PALMERSTON — Drywall seems a strange thing to get worked up about, but Dave Caputo is blunt.
“I have a lifelong obsession and hatred for drywall,” says the chief executive officer of Trusscore, a Palmerston-based company that makes PVC-based wall and ceiling panels.
Trusscore’s durable and recyclable wall and ceiling panels are lightweight and offer easy installation and maintenance. Unlike drywall — which requires a messy, laborious installation process of taping, mudding, sanding and painting — the Trusscore panels come finished and are chemical, water and impact-resistant. Installation is about four times faster than drywall.
“Trusscore is a material science company for sustainable building materials, with an ultimate vision of replacing painted drywall,” Caputo said.
From its traditional success in the agricultural sector, thanks to the panels’ durability and easy-to-clean characteristics, “over the past year, year and a half, the residential — particularly the garage — market, has become quite a big driver of our business and our growth,” he said.
Now, the company has more than doubled its manufacturing capacity with the acquisition of a Calgary firm. Westech Building Products also produces a range of vinyl building materials, including a dock and deck system.
Its manufacturing facility is larger than Trusscore’s existing plants in Palmerston and Dayton, Ohio combined, Caputo said. While the acquisition may add some new products to the Trusscore line, “the whole idea is to expand our manufacturing capability, particularly for our customers in Western Canada and the northwestern United States.”
With Westech — which was acquired from its parent company, Houston-based Westlake Chemical Corporation, and will bear the Trusscore name — Trusscore’s workforce now stands at about 200 people. In addition to its manufacturing facilities, a Kitchener office at the Communitech hub houses its marketing and research and development teams.
Popular uses for Trusscore’s panels include garages and workshops, agriculture facilities and commercial locations like restaurants and offices. Last year, a number of hospitals utilized its temporary wall systems as the pandemic response ramped up, and the modular walls have been used in mass vaccination centres this year.
“Our product is applicable wherever people are building,” Caputo said. Its high sheen can make it a tougher sell for living rooms, but it’s ideal for residential use in laundry rooms, mud rooms and garages, he said.
Trusscore uses recycled materials wherever possible in production, and the finished products are reusable and recyclable — they can be ground up and used for other purposes.
The Westech acquisition builds on a year of milestones for Trusscore, which raised more than $5.3 million in a seed financing round in May, 2020, and landed HGTV home renovation stars Bryan and Sarah Baeumler as brand ambassadors last fall.