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Fire Restoration Case Study: Steamatic

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Fires are devastating to the victims. Typically they have enough to deal with without trying to replace household items. Some small relief can be found in the personal items that can be cleaned and returned to victims of a fire. But, sometimes items can’t be replaced at all — or, at least, that’s how it seems. That’s where All Nation Restoration comes in.

Fire Restoration

All Nation Restoration is a company that offers a very unique service. They are called in to help clean and restore items that have been damaged by fire or water used to put out the fire. Homeowners, businesses and insurance companies all love what All Nation Restoration can do. They keep down the cost of replacing things, and in some cases save items that could never be replaced.

Doing It by Hand

Originally, All Nation Restoration had a full staff of six that could work through about fifteen boxes of damaged goods per day. They would clean using cotton swabs, brushes, rags and solvents. In most cases they could get items clean, but sometimes the smell of smoke or mildew would not be eliminated entirely. Items with more intricate features, features which many keepsakes tend to have, were nearly impossible to get completely clean. That’s where Omegasonics ultrasonic cleaners enter the picture.
Faster restoration, Better Results
Imagine being able to reduce your staff by half while over quadrupling the output of that staff. Sound impossible? Well that is just what All Nation Restoration was able to do with Omegasonics’ ultrasonic cleaners. They now carry a staff of three to four and are capable of doing close to sixty boxes a day! How? By using ultrasonic cleaners.
The results speak for themselves. Not only are speed and efficiency improved, but the pieces come out almost like new. Not only are they able to save things like plates, keepsake figurines and kitchen items, they can also save electronics! Steamatic has been able to increase the amount of items they are able to recover, up from around 70% to near 90%!
Ultrasonic cleaners can help you, too; Check out our lines of cleaning, drying and soaps today!

Chris MorenoFire Restoration Case Study: Steamatic
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Case Study VIII | Water Damage

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This Austin area motel experienced an extensive water loss due to in-room damage to the fire sprinkler system. There were 25 one and two bedroom suites and three main hallways affected. Damage included electrical wiring, insulation, drywall, floor coverings, contents, and furniture. Repairs to these rooms included both bedrooms and bath with complete drywall replacement, new flooring, new furnishings, new lighting, and new artwork. Bathrooms were gutted to studs and fitted with new tub/shower surrounds, new finishes including drywall, wallpaper, tile flooring, and new bathroom fixtures.

Three main hallways were also affected by the water damage. Repairs included new insulation, drywall, paint, lighting, signage, and flooring. Before the repairs began, a temporary wall with access door was installed in each corridor to separate workspace from unaffected areas to minimize noise and dust to the operating portion of the motel.

In all, the total loss on this property was $220,000.

Chris MorenoCase Study VIII | Water Damage
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Case Study VII | Multi-Family

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This Villa community consists of 45 buildings with four villas per building. The community encountered issues with the fire sprinkler systems leaking due to pipe failure. All Nation Restoration provided a solution that was the least intrusive as possible, with most of the work in each Villa conducted from the attic. While there was some associated drywall, paint and cleaning work on the interior of the unit, the majority was performed outside of the residential area of the villa.

The most difficult part of this project was communication – keeping all 180 clients apprised of the schedule and work that was to occur in their home. The community and especially the Board were very pleased with the work completed. HarenLaughlin completed the project a month ahead of schedule, and in doing so saved the HOA thousands of dollars on their insurance premiums.

At the completion of the project, the Board invited all the workers on the project to lunch at the clubhouse. At the luncheon the Board representative thanked everyone for the great work on the project and made particular note of the importance of the insurance cost savings achieved.

“I want to commend you and your company on a fantastic job. You had the most competent group of employees and subcontractors working on this project. They were all very courteous. Thank you again for a job well done. You have lived up to your reputation.”

– Villa Owner

Chris MorenoCase Study VII | Multi-Family
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Case Study VI | Multi-Family Fire

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A fire occurred at a 4-plex residential property located in Bastrop, Texas. Over the four month restoration, the roof structure was re-framed over two of the units, while three of the units were stripped down to studs and re-worked from the “rough-in” stage through to completion.

Total scope of work performed by All Nation Restoration surpassed $275,000, with the restoration completed in four months.

Chris MorenoCase Study VI | Multi-Family Fire
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Mold Remediation Article : A Cold Jet Case Study


Mold is a problem that impacts consumers and businesses alike as it grows and spreads throughout homes, apartment buildings, courthouses and medical facilities. Mold problems can be brought on by flooding, roof or plumbing leaks, damp basement and crawl spaces, or anyplace where moist air is left to condense on cold surfaces. Mold will most likely be found where there is water damage, a high relative humidity or dampness.

