There is a growing trend to certify contractors in the rehabilitation industry, specifically when designing rehab and lining systems to protect infrastructure against corrosion and I&I. Manufacturers such as Epoxytec, a coating/lining manufacturer out of Hollywood, Florida, are becoming more insistent that contractors be certified to apply their products… and for good reason.
All parties involved in rehabilitation projects, including engineers, owners, manufactures, and contractors, can benefit from a manufacturer’s comprehensive certification program.
Epoxytec, has been using their certification program for over a decade and has found significant benefits to using this system.
Beginning with the specification process, engineers can create provisions using proper and comprehensive specifying language that will ensure quality control, cooperation between parties, and as cost benefits; all of this revolves around the use of certified contractors. Furthermore, because it is difficult and expensive to mobilize comprehensive inspections requiring a third party while maintaining engineer availability manufacturers are being proactive by requiring product application certification. Engineers are embracing this by including strict clauses within the specification itself, many times prequalifying contractors prior to accepting the bid. Requiring the pool of bidders to be certified by the manufacturer starts the project off on the right foot.
A well designed certification program, such as the one used by Epoxytec, includes various components to maximize the success of any project using the manufacturer’s product. Within the program, contractors learn about the intricacies of their products, including surface preparation, mixing, and application procedures. In addition to this hands-on learning, contractors gain an understanding of product coverage vs. material costs. Acquiring this knowledge beforehand rather than through “on-the-job training” allows the contractors to become specialists in using these products. Other benefits to a certification process include:
Cost Benefits – Through the certification program, contractors gain familiarity with product coverage and material costs. Engineers know that estimating and bidding is more accurate because the bidder/contractor is familiar with the product. In addition, familiarity with the product helps the contractor avoid product loss due to human error, which in turn saves the owner money.
Quality Control – Certifying contractors helps the owner of the structure address craftsmanship, making live adjustments in the field, enforcing the specification, and adapting to unforeseen conditions. Because the contractor is experienced with the material and all parties work together, the engineer and the owners can rest assured that the products will be applied properly.
Experience – No one enjoys being the guinea pig. Certified contractors/bidders have experience working with the specified materials thus avoiding the learning curve often associated with using unfamiliar materials.
Cooperation – Contractors that already have a rapport with manufacturers and are familiar with their terminology associated with the products, ensure that proper lines of communication are present should unforeseen issues arise. Often times, the specification guidelines on the project will obligate manufacturers to make themselves available to answer questions as they arrive on the field. Engineers can work closely with manufacturers to input execution specifications properly, ensuring success and return on investment for the owner.
Warranty – Not all manufacturers operate the same way, but many manufacturers now offer warranties. This is an enormous benefit to specifying engineers; however, it is a huge risk to manufacturers without the assurance that the warrantied products will be properly installed. Therefore, in order to honor warranties, manufacturers often require the contractors be certified.
The benefit of using certified contractors during a specification bid process is one that Epoxytec, and many manufacturers in the industry, are embracing. Epoxytec understands that their network of contractors is responsive, share the same values of customer satisfaction, and already comprehend the industry standards of preparation, application, and inspection.