Kelso Industrial Group (Kelso) provides a wealth of experience and knowledge to handle the most complex blasting or waterproofing requirements to protect and restore assets. Founded in 2013, the company is named after the Kelso Conservation Area located near the Niagara escarpment and their head office in Milton, Ontario. Kelso Industrial Group includes Kelso Coatings, Kelso Abrasives, and Kelso Blasting and Restoration.
Kelso is proud to provide non-toxic and environmentally friendly products and services to their customers. Their strong belief in protecting the environment is as important as protecting infrastructure assets. By providing excellent service to meet their customers’ quality requirements and strict time lines, Kelso ensures that their customer service is second to none.
“We’ve really focused on growing the business, adding sales representation throughout Ontario,” says David Wasserman President, Kelso Industrial Group. “We are always on the lookout for experienced reps and sales professionals who have experience in the concrete product space and we continue to look for opportunities to expand across Canada.”
Primarily, Kelso’s focus was the Greater Toronto Area but in the last year, they opened up a new facility just outside of Ottawa. From this location, they are able to supple product and do contracting work as well. They also opened up an office in the City of Toronto and added a sales manager for the GTA region.
Kelso has been fortunate to have Peter Ventin join their team who is not only Kelso’s key professional engineer but also a partner. Ventin comes with a proven track record and a wealth of knowledge due to a successful career in the professional engineering field. “Peter’s vast knowledge of the industry as well his business acumen has been an asset for Kelso,” says Langdana.
The company has also recently hired an operations and safety manager, Matthew Olleros. “We have a strong commitment to health and safety and with the magnitude of the some of the projects that we are working on, we want to ensure that our team is working in a safe environment at all times,” says Langdana.
Over the last several years, Kelso has provided the best abrasive equipment to service client needs as a leading services provider. Their team is extremely knowledgeable and helps troubleshoot any issues that may arise. “While we’d like to be the clients first call, often we find that we will get a call to go into a situation where another water proofing application has failed and clients are upset and we solve those difficult challenges for them to make their experience be a positive one,” says Wasserman. “In projects where traditional water proofing methods have been used unsuccessfully, our applications effectively solve the issue.”
Kelso wants the customer experience to be hassle-free, simple and productive. The team is accommodating and flexible to make their solutions work with their customers’ needs. “We have built our company on integrity,” says Ron Langdana, President, Kelso Coatings. “We like to be the starting point to gain the trust of our clients, not necessarily always suggesting our product but also recommending other solutions for particular projects.” Kelso can recommend speciality contractors to do job-specific projects and it has proven to have built those mutual, long-lasting relationships with their clients.
In recent years, one of the biggest areas of growth for Kelso is in underground parking garages. “There’s been a huge proliferation in condominium development, apartment building construction across the GTA and across Canada,” says Wasserman. “Given our winter weather, we have an opportunity for rehabilitation of underground parking garages. It’s become an area we’ve truly become successful in solving customer issues. ”
As infrastructure continues to age, the company will see more opportunity and growth in this segment. The major factor in the degradation of concrete structures is the natural existence of pores and cracks in the concrete. Pores and cracks provide ideal paths for water, chlorides and other damaging contaminants to penetrate the structure. The physical environment penetrates the concrete through these pores and the resulting produces an eroding chemical reaction to the concrete.
Known for their superior patented product CN2000®, used for concrete waterproofing, CN2000®, is a non-toxic capillary crystalline waterproof material used as a surface coating to protect infrastructure from deterioration. Specifically, Kelso uses their product to protect infrastructure from rapid freeze and thaw cycles, water, chloride ion and other contaminants and also protects the reinforcing steel against corrosion and ultimate deterioration of the concrete, allowing for long lasting results.
CN2000® has more applications than just for buildings; the product also stops leaks and prevents further deterioration of concrete underground, in parkades, tunnels, dams, and even prevented further structural damage to bridges.
“Our product is able to stop water infiltration,” says Langdana. “If our product is applied for new construction for example, we are able to reduce the repair and maintenance cost for that structure up to 70% over the course of a 50 year life span.”
Kelso is also starting to gain more traction on dam work, manholes and tunnels where they are getting into the larger type of infrastructure projects. Through their sales team, the company is starting to bid on other infrastructure projects such as bridges, culverts and water treatment plants.
“With the recent push in development in the GTA, we are also seeing more preventative type of applications,” says Wasserman. “There are a number of other water proofing products on the market and people gravitate to those initially but when they’re not applied correctly in the same diligent manner in which we take all of our applications, there are failures. It’s a trend we certainly see with other products in the marketplace.”
The lifecycle cost analysis is becoming more significant when the clients are starting to look at their budgets and what they have in order to do repairs. Clients are willing to pay a bit more if it means extending the life cycle several years forward. “We have a commitment that in every project we aim to achieve zero failures,” says Wasserman. “We are hands-on with our approach, our customers and our engineers right from the early stages of specifications and job identification, to being on site with our projects to make sure that everything is being done according to our specifications.”
What has set Kelso apart from their competitors is their stringent training program. “We have reputation for being rather strict regarding the preparation and application of our product,” says Langdana. “Our product cannot be bought from a big box store; we only sell it to certified and trained applicators. There have been occasions when we have walked away from a job where the contractor has not been trained and lacks the knowledge for successful application.
It’s all about teamwork for the company. “We treat our clients like our partners and we find ways to work through any potential challenges to meet the deadline and the budget,” says Langdana.
Kelso’s sales force is identifying jobs and opportunities through relationships with property managers and they have engineers who inspect the product for a job. “We have our network of applicators that are successful in identifying opportunities,” says Wasserman.
“We continue to look for strategic partners to accelerate our growth here in Canada as well,” says Langdana. “We’d like to expand our distribution network into Latin America, across Canada and if the right partner came along, the United States of America.”
Kelso recently did a test project on the Panama Canal and is expanding their vision on a global scale. “It’s an exciting time for us; we are eager to see growth opportunities around the world in very visible and significant projects,” says Wasserman.