Owner plans to clean up in new busi­ness

The Rich­mond, Vir­ginia na­tive moved to Ex­ton and changed hats un­der the Belfor um­brella

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Brian McCul­lough bm­c­cul­lough@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @wc­dai­ly­lo­cal on Twitter To con­tact Busi­ness Edi­tor Brian McCul­lough, call 610235-2655 or send an email to bm­c­cul­lough@dai­ly­lo­cal.com.

WEST WHITELAND » When Tommy Hoop­sick left his home in Rich­mond, Vir­ginia, he planned to ex­pand his duct clean­ing busi­ness.

Now, he’s trad­ing in dirty ducts for wet base­ments.

The 23-year-old en­tre­pre­neur has re­lo­cated to the Ex­ton area and started a 1-800 Wa­ter Dam­age busi­ness that’s a fran­chise of Belfor.

The new busi­ness is a na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tion that works in prop­erty restora­tion after wa­ter in­ci­dents, fires as well as car­pet clean­ing. Fam­ily mem­bers, mean­while, are keep­ing the Ductz of Rich­mond South­side (Vir­ginia) busi­ness go­ing as Hoop­sick ex­pands his horizons.

He now has an of­fice with him­self and an­other em­ployee with plans to hire a third in Belfor’s new build­ing on Clover Mill Road.

“I came here think­ing I would start an­other Ductz fran­chise but when I got here (they) con­vinced me to try the 1-800 Wa­ter Dam­age,” Hoop­sick said in a re­cent in­ter­view from his new of­fice.

That is not to say Hoop­sick, who started his fran­chise ca­reer when he was just 19, plans to re­duce his work­load. He’s in the process of start­ing a Ductz fran­chise in Ch­ester County as he gets the wa­ter dam­age cleanup com­pany up and run­ning.

While a chal­lenge to re­lo­cate to Penn­syl­va­nia, Hoop­sick said it was the Belfor’s de­ci­sion to up­grade its fa­cil­i­ties in Ex­ton that con­vinced him he should re­lo­cate to the Key­stone State.

In Novem­ber, Belfor moved into its new 78,000-square­foot build­ing where it em­ploys 120 peo­ple and is one of five na­tion­wide hubs for the com­pany. From the ware­house, Hoop­sick can get fans, de­hu­mid­i­fiers and any tools he might need for his jobs.

“That’s the main rea­son I picked this area – the sup­port I can get from this build­ing,” he said. “That, and their knowl­edge is at our fin­ger­tips.”

His cov­er­age area in­cludes much of Ch­ester and Delaware coun­ties with around-the-clock res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial services. In ad­di­tion to car­pet and up­hol­stery clean­ing and cleanup after fire dam­age, 1-800 Wa­ter Dam­age does mold re­me­di­a­tion and sewage cleanup.

“I had to learn a new in­dus­try and I worked with Belfor to do that,” Hoop­sick said. “In June I went to Ann Ar­bor to train.”

The most com­mon call for his new ser­vice comes at 2 a.m. when a wa­ter heater breaks or a pipe breaks, he noted.

“You’re en­ter­ing peo­ple’s homes at a very tense time so you have to be sen­si­tive to that and work with them,” he said. “After an event Belfor doesn’t do car­pet clean­ing and up­hol­stery. That’s where we come in.”

Hoop­sick said he paid $79,000 to start his fran­chise and splits the prof­its an­nu­ally with Belfor.

“The goal is to get to be a pretty big busi­ness some day,” he said. “The Belfor name helps a lot.”

“I came here think­ing I would start an­other Ductz fran­chise but when I got here (they) con­vinced me to try the 1-800 Wa­ter Dam­age.” – Tommy Hoop­sick


Tommy Hoop­sick has the Ch­ester County fran­chise for 1-800 Wa­ter Dam­age.

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