The property restoration industry is an umbrella term for businesses that provide services for a variety of damage related events including water, fire, mold, flooding, hazardous materials, and catastrophes. Property restoration contractors have grown from the private services such as carpet cleaning to vendor relationships with insurance companies to address various needs throughout the world.
What do you call the equipment that restoration contractors use for drying water-damaged structures?
The Origins of the Modern Air Mover
Lloyd Weaver Invents The Porta Dryer
Responding to catastrophic flooding in Rapid City, South Dakota, Lloyd Weaver adapted the centrifugal fan from a household furnace unit and adapted it for on-location drying of carpets and structural materials. Centrifugal means that the blades of the fan run perpendicular to the flow of air. Prior to this adaptation, carpets were typically removed from the home and dried at the cleaner's warehouse (in-plant drying). Lloyd called his invention the "Porta Dryer". The picture above is compliments of the personal archives of another industry icon, Cliff Zlotnik. Cliff shared some of his memories of Lloyd in the video below.
The History of Water Damage Restoration
Property restoration historian and watchdog, Pete Consigli, writes, "Lloyd [Weaver] introduced the first specialty designed Porta Dryer for on-location wet carpet drying. While that might not seem like much in today's sophisticated world, 35 years ago (written in 2007) Lloyd's methodology challenged the rug cleaning establishment and its in-plant wet carpet service."
Lloyd Weaver is an icon of the water damage restoration industry, he is the man behind many of the core inventions of the modern age of property restoration as well as an early educator who trained many other industry contributors; as well as butted heads with a few others.
See our prior video on Martin "Marty" L. King and learn more about Cliff Zlotnik's contributions to the industry in the video below.
John Downey calls himself a "formerly important person" but he is far from hanging up his hat and retiring. The founder of Cleanfax is busy with his work as the executive director of CIRI, the Cleaning Industry Research Institute. In this special on-location interview, Downey discusses his work and what he is doing to help promote the value of cleaning.
John and interviewer Jeff Cross discuss some funny stories from the early days of Cleanfax Magazine.
We are tracking down and sharing the people, innovations, movements, and other fun facts from the evolution of the property restoration industry. Please reach out if you have stories and relics to share.