Spray Foam Insulation

2012 to 2017 Consumer Choice Award Winner For Insulation Contractor

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Winner Of 6 Consecutive (2012 to 2017) Consumer Choice Awards For Insulation Contractor

 

Story republished from Winnipeg Free Press (October, 2012)

 

Family that Sprays Together, Stays Together

 

The staff of Red River Spray-On Ltd. is a tight-knit group born out of necessity on business and personal levels.

 

The spray foam insulation company got its start as a business run by the Oak Bluff Hutterite Colony near Morris, Man., in the late 1970s.

 

When it became apparent the company would grow better as its own entity off the colony, founder John Maendel made the rare move in January of this year to purchase the business and leave the colony with his wife and two of their five children.

 

"Because we were always on the road there wasn't that oversight by the leadership of the colony, which isn't conducive to the Hutterite way," says eldest son Stan Maendel, who's a project manager.

 

"The consensus was reached that the best way to ensure an ongoing future for the company is to give full control to the ones running it for the past 30, 40 years."

 

Stan and oldest sister Eugenia had already left the colony in 2002 and married non-Hutterites. Sister Angela had married into a different colony and she and husband Jerrold left that colony in July. Jerrold now works for the company.

 

The decision pulled the family closer as they worked together to make the company more successful.

 

John is the chief executive officer and wife Mary helps in the office. Youngest son Aaron, is also a project manager and in charge of safety. Middle son Daniel is a math and physical education teacher at a Winnipeg inner-city junior high school and often works for the company when he's not in the classroom. An aunt is the company's bookkeeper.

 

Stan credits his father's vision and dedication, and the family's strong Christian faith, for the company's success.

 

John was a builder and carpenter on the colony. When he was working on its community kitchen in 1978, one of his brothers suggested he try a relatively new spray foam product to seal off unwanted air and vapour leakage. John went to the States to buy the equipment, learned how to use it and has never looked back.

 

"He's the No. 1 reason we all are who we are," Stan says.

 

"The business is what is keeping the family very close-knit. I have no idea where we would be if he hadn't done that 30 years ago.

 

"We were really young teenagers and he made us work in the company for our summer holidays and we all hated it, but we had no choice. And it's because he literally forced us in a direction that we're all successful now."

 

The company serves commercial, industrial and residential customers across Manitoba, and has even done projects as far west as Edmonton and east to Thunder Bay.

 

Stan, 34, started working for the company in 1991, but left the colony in 2002 and ended up taking a website design course at Red River College.

"Then the colony hired me back, which they generally don't do, but because I knew a lot about the business and my dad pushed it that he needed me, they hired me back to work for him."

 

Red River Spray-On Ltd offers innovative services, including inspections using a top-notch infrared imaging camera.

 

"When you look through the camera you can literally see the air coming into your house or escaping," Stan says.

 

"Once it's visualized for the customer, they literally see how that's affecting the comfort level of the house, but also the fact of how their heating and cooling costs are affected as well."

 

Customers are becoming concerned with fumes during foam applications so the business uses an air-quality tester before and after the work.

 

"We have high-powered fans that blow the fumes out of the building and the fans don't shut off until the quality is back to the base line," he says.

"That's just a little value-added that we do that's not common because just the machine to test air costs $6,000 plus."

 

The company's website offers a unique service (www.rrso.ca). People can enter details about the project they're planning such as the square feet they want sprayed and a rough estimate of cost is automatically calculated.

 

He and brother Daniel came up with the formulas and program. Calling himself the "enforcer of high standards," Stan says his father taught his children to focus on customer service and not put money ahead of doing good work.

 

"We've done projects at a loss simply because we ran into situations where doing the project the right way would require more material and we ended up not even making any money on the project, but it was done right," he says.

 

"If the customer isn't happy, then we do what it takes regardless of the cost to make it right."