Antis Roofing & Waterproofing Is Making a Difference By Embracing Community Service

Antis Roofing encourages employees, business partners and customers to join its quarterly team build projects for Habitat for Humanity.

Antis Roofing encourages employees, business partners and customers to join its quarterly team build projects for Habitat for Humanity.

If the name Antis Roofing & Waterproofing sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve seen it in the trade press quite a bit lately. The Irvine, Calif.-based company received several awards at the 130th National Roofing Contractors Association Convention, including first place in the CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award, which honors NRCA contractor members for charitable works. Two Antis Roofing employees, Narciso Alarcon and Manuel Cortez, received Most Valuable Player (MVP) awards from the Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress, and Alarcon was also named the Best of the Best by the Alliance and Professional Roofing magazine.

In March, the company’s founder and CEO, Charles Antis, was elected to the board of directors for the NRCA. Later that month, he was honored by Alzheimer’s Orange County for his volunteer work on behalf of that organization and his company’s community service projects. In April, Antis was named to the board of the Orange County Ronald McDonald House.

For Charles Antis and everyone else at the company, it’s been a whirlwind year. “Someone was joking that it’s like Academy Award season,” Antis says. “I don’t want to get too caught up in it, but this may never happen again, so I want to enjoy every moment of it. I want to make sure my team enjoys every moment of it. It’s been really nice to be recognized for stuff that we think is important because it shows us that other people think it’s important, too. And there was a period where maybe it didn’t feel that way. It feels like it’s working and we’re making a difference, and that’s why it feels pretty awesome today.”

Filling a Niche

For Antis, the company’s community service projects are inextricably linked to its purpose and mission as a company. He says it just took him a while to realize that fact.

Founded in 1989, Antis Roofing has 90 employees and specializes exclusively in work for homeowners associations. Most of the roofing work involves clay tile, but it also does a lot of asphalt shingle roofs, metal roofs, and single-ply systems—primarily PVC. “Our only focus is HOA,” say Antis. “Our company services approximately 1,200 HOAs that average 200 units each. That’s 240,000 individual homeowners that could call us at any one time, so that’s a challenge.”

Charles Antis was recently appointed to the board of the Orange County Ronald McDonald House.

Charles Antis was recently appointed to the board of the Orange County Ronald McDonald House.

The demanding HOA market keeps the business running on all cylinders, notes Antis.“Because we were focused on this super-high customer care market, we developed some really great qualities as a business,” he notes. “For example, we photograph virtually everything we touch, everything we see, everything we do. We upload about 6,000 images per day because that’s what it takes to protect all of our stakeholders, from our material suppliers to our manufacturers to the individual homeowners association board members and homeowners. We memorialize everything that occurs with photographs and notes in our enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, much like a property manager would.”

In the drive to improve his company, Antis asked himself a lot of questions, including basic questions about what motivates him and the true purpose of his company. “Somewhere along the line we discovered that our purpose is to keep families safe and dry,” he says. “That’s what helped lead us to our philanthropy. It brought us back to the community.”

Finding a Passion

Antis believes the company’s community service efforts help employees find their passion and make a connection with the community. “Our philanthropy is tied to our central theme,” he notes. “We believe everybody deserves an opportunity to live in safe, dry home and have a happy family there.”

The first board Antis joined was for Habitat for Humanity in Orange County, which embraces the same goal. He also serves on NRCA committees and will begin serving on the NRCA board for the same reason. “I’m able to give back in a way that lifts me, my people, my stakeholders and my industry,” he says. “I’m also on the board of Ronald McDonald House, which is again giving people a safe, dry place to live while they visit their sick children in the hospital. All of these board memberships that I do are focused on keeping families safe and dry, which is the central mission of Antis Roofing.”

The company has worked with Habitat for Humanity since 2009, and it also helps other nonprofit organizations by repairing, maintaining and replacing their roofs at no charge through the Antis Foundation “This year we are keeping 15 different nonprofits dry,” he says. “In fact, we have two complete re-roofs we are setting up this summer for the Boy Scouts of America and America Family Housing.”

Everyone at the company has found community service projects personally rewarding, notes Antis. It’s also helped the business grow and thrive. “We’ve discovered that the more we give, the more we grow, the more money we make, and the more we can give,” he says. “We are in this awesome little cycle where we have purpose in our work. We understand that there is something magical happening right now, and we just have a hard time saying no when somebody has a leaky roof.”

Antis Roofing CEO Charles Antis (left) accepts an award at Alzheimer’s Orange County’s 19th annual fundraising event from Jim McAleer, president and CEO of Alzheimer’s Orange County.

