Official Licensee of the Mallard Roof Cleaning System
Phone (407) 949-2086, Fax (407) 949-0053
1636 Smithfield Way, Suite 1192
Oviedo, Florida 32765
Florida Commercial Roof Cleaning
The Lockyer / Mallard History
In September of 1991 Alfred Charles Lockyer "AC" moved home from college. Having a family history of his Grandfather and his Father being successful business owners, AC had already decided he also wanted to be a roof cleaning entrepreneur. AC, recently engaged, knew he needed to quickly make his mark with some kind of roof cleaning business to support his new life with his wife. Contemplating this on his drive back from Texas where he attended college, AC had asked his father for an idea for a new business. Al Sr. had just had his home painted and the painter had cleaned his roof as well. Al Sr. passed on the idea of roof cleaning to AC and the seed was planted.
As AC traveled the 24-hour drive back to Florida he had plenty of time to plan for the inception of his new roof cleaning business. How do you clean a roof? What type of licensing does it require? How will I insure the company? Many roof cleaning questions and plans circulated within AC’s mind.
Once home AC and his father sat down to plan on what was to be with this new residential and commercial roof cleaning venture. It was decided that a pressure washer could do the job and one was purchased. Also was purchased a small long-bed pick-up truck. The first demo roof was chosen,” AC’s Grandmothers home” and the residential and commercial roof cleaning business was off.
Quickly “very quickly” AC realized that the pressure washer was blasting off the small stone finish “ aggregate” from the roofs surface. AC knew that if he continued pressure washing the roof that the damage would far out weigh the benefit of the cleaning. There had to be a better way of residential and commercial roof cleaning .
AC remembered back to an experience where he regularly cleaned his fathers screen room with bleach and water to remove mildew stains. AC then purchased a couple pump-up style sprayers and some discount bleach. Mixing the bleach and water together he made quick work of completing the cleaning of his Grandmothers roof. Best of all there appeared to be no damage caused to the roofs surface. That first roof was about 1800 square feet and took all day to complete.
AC then set his sights on a small neighborhood in Seminole County, Florida, Orange Grove Park. The homes there were about 4 to 5 years old and in desperate need of some roof cleaning. AC created some makeshift flyers and began knocking on doors for business. Quickly he had his first two customers. AC gathered his supplies (30 one gallon Albertson’s Bleach containers, a rope with a hook, some garden hose and 2 pump-up sprayers). His plan was to mix the chemicals from atop the roof with no need to go up and down the ladder. This was a good plan because AC was phobic of heights.
That first day in Orange Grove Park Alfred cleaned two roofs while operating under the name of Allstate Home Appearance Services. Orange Grove Park became AC’s residential and commercial roof cleaning testing grounds. AC did 27 roofs in Orange Grove Park, the first sold for $50.00 and the final for $225.00. AC had developed his process to include a holding tank for his bleach and a pump with a hose reel. AC could do two roofs with the current chemical capacity and had to refill during his lunch hour.
Now that AC had a residential and commercial roof cleaning delivery system it was time to work on the cleaning chemicals. Bleach and water did a fine job cleaning but simply could not keep a roof cleaner longer that six months to a year. AC knew that in order to charge enough for his residential and commercial roof cleaning service to afford insurance and workers comp as well as other compliance expenses he needed to get more longevity out of a cleaning. AC had spent seven years on and off working in the horticulture and nursery industries. AC had a vocational degree in horticulture and knew of the many fungicides on the market. If only through research and development a fungicide could be found that could be carried within a bleach and water solution.
AC by this time had polished his residential and commercial roof cleaning company and had a very impressive marketing program going. He began to attract the eye of several shingle manufactures that had residential and commercial roof cleaning problems servicing claims from mildew staining on their roofs. Companies like ELK and GAF lent their support early on and pointed AC in the direction of what they were researching for removal of mildew stains. Closet chemistry ensued and various adaptations and solutions were tested on un-assuming roofs through out Orlando. AC began to notice that a certain mixture was gaining time remaining clean long after other mixes had failed. This was to become the first residential and commercial roof cleaning “Duck Sauce”.
