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When it comes time to find an expert in Chicago water removal call the guys at 2nd Chance Water Restoration! I am Patrick O’Connor the owner of this fine company and I always have water damage restoration near me. I live and breath to become the very best water damage restoration tech that I can be. I spend all my free time working and I spend all my working time working. I would say that I spend every waking hour thinking about how to be better at my job. I have eliminated hobbies that I used to have and replaced them with my business. I often travel for my work when the need arises, and that calls for extended time away from my family. I have found like minded individuals that also have taken the water damage restoration Chicago thing pretty seriously. We formed 2nd Chance with one common goal! Our goal is to become the most trusted and reputable service professionals that we can be! In order to achieve that ultimate goal we set a bunch of smaller goals. We at 2nd Chance realize that we are in a marathon and not a sprint. We are in this for the long haul and evidence of that lies in our excellent body of work.
You got to be pretty close to get these kind of original pictures and so I always have water damage near me! I love the thrill of raging water as long as it does not harm anyone! You have to respect water and the power it has…..
Places I have been to fix water damage restoration near me!
It is a little like that Johnny Cash song “I’ve been everywhere” as I have literally traveled all over the country to do my job. I love to travel and see places I would never otherwise see. People in the water damage restoration industry get certified instead of licensed because we are intended to travel. If there is a hurricane or some strong storm event that causes massive flooding somewhere then that place will need every bit of help it can get. Drying is drying and all that matters when something like that happens is getting people dried out as fast as possible. Mold will grow in a wet home within 24 to 72 hours, so time is of the essence! When an area gets hit and thousands of places are flooded but only a handful of companies are around, and then you have trouble. That is why insurance companies and other restoration companies alert us has or before the flooding becomes to much for the region. When called upon in situations like that we at 2nd Chance drop what we are doing and load our trucks for the open road. Driving across country at a moments notice to head to area that has been devastated in order to help the recovery process is a unique and rewarding line of work.
I was in Houston for Hurricane Ike and was one of the first ones in Galveston. Houston had some interesting sights that I have never seen before and some things I will never forget. I have seen people at their worst moments but seldom does it compare to what I witnessed to the brave people of Houston. I saw entire blocks where there was nothing left but the foundations of the homes and business. I witnessed people looking through piles of debris looking for lost loved ones because of Hurricane Ike. I saw the bodies being loaded into the trucks. I believe they said officially that seven people died but I sure felt like I saw many more bags than seven. I learned in Houston the true destruction that flooding can do to a place and the way it affects the community afterwards. During and after Ike I saw the best and worse in people. I saw a man cry so bad that he had snot bubbles and drool falling to the ground in a manner I have never seen before or since. His home was totally leveled and destroyed and it was in his family for over a hundred years. His father’s last words to him were to never lose the house and to keep it in the family. He had no insurance and no money when the storm hit and it left his family’s home just plain gone. I spent the better part of my day helping a total stranger salvage what he could. We do make money when we go on storms but after this man and his story I make sure to do one house at cost every time I go out of town for a storm. This storm was a challenge in many ways. The bridge to Galveston was closed after Ike rolled in and put a boat on it. The bridge was a big story on the news and for a few days we waited for it to open so that we could begin helping the people of Galveston. We were the first restoration company on the island and it remained that way for another day as we were in the first wave of people on the island and the bridge was closed immediately after our arrival. We were stuck on the island of no power totally unprepared for 36 hours until the bridge was reopened. It was like the apocalypse, has there was no power, food and water. We had to sleep under our trucks on the ground with a terrible mosquito invasion ripping us to shreds. We had to use a bucket for the bathroom, MREs from the army for sustenance. It was a very trying time and an important lesson as we now go to storms better prepared. We wound up doing two different neighborhoods off of only two leads as news of our good honest work travelled. It was the most intense storm because of the emotional toll it took on the people there so we made it a point to help the customers as much as we could above and beyond our normal scopes of work.
Q: Have you ever seen a boat on top of a bridge?
A: I sure did! I saw a 35 foot boat on top of the bridge connecting Galveston to the mainland!
Q: Have you ever seen looting while on a storm?
A: Yes, I have seen looting on just about every storm I have ever been on.
I was all over the east coast during Hurricane Sandy, but most of my time was spent in New Jersey. In Jersey, I performed all kinds of water damage restoration near the coast. I saw a lot of really big expensive houses totally ravaged by the ocean and it’s fury. I saw a man who lost his whole house and everything he owned yet I never saw him without a smile on his face. Frank is the man sharing our company Facebook profile pic with me. He explained that he had lived a long life and that he was not going to let a little thing like the ocean slow him down in his golden years. Frank to this day is my favorite all time customer. It was a pleasure doing water removal for that guy. He lived with his son, also named Frank, who had lost his classic car. The first night we were in New Jersey we had to sleep in our truck as all the hotels for hundreds of miles were sold out. That is how many people were affected by Sandy! We wound up going to one house but through our excellent work and word of mouth we ended up doing an entire neighborhood. The people of Jersey were for the most part the toughest and most fun customers I have ever had the pleasure to work with.
