Freeze Dryers from www.freezedry.com from Cleaning and Restoration Magazine
The Official Publication of ASCR International

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   

New Uses for Freeze-Drying

Carroll Cooke of Cleaners Closet in Virginia Beach, Virginia bought an Ultra Dry Plus freeze-dryer five months ago and has been keeping it busy ever since.

"We purchased it so we could offer freeze-drying as a service to the restoration contractors in our area," says Cooke, an IICRC master cleaner and a 20-year veteran of the restoration industry. The company serves carpet and upholstery cleaners, as well as fire and water restoration companies throughout Virginia, Maryland and parts of North Carolina. "The best part about using this system is you simply cannot fail. If you remove an object before it's dry, just re-freeze it and start again!"

Freeze drying flood damaged photos and documentsCooke received his new freeze-drier just in time. "After the recent floods in Hampton and Franklin, Virginia," recalls Cooke, "we dried hundreds of important documents that had been completely submerged in water for days. The documents were disinfected, frozen, then put in our freeze-drying machine. I was surprised to see how much the 4 cu. ft. chamber was able to hold—about a file drawer-and-a-half's worth of frozen documents."

After seeing the results of the very first load, Cooke was sold. "I'm learning new uses for this unit every day," he says. "One contractor brought in several antique photographs in sealed frames that had been saturated. We stuck them in with a load of documents and were able to dry them without even having to open up the frames. They were completely dry in 24 hours and didn't even look as if they had ever been wet."

Cooke has discovered a number of ways to bring in profits with his new machine. "We've told the smaller restoration companies to contact us if they have some books or other items that need freeze-drying," he says. "We'll dry them for about half of what they charge their customers. So we'll do the work for them and they can make half the money."

Cleaners closet recently sold a double-chamber freeze-drying unit to David Elgin, manager of the Chesapeake, Virginia office of Inrecon, to restore several pallets of saturated documents. "He's probably going to be able to pay for his machine with the profits from his first job," notes Cooke.

Cook views his Ultra Dry Plus as a long-term investment that's already paying big dividends. "With the leasing plans available," he explains, "just one-and-a-half loads a month will pay for the lease payment."


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