Everything’s Bigger in Texas

This issue spotlights hospitality and entertainment projects, so when Susan Miller of 5MetaCom contacted me about a story on the new Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas, I was excited for several reasons — including the fact that the project was close to the site of the 2020 International Roofing Expo, which will be held in Dallas February 4-6. But the more I dug into the story, the more complicated it looked. There was a domed roof on the main arena, which was surrounded by flat roofs. There were metal roof systems on the arena’s towers, and below was a pavilion with a standing seam metal roof system on it.

Susan wasn’t talking about any of those roofs, however; she proposed an article focusing on the plaza deck, the area that extends around every side of the 140,000-square-foot main arena and covers event space below. The plaza itself serves as an outdoor event space, and at the rodeo, attendees can look down through windows in the pavilion to view the warm-up area for horses during the event.

It was a lot of information to cover, so we included articles on both the Dickies Arena roof systems and the plaza deck in this issue. If you need another Texas-sized project, check out our article about The Star, a complex located on 91 acres in Frisco, Texas, that includes the Dallas Cowboys indoor practice facility. That project serves as the basis for the Roofing Alliance’s sixth annual Construction Management Student Competition, where teams will present their bids to the judges like actual companies offering a proposal to a general contractor. KPost Roofing & Waterproofing, the Dallas-based roofing contractor that installed the roof on the practice facility, will be working closely with the Roofing Alliance to prepare documents for the competition.

I hope to get a look at these projects and take in the student competition when I’m in Texas for the IRE. I hope to see you there. I also hope it will be a record-setting show. After all, they say everything is bigger in Texas.

Tips for Improving Ventilation on Residential Re-Roofing Projects

During residential re-roofing applications, it is important to ensure the roof system is properly ventilated. Photos: John R. Crookston

If the question is “Should I provide ventilation on this steep-slope roof?” there is a simple, one-word answer: Yes. The problem with this answer is that it would make a very short article, and I am sure that is not what was expected. Let me explain!

Ventilation is required if you have unconditioned space, and it is that space that needs to be ventilated. In most commercial applications, you are dealing with a flat roof membrane over insulation installed directly over a metal deck. With no “attic” involved, there is no unconditioned space and, therefore, there is no space to ventilate. You still have to find a way to control the moisture, but this is accomplished through the use of mechanical air conditioning and heating units, and also through the introduction of outside air and air exchanges. For this article, I want to concentrate on a typical residential steep-slope application, and the basis for most normal houses all goes back to 1 John 1:1, which goes something like this: “Thou Shalt Ventilate.”

To help all of this make sense, it is important to define some terms I use. “Conditioned space” is anywhere in the house that we are attempting to control the temperature or humidity — the living space of the house. “Unconditioned space” refers to areas of the structure where we are not attempting to control the temperature or humidity — typically attics (although some attics are treated as conditioned spaces). Unconditioned spaces should be as close to the outside temperature and humidity as possible. To accomplish this, we would use vapor barriers, insulation, and ventilation. The insulation would be anything that would restrict the transfer of either heat or cold in either direction; the vapor barrier would be anything that stops the transfer of moisture between the hot and the cold areas; and ventilation would be the method by which we allow the hot or cold air to move between the inside of the unconditioned space and the outside atmosphere.

Erecting scaffolding at the roof’s edge ensures safety and gives technicians a comfortable spot to examine and repair intake ventilation at the soffits.

Current building codes and building technologies have improved the performance of homes greatly by making them able to “breathe” and at the same time resist that transfer of energy. Examples would include the newer thermo-pane windows with better weather stripping, and house wrap to stop the wind pressure from penetrating the house. There are also truss roof systems that incorporate high “energy heels” at the plate to allow insulation all the way out to the edge of the plate and still allow a 4 inch air space at the plate to allow the air to flow freely.

To make this all work, it is important to fully ventilate the soffit area, and to combine this with a system to get the air out of the attic space. This could include a ridge vent system, regular roof louvers, turbine vents or gable end vents. It is important to remember, however, that you cannot mix these vents. We need to understand that air is lazy and will always follow the path of least resistance. If we mix the different types of vents on the roof, the air will move from one to the other and short-circuit the airflow. For example, air might flow from a roof vent near the peak to the ridge vent just a couple of feet away, leaving the rest of the attic with no airflow. In this case, more is not better.

