Fourteen years ago, as he prepared to debut his new business at the Winnipeg Home Show, Peter Giesbrecht didn’t know quite what to expect.

An industry partner had warned that uptake on a new line of exterior and interior surface coatings for homes and commercial properties would be slow, that business would be difficult to drum up – at least at first.

“It wasn’t half-an-hour into the show, and we had people all over our display,” recalls Giesbrecht, Founder and CEO of Cortech Industrial Coatings. “We couldn’t even talk to everyone. I probably wasn’t prepared for the way the business took off.”

By the time the Home Show was over, Cortech was fully booked for summer and fall. At subsequent shows, the company scheduled a year’s worth of work in a matter of days. Customers were lining up to turn drab slabs of concrete into attractive surfaces. It’s a queue that hasn’t let up in nearly a decade and a half.

“We can take a drab concrete floor or pad and transform the surface into a durable and beautiful space for customers to enjoy,” says Giesbrecht. “Every floor becomes a piece of artwork for us.”

Of course, even the best products need the right business – and businesspeople – to bring them to market. Cortech Industrial Coatings has proven to be that business, and Giesbrecht credits his upbringing and influence of his parents in shaping his approach to entrepreneurship.

“Our parents were hardworking people,” he says. “A good, honest work ethic was first and foremost in our family.”

Giesbrecht grew up on a small farm near Rose Town, MB and fondly remembers how his father enjoyed inventing things. He’d tinker with fuel-saving gadgets, build his own overhead doors and always have a calculator at the ready.

“The entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well in our family, that’s for sure,” he says.

After working a number of different jobs and experiencing mixed results in his first business ventures, Giesbrecht purchased an epoxy floor-coating company from a franchisor based in Phoenix, AZ. Manitoba, he points out, wasn’t saturated with epoxy installers, so the stage – or drab concrete pad – was set for Cortech Industrial Coatings’ arrival.

Initially, the company focussed on the Winnipeg area, although it wasn’t long before Cortech was servicing all of Manitoba. 

“I realized the majority of homes and businesses just put up with the dust and, in lots of cases, moisture and mold – partially, I guess, because concrete had just become something to work on and drive on,” explains Giesbrecht. “With proper trap polymer coatings, epoxy will seal the concrete, protect it and make it both functional and beautiful.”

Essentially, Cortech is able to take a slab of concrete that might be cracked or broken up – whether a garage floor, commercial floor, sidewalk steps or any number of other surfaces – and recreate the surface with polymer products. The company has also recently introduced a service known as slabjacking, where sunken concrete is jacked up with polyurethane foam, leveled and made to look as good as new.

“There’s a huge cost saving in there,” says Giesbrecht. “You don’t have to go through the demolition and repouring of the concrete.”

Giesbrecht takes considerable enjoyment in providing residential and commercial customers with innovative surface solutions. He also feels a special pride in being able to work alongside his son.

“Alex joined me in the business four years ago,” he says. “He brings another dimension of attention to detail, and his drive to please customers with quality work is very apparent at our job sites. Looking into the future, we’ll keep providing customers with the highest quality polymer products and workmanship.”

Giesbrecht doesn’t take for granted that his Morden-based business has been, and continues to be, trusted by home and business owners throughout Manitoba.

“We are in the community to serve the community with quality products and workmanship,” he says. “We hope communities continue to trust us with their work and to give us a call for it.”

Cortech Industrial Coatings, located at 10126 Rd 28 W in Stanley, MB can be reached by calling 431-774-2635. Their range of products can also be browsed by visiting their website.