STERILMATTRESS is a long, overdue and much needed service for Austin, the Hill Country, and the larger metropolitan areas in Texas. Our service targets the potent allergens produced by house dust mites (HDM's) and other micro-organisms living and thriving, in the mattresses we sleep upon.
Children, especially newborns through age five, and the elderly, are the biggest beneficiaries of sleeping in beds serviced by STERILMATTRESS. The most recent medical evidence links exposure to dust mite allergens, at an early age, as a significant cause in children (and adults) who suffer from life-long asthma and other maladies.
Those who will benefit from the STERILMATTRESS services include not only residences but also multi-bed facilities, such as day care centers, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, state operated organizations like adoption homes, foster homes, women's shelters, hospitals, clinics, as well as resorts, conference centers, Bed and Breakfast Inn's, hotels, motels, cruise ships, offshore production platforms, drilling rigs, and even commercial airliners...just to name a few.
Hello, my name is Tom Hefter and I have been an Austin area resident since transferring from San Antonio College to the University of Texas, arriving in August, 1975.
HOW IT ALL STARTED
In 1981, I began a 22 year career with a major Oil and Gas E&P company, which led to many days (and nights), living on offshore oil and gas production platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. In the late 90's, a connection was made between the acute ill effects that I, and my co-workers, were experiencing while offshore and SBS (Sick Building Syndrome). Mold in the HVAC air vents was suspected and employees requested a 3rd party contractor to come offshore and clean out all vents at our 28 manned offshore production platforms. A company Hygientist was flown offshore to inspect the HVAC vents (duct work) and collect samples. To our surprise, the samples proved our suspicions to be unwarranted.
Years passed with no relief for the employees. In 2002, I found myself spending nights at the same platform that I had originally suspected of having a bad case of SBS (some platforms were worse than others). One quiet night, when drilling operations were temporarily suspended, I began researching SBS on the Internet. This time I found more recent studies and articles on dust, dust mites, and dust mite allergens (DMA's), rather than the same old "mold" articles that I had read years earlier. BAM! It was like getting hit in the head by a ton of bricks (bricks come in funny shapes). Since housekeeping, offshore, is just as important as packing the pipeline with natural gas and oil, our tile flooring was "wet mopped" nightly and buffed once a week. What we did not have, due to the work environment, was carpeting (hence, no vacuum cleaners) nor did we have any sufficient means of cleaning the mattresses in our bunk rooms or the boxed-in cavity that held the mattress in place. A month passed while I continued my research (thanks to access of the Internet) and learned of the specialized equipment needed to address my newest suspicion, dust mite fecal pellets called "guanine", a potent allergen produced by the millions of dust mites living in each and every mattress. I contacted a parts supplier (who had become a good golfing buddy of mine) and he agreed to "adjust the invoice" so as to disguise the two items I needed - a high dollar vacuum cleaner and a UV-C light, in addition, he would arrange to deliver the items at I time when I would be there to unpack and log the order. The "parts order" came in and I smuggled the two boxes to my private bunk room to open at a more convenient time. Later in the day and in "stealth mode", I proceeded to clean my mattress and mattress cavity then repeated the same to the other three bunks in my room. I awoke the next day feeling well rested and not suffering my usual stuffy nose and morning sneezes. The worst sufferer (and loudest complainer) was a mechanic. When he and the mechanic helper flew off to another location for the day, I slipped into the bunk room where they were assigned and proceeded to clean those four bunks just as I had done in my room. The following morning and shortly after waking, I pulled the mechanic off to the side and asked how he was feeling. He said "fine, I slept like a baby...why do you ask?" I replied, "just asking" and let it go at that. Each day, until the day I left, I repeated the process in the bunk rooms of those that I had noticed suffering similarly, and then watched those who slept there as they came to breakfast. The results were like night and day. I was sold on the efforts of my cleaning process and in time, acquired the tools needed to service the mattresses in my children's rooms and of course, my own.
The equipment offshore was moved from platform to platform, mostly by the mechanic as he often spent nights at the satellite platforms. Eventually, all mattresses in all bunk rooms offshore, were cleaned and the employees' complaints ceased entirely.