A Concrete Story Of Success
A conversation with Bill Roper, Western Regional Manager, ISE Logik Industries
How did you get into the construction business?
I attended the ‘school of hard knocks’ working in the family’s construction company since I was a kid. I grew up in Vancouver, Washington, but our family handled construction projects all over the country.
In the process, I learned about all kinds of construction. We did a lot of assisted living projects, then hospitals and larger commercial construction projects throughout Kansas, Texas, and Tennessee. We would do metal stud framing, painting, drywall – a little bit of everything. After a while, I moved into estimating and project management and began managing the company’s larger projects
Through business with a Georgia-Pacific rep, I landed a position as an architectural sales manager with GP in the Northwest. Before too long, I received an invitation from GP corporate to become a National Quality Manager for gypsum. They were interested in me because of my extensive experience in the field.
So we moved to Atlanta and for five years I investigated problems and claims—whether it was a product failure or installation failure for the entire line of gypsum products GP produced.
How did you make the connection with concrete, specifically?
Most of the claims were from products placed over concrete roof decks. The concrete generally held moisture in it whether it was from the initial pour or later through infiltration. It always created problems. I had to understand about moisture movements, temperature differentials, weather patterns, and the like when it comes to concrete.
After my stint with GP, I joined an independent rep firm in Denver, then started my own rep business in Montana. That’s where I learned about about ISE Logik and the rest, as they say, is history.
What is the overall awareness about the need for moisture mitigation in concrete?
I have found that different regions have different levels of awareness for concrete moisture issues. For instance, Minnesota has increased its awareness and understanding about this issue over the last 10 years. Any school or hospital in that region puts an MVRA product in almost every specification.
Reactions vary market-to-market and regionally on how they react to the problem. That’s one reason why you need to be an educator as well as a sales representative.
“Minnesota has increased its awareness and understanding about this issue over the last 10 years.”
What can be the biggest challenge for you?
People are reluctant to change. If you believe two-part epoxy solutions work for you, why would you want to change? That’s why project profiles are important. They answer the questions “Where have you done this before?” and “What have the challenges been?” They also want to see projects like theirs. That’s a big reason why we are constantly working to document the use of our products and showcase them on our website and in social media.
Do you run into contractors who insist on moisture testing?
I have found that many large contractors will mandate including an MVRA into concrete once they understand the time saving and cost savings implications.
The flooring contractor, on the other hand, can sometimes be the strongest advocate for conducting a moisture test for concrete. And you know, moisture tests almost always fail. So not only does it take two to three days to conduct the testing, it will cause weeks of delay to retest the concrete. So when we come in and say you don’t need the testing, it’s not surprising to get some push back.
The flooring contractor will say that they can’t warrant the floors if they don’t moisture test. We say that you will receive an adhesion warranty from ISE Logik … so you’re covered. Keep in mind, the flooring manufacture’s warranty (in small print) will not warrant against moisture, anyway. But we will. In fact, we warrant 100% RH. So, the warranty you get from us is better than the manufacturer’s. There’s just no need to run a test when you use moisture mitigation from ISE Logik.
Have you ever encountered commercial builders who were unfamiliar with the consequences of water vapor during construction?
Yes, and with disastrous results. There was a builder who was unconcerned about moisture mitigation because, as he reasoned, the building would be enclosed for about 9 weeks before flooring went down—plenty of time for the concrete to cure, according to him. During those 9 weeks, they ran propane heaters to stay warm and keep things dry, or so they believed. Propane heaters actually make the problem worse. And where does that water vapor collect? In the concrete, of course. Even some of the most experienced contractors may not realize this–it just never crosses their minds. Water vapor doesn’t just vanish. It’s got to go somewhere.
“Propane produces 4 cubic feet of water vapor for every cubic foot of gas it burns.”
Are there types of projects that you prefer over others?
I like them all, but given my background in the business, I gravitate toward healthcare and schools. They’re unique because moisture mitigation is so absolutely critical to them. No one wants a moisture problem beneath a floor that can result in health issues down the road.
Do you ever recommend using both the admixture and a topical together, on the same project?
You mean a “belt & suspenders” approach? No, we don’t because it isn’t necessary. Either one by itself will stop moisture vapor transmission. Interestingly though, I have had customers who have insisted on using both when they discover that using both our admixture and topical together is less than the cost of a two-part epoxy solution by itself. Some people just want to double up, even though it’s not necessary.
What do you like most about your job with ISE Logik?
I love the education side of it. I enjoy helping customers understand the science behind our moisture mitigation products and how we can help them save time and cost on their projects.
“I enjoy helping customers understand the science behind our moisture mitigation products.”
What are the advantages that ISE Logik has? What makes them so good?
At ISE Logik, we are immediately on top of whatever issues a customer has and can usually respond with an answer or a solution in less than a day. Our warranties set us apart and are unbeatable. ISE Logik has a strong and highly respected connection with the flooring world through Taylor Adhesives. Lastly, and certainly not least, the experience of our founders, David Seland and Dean Craft, are second to none.
You can reach Bill at 720-630-0943 email@example.com
Western Regional Manager, ISE Logik Industries