Mold grows and so does company

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  • | 12:00 p.m. August 14, 2006
  • Realty Builder
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by Miranda G. McLeod

Staff Writer

Chris Uhland can tell you all about Absidia, Blastomyces, Fusarium and Paecilomyces. As the president of SkyeTec, an environmental consulting firm, Uhland sees a lot of these varieties of mold — and he knows a lot about it, too.

SkyeTec is an environmental consulting firm. The company works with builders throughout the construction industry to address potential moisture intrusion issues and the mold that accompanies them before closing. SkyeTec inspectors are engineers, biologists and science professionals.

The company was started in 1999 by the partnership of Uhland and Ted Nelson. At that time, Uhland said, there wasn’t enough information for the consumer; the online boom was in full-force and hurricane season was approaching quickly — these two factors, coupled with Nelson and Uhland’s “vision” propelled SkyeTech to where it is today, said Uhland.

The company increased its annual revenue by more than 200 percent from 2002 to 2004. The designation follows the company’s growth and a series of product releases, according to Darell Johnson of SkyeTec.

“Our goal is about validation, whether that’s perceived or tangible.” said Uhland. “The most difficult element about our company is the technical concept for a non-technical world. We communicate in a way that is understood. We take analytical information and turn it into something usable.”

Technology has also propelled the company to its position. SkyeTech developed SkyeFax, a web-based records management tool with a built-in reminders feature. Homeowners are able to track their maintenance actions and home improvements online, set e-mail reminders for maintenance — such as changing air filters, timing sprinklers or cleaning gutters — and receive tips and how-to’s for maintaining their homes as well as calculate the appropriate price based on improvements when they are ready to sell.

The system can schedule reminders and help homeowners with managing lives, also. From anniversaries to scheduled maintenance on vehicles to protecting important documents in case of catastrophic scenario. And the program also stores warranty information.

“The real estate market needs this desperately,” said Uhland. “We’re bridging the relationship between builders and Realtors, and ultimately the customer.”

Another product is the SkyeTec Property Claims Calculator, which helps insurers when adjusting the more than three million claims made a year in Jacksonville. The calculator allows adjusters to generate a pricing model based on the Institute of Inspection, Cleaning and Restoration guidelines.

Uhland said 40 percent of SkyeTec’s clients are home builders; 40 percent are insurance companies; the remainder are home owners.