Photos courtesy Preservation Products
Scott Bennung is President of Preservation Products, a company that supplies high-end coatings to the historic restoration market. Scott has spent summers in Cape May, New Jersey, for six decades: “My parents bought a spectacular Queen Anne Victorian house that would become our summer home for over 40 years,” he says. “As everyone who’s ever owned a vintage house knows, it’s a lot of work. That’s especially true in a harsh coastal environment, where salt air contributes to the deterioration of building materials.
“Fortunately, besides owning the Victorian house, my parents also had a company that manufactured high-performance protective coatings. Many of these coatings would end up on our house. Little did they know that the tin roof on our summer home would become the inspiration for a company I later founded to serve the historic and vintage home market.”
In the 1960s, now-famous Cape May was an unappreciated gem at the end of the Garden State Parkway. Regrettably, some people did not recognize the value of its many historic buildings, and “urban revitalization” had seen many of them torn down. Fortunately, in the Bicentennial Year of 1976, Cape May was officially designated a National Historic Landmark City, one of only five in the nation. This led to a renaissance, and the town has become a well-known and very popular destination. Today, if you visit the Cape, you will see a vast collection of historic and vintage buildings lovingly restored and maintained.
“Cape May is still a small town where people know each other,” Scott Bennung says. “It didn’t take long before friends and neighbors learned about our early success using Acrymax on the tin roofs of our own house. One roof led to another, and our coatings have now been used on roofs all over town — including several buildings owned by MAC, the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts. Cape May MAC is a not-for-profit organization committed to promoting preservation in the region, for both its residents and visitors.”
Preservation Products was founded in 1994 to market Acrymax elastomeric coatings to the historic and vintage building market. These flexible coatings expand and contract along with the substrate they are applied to. They are ideally suited for use on vintage “tin” (metal) roofs. One of the best things about these coatings is that they are waterborne, safe to use and easy to apply. They are available in a range of colors including historical reds. They also can be combined with reinforcement fabrics to create extremely durable weatherproof membranes. Acrymax coating systems are sustainable and easily maintained with periodic recoats.
From a modest start in Cape May, Preservation Products has supplied superior quality coatings for projects throughout the country. The company motto is “Protecting America’s Heritage one Landmark at a Time.” Historic preservation requires that the historic appearance of a building and such features as the roof maintain their original look. Acrymax coating systems do not alter the original appearance, and that’s led the National Park Service to specify Acrymax on many projects. From the northern reaches of Maine to the southernmost U.S. city of Key West in Florida, Acrymax coatings are providing protection that helps the company fulfill its mission while providing solutions for customers.