IBHS and FEMA Prepare Homes and Businesses for Natural Disasters

The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) recently joined with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the first National Prepare-A-Thon, which was designed to help home and business owners become better prepared for natural disasters.

“Research shows that communities, families and individuals who prepare in advance for possible disasters are better able to recover from them and adapt to new or changing conditions,” says Julie Rochman, IBHS president and CEO. “Communities around the country [held] Prepare-A-Thon events April 30. The time to act is now before disasters threaten. These events are perfect opportunities to learn how to make your home and business safer and stronger in the face of disasters.”

The first step in preparing for a disaster is knowing what risks you face. IBHS provides an interactive risk map on its website to help you identify your region’s risks by entering your ZIP Code.

“A critical part of preparedness is making sure your home or business is disaster-resistant. Strengthening your building will make it more likely it will be there when you return after a disaster. A stronger, safer building will sustain less damage, making your community more resilient and requiring less federal and state aid to recover,” states Rochman.

IBHS provides a wealth of information for home and business owners about how to protect your home and business against damage from tornadoes, wildfires, floods and hurricanes.

Class 4 Hail-rated Tiles Expand to Texas

Boral Roofing's Barcelona Impact concrete roof tile

Boral Roofing’s Barcelona Impact concrete roof tile

Boral Roofing LLC, a provider of clay and concrete roof tile, is expanding its line of Class 4 hail rated tiles with the introduction of the high-profile Barcelona Impact concrete roof tile in the Texas market.

Barcelona Impact is a hail-resistant concrete tile that passed severe impact resistance testing in accordance with the FM 4473 standard. The tile is proven to withstand sequential 2-inch ice ball impacts at speeds up to 70 mph, fired from within five feet. Barcelona Impact roof tile is certified through the Roof Covering Impact Certification Program sponsored by Architectural Testing.

The addition of high barrel Barcelona Impact provides a complete Class 4 hail rated roof tile offering to the Texas market to complement our flat profile Country Slate Impact Class 4 product. Boral Roofing has been serving the great state of Texas with American-made tile products since 1974, and the expansion of the Class 4 hail rated tile offering further shows this long-standing commitment to the market.

With this performance certification and recognition, Texas homeowners can have even greater peace of mind in their homes and may obtain potential insurance cost savings by selecting a participating insurance company and requesting that their roofing contractor verify that Boral Roofing¹s Class 4 concrete tile was installed. All Boral Roofing tile is covered by a Limited Lifetime, Fully Transferable, Non-Prorated Concrete Product Warranty.

A specialized color portfolio of the new high barrel Barcelona Impact Class 4 tile is based on extensive market feedback from Texas customers. The new colors include a range of beautiful earth tone blends with Buckskin, Charcoal Brown Blend, Lexington Blend and Salerno Clay Blend.

Receive Pallets of Duro-Last ISO without Additional Freight Costs

Duro-Last Inc. announces that 11Ž2- and 2-inch thick, 4- by 8-foot Duro-Guard ISO (Polyisocyanurate) insulation is available from all Duro-Last manufacturing locations for contractors to pick up or to “fill up” a flatbed shipment. These locations include Saginaw, Mich.; Grants Pass, Ore.; Jackson, Miss.; Sigourney, Iowa; and Carrollton, Texas.

This is another cost-effective and convenient option for customers to take delivery of the most popular Duro-Guard ISO products where there is open space on a flatbed truck that is delivering a Duro-Last roof order. This means that Duro-Last customers can receive pallets of ISO without incurring any additional freight cost.

Track Projects, Gather Info, Complete Roof Take Offs and More with New App

Pitch Gauge is a 100 percent mobile-enabled roofing solution.

Pitch Gauge is a 100 percent mobile-enabled roofing solution.

Project management, lead management and roof measurements—all from your smartphone or tablet. Pitch Gauge is the first roofing solution that is 100 percent mobile-enabled. Pitch Gauge is designed to be fully functional on smartphones and tablets. A majority of the features can also be used by logging into your account online. By utilizing Pitch Gauge and its well-rounded mobile offering, you’ll see an increase in productivity and also monetary savings.

