Case Study: When Everything Froze

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Dallas Nevill RBW Franchisee
Texas ice storm

Ice storm in Texas, 2021.

Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your company.

My name is Dallas Nevill, and I was born and raised in Arizona. I own Rainbow International of Southwest Mesa, a Neighborly company, in Mesa, Ariz., and have been in the restoration business for 21 years, operating as independent contractor for 17 years before converting to a Rainbow International franchise in 2017. My wife, Emily, and I have been married for 23 years, and have four children – three of whom work in the family business. My dream is that this business carries forward to future generations.

Q: When the freeze first hit, did you have any indication of how bad things were going to – or could get?

When the polar freeze was coming, I’m not sure anyone thought it would happen. This was Texas, not Alaska. We stayed pretty in tune with what was going on, and our corporate office sent many emails notifying us to prepare to help if we were available, so we remained alert to the freeze but did not fixate on it.

Q: Were you logistically ready to scale your company to help a larger volume of customers?

I have a decent-sized staff and tons of equipment. We still had a big volume here in our home state of active jobs, so I was able to send five guys, three trucks, three trailers, and hundreds of pieces of equipment with them. We were ready for high pace volume with the ability to deliver the product we are known for.

water damage restoration

Water damage restoration.

Q: Did you have employees who were affected at home? How did you handle helping them – and helping your customers?

We had no staff impacts as we came from out of state, but we wanted to help as many as we could as fast as we could while being effective, courteous and consistent on all losses.

water damaged insulation

Fallen insulation due to water damage.

Q: Where did most of your leads come from?

Most of our leads came through our corporate office with our national accounts.

Q: What logistical challenges did you face with roads, power outages, water issues, etc. while trying to restore homes?

We served the areas east of Dallas, Texas, and we didn’t have any issues with power, roads, etc. We were ready to go as soon as we pulled into town.

Q: What was the main type of damage you were encountering?

Most damages we serviced were from frozen pipes in the wall or attic of homes that had thawed out, and then the mess hit hard and fast.

Q: How many people did you help during the freeze, and how long did it take to complete all the jobs?

We handled 135 assignments for water damage only and did some demo before drying out the structure. We were in and out of Texas in 14 days, with all houses dry and ready.

Q: Tell me about the most memorable job you did.

The most memorable job was the work we did on an old house for an elderly person who was alone and overwhelmed. We sealed up the drying chamber and reconfigured the house to restore it to be livable and safe for her.

 

water damage in kitchen

Water damaged kitchen ceiling.

Q: What lessons did you take out of the unusual weather event that you can take into another CAT event?

  • Always be ready
  • Know our capabilities
  • Take everything you think you need and more
  • It costs a lot of money to work a CAT as you wait for claim payments.
  • Jobs you know you will struggle with might not be good ones to attempt.
  • Stay in your lane and do the size of work you feel best with

Q: Anything else?

I was glad we had the chance to go and assist the people of Texas.

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