Antis Roofing CEO Charles Antis (left) accepts an award at Alzheimer’s Orange County’s 19th annual fundraising event from Jim McAleer, president and CEO of Alzheimer’s Orange County.

Antis believes his purpose in life is to ignite passion in others to create social change. “We believe that we can bring that passion out in every worker in our company and all of our stakeholders. We have this crazy philosophy around here that we are changing the world, and because of that, we are changing the world. And that’s freaking awesome.”

Changing the World

Antis is extremely proud of the awards his company has won. He is also extremely grateful. “Winning those awards from the roofing industry just filled my heart with such gratitude,” he says. “It was just awesome to experience the way our whole company received the Community Involvement Award. We all feel like we are making the roofing industry a better place. We all feel at Antis Roofing that we are working to lift the brand and lift the paycheck of all 250,000 roofers in America. We have that purpose in what we do, and it was gratifying to win that award as a team.”

Alarcon and Cortez, the winners of the individual awards, both lead by example, according to Antis. “It also felt really good to see two of our really hardworking employees honored with MVP Awards, one of them the Best of the Best,” he notes. “We are really proud of our team members achieving recognition because we are family.”

Charles Antis believes the company’s philanthropic efforts have inspired everyone at his company and made it a more exciting place to come to work.

Charles Antis believes the company’s philanthropic efforts have inspired everyone at his company and made it a more exciting place to come to work.


Antis is thankful for the recognition his team has received, especially because it allows him to share his message with others in the industry. “We have this amazing story right now, and it is getting a lot of attention, but I don’t want to miss this opportunity to tell other business owners that this is not very complicated,” he says. “It’s just a slight shift in the way you look at business. It’s bringing a why—why you exist—into the picture. And suddenly, there’s a stronger culture. Everybody wants to come work here because there is purpose here.”

“We don’t consider ourselves lowly roofers anymore,” he concludes. “We consider ourselves roofing professionals that are truly making the world a better place. We have a very important service that we provide, and we provide it in the best way possible.”

Photos: Antis Roofing & Waterproofing

Tips for Reducing Insulation Labor Time and Costs on Commercial Jobs

Composite products can help simplify insulation installation on high-traffic roofs.

Composite products can help simplify insulation installation on high-traffic roofs.

It’s no secret that the roofing industry continues to suffer a severe shortage of skilled labor, resulting in lost business and profits. Former National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) chairman of the board Nelson Braddy Jr. was quoted in the Wall Street Journal last fall saying his Texas roofing company had to decline $20 million in projects over the past two years due to worker shortages. “It’s the worst I’ve seen in my career,” he said.

While there is no silver bullet to fix this problem, using materials and methods that simplify installation can help you maximize the people you do have, and potentially even reduce material costs. It’s a win-win for improving profitability.

This article highlights some simple-to-use options for streamlining insulation work on re-roofing jobs and new construction.

Measuring What Matters

When it comes to insulation, roofers can choose from several commonly used rigid foam insulations: polyisocyanurate (polyiso), extruded polystyrene (XPS), and expanded polystyrene (EPS).

The first step in reducing insulation costs is to consider which metric matters most to your bottom line. As the job of insulation is to reduce heat loss through the roof assembly, many manufacturers promote their products’ R-value per inch of thickness. Although this can be helpful if the goal is to build the thinnest roof assembly possible, it says nothing about the material’s benefit vs. cost. To figure out which insulation products will give you the biggest bang for your buck, it is important to evaluate the R-value per dollar.

Figure 1

Figure 1. R-Value per dollar for common types of insulation, including materials and labor.

The table in Figure 1 compares how rigid foam insulations stack-up for R-value per dollar. While specific R-value per dollar figures change frequently, EPS consistently rates highest when compared to other rigid foam insulations.

Easy, Economical Insulation Solutions

For roofing pros who select EPS insulations for their benefit/cost advantages, along with outstanding moisture performance and stable long-term R-values, following are five practical ways to help save tens of thousands of dollars, or more, depending on your job’s size.

1. Build-up of low-sloped roofs. Converting a flat or low-sloped roof to a greater slope for better drainage typically requires roof crews to stack multiple layers of insulation. This can be a labor-intensive process with XPS and polyiso, as crews must haul and place numerous rigid foam sheets of only a few inches of thickness. By comparison, EPS insulation is available in blocks up to 40 inches thick. As some manufacturers will cut those blocks to virtually any slope and any shape to fit roof crickets, saddles, valleys and ridges, tapered EPS speeds insulation installation, and can reduce roof insulation costs up to 30 percent compared to other tapered insulations. The saved man-hours can be deployed to other jobs to help you build your business. Additional cost savings result from reduced dumpster fees to dispose of insulation cut-offs.

