Fighting Floods, Mold And More

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - May 18, 2005
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Mark Harris and Daren Kaneshiro

Mark Harris and Daren Kaneshiro sneak up to a wet spot on the floor spying into their high tech thermal imaging camera to detect secret places where water can’t be seen. Water that seeps into the ceiling, or into the walls can possibly cause damage to your health or to your home.

Their company, Floodmaster, is the first to be called when there are emergency situations. And in Hawaii, that can be anytime and anywhere, with our fluctuating weather and possible leaks.

Why is it important to see where water might be hidden?

“If you’ve got water in the dry wall that people won’t normally look for, then it can start to get moldy,” says Kaneshiro. “Then mold spores, whether they are alive or dead, will still release toxins. Perhaps someone is developing asthma, has watery eyes or gets frequent headaches. Is that what you want your grandparents, or your children, or your loved ones to be surrounded by? And what about guests staying in hotels? We don’t want people to be scared, but just to be aware of possible health effects.”

With the thermal imaging camera, it indicates red for hot areas, blue for cool areas. Kaneshiro explains the handy device.

“You can see water and moisture easily,” he says. “Water shows cool to one-seventh of a degree temperature difference.”

With this tool, they can be sure to fix the immediate problem that most people can see, and fix problems of moisture accumulating in other undetectable areas by using their industrial blowing fans to dry out the area. They will know when the job is done by using the camera. Harris’ favorite feature of the camera is that he can present clients photos on hard copy or on disc.

“I like showing photos to clients when we start the job and when the job is done,” adds Harris.

Both Harris and Kaneshiro go to the Mainland often to get training in the latest techniques in their field as they believe that sometimes new information doesn’t get to Hawaii in a timely matter. They are certified to do water damage restoration, mold remediation, odor control, and structural drying with the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification.

They can also handle fire and smoke damage clean up.

Other certifications the business partners have are through the Indoor Air Quality Association, and the Infrared Training Center.

Harris and Kaneshiro, friends since pre-school, started their own cleaning company called MD Cleaners in March 2001.

Harris, a former high tech manager, and Kaneshiro, a former estimator for a moving company, decided to clean the homes that people were vacating.

Then they began to get calls to clean carpets, and they started MD Carpet Cleaners.

Then they started to get calls for flood damage and mold removal, so they started FloodMaster.

“Insurance doesn’t cover mold, so insurance companies want their clients to be preventative,” adds Harris, a Mid- Pac graduate.

Harris notes that while completing a job is satisfying, there can be challenges sometimes.

“The hardest part is trying to explain to people what we are doing,” he admits. “It’s hard to justify something you can’t see, that’s why the camera comes in so handy.”

Both Harris and Kaneshiro agree, besides doing their job of getting rid of flood damage, educating the public is something, they are learning to do.

For more information, call 92-FLOOD.

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