George the Legend

 

Go Direct

 

George Machado founded this company – Air Duct Cleaning/Machado Environmental - 30-some years ago. I had the opportunity to work with him and train under him for several years. One of the qualities I observed in George was his ability and tendency to attack problems head on. We can often over-think situations. We might eventually solve the problem, but that can sometimes lead to time-consuming tangents when the direct approach can get us there much faster. George was very practical in this respect.

He was called out to a newly built house to discover the source of an odor that permeated the house. Obviously, the odor was interfering with its sale. It was a beautiful house, but showing it was patently impractical. The odor was first noticeable about a week before the builders contacted Machado Environmental. They said it had continually gotten worse to the degree that people could hardly stand to be in the house at all. The odor was described as “something dead.”

 
New Construction
 

When George arrived, he was told that the odor was so pervasive that they were unable to pin it down to a location. They had checked the attic, but found nothing that might cause such an odor there.

George sniffed around at various walls for about ten minutes. He got to one wall and lingered there a bit longer, going back and forth along the wall until he settled in one place. He called a worker over rapped on the wall and merely said “cut here.” The worker complied and they found a very smelly and somewhat decomposed raccoon.

 
New Construction
 

After expressions of amazement, George and the workers figured out what probably happened. Before the roof had been completed, wall portions were open at the top. Apparently a raccoon had been prowling around and fell into the wall cavity. No one noticed and the house was completed with the raccoon still inside the wall. It took a direct approach – and a good nose – to locate the source of the problem. This was certainly a more inexpensive and practical approach than to dismantle the house until you find what is causing the bad smell. Such a large animal decomposing could cause the odor to penetrate semi-porous materials and linger for a very long time if it could ever be fully eliminated.

George was a former fire captain so like putting out a fire he tended to go to the base and more forward from there until the problem was solved.

 
  Steve Huff
Senior Indoor Air Quality Investigator