As every homeowner and businessperson knows, property disasters – from pipes bursting in the depths of winter to hazardous mould growth or finding dangerous asbestos hidden behind walls – can happen to anyone. Richmond, British Columbia-based Platinum Pro-Claim Restoration (PPCR) lives up to the principle, ‘We do it because we care!’ and is on call to make things right.
The company is unique among disaster restoration companies, having been in business for almost thirty years. Its trained and dedicated employees do much more than bringing homes and businesses back to better than their original condition. They also help restore peace of mind. This has resulted in the company fostering a great working environment which attracts the best people for the job, at a time when many businesses find hiring a challenge.
“For us, getting people to come to work is not a problem,” says Platinum Pro-Claim Restoration’s President and Founder Tony Scott. Potential employees are attracted for many reasons, including training, job development, and a commitment to customers, community, and the environment. It is a culture the company proudly promotes and is why people want to be part of it and why clients keep giving it work and recommending it to others.
“It’s not just a matter of them taking a job, but working at a place that connects with their own personal beliefs,” states Scott. “One of the things we always say is, ‘You cannot not be helpful. If you are not helpful, you can’t work here.’ You have to enjoy helping people.”
Time is of the essence when homeowners or commercial customers experience water damage caused by sewer back-ups, burst water heaters, or leaking appliances. PPCR is there with speedy, professional restoration services. The trained team repairs plumbing, electrical, and mechanical systems as needed, along with performing internal and structural repairs and addressing mould and asbestos.
After a flood or fire, one of the most affected areas is often the floor. PPCR has its own specialized environmental division and full-service flooring company: PC Environmental and PC Flooring. These divisions expertly evaluate and address damage to floors and carpets and provide in-house quotes for repair or replacement. PC Flooring has a showroom and works directly with suppliers and in-house installers so that customers can get new floors professionally installed in a fraction of the time, with no hassles.
“We have specialized drying equipment to dry hardwood floors, and we have our own flooring company, so we are pretty good at assessing what can be saved and what can’t,” says Scott. Drying floors and drywall in place means less material going to landfill, which is better for the environment. “With the drying techniques that we have now, we can dry things without having to cut everything up, as long as it’s clean water.”
Today, many businesses promote how green they are, but Platinum Pro-Claim Restoration truly puts its words into action, eliminating waste whenever possible. The company has a full-time garbologist, is developing dedicated recycling programs, and has about eight staff focussing on reducing the company’s carbon footprint.
“We have a very progressive recycling program,” says Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Jamie Madill, noting that all debris, wood, cardboard, plastic, and metal is separated. Often, eighty percent of material is recyclable and so is sent to proper facilities, instead of being taken to landfills.
The most important way PPCR reduces its greenhouse gas emissions is through its fleet of fourteen electric vehicles, the largest of any privately-held company in British Columbia. Not only are five charging stations available at the company, but these stations are available free to the public, and appear on the website of PlugIn BC, which supports the uptake of electric vehicles in the province.
“We are very generous with our charging stations,” comments Madill. “In fact, there’s a few people who park here every night after our staff are gone. We are promoting the use of zero-emission vehicles here in our community by giving anyone looking for a charge on their electric car the opportunity to park here and charge whenever they like.”
PPCR takes on restoration work in homes, commercial structures, government buildings, and multi-unit apartment buildings from Horseshoe Bay to Langley. It is contacted directly by insurance companies, adjusters, or property managers and is the company of choice for many property owners.
The current staff numbers are at about 165, but this increases in the summer when PPCR hires young people through its summer student program, an integral part of its culture. The program started about four years ago and offers part-time employment to children and friends of staffers approaching employment age, helping them get real-world work experience.
“We put them through the whole process of interview, including setting up a bank account and payroll,” says Marketing Manager Trevor Burns. “As fifteen-year-olds, it’s not something they are learning in high school, so we are helping them get a head start.”
While making these students into permanent hires is not the company’s ultimate goal, it has resulted in some new, full-time workers being welcomed to PPCR. “We’ve had a couple of great success stories where we’ve brought kids in, and they’ve come back after finishing finished high school, turning out to be really great long-term employees.”
Fostering an atmosphere of positivity and unity is attractive to new workers. “Really, it’s about having a great working culture and being able to connect people to that,” President Scott states. “It seems there is a constant wave of people who want to come work for a good company that treats people well and creates a great atmosphere. We train people, bring them along, and develop them, and hopefully, they find a permanent home at our company.”
Realizing it plays an integral role in the community, PPCR is active in several charities. These include weekly breakfast programs at a nearby elementary school, the Yaletown Lions Club that raises money for local schools and an area nursing home, and the Chill Foundation, which promotes positive youth development programs with physical activities. Along with supporting Richmond area Matthew McNair Secondary School’s drama stagecraft and woodshop programs by providing these with equipment and building materials for annual play production, the company recently started a relationship with a charity called Power to Be, a Victoria/Vancouver non-profit organization empowering those with barriers or disabilities so they can experience inclusive nature adventures.
Since environmental initiatives are integral to the company’s DNA, PPCR takes part in The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup, a national conservation program positively benefitting communities by removing and tracking litter removed from Canada’s beaches. Volunteers tackle a stretch of beach in Richmond and have removed about ten thousand pounds of plastic, debris, and recyclables annually since 2016. “Supporting the environmental side of things is a big part of who we are,” says Burns.
From homeowners to businesses, all PPCR clients have one thing in common: they want to get up and running as soon as possible. Realizing this, the company has the staff, equipment, and expertise to handle jobs as small as replacing a door or drying a toilet overflow to restoring large multi-unit apartment buildings or hotels.
“We focus more on the people, not the job itself,” says Scott. One recent project included restoring a building next door to a sushi restaurant that had a fire. In just three days – after receiving all approvals from the city, building inspector, and health inspector – the business was open again. To put it in perspective, the next-door restaurant that had the fire only opened again a year later.
The right people, a team environment, and a ‘get it done’ attitude all make Platinum Pro-Claim Restoration a leader in British Columbia’s restoration industry. “Helping people is at the very core of what we do. We help people every day,” says Madill. “We think it’s one of the reasons people are drawn to us – the fact that we help people.”