Wide Range of Energy Efficiencies

You will find that most of the houses built after the late ’70s used truss systems that incorporated the energy heel. This also corresponded with the “energy crisis,” which saw a massive increase in the amount of insulation blown into the attics. Four to 6 inches became 12 to 20 inches, and it is important to know that the more you tighten up a house, the more important it is to increase the ventilation. A fully insulated house demands a fully ventilated house to perform effectively. About 10 years ago, we built a house and a cheese-making facility, using R-panels, which are made from EPS foam sandwiched between layers of OSB panels. They are incredibly strong and energy efficient. They can get so tight it is difficult to open or shut a door because of the air pressure. That can potentially be dangerous in the event of poor indoor air quality and pollution. In this instance, we engineered a mechanical system to completely change the air twice an hour — and at the same time, saving the energy of the heated or cooled air with an air-to-air heat exchanger. The system supplied combustion air for the furnace and the stove, and also recycled the heated air from the bathroom fans and the oven exhaust, saving the heat, but exchanging the air itself.

The soffit should be removed as part of the tear-off process.

Our projects have ranged from this extreme of efficiency to some of the older homes — some more than 150 years old — that had no insulation. They were wonders of efficiency for their time, and the builders understood all of these principles. It was common to see some of these elaborate homes with what looked like a “widow’s watch” observation tower with windows all around at the very peak of a low-sloped hip roof. Combined with a large central staircase, the owners could open the windows and inside doors in the summer, and the central hallway and the “widow’s watch” acted as a large chimney, moving the hot air out and pulling cool air in without any fans or electricity.

Many churches and other large buildings used the same principle to control the air inside, using either the steeples or large towers to act as chimneys as well as architectural and design focal points on these buildings. Problems often begin when we try and upgrade buildings to modern standards without taking into consideration how the changes will affect the design and operation of the building. Addressing these large, complicated buildings will be the subject of another article, but right now I want to specifically address the needs of residential houses built from the ’20s up through the late ’70s.

Homes Built From 1920-1979

There are millions of them. Before World War II, most were built with perhaps some minimal insulation or some aluminum foil to act as a radiant barrier, but energy was cheap and to do more would have been a waste of money. Without much insulation, there was little need for ventilation, as the house was drafty and, by definition, a drafty house is ventilating itself. After the war, the ranch-style house was the rage and I worked on thousands of them growing up. I have home movies of myself on the roof with my father when I was only four years old. By the time I was 10, I could lay out a roof and knew exactly what I was doing up there. Today, they would call that child abuse, but back then it was life. The point is that I lived and worked through this transition. In the ’50s, 2 inches of insulation in the walls was common and 3-1/2 inches in the ceilings. We would install some roof louvers in the attics and they would install some 3 inch vent strips in the wooden soffits for an intake. It was not much, but it was enough. Then the oil embargo occurred in the early ’70s and energy prices jumped.

It may be necessary to remove the bottom sheet of plywood to access the area from above. Often insulation will be found blocking the soffit.

Demand for insulation to save energy skyrocketed, and suddenly there were six pages of ads in the Yellow Pages for insulators. If some insulation was good, then more was better, and they blew insulation everywhere. Some was installed in the walls, but the biggest bang for the buck was in the attics, and it seems that all of the soffits were filled and the opening at the plate was blocked. Without this intake, the only thing that the roof louvers could do was let out some heat; the air movement stopped. The water vapor still got into the unconditioned attic space through whatever insulation was installed, and since it could not get out, it would condense in the insulation and on the wood surfaces and cause mold, rot and mildew.

Since there was no air movement at the plate, and the insulation was packed tightly against the bottom of the roof decking, in northern climates the heat would transfer to the roof surface during the winter, and ice buildup became a huge problem. In the southern climates things were reversed, and problems cropped up during the summer months when the air conditioning was running. Simply put, “You cannot fool Mother Nature!” Shingles that used to last for 25 to 30 years were now “cooked” in place in 10 to 15 years. Mold and algae became a problem on roof surfaces to a much greater extent than in years past, and most of this is and was caused by a lack of ventilation.