2. Roof re-covers. An easy-to-use option for roof re-covers is EPS panels pre-folded into bundles, and with polymeric facers on both sides. Such products are available in standard sizes up to 200 square feet, comprised of 25 panels that are 2 feet by 4 feet each. A typical two-square bundle weighs less than 11 pounds, so is easy for one person to carry.

Fan-folded bundles of EPS require fewer fasteners per square foot than most roofing insulations, and are less expensive than virtually every re-cover board. The man-hours needed to install fan-fold bundles are about 60 percent less than individual sheets. Material costs are also lower than wood fiber, perlite, or gypsum board. On large projects, the total savings can add up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Flute fill insulation helps reduce labor costs on re-covers of standing seam metal roofs.

Flute fill insulation helps reduce labor costs on re-covers of standing seam metal roofs.

3. Metal roof re-covers. Up to 70 percent of metal roofing jobs involve standing seams. Both architectural and structural standing seams make it challenging to create a flat, stable surface during roof re-covers. A simple way to insulate the roof and provide an even surface for other parts of the roof assembly is to install “flute fill” insulation. Such products fit between the spaces of the metal roof’s flanges and are designed to fit into place easily.

An advantage of EPS flute fill over other insulations is that it can be custom-cut to fit any metal roof flange profile. It also comes in a range of compressive strengths suitable for nearly any roofing application. EPS flute fill can save up to 25 percent in costs compared to similar polyiso products.

4. High-traffic roofs. For roofs that need additional strength to withstand foot traffic and severe weather, an ideal option is composite insulation. One product incorporates EPS as a lightweight, insulating and resilient insulation, while a polyiso layer serves as a durable, insulating cover board. Some composite products of this type carry a UL Class A fire rating for both combustible and non-combustible decks, and are compatible with a range of roofing membranes, including EPDM, TPO, PVC, CSPE, as well as low-sloped, built-up and modified bitumen membrane systems.

The Facebook headquarters garden roof uses EPS geofoam as a lightweight fill material to form landscape contours.

The Facebook headquarters garden roof uses EPS geofoam as a lightweight fill material to form landscape contours.

5. Planted roofs. For planted roofs that include landscape contours for hills and valleys, roofers face the challenge of not adding excess weight while defending against moisture intrusion. An effective solution is provided by EPS geofoam. Successfully used in civil engineering and building projects for decades, the material is an ultra-lightweight engineered fill that can be used to create contoured landscape features such as hills and valleys. EPS geofoam weighs from 1 to 3 pounds per cubic foot, depending on the product type specified, compared to 110 to 120 pounds per cubic foot for soil.

And, as EPS geofoam dries quickly and has minimal long-term moisture retention, it helps defend planted roofs from moisture intrusion.

The project team for Facebook’s MPK 20 building in Menlo Park, California, used EPS geofoam in the building’s 9-acre landscaped roof. Landscape contours, more than 400 trees and a half-mile walking trail create a relaxing, park-like setting.

Selecting an Insulation Supplier

Many domestic and foreign companies manufacture EPS insulation, but quality and capabilities can vary widely. To help streamline your insulation material and labor costs further, while ensuring a quality roofing job, it is important to evaluate manufacturers for the following:

  • Technical support: What support services does the manufacturer offer that can reduce roofing contractor costs? Examples include design expertise, material take-offs, consultation on product substitutions, and in-field support.
  • Customized products: Can the manufacturer supply custom-cut insulation components to help reduce field labor?
  • Code compliance: Does the manufacturer have code acceptance reports for its products, including testing to industry standards?
  • Photos courtesy of Insulfoam.

    All in the Family

    Chris King

    Chris King

    As I attended the 2017 International Roofing Expo with the team at Roofing, I thought back to my first roofing trade show. I had covered plumbing and HVAC for six years, but I had just joined a roofing publication and was looking to make a good first impression. Just a few minutes into my time on the trade show floor, I found myself talking with a group that included an NRCA executive officer, a regional sales director for a national distributor, and a marketing manager with a major manufacturer. After I introduced myself, they asked if I had any experience covering roofing, and I was forced to admit that I was new to the industry.

    They could not have been more helpful. They all welcomed me warmly, asked about my previous experience, and told me how they entered the field. They all gave me their business cards and told me to feel free to call them any time if I had any questions.

