Iconic White Sands Inn Re-Roofed With Foam System After Hurricane

The White Sands Inn is an eclectic beachfront lodge in Marathon, Florida. Photo: Rachel Price. Photo: Rachel Price

For Rachel Price and her mother, Janice Stephens, the White Sands Inn represented 20 years of hard work and memories. Situated on Marathon, Florida’s Grassy Key, the eclectic beachfront lodge looked out on tranquil blue waters framed by graceful palm trees. Idyllic and serene, White Sands was a vacation home away from home for legions of loyal patrons.

But the oceanfront location that made it so popular with visitors also put it right in the path of Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful and costly storms ever to hit the United States. After making landfall in Barbuda as a category 5 on September 6, 2017, Irma roared through the Caribbean toward the vulnerable islands at the Sunshine State’s southern tip.

The Keys bore the full brunt of Irma’s Category 4 winds and rain on September 10. The storm then traveled directly north up the entire length of Florida and into Georgia before dissipating, leaving more than $50 billion in damage in its wake, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management.

As Price watched the storm build and prepared to evacuate, she worried whether her hotel would survive. When an apprehensive Price finally returned, she found the inn practically in ruins and the roofs of both of the inn’s buildings completely gone. Determined to rebuild and re-open, she knew that a new roof was a top priority. Contractor Charles King used Lapolla roofing products manufactured by Icynene-Lapolla to shield White Sands from the elements and help Price prepare to re-open her doors to guests.

Preparing for a Direct Hit

With one eye on the weather reports, Price began bringing in all of the hotel’s outdoor equipment and battening down anything that could break or cause damage. Then she boarded up the windows, threw some essentials in the car and joined the line of Keys residents and Miamians headed north.

Hurricane Irma ripped the roof off of both of the inn’s buildings and left extensive damage to the interior and exterior of the complex. Photo: Rachel Price.

Evacuating, however, turned out to be a difficult task. With all of Florida in the storm’s path, Price and her mother had no safe place to stop. They eventually ended up near their original home of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Not everyone left. A few “old salts,” as Price calls them, weathered the storm in bars and restaurants. Photographers also traveled to the Keys expressly to document the destructive event.

In the days after the storm, photos depicted catastrophic damage: crumbled walls, demolished homes, crushed trailers, scattered debris, boats in the street and roofs damaged from the Keys to the Florida-Georgia state line. Tagged in online photos of the hotel, Price and her mother had some idea of the situation that awaited them.

Because of damaged and inaccessible roads, Price and her mother couldn’t get back to Grassy Key for two weeks. The first thing she saw when they returned was that one of her buildings, a duplex, was missing a roof, exposing the interior to heavy rains. She found the roof on top of a car she had hoped to save from Irma. The duplex also lost windows, allowing waves up to 10 feet high to cause extensive water damage inside.

Photo: Rachel Price.

The other building, the main complex of the White Sands Inn, sustained serious damage everywhere. Waves had punched enormous holes in the ocean-facing side of the building and sucked everything inside out to sea. Furniture, toilets and showers were simply gone. One room remained salvageable, but it had to be dug out of a mound of sand.

The 4,500-square-foot flat, modified bitumen roof was gone, lifted completely off by the powerful winds and deposited a quarter of a mile away. The 20-year-old roof system was built before newer building codes were enforced, and its drip edge was not properly nailed down.

“The entire roof came off down to the wood,” Price says. “The whole entire roof was just sheared off. It lifted up and split off of the building.”

Steps to a New Roof

Price immediately filled out the Small Business Administration paperwork necessary for disaster loans and began getting quotes from roofing contractors. One of them was Charles “Charlie” King of Southeast Waterproofing and Coatings, a family-owned firm based in Geneva, Florida.

A closed-cell, polyurethane foam was spray applied over a nailable vented base sheet and plywood decking. Photo: Charles King.

He didn’t get the job — at first. Price opted to hire a local contractor who promised to do the roof of the main building as well as the interior, all in a couple of months. After a while, he failed to show up and sent another roofer in his place. By then, many months later, city inspectors had shut down the renovation project and found that the contractor had installed only half of a roof — and it was crooked.

Price went back over her estimates and this time hired King.

Rain was still falling inside the White Sands Inn building the next summer when King and his small crew made the trip to Grassy Key. Having previously made a fast and sturdy repair at the Marathon Community Playhouse and Cinema, King already had a good relationship with the local building department.

