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December Certified Firm Spotlight

IICRC Spotlight

Brian Limer, Owner
Brian’s Rug Care of West Virginia, Charleston

How did you land in this industry?
I was in the Navy and transferred to Pensacola, Fla. one month after Hurricane Ivan devastated that area. I had to travel almost 20 miles to find a place to live and experienced first-hand the importance of a cleaning and restoration business to the community following a disaster. Right then, I knew this is what I wanted to do after I retired from the Navy, so I began taking IICRC classes while still on active duty.

How are you involved with the IICRC?  
I've been taking classes since 2006 and have obtained all three master designations (textiles, water and fire) as well as Mold Removal Specialist and other certifications. My company has been a certified firm for the past three years.

What do you do to market your business?
My marketing is mainly through referrals from the relationships I've formed. However, people do find us through our website and mailings.

What's one unique thing about cleaning and restoration in your area? Any specific challenges you face due to your location?
There are a lot of older homes that tend to have older textiles and building materials, which can present several challenges for cleaning and/or restoration due to the integrity, and in some cases, value to restore.  Additionally, in the winter months it can be challenging getting to some residents following a snowfall because this is a hilly area.

You specialize in Oriental rug and fine upholstery care. How did you end up in this particular area of the industry?   

I enjoy Oriental rugs and their history. The value and expertise required to clean and repair them properly led me to want to specialize in this area. I worked for a restoration company for a couple of years prior to going in this direction.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young professional starting out in the business, what would it be?
Get educated for the service that you intend to perform prior to doing it. Education is not expensive but damage to equipment or personal injury due to a lack of knowledge is.

Additionally, there is nothing wrong with having the courage to walk away from a job if it doesn't feel right. Be upfront with the customer if you feel uncomfortable performing a service that you don't have training for. They will respect you much more than asking for forgiveness later when something goes wrong.

What do you like best about your job?
Freedom to do something I enjoy, making my own decisions and standing behind them.

What is the most rewarding thing about owning a cleaning and restoration business?
The finished product, making customers happy and getting paid for a job well done.

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