Tips for Avoiding Mistakes

Roofing is so much more than just installing shingles, but we have to be able to see the bigger picture to understand why. As a third-generation union carpenter, who is still working on roofs at 67 years of age, I love what I do and I am very good at it. Since I see the same mistakes being repeated again and again, I feel obligated to pass on the experience that I have accumulated over the years. I have learned some hard lessons making all of the mistakes I am talking about here, and hopefully all of us can learn from them.

Installing proper vent baffles at the soffit creates an air channel into the attic from the soffit and prevents the insulation from touching the underside of the roof deck.

Here are some tips for avoiding common ventilation mistakes at each stage of the re-roofing process:

  • Check the attic space when you figure a new roof.
  • If you can’t see light coming from the soffit into the attic, then there is no air getting in either. · At this point, you either have to become a carpenter or soffit man — or hire one.
  • Take apart the soffit as you do the roofing tear-off.
  • You may need to remove the bottom sheet of plywood to see what you are doing from above.
  • If the soffit is aluminum or vinyl, chances are that there is an original wooden soffit beneath it.
  • Tear it all out. Take out the insulation that has been blown into the soffit at the same time.
  • Replace the old soffit with a fully vented aluminum or vinyl soffit system. Vented aluminum has twice the Net Free Area as vinyl for the same square footage, but they both work.
  • Install proper vent baffles at the soffit to create an air channel into the attic from the soffit. You cannot let the insulation touch the bottom side of the roof deck.
  • Check the bathroom vents and make sure that they are vented to the outside with a flapper vent through the roof and not vented into the attic space.
  • Do the same for any kitchen vents.
  • Install new sheeting along the bottom after you have fixed all of these problems.
  • Determine how much ventilation you need to vent the attic space (square inches). Normally, this is 1/150 of the attic floor space. (For example, if the attic floor is 30 feet by 50 feet, the attic floor area is 1,500 square feet. 1,500 divided by 150 = 10 square feet of ventilation.)
  • You need this much ventilation opening at the high point of the roof, ideally at the ridge.
  • If you install a ridge vent, take out and cover over the holes of the old roof louvers, turbine vents and gable end vents. You can just install some felt or plastic sheeting over the gable vents from the inside.
  • This will give you one intake at the soffit area, and one exhaust at the ridge. Don’t worry about having too much intake at the soffit, as it will only allow as much air in as it exhausted at the peak.
  • Install the new roof as per code.

Ensuring Safety and Efficiency

Making sure the new roof system is properly ventilated will maximize the service life of the shingles installed.

We will normally erect a scaffold around the perimeter of every job we do to give us access to this important area of the roof. This may sound like overkill, but that is the area where you want to spend the most time, as that is where the problems normally occur. It can be more expensive, but what we are talking about is value as opposed to price. Quite simply, I am not interested in talking to someone whose only concern is the cheapest price. On a steeper, higher roof, you will find that this is actually a faster and cheaper way to work, too. With a catch platform around the building, you have a place to work and store materials, you can see exactly what you are doing, and you also don’t need to have harnesses and ropes to obstruct you and still meet OSHA standards. Since I sell the jobs but also work on them, this is what I prefer. It is also impressive for the homeowner and it sets us apart from most of the competition. We have been doing it like this since 1986, so I know that it is a viable option. Scaffold is expensive initially, but when you have used it once, you will wonder how you did the work without it. It is also a line item on all of my bid forms, and after it has been paid for it is a profit center, too. That is the best of all worlds.

I have read that experience is what you get when you are looking for something else. I have many years invested in looking for “something else,” so I hope that this article helps you avoid just some of the mistakes that I have made in my lifetime.

About the Author: John R. Crookston is a roofing contractor and consultant located in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He has more than 60 years of experience in the roofing industry and has written technical articles for a variety of publications under the pseudonym “Old School.”

