When property manager Kim Gronfors saw the water damage to the apartment, she had two immediate thoughts: how did this happen, and how on earth was she going to clean and repair the unit?
“I was concerned and sad,” says Kim. “This was a beautiful unit, and it was destroyed by water. I was thinking about everyone’s safety, health, inconvenience, loss, and repair costs.”
Her first call was to Paul Davis Muskoka. “They did a job for me many years ago,” she explains. “Their professionalism, quick response and friendly staff and management always stuck in my mind. It was the only company that came to mind who could help me get the job done quickly and most importantly, properly.”
Paul Davis Muskoka specializes in working quickly and effectively – key components to preventing damage from getting worse, says Operations Manager Laura Nutter. “The first 48 hours are the most important. We’ll work fast to neutralize further damage and salvage your damaged property and possessions as soon as possible.”
In some cases, a property owner’s insurance company may become involved. Laura adds: “We are called upon by many insurance companies as a preferred service provider, and we can facilitate the information and documentation needed to smooth out the process.”
A fast response makes all the difference
“From the moment I called their office, I knew I was in good hands,” says Kim. “Steve, the project manager, showed up quickly. We toured the areas, and he went straight to work, detailing and explaining what his crew was bringing and how things were going to be taken care of. In no time the crew arrived, fully prepared to eliminate further damage. They used their ‘high tech’ gear to check where they couldn’t see, which was so reassuring.”
The team is certified in Applied Structural Drying (ASD), using specialized equipment and methods to maximize the removal of water from building materials. With the proper combination of air movement, temperature control, humidity control and dehumidification, moisture can be quickly removed with little disturbance to the structure or contents.
“ASD allows us to save building materials – including drywall, carpets, and padding – and in most cases dry the affected areas in as few as three days,” says Laura.
“After they had safely taken care of the emergency work, taken out what needed to be removed, I stood back and looked at the space,” says Kim. “I felt calm. I knew I didn’t have to worry about mould growth or other issues that could pose a risk later down the road.”
A quick response can prevent mould growth and identifying and treating it is a vital part of the process. Bleach is more effective on non-porous surfaces, says Laura. “Bleach exposure can cause irritation in the eyes, mouth, lungs and on skin. Individuals with asthma or other breathing problems are particularly susceptible, sometimes making it more dangerous than the mould itself. Bleached areas can become white and that makes the mould more difficult to detect.”
Odour is a telltale indicator, but it’s not foolproof: even if you can’t smell it, you can still have mould in your home.
“If you suspect mould, an inspection is always best,” says Laura. Bathrooms, basements, crawlspaces and sink cabinets are all likely areas. A professional hygienist can be engaged to determine if mould is an issue and determine a game plan to resolve the problem.
Mould is more than just unsightly, she adds. It can affect the health of your family, your possessions, and the structure itself. “Mould and mildew are naturally occurring microorganisms that exist everywhere in our environment. But if the amount of mould in your home exceeds normal levels, our mould remediation team can help.”
Once the apartment was dried and any mould issues addressed, it was time to begin the repairs.
“We came up with a plan, I picked out the materials and they did the rest,” says Kim. “I truly felt a sense of relief. Their communication skills go above and beyond, and they did not miss a thing. Any time I had a question, they would always be there to answer my call. I truly felt like I was their only client.”
The difference makers
With the repairs complete, Kim was amazed. “The space looked perfect, not an indication that anything had ever happened,” she says. “The tenants were thrilled with how it turned out. They were grateful to know that I didn’t cut corners and I hired the professionals from the beginning.”
As a property manager, Kim has multiple property owners’ buildings and investments to worry about, as well as tenants and their belongings and well-being. “As soon as my clients and tenants know that Paul Davis Muskoka is dealing with the problems, it creates a sense of calm and relief for everyone.”
“It brings tears to my eyes, the way they took control. I was so stressed out and tired from dealing with everything, and they just came over and sent me home. I felt horrible: they were working on Christmas Eve, but they let me go home and spend time with my family. And I will never be able to repay them for that.”
That kind of service is all part of the job, says Laura. “It’s why we are proud to say that our team at Paul Davis Muskoka are the difference makers.”
TEXT Katelyne Wright
PHOTOS SCOTT TURNBULL