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Monday, May 16, 2022

From Carpet Cleaning to Full-Scale Restoration Business

Before the new headquarters in Van Nuys, before the 21 locations in the U.S. and Canada, and before the expansion plans to double the number of locations there was the story of the Volvo. In 2000, Idan Shpizear and Peleg Lindenberg were recent arrivals to Los Angeles from Israel where they had met while serving in the military. They came with $3,500 between them, got jobs with a carpet cleaning business and made a two-door Volvo their mobile office to carry around the cleaning equipment. These days the pair bases their company 911 Restoration from a new 8,000-square-foot location in Van Nuys with space for offices and a warehouse to store equipment. They still do the carpet cleaning and added mold remediation, air duct cleaning, flood and water damage drying, and fire and smoke damage repair in homes and commercial buildings. No emergency is too big that they cannot take on, Lindenberg said. There are plans for expanding 911 Restoration in the new year and the new offices are expected to accommodate that. “For the next five years I’m sure there is enough space for us,” said Shay Kalmanovich, a long-time friend of Lindenberg who worked in the insurance industry in Israel before being brought on as chief executive officer. The poor economy of the past year may have slowed down the expansion plans but hardly put a stop to them. Shpizear and Lindenberg have an easy explanation as to why their business grew during one of the worst economic times the U.S. has ever faced: the services offered are a necessity not a luxury. If an emergency occurs there is little choice but to clean it up. “Floods still happen; pipes still break; mold still grows,” said Shpizear. “Insurance will pay for most of it.” The two friends founded the company in 2001 and bought out a competitor two years later to expand their reach. Today there are locations in major cities through to Texas, Florida and the East Coast. Most locations work under a licensing agreement with 911 Restoration that will become franchise agreements this year. With a low initial investment to own a location, signing up with Restoration 911 was attractive to those laid off from their jobs and who now wanted to be their own boss. “It is people who are looking to make a change,” Lindenberg said. Other ventures pursued by the trio are buying, rehabbing and selling commercial real estate, owning and operating retail kiosks, and starting an online marketing company that helps get word out about 911 Restoration.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

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