What Services Do We Provide?
Versatile business model offers several profit centers
Our business model is a hub-and-spoke concept. The main spokes of the model consist of fire and water damage restoration and mold remediation franchise work — which make up about 67% of the business — and a variety of cleaning services that make up the remaining 33%. According to the Insurance Information Institute, property/casualty insurance industry catastrophic losses in the United States, including man-made disasters, totaled $12.9 billion in 2013, and Steamatic is well-positioned to grab a large share of the business that generates.
Our wide variety of services is one reason our franchise owners perform at a higher level than most restoration franchises. Here’s an overview of the services a typical Steamatic franchise offers:
Water damage restoration
One of the key spokes of the hub-and-spoke model is the services we provide for water damage restoration. In a five-year period between 2009 and 2013, 7% of insured homes had a claim and 1.8% were from water damage and freezing, according to the Insurance Information Institute. In this five-year period, one in 55 insured homes had a property damage claim caused by water damage or freezing each year.
It’s a misperception that natural flood damage drives most restoration work. The top culprits for water damage to a home are much more ordinary: a broken washing machine hose, a broken dishwasher, an icemaker leak or a burst hot water heater. Flood damage comes in behind all of those causes.
“If the economy is good or bad, a washing machine hose can break,” says Steamatic Development Director Joe Roland. “When you are called out for a water loss, it is not often just for an estimate. It is an emergency service, and it has to be taken care of right away. You are not competing for prices, because insurance companies have set prices for most services involved in water losses. If a customer wakes up and they are standing in an inch of water, it has to be fixed. The longer it waits, the more damage can be done.”
Fire and smoke damage restoration
According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. fire departments responded to 487,500 structure fires in 2013 that caused a total of $9.5 billion in property damage. In 2014, on average, a fire department responded to a fire every 24 seconds in the United States, according to the NFPA. Someone has to restore the damaged structures, and that’s where Steamatic makes our mark.
After fires, Steamatic crews are ready to get to customers’ homes or businesses quickly. We do everything from boarding up windows, packing up and cleaning any remaining contents, drying out areas with dehumidification and drying techniques, to cleaning areas with our proprietary formulas and equipment.
Another large spoke in the hub-and-spoke model is designated for mold remediation. When moisture is present, mold can grow on any surface — posing a health hazard for people in the building.
Steamatic has this covered, too. We offer our specialized mold remediation franchise services to combat visible and non-visible contaminants in homes, businesses, hospitals, nursing homes and other medical facilities. Technicians determine the scope of the mold damage and provide assessments and action plans to insurance providers. Then we use HEPA filtration equipment and state-of-the-art technology to treat and abate fungal contamination.
Carpet and rug cleaning
According to IBISWorld’s Carpet Cleaning market research report out in February 2015, carpet cleaning is a $5 billion annual industry. A 2015 survey produced by the Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) found that more than 50% of the consumers surveyed thoroughly clean their carpets every year, and 34% said they did so every six months.
Franchisees can share with customers the importance of carpet cleaning. For example, Carpet USA explains on their website that all of their warranties require that the carpets be professionally cleaned every 18-24 months.
Clean rugs and carpets also improve air quality and can reduce allergens in the home. The Carpet and Rug Institute explains that gravity causes dust, pollen and pet and insect dander to fall to the floor and get trapped among carpet and rug fibers. Proper cleaning helps to remove the dust and allergens and keeps them out of the air people breathe.
Steamatic technicians do not use harsh chemicals. We use our patented hot-water extraction system, recommended by most major carpet manufacturers, for cleaning. It uses super-heated water and powerful vacuums to remove dirt and particles all the way to the base of the carpet fibers. We pay special attention to high-traffic areas.
HVAC and air duct cleaning
According to The NADCA: HVAC Inspection, Maintenance and Restoration Association, the cleaning of an HVAC system is necessary because of the contaminants and air pollutants like dander, dust and chemicals that get pulled into an HVAC system and re-circulated five to seven times per day, on average. This can cause buildup of contaminants in the ductwork of a building, which could contribute to larger health issues and cause serious problems for people with respiratory health conditions, autoimmune disorders or some environmental allergies, the association says.
When clients get their HVAC system cleaned, it can also result in energy savings, the association says. When contaminants are in the heating and cooling system, it has to work harder to maintain the temperature a customer desires, which shortens the life of the system.
Steamatic technicians are highly trained in air duct cleaning franchise work. We created many of the technology systems used to clean air ducts that are used by others today. We have decades of experience, and we work with clients after their initial cleaning to set up a regular maintenance program.
Furniture and drapery cleaning
The Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) explains that cleaning can extend the life of draperies and upholstered furniture. Over time, dust mites and microbes can accumulate and grow on them, causing health issues for those who are sensitive or have weakened immune systems.
Over-the-counter upholstery and drapery cleaners are not as effective as the services of a trained professional who has the right equipment to extract dirt, debris, odor, and stains. Steamatic professionals are trained to monitor water use so the fabric is not over-saturated and to employ the proper cleaning solutions for the item in question. They are taught to use the hot-water extraction cleaning system on fabric upholstery — allowing for all types of furniture and draperies to be cleaned in place without removal. We use our LAMBRITE® dry cleaning process to safely clean even the most delicate fabrics; it allows us to gently lift out soil and stains from furniture and draperies.
Stone, tile and other hard surface cleaning
Most properties have multiple hard surfaces — countertops and flooring range from ceramic tile to marble to hardwood. Just like carpeting and upholstery, it has to be maintained to remove dirt and stains that can build up and harbor bacteria.
Steamatic technicians use proprietary, state-of-the-art equipment and surface cleaning products for ceramic and quarry tiles, stone, granite, marble, hardwood, walls and all types of grouts. Steamatic is able to clean tough grout stains and then seal the grout to alleviate future staining.
A franchise providing any single service we’ve listed above would be a solid business, but we believe having a versatile business is what helps make Steamatic franchise owners so successful. They are the local go-to business for restoration work, and they have the opportunity to build an enviable business using the additional services we provide.