When Clean Care of New England President Ernest Pullano started a Providence carpet-cleaning business in 1984, red wine on a light shag carpet qualified as a major cleanup.
Now 27 years and countless floods, fires and mold infestations later, Pullano and his company are at home during significantly larger catastrophes, like the floods that left sizable portions of Warwick and Cranston underwater last year.
“We are actually putting peoples’ lives back together,” Pullano said.
Over the last few decades, Clean Care has grown and evolved along with the disaster- remediation industry thanks to steady advances in cleanup technology and a greater awareness in society about the dangers of moisture in buildings.
In July Clean Care moved from Warwick into a new 30,000-square-foot building in Cranston and the company is now expanding its reach for the first time beyond Rhode Island into Connecticut and Massachusetts.
“When I started there was very limited technology for drying and dehumidification,” Pullano said. “As the business has progressed, it has become more specialized, especially with the heightened awareness of mold and sick-building syndrome.”
New technology now allows Clean Care to rescue buildings from not just water, but fire, soot, mold, mildew and sewage leaks.
Central to the company’s growth has been the acquisition of equipment to deal with all kinds of disasters and all aspects of a disaster, including clients’ prized possessions and clothing.
In its new Cranston headquarters, Clean Care has ultrasonic equipment to clean electronics and computers plus a specialized laundry unit for cleaning soft goods from designer clothing to bedding. It has the latest in anti-microbial chemicals to deal with mold growth.
The new headquarters also has a climate-controlled storage facility to keep possessions while a building is being restored and an 82-person classroom space used to educate clients and host large meetings.
For jobs in office buildings or other large structures, Clean Care has truck-mounted drying units that roll right up to the side of a water-damaged building and remove the water.
Although simple water leaks, basement flooding, pipe breaks and boiler backups represent the bulk of the calls to Clean Care, Pullano said the big jobs are the ones that really stick in his memory.