    As the conversation began to break up, the distributor shook my hand. “Welcome to the roofing industry,” he said. “You see, people enter the roofing industry, but they never leave it. There’s something about it that keeps people hanging around. It’s like a family. You might see someone with a different color shirt at a different booth at the next trade show. People might move around, but they almost never leave the roofing industry—and when they do, they usually come back.”

    The roofing industry is amazingly close-knit, and it has been an honor to be a small part of it for the past 12 years. It has been inspiring to share stories about people, companies, products and services that have improved the lives of families and building owners. It has been a pleasure to document the improvements in an industry that continues to raise the bar on professionalism and safety.

    It’s rare in the business world to encounter genuine feel-good stories, but they are easy to find in the roofing industry. How about products that are better for the environment, provide a better value to the building owner, and a bigger profit margin for the installing contractor—a true win-win. In this issue, we share the story of a manufacturer and contractors who teamed up to help people in need and profile a contractor who makes philanthropic work the cornerstone of his company’s mission.

    When I was in college, I had no idea about the world of business-to-business publishing. I thought journalists just covered politics or sports. At that time, I never dreamed I’d cover the construction industry for 18 years, and that I’d hope to cover it for many more. As the reputations of politicians and athletes have declined over the last couple of decades, the reputation of roofing contractors has been elevated, one roof at a time. There is something so elemental, so important in the concept of the roof—what is the goal of working, after all, but to “put a roof over your head.”

    I know what an excellent job my predecessor, Christina Koch, has done here because I watched her do it. I’ll do my best to live up to her expectations. After all, she’s still in the family as editor in chief of retrofit. Like me, she’ll just be wearing a different color shirt.

    Roofing Torch Program Reduces Fire Hazards During Modified Bitumen Application

    CERTA offers a certification program in which authorized trainers deliver behavior-based training to roofing workers who install polymer modified bitumen roof systems.

    CERTA offers a certification program in which authorized trainers deliver behavior-based training to roofing workers who install polymer modified bitumen roof systems.

    The latest market survey conducted by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) shows the use of polymer modified bitumen as a percentage of all new roof systems, installed both in new construction and re-roofing projects, comprises about 10 percent of the total low-slope market, according to members responding. The significance of that share of the market for polymer-modified bitumen also highlights the importance of proper training in the use of roofing torches, the most common method for installation of such systems.

    Background

    In 1986, the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA), in conjunction with industry organizations, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, and the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, developed a curriculum to train roofing workers in the safe application of torch-applied roof systems. This program was named the Certified Roofing Torch Applicator, or CERTA, program.

    In 2003, insurance industry representatives approached NRCA to address concerns about an increase of losses and incidents involving torching activities conducted by roofing workers. One prominent insurer experienced over $7 million in roofing torch-related claims in 2002 spread over more than 30 separate occurrences. The need for enhanced work practices and focused safety training to address torching activities became apparent, and NRCA arranged with MRCA to adopt and revise the nature of and deliverables offered by the CERTA program.

    CERTA now offers a unique, comprehensive certification program in which authorized trainers deliver effective behavior-based training to roofing workers who install polymer modified bitumen roof systems. CERTA-authorized trainers undergo a rigorous full-day training session that includes classroom and hands-on instruction in propane safety, hazards related to torch use, proper techniques for safe installation of polymer modified bitumen, and development of training skills. Individuals who successfully complete all aspects of the program then are authorized to deliver training, under the CERTA protocol, to workers who qualify as certified roofing torch applicators.

    MRCA continues to work with NRCA to make sure the program is up-to-date and uses the most effective procedures to develop authorized trainers and enhance the curriculum. Since its inception, roofing contractors who have trained their workers under CERTA generally have experienced fewer torch-related fires, injuries and property damage. Insurance industry claims also are a testament to the CERTA program success—the insurer that experienced over 30 torch-related claims in 2002 now can count such average yearly claims on one hand with a significantly reduced average yearly dollar loss.

    Safety Specifics

    Trainees in a CERTA class spend a great deal of time on some specific aspects of the use of roofing torches to install a polymer modified bitumen roof system. Those specifics have a direct correlation to keeping workers and others safe, and minimizing the likelihood of property damage. First, the CERTA curriculum focuses on the inherent danger of roofing torches and discusses assessing job hazards and establishing controls for torching operations. Details cover the proper personal protective equipment to minimize or eliminate exposure to burns and the critical need to handle propane properly and make sure equipment is in good condition.