King and crew arrived on July 2, 2018. After finding a place to stay in the Keys on a holiday weekend — no easy task — he and his crew restored Price’s roof in just a few days and still had time to go deep-sea fishing before heading home.

A Waterproof Roof for the White Sands Inn

One of King’s primary challenges involved the previous contractor’s botched fix, which had left a low spot in the roof over a main living area. The spot acted as a funnel, channeling rainwater into the building’s interior and causing the ceiling and floor of the building’s second floor to sink.

The roof system was topped with Therma-Flex 1000, a highly reflective acrylic roof coating. Photo: Charles King.

“First, we removed the previous contractor’s single-ply roof and started over on the 4,500-square-foot White Sands Inn roof,” King says. “The building was old and very little space was left for air conditioning ducts between the ceiling and roof.”

The White Sands Inn’s new flat roof included a three-quarter-inch plywood substrate nailed according to code. King constructed a custom gravel stop with a larger top than the previous roof’s, which he then nailed and screwed every four inches, staggered.

“We anchored the face every 16 inches to 2-by-8 fascia,” King explains. “That’s beyond code. I just like the extra protection.”

The crew worked quickly to avoid the inevitable moisture present in tropical areas, especially in the mornings and evenings, and laid down a nailable venting base sheet as the basis of the new roof. Atop this barrier they applied a Thermo-Flex polyurethane foam roof system featuring an acrylic coating.

Framed by palm trees, White Sands Inn looks out at the ocean from Marathon’s Grassy Key. Photo: Rachel Price.

King and Price agreed that the roof system would offer the hotel the best possible protection against tropical storms, rain and intense UV exposure. FOAM-LOK 2800 is a closed-cell, polyurethane foam system used on a variety of substrates for both waterproofing and insulation purposes. Therma-Flex 1000, an acrylic coating designed specifically for roofing applications, protects and preserves roofs from heat, moisture and severe weather.

The crew sprayed the polyurethane foam onto the roof substrate in a sloping shape that channels rainwater toward the building’s intended drainage pathways. Thermo-Prime and Thermo-Flex acrylics were applied on top of the polyurethane foam to completely seal the roof and ensure that everything adhered firmly to every square inch.

The roof system is designed to provide a lightweight and sustainable seamless umbrella over a wide variety of new and existing roof substrates to protect against rain and hail. It also includes a fire retardant and exhibits excellent dirt pick-up resistance.

The crew from Southeast Waterproofing and Coatings finished the roof in time to do some deep-sea fishing. Photo: Charles King.

The system does, however, require a professionally trained roofer who understands the proper application procedures. King works regularly with Lapolla products and installed Price’s roof to stand up to the heat and moisture of tropical conditions for the life of the system.

In fact, King’s customer service is such that when Price called him about a small leak near the fireplace after the roof was finished, he hopped on a plane immediately — only to discover that the issue was not related to the roof at all. He fixed it anyway.

The Return of a Florida Keys Vacation Mainstay

The new roof should help protect the White Sands Inn if another hurricane hits the Keys. King noted that after Hurricane Michael, which devastated the Florida Panhandle in October 2018, most of the few buildings that remained standing had spray-foam and coating roofing systems.

King has a lot of faith in his work, and not without reason. In response to the adage, “They don’t make ’em like they used to,” King says: “You’re right. They don’t. They make ’em much better now.”

An added bonus is that the Thermo-Flex system boosts the R-value of Price’s roof, a plus in an area prone to high heat and direct sunlight. She expects her cooling costs to come down drastically in the near future.

King, who has extensive post-storm repair experience, advises home and business owners to choose state-licensed contractors for their roofing work. The savings promised by the other guys, he says, might end up costing a fortune when the work is either not finished or not done according to code.