AC for some time had noticed that the name he was using for his company was very generic. AC wanted to brand his company so it was hard for anyone to forget him. In the spring of 1992 AC changed his companies name from Allstate to Mallard Systems. He incorporated a phone number of (877) DUCK-620 into his marketing and a large duck on the side of his truck. Oh and that new fungicide mix, that became the “Secret residential and commercial roof cleaning Duck Sauce”.
From merely the name change sales went up 30%. Customers would frequently ask AC “How many trucks do you have now? I see them everywhere.” AC had only one truck, it however was the most noticeable truck driving throughout the Orlando area. By now AC was cleaning consistently 10 – 15 roofs per week.
In April of 1992 Orlando saw a series of severe storms that spawned large hail stones. 100,000 roofs were replaced in Orlando and that nearly killed Mallard Systems. But out of adversity comes creativity. AC for a while had noticed that his chemical would run off of the roof and create clean spots on driveways, woof fences and home exteriors. Determined to survive AC decided to go head to head against the pressure washing industry and promote the Mallard System as the solution to damaging ineffective pressure washing on any exterior surface.
It paid off! Mallard Systems immediately rebounded amidst the re-roofing craze from the hailstorms. Because the Mallard System was so effective against mildew and organic staining and was applied so quickly, Mallard began to gobble up market share. AC as a small one-man one truck was beginning to get very busy at residential and commercial roof cleaning in Florida.
By Mallard Systems one-year anniversary AC’s wife Karen had joined the efforts and was riding shotgun in the old duck truck. The Mallard reputation had grown and now commercial customers wanted service. AC joined the Apartment Association of Greater Orlando in 1992. Some of Mallard Systems first commercial customers were Winter Park Villas Apartments, Vistana Resorts, Larry Cavalerro “Past AAGO President” and Seville on the Green. Mallard Systems commercial growth had begun.
Mallard Systems remained a small one-truck company until the fall of 1993. AC had begun to become overloaded with business and could no longer alone support himself and sell and service and book keep etc, etc, etc. It was time to expand the family business to include more family. AC only 23 yrs old now, convinced his father to come into the residential and commercial roof cleaning business and help out.
The business offices were moved into the upstairs apartment above Al Seniors garage and a sales person was hired. Two more trucks were purchased to total three service trucks and the Mallard Systems “Flock” was born. The next few years saw growth in a single year by as much as 400%.
In 1996 Mallard Systems moved from above the “garage” into their first commercial business facility in Altamonte Springs, Florida. That year Mallard Systems hired a Sales Manager and expanded their flock to six sales trucks, six service trucks and over eighteen employees. Mallard Systems had at this point become the most successful residential and commercial roof cleaning company in Florida to date.
In 1997 our growth made it obvious that they had out grown their little 2000 square foot facility in Altamonte. Mallard Systems had hired Jack Lynch to aid in the search for land to build a new building to house the flock and soon Jack himself became part of the flock. Fall of 1997 Mallard’s new roost in Longwood, Florida was completed and they moved right in. Salespersons were added and more “duck trucks” hit the road. A total of ten sales trucks and ten service trucks were out daily. The residential and commercial roof cleaning flock had grown to over forty employees.
In the fall of 1999 Mallard Systems decided to open its first branch in Tampa, Florida. That move coupled with the sales of the Longwood branch earned them the distinction of being a Florida 100 company. January of 2000 saw the opening of Mallard’s third facility in Delray Beach, Florida. With the addition of the Delray facility Mallard Systems completed the year 2000 with over five million dollars in sales. For that Mallard was awarded the Florida 100 once again. Mallard Systems now has 36 residential and commercial roof cleaning trucks and over 100 employees throughout Florida.
Mixed with this tremendous success and sales came bitter times for the Lockyer's and Mallard Systems. The fall of 2000 saw a Presidential Election marred with fraud and controversy. Earlier the Attorney General of the US began proceedings for an anti-trust lawsuit against Tech Giant Microsoft. The Stock Market was falling, chads were the talk of the day and the worst drought in 100 years grasped the throat of Florida. The mighty residential and commercial roof cleaning giant was wavering. Water restrictions and a declining economy were taking their toll and a move needed to be made. The decision was made to close the Delray Beach office. It was the hardest thing for the leadership to do. Not only were we about to cut out a branch only one year old but it had sold over 1.4 million dollars its first year in business. Hardest of all for the Lockyer's and Mallard was letting go over fifteen employees that’s livelihood depended on that branch. These were dark times.
