Chuck Dewald III was practically born into the restoration industry. He set up air movers as a child when his arms were barely strong enough to carry them. The son of Chuck Dewald Jr., the designer and architect of the world’s first hands-on drying school, Chuck Dewald III was told at an early age that he would have to work hard for everything and nothing would be given to him. He demonstrated his strong work ethic at a very early age, and when he was 9 years old he started mowing lawns for money. He asked his dad for a lawn mower, and his father drove him to the local bank and firmly told him to go inside and get a loan for the lawn mower.
Unbeknownst to the young Chuck Dewald III, his father had already called the bank’s loan officer to tell him his plans to teach his son the value of a dollar. After getting a hard time from the stern loan officer, Chuck Dewald III had a loan for his $255 lawn mower that took him all summer long to pay off, but it was his. It was a very similar story when Chuck Dewald III told his father that he wanted to be a part of his restoration company in East Tennessee. Even though Chuck Dewald III had graduated Summa Cum Laude from East Tennessee State University with an honors degree in Biology/Chemistry, took the MCAT for Medical School, and was asked by his school to apply for the Marshall, Truman, & Rhodes Scholarships, his father treated him just like everyone else who worked for the company (probably even a little tougher) telling him, “Until you learn the ins and outs of my industry, you are not worth much to me and I will pay you accordingly.” His dad allowed him start out sweeping floors and cleaning equipment at $6 an hour.
Chuck Dewald III started at the bottom working and learning every part of his father’s company–from fire and water restoration to carpet cleaning. Chuck Dewald III would eventually start and run the Mold Division of his father’s company, but his interest in water damage kept pulling him back and he could not get it out of his mind. After being in the field for a couple of years, he noticed what his father had noticed a few years back: that this industry was all over the board and there were still so many questions that our industry could not answer. Chuck Dewald III developed a great passion for knowing the science involved with the drying process and more than anything loved the interaction with the home and building owners as well as the insurance adjusters. He had thought he wanted to be a doctor so that he could help people, but he realized his true calling was to help people by restoring their most valuable and prized investments–their homes.
Chuck Dewald III started reading every book he could get his hands on from Atmospheric Chemistry & Physics to Advanced Thermodynamics trying to fully grasp the entire scope of the drying process to perhaps be able to start to answer some of the questions that the restoration industry couldn’t at that time. His goal was simple: to understand the drying process and the science of psychrometrics better than anyone else.
Chuck’s father started to notice this passion and drive in his son and had the idea to involve him in his hands-on drying school. Chuck started there, just like every place before, at the bottom. He worked his way up until one day he was standing up there with his father teaching the industry’s best and brightest at the ripe old age of 24. Chuck was often asked if he was ever nervous as a young man teaching professionals 2-3 times his age, but he knew there was nothing to make him nervous after having to teach a one-student class all by himself–his own father.
Everything after that was easy. Chuck Dewald III needed a different technique to teaching than his father. His father had earned the credibility and authority to teach restorers and tell them the major errors of their ways, but Chuck was new to this and needed a different approach. He decided to simply show the restorers what they didn’t know or what they thought they knew with math and science with just a little frankness and veracity he learned from his dad mixed in (he is his father’s son and can’t deny what is in him). He sought to earn respect by understanding the drying process and drying methods unlike anyone else.
Chuck Dewald III would soon start to make his impact in the school and industry by developing new drying ideas, techniques, and equipment. He and his father made a great team. Chuck Dewald Jr. told the restorers what to do and Chuck Dewald III explained to them why it worked and why they should do it. He soon gained the respect of an industry and–even more difficultly earned–his father. Chuck Dewald III has been in the restoration industry now for over 14 years professionally and officially but over 30 years unofficially. He still goes out into the field to lead and mitigate water losses for Midwest Remediation out of Indianapolis, IN.
Chuck Dewald III bought the drying school from his father in 2006 and ran it for 5 years before taking a break from teaching for a while. Chuck has since joined up with a partner he truly respects in Dave Sweet to start this new drying academy in Indianapolis, IN.
Chuck Dewald III has since trained over 6,000 restoration contractors and 600 insurance professionals. He has been active in management and consulting roles in hundreds of water losses (including many commercial and high profile losses). He has helped organize and initiate the IICRC ASD training class and certification test: he has helped develop and fine tune many techniques and methods that are now a part of the industry standard S500. Chuck has worked with his father to design and develop the industry’s first high efficiency axial air mover in the Gale Force as well as the two most efficient air movers still today in our industry (Phoenix Focus and Dry Air Force 9). He has solely had the idea and design for the industry’s only dehumidifier performance amplifier the Phoenix Solution. He has developed brand new industry-revolutionizing drying techniques, methods, and concepts. He has acted as a consultant and expert witness in many large losses; he has introduced the industry’s first and most accurate evaporation formula E³ (Enthalpy Evaporation Evaluation). Chuck has spoken to 50 senior engineers at ASHRAE about the science of Psychrometry and done many seminars and public speaking engagements for associations like RIA, DRC, DKI, and Connections just to name a few. He worked with his father to help develop the industry’s first Water Classifications, Dehumidifier & Air Mover Calculations, as well as Pad testing criteria that are all now widely used and accepted by the restoration industry. He helped write the curriculum that is used by all schools with flood houses today. Chuck holds 4 U.S. Patents of his own, one pertaining to a clothes dryer with desiccant wheel and heat recovery technology. Chuck’s expertise is sought by equipment manufacturers and distributors to help test their equipment to make it better.