Though the roof is completed, interior work is still going on and Price is not sure when the White Sands will re-open for guests. But one thing’s for sure: King and Icynene-Lapolla products helped save Price’s business, and once the White Sands opens, King has a standing invitation to stay at the inn whenever he’s in town.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Southeast Waterproofing and Coatings, Geneva, Florida, www.foamittoday.com

MATERIALS

Spray Polyurethane Foam: FOAM-LOK 2800, Icynene-Lapolla, www.lapolla.com

Acrylic Roof Coating: Thermo-Prime and Thermo-Flex, Icynene-Lapolla

New TW Seam Tape Offers Added Protection for Roof Decks

Contractors can now offer an additional layer of protection with the new TAMKO TW Seam Tape, which is used to close sheathing gaps on the roof deck and help keep water from entering the home. The new TW Seam Tape is a flexible, self-adhering SBS-modified bitumen membrane with a polymer film on the surface and a removable treated release film on the adhesive side. It has a textured, skid-resistant surface for added safety of the roofing crew. TW Seam Tape is applied to all roof deck joints and seams after the roof deck installation, before the underlayment is applied. 

“In the chance shingles and underlayment are torn or blown off during high winds, TW Seam Tape provides added protection against water,” said Brandon Knobloch, TAMKO corporate director of waterproofing. Unsealed roof deck seams are believed to be responsible for up to 60 percent of rain entering into an attic, according to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. 

“We’ll continue to give contractors what they need to get the job done with innovative applications of TAMKO’s Waterproofing products as part of our goal of delivering products and solutions that our customers rely on,” said Knobloch.

TW Seam Tape is designed for application on a variety of surfaces, including OSB, plywood and most other common roof deck materials. And TW Seam Tape works with all TAMKO shingles and underlayments. 

Manufactured at TAMKO’s Columbus, Kansas facility, TW Seam Tape comes in 4-inch rolls, with each roll covering 61 linear feet. This new product is available nationwide now and is UL classified in accordance with ASTM D1970 standards.  

For more information, visit www.TAMKO.com/Waterproofing.

NRCA Comments on President’s Immigration Plan

Reid Ribble, CEO of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), issued the following statement with respect to President Trump’s remarks on a new administration immigration proposal Thursday, May 16:

“NRCA welcomes President Trump’s effort to put forward a new plan to reform our badly outdated immigration system,” Ribble said. “We agree the security and economic needs of U.S. citizens should be paramount in immigration policy and that moving toward a merit-based system makes sense given the demands of our economy.

“Although the new plan moves in the right direction and we look forward to seeing more details, the proposal apparently only deals with the high-tech sector of the economy and individuals with advanced degrees. It is imperative our immigration system recognizes the need for legal immigration to address the chronic workforce shortages in the roofing industry, which are reaching crisis proportions and severely limiting economic growth,” Ribble noted. “Our immigration system must recognize the value of critical skills needed to work in industries such as roofing as embodied in the bipartisan Workforce for an Expanding Economy Act (H.R. 1740).”

“Additionally, we need to provide immediate relief to qualifying individuals working legally in the U.S. under Temporary Protected Status (TPS); failing to do so will only further destabilize our workforce,” Ribble concluded. “NRCA looks forward to working with the administration and Congress to move forward on a bipartisan basis with immigration reform that fully addresses our security and economic needs.”

For more information, visit www.nrca.net.

Carlisle Coatings & Waterproofing Names New General Manager

Brett Steinberg was promoted to General Manager of Carlisle Coatings & Waterproofing Inc. (CCW). He is responsible for the CCW brand strategy as well as the development of sales and marketing channels for CCW’s traditional waterproofing products, including the rapidly expanding below-grade market, along with both air & vapor barriers and other Building Envelope solutions. In his new position, Steinberg also oversees sales, marketing, technical services and customer service. 

Based in Wylie, Texas, Steinberg joined CCW as Eastern States Sales Manager in July 2018, managing CCW’s Northeast and Southeast regions. Previously, he was with Kemper System America for 10 years, where he served as National Sales Manager since 2012. 

“Brett’s leadership and experience in the high-end waterproofing market in North America and Europe will be invaluable to our growth as we move ahead,” said Mike McAuley, Carlisle Construction Materials, Executive Vice President, Diversified Products.

Steinberg earned a B.A. in Communications from Richard Stockton College in Pomona, New Jersey. 

For more information, visit www.carlisleccw.com

Asphalt Roofing Facilities Across North America Earn Workplace Safety Awards

More than 50 asphalt roofing manufacturing facilities have been recognized for workplace safety by the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA). ARMA’s annual Accident Prevention Contest honors individual roofing manufacturing facilities across North America for their low incident rates among workers.