    Pre-job planning enforces the significance of determining the hazards unique to the particular worksite and developing the necessary controls to address those hazards. In addition to general working conditions and weather issues that may influence job site safety, specific hazards such as the presence of a combustible roof deck, roof penetrations, concealed attic areas and combustible flashing substrates are addressed and suitable controls are suggested and discussed. Also, attendees get comprehensive information on the types and ratings of fire extinguishers and how they are used most effectively along with the minimum CERTA requirements for appropriate fire extinguishers that must be on a roof. In fact, CERTA requires a fire extinguisher capacity far exceeding OSHA’s fire protection requirements during torch operations— two 4A60BC-rated fire extinguishers within 10 feet of torching activity.

    Another important fire prevention protocol is the use of a fire watch system. The intent of the fire watch is that a dedicated individual is charged with inspecting the work area after the last torch, or other heat generating tool, is extinguished. Ordinarily, this is accomplished visually, but it can also be done more scientifically with the use of temperature sensing infrared thermometer. These are inexpensive tools that read the temperature of an area that the tool is pointed at and display the reading in degrees on the screen. The fire watch individual would shoot various specific locations where hot work was done—for example, at roof penetrations, flashings or field areas—noting the temperature for each spot. This procedure would be followed for the same spots a short time later, and if the temperature had increased, the possibility that a fire under the roof surface could be a source of the increased heat being generated would require further steps to determine the nature of the heat increase and the proper action to take.

    Historically, many industries and building owners have required a 30-minute fire watch be maintained after the last torch or other tool has been extinguished. Under the CERTA protocol, a two-hour fire watch is demanded of a CERTA roofing torch applicator. The fire watch must be maintained not just at the end of the day but at other break times, such as lunch, so that fires do not start when workers may be away from the work area or inattentive during break times.

    Another key element of training for the CERTA torch applicator involves installation techniques that are intended to reduce the likelihood of a fire being started. The techniques include specified thermal barriers to protect combustible roof decks and substrate protection for flashing installations, along with an alternative torching technique that minimizes the use of direct torching.

    Certa Works

    Installation of polymer-modified bitumen roof systems using propane roofing torches requires adherence to a number of safety procedures and an awareness of the hazards that workers may encounter. The CERTA program has a proven track record of enhancing the safe practices of roofing workers who install these systems and the roofing industry, building owners and the general public are all safer because of its development and use.

    Photo: NRCA

    Single-Component Butyl Provides a Permanent Seal Without Hardening

    The butyl sealant can be used in a variety of metal roof applications where a low modulus sealant is desired.

    The butyl sealant can be used in a variety of metal roof applications where a low modulus sealant is desired.

    R.M. Lucas Co. has added a single-component, non-skinning butyl rubber sealant to its product line. Lucas #8660 provides adhesion and a permanent seal between concealed end laps, metal roof panels, standing-seam roof panels, ridge caps, wall panels and other applications where a non-hardening weather seal is desired. This product is also ideal for use with OEM and shop-assembled metal details.

    According to the manufacturer, Lucas #8660 creates a non-hardening, weathertight seal. Designed as a non-skinning, non-sag sealant, the product exhibits high moisture resistance, with an exceptional ability to absorb sound and movement. Lucas #8660 comes in a neutral color, guns easily in cold or hot weather, and is packaged in 10-ounce fiber cartridges, 12 per case.

    “Lucas #8660 won’t stain substrates and exhibits primerless adhesion to most roofing and building materials, including Kynar,” says Jason Morris, technical sales representative for Lucas. “The product is easy to gun and tool, even in cold weather, and is also self-healing.”

    The butyl sealant can be used in a variety of metal roof applications where a low modulus sealant is desired, including metal roof panels, ribs, standing seams, and ridge cap flashing, as well as metal wall panels. Lucas #8660 is also recommended for OEM trailer and RV application, installation of walk-in coolers and freezers, and as a vapor barrier sealant. In addition, Lucas #8660 can be used as a sound-deadening sealant in installation of acoustical ceilings as well as both gypsum and metal wall panels. It is not designed for use as a single-ply roofing adhesive or lap adhesive.

    When applying the sealant, the surface to be sealed must be dry and free of dirt or loose corrosion particles. A primer is not needed. Simply apply the sealant to the area as desired. Tooling is not normally necessary. The product can be cleaned with Lucas #125 Safe Solve. It also has a long shelf life, remaining active two years from the date of manufacture.

    “We feel that this will be an excellent addition to our product line whether you are restoring, renovating or maintaining building structures,” states Morris.