The drought and the economy only seemed to slip deeper and so did Mallard’s sales. Another tough decision was coming. The Tampa branch was next to go. The Lockyer's could only hope that this radical, aggressive belt tightening could save the company. The closing of the branches had amassed over $700,000.00 in debt. The weight was almost too much to bear. The only positive during this dark time was that AC had been nominated for the Orlando Business Journals Up and Comers Award. Feelings were mixed. AC felt how could he relish this achievement with so much uncertainty surrounding the existence of Mallard Systems. AC attended the Up and Comers banquet with his wife and his parents not knowing if he made the cut. Forty nominees were taken but only 20 would be accepted. AC was chosen and awarded as one of the top twenty business leaders under the age of forty in Central Florida. This was a little bright spot in the storm of economic uncertainty.
By summers end the belt tightening had helped. Still heavily weighted in debt and uncertain Mallard had begun to emerge from the fire like a phoenix. It started to rain, fall season was coming and AC thought, “What possibly could happen worse than the boggled Presidential elections”. Well trials hit Mallard again. Early in September several ex Mallard and current Mallard employees left to start a competitive company. The Lockyer's were totally caught off guard and hurt by this move. What seemed to be a totally devastating move of betrayal was to be totally over shadowed two days later on September 11th 2001. God Bless, our problems now seemed so small, America’s perspective was changed forever. We were all forced to our knees.
The country and the economy dove sharply as though off a cliff. It was dark, but out of great adversity comes determination. The Lockyer's now with a glare in their eyes started to fight unbelievable odds. Economy, betrayal, debt, terrorism and rumors of Mallard’s certain demise became a call to war. Like the good ole days Mallard had something to prove. Could they lead the way and be more than what all naysayers expected of them?
Mallard Systems Longwood finished 2001 actually ahead of their 2000 branch numbers by more than 30%. Momentum grew! Each month that passed showed mark improvement over the past years numbers. Sales increased. Stability and moral improved. Debts were retired and Mallard Systems was back. Not back a little, back on top. Mallard began to re-enter the markets they had closed a year earlier. Not as branches but from Orlando. New residential and commercial roof cleaning management ideas and techniques were born. Business was done differently. Like the hailstorms of 1992 the adversities of 2001 had created opportunities and Mallard capitalized.
By the close of 2002 Mallard Systems was a break-even company. No losses, no gains but in the black. In that victory was the starteling fact that they had retired more than half of their debt. Sales for the Longwood residential and commercial roof cleaning market were up 30% and the residential division had its best year ever! By the close of the first quarter of 2003 Mallard Systems posted a 12% profit! Nothing admirable is ever easy! Mallard had been to the Gates of Hell, but never gave up.
2003 saw some changes to the line up at Mallard Systems. AC needing to pursue his own business style and gain independence split Mallard Systems with his father and again struck out on his own like he did in 1991. AC began a business to business focused cleaning company and named it TerraClean. His wife Karen again joined him as President of the parent company TerraServ Inc. The split of the little roof cleaning empire was completed in late May 2003.
TerraClean is a company focused on meeting the cleaning needs of schools, apartments, businesses, hospitals, condos, government, etc. Customers who once embraced Mallard Systems were easily converted over to the new TerraClean Company. Sales were healthy and good service abounded. TerraClean began to flourish because of its simple cause of excellent service with an excellent product. TerraClean finished up the year of 2003 with a substantial profit.
In 2004 Al Lockyer Sr. sold the 11 county Central Florida Mallard Territory to a British National living in Florida. Al was ready to retire and did so in 2004. After some time it was realized that this was not going to work out. In 2008 AC reacquired the piece of Mallard Systems that was sold. Now the entire residential and commercial roof cleaning company has been rejoined under AC's ownership and direction.
TerraClean Commercial Roof Cleaning Florida
Official Licensee of the Mallard Roof Cleaning System
Phone (407) 949-2086, Fax (407) 949-0053
1636 Smithfield Way, Suite 1192
Oviedo, Florida 32765