From its humble beginnings six years ago, the Jena Dyco Mould Conference has grown bigger and better with 15 trade exhibition stands, 200 attending delegates and expert speakers from Australia and the United States encompassing a jam-packed two day conference. Jena Dyco, an IICRC (Institute of Inspection Cleaning and Restoration Certification) school running specialised cleaning and restoration courses Australia wide, held its Mould Conference 2015 at Fenix Events in Melbourne from 17 to 18 July, concluding with an additional workshop on Monday 20 July. INCLEAN’s editor, Kim Taranto, reports.
“Like everyone in this room, I have a passion for this industry and my passion is all about helping the industry grow and helping the people in it to learn so that together we can change, develop and grow as one,” stated Jena Dyco’s director, Jenny Boymal, in her opening address. “These speaker sessions have been designed to help the different types of businesses in our industry so everyone will take something different from each speaker. But we have covered the far ends of the spectrum and hope you walk away after the two days having learnt something new.”
The Jena Dyco team altered the schedule slightly from last year allowing more time for questions and discussion after each speaker and this proved to be a success as delegates were able to offer specific job examples and request tailored advice from the speakers and other delegates in the room. “There’s also an opportunity to talk to each of the speakers and sponsors after their presentation to obtain one-on-one advice so that everyone can get the answers they need on a more interactive level,” added Boymal. “And I also encourage you to network with each other to make connections and see how your businesses can benefit one another.”
Boymal finished her address by thanking the event sponsors that were located in the trade exhibition area; of which the diamond sponsor was Restoration Express and platinum sponsors Legend Brands, Pheonix Restoration Equipment and SCRIA (Specialised Cleaning & Restoration Industry Association). There were another 24 sponsors that also helped contribute to the conference, all of which generously donated lucky draw prizes handed out by the event’s MC, Warwick Merry.
Occupational hygienist from the U.S., Brad Prezant, was the first speaker and gave a detailed presentation on How to conduct a comprehensive and meaningful moisture and mould investigation. “A world-class site assessment requires a thorough visual inspection where you build a story or hypothesis about the mould condition; secondly you need to quantify the moisture, then quantify the visible mould and lastly test for invisible mould,” stated Prezant. “They key to doing this correctly is using moisture metres and equipment properly to be able to find and quantify the correct measurements.”
After morning tea Greg Whiteley from Whiteley Industrial took the stand to speak about The changing face of hygiene science. “There’s a revolution coming in healthcare cleaning and how we determine the standard of cleanliness and ways it is measured,” Whiteley shared. “The irony with healthcare is they go looking for something they can’t see. Bugs are spread very easily by our hands and everything we touch. When you touch a contaminated surface, the bugs will continue to drop off your fingers for nine to 11 subsequent touches.” This opened the restoration audience’s eyes to the role hygiene plays in their businesses.
Following Whiteley was Lisa Rogers from Mycometer explaining the New ASTM fungal assessment guide, which is the standard guide for the assessment of fungal growth in buildings. ASTM International is a U.S. consensus organisation, which acts as an open forum for the development of international standards. “This standard was in development for five years with every opinion and voice heard, assimilated and included,” Rogers revealed.
After a banquet lunch sponsored by Legend Brands, Chris Davis from FireLine took to the podium to deliver his presentation on Mould, mitigation and contents: solving customer satisfaction, management and profitability issues. “Success requires having the correct road map; you can’t just hope for profit, you have to build it by applying a business model that works,” advised Davis. “How much time do you spend proactively working on and investing in your business?” he asked. “Training development, team management, measuring performance and comparing numbers – these are the key points to improving the customer experience and therefore increasing your profit. Growth requires change.”
The first day of the conference ended with two presentations – one from David Oakes of Legend Brands on how to Maximise efficiency, productivity and profits in fire restoration. Oakes provided a quick 15 minute training checklist for business owners to teach their staff, with tips such as always pre-clean, wet wash from the bottom up, and always keep a wet edge. The last speaker was G4S Compliance & Investigations’ Narelle Handley who gave a Loss adjuster’s perspective on water damage/mould damage claims.
The winners of the 2015 Restoration Industry Awards were announced at the gala dinner on the first night of the conference, which was a black tie affair graciously sponsored by Restoration Express. The winners were:
Most Innovative Commercial Restoration project of 2015 – Mehmet Ucar, Quantum Restoration
Most Innovative Residential Restoration project of 2015 – Ivi Sims, FRSDA
This was followed by a SCRIA panel discussion the following morning before the second day of the conference was underway with the first session delivered by Bronwyn Williams titled; Nightmare on mould street: a home owner’s journey highlights the need for change. “It’s not just about the building, the restoration of a water damaged building is about people’s lives – it’s about their health,” she implored.
After personally experiencing the damaging affects of remediation gone wrong, Williams was passionate about making independent testing the norm and her speaking session was followed by the lawyer who helped in her particular case, John Berrill from Berrill Legal. He summarised the potential legal consequences of faulty remediation; the problems many restorers could face and how to avoid them. “My biggest piece of advice is to ensure you have proper indemnity insurance so you don’t get caught in the middle of legal struggles,” he advised. “Also make sure you get independent testing for mould levels before, during and after remediation work; and keep a record of full documentation and photographic evidence throughout completing the job.”
The next topic was Remediation of moisture affected subfloors covered by Don Considine from IKW Consulting Group. “People miss the basic steps such as reading the manufacturer’s installation instructions and measuring the moisture in a sub floor using the manufacturer’s method,” he stated. “Another tip is to always moisture test the subfloor no matter how old it is, and always check for a vapour barrier.” Considine’s talk was a smooth lead into Delmhorst’s Paul Laurenzi who covered off Understanding moisture measurements and monitoring for optimum results.
The second day’s lunch was sponsored by Pheonix Restoration Equipment before Pheonix’s product manager Larry Carlson spoke about Air movers confidential: the most abused, misused and misunderstood restoration tool. And the final conference speaker was from the U.S., Rachel Adams of Indoor Environmental Management, who was asked back after last year to speak about The pros and cons of using an IEP (indoor environmental professional) on mould and sewage projects.
The Jena Dyco team offered a buffet conference program with something for everyone and for everyone to learn something. Delegates gave an echoing round of applause as the conference came to a close, with many already signing up to attend next year’s conference. “I really hope you can walk away with some new knowledge, a new connection or a new product that will help to grow your business,” concluded Boymal. “As long as we have our generous sponsors and enthusiastic delegates, this conference will continue to grow to not only benefit you, but to benefit the entire restoration industry.”
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