When Steve Stefanidis launched Liner Guys Inc. with his long-time associate and co-founder Mike Rodger, he not only thoroughly understood the sewer and replacement industry, but also the void in the Ontario, Canada marketplace.
“Customer service was not a specialty, it was an add-on” explains Stefanidis, the company’s co-owner and co- founder. “I worked for several local organizations that did good work. But, I always thought it took more to get to the next level. Repeat customers and referrals demand and should expect quality at every level. People do not want to think about their sewer lines. They want you to come in, do the work and get out without any fuss or bother. We began Liner Guys with an emphasis on customer satisfaction and getting it right the first time.”
Opening in 2012 with this joint dedication to professionalism and service, Liner Guys doubled sales and revenues in only its second year in business, which now includes more than 300 residential, corporate and municipal customers. Another factor in the company’s quick success was the introduction of a “no dig” approach to broken, cracked or worn out lateral sanitary sewer lines. Relatively unknown to the London, Canada area, this eco-friendly and cost-effective solution was an immediate hit with customers since more than 65 percent of the local homes and commercial properties are 25 years or older and constantly in need of infrastructure repairs.
“Southwestern Ontario was both underserviced and unaware about the latest rehabilitation techniques,” offers Rodger. “The ability to easily and cleanly repair underground sanitary sewer lines without digging up driveways, landscapes, porches and other outdoor structures allowed us to firmly and rapidly claim a niche in the market even though there were several more established players operating locally”
Service with Liner Guys begins with a free, no-obligation camera inspection followed by a video review of the findings with customers. If severe problems are detected, it then often proceeds with the rehabilitation of old, broken or root filled sanitary sewer lines through the use of a patented, Performance Liner® Lateral System from LMK Technologies, a leader in trenchless rehabilitation services and equipment based in Ottawa, Illinois.
The solution from LMK provides the freedom to position the cured in-place lateral liner anywhere in the pipe through a cleanout. It can be directed upstream or downstream with LMK’s patented guide shoe and completed inside or outside of property lines any time of year. LMK’s lateral liners also include compressible material at the upstream end of the liner, producing a smooth tapered transition to the old pipe. This process renews lateral sanitary sewer lines from 4 to 8 inches in diameter in continuous lengths up to 130 feet. In addition, the new one-piece homogenous liner can be cured in-place in two to three hours to minimize the disruption of services to homes and businesses.
As approved installers of LMK’s certified lateral liner systems, the benefits of this technology were exemplified when the Liner Guys performed a job on the city portion of a lateral sewer leading to a private home.
Unfortunately, the city maintenance crew had previously missed this line during the repair of surrounding mainlines and storm connections. The tricky part involved lining 35 feet of city side lateral running directly under a 100-year-old black maple and a brand new section of roadway and curbs without digging up the resident’s yard, injuring the tree or damaging the recently completed roadwork.
According to Stefanidis, the entire project was completed in just four hours. This included performing an initial camera inspection to assess the problem, renewing the lateral pipe with LMK’s ambient cure in- place pipe (CIPP) technology and the using the camera a second time to make sure the liner was set and properly functioning.
“The home’s owner called the day after we finished the work to see when we were coming out,” explains Stefanidis. “He couldn’t believe we were there the day before. There were no tell-tale signs. Nothing was disturbed. Everything was left natural and intact. The owners were stunned because they were only aware of the digging and dirty side of this work. Obviously, they were extremely happy with us and the outcome. It’s like we were never there.”
As for the future, the Liner Guys strongly believe their ongoing success will be leveraged by the community’s continued education of the latest rehabilitation technologies. This includes advertising to local residents via radio and city buses, leveraging customer testimonials and offering free/no obligation camera inspections of the home’s lateral sewer line. During their initial meeting, the Liner Guys also bring material samples so they can demonstrate the trenchless procedure. In addition, more than a dozen instructional videos are available for review on the company’s website.
“No one thinks about their sewer line until there is a problem because they just don’t want to deal with the cost or the mess,” offers Rodgers. “They don’t understand the alternatives. That’s why we include LMK in all of our promotional efforts. LMK is always on call to answer questions or help us resolve issues. They have proven themselves a valuable partner and have been a driving force behind our success right from the beginning. We wouldn’t work with anyone else.”
For more information on the Liner Guys and their complete range of sewer lateral repair and rehabilitation services please call 519-473-8830 or visit www.linerguys.ca.
LMK Technologies can be reached at 815-433-1275 or waterlinerenewal.com/brand/lmk-technologies. For the past 20 years, LMK has facilitated the rehabilitation of sewers with the ongoing development and introduction of cured in-place lateral renewal technologies.