Is There Ambiguity About Regulatory Compliance With Edge Metal Systems?

This photo shows a gravel stop failure during roof inspections after Hurricane Ike in Sept. 2008. Photos: ATAS International

Recently while preparing training for our team on how to ensure that the edge metals that we install comply with building code, inconsistencies and confusion about regulatory compliance caused me to dig deeper. Specifically, my questions related to ANSI/SPRI/FM 4435/ES-1 2017. The requirements of section 3.0 (shown below) caused the greatest concerns:

3.0 Membrane Termination

Two types of membrane termination are industry accepted: dependently and independently terminated systems.

3.1 Dependently Terminated Systems

Ballasted systems, ribbon/spot adhered systems, or systems in which the mechanically attached roof over is secured to the substrate at a distance greater than 12 in (300 mm) from the roof edge are considered dependently terminated by the roof edge system. For these systems the RE-1 and RE-2 tests are required.

3.2 Independently Terminated Systems

Systems in which the roof cover is fully adhered to the substrate or a mechanically attached roof cover is secured to the substrate at a distance less than or equal to 12 in (300 mm) from the roof edge are considered independently terminated. For these systems the RE-2 test or RE-3 test is required.

A graphic depicting the RE-1 test from standard ANSI/SPRI/FM 4435/ES-1.

Many installed roof systems are mechanically fastened thermoplastic with fastener row spacing that exceeds the 12-inch requirement, and often snap-on fascia systems are utilized to meet the owner/designer’s price concerns. The product data sheets for most of prefabricated snap-fascia cover systems frequently contain the following statement(s):

ANSI/SPRI/FM-4435 ES-1 Tested and Certified.

Quality Assurance: The fascia product shall be listed in the current Factory Mutual Research Corporation Approval Guide approved by ANSI/SPRI/FM 4435/ES-1 SPRI Test Method RE-2 Pull-Off test for fascia. Fascia shall be certified by the manufacturer to design pressures as indicated in current edition of Wind Resistance Standard for Edge Systems Used with Low Slope Roofing Systems.

It was the last few sentences which concerned me as a roofer. If the systems are only tested for RE-2, then it is likely that ballasted systems, ribbon/spot adhered systems, or systems in which the mechanically attached roof cover is secured to the substrate at a distance greater than 12 inches (300 mm) from the roof edge that incorporate this edge flashing may not comply with building codes.

RE-2 testing being conducted on fascia.

In hopes of finding an edge metal detail that was tested for RE-1 per ANSI/SPRI/FM 4435/ES-1, the NRCA Technical Services was contacted. This resulted in the revelation that RE-1 testing cannot be performed for generic membrane types. Rather, the testing would have to be performed on each type of membrane for each manufacturer. This is due to many factors related to the typical properties of each membrane type and manufacturer. These factors can include type of reinforcement (if any), mixture components, type of manufacturing process, etc. Therefore, the testing data can be proprietary.

Now, as a roofing contractor, I am really confused.

1. The building code tells me that the edge metals we install must:

1504.5 Edge securement for low-slope roofs.

Low-slope built-up, modified bitumen and single-ply-roof system metal edge securement, except gutters, shall be designed and installed for wind loads in accordance with Chapter 16 and tested for resistance in accordance with Test Methods RE-1, RE-2 and RE-3 of ANSI/SPRI ES-1, except Vult wind speed shall be determined from Figure 1609A, 1609B, or 1609C as applicable.

2. ANSI/SPRI/FM 4435/ES-1 states:

Membrane Termination

Two types of membrane termination are industry accepted: dependently and independently terminated systems.

3.1 Dependently Terminated Systems

Ballasted systems, ribbon/spot adhered systems, or systems in which the mechanically attached roof cover is secured to the substrate at a distance greater than 12 in (300 mm) from the roof edge are considered dependently terminated by the roof edge system. For these systems the RE-1 and RE-2 tests are required.

3.2 Independently Terminated Systems

Systems in which the roof cover is fully adhered to the substrate or a mechanically attached roof cover is secured to the substrate at a distance less than or equal to 12 in (300 mm) from the roof edge are considered independently terminated. For these systems the RE-2 test or RE-3 test is required.

