Tom has been with Cowleys for over a decade, joining us in 2006. He has steadily moved up the ranks with his exemplary performance and dedication to our customers. Starting at ground level as a pest control technician, Tom is now our Resident Sales Pro. He leads the sales team, resolving any issues as they arise in the field, always ensuring top customer service. Tom directs all sales training and continuing education for the sales team, runs the weekly sales meetings, and, in addition to his own busy schedule, conducts a monthly ride along with each member of the sales team.
Tom is one of an elite group of inspectors in New Jersey designated as a “Credentialed Wood Destroying Insect Inspector.” When it comes to home inspections for any pest issues, Tom is a natural. With a keen eye for detail, and a meticulous and systematic approach, nothing escapes his attention. He has a knack for picking up on small, subtle signs of infestations, especially termite infestations. By catching these problems in their early stages, Tom has saved homeowners thousands.
In addition to the pest control and inspection side of the business, Tom is a certified CleanSpace® Installer/Design Specialist and has expertise in all aspects of crawl space encapsulation. He also helps customers with our full line of home improvement offerings, including attic insulation. As a certified MAPS Mold Treatment and Prevention Specialist, Tom has helped countless homeowners treat dangerous mold and keep families healthy by improving indoor air quality.
Tom also “smokes out” hidden water intrusion and moisture issues that can lead to mold and other property damage. Tom has consulted on and eradicated hundreds moisture management issues in basements, crawl spaces and attics. He has a deep understanding of the best methods to approach and resolve chronic moisture problems and mold issues in homes.
But Tom is not all work and no play. He enjoys a multitude of sports, and is an avid outdoorsman. He especially enjoys mountain biking, skiing and traveling. Tom is also a “foodie” and here at Cowleys, we call him the Wolfgang Puck of the Jersey Shore. He is always on the lookout for foods and restaurants that are “off the beaten path,” and trying different cuisines from all over the world.
Ants almost ruined this backyard BBQ party in Jackson, NJ. Watch Video »
It's Bat Season!!!!!!
Sometimes you're just at the right place, at the right time.
While doing an inspection at a home in Wall, I was approached by a frantic neighbor. She saw the distinctively decorated Cowleys truck outside. " Oh my, thank goodness, I can't believe you're here right now," she said. She was very upset, and physically shaking. On the verge of tears, she said, " Please, sir, please. You have to help me. There is a giant bat on my back screen door, I've called 3 people to come and remove it. They all want several hundred dollars just to come out and remove the thing. I'm on a limited income and I don't know what to do. I just can't afford it."
Without hesitation, I put on my protectives gloves, went with her to her back door, removed the bat, and gingerly placed him in the nearest tree. I can't vouch for the emotions of bats, but he seemed as happy to be out of the house as the poor lady was to have him taken out. It was a win-win situation for all.
She asked if she could pay me $50 because that's all she could afford. I didn't want to take a dime from her, and told her that I was confident that my supervisor would not want me taking any payment. I told her that after that traumatic encounter, she deserved to use that money to go out for a nice, quiet dinner on Cowleys and calm her nerves.
Cowleys is a business, but I've been working here long enough to know that we're also about doing the right thing. Her gratitude was more than enough compensation for the few minutes that it took to remove the bat. She told me that I was her hero. Before that encounter, I never thought of my Cowleys uniform as a superhero outfit, but right then and there, I felt pretty good about myself and was proud to be a Cowleys technician.
Soil is a porous medium that acts like a sponge. After rainfall, soil soaks up water, and once the soil is saturated, it will form surface puddles along with moisture and humidity. This was the case for this homeowner in Belmar, NJ who realized there was a problem and wanted our crawl space specialists to handle it.
First, we removed all of the debris, flattened the surface and laid down a drainage matting. The drainage matting allows moisture to work its way over to the new sump pump that we installed. Next, we lined the entire crawl space with a super-durable, 20-mil 7-ply vapor barrier, which is made up of high and low-density polyethylene with a polyester-cord reinforcement. This barrier will deter moisture from entering the crawl space, is puncture and tear-resistant, and is treated with an antimicrobial solution to prevent mold.
Afterward, we lined the walls of the crawl space with foam insulation called SilverGlo™. SilverGlo™ not only has a higher R-value than standard EPS foam but also comes with a shiny integral radiant barrier that reflects heat for enhanced energy efficiency. The homeowner previously purchased a commercial-grade dehumidifier and planned on installing it after we were finished. Now, the homeowner has a dry, energy-efficient, and healthy crawl space.