The winners of the 2018 Accident Prevention Contest were selected based on their exemplary quarterly safety data reports from this past calendar year. The facilities were judged on the number of hours completed and an ARMA INDEX derived from the criteria and standards set by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

“ARMA and its member companies are committed to providing a safe work environment across the industry,” said ARMA’s Executive Vice President Reed Hitchcock. “Year after year, asphalt roofing manufacturers continue to demonstrate the high quality and safety of their work environments.”

ARMA’s Accident Prevention Contest is open to all manufacturer members. They can submit data from their entire company, a specific division, or an individual plant or mill in North America. The winners are honored in four different categories: the President’s Award, the Award of Excellence, the Perfect Employee Safety Certificate and the Certificate of Improvement.

President’s Award: Presented to the plant in each contest category that has the lowest combined ARMA INDEX over a two-year period.

  • Owens Corning, Irving, TX
  • GAF, Shafter, CA (Shingle)
  • Owens Corning, Portland, OR
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Summit, IL 

Award of Excellence: Presented to those plants that have recorded a score of 0.00 in the ARMA INDEX for three consecutive years and are not President’s Award winners.

  • Owens Corning, Irving, TX
  • GAF, Minneapolis, MN
  • GAF, Mobile, AL
  • GAF, Stockton, CA
  • Johns Manville, Plattsburgh, NY
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Atlanta, GA
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Compton, CA
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Denver, CO
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Kearny, NJ
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Medina, OH
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Memphis, TN
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Minneapolis, MN
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Oklahoma City, OK
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Portland, OR

Perfect Safety Award: Presented to those plants that have recorded a score of 0.00 in the ARMA INDEX for the reporting year and are not President’s Award winners.

  • CertainTeed Corporation, Milan, OH
  • GAF, Myerstown, PA
  • Owens Corning, Irving, TX
  • Atlas Roofing Corporation, Hampton, GA
  • CertainTeed Corporation, Fremont, CA
  • CertainTeed Corporation, Jonesburg, MO
  • GAF, Minneapolis, MN
  • GAF, Shafter, CA (Shingle)
  • GAF, Tampa, FL
  • Owens Corning, Atlanta, GA
  • CertainTeed Corporation, Peachtree City, GA
  • GAF, Mobile, AL
  • Johns Manville, Macon, GA
  • Owens Corning, Brookville, IN
  • Owens Corning, Houston, TX
  • Owens Corning, Kearny, NJ
  • Owens Corning, Portland, OR
  • GAF, Shafter, CA
  • GAF, Stockton, CA
  • Johns Manville, Oklahoma City, OK
  • Johns Manville, Plattsburgh, NY
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Atlanta, GA
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Compton, CA
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Denver, CO
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Houston, TX
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Jacksonville, FL
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Kearny, NJ
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Medina, OH
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Memphis, TN
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Minneapolis, MN
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Oklahoma City, OK
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Portland, OR
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Summit, IL
  • Siplast, Arkadelphia, AR
  • SOPREMA, Inc., Chilliwack, British Columbia
  • SOPREMA, Inc., Gulfport, MS
  • TAMKO Building Products, Ennis, TX

For more information visit www.asphaltroofing.org.

OMG, Inc. Names New Vice President of Supply Chain Management

As part of the continued effort to position the company for stronger growth, Brad Bedard has been promoted to vice president of supply chain management for OMG, Inc.

As vice president, Brad is responsible for overall management of the company’s global supply chain and distribution logistics. In this new role, Brad will work with his organization to develop and implement short- and long-term strategies that maximize operational efficiencies, improve supply chain and distribution performance, and manage costs. He reports to Hubert McGovern, president and CEO.

Brad has been with OMG since August of 2007, most recently as director of supply chain management. Earlier he had been the company’s director of distribution and sales inventory operations planning (SIOP), where he was instrumental in developing and implementing the company’s forecasting and operations planning process. Prior to joining OMG, Inc., Brad held various distribution and logistics roles for Bose Corporation and for Timex Corporation. Brad holds a BA degree in economics from Harvard University.

For more information, visit www.OMGInc.com.

Skylight Automation System Designed to Make Modern Indoor Living Healthier

VELUX offers VELUX ACTIVE with NETATMO to help homeowners by automating their skylights to more easily infuse natural light and fresh air into the home.

Indoor air is five times more polluted than outdoor air, and with people spending so much time inside, VELUX recognized the need to help homeowners use natural ventilation to air out their homes on a regular basis.