Get started on your own:
• Create your account from inside the app or at PitchGauge.com
• New (company) accounts get 3 free projects; no credit card needed up front
• Pitch Gauge walks you through the basic account setup
• Add employees to your account for free (no limit) – no per-user fees

Lead & Project Tracking/Management
• Enter leads and projects by logging into the app or PitchGauge.com
• With permission, users can assign leads and projects to team members
• Change project & lead workflow statuses
• Real-time data sync across company account

Information Gathering
• Collect client info, insurance info (if necessary), project notes, etc.
• Document damage: take pictures and provide captions/comments
• Use iPhone or iPad to scan documents into the homeowner’s file

Accurate Roof Take Offs / Measurements
• Preview the roof on the map, then save (or import image/blueprint)
• Access sketch tool, and trace the roof to measure, one plane at a time (no need to set a scale unless using an image/blueprint)
• Use positioning tool and tap points to reposition or delete
• Label each line (ridge, eave, rake, valley, hip)
• Find slope using integrated pitch finders
• Enter % for waste (under summary tab)
• Once finished, view the summary tab for accurate lengths, tear off, and total squares

Personalized Roof Reports
• Pitch, area, and length breakdowns with 3D diagrams
• Pictures of damage/visual documentation with captions
• Export full PDF roof report; print or email
• Great for quickly closing sales and estimating materials

Map & GPS Integration
• Pitch Gauge provides turn-by-turn directions to properties through GPS integration
• View all of your projects or leads as pins on a map

Schedule
• Schedule events: appointments, measures, installs, etc
• Review your schedule & receive alerts

Storage
• Store documents, reports, and photos inside each project to be accessed by admins and super admins

No per-user fees. It is free to add unlimited users to your company account. We encourage you to add all of your employees to your company’s Pitch Gauge account. It will help you to stay on the same page.

Equipment Leasing Shows New Business Volume Is Increasing

The Equipment Leasing and Finance Association’s (ELFA) Monthly Leasing and Finance Index (MLFI-25), which reports economic activity from 25 companies representing a cross section of the $827 billion equipment finance sector, showed their overall new business volume for March was $7 billion, up 3 percent from new business volume in March 2013. Month-over-month, new business volume was up 30 percent from February. Year to date, cumulative new business volume increased 6 percent compared to 2013.

Receivables over 30 days increased to 2.1 percent from 1.8 percent the previous month, and were up slightly from 2.0 percent during the same period in 2013. Charge-offs were down at a new all-time low of 0.2 percent from 0.4 percent the previous month.

Credit approvals totaled 77.8 percent in March, an increase from 75.3 percent the previous month. Sixty-five percent of participating organizations reported submitting more transactions for approval during March, an increase from 53 percent during February.

Finally, total headcount for equipment finance companies was up 4.4 percent year over year.

Separately, the Equipment Leasing & Finance Foundation’s Monthly Confidence Index (MCI-EFI) for April is 65.1, remaining at the highest index level in two years for the second consecutive month.

ELFA President and CEO William G. Sutton, CAE, said: “Equipment finance companies in almost all industry sectors are reporting a strong first quarter of the year. The March data showing new business volume clearly provides evidence of a strong first quarter looking back and a positive forecast for future activity. The Federal Reserve recently hinted at continuing a monetary policy that will promote a sustained low interest rate environment at least for the foreseeable future, which is giving the business community a reason to feel confident about the overall trajectory of the U.S. economy and make capital investments in their businesses. Credit quality metrics are mixed, with delinquencies edging upward counterbalanced by monthly losses reaching historic lows. Another positive sign for the industry is the trend toward increased hiring during the past 10 months.”

Brian J. Griffin, Senior Vice President, Leasing, MB Financial Bank, N.A., said, “The continued strong metrics measured by the MLFI-25 reflect the ongoing strength of the economy and, more specifically, the leasing industry. Of particular significance is the dramatic increase in new business volume from February, the record low charge-off percentage and the continued increase in headcount in the industry. If medium- and long-term rates can remain relatively stable, these results bode well for continued growth for the balance of the year.”

The MLFI-25 is the only index that reflects capex, or the volume of commercial equipment financed in the U.S. The MLFI-25 is released globally at 8 a.m. Eastern time from Washington, D.C., each month on the day before the U.S. Department of Commerce releases the durable goods report. The MLFI-25 is a financial indicator that complements the durable goods report and other economic indexes, including the Institute for Supply Management Index, which reports economic activity in the manufacturing sector. Together with the MLFI-25 these reports provide a complete view of the status of productive assets in the U.S. economy: equipment produced, acquired and financed.

The MLFI-25 is a time series that reflects two years of business activity for the 25 companies currently participating in the survey.

Morin Partners with D.I. Roof Seamers

Morin, a Kingspan Group company, announces a partnership with D.I. Roof Seamers to provide customers with seamers for MORIN roofing products.

“The partnership with D.I. Roof Seamers will contribute to two key factors in the growth of MORIN,” said Scott Evans, operations director at MORIN. “First, it will allow MORIN to focus on its core business, which is Single Element Panels. Second, it provides a better avenue for our customers. D.I. offers training classes, online ordering, an impressive seamer maintenance program as well as new and innovative seamers to better support our customers’ needs. In short, the partnership benefits our customers through continued quality and improved customer service.”

MORIN installers needing seamers for MorZip, SRR and SLR (2-inch 90 degrees and 180 degrees) metal roofs can find them at a website created by D.I. Roof Seamers.

