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CASE STUDY

“We Saved Him $60,287.73”

Project Information

Client:

Location:

Project Type:

Undisclosed Construction Firm

Washington DC

Overview

A construction firm was building a large headquarters for a federal agency in Washington DC. The foreman was trying to get LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification for the building, but the building had failed the indoor air-quality portion of the test.

The foreman called Valor owner David Myrick and wanted us to come out as soon as possible. He requested that we HEPA vacuum the entire building and bring “as many air filtration devices (AFD) as it takes until we pass the test.”

David’s response: “Not so fast….”

Talking Things Through

Mold remediation—at least, proper mold remediation—is a thinking person’s trade. If you rush into it headlong without a plan, you’re probably going to mess it up. And your client will hemorrhage money.

For a lot of mold companies, that’s okay; they’re perfectly happy as long as they collect a check.

But that’s not us. 

The price of this project would have been $60,287.73—a nice haul for what would have been a straightforward job. 

Instead of rushing out there like the foreman wanted, David started asking him questions over the phone. He wanted to know the exact circumstances surrounding the failed test.

This annoyed the foreman—he demanded the work be done NOW. David, however, didn’t budge.

The Fully Story Emerges

A 15-minute phone conversation provided David with the details he needed… and the context to make the correct decision.

As it turns out, the foreman’s workers were painting the walls and vacuuming up dust while the Indoor Environmental Professional (IEP) was taking air samples. This kicked up all sorts of paint and dust particles into the air. So, yes…

OF COURSE THE TEST FAILED! 

The IEP was either shady or ignorant. He either knew what he was doing and wanted to collect multiple rounds of testing fees… or he didn’t know you should never take samples during active construction work. Either way, it wasn’t good.

David convinced the foreman to stop work for the weekend to let the air in the building settle. David then advised him to pay $1,000 for another round of testing the following Monday.  

About a week later, the foreman called David… and thanked him profusely. The building passed the air-quality test with flying colors.

So Long, Tropical Getaway…

A 15-minute phone conversation saved this foreman’s company $60,287.73… 

… and cost our company $60,287.73.

The part that stings is that this job was a license to print free money. Renting out air scrubbers is pure profit for us—and this project would have needed a lot of them. 

But what would have stung even more? Actually taking the job. 

We weren’t about to charge someone over $60K for a $1K fix. It’s not who we are, and it’s not what we stand for. Faced with this scenario again, we’d make the same choice 100 times out of a 100. 

Sixty-thousand dollars can buy one amazing tropical getaway. But compromising our integrity? 

That’s too high a price to pay. 

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