off

PS-Although technically I never believed that time changes a category 1 water damage into a category 3 or black water loss, if it will help policyholders collect the necessary funds to have their properties repaired and provides more opportunity for restorers and consultants to work I’ll make a conscious effort to hold by tongue and stop publicly pointing it out.