    Photo: McElroy Metal

    Prevent Roof Fires During Torch-Down Projects

    Torch-Down Safety While driving to work recently, I heard a news story on the radio: An unlicensed roofer was charged with causing a fire at a local apartment complex. When I arrived at the office, I Googled “fires caused by roofers.” The results included stories from across the nation:

  • Roofing crew blamed for a Chicago strip-mall fire.
  • Roofer’s torch likely cause of huge Arizona construction-site blaze.
  • Roofer’s blowtorch sparks a six-alarm fire in Hamilton Township, N.J.
  • Obviously, using an open-flame torch to install torch-down roofing systems can pose a fire risk. Torch-down roofing is a type of roofing that consists of layers of modified bitumen adhered to layers of fiberglass with a flame torch. Torch-down roofing is used only for flat or low-slope roofs. This process is popular with many contractors, mainly because of its ease of installation and its adaptability. With this system, the modified bitumen can bond tightly to metal flashings while the rubbery additives in the asphalt allow the roofing to expand and contract when other roofing systems may crack. In addition, roofers like torch-down roofing because it is easy to apply. Unfortunately, it can also be dangerous!

    It is easy to make a mistake with the torch that could result in disaster. Consider roofers that are torching down a roof and accidentally overheat something in the attic—insulation, for instance. They end their work for the day, not noticing the smoke coming out of soffit vents. Before long, that smoldering material in the attic heats up and starts a fire that quickly spreads throughout the dry, hot attic and, often, to the rest of the structure. 

    Regulations and Best Practices

    OSHA has developed standards that can help prevent these types of fires. Here are some of OSHA’s fire-protection and -prevention rules from the construction and general industry standards:

  • A fire extinguisher must be immediately accessible for all torch-down operations.
  • A fire extinguisher is needed within 50 feet of anywhere where more than 5 gallons of flammable or combustible liquids or 5 pounds of flammable gas are being used on the job site.
  • No one on a job site can be more than 100 feet from a fire extinguisher at all times.
  • There must be at least one fire extinguisher for 3,000 square feet of work area.
  • All flammable or combustible debris must be located well away from flammable liquids or gases.
  • Combustible scrap and debris must be removed regularly during the course of a job.
  • Piles of scrap and debris must be kept at least 10 feet from any building.
  • A fire watch person should be posted to immediately address any possible smolders or flare-ups.
  • The fire watch person should remain on post for 30 minutes after the torch-down job is finished for the day.
  • While the actions spelled out in these construction regulations are mandatory, roofing professionals should be aware that these are minimum requirements. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) and the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA) have developed a roofing torch applicator certification program designed to reduce fire hazards during torch application of modified bitumen products. According to Harry Dietz, Director of Risk Management for NRCA, the Certified Torch Applicator (CERTA) program teaches installers to minimize the exposure of combustible structural materials to the heat and flame of the roofing torch. The program also spells out a number of safe practices that go well beyond OSHA’s regulations in dealing with roofing torch use. Among other program elements, these include:

  • The requirement for two 4A60BC fire extinguishers during torch work (more than 10 times the firefighting capability required under the OSHA rules).
  • A two-hour fire watch performed after the last torch has been extinguished.
  • Following these guidelines for fire prevention can protect roofing professionals and the public. It can also save roofers money and time, as well as protect contractors from lawsuits and other legal charges. 

    “In 2002, a leading insurer of roofing contractors had over $7 million in torch related claims in 33 occurrences prior to requiring CERTA for its insureds,” said Dietz. “In 2015, that same insurance company reported only one torch-related claim with a loss of less than $10,000.”

    Visit this site to learn more about OSHA’s Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, Welding and Cutting, Fire Prevention. To learn more about the Certified Torch Applicator (CERTA) program, click here.

    Coating System Makes Roofing and Cladding Appear Aged, Weathered

    McElroy Metal's Cor-Ten AZP Raw offers the look of aged or weathered roofing and cladding.

    McElroy Metal’s Cor-Ten AZP Raw offers the look of aged or weathered roofing and cladding.

    Bossier City, La.-based McElroy Metal’s Cor-Ten AZP Raw is new to the company’s product line, offering the look of aged or weathered roofing and cladding.

    Cor-Ten AZP Raw is a fluoropolymer coating system that uses cool pigment technology that McElroy Metal applies over Galvalume-coated steel sheet. It’s available in a variety of McElroy Metal standing-seam and through-fastened panel profiles. The look of aged or weathered roofing and wall cladding is growing in popularity and used in commercial, residential and industrial applications. Cor-Ten AZP Raw provides the appearance of rusted metal with the advantages of a highly reflective PVDF coating.

    Cor-Ten AZP Raw is a fluoropolymer coating system that McElroy Metal applies over Galvalume-coated steel sheet.

