It began with an idea, a few good products and the desire to change the way business was donein the building maintenance and construction markets. The year was 1928. The national businesseconomy was booming, but products sold into these markets were oftentimes of poor quality,misapplied and their manufacturers had little or no concern for repeat orders or long-term reputations.William C. Treuhaft had a vision of a company with products developed to meet customers’needs and sales representatives who were thoroughly trained to respond to these requirements. Thefirst products were roof cements and asphalt-based coatings. Sales representatives were put throughthe most intensive training ever seen in the industry. The first plant was opened on Cleveland’s eastside and the company was launched as Tremco (TRE for Treuhaft, M for manufacturing and CO forcompany).
Today, that single plant has grown to become The Tremco Group, a wholly owned subsidiaryof RPM Inc., employing more than 3,400 people in dozens of locations around the world. Nine ISO-certifiedmanufacturing sites operate in North America and the group has one of the world’s largestresearch staffs totally dedicated to the development of construction materials. The Tremco Groupcurrently consists of operating divisions specializing in the manufacture and sale of roofing materialsand services, construction sealants, glazing and gaskets, waterproofing systems, concrete admixturesand sealers, grouts and mortars, firestopping systems and a host of custom designed products,programs and services dedicated to the worldwide construction, maintenance and repair industries.
Throughout the company’s history, an innovative, problem-solving philosophy has pioneered manymajor advances in chemical technology and product development that not only met but anticipated customers’ needs. This approach has steadily fueled Tremco’s growth over the years and recognition of the company’s technological leadership. Despite the Stock Market Crash of 1929 soon after the company was founded and the subsequent Depression, the fledgling company survived and had tripled in size by the end of its first decade. The only full-year loss that the company has ever experienced was in 1932, when economicconditions were at their worst. During this time, though, Tremco’s product range grew as well as recognitionfor the quality of its products. In 1934, Tremco was tapped to supply the products used to caulk theWashington Monument. These products were expected to last for approximately 20 years. They lasted 30years.As the company surpassed sales of $1 million in 1941, an evolution was required to effectivelyrespond to the needs of the industry. The evolution, however, generated a rebirth of the concept on which thecompany was started. It involved inside training and analysis of roofing problems, followed by extensive fieldtraining by experienced supervisors/trainers. The first class in 1946 spent 4-1/2 months in the classroom and1-1/2 to 2 years under tight field supervision. The company flourished.
By the early 1960s, the Cleveland plant underwent a major renovation, capped by the installation of ahighly sophisticated polymer reactor which enabled the company to create previously unknown polymercompounds and an era of development began. Using these compounds, Tremco began to develop exotic highperformance sealants never before seen in the industry. In 1964, 30 years after the caulking had been done on the Washington Monument by Tremco, it was finally time for further refurbishing and the new highperformance sealant MONO was selected for the job.
Development continued with the production of a multitude of first-of-their-kind products and thediversification into new products, markets and businesses began to gain momentum. The decision was made to go public in 1964. With this commitment to development and diversification came explosive growth and anincrease in Tremco’s influence around the globe. By 1978, Tremco was acquired and became a wholly ownedsubsidiary of BFGoodrich and growth continued.
In 1997, Tremco was acquired by RPM from BFGoodrich and was integrated with Mameco sealantsand Republic Powdered Metals roofing products to expand and strengthen market share. Paramount TechnicalProducts, Euclid Chemical, Tremco Barrier Solutions (formerly Koch Waterproofing Solutions), a marketleader in below-grade waterproofing products and services, and and illbruck Sealant Systems have sincebecome part of the company. This combination of leading companies and brands has provided Tremco with aleadership position in the roofing, sealants, waterproofing, glazing and firestopping markets around the world.Tremco Global Sealants Division and Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance Division were formed tomaintain the focus and commitment to each industry segment. Despite ownership changes and acquisitions,the Tremco approach to serving customers has only grown stronger and remains unique in this industry.Today, no other company offers as complete a range of high performance products in each of the areas that itserves. This ensures total compatibility of all products and systems as well as single-source responsibility.When used together, the contractor or building owner has the benefit of a complete weatherproof warranty and local company representatives in most major markets to ensure accurate analysis, product recommendation, field adhesion testing and guidance for cost-effective “solutions” to customer applications.
Major factors are impacting the way structures are designed and built today. Terrorism has createddemand for structures that will provide protection against manmade as well as natural disasters.Environmental concerns are giving birth to sustainable building technologies. Energy consumption, indoor airquality and mold/mildew have taken center stage in the media generating the need for industry professionals to consider the expanded use of air barrier systems.
“Over the last 77 years, Tremco has committed its resources to the development of solutions to meetour customers’ needs – not just product development,” states Randy Korach, president of Tremco GlobalSealants Division. “We have developed a reputation around the world for technological leadership and we arecommitted to continuing that leadership role. When faced with the toughest challenges on the job, ourcustomers continually tell us that they trust only Tremco to deliver a problem- free solution. Ourcomprehensive knowledge of the industry also enables us to provide products that save our customers time,labor and money while giving them the assurance of long-term durability.
“In response to the concerns facing our world today, Tremco is again at the forefront. Our productsand systems are put through exhaustive testing to ensure they meet or exceed the most rigorous standards.And, we have engineered high-performance, cost-effective solutions to provide building owners with the mostresponsible building strategies available. "
Many of Tremco’s innovative solutions have been or are being used on major projects around theworld, including:
Tremco Global Sealant Division’s history of developing cost-effective, comprehensive solutions forcustomers has enabled the company to sustain a leadership position. Financially, despite a sluggish economyand declines in commercial construction, Tremco Global Sealants Division has posted double-digit salesincreases and the momentum is expected to continue. Technologically, the patent-pending Advanced SiliconeTechnology™ (AST) developed in recent years has spurred product development that is revolutionizing thesealant industry and efforts are underway to enable production to keep up with demand for the siliconesealants. Also, new products in the residential market are being launched that will increase the efficiency ofconstructing window and door products while providing a more cost-effective solution than anything else inthe industry. In addition, RPM’s acquisition of synergistic companies with industry-leading brands continuesto extend Tremco’s capabilities and reach.
“Our commitment to our customers and the industries that we serve has never been stronger,” statesKorach. “This company was started more than 75 years ago with the singular, simple vision of our founderWilliam Treuhaft: to create the finest manufacturing company serving the construction industry. We remaintrue to Mr. Treuhaft’s vision today and intend to continue his work for the next 75 years… and beyond.”
Click here for a PDF version of Tremco's background.