IICRC President's Corner: Everybod Wins!

I performed an interesting carpet inspection the other day. It involved spin-finish residue on some commercial carpet in a fire department training center. The problem was very obvious: streaks of soil-attracting, oily residues throughout the installation on a light-gray nylon, level-loop, direct-glue installation.

Even before I arrived on the job site, I had a pretty good idea of both the cause and the corrective procedure required. Like many inspections I make in commercial facilities, the solution in this case was thorough cleaning.

The only question was, who was going to do the cleaning? I no longer have the equipment, or the stamina, to clean several thousand feet of carpet. Moreover, since this inspection was several hundred miles from my home base, I needed someone who could not only do the job properly the first time, but who also could present the proper image to my client.

Naturally, as is so often the case with a situation such as this, I turned to the IICRC referral network (www.certifiedcleaners.org) for a certified firm that employed a certified carpet technician. In this case, I wanted nothing but the very best, so I looked for an IICRC certified firm with at least a Journeyman Textile Cleaner (JTC) or preferably, a Master Textile Cleaner (MTC).

It didn’t take long to locate just the person I was looking for. Interestingly, in this case, the MTC worked for a firm that also specializes in water damage restoration, Water Works, Inc. Technician Anthony Pezzetti was an extremely competent and very impressive representative of the IICRC certification program: clean cut, highly professional, well trained and most impressive in his uniform, which displayed all his IICRC certifications.

And talk about certifications! It’s a good thing Tony is tall; his IICRC certification patches extend a good distance down both arms, one for cleaning-related certifications and the other for restoration-related certifications.

Here’s the point. This isn’t an isolated case of IICRC professionals working together to solve a problem. It happens all the time. Inspectors need cleaning professionals to correct cleaning-related problems, which we encounter routinely. If the cleaner also happens to be a Restoration and Repair Technician (RRT) or a Color Repair Technician (CRT), he or she may be involved in repair correction as well. The same is true when I inspect wood flooring for moisture-related problems. As an IICRC-certified inspector, I often need to work with a Water Restoration Technician (WRT), or even better, a Journeyman or Master Water Restorer (JWR or MWR) to get a problem resolved.

Conversely, if something unusual happens on a carpet-cleaning job, the cleaner may need an IICRC-certified Senior Carpet Inspector (SCI) to determine cause and, if possible, correction. Typically, this relationship gets the cleaner off the hook for a condition that had nothing to do with the cleaning job. But you know the routine: last one to touch the carpet gets the blame.

We all need each other in this dynamic and ever-changing industry. Inspectors need specially trained and experienced cleaning and restoration firms, and vice versa. Working together, problems are solved and, ultimately, our mutual customer gets the benefit. And by the way, the carpet manufacturer also benefits by not having to replace carpet!

And what’s the common denominator? It’s IICRC certification. Today, thanks to many of you, the IICRC certification network is stronger with almost 5,000 certified firms and some 45,000 certified technicians in 33 countries worldwide. The IICRC referral program handles literally thousands of referrals annually, which go directly to the doorsteps of certified firms. But we still need more dedicated professionals to join our network of qualified IICRC-certified technicians and the IICRC-Certified Firm Program.

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