More than 180 delegates from all over Australia and overseas attended the Jena Dyco 2014 Mould and Restoration Conference held on 30 and 31 May at Novotel, St.Kilda, Victoria. This year the conference had a strong international flavour with a number of key guest presenters from the US.
27 industry suppliers participated in the conference sponsorship program, with many of them exhibiting their products and services in the exhibition area. Suppliers provided generous door prizes that ranged from product vouchers worth a few hundred dollars to some equipment such as moisture meters and air movers.
Specialised Cleaning and Restoration Industry Association (SCRIA) sponsored the conference welcome drinks, which set the scene for a social conference with an emphasis on building new and existing relationships. SCRIA also launched its new membership benefits program at the conference, which attracted a great deal of attention.
Restoration Express hosted a restoration industry charity golf day that raised money for Beyond Blue; and Legend Brands hosted a training day with Kevin Fisher teaching advanced drying techniques.
Most Innovative Restoration Project award
Jena Dyco’s director Jenny Boymal announced the introduction of two new awards for the most innovative restoration projects, which will become annual awards and split into two categories – commercial and residential.
The winner of the 2014 Most Innovative Residential Project was Gidon Kabaker of Steamy’s Cleaning and Restoration Services. This award was sponsored by Legend Brands. The winner of the 2014 Most Innovative Commercial Restoration Project was Ivi Sims of Flood Restoration and Structural Drying Australia (FRSDA), and this award was sponsored by Restoration Express. Applications for the 2015 awards will be open from the 1August.
Industry’s thirst for knowledge
“As the restoration industry continues to evolve rapidly, restoration companies need to constantly innovate to keep up with the changes and stay ahead. The feedback I’ve had from this year’s conference has been overwhelming,” commented Boymal. “It’s been great for the amount of networking between delegates and it also demonstrated that the industry has a real thirst for knowledge.”
“This year we had a great mix of restorers, environmental professionals, industry suppliers, insurance builders and insurance professionals,” she added. “The conference provided an excellent opportunity for everyone to learn from inspiring international and local speakers, engage and share with other delegates; and walk away with new insights to help their organisations drive growth.”
Keynote speakers share expertise
Howard Wolf, standards chairman of Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification (IICRC) outlined some of the major changes with the S500 Water Damage Restoration Standard that is in the final stages of review.
Craig Kersemeier, owner of K-tech Kleening Systems from Wisconsin, US, spoke about the main steps he took to grow a small family business into a large restoration company. Kersemeier spoke very honestly about the major decisions that the company had to make to build a business in a population of 100,000.
Scott McFadzen, Mackay Carpet Care and Restoration, shared the highlights of the Jena Dyco US study tour where restorers had the opportunity to visit large restoration companies, attend the IICRC Advanced Structural Drying and Hi-Tech drying courses.
Larry Carlson from Phoenix Restoration Equipment and Kevin Fisher from Legend Brands, both from the US, focused on the key factors that affect a water damage restoration job. Carlson’s focus was on being able to dry properties in all seasons. “Create the season that you find it easy to dry in,” he said. Fisher focused on the various factors that affect the drying outcome and shared research data to demystify some current misconceptions about drying.
Cameron Wright from Assurance Assessing, discussed the importance of finding the water source and noted “water entry is a common cause of property damage whether it be from storm damage, flood, burst pipes or the process of extinguishing a fire, and can be highly destructive.”
Dr Alan Smith, University of Melbourne, built on the presentation by Cameron Wright focusing on the way that thermography can assist in assessing a building. Smith shared some case studies on how the human eye was unable to identify problems, but using a thermal imaging camera allowed moisture to be identified through temperature differentials in the building materials.
Nish Chandra, LKA Group and Paul Sims, Crawford and Co, looked at claims from an adjuster’s point of view. “Because of the trauma that people go through at these times customer service is very important. We also don’t want to waste money so we need to be cost effective,” said Chandra. Sims focused on several mould claims and how the communication between restorers and adjustors can really help in achieving the necessary outcomes.
David Hayward from the Australian Timber Flooring Association provided an informative presentation on ‘Understanding How Timber Dries’. Hayward’s presentation covered differences in timber structure and differences in drying rates depending on whether the timber was hardwood or softwood and also the affects of wood density on drying.
Joe Hughes, IAQ Training, US, shared a whole new perspective of approaching a building for both restoration and mould remediation projects. Hughes focused on the need to understand building science and the various factors that affect air flow in a building.
Boymal announced that plans for the 2015 Mould and Restoration Conference were already in place, and will be held in Melbourne on 17 and 18 July 2015. Planning has already started for this event with some high profile speakers and sponsors to be announced shortly.