Homes that were built with dirt floor crawl space foundations became very popular after World War II when there was a huge demand for new and more affordable homes. Crawl spaces could be built faster and much cheaper than basements. However, no one could foresee the major issues that dirt floor crawl spaces can have on a home. For instance, this homeowner in Avon-by-the-Sea, NJ was experiencing incredibly high humidity levels and abundant moisture buildup in his crawl space. If left untreated any longer, this could lead to mold and mildew growth and structural damage. Fortunately, the homeowner decided to have Cowleys encapsulate his crawl space.
The benefits of crawl space encapsulation are dramatic. Relative humidity will stay below 70% even if the outdoor humidity is higher. You’ll save on your utility bills, have better air quality in the crawl space, and not only keep out moisture, but also keep out unwanted pests!
First, we cleared out all the debris and installed a drainage matting. A drainage matting is a dimpled plastic mat that allows water to work its way over to the sump pump. Next, we replaced the old, broken sump pump with a smart drain sump pump to allow any water that gets on top of the liner to flow down underneath the ground.
Then, we installed a clean space liner covering the ground of the entire crawl space. A clean space liner is a super-durable, 20mil plastic sheet material designed to permanently prevent moisture, outside air, and pests from getting into your crawl space. The vapor barrier is installed over the foundation walls and floor to create a continuous air and moisture barrier. Finally, to control the humidity levels we installed a Sani-Dry dehumidifier. These machines are a powerful energy-efficient dehumidifier that outperforms standard household dehumidifiers by as much as 10 times while using the same amount of energy to run. The SaniDry XP directs the extracted water pulled out of the air directly into the sump pump.
Now the humidity levels will be at a comfortable level, the value of the home has increased, and there will be no more moisture buildup in the crawl space.
A homeowner in Eatontown, NJ decided it was time to upgrade his attic space and add some new insulation to it, so he called our Attic Systems department and we were sent out.
We inspected the attic and determined that the area was severely under-insulated. Under-insulated attics will cause problems such as uncomfortable rooms, uneven temperatures, and high heating and cooling bills. We removed all the fiberglass insulation, disinfected the entire attic area, and then added approximately 10-12 inches of TruSoft blown-in cellulose insulation.
TruSoft blown-in cellulose insulation has a higher R-value than standard fiberglass batts, is made primarily from recycled newspaper (perfect for environmentally conscious property owners), has the highest Class-1 fire safety rating, and is treated with non-toxic borate giving it an incredible resistance to mold and pests. Not to mention, because it fills the attic to the proper insulation levels, it will prevent heat transfer between the attic and the rooms below, allowing the homeowners heating and cooling systems to run less frequently and save him considerable amounts of money on his energy cost!
Homeowners in Red Bank, NJ, had a raccoon gain entry in their attic through the ceiling fan. Unfortunately, ceiling fans are common entry points for agile wildlife like squirrels and raccoons. Even though attic fans have a mesh cover, the “manufacturer’s standard” is often a flimsy piece of mesh that is no match for these animals. Our wildlife team successfully trapped, removed, and safely relocated the trespassing raccoon, and also installed a tough galvanized steel mesh attic fan cover that would permanently block this attic entry point.
The homeowners immediately realized that there was a wildlife infestation in their attic and contacted us. Since the raccoon was only there for a couple of days at most, there was not enough time to cause much property damage. Notwithstanding that there was negligible visible damage, the homeowners were concerned, and rightfully so, that there could still be unseen urine seepage or other hidden damage to their insulation. They did not want to take any chances. Wildlife waste contains disease-transmitting pathogens. When dried out or disturbed, waste particles can become airborne and travel on air currents throughout the home. For their own peace of mind, the homeowners felt this was an opportune time to improve the quality of their attic insulation.
A Cowleys installation crew was dispatched to handle the insulation replacement. We first removed the potentially contaminated insulation and flooring. Once that material was cleared out, we sanitized and deodorized the entire attic to remove all traces and smells of a raccoon infestation. A thorough attic cleaning is essential to not only remove the dangerous waste but also to remove the smells and remnants of the infestation. These scent markers often attract other raccoons and wildlife.
Finally, after we replaced the flooring with new plywood, we “blew in” 12 inches of our TruSoft insulation. TruSoft blown-in cellulose insulation offers superior thermal properties as well as a pest control component. Now, with this top-quality insulation, these homeowners will enjoy a more comfortable energy-efficient home with reduced heating and cooling bills.
This crawl space had almost every issue a crawl space could have, standing water, mold, hanging insulation, poor drainage and moisture. Our crawl space encapsulation system solved them all. Crawl space humidity isn't just uncomfortable and smelly, it can cause structural damage to the wood work of your home as well! Also, the mold it allows to grow is damaging to your health! If you suspect that you are experiencing issues with a damp crawlspace, call for an estimate today!