    Cor-Ten AZP Raw is a fluoropolymer coating system that McElroy Metal applies over Galvalume-coated steel sheet.


    “We’re offering the appearance of weathered steel without having to wait for time and Mother Nature,” says Ken Gieseke, vice president of Marketing at McElroy Metal. “As soon as it’s installed, the weathered aesthetic is evident, attractive and durable. It’s sure to become a popular choice of architects and building owners seeking the look of weathered steel.”

    In 2005, U.S. Steel introduced Cor-Ten AZP prepainted steel sheet to provide architects, building owners and homeowners with an enhanced performance product to its Cor-Ten steel. McElroy Metal offers the moderately weathered Cor-Ten AZP Raw, a carefully crafted and engineered system to provide any roofing or cladding project with the authentic look of timelessness.

    Raw is produced by McElroy Metal in collaboration with Valspar and U.S. Steel.

    To learn more, visit here or call (318) 747-8000.

    PHOTOS: McElroy Metal

    Life Choices

    I have a younger brother who makes choices I don’t always understand. I’m quite a bit older than he is, so I like to share my experiences in the hopes of guiding him toward more productive options. Meanwhile, I wondered why my parents weren’t doing more to steer their youngest child and, in a moment of exasperation, I asked them. My mom responded that she and my dad believe we need to figure our lives out on our own. If we ask for help, they are willing to give it but they don’t want to micromanage our lives and decisions.

    I started thinking about what she said in relation to my own life choices. I remember when I decided to double major in English and history in college, my dad asked: “What are you going to do with that? Teach?” I said: “No. I’m going to write.” I knew, based on the look on his face, he was certain I’d never find gainful employment but he never said another word about it—not even on graduation day when I didn’t have a job or a place to live.

    It was the roofing industry that gave me my first opportunity. After applying for a job I found online, I moved from my home state of Iowa to the Chicago suburbs to begin writing for Professional Roofing magazine in late 2000. Writing about roofing wasn’t exactly what I had in mind when I dreamt of my career but, here I am, almost 17 years later and couldn’t be more grateful to this industry for all it has given me.

    Unfortunately, at this point in my career, I’m faced with another life choice. Those of you who have worked directly with me probably have noticed I rarely return phone calls or emails the same week, much less the same day! During the past five years, I’ve not only edited Roofing but also have been editing retrofit, a nationally circulated trade publication that focuses on the renovation of existing commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. Within the past year, both magazines have grown so much (a fantastic problem) that I’ve been having trouble keeping up.

    To make matters worse, I never have time to think through new ideas or accomplish the aspirations on my list that I know would make the magazines better. I suddenly realized I was doing a disservice to these magazines and to you, the readers. (Not to mention, having recently gotten married, I’m trying to establish a better work-life balance than I had while I was building my career.)

    Therefore, this is my last issue as editor in chief of Roofing. I’m thrilled my successor is Christopher K. King, a well-known writer in this industry who previously served as editor of Roofing Contractor magazine and has been writing articles for Roofing since 2015. (Read his “Special Report”, page 58, about how a community came together at the prompting of a roofing contractor to help a deserving couple restore their home.) I know Chris will do an excellent job taking Roofing to the next level and giving it the undivided attention it deserves.

    Again, I’m so thankful for the opportunities the roofing industry has given me. Consequently, I’ve decided to dedicate my final issue to the wonderful people and initiatives that make this industry so special. Enjoy!

    Kirberg Co. Receives BBB TORCH Award

    Kirberg Co. receives the 2016 BBB TORCH Award from the Better Business Bureau.

    Kirberg Co. receives the 2016 BBB TORCH Award from the Better Business Bureau.

    Kirberg Co., St. Louis, has received the 2016 BBB TORCH Award from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving eastern Missouri and southern Illinois. The award recognizes the company’s commitment to customer service through exceptional standards for ethical business practices.

    Laura Toledo, executive director of the Center for Women in Transition, St. Louis, nominated Kirberg Co. for the TORCH Award. In 2015, Kirberg Co. donated $36,000 in labor and materials to install a new roof at the Baker House, one of two transitional living facilities operated by the center.

    “We are all extremely grateful for the generous donation of a complete roof replacement from Kirberg in 2015,” Toledo states. “They also coordinated with other contractors to make sure the job was done well and at no cost to the agency. Kirberg has continued to support the mission of the Center for Women in Transition in numerous ways since then. Kirberg is an excellent company that is dedicated to its community.”

    Through practicing and promoting restorative justice, the Center for Women in Transition assists women in the criminal justice system to successfully transition back to their families and communities. The women are offered safe, stable housing through the center, as well as case management; life-skills instruction; guidance from volunteer mentors; and assistance with locating jobs and accessing other resources, such as substance-abuse treatment, medical and mental health care.