“VELUX ACTIVE is indicative of our commitment to healthy, energy efficient homes,” said Ross Vandermark, national product manager for VELUX America. “Every homeowner deserves clean air, and this automation system will help reduce the risk of health hazards, such as asthma, that are aggravated by poor indoor air quality. This system will automatically open the skylights for fresh air, so homeowners can worry less about the air they and their families are breathing.”

VELUX ACTIVE, which is compatible with Apple HomeKit, allows homeowners to automate their skylights to more easily infuse natural light and fresh air into the home. The product supports the growing desire for smart home technology in the United States, with some projections showing the number of connected homes exceeding 35 million by 2021.

In an average home, the pollutant level is normally at a low level when people first enter the home or after effective ventilation. However, after an extended period of time, daily activities can raise the level of pollutants to unhealthy levels that can cause headaches, dizziness and sleepiness. Proper ventilation removes unwanted toxins, lowers CO2 levels and promotes an overall healthier lifestyle.

The system ensures a healthier indoor climate by automatically opening the skylights to air out the house two to three times daily. Here’s how it works: Smart sensor technology monitors CO2, humidity and temperature in the home, while the system also connects to online weather forecasts. It automatically opens the skylights if fresh air is needed inside.

It also automates blinds to help control indoor temperature. For example, the system will extend the blinds to block sunlight during the day in the warmer months or extend them at night during the winter for an added layer of insulation. Homeowners can also use the VELUX ACTIVE smartphone app to control their skylights even if they are away from the house.

For more information on VELUX ACTIVE and the federal tax credit, visit whyskylights.com.

U.S. Department of Labor’s OSHA Issues Rule to Revise Requirements in Safety and Health Standards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule that revises 14 provisions in the recordkeeping, general industry, maritime, and construction standards that may be confusing, outdated, or unnecessary. The revisions are expected to increase understanding and compliance with the provisions, improve employee safety and health, and save employers an estimated $6.1 million per year.

OSHA proposed the changes in October 2016. This is the fourth final rule under OSHA’s Standards Improvement Project, which began in 1995 in response to a Presidential memorandum to improve government regulations. Other revisions were issued in 1998, 2005, and 2011.

For more information, visit www.osha.gov.

NRCA Partners with SkillsUSA, Becomes Official Business Partner

The National Roofing Contractors Association has partnered with SkillsUSA and now is a SkillsUSA Official Business Partner.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure the U.S. has a skilled workforce. It provides educational programs, events and competitions that support career and technical education in U.S. classrooms.

“NRCA looks forward to engaging with SkillsUSA and expanding NRCA’s outreach and footprint in the career and technical fields to establish roofing as a core curriculum in schools and help NRCA members address workforce shortages,” says Nick Sabino, founder and president of Deer Park Roofing Inc., Cincinnati, and NRCA chairman of the board-elect.

NRCA will attend the annual National Leadership & Skills Conference the week of June 24 in Louisville, Ky., and participate in the Meet the Employer event June 28. It also will serve as a co-sponsor of SkillsUSA’s State Directors Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C., Aug. 12-17.

For more information, visit www.nrca.net.

Carlisle Companies Appoints Nick Shears President of Carlisle Construction Materials

The Board of Directors of Carlisle Companies Incorporated announced the appointment of Nick Shears as President of Carlisle Construction Materials (CCM), effective immediately.

Nick was appointed interim President of CCM in September 2018. Prior to that, Nick held a series of important leadership roles at CCM throughout his 34 years with Carlisle, including Executive Vice President, Sales & Marketing. Nick holds a Chemical Engineering degree and an MBA from Penn State University.

Chris Koch, President and Chief Executive Officer said, “I am extremely pleased Nick will continue as President of CCM. Having worked with Nick for many years at Carlisle, I am confident he is the right person to lead CCM today and as we continue to execute on Vision 2025. Over his long tenure with CCM, Nick has delivered outstanding sales growth, as well as contributed significantly to the development and implementation of CCM’s strategic and operating initiatives. Nick is a highly respected and well-known member of the construction materials industry, and is firmly committed to delivering the Carlisle Experience. I look forward to continuing collaboration with Nick as Carlisle focuses on driving value for our customers and shareholders.”

For more information, visit www.carlisle.com.