Around Town Monday April 12 Weatherskin

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Young people with an entrepreneurial spirit tend to be involved with a number of business ventures before they settle on an idea that blossoms into a rewarding and satisfying undertaking.

Brandon Carbol completed his formal education in print and media design, but later acquired the skills of a carpenter and for more than a decade ran successful custom construction/design-build operations.

His passion for product design also led him to launch Off Road Trailers, designing and building trailers for ATVs. He sold it to a company in Utah and, after falling from a ladder and injuring his back, he sold his construction business, too.

What to do next presented a problem. He didn’t want to look for a job or explore another new industry, so Carbol rented a downtown office space and a white board for three days to ponder problems within the construction industry, and looked for ways to solve them.

The result is Weatherskin, a company he founded in 2016 along with longtime friend and business partner Marwan Hilal that they have built up to be a leading Canadian construction coatings brand.

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The problem Carbol set out to solve was the outdated use of spraying surfaces with volatile products that polluted the environment and posed a health hazard to workers.

He wondered, “Why can’t there be a layer of waterproof coating as an esthetically pleasing product instead of a layer you need to hide from the weather and the eye?”

He and Hilal contacted companies across North America, inquired of SAIT for new chemistry, and then found a Calgary company that was already an industry leader in smart polymer and resin chemistry that had been formulating special-use coatings for the oil and gas industry for the past 30 years.

After a “ton of testing” Weatherskin was ready for the market and acceptance within the construction industry has been quite remarkable. “Because it works,” says Carbol.

Weatherskin coatings are now being used by a growing number of customers thanks to rigorous testing, quality control and industry/consumer earned trust — including by names such as the U.S. Department of Labor, the Mining & Safety Association and the Canadian Food & Drug Administration.

Weatherskin has an office on Brandon Street S.E. and a nearby plant where it manufactures a range of products including foundation, floor, roof, and interior and exterior wall coatings for the commercial and residential construction industries.

Each week, enthusiastic staff ship out a 56-foot semi-trailer for the American market, plus daily deliveries of smaller freight vehicles. Container sizes range from one-gallon pails to 55-gallon drums containing its current list of 30 products.

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One of the Weatherskin brands in demand right now is its series of Pharma Room Surface Washes.

The hospital-grade disinfectant, sanitizer and deodorizer binds chlorine dioxide to deionized water to eliminate more than 200 kinds of pathogens within 15 to 30 seconds.

Performance tested in full compliance with Canadian and U.S. agencies, they are being used as a safe, stable and pure liquid in venues including hospitals, care facilities, restaurants and businesses, as well as in the home.

Weatherskin, maintaining eco-centred values and quality products, has been built up into a respected construction coating brand leader in a market that strictly regulates high quality.

Notes:

Founded in 2013, The Gathering is an exclusive summit focused on exposing the principles and practices employed by the world’s most successful brands. The Forbes-rated business summit and master class is “rooted in community and connection” says Ryan Gill, chair and co-founder of the three-day event. Normally a sold-out experience at the Fairmont Banff Springs, this year it will be an April 19 to 21 virtual happening. But, as The Gathering’s general manager Stephanie Thompson says, “This is not another Zoom call. Our speakers will be streaming from stages in Calgary and across North America.” The Class of 2021 companies include Amazon, Barbie, Budweiser, Netflix, Kawasaki, Land Rover, Shopify and Philadelphia 76ers. Understanding that marketing budgets are tight in this pandemic year, The Gathering is giving away 500 virtual passes — that can be applied for online — to those negatively affected,

David Parker appears regularly in the Herald. Read his columns online at calgaryherald.com/business. He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or by email at info@davidparker.ca.

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