RE-3 testing being conducted on coping.

3. We now know that RE-1 testing cannot be uniformly tested for each type of roof membrane. Therefore, it is not always readily available.

4. Of the pre-manufactured edge metal suppliers that were contacted, some indicated they tested per RE-1, while others agreed that they only tested to the RE-2 standard, and some went so far as to say that RE-1 test does not relate to their product. However, ANSI/SPRI/FM 4435/ES-1 2017 states otherwise.

Ongoing Questions

Should all roofing contractors go ahead and install the securement within 12 inches of the roof edge to ensure that all non-adhered roof systems are independently terminated, avoiding the need for RE-1 testing? Worse yet, should we install fasteners in ballasted roof systems since passing RE-1 test data is not readily available? Fasteners in the field of a ballasted roof can be a disaster. (One option that contractors can use to avoid the need for RE-1 testing is by installing a peel stop.) The question remains: Is confusion about RE-1 and ANSI/SPRI/FM 4435/ES-1 driving contractors to install independently terminated roof membrane systems?

When all is said and done, it is the roof installer that is ultimately responsible for proper application of the product to meet the legal requirements. It appears that there is ambiguity and confusion concerning ANSI/SPRI/FM 4435/ES-1 and code compliance. We can only hope that this will be clarified by building professionals, rather than lawyers. In the interim, we are now aware of the potential issues and can react as we deem necessary to mitigate our liability.

About the author: Andy Baker is vice president of Baker Roofing, headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has 40 years of experience in the construction industry, 33 of which have been exclusively related to roofing, from roofer to vice president. For more information, visit www.bakerroofing.com.

Fluid-Applied, Seamless Membrane Is Durable, Virtually Odorless, Easy to Apply

Garland’s first ever fluid-applied seamless membrane, LiquiTec, forms a virtually impenetrable surface over aged modified bitumen, metal and single-ply roof systems, adding years of waterproofing protection. LiquiTec is an aliphatic polyurea coating system with a tightly bonded molecular structure that provides strength and durability similar to truck bed liners. LiquiTec is built to protect roof surfaces from damage caused by hail, foot traffic, wind scour and other impact.

According to the manufacturer, LiquiTec fully and partially reinforced systems exhibit extremely high tensile strength and remain flexible at temperatures down to -60°F (-51°C), which helps keep the coating from cracking or becoming brittle to ensure a complete watertight seal and long-term waterproofing protection. In addition to its strength, LiquiTec contains zero VOCs and is extremely low odor to allow roof work to be completed with minimal or no disruption at sensitive locations like schools, hospitals and other structures where people are present. 

This two-component product also undergoes a chemical cure process, rather than a moisture cure, so it cures quickly and with less disruption from weather, allowing for faster installation and waterproofing protection. 

“LiquiTec is the answer to so many of our customers’ waterproofing needs. Its unique formulation, strength and flexibility provides the right amount of toughness combined with superior waterproofing protection,” said Ed Buczek, Garland’s senior product manager of roof coatings. “And to top it off, the fact that it is extremely low odor, highly flexible, resistant to fungi and chemically cured allows it to be installed nearly anywhere and perform in the most extreme environments.”

LEARN MORE

Visit: www.garlandco.com

Call: (800) 321-9336

The “Roofers’ Choice” winner is determined by the product that receives the most reader inquiries from the “Materials & Gadgets” section in a previous issue. This product received the most inquiries from our September/October 2019 issue.

Age Discrimination: How to Recognize it, and What to Do if it Happens to You?

