Belzona takes to water to provide the proof

How far would you go to test your products?

Belzona was so confident in the performance of its goods that it coated a cardboard boat with its waterproofing membrane and had it sail across the lake at Ripley Castle.

The Harrogate-based company, a market leader in the design and manufacture of polymer repair composites and industrial repair coatings, took to the water on a wintery day in January to prove that its water-based roofing membrane was completely waterproof and would not break down under immersion in water.

The frame was built using cardboard boxes; the joints were then bandaged over using Belzona SuperWrap resins and reinforcing sheet to give the boat some rigidity.

The boat was then fully coated using a flexible membrane, a solvent-free coating primarily used for the long-term repair and protection of all types of roofs.

The boat successfully sailed across the lake leaving its competitor, an uncoated replica, to collapse and sink to the bottom.

Normally, the system is used on pitched and sloped roofs and is also effective on roofs subject to ponding, said Belzona.

The company was founded by Jorgen Svendsen as Northern Metalife in Elland, West Yorkshire, in 1952, specialising in the flame-spraying of steel with zinc to provide protection against corrosion.

It moved to Claro Road, Harrogate in 1992. Today, it has a global network of more than 140 distributors operating in 120 countries and is owned by Mr Svendsen's son, Joel.

Belzona, headquartered in the Yorkshire spa town, has corporate offices in Miami, Thailand, Hong Kong and Ontario. Most recent accounts filed at Companies House show a turnover of just under 19m.