Mold in small amounts should not cause home and business owners to panic; however, mold should never be allowed to multiply.  When it is found in large amounts, mold can cause health problems, odors and damage to building and home materials, and even structural damage to wood.

Challenge: Mold Remediation

With the mold problem evident, the biggest challenge for consumers and businesses has been the traditional methods of remediation, which are time consuming and expensive. There are a number of different methods used by contractors to remove mold, from wet vacuums and hyper-sanding to wiping down with water and a detergent.

Below is an example of traditional mold remediation process:

  1. Containment – Critical step to prevent mold from back drafting into the rest of the house or contaminated property. This is achieved through plastic barriers over all windows and attic “openings” and then utilizing a negative air system to direct the “moldy” air outside. Should the project be an attic, the removal or protection of the insulation is recommended as well.
  2. Vacuum – Initial process of removing any loose mold spores and dust.
  3. Biocide – This application must dry for 24 hours
  4. Sanding and scraping – For a 650 square foot contaminated surface, process can take upwards of 3 days to complete. The sanding was done both manually to get into the tight corners and with power sanders for the more open areas.
  5. Vacuum – Remove secondary waste produced from sanding process
  6. Biocide – Help kill live spores that may have escaped during the aggressive sanding process
  7. Encapsulation – Chemical application that prevents moisture from activating mold spores

In addition to being tedious and slow, oftentimes these methods are limited in their effectiveness by tight angles and confined space, which make it difficult to ensure complete remediation. As noted above, a common part of the mold remediation process employed by cleaning contractors is the use of biocides. These solvents are typically registered as pesticides and are potentially harmful to those using them. While they help kill germs and also prevent the health risks associated with the mold once the cleaning is completed, biocides do not always fully remove the metabolites in spores that seep into the materials the mold is attached to, and which are the core cause of allergic reactions and health problems.

To enhance the speed, effectiveness and safety of the mold remediation process, contractors across the country are turning to dry ice blast cleaning; a non-abrasive media blasting process that uses recycled CO2 in the form of dry ice pellets to clean surfaces contaminated by mold.

The Solution – Dry Ice Blasting

Dry ice blasting works somewhat like sandblasting or high-pressure water blasting, without the structural damage that commonly happens to the wood’s surface beneath the mold. Using pressurized air stream, the dry ice pellets are accelerated at supersonic speeds to lift the mold off the wood. The combination of dry ice blast cleaning kinetic energy and thermal effects breaks the connection between the mold and the surface.  The dry ice blasting process is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and non-conductive. As the dry ice particles impact the surface being cleaned, they sublimate leaving no additional waste. Since there is no secondary waste stream, the only thing left to do is vacuum the residual mold that was removed during the blasting.

Dry ice blasting has shown to completely remove mold spores from wood surfaces in less time and with less effort than other cleaning methods. With dry ice blast cleaning systems, cleaning contractors can get in between beams and into roof sheathing, allowing for complete mold spore removal and helping to reduce, and in some cases, eliminate the need for biocides and encapsulation.

With dry ice blasting the traditional method of mold remediation can be replaced with a much simpler and efficient cleaning process. For example:

  1. Containment
  2. Vacuum
  3. Sanitize (As desired for precaution)
  4. Blast – For a 650 square foot contaminated surface, it will take less than a day
  5. Vacuum – To remove residual mold and wood that was removed during the blasting
  6. Sanitize (As desired for precaution)

According to Benjamin Haugh, owner of All Nation Restoration and a Cold Jet contractor, “Dry ice blasting gets it right the first time, which is critical when you’re dealing with a toxic substance. The fact that dry ice blasting removes virtually 100% (or 99.9%) percent of the spore is also important, as the home or business owner will know that their home or business is safe again. Combine these benefits with the fact that dry ice blasting is an environmentally responsible method that helps support the recommendations of the EPA regarding the use of chemical agents, and it is fairly obvious to see why it is becoming a popular mold remediation solution.”

Results: Benefits of the Cold Jet Solution

According to Cold Jet, the global leader in dry ice blasting technology, cleaning contractors have been able to dramatically reduce their labor time and costs by using the company’s dry ice blast cleaning systems. For example, a contractor in Cincinnati, Ohio was able to reduce what had been a 10 day job with traditional cleaning processes to three days, while also reducing the number of workers on site from six to two. On average Cold Jet has found that dry ice blasting reduces cleaning time up to 70 percent, labor costs by 90 percent and project costs by up to 85 percent. The time and costs savings are then passed on to the home or business owner who benefits from the speed and efficiency of the advanced cleaning process.

