Tri-County Insulation services both residential and commercial properties in all types of insulation, including batts, blown-in, rigid board and spray foam. The company also does insulation removal, as well as firestopping, suspended acoustical ceilings, FRP (fiberglass reinforced panels), acoustical wall panels and more.
In the latter half of last year, its Santa Maria branch introduced gutters and garage doors as a niche service.
“Our customer base is about 80 percent general contractors, and the balance being homeowners and property owners,” said Tri-County Insulation & Acoustical Contractors’s President Mark Gieseke. “We service about a 50 percent split on both commercial and residential projects.”
That business model seems to have paid off. The company began in 1974 by Steve Gieseke in Santa Cruz, Calif. “I was a first employee while finishing my senior year of high school. I installed batt- and blow-in insulation for about four years. Steve then put in me charge of opening up a cellulose manufacturing plant in order to supply us with material at the time. After a couple of years we realized we were contractors and not manufacturers,” says Mark Gieseke.
In 1980, Mark purchased the Santa Maria office from his brother Steve while he and brother Jeff retained the Santa Cruz branch. Mark grew and operated the business and sold it in 1984.
Wandering the business climate, Mark opened a limousine/taxi company in 1984 but in 1991, his brother Steve sold him Tri-County Insulation. After a couple of years operating both businesses, Mark decided to sell the transportation company and focus on Tri-County Insulation going forward.
In 1995, Steve Gieseke Jr. joined the company starting out insulating and then in sales. He is now vice president and he has played a role in its success today.
The company is an Owens Corning Certified Energy Expert “CEE” member, and belongs to the ICAA, SPFA and ABC.
"Our success has been driven by our dedication to service, respecting our employees and our affiliation with the Owens Corning Fiberglass CEE program which provides our installers with valuable training and marketing support along with so much more," says Mark.
The company has about 75 employees and is always looking for more quality installers.
Silicon Valley has seen incredible growth over the last 10 years and Tri-County Insulation has benefited because of it. "This year, we have faced unbelievable challenges with the Covid-19 Pandemic," says Mark. "We have had to deal with six weeks of being declared a non-essential business and suffering huge losses with our revenue dropping 80 percent to having record growth starting in September.
"We have a good backlog of jobs for this next year and I expect the residential market to remain strong for the next couple of years, but the commercial market especially with the office and retail construction will see a decline moving forward due to the Covid-19 Pandemic," says Mark. "The tech companies have learned that a portion of their employees work better at home and for less wages. Also, California has increased both regulations and taxes combined with continued increases in the cost of living will and have had an effect on Silicon Valley's growth slowing in the future.
"I love being in this industry and the relationships I have made over the years along with not being stuck in an office all day. I have been fortunate to be able to travel and enjoy my passions of fishing, boating and enjoying time with colleagues and family. I enjoy that every day is different."
As Mark approaches 50 years in this industry and with his nephew’s help, he's looking forward to letting others take care of the day-to-day stuff, while he spends more time boating and fishing throughout the Caribbean.
Tell me about this project?
The project consists of two mixed use buildings of residential and commercial Units six stories high. It’s called Japantown, located in Downtown San Jose, Calif.
Who is the architect?
Ankram Moisan/Builder – Swenson Builders/Owner - Shea Homes/General Contractor – Swenson Builders
What was the scope of the project for your company?
Building insulation that includes closed cell spray foam, fiberglass batts and mineral wool batts.
Tell me about what design elements the architect wanted for the walls and ceilings of this project?
Our scope is to provide acoustical value to both the walls and ceilings.
What manufacturers and products were used for this?
SWD Urethane Spray Foam, Owens Corning Fiberglass and Thermafiber Mineral Wool.