Chuck Dewald III still wakes up every day in search for a better method, technique, or piece of equipment when it comes to the drying process. He keeps learning every day with the same initial goal in mind–to be the best in this industry and understand drying better than anyone just like his father Chuck Dewald III has helped shape and change the restoration industry for the better and will continue to do so as long as he has anything to say or do about it. Who knows where it will go from here? Chuck Dewald III has a son named Chuck Dewald IV, who is ready to turn 9 and maybe soon will be asking to go buy a lawn mower.
I began my journey in the cleaning and restoration industry in 1990 with a single cleaning truck and a desire to make a better life for my family and me. In the winter of 1995 I expanded my business to include water damage with the help of Bob Bonwell of Advantage Marketing. Mr. Bonwell introduced me to another ambitious cleaner, and we joined forces to tackle more restoration projects. I soon realized that by doing restoration projects in addition to cleaning, we could really grow our company.At first, I tackled the jobs with minimal training, learning along the way. It was not until I was introduced to Chuck Dewald (a.k.a. Master mullet) that I realized how little I knew about restoration. I was a student in the second class of his first drying school in Morristown, Tenn. After three days learning from Mr. Dewald, I realized what I needed to do and the tools I needed to use to create the company that I dreamed of having.
After getting hands-on drying training from Chuck, I remember telling my staff that I should call and apologize to every past customer, feeling confident that their buildings may not have dried properly. Those 3 days in 1999 changed my entire life. Ever since then, I have sent each staff member to Chuck’s drying academy so our company would become highly skilled in structural drying. Over the years I have formed great friendships and business partnerships with the Dewald family.
In 2015 I purchased what would become the new home for our structural drying academy. At first, my intention was to use it for training of our staff and education of our clients. However, I soon realized that the new technicians I hired as our business grew had the credentials to call themselves certified technicians, but they lacked the hands-on knowledge. So I broadened the focus our new facility and built a school to train any aspiring structural dryers and restorers that is more concerned about creating technicians who can do the work–not just pass a class and earn a certificate.
The cleaning and restoration industry has been very good to me. I have been blessed with a staff that is second-to-none. Our faith in God is what drives our company. We believe that we are the hands and feet of Christ when we serve our customers, so we take our work very seriously. I have been in the industry for 26 years, and I know that there are fewer years ahead of me than behind me. My passion is to train the next generation of restorers to be greater than we were, and to leave this industry someday much better than we started.
Chris Laney began working in the cleaning and restoration industry in 1999 at Stanley Steemer in Fort Wayne, IN. For 3 years Chris learned the trade of carpet cleaning. In March of 2002 Chris and his wife Angi started Americlean Tile & Grout Inc. In the beginning the company specializing in cleaning of hard surface flooring and carpet cleaning. After 2 years the company received a water loss from a movie theatre client and the water loss was referred to a competitor to assist due to the team’s lack of knowledge to complete the project properly. Chris was very intrigued by the restoration process and pursued training in the field of water damage mitigation. In mid-2004 Chris attended his first training WRT course from Barry Costa and followed it with a 5-day course from Kurt Bolden at the Hydro-Lab. During the course at the Hydro-Lab Chris met Charlie Cressy the owner and inventor of the Water Out Drying System.
Chris and Angi joined the Water Out network and over the course of the next 8 years they traveled all across the southeast region working and assisting during hurricane events providing support for other restoration contractors and their clients. In 2013 the company settled down roots in Fort Wayne and built a company in Fort Wayne, IN specializing in water mitigation. After 20 years in business, Water Out has grown to be a leading provider of cleaning and restoration services in the Fort Wayne, IN market.
In 2019 Chris met Chuck Dewald III and David Sweet prior to attending and speaking with Chuck at an RIA conference. After attending the Dewald Academy of Drying School in early 2019 Chris continued to come back and eventually become a partner in the school and E3 Technologies. Chris has consulted alongside Chuck Dewald III on hundreds of the largest commercial water losses in the US over the last 3 years.
Chris has been blessed with a wonderful and supporting wife by his side throughout this journey and blessed with two great daughters Stephanie and Whitney. Chris enjoys time with his family at his girl’s sporting events, water sports with the kids at the lake, traveling, water skiing, and snowmobiling. Having the opportunity to help teach the next generation of restorers is not only rewarding but a very humbling experience.