I was in Cleveland doing a storm for a few weeks in 2014, and it was nice to see the Rock and Roll HOF. The city and suburbs are a pleasant area and our time there was really nice. That was the city where they sell the most excellent chicken wings at…..the gas station of all places. For two days we were in town looking for places to eat when we noticed an inordinate amount of people constantly going to the gas station. I have never seen so many people going to a gas station before for something other than gas so we had to go check it out. Sure enough the gas station was known to the people of Cleveland for it’s chicken wings. The other thing they made was a Thanksgiving sandwich that had turkey, stuffing and cranberries crammed into a toasted roll, it was delightful! We also noticed during the water removal jobs we were doing there that their basements were a bit different than the ones in Chicago that we are used too. The basements there are usually split into two parts with a cinderblock wall dividing it exactly in half. The people were nice and the hotel was good,but it was still Cleveland, so it was among the least memorable storms I have been on. The cause of the work in Cleveland was that a heavy rain created a lot of sewer backup in the region. It rained really hard for a few days straight and the sewer systems just couldn’t keep up with water. That amount of water will flood anywhere but the desert, which I hope floods long before Cleveland ever does again.
The things I learned in Colorado…….
The things I learned in Colorado really helped me in my water damage career. There was a lot of learning experiences to be had starting with the people smoking pot outside of our hotel when we rolled into town. Yup, Boulder is a little bit different than the environment that Chicago provides. The people were so active always running or biking everywhere. I mean, there is a lot of people who run and bike all over the country just not to the degree I witnessed in Colorado. The drive was so beautiful pulling into Denver, as I just loved constantly going up that steady incline of beautiful Rocky Mountain scenery, I have heard of mountain goats, but that was the first time I ever saw one in the wild. In Colorado, I learned that even if you live on the highest elevated house in the country that you can flood. We did work in a home on the top of a mountain and it flooded. Seven inches of rain in an hour will cause almost anywhere to flood I suppose. The mountains I could talk and write about for a thousand years and I do not think I could describe how majestic they really are. I also learned that I never ever want to go to storm events ever again without enough really big pumps. By the time we rolled into town all sump pumps of any kind were sold out for what seemed like 500 miles in any direction. The city of Boulder had by far the nicest hotel I have ever stayed in. The hotel had a rainforest type motif with a really cool big and beautiful hot tub. We ate like kings! Most often from the deli next to the hotel was our choice of dining. I also learned that fighting water that is still coming in is almost impossible given the fact we had not enough pumps. I mean we had pumps but they were stolen in Kansas.
Thing that I learned travelling to Kansas to do storm damage……
It is not a good idea to go to Kansas for flood cleanup at all. We did not see a lot of flood work and some meth heads stole our trailer right off our truck. Don’t go to Kansas with a trailer. Apparently they lead the league in stolen trailers. We lost 12 dehumidifiers and 60 air movers among other things. We did a few jobs, but not enough to make up losing so much drying equipment. My sister lives in Wichita and so I did get to spend some time with her. My Nephew took Colin and I fishing in their pond that they have behind their house and that was a lot of fun. If it cost tens of thousands of dollars in equipment to go to Kansas then you better make sure your sister lives there.
Boston is a beautiful place to go for a storm. We had to go see the sights of bean town when the opportunity arises. The weather event that caused Boston to suffer from flooding was actually a large snow fall. There were many homes and businesses affected by the melting of almost two feet of snow. The first job we did water removal for was a dentist office where the melt caused a sewer backup which put 6 inches of water into their basement. The flooding was not as bad as it could have been because the rivers were low before the storm which was good. The coolest thing to me about Boston was the curvy streets. It is really kind of neat to see a place that was built so long ago. The streets were definitely not designed for our cargo vans in mind at all. The food in Boston might not be as good as Chicago’s food but in all my travels I find that the food in Boston is better than most everywhere else. I do not remember the name of the place but Colin and I went to the restaurant that all the locals pointed us towards. The clam chowder that I had was to die for!! It was so good that I ordered another bowl. When you go out of town may I recommend asking the people that live in your destination for food tips. I do it every single time as a rule. All in all Boston was perhaps the second most beautiful place behind Colorado that we have traveled to. When Boston ever has flooding I would definitely be going to help and to get some of that fantastic clam chowder! I am also thankful that I slept in a nice hotel the whole time. They had cookies by the front desk and when we go into the hotel Colin would walk up to the counter and say “Cookies? I didn’t know!” and grab a handful. The staff thought that was hilarious and so did I!
In short, my whole existence is to have Water Damage Near Me. As a water removal expert that is my job! To go to places where bad weather has caused damage to my fellow Americans and help them get back to a pre loss condition. I try to help people at their worst possible times because that is what a good company tries to do. We work with insurance companies when our customers are lucky enough to be covered an when they aren’t covered we still do the job but often at a reduced rate that our competition can’t or won’t match. This is why 2nd Chance Water Restoration is five stars everywhere! Five stars because we care!