Story and photo by Lily Jaquith
Tucked back in a little cul-de-sac, ServPro Lynnwood’s location is symbolic of the work they do. “Unless you need us, you don’t know we exist,” said company owner Leslie Lemm-Weaver
Since August 2008, ServPro Lynnwood has been providing the area with restoration services for items damaged by fires, flooding and other disasters. Part of ServPro Industries, the Lynnwood location is ranked in the top 30 of the more than 1,600 ServPro franchises throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Lemm-Weaver has been in the disaster restoration business for over 20 years, most of that time working in marketing for other ServPro franchises. After a poor experience with a competitor, she decided to become her own boss
Work spaces at the ServPro facility range from your average-size office to several large buildings for the restoration work, with assorted machinery on site to assist. Trucks are ready to be dispatched when disaster strikes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
One room is designated for possessions that have yet to be cleaned or for those that just need to be stored. While a room is being repaired, most people don’t have additional storage space; ServPro will hold the items and even will keep things an owner no longer wants, Lemm-Weaver said.
Specific rooms are designated for certain types of restoration. For example, one room is filled with blankets and other items that have been water damaged.
Occasionally customers will have to return to ServPro to retrieve items that may be locked up in storage. Recently, Lemm-Weaver had to let in a family at 7:30 a.m. so they could access their possessions. One particular crate had been emptied out into a spare room for a customer who kept returning to rummage around, she said.
No degree is required for getting into the restoring business, but it is an industry standard to receive accreditations from the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration Certification, something Lemm-Weaver has earned.
Lemm-Weaver runs the ServPro Lynnwood franchise with her business partner Craig Weaver. They are committed to providing a friendly working environment for their nearly 40 employees, including a policy that allows workers to bring their dogs to the office.
The goal is to create a workplace that makes everyone feel like a family, which helps the organization hire good local employees and retain them, Lemm-Weaver said. That’s important for a company that works exclusively with insurance companies that have extensive requirements.
This family philosophy applies to the people they’re helping as well, she noted.
“At the end of the day, the last person you want to be calling in your time of need is a stranger,” Lemm-Weaver said.