On the driest continent on earth, it’s quirky to consider that a machine which gets rid of moisture could be so keenly in demand. And yet a Port Macquarie couple have discovered that their unique dehumidifying machines, which effectively solve moisture, mould and dampness problems from the most rain-affected parts of Tasmania to the humid tropics of Australia’s north – and everywhere in between – would be something that ordinary Australians have become collectively eager to acquire for their homes, offices, hotels, art galleries and beyond. Stewart Dawes speaks to Bob Knuckey, the master of the Moisture Cure phenomenon, about how sometimes Australia becoming a drier place can be a good thing …
How long ago did you start your dehumidifier business?
We started Moisture Cure about 13 years ago because we recognised a lack knowledge in the way excess moisture and condensation was being addressed. When we asked about dehumidifiers nobody could help us. We found a supplier in Melbourne, bought a few from him and the business grew from there. Today Moisture Cure is one of the largest dehumidifier supply companies in Australia.
What are the benefits of being in business for so long?
Well, for a start you realise there is no such thing as an instant success. I guess the main benefit of being in business for this length of time is the fact that we can recognise more possibilities of the products we sell and we can help customers with any issues they have with mould and dampness. Over the years we have listened to literally thousands of stories from our customers and we can now nearly anticipate the problems they are about to describe. We ask a lot of questions before we recommend a particular product and so we have a very good understanding of the expectations they are wanting from us. We can nearly always offer them the correct solution.
Our experience in this field is a major benefit to our customers.
We back our experience up with quality products that we have developed some history with. Most of our products have been in our range for at least 7 years, some as long as 11, so we have a good understanding of the reliability and the performance of these units. Our dehumidifiers are primarily manufactured in Taiwan and this region has a reputation of quality products. We also import products from Europe including Italy, UK and Switzerland. Another benefit of being in business for this length of time is we have accumulated spare parts for all the units we have sold so we can generally repair the dehumidifiers we have sold, even the older original models.
When did you come up with the name Moisture Cure – and why?
Moisture seemed obvious and self explanatory I think. We find solutions (Cure) for dampness, condensation (Moisture) issues. Also, I came from a floor covering background and we used to use a product that set or ‘cured’ by a process called ‘curing by moisture’, so it wasn’t a great leap of imagination to come up with the name Moisture Cure.
How many products do you estimate you’ve sold over the decade?
We weren’t an overnight success so didn’t sell too many at the start, but I would expect we have sold somewhere around 7000-8000 units. Quite an achievement when you consider Mitsubishi stopped selling dehumidifiers in Australia because they couldn’t achieve sales of 500 units throughout all their dealers in Australia. They publicly declared that it wasn’t possible for them to achieve this figure.
What are some of the worst places that struggle with moisture and mould?
Most of our customers live on the East coast between Melbourne and Cairns. Hot spots for us are all of the Northern rivers, mid north coast NSW, Sydney, North and South coast, much of Queensland especially Far North, Gold Coast and hinterland, Sunshine Coast, Brisbane.
We also sell inland, to a lesser degree, to homes that have condensation issues on their windows and walls. Their homes will benefit from being warmer and cosier. Tasmania and Melbourne also have good potential as they are cold and damp for 9 months of the year.
But really any building situated within 10km of a lake, river or ocean is a potential customer. Worst situations are where the home is closed up for most of the day, rooms that don’t get used, buildings cut into the landscape, heated indoor pool rooms , walk-in-robes, lower level rooms or storage areas. In particular storage areas for archives, artillery, paper goods, craft items, electronic appliances such as cameras, TVs, computers and so on …
Is there an age group that these products are more suited for?
Our main consumers have adequate disposable income and are probably 50 and over. However, younger property owners and parents of young children are also our customers. Anybody with awareness of the potential damage to property and personal affects and health problems mould can cause, are our customers.
During the Mid North Coast’s Innovation Festival this year Moisture Cure received a Highly Commended Award for their new mould remediation service.
The awards were designed to acknowledge the outstanding contribution that businesses are making through a commitment to innovation, creativity and developing excellence.
- The Innovation Awards are a partnership between Port Macquarie-Hastings Council, Newcastle University and the North Coast TAFE and the Mid North Coast Innovation Festival.
- The awards were open to businesses that had successfully completed the 2007 or 2008 Key Business Development Programs or participating in the 2009 Program run by the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council.
- For the purposes of these awards innovation is defined as new or improved practices either within the business or across the industry value chain explained Council Economic Development Manager, Trevor Sargeant.
Moisture Cure are a leading specialist in dampness and ventilation issues. Bob and Christine have a desire to provide a more complete service in accordance with what they recognise as a significant gap in the market place. Moisture Cure can now complement their Water Damage Restoration Service with a Mould Remediation Service that can guarantee total destruction of mould growth, verified by before and after air sampling.