According to a 2017 AARP survey of 3,900 workers over the age of 45, more than 61 percent reported having experienced or having seen age discrimination in the workplace, with 40 percent describing the practice as “very common.” While the detrimental effects of age discrimination are not hard to imagine in regard to the older workers who experience it, age discrimination can also have many negative effects on the companies where it occurs, including depriving the company and younger workers of needed mentoring, leadership, expertise, and experience in the workplace. Age discrimination can also decrease productivity and production by the victims of such discrimination and, consequently, increase employee turnover and preventable hiring and training costs. Claims of discrimination can also cause significant harm to a company’s reputation and to employee morale, and can potentially subject the company to expensive age discrimination claims and lawsuits. Based on this troubling backdrop, coupled with the ongoing skilled labor shortage in the roofing industry, it is important for companies to understand their obligations to older employees in their workforce, as well as for employees to know and understand their rights and remedies against unlawful age discrimination that they may experience in their workplaces.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA) bans employers with 20 or more employees from engaging in age discrimination against applicants and employees who are 40 years of age or older. Additionally, the ADEA actually allows employers to favor workers based on age even when doing so adversely affects younger workers who are under 40. However, most states and many municipalities also have statutes or ordinances in place that prohibit discrimination based on age, and many expand those protections to workers of any age (i.e., prohibiting discrimination against workers for being too young) and to employers with fewer than 20 employees. Thus, besides understanding the federal legal framework concerning age discrimination, it is important to also know and take into account the state and local laws where your company is situated to make sure your company is complying with all of the anti-discrimination laws that may apply to it.

Recognizing Age Discrimination

Age discrimination occurs when an employee or applicant is harassed or discriminated against because of his/her age in regards to hiring, firing, salaries, raises, promotions, demotions, discipline, assignments, training, job postings, job descriptions, interviews, benefits and/or other terms and conditions of employment. Examples of age discrimination against people over 40 include, but certainly are not limited to:

  • Firing an employee whom the employer believes has become too old to perform the job
  • Setting age limitations or preferences as a job prerequisite
  • Not interviewing or hiring someone because they are viewed as “too old” to fit in with the company’s culture or other employees
  • Advertising for someone to join a “dynamic, young team”
  • Not hiring older workers because it’s assumed they will soon retire
  • Paying for training for younger employees but requiring older employees to pay for the same training out-of-pocket
  • Not providing training to older employees because “it’s not worth it”
  • Giving younger associates better assignments because they will be there longer than the older employees
  • Turning down older workers for promotions and promoting less qualified younger workers
  • Laying off older employees or forcing older employees to retire because they require higher salaries than younger employees
  • Giving younger employees better health insurance coverage than older employees in order to cut costs
  • Giving unfair discipline or harsher criticism to older employees than that given to younger employees
  • Making or allowing derogatory or offensive comments or remarks in the workplace about someone’s age
  • Engaging in or allowing harassment based on age
  • In states or municipalities that prohibit discrimination against employees of any age, additional examples of age discrimination include, but are not limited to:
  • Not interviewing or hiring someone because they are viewed as “too young” to fit in with the company’s culture or other employees
  • Advertising for a “mature, older” worker
  • Not hiring younger workers because it’s assumed they will quickly move on to another job
  • Paying for training for older employees but requiring younger employees to pay for the same training out-of-pocket
  • Not providing training to younger employees because “it’s not worth it”
  • Turning down younger workers for promotions or assignments and giving them to less qualified older workers because the younger worker “hasn’t earned it yet” or “still has plenty of time” to receive other promotions or assignments
  • Giving unfair discipline or harsher criticism to younger employees than that given to older employees
  • Deeming younger workers’ reasons or need for requesting time off as less “worthy” than older workers’ requests for time off

Filing a Charge of Discrimination

An employee who believes that they have been discriminated against because of their age cannot go straight to filing a lawsuit against their employer in court. Instead, the employee must first file a Charge of Discrimination with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) or with their state (and sometimes local) counterparts, called Fair Employment Practice Agencies (FEPA). A Charge of Discrimination is a signed statement alleging that the employee or applicant was discriminated against or harassed by an employer or its employees because of their age. If the employee is worried about revealing their identity, the law permits another person to file an EEOC Charge of Discrimination on their behalf. Charges of Discrimination can be filled with the EEOC online through its public portal after submitting an online inquiry and being interviewed by EEOC staff.

In states that have their own anti-discrimination laws and a FEPA agency responsible for enforcing those laws, an individual can file a Charge of Discrimination with their state FEPA which will automatically be deemed as “dual-filed” with the EEOC if federal laws apply to the type of discrimination alleged. An individual does not need to file a Charge of Discrimination with both agencies.