“We provide seamers for 35 roof panel manufacturers in the United States and Canada and we do it well,” said Kevin Thomas, director of sales at D.I. Seamers. “When we met with the management team of MORIN, we saw the same kind of commitment to excellence for providing quality products and customer service. The partnership was a natural fit.”

D.I. Roof Seamers calls the site a one-stop experience to secure the rental of seaming tools, review manuals on equipment, view videos, peruse the FAQs section and learn more about D.I. Roof Seamers. Access the D.I. Roof Seamers/Morin Rental Request Form.

TAMKO Develops App for Its Pro Certified Contractors

TAMKO Building Products' app developed especially to meet the needs of TAMKO Pro Certified Contractors

TAMKO Building Products’ app developed especially to meet the needs of TAMKO Pro Certified Contractors

TAMKO Building Products announces the availability of an app developed especially to meet the needs of TAMKO Pro Certified Contractors. The TAMKO Pro App for iPad helps demonstrate the many advantages of hiring and working with TAMKO Pro Certified Contractors.

The TAMKO Pro App offers interactive presentations, photo galleries and detailed Limited Warranty information to help give customers peace of mind to help TAMKO Pros close the sale. Features of the TAMKO Pro app include:

    • Highlights the benefits of the TAMKO’s Mastercraft Limited Warranty Enhancement, exclusively offered by TAMKO Pro Certified Contractors
    • “Why a Pro?” presentation demonstrates the many advantages of hiring a TAMKO Pro
    • Ability to upload custom project photos to display during presentation
    • Field Notes section offers the opportunity to take photos during an inspection, add notes regarding roof areas that may need special attention, and then email the photos and notes directly to the customer
    • Features in-depth Limited Warranty and product information

The app is available for free download from the App Store on iPad. It can be found by searching for TAMKO in the store search bar or under the Lifestyle category.

ERA Recommends EPA Base Procurement Guidelines on Assessed Risk

The EPDM Roofing Association (ERA) is recommending that the EPA base proposed environmental performance guidelines on “assessed risk” of referenced chemicals, rather than on the concept of “intrinsic hazard”. In comments to the EPA on its proposed Draft Guidelines for Product Environmental Performance Standards & Ecolabels for Voluntary Use in Federal Procurement, ERA stated, “The concept of “intrinsic hazard” as used in the draft neglects the importance of overall risk assessment as the best approach to identifying potential and actual environmental or human health danger of a product. Taken as a whole, the potential for product exclusion within broad hazard-based protocols may be significant for many segments of the building material industry.”

The ERA comments cite a broad range of widely used building products that could be excluded from the marketplace if the proposed guidelines are implemented.

“We applaud the EPA for incorporating the expertise of impacted industries as they establish environmental standards,” said Ellen Thorp, Associate Executive Director, EPDM Roofing Association. “It’s vitally important that we review all of the consequences – intended and unintended – of these proposed guidelines. Roofing professionals who have extensive field experience with these products can provide uniquely valuable input.”

ERA further praised the EPA for incorporating “consideration of all viewpoints, the requirement for timely response to objections, the opportunity for appeal, and transparency in the development and communication process” in the draft guidelines. ERA underscored that these principles need to be emphasized in green standards development: “Only by doing so can we move green construction from the boutique privilege of a few to the mainstream of the built environment.”

The complete text of ERA’s comments on the Draft Guidelines for Product Environmental Performance Standards & Ecolabels for Voluntary Use in Federal Procurement is below.

ERA Comments Submitted to the EPA on April 24, 2014

The EPDM Roofing Association is the national trade association that represents EPDM roof membrane manufacturers and suppliers to the industry. ERA advances the use of sustainable EPDM roofing systems, while also providing technical and research support to the public and construction industry.

ERA appreciates and supports the development of forward looking standards grounded in the key principles of modern consensus processes. Given the importance of the burgeoning number of proposed green and/or healthy building guidelines and standards, the principles outlined in the EPA draft go a long way to ensuring progress that can be measurable and achievable by the nation’s building industry. The consideration of all viewpoints, the requirement for timely response to objections, the opportunity for appeal, and transparency in the development and communication process, are all key elements of the Draft Guidelines. Without a doubt, these principles need to be emphasized in green standards development, where true consensus processes have too often been ignored or compromised. Only by doing so can we move green construction from the boutique privilege of a few to the mainstream of the built environment.

The only area of concern we wish to comment on involves the concept of “intrinsic hazard” as described in the Section II, # 13, and Footnote 9 of the draft. The concept of “intrinsic hazard” as used in the draft neglects the importance of overall risk assessment as the best approach to identifying potential and actual environmental or human health danger of a product.

