Spray Foam Magazine – Foametix Insulation is an established spray foam insulation company based out of Winnipeg, Canada that employs a staff of eight with two spray rigs. Foametix has been in business since 2009, but on June 1, 2022, Mark Kucel took over ownership of the company.
Mark also owns Breathe Easy Eco Solutions, an asbestos and mold remediation company. With this business, he was often running into projects where the crew would have to remove either mold or vermiculite insulation (insulation containing asbestos) from attics. When this happened, someone would have to come in and re-insulate the attic space after they did their removal work. They worked a lot with Foametix, who was doing the insulation work on many of those remediation jobs. Mark would pass work to Foametix, and they would pass work to Mark. If Foametix went into a new job and saw asbestos/mold/etc., they’d know they couldn’t insulate until they reached out to Mark, the abatement company, and invited them in to do the remediation work first.
“The previous owner of Foametix had a lot of things on his plate,” explains Mark. “He told me, ‘You know what? This would be a good fit for you to take the Foametix division under your umbrella.’ The synergies between the two companies really work well…And both of the logos are green!” He laughs. “So I thought, why not? Fast forward a bit to June 1, 2022, and I took over Foametix.”
In the Fall of 2022, under Mark Kucel’s leadership, Foametix serendipitously fell into a project on an island in Northwestern Ontario, about two and half hours from Winnipeg. “I’m a pretty avid fisherman,” Mark explains. “It’s pretty much my one and only hobby. I guess word got out in the local fishing community that I have a company that installs spray foam insulation, and a gentleman by the name of Jay Siemens, who is a very popular YouTuber, reached out to a mutual friend of ours. He said that he was in the process of building a fishing outpost on an island just over the Manitoba border, near Kenora, Ontario, and that it would need insulation.”
Mark decided to take on Jay’s cottage job and quickly started prepping the schedule. He only had weeks to plan before the cold weather. Because of the location of this particular job, Foametix would need to ferry their equipment out to the island. Mark elaborates, “If you are trying to move a 14,000 lb spray foam rig across the lake, towing it with a utility boat will take about four hours one way to get to this island.”
The build itself started early in the season, so it would be a while before it was ready for the insulation installation. Finally, the time came in October to make the trip out to the island, but this would be no evening sunset cruise. The Foametix team ran into several challenges getting over to the island. They were ahead of schedule and ready to go, so the crew loaded the barge with the spray rig the night before the scheduled trip.
The crew used the heated Foametix spray line to install Insulthane Extreme closed-cell foam to the crawl space under the fishing cottage.
They were told that the barge they had arranged for would hold 30,000 pounds, no problem. They backed the trailer down onto the barge, but the tires were hanging just inches over the edge. It was way too risky to try to move it. The night was windy and dark. They were out there with only flashlights. “It was just brutal,” Mark recalls. “We were discouraged and started to think that it just wasn’t meant to be.” They decided to go back to the hotel and regroup.
Disappointed and thinking the job might not happen, Mark received a phone call at around 9:00 pm informing him that night that another barge had been arranged. This one would be a lot bigger, and they were to meet at 6:30 in the morning at another boat launch area.
Once the Foametix team was able to ensure a properly sized barge, it took about four hours for it to ferry the rig over to the island.
The Foametix team got a good night’s sleep and arrived ready for the journey the next morning. As promised, the new barge was significantly bigger and the rig fit with plenty of room to spare. Off it went, headed for the island. Mark and his crew hopped on another boat and headed over with a quick 20 minute ride. Four hours later, the barge and the rig showed up to the island shore ready for Jay’s insulation job.
The ground was muddy and soft, so the rig remained beached on the barge for the duration of the spray job. The crew unloaded a couple hundred feet of line to the cottage crawl space. Fortunately, the October weather cooperated staying above the freezing point, but they also had an advantage as the Foametix spray line is designed with a heated line.
Foametix’s Operations Manager, Richard Clapperton did the spray for this special trip to the island. An avid fisherman himself, Richard wanted to be part of the project and did the honors of working the Graco E-30 reactor and AP Fusion spray gun, wearing a full Tyvek suit and 3M full face mask for protection for the job.
Jay affectionately deemed Richard “Spray Master.” Richard sprayed the entire crawl space area underneath the cottage in about four hours with Insulthane Extreme closed-cell foam by Elastochem, the first approved HFO system in Canada. They used three inches underneath the living area and four inches underneath the mechanical room that holds electronics and a water heater. Mark told the SFMT that this Elastochem brand of closed-cell winter foam is the right foam for them because it is easy to spray and it’s a Canadian brand, so it is designed for cold Canadian winters. Insulathane Extreme underneath Jay’s cabin will definitely improve its energy efficiency, reduce pollutants from entering the home, and reduce the risk of mold and mildew.
Mark touched on the supply chain issues of 2022, but was pleased that they never had that problem with Elastochem. He states, “The service that Elastochem provides is excellent. Their pickup location is close to our shop, so that’s very convenient for us.”
In the end, the insulation job was a success and the Foametix team was able to relax and prepare for the ride back to the mainland. Before that though, since Mark is an avid fisherman, the Spray Foam Magazine team was curious if he was able to bring the poles along to get some fishing in at the outpost.
“Actually, Jay offered to take us fishing after working on his cottage. The weather wasn’t the greatest while we were on the island and we were really focused on just executing the actual job itself. We do have an IOU with him and we are going to take him up on it come spring or sometime this year for sure!”
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Jay Siemens (left) will enjoy the benefits of improved energy efficiency in his fishing cabin thanks to the successful insulation job that Mark Kucel (right) and his Foametix team provided.
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