Quality Concrete Treatment

Written by Pauline Müller

Trying to take care of concrete surfaces without quality film-forming and penetrative sealers can play havoc with their appearance. In some cases, as in northern winters, the concrete’s longevity can also be degraded.

ChemMasters is a leading manufacturer of construction chemicals intended to cure, protect, and keep concrete looking good—and ultimately extending the lifespan and luster of all things concrete.

Balancing itself artfully between being big enough to deliver outstanding value yet small enough to care, ChemMasters’ quality, service, and innovation come together in a seamless product offering and customer focus that has some of America’s best-known companies in a wide range of fields calling its facility in Madison, Ohio, to enhance their product lines and services with trusted, time-honored science.

The team’s products are meticulously tested to ensure they do what they promise—and then some. ChemMasters has also significantly expanded its raw materials capacity recently alongside its paint and production offerings. In addition, clients benefit from the company’s in-house laboratory, which provides research and development, top-rated quality control, and sophisticated product support.

People first
With tangible metrics underpinning its value proposition, ChemMasters openly confesses to being driven by people and technology rather than machines. Here, transparency is key, as are thriving relationships.

“Over 30 years ago, someone I admired taught me that people don’t do business with companies; people do business with people. And that’s what all of us at ChemMasters strive to embody every day,” says John Fauth, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development, who collaborated with the company as a business owner before joining its ranks in 2009.

“I have never a day in my life regretted joining ChemMasters. These are wonderful people to work with. We are a people-oriented company. That is how we achieve our goals of quality, innovation, and service,” he says, underlining the incredible value this humming work environment offers its team of around 40 and its customers alike. Chock-full of employees with multi-decade tenures alongside two and three generations of the same families, the company is rooted in a culture steeped in tradition and craftsmanship.

As a result, ChemMasters leads with truly modern, proprietary formulations backed up with outstanding service.

Treating concrete well
Some of ChemMasters most popular formulations are “one-step” sealers that combine the curing abilities of film-forming sealers with the added protection of penetration sealers. Its proprietary Silencure™ range does just this, affording users the ease of a single, simple-application product instead of two separate products, avoiding the time-consuming preparation and installation that can take over a month to work through.

Of course, the single-product route is also much more cost-effective, requiring less labor and time. In addition to Silencure products, ChemMasters’ Certivex® Guard lends a beautiful, durable acrylic finish to cured decorative concrete, which Fauth describes as a “silane water repellent with high aesthetic acrylics.”

Then there is the PowerSeal® range of penetrating water repellents, which use water-based technology. “We also partner with raw material suppliers to develop advanced materials designed specifically for our customer needs,” Fauth explains.

While modern technology allows the industry to turn acrylics into high-performance coatings, the longevity of such a product depends first on the proper composition and installation of high-quality concrete, correctly cured. “Often, in concrete, things have to be done in sequence. Those sequences take time, money, and labor. Make that a one-step product and you have saved everybody a lot of time and heartache,” Fauth says.

In addition to these products, ChemMasters is diligent in ensuring the volatile organic compounds (VOCs) of its “low-VOC” products are in line with federal, state, and local regulations while remaining easy to use. One of its bestselling formulations, Polyseal™ EZ, was the company’s first product of this type.

The importance of using low-VOC products revolves around air quality, as VOCs heavily contribute to contamination in the atmosphere. “ChemMasters is committed to sustainability and being a conscientious environmental steward,” Fauth remarks. He notes that, “solvents that are considered exempt from VOCs are often very difficult to use due to fast evaporation, bubbling, and whitening,” but this is not the case with ChemMasters products.

Another notable and popular product, Crystal Clear, is a high-gloss, clear-coat acrylic that outperforms the gloss and durability of its competition. The original idea for this product—a siliconized acrylic for improved performance—came from the automotive industry, where a similar formulation protects the paint on cars. ChemMasters is no stranger to looking to other industries for product inspiration.

Illustrating the company’s versatility, one of its recent products, SpeedPatch™ 2.0, a sophisticated mortar repair material lauded for its super-fast curing action, is fortified with high freeze/thaw durability, making it ideal for use in areas with extreme weather changes.