Cold Jet’s systems also improve the effectiveness of the mold remediation process by allowing contractors to clean in between beams and sheathing, as well as around nails, which helps provide as close to 100 percent spore removal as possible. The same Cincinnati contractor reported that following the cleaning job, its customer reported its first “zero” spore count. Across the board, dry ice blasting reduces the need for encapsulation and biocides, ensuring a more environmentally friendly and safer working environment.

Dry ice blasting provides an effective mold remediation solution that helps to completely eliminate mold from contaminated areas in homes and businesses. While saving time and money for homeowners and businesses, dry ice blasting eliminates the challenges of traditional cleaning techniques and increasing the number of mold remediation projects a cleaning firm can perform.

Chris MorenoMold Remediation Article : A Cold Jet Case Study
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Case Study V | Senior Living Community

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After a fire in a Austin Senior Living Community, All Nation Restoration was able to quickly restore 17 resident units, as well as the affected common areas. Half of the affected area was stripped down to stud walls, upgraded to current code (including installing a sprinkler system in the entire affected area), and re-built from there. The other half of the affected area was stripped of the finishes (wall coverings, floor covering, paint) and restored.

Our portion of the work was approximately $750,000 and was complete in two months. This quick project turnaround was very important as the residents of the 17 units were displaced while work was ongoing.

Chris MorenoCase Study V | Senior Living Community
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Case Study IV | Retail Shopping Center

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Resulting from a water main break, three tenant spaces flooded at the retail shopping area in Kyle, Texas. The water damage was primarily cosmetic in nature, but affected approximately 30,000 square feet of floor space in the three individual tenant spaces. To properly restore the spaces, 3000 square feet of floor slab was removed and replaced, a portion of the parking lot excavated and replaced in order to repair the broken fire main, interior metal stud/drywall partitions were removed and replaced, and VCT flooring was removed and replaced in the majority of the space.

The total scope of work performed by All Nation Restoration exceeded $350,000 for this project.

Chris MorenoCase Study IV | Retail Shopping Center
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Case Study III | Manufacturing

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Following a fire at a precast manufacturing plant in Lakeway, Texas, All Nation was contracted to perform the facility restoration. The 30,000 square foot/50′ tall warehouse is precast construction with bar joist/metal deck roof structure. One-third of the roof decking was fire damaged and required replacement. The structure was then soda blasted and sealed with shellac for smoke and odor control. Additionally, all windows and overhead doors were replaced, the wood shop and offices were entirely re-built, the majority of the roof blocking was replaced and the entire TPO roof system was removed and replaced.

The total scope of work performed by All Nation Restoration was nearly $825,000. The entire scope of work on this project was completed in one month. A quick response was critical to this client as down time prevented them from meeting customer demand.

Chris MorenoCase Study III | Manufacturing
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Case Study II | Distribution Warehouse

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A fire occurred at a plastics distribution facility in Georgetown, Texas, requiring restoration services for the facility. The entire 40,000 sq-ft building was affected by fire and/or smoke. During the four month restoration, nearly 6000 sq-ft of the facility required new structural columns and beams as well as new 2×12 roof framing, miscellaneous block work and a new roof. The remainder of the structure was cleaned, dry ice blasted, and re-painted to mitigate the smoke damage.

The scope of work performed by All Nation Restoration exceeded $340,000 for this four month restoration project.

Chris MorenoCase Study II | Distribution Warehouse
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Mold Threatens Rare Book Vault at the University of Texas at Austin Library


The Damages:

  • An HVAC leak caused water damage to rare book vault
  • 1500 square feet of infected area containing 5000 volumes of rare books
  • Commercial carpeting and drywall inundated with mold
  • Microbial growth visible on the surfaces of the books

AllNation’s Response:

  • Work area placed under containment and negative pressure protecting the rest of the property from cross-contamination
  • Book stacks wrapped during demolition to prevent further contamination
  • Carpeting removed and flooring treated with an antimicrobial agent
  • Contaminated drywall removed, sub-surfaces cleaned, disinfected and encapsulated
  • All surfaces HEPA vacuumed, wiped and HEPA vacuumed again to remove mold spores
  • Worked with UT’s Book conservator to tailor a cleaning process for the rare books that would be effective and cause the least amount of damage
  • HEPA air filtration used both inside and outside containment areas
  • Commercial dehumidification units employed to control humidity level and return room to functioning, safe level

Rare books at the prestigious University of Texas at Austin were threatened by a severe case of mold contamination. All Nation was called, and with our immediate response and sensitivity to the situation we were able to restore not only the space itself, but the irreplaceable books it housed.

Chris MorenoMold Threatens Rare Book Vault at the University of Texas at Austin Library
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