Filing a timely Charge of Discrimination is a statutory prerequisite to bringing an age discrimination lawsuit. If an employee files an age discrimination lawsuit in court without first filing a Charge of Discrimination with the EEOC or the appropriate state FEMA, the lawsuit will most likely be quickly dismissed based on the employee’s failure to file a Charge of Discrimination before filing suit.

It is also imperative that the employee’s Charge of Discrimination be timely filed as there are specific deadlines that must be met in order to successfully file a Charge. Specifically, under federal law, an individual has 180 calendar days from the day the alleged discriminatory act or conduct took place to file a Charge of Discrimination based on those acts or conduct. This deadline is extended from 180 days to 300 days in states where there is a state law that bans age discrimination and a state FEPA that enforces the law. Unlike discrimination based on other protected characteristics, the deadline is not extended from 180 days to 300 days if only a local law (and not a state law) prohibits age discrimination.

If more than one discriminatory event took place, the deadline usually applies separately to each event. For example, if an employee was discriminatorily demoted because of her age and then over a year later was fired also because of her age, and the next day files a charge of discrimination, only the claim of discriminatory discharge will be timely because the employee did not file a charge based on the demotion within 180 (or 300 if applicable) days of the demotion occurring. The exception to this rule is for claims of ongoing harassment which must be filed within 180/300 days of the last incident of harassment.

Age discrimination continues to be a problem in the workplace despite longstanding federal regulations that specifically prohibit this form of unlawful discrimination, as well as similar anti-discrimination counterparts enacted at the state and local levels throughout the country. Studies show that older workers are healthier and living longer than their predecessors, are more educated, and, often by necessity, are staying in the workforce longer than previous generations. Yet outdated stereotypes and assumptions about older workers and their professional abilities continue to persist despite research proving time and again that age does not predict overall ability or performance, causing harm not only to older workers and applicants but also to a discriminating company’s bottom line.

To turn this tide, employees must be aware of their rights and how to enforce them and employers must become more cognizant of the significant detrimental effects of age discrimination. Employers must conscientiously assess their policies, practices, and workplace culture, and make changes where needed, in order to create and maintain a workplace culture that embraces diversity and inclusivity and prohibits unlawful discrimination of any kind. Doing this will benefit not just older employees but also the workforce as a whole. It will help companies thrive by creating a healthier, more inclusive workplace culture, generating happier and more productive employees, and preventing costly EEOC charges or lawsuits, which ultimately will lead to a better, more productive work environment for all.

About the author: Marci Britt is an attorney at Cotney Construction Law who practices primarily in labor and employment law. Cotney Construction Law is an advocate for the roofing industry and serves as General Counsel for NRCA, FRSA, RT3, NWIR, TARC, WSRCA and several other roofing associations. For more information, visit www.cotneycl.com.

Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

Roofers Can Bring About the Solar Revolution in ‘Sunshine’ States and Beyond

Photos: GAF Energy

Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Florida are not often the first states that come to mind when discussing the future of solar energy. Many would think of California, the Golden State, with its sunny weather, mild climate, and new regulation mandating solar on all new construction starting in 2020. But at GAF Energy, a remarkable 50 percent of our growing sales opportunities currently come from Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Florida. While these states lag behind the likes of California, New York, and Arizona in installed solar capacity, they — and states like them —could stand to be some of the most critical players in the next growth phase of solar adoption.

California currently boasts over six million solar homes, demonstrating that there is a clear market for residential rooftop solar in the United States. California’s success serves as a harbinger for other states, even ones not known for their sunshine or progressive energy policies. It comes down to pure economics: the price of solar panels has dropped 99 percent in the last four decades. As solar energy becomes more and more affordable, more and more homeowners across the country are considering the financial and social benefits it can provide. Even residents of the South and Midwest — where electricity is cheap and solar rooftops are few and far between — are starting to show signs of embracing solar as a viable energy source for homes and businesses.