Taken as a whole, the potential for product exclusion within broad hazard-based protocols may be significant for many segments of the building material industry. As an example, Healthy Product Declarations (HPDs) for many building envelope products will likely include the disclosure of at least one ingredient alleged to be hazardous by one or more of the “authoritative” lists. The following is a listing of a number of these building envelope products, the alleged hazardous materials they may contain, and the reference list from which the alleged hazard is identified.
• Thermoplastic Roofing Membranes: Titanium Dioxide (California Prop 65)
• Rubber Roofing Membranes: Carbon Black (California Prop 65)
• Asphaltic Roofing and Waterproofing Products: Bitumen (California Prop 65)
• “Cool” (Reflective) Roof Coatings: Titanium Dioxide (California Prop 65)
• Fiber Insulation: Wood Dust (California Prop 65)
• Foam Insulation: Halogenated Fire Retardants (San Antonio Protocol)

This listing helps illustrate our serious concern about possible misuse of standards that are not focused on risk but rather the existence of hazard to make a use or not use decision. Knowledgeable chemists realize that many of these ingredients, like TiO2, wood dust or carbon black in roofing materials will likely never affect building occupants. But how will building designers respond to HPDs or similar hazard-based protocols that contain hazard warnings about cool roof coatings, wood, carbon black, and the like? They will now be possession of information stating the products they plan to specify contain ingredients potentially hazardous to the health of the clients. In short, if HPDs or similar protocols flag every building product as hazardous, their relevancy and usefulness will be lost.

As a result, we recommend that Section II, #13 be revised as follows:
“Product environmental criteria focus on the assessed risks of chemicals, and require safer substitutes to the extent possible, considering existing data and availability of functional alternatives.9”

In addition, we recommend that Footnote 9 also be revised to support risk assessment rather than hazard identification: “A risk-based approach, grounded in Green Chemistry principles, can reduce the use of hazardous substances, and lower overall risk to people and the environment. Key to this focus is an understanding of the actual risks of chemicals in terms of effect levels and exposure pathways, as well as the availability of safer alternatives.”

We thank you for the opportunity to provide these comments, and we look forward to the formal release of these guidelines.

SUN TUNNEL Skylights Are Improved

VELUX America has introduced the next generation residential and commercial SUN TUNNEL skylights.

VELUX America has introduced the next generation residential and commercial SUN TUNNEL skylights.

VELUX America has introduced the next generation residential and commercial SUN TUNNEL skylights to the roofing industry. Key improvements have been made to both tubular skylight product lines and a number of accessories have been added.

The new VELUX SunCurve, a highly transmissive light capturing technology for commercial SUN TUNNELS, captures more morning and evening daylight while diffusing the powerful afternoon sunlight to provide a more even and appealing light output throughout the day. Another key improvement to both the residential and commercial products is the Flexi-Loc tunnel assembly system that will enable installers to save approximately 50 percent of the time required for tunnel assembly while making quick, easy, and adjustable connections.

ThA new diffuser complements any décor with a choice of brushed nickel, polished brass, oil rubbed bronze, and white trim options. Manual blackout shades and night light kits are available for various SUN TUNNEL residential skylight models.

A new commercial SUN TUNNEL ordering system allows for configuring and ordering exactly what is needed, or for larger projects, in bulk, for cost savings from an extensive selection of new options and accessories.

Commercial ceiling options include hard, suspended and open while diffuser options include frosted for aesthetics, prismatic for a look and feel to match existing architectural design, and Fresnel to maximize light distribution.

Tile Roofing’s Cool Colors Meet California’s Title 24

Boral Roofing LLC is launching more than 30 new cool colors in California

Boral Roofing LLC is launching more than 30 new cool colors in California.

Boral Roofing LLC, a provider of clay and concrete roof tile, is launching more than 30 new cool colors in California, ideal for new construction and reroof applications. Boral Roofing is partnering with leading designers and colorists to introduce trending exterior color palettes.

Boral Roofing’s cool color range is available at no added cost to the consumer. Consumers can choose from a range of colors at a standard price. Boral Roofing leads the nation with the largest Cool Roof Rating Council tile listing and offers choice ENERGY STAR-rated colors.

With the inherent beauty and energy benefits of concrete tile, cool roof colors do not have to be white. Boral Roofing offers a vibrant selection of earth tones, terra cottas and cool greys that meet or exceed cool roof standards. These beautiful cool colors are available in a wide range of styles and textures to fit any architectural design.

Boral Roofing has been continually expanding cool roof colors to fit new trends. Cool roofing is paramount in states such as California pursuing a net zero energy building code by 2020. California Title 24 building codes are requiring increased cool roof performance in select regions that take effect on July 1, 2014.

The California Title 24 Building Energy Efficiency Standards were established to reduce California’s energy consumption. Cool roofs are highly reflective, highly emissive roofing materials that stay cooler than a normal roof under a hot summer sun, offering homeowners considerable energy cost savings.