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Encapsulation / Restoration
April 2014

Ask Cleanfax

March 28, 2014
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Q. I’ve been thinking of getting into crime scene cleaning, as it appears quite profitable. What are some things I should look for when hiring a bio-cleaning tech? Can you help?

The bio technician is the front line person who interacts with the client and their families when the unthinkable occurs. This can be murder, suicide, natural death, a nasty injury and more.

It’s important the company choose wisely when hiring the person who fulfills this role. I’ve been asked many times if I prefer to hire men or women for this <photocredit>Thinkstock/fergregory</photocredit>position, and my reply is that it doesn’t matter as long as you are hiring to fulfill a position.

More important than gender, you should ask yourself, “Can the prospective hire be the person I need, and can they do the work that’s required?”

Most prospects who apply specifically for these positions believe you need some level of medical background or training and, although that’s good to have, it’s not the main skill set I look for when hiring.

First, I look at the person; is this someone who is honest, trustworthy, conscientious and loyal? Next would be, can I judge how empathetic they would be toward the clients?

Once these questions are out of the way and answered to my satisfaction, I look for skill sets. Does this person have any working knowledge of construction, both residential and commercial? Do they know how to properly operate a skill saw, Sawzall and most other tools of the construction trade?

I also have extensive discussions concerning the schedule of the work. Can they work several days in a row, being called out of town at all hours of the day? If your company is a standalone forensic restoration company — meaning you do no other type of work — they can set and wait for several days, maybe up to a week or more, waiting for a call. The work is intensive and mentally draining at times, as well as physically demanding.

So you can see that the bio technician is a very unique person and not just anyone can fulfill the need.  — submitted by Don McNulty

I keep having issues with recurring spots, and it is really frustrating as each day it seems I get a call to go redo a job. What can I do to make sure this doesn’t happen?

The key is thinking ahead. If you are cleaning a really dirty carpet, with a lot of spots, odds are one of those spots (or more) are coming back to haunt you.

Think about giving encapsulation prespray and rinses a try. Cleaners are reporting a tremendous drop in call-backs by using encap preconditioners and rinses. This works by leaving crystallized polymers behind, which then encapsulate material that can create recurring spots.

Anti-soiling treatments are also an option. These are products that you apply to the area you think will resoil. They “attract” the soiling residues and are later vacuumed away. Think of these as “liquid poultices.”

Another good practice is using less moisture, or at least removing as much moisture as possible while cleaning.

By using less moisture and keeping ventilation at a maximum, carpet dries faster and the wicking effect that is part of the cause for recurring spots is reduced.