When it comes to fire and flood damage in San Diego, our go-to partner is Christian Brothers Emergency Building Services. Our partnership with the Christian Brothers team is relatively new compared to some of the other home improvement specialists we work with, but our early experiences have already proven to us that they are the most reputable, experienced, and professional Emergency Building Services company in San Diego.
Christian Brothers CEO Gabe Matthews recently spoke to us about the history of Christian Brothers, what makes their company different from the rest, what homeowners need to know in order to mitigate their risk of water, fire, and mold damage, and much more.
Can you tell us how Christian Brothers got started?
My Dad, Mark Matthews, started the company in 1980. In the early days of the company, our primary focus was on carpet cleaning, but we’ve been slowly shifting that focus over the last 15+ years to emergency services like water, fire, and mold damage. The main focus of the company nowadays is on emergency building services, which I prefer. I like the “ER factor” that comes with those types of jobs.
How long have you been working with Gregg and the team at Murray Lampert? What types of projects do you commonly partner on?
Gregg and first I met at a networking event about 2 years ago, and we started working together on projects shortly afterward. We typically partner on anything insurance-related that falls in our wheelhouse of fire and water damage. We’ve partnered with Murray Lampert to provide emergency services for both previous home remodeling clients, and even some of their neighbors who reached out to Gregg and his team for help after seeing the quality of work they provide.
What separates Christian Brothers from other emergency building services companies in San Diego?
Hands-down, it has to be our people. A lot of businesses like to tout the “family atmosphere” at their companies, but Christian Brothers actual embodies that culture. We make it a point to treat our employees extremely well because we know that happy employees translate to happy customers.
When it comes to customer service, we have an “old school” approach. We communicate with our customers throughout the entire process, putting a premium on customer service in each and every conversation we have with customers. Other emergency service companies come out of the gates hard to earn your business, but wind up treating you (and the rest of their customers) like a number. We try hard to focus on customer service all the way through the entire process.
What does a typical Christian Brothers project look like in terms of process, timeline, etc.?
When it comes down to it, there are basically two phases to every project we take on: Phase 1 is the “Emergency Phase.” Our main goal in this phase is to stop the bleeding. That usually involves cleaning, drying, disinfecting - whatever the job requires. This phase generally takes between 3-5 days.
Phase 2 is the “Repair Phase,” and is essentially where we begin to fix the problem. It can be as simple as patching up some drywall, or as complex as completely gutting and replacing entire portions of a room or home. This phase can take anywhere from 2-3 weeks, sometimes longer if the damage is extensive.
Talk a bit about the most common types of issues you see in the San Diego area (for example, do you see more water damage vs. fire repair projects, are there seasonal implications for the work you do, etc.).
The most common issue that we see is water damage due to a broken supply line behind a toilet or a sink. This is a primary reason why we implore homeowners to regularly check the plumbing around sinks and toilets, as catching a this issue early can save you big in the long run. It’s rough when you have to explain to someone that replacing a $5 part could have saved them from $50k of water damage in their home.
What are the most common questions that you and your team receive from homeowners when dealing with water, fire, or mold damage?
Every homeowners asks us the same question: “Is this covered by insurance?” Insurance pays for “sudden and accidental” 99.99% of the time. If you’ve had a leaky pipe for 6 months that finally breaks, that isn’t likely to be covered, which is another reason we recommend homeowners check for leaks regularly.
What are some things homeowners can do to mitigate their risk of water, fire, mold, etc. issues in their homes?
For starters, get your pressure regulators checked. If they are out of whack, your plumbing could be at risk of bursting. Regular appliance maintenance is also important, and is usually outlined in the owner’s manual. Also, don’t neglect the exterior of your home, particularly your landscape drainage, any overhanging tree limbs, etc.
Finally, know who your insurance agent is! Your agent should be your best advocate - it’s part of what you’re paying them for.
To get in touch with Christian Brothers Emergency Building Services, you can contact them 24 hours a day at For (619) 469-8955.