RENO, Nev. — Every day, more than 14,000 Americans experience water damage, with the average home insurance claim swelling past $10,000.
That’s according to iPropertyManagement, which estimates that the cost of water damage and removal in the U.S. hits north of $13 billion each year.
Reno entrepreneur Josh Nelson wants to help property owners in Northern Nevada that end up getting hit with damages in more ways than one — in November, he opened a PuroClean franchise in South Reno.
“I was interested in owning a business that was involved in the community,” Nelson told the NNBW. “And giving back to people in their time of need … and get involved when things have gone horribly wrong in one way or another.”
Nelson will lead a team of trained technicians to help home and business owners with water, fire, mold and other property damage, 24/7, according to the restoration and remediation company.
PuroClean in Reno will primarily serve the Reno-Sparks area, as well as Carson City, Virginia City and unincorporated Washoe County.
Nelson said the continual population and economic growth in Northern Nevada, pandemic or no, is the biggest reason PuroClean saw Reno as an optimal location to plant a franchise.
“There’s so many people moving in here from all over the place,” said Nelson, noting that one in 20 houses have water damage each year. “We’re seeing the growth with new homes and new apartment complexes being built. Obviously, the more population there is, the more need there is for these types of services. As the overall population grows, the chances and likeliness of requiring our services is that much more.”
While water damage is the “meat and potatoes” of the business, Nelson said PuroClean can also provide biohazard removal services for a COVID-19 or influenza outbreak.
PuroClean uses EPA-registered products to provide up to three months of protection that prevents contamination and minimizes the risk of spreading pathogens.
“This is an opportunity to provide services back to the communities that we have our offices in,” Nelson said.
As a new business owner, Nelson said the biggest challenge he faces is that the “cold call” idea of walking into an office has quickly turned into a “thing of the past” due to social distancing and the pandemic shuttering many offices.
“At the same time,” he continued, “I think it creates an opportunity where, if we can get the door open and talk to somebody, we have the potential to provide a solution to a problem that they’re dealing with.”
Nelson said he expects PuroClean in Reno to employ roughly 10 people over the next couple years. Nelson said the business currently consists of himself and a part-time employee, adding, “and we’ll grow from there as need arises.”
According to a press release from PuroClean, Nelson received his degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado; as part of his collegiate career, he studied abroad in New Zealand and completed numerous continuing education courses centered on mechanical systems, welding and the construction industry.
For the past 16 years, he worked in the ski industry as a vendor selling and servicing snow-grooming equipment.
PuroClean, which was founded in 2001, was acquired in November 2015 by Mark W. Davis and Frank Torre Jr. Its corporate headquarters are in Tamarac, Florida.
Since the acquisition five years ago, the company has expanded its franchise network by more than 100 locations, boasting more than 300 offices in North America. In the process, the company says its sales have surged 113% and the average sales per franchise unit jumped by 50%.