Contractor Spotlight with Sparklean Restoration

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Written by: Alcumus
6th June

Sparklean Restoration offers a range of restoration services to people who are in need, sometimes within an hour of their phone call! Helping people get back on their feet after an emergency is Sparklean Restoration’s specialty, tackling everything from fixing structural damage to furniture polishing.  

This organization has been a proud Alcumus customer since 2012 and has achieved their ContractorCheck Accreditation with us! We had the opportunity to talk with Mike Howes, President of Sparklean Restoration, to learn more about what health and safety means to them and the value the ContractorCheck accreditation has offered their business.  

Alcumus: Tell us more about your company and the work you do. How long have you been in business and which areas do you service? 

Mike Howes: Sparklean Restoration is a full-service fire and flood restoration company serving mainly the insurance sector, within 200 kms of Edmonton since September 1st, 1992. We help people who have suffered damage from a fire, flood, break-ins, wind damage, and other emergency cases with everything from the initial response and emergency portion of the claim to replacing flooring and furniture polishing. This property damage can be either commercial or residential, with usually an 80/20 split between the two.  

Alcumus: Can you describe your role at the organization?  

Mike Howes: I am the President and Founder of the company. I started the company about 30 years ago and initially it was a one-man operation. Now we have 35 full-time employees and several part-time staff. On a daily basis, I oversee our day-to-day operations and am involved in hiring staff, training, networking, as well as community involvement.  

Alcumus: Why is health and safety important to your company? Why did you decide to pursue a ContractorCheck Accreditation?          

Mike Howes: Sparklean is a family business and as such, safety is just part of looking after our family. Their health and wellbeing are of the highest priority, and we will go to any lengths to protect them. The ContractorCheck Accreditation provides our family with this peace of mind, as it helps to surround us with those who are up to our safety standards, creating a safer work environment. This comforts us and helps to ensure that we will all go home for dinner each night.  

Alcumus: What kinds of risks and challenges are encountered by you and your team on the job?  

Mike Howes: Every claim we attend to is different in scope, severity, and magnitude and our team needs to be ready for anything. We literally do not know what to expect until we arrive on the site and assess the situation. For that reason, our job hazard analyses (JHAs) can be a lot different than others for the same kind of job depending on weather or the severity of that claim. 

For example, it’s very important in the case of fires to have the structure checked by an engineer to avoid falling through a floor or having a roof fall through on us. With floods, slips and softened subfloors are a risk and there is a potential for mold with water damage. Our workers must be aware of that and possible risks due to asbestos. We don’t enter a property until we determine these factors and they are assessed by an expert.  

Alcumus: What made ContractorCheck stand out amongst other competitors?  

Mike Howes: It was suggested by one of our customers in the property management industry that this would be the best fit for us and it truly has been!  

Alcumus: Are there any company achievements or recent milestones that you’d like to highlight?  

Mike Howes: Sparklean recently received the Certificate of Recognition (COR) and was awarded the Chairs Award of Distinction in 2017 from the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce for community service. We will also be 30 years old on September 1st, 2022!  

Alcumus: That’s so exciting! What does this mean to your organization? 

Mike Howes: It means I’m getting old! In all seriousness though, it’s important for us to feel like we’re giving back to the community. We’ve been in business for 30 years and this speaks to the fact that we know something about what we’re doing. COR certification has also been a great achievement as it is getting more important for our industry. 

Alcumus: What value does your ContractorCheck Accreditation bring to your business, or what do you hope to gain from your ContractorCheck membership?   

Mike Howes: We hope it will give our customers confidence that they have chosen the best contractor for the job, and that in turn, it will create more customers. The benefit we’re hoping to get is to be recognized by more clients to get more work. It will also help us to separate ourselves from other businesses since belonging to such groups brings us a greater sense of validation.  

Alcumus: Has going through the accreditation process changed the way you view or approach health and safety?  

Mike Howes: Fortunately, we were practicing most safety procedures already, however, this process allowed us to be able to now document the fact that we are a safe place to work. Now we can tell people that we’re safe and we have the proof.  

For instance, insurance companies use score card metrics to monitor our performance. So now, I have data to prove that 98.6% of the time we were there within an hour’s phone call of a person seeking our emergency services. We can show these metrics, safety records, and the procedures that we have in place. We’ve also taken the time to teach people how to use the tools we have, so having that documentation has truly been the biggest benefit. 

Alcumus: What advice would you give other contractors looking to gain accreditation? 

Mike Howes: It’s important to have for your company and to adhere to it. Being able to document your safety practices, policies, and metrics can help prove to organizations and regulatory bodies that you are a safe company. It can also help with other avenues you may pursue such as the Certificate of Recognition. 

Our Alcumus team would like to offer our sincere thanks to Mike Howes for sharing all this incredible information! If you would like to learn more about how the Alcumus contractor management and accreditation solution can help your organization, speak to one of our Alcumus representatives today.