Setting service standards
By understanding what clients need and how to provide it, the company has taken service to the next level. “We service the heck out of our customers,” Fauth laughs. “We provide a level of personal attention and service that many of our competitors do not—particularly in this industry which has undergone an awful lot of consolidation.” In these times in the industry, where being unable to engage with a responsive live person rather than a recording is quite common, the result is often a regrettable distance between company and customer. Fortunately, this is not something that happens at ChemMasters.

Speaking of the present day, ChemMasters handles everything from the concrete treatment of bridges, sound wall barriers, road surfaces, and similar for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to concrete in commercial and residential spaces. But the company doesn’t like to forget its past.

“We’re very proud to have supplied material for rebuilding the Pentagon after the 9/11 attack,” Fauth says, “and our products have been used on many recognized commercial and DOT projects, highways, and bridges.” Its most recent Ohio flagship project, Metro Parks Glass City Riverwalk in Toledo, promises to be a historic success too.

The company’s customer service team takes care of customers throughout the country, while sales management and local representatives serve its well-respected distributors and contractors. It also provides expert advice and troubleshooting, while a dedicated technical service team is always on standby to lend a hand to customers who reach out with questions and quandaries.

A force in the industry
As a member of several prestigious industry institutes, ChemMasters ensures that the expertise it brings to its customers, as well as its contributions to the broader industry, are meaningful. Its membership in the American Society of Concrete Contractors (ASCC), the American Concrete Institute (ACI), and the International Concrete Repair Institute (ICRI) means that the team has access to a phenomenal network of industry knowledge and experience.

Furthermore, Fauth is the acting secretary of the Manufacturer’s Advisory Council of ASCC and a voting member of nine ACI technical committees looking after aspects such as concrete curing, protection, and repair.

These supporting bodies are also the source of the guidelines and specifications governing concrete (and related products) and its application and sale in the United States and beyond. “Both the ASCC and the ICRI work closely with ACI. ACI, to a large extent, creates the ‘bible’ for the concrete industry worldwide,” Fauth explains. And his presence—as secretary and chair in two different divisions—in these groups, which bring together a range of professionals from architects to contractors, gives ChemMasters a resonant and respected voice within the industry.

Fauth is a tireless advocate for ChemMasters, showing his sincerity by leaving his own business to join the company. At all levels of operation, the company contributes to this enthusiasm among its people and their development by acknowledging their accomplishments, and through internal promotion, training, and support.

ChemMasters is committed to giving back to the local community and being a good corporate neighbor. The company supports causes outside its ranks, including Honoring Our Heroes, which supports retired veterans; Cleveland Women’s Shelter; Boys & Girls Club Race for Kids; Madison Historical Society; Village of Madison Concerts in the Park Series; the Madison Food Bank Christmas fund; and the Village of Madison Christmas in the Park and Parade.

Deep roots, bright future
When the company that is ChemMasters today began in 1957, it was as a division of the Murphy Phoenix company. The founder, Murlan (Jerry) Murphy, also the founder of Murphy’s Oil Soap, launched it all when he stopped a highway crew in the 1950s and asked them what they were putting down on fresh concrete.

He returned to the plant and mixed up his own—better—curing compound. He called it Spray Cure, the first of a vast range of proprietary formulations that followed.

The Murphy Phoenix Company later sold its Murphy Oil Soap brand to Colgate-Palmolive and was renamed JTM Products to reflect its shifted focus: producing lubricants for pipe joints, tire mounting, and soap bases for a wide variety of industries. Meanwhile, the Spray Cure company continued developing and selling products intended to cure, repair, and protect concrete.

In 1995, the Spray Cure Company changed its name to ChemMasters. Today, it remains the property of the Murphy family—the sixth generation, to be exact, both a tremendous unlikelihood and a considerable achievement in any modern economy. ChemMasters’ legacy is one of family ownership, American-made products, and commitment to innovation of products and manufacturing processes.

Backed by some of the best minds in the industry and a sterling track record, ChemMasters is leveraging the trend to mergers among its competitors to its own benefit as it continues building personal relationships with customers. “ChemMasters’ attention to customer care is a refreshing contrast to the trend of an industry of sustained consolidation,” Fauth says, confident of a bright future ahead.



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