How I Got Into Contents Cleaning

Considering diversifying with contents cleaning but unsure where to start or what it entails? Learn more about the work from those in the industry.

By Amanda Hosey, CLEANFAX September 2019     

More than 70% of claim value comes from contents, but only 60% of restoration companies offer contents cleaning, according to our research. That’s a lot of money that’s not going into the pockets of restoration companies.

For some, contents cleaning seems a difficult addition because of the additional and pricey investment in the required equipment and staffing. For others, contents work seems hard to prepare for because the training options are more limited than other industry services. Still others see the work as entirely removed from the restoration process and/or feel more than okay with subcontracting out.

Whatever your thoughts on contents cleaning, your likely interested to learn more about how others got involved in the work and how they feel about their choice to perform it. In the following pages, you’ll meet the leaders of three companies who successful care for contents every day and hear their thoughts on the work so you can decide if your company’s stance on the work is still the right one for you.

Full-service Restoration With a Contents Division

With Sherry Stanley-Reynolds | President, Reynolds Restoration and More, Cedar Hills, Texas

Amanda Hosey: What initially sparked your interest in starting a contents division?

Sherry Stanley-Reynolds: Customer service has always been a priority to us. Contents hold a great sentimental and monetary value to our customers. We wanted to make the restoration process as seamless as possible by restoring their home and their contents.

AH: What made you ultimately decide to add the contents division? 

SSR: We realized we could best meet our customers’ needs when we could assist them with all of their concerns. Anytime a homeowner suffers a water, fire, or biohazard loss, most often their contents are involved and need restoration. When a second or third company is involved in the restoration process, it often leads to frustration and confusion to the homeowner. Stanley Restoration wanted to solve the customers’ problems with one phone call to one company.

AH: What first steps did you take to add the division?

SSR: Stanley Restoration first started to do pack out and in-house cleaning of contents and outsourced garment and electronic restoration. Once we were able to serve our customers with the pack out and contents cleaning process, we researched the best technology to expand into garment and electronics restoration. We wanted to have control of the quality of the service every customer experienced. We felt the only way that could be achieved was with us doing most content restoration services in house.

AH: What training did you do?

SSR: We expanded with new technology that required extensive training, which has prepared us for the work.
Our hard contents are processed with ultrasonics technology. We are able to address most items from delicate China that has been exposed to smoke and soot to Legos contaminated in a category 3 water loss. The process delivers consistent cleaning quality on every job.

Our soft contents department uses a wash system (Esporta Wash System)  and European finishing equipment to restore items that have been damaged by smoke, water, mold, and biohazardous materials. We have been successful in restoring heirloom quilts, wedding dresses, leather handbags, boots, sentimental dolls, designer jeans, and many more soft goods using the latest in technology.

We also use an electronics cleaning system to restore TVs, gaming systems, computers, and many more electronic devices. To track a homeowner’s contents, we use the iCat inventory system that uses photo recognition technology and barcoding to bring peace of mind to our customers. We also use this same system to catalog and document contents that are deemed a loss on a claim. We then generate a report that is sent to the adjuster and customer to help expedite their claim. Our customers are able to login to iCat anytime to view the items we have removed from their homes and to request any rush items they need.

The most recent addition to the Stanley Restoration arsenal of technology is a 3D camera. We are able to generate a virtual tour of every home before and after the restoration process. Adjuster’s and customers enjoy the ability to view a home even when they aren’t able to be on site.

AH: What was the most difficult part of adding the division, and how was it overcome? 

SSR: Adding a contents division takes time and money. It was a large investment for our company to purchase the very best in restoration technology. However, with our dedicated staff, we are able to deliver quality service in all aspects of our contents division.

AH: What’s the best part about the addition? 

SSR: Being the one phone call that does it all!

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