December 15, 2013 at 12:32 PM
WESTFIELD, NJ — Robin and Chris Hoy have transformed houses devastated by fires into the homes they once were (smoke-free scent and all). They’ve also removed raccoon feces, fallen in the mud, slogged through brackish water, squeezed through decaying crawl spaces and inadvertently dyed their hair blonde with hydrogen peroxide-based mold remover. When you own a PuroClean Restoration Services franchise, it’s part of the job.
Disasters like fire, floods and mold are common occurrences, and it wasn’t long after the couple bought the Cranford business in 2010 that their services were needed in a big way. The office received over 2,000 calls after Hurricane Irene and about 1,000 after Superstorm Sandy. (It would have been more, Robin Hoy guessed, had more people’s phones worked.)
This time last year, the couple and their crew found themselves working whole streets of houses in Hoboken, Jersey City and Weehawken, as one desperate home owner after another flagged down the PuroClean truck. They worked with no heat and no electricity—just gas generators for their lights and equipment.
“We were working 24-7,” said Hoy. “It was really so emotionally and mentally draining. You try to comfort people as much as possible. That’s part of the job.”
But she loves her job, she said, because “At the end of the day, you know you made a difference in someone’s life and you can laugh at the crazy situation that you’re in. That makes it easier.”
The Hoys get to know each of their clients as they try to restore normalcy to their lives after a disaster. They listen to their stories, like how one family trapped on their block in Hoboken after Sandy would hand their dog out the window to a friend for walks on dry land. Another woman made them tea as soon as PuroClean thoroughly cleaned the stove in her badly fire- and water-damaged house.
“It’s the helping people that we love, but also sharing a moment like that,” said Hoy.
Customers show their appreciation with little tokens — once it was a loaf of poundcake — and notes. After PuroClean has given them their life back, “A lot of people liked us on Facebook and still contact us,” said Hoy.
PuroClean technicians have advanced certifications in fire and smoke restoration, water damage restoration, applied structural drying, applied microbial remediation, carpet cleaning and odor control. But beyond restoration, “To respect our customers, to be kind, compassionate. That’s the thing that we strive to do,” said Hoy.
To find out more about PuroClean, the “paramedics of property damage,” call 908-577-9120 or visit www.puroclean.com/rs-nj.