    Eric Kirberg, president of Kirberg Co., accepted the TORCH Award and says: “We were delighted to be able to help our friends at the Center for Women in Transition. The center provides a wonderful service here in town, and a new roof was badly needed. Now the apartment building will remain open to help hundreds of women for years to come.”

    Having provided nearly 100 years of service to the St. Louis community, Kirberg Co. installs nearly every type of roof system from slate and tile to flat-roof applications, vegetated and solar-power systems. With 90 field employees in St. Louis and approximately 50 in its branches, Kirberg Co. is committed to exceeding customer expectations.

    “Getting roofs done right the first time, that’s always been our motto,” Kirberg notes. “When our roofers are as good as they are, it’s easy to have good customer service when the work is almost perfect.”

    “BBB’s TORCH Awards celebrate exceptional companies with great customer service and ethics,” adds Scott Mosby, BBB board chair and chief executive of Mosby Building Arts, St. Louis. “Start with trust, honor the exceptional and learn from the best is our practice within St. Louis BBB. These companies and charities are examples to emulate for anyone who wants to be trusted in the marketplace.”

    Learn more about Kirberg Co. at the website; visit the BBB’s website.

    PHOTO: Kirberg Co.

    Four Ways Technology Boosted My Business

    We all know technology can benefit our businesses in many ways. The challenge is selecting the right technology from the hundreds of apps and programs out there.

    One area I needed technology to help with was providing a more seamless and efficient way of ordering materials for different jobs. Luckily my tech selection process was made a little easier when I learned my building materials supplier had an online program that could connect with the software I was already using.

    After talking with a sales representative, I was able to start working with the online program the very next week.

    Here’s how it works:

    • I can take aerial measurements— within 98 percent accuracy—of a roof without getting up there to take manual measurements.
    • The software uses the roof measurements and my distributor’s real-time pricing and products to create a materials list.
    • I turn my materials list into an order I electronically submit to my distributor from anywhere.

    After working with hundreds of orders since implementing this program in September 2015, I’ve experienced a 20 percent decrease in the time required to process orders for building materials and have seen more efficiency and accuracy in my projects.

    Here’s how this technology helped my business:

    Project Visualization

    Prior to taking advantage of this program, I placed orders based on information from project hand sketches. This would often lead to time-consuming follow-ups with my team to get more details or confirm information. Now I can electronically enter aerial roof and wall measurements, review and update them if necessary, and create materials lists.

    Having all our important information in an electronic tool is great! I no longer have to call my team to confirm handwritten information. This has resulted in my team being more efficient and reduced the number of ordering errors that come from misinterpreting information on a piece of paper.

    It’s also helpful to have an electronic tool where I can look up all my orders and see when they were placed and what items were included.

    Accessible Products

    Having technology that integrates with my supplier gives me the ability to access real-time products and pricing during and outside of business hours. This flexibility is so important. One evening I needed cost information on a skylight and all I had to do was go to my account to get the price through the online program.

    Manage Business 24/7

    From creating estimates to submitting orders, one of my favorite features of this technology is that it gives me the option to access projects 24/7. This lets me place many of my orders after business hours or on weekends, freeing up my time during the day to focus on other projects. I also no longer need to scan or fax orders, and I can quickly locate order information, like date ordered or materials lists, if I need to.

    Seamlessly Work With Business Contacts

    My business specializes in storm damage and roof replacement, so my team often works with other parties, such as insurance companies. Not only does the software I use integrate with my supplier’s program, it’s also a tool used by some insurance adjusters to measure and quote roof repairs. Being able to use the same or a similar type of software with different groups of people makes my job easier by streamlining our process.

    No matter what project we are working on, we have one goal: make the roof repair and replacement process easy for our customers. But that doesn’t mean things have to be harder for my team. And thanks to the technology we’ve incorporated into our workflow, it isn’t.

    It can be tough (and often overwhelming) trying to figure out what technology will be the best fit for your business, especially when so many options claim to help with things like efficiency and accuracy. My advice for finding the best solutions for you? Talk to your team to identify areas you want to improve and then check with your distributor to see if it has any technology solutions for your business. The more you can simplify the steps you need to go through to place orders and get materials, the easier (and more accurate and more efficient) your job will be.

    Brian Schaible relies on the ABC Connect program, which integrates with AccuLynx Quick Order and EagleView Construct, to streamline his business. To learn more about ABC Connect, read an “Online Exclusive” about it.