COVID-19 might have delivered severe, perhaps even fatal blows to businesses, but at least two Durango business have sprung up to meet the unique demands created by the viral pandemic.
Four Corners Clean is offering an atomized disinfecting treatment to kill viruses and bacteria in homes and businesses, and Durango Mobile Lube is making the humdrum chore of getting an oil change less cumbersome by coming to you to service your vehicle at your home or workplace.
Christian Shepard, owner of Durango Mobile Lube, said the business’ creation came after meeting with his eight employees from his other businesses, The Handyman Can, a home repair business, and Junk in the Trunk, a trash-removal service, to come up with ideas to keep all four of his trucks busy and in the field.
“We have a good number of elderly clients, and we’re still getting calls and people are still wanting us to come to their homes, but just for the next couple few weeks, I just feel it’s best to limit our interactions,” Shepard said.
The Handyman Can essentially had one truck free, and it was converted and it will now go to clients in the Durango area, either to their homes or businesses, for an on-site oil change.
Nick Johnson, one of three co-owners of Four Corners Clean, has much the same story as Shepard. Discussions with the other owners, Josh Robinson and Matt Cranston, led to the creation of the new enterprise.
“We were inspired to help family members of our company founders, and it was never intended to become a business,” Johnson said. “We had at-risk parents, grandparents of our founding members. We used our existing equipment to provide this atomized solution, an EPA-approved solution, and within, you know, a day of providing these services to the loved ones of our company founders, we had such an influx of people looking for our service, we realized how vital it was to our local community.”
Durango Mobile LubeShepard said Durango Mobile Lube is currently only one truck, and it is providing about three oil changes a day, but the goal is to get to 10 oil changes a day.
“I’m like: What can we do, and I started thinking we’ve got these health care workers who are probably working around the clock, who probably don’t have time – they’re working 12-hour shifts. When are they going to squeeze in oil changes?” he said. “I just figured there has to be a way to help these other service providers and to provide hours to my guys. We have to find a new way to go about providing all these different services that everybody needs in new ways.”
The cost for an oil change from Durango Mobile Lube, Shepard said, will generally run between $80 and $100, and his service area will be the Durango area. He said he will consider doing oil changes as far as Purgatory Resort and Hesperus, but that will likely come with an added travel fee.
With the business only about a month old, he said, he hasn’t yet had anyone from the outlying area reach out for an oil change yet.
“We’re basically serving the Durango area. We’re not going down to Farmington. We’d have too much in travel time and fuel costs, and it some point it isn’t worth our time,” he said.
Four Corners CleanAt Four Corners Clean, Johnson said, one big obstacle was fulfilling the order for 10 sprayers to atomize a disinfectant that kills not only viruses but bacteria. An order for the machines normally takes three days to fill, but it is now taking about 3 weeks as similar disinfecting businesses are springing up across the country.
Four Corners Clean currently is offering nonprofits involved in the response to the COVID-19 battle a free treatment.
Four Corners Clean recommends homeowners or business owners do a thorough cleaning before its crew arrives to provide an atomized disinfecting service. The precleaning allows the solution to settle on clean surfaces and not on a layer of dust or debris.
Anyone seeking the disinfecting service will have to vacate its premises for two hours to ventilate the building. Generally, the disinfecting takes about 15 minutes for an average size house, and that was the time it took for Four Corners to treat the MakerLab at the Powerhouse Science Center on April 10.
After two hours, some surfaces might be slightly damp, Johnson said, similar to getting carpets cleaned.
The price for the service, Johnson said, will be below the 30 cents per square foot national average. The owner of a 2,000-square-foot house would pay $500 for the service at a charge of 25 cents per square foot.
Johnson said the company started with eight employees, but within three weeks plans are to have about 80 to 90 subcontractors on board to perform jobs around the region.
The MakerLab job was one of the first for the startup, but Johnson anticipates doing up to 100 jobs a day within three weeks.
Charlotte Ford, volunteer coordinator with the MakerLab, said, “We obviously have volunteers coming in on a semi-regular basis, and we have a hand-washing station, hand sanitizer is distributed throughout the lab, we’re cleaning regularly, and we’re taking temperatures of everyone coming in the lab. We’re doing what we can, but we have some exposure, and this is another thing we can do to try and limit our exposure as much as possible.”