Owner plans to clean up in new business
The Richmond, Virginia native moved to Exton and changed hats under the Belfor umbrella
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.