Contractor Spotlight - Theresa Thompson from Standard Waterproofing

Posted By DEMILEC || 31-Jul-2012

This month, Demilec USA is proud to Theresa Thompson from Standard Waterproofing as our contractor of the month. Standard Waterproofing is a member of the ABAA (Air Barrier Association of America) and has been in business for over 20 years. They have completed numerous large commercial projects throughout Maine with spray foam insulation.

Demilec: How long have you been in business and how long have you been in the Spray Foam industry?

Theresa: We’ve been in business for over 20 years and we have been doing spray foam for roughly 5 years.

Demilec: And why did you decide to start installing Spray Foam insulation

Theresa: Well, we are a part of ABAA (The Air Barrier Association of America) and we noticed that they have a spray foam section and decided that we wanted to be a part of it. At the time, there were no contractors in the state of Maine that were ABAA certified for spray foam. We felt that spray foam was an up and coming product and that we would be seeing a lot more on job sites, which we have been for commercial new construction. We thought it was a really great, unique air barrier product too.

Demilec: I know that you do primarily commercial and multifamily residential work. Do you do more retrofit or new construction work?

Theresa: I would say that we do mostly new construction

Demilec: What are some of the unique challenges that you face when doing a commercial project with spray foam?

Theresa: Well you always have the safety considerations. You are working on a construction site that is not under your control. You have a superintendent and a general contractor that you answer to, and you have numerous other contractors that you have no control over. All of the other trades want to be in your workspace and you have to deal with that. Having to negotiate the various hazards that go along with our installation and making people aware of it and working around them is definitely one of the big issues of being on a commercial construction site is

Demilec: How do you educate the other trades on a jobsite to the specific safety requirements that exist when you are spraying foam?

Theresa: We have a pre-installation meeting with the general contractor where we educate the architect, the general contractor and possibly some other trades. Then, it is their job to get the word out. Also, when we are in the installation process we put various signs up such as: ‘breathing apparatus required beyond this point’, caution tape, ‘overspray hazard’ and so on.

Demilec: Do you do any commercial retrofit work?

Theresa: Yes we do. In Maine, we have a lot of Maine State Housing, old brick mill buildings that have been renovated into low income housing, and we have spray foamed a lot of those.

Demilec: What kind of challenges do you face when doing a retrofit versus new construction?

Theresa: I think with retrofit, sometimes what is on the drawings isn’t exactly what is in place. If they’re really old buildings, you don’t know the condition of the brick behind the sheet rock and it might be more deteriorated than expected and you face delays because they have to repair that substrate. You run into issues like that.

Demilec: Can you tell me about a project that you are especially proud of? I know that you have done quite a few major projects. Can you pick one and tell me a little about it?

Theresa: There are so many projects that it’s difficult to chose! We just did some new Port of Entry buildings in Northern Maine, Bridgewater and Forest City. Both of those used Demilec Foam in the wall cavity as a LEED requirement. Tom was the project manager on those jobs so maybe he can give a little insight into how it went.

Tom: Well the Bridgewater project went very well. The Port of Entry buildings are on the border and they’re high profile jobs. We had a little trouble with Forest City, but it wasn’t too bad. We had to take numerous moisture samples for the Government but it all went OK and turned out well at the end.

Theresa: What was significant about Forest City were the different testing requirements that the onsite inspector for the government required from us. Like Tom said, he wanted in-depth moisture samples from the wall, he wanted depth gauges, he wanted pull tests, which not being an ABAA job, we didn’t think you would have to do. Luckily we have the equipment and were able to do it and it went well.

Demilec: Are those federal government requirements or State of Maine requirements?

Theresa: I think that they were just job requirements. The architect asked for us to do these tests while the job was in progress. It wasn’t specified or part of any state or federal requirement. It was the architect saying, “hey would you guys be willing to do x y and z for us.” And we are the type of contractor that if someone says ‘can you do testing?’, because we have the equipment, we are always willing to do it. We’re not trying to hide anything or give the customer anything but the best. When they want us to do testing, we are happy to do it.

Demilec: How has your spray foam business grown since it started?

Theresa: Five years ago we started with one truck. We have two trucks now and are looking to purchase a new rig. Our spray foam business has grown huge. We started out a little timid in the field, doing small projects like a garage or a small wall job. Overall spray foam has grown in its popularity and we have grown with it. Being that our company has been in business for 20 years, our name and reputation is out there with all of the general contractors in Maine. When they heard that we were doing spray foam, they said ‘AWESOME. I have spray foam on this job and I know you guys so why don’t you go ahead and take care of the foam on this job.’ So we’ve been lucky that we were able to build on what our company already does by adding spray foam and having that reputation so that contractors easily signed us up to do their spray foam work. Over the years we have gone from small projects to extremely large projects. We regularly complete 50 kit (plus) jobs, with our large jobs requiring a lot of oversight, a lot of management and great staffing. The guy on the gun has to be doing a good job.

Demilec: Why do you choose to install Demilec spray foam products?

Theresa: For any building material, there are multiple manufacturers that you can choose from. To us, what sets a product apart is its customer support. When we call the manufacturer and we need an answer or we need support on a jobsite, we expect that we are going to get that support and we are going to get it in a timely fashion. That’s what we find with Demilec and that’s what we like about Demilec. The product sprays great and we like it, but what we love is the customer support. Also, the accessibility of the product. You guys just opened a warehouse in Auburn, ME. That makes it the closest spray foam distributor to us. But overall, it’s the customer support. When we call Brian Cote (NE Territory Manager) he answers and when we need him on a jobsite, he’s there the next day. It’s phenomenal.

Demilec: We really pride ourselves on our service so that is excellent to hear! I’m sure Brian will be happy to hear that as well. Thank you so much for your time and we hope for your continued success and growth!

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