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November 2008

For The Record

Information about the Masonry IndustryEducating an Industry

I receive several calls and emails each month from readers or interested people who have masonry-related questions, such as "Where should we move so that my husband can find more work as a restorative mason?" or "When should I use tuckpointing versus caulking?"

Recently, I received a call from a reader who wanted to know the number of schools offering masonry courses in the United States. On the surface, it seems like a straightforward question. But as I began to dig for information, I realized there are so many training facilities, high schools, colleges, and technical schools offering different aspects of masonry instruction that it's impossible to give a definitive answer. I responded with contact information for several different organizations, schools, etc.

I have been delighted over the last year I've worked as editor of Masonry to learn just how many educational opportunities there are in the United States and around the world for the masonry profession. Our industry truly cares about educating our young masons, certifying our working and veteran masons, and assuring we are doing our jobs to the highest of standards.

Letter to the Editor

I recently read an article in the September issue of Masonry entitled "Total Flash in Action" by Michael Trunko. This article was presented as a case study, but seemed more like a run-of-the-mill advertisement to me. The product mentioned in such glowing terms is a very new product marketed by Mortar Net. It has no history, and the author suggests that the other alternative flashings such as copper were "expensive and time consuming." As President and C.E.O. of Advanced Building Products, I have been involved with the manufacturing and marketing of masonry flashings and drainage systems for 40 years. Copper flashings are manufactured in eight to 10 different weights. Some are laminated with other waterproofing products, while the heavier coppers are not. All of these copper flashings have a long history of outstanding performance as thru-wall flashings. Three-ounce, laminated copper fabric flashing is one of the most specified thru-wall flashings in the industry. This product is manufactured by at least four companies, comes with a lifetime warranty, and is about one-quarter the cost of the Total Flash product. For those who took the time to read the Trunko article, you will remember that he never did say what the Total Flash product costs.

New products will become available for the construction industry. This is called progress, and much of it is good. But before one proclaims that a new, un-proven product is less expensive, installs with less labor, or performs better than many of the existing products, do your homework. I've done mine, and I totally disagree with the findings of the "Total Flash in Action" article/advertisement.

Very truly yours,
Richard A. Lolley

President and C.E.O.
Advanced Building Products, Inc

We appreciate your letter. The case study written about Mortar Net's Total Flash product was, indeed, strictly editorial and was in no way paid for by the company. Therefore, it was not an advertisement, but simply an examination of how a product worked in a certain situation, expressed in the form of a case study. I believe our industry is full of exciting and innovative products, as you pointed out. Your company, along with many others in the masonry industry, is succeeding in moving our trade forward and assuring products and technologies remain high in quality. Thanks for all that you do.

— Jennifer Morrell

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