Wes Stalboerger, of TWS Foam, in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, really knows how to turn a cold situation into a hot market. TWS Foam specializes in full-envelope foam applications for new residential construction; however, Wes has done a number of other "oddball" projects to help people cope with extremes in low temperatures. Some of these projects have included deer stands, watering containers for cattle farms, fish houses, outdoor wood-fired furnace piping, and even a display for retail motorcycles shop since they wanted to showcase their motorcycles in a semi-outdoor setting.
Temperatures around Detroit Lake, Minnesota can range from minus ten to zero degrees. The area has 412 Lakes, so cold, high winds can make the surrounding temperature feel even colder. Wes has found a way to tackle the cold and keep spraying foam. "Of course I pre-heat materials, keep my trailer heated, use drum heaters, and loose-wrap my hoses with concrete blankets to keep them warm. Since I'm working with new construction, there are a lot of times that I have to heat the inside of the home too. I do this by sectioning off areas inside the home and run heaters to bring the area to the optimal temperature. There are times when I have also brought a furnace. The electricians and plumbers who immediately follow me, just love me", he explained.
Wes credits his success to being fast, reliable, efficient, and able to do some creative problem-solving. The building contractors learned quickly that he can be counted on. In fact, business has been so good that Wes has recently purchased a second spray rig. As a 5-year veteran of the spray foam business, Wes passes along the following advice to start-up spray foam companies: "Get proper training and learn how to operate, maintain, and repair your own equipment. Shipping a machine back for repairs costs too much down-time. It's vital to work with suppliers who will back you up when you need help. You will never know everything about the spray foam business because each day can present a new challenge. There's never a time when you know it all. You must be willing and able to seek advice."