The state of Illinois, for example, is setting some aggressive renewable energy standards to boost solar adoption. More than 40 percent of the state’s electricity comes from coal today. The state plans to sunset many coal plants over the next two to five years, in many cases turning to solar instead. In 2017 the state implemented the Future Energy Jobs Act (FEJA), which infused $230 million into solar power and mandated that 25 percent of electric power come from renewable sources by 2025.

By including solar as an offering, roofing contractors can increase customer satisfaction as they boost their bottom line.

In Pennsylvania, solar power is up 47-fold in the past decade, and wind energy has increased by more than 230 percent in that same time frame. And there are now more than 90,000 clean energy jobs across the state, up 60 percent in just five years. Moreover, a two-year planning process called “Finding Pennsylvania’s Solar Future” is just getting off the ground and aims to shift 10 percent of the state’s energy from non-renewables to in-state solar by 2030. Pennsylvania also ranked as one of the locations that offered the highest solar premiums when you are ready to sell your home, increasing the median home value 4.9 percent, or $8,589, when you compare a home with solar to one without. 

Finally, Florida is a prime solar environment: it is the “Sunshine State,” after all. As hardware costs have plummeted, financial tools that have helped grow solar in California and Arizona, like solar leases and power purchase agreements, have been prohibited under a law that forbids entities other than a utility from selling power in the state. Last year, however, the Public Service Commission approved the use of residential solar leases in the state on a limited basis, signaling that Florida homeowners could more readily and affordably elect to install solar on their rooftops. Florida locations like Miami have started to more seriously consider the need for climate mitigation and adaptation; renewable energy increasingly seems like a better idea as the city finds itself spending more and more money to battle sea-level rise each year.

Bring in the Roofers

Despite all this great growth in the industry, at the end of the day, no one really needs to put solar on their rooftop, unless, say, they live far off the grid. You can easily and painlessly get power from the grid via your electric company. Humans are creatures of inertia and habit; even many of those inclined to do the right thing and/or save money with solar will put it off indefinitely.

However, every homeowner will need to replace their roof at some point. Turns out, the best time to install rooftop solar is when you are replacing your roof. If you have a roofer install the solar, it becomes one project, one crew, one warranty — and the solar can even help pay for itself, and the roof, over time. How? Homeowners can save money on electric bills by generating clean, renewable energy on their roof. Any excess electricity produced is sent back into the electrical grid for a bill credit, meaning solar can be even more financially rewarding in states with net metering policies. Given all of these benefits, going solar during a re-roofing project just makes sense.

For a roofer, including a solar offering with every new roof will create opportunities to capture a wider set of clients, even in states where solar hasn’t traditionally flourished. By offering solar to those who may have been shopping only for solar but could benefit from a bundled offer, roofers introduce an attractive financial concept to the homeowner, on that also benefits communities and the planet to boot. Furthermore, not only will a roofer make their customers happier by including solar as an offering, but they can also boost their bottom line. A solar attachment rate of just one in four new roofing jobs could increase a roofer’s top and bottom lines by 20-25 percent.

Roofing and solar are at a convergence point: roofers are now able to offer a comprehensive solar roofing product and are the best equipped to sell and install it on a home. By bringing roofers into the equation now, we’re ensuring the same person already on the roof to install shingles is the one installing solar, genuinely protecting what matters most inside the home.

Changing the conversation between roofer and homeowner about what a re-roof means requires changing the entire game, and the impacts have the potential to be immense. Roofers will future-proof their businesses by adding an in-demand product that saves their customers money. The benefits of solar should be front and center in any sales appointment — one project, where roofing installation experts are the ones helping customers save money.

Energy From Every Roof

Solar economics and policy are changing across the country, opening new markets and expanding business opportunities, and the roofing industry must correspondingly adapt. Rooftop solar should be a roofer’s domain. By growing with the solar market and offering bundled re-roof plus solar packages, roofers can bring the benefits of solar to homeowners in states that not only have solar mandates, such as California, but also nontraditional states such as Florida, Pennsylvania, and Illinois. Roof replacement is the perfect time to go solar, and now is the perfect time to start integrating solar with roof replacements. By seizing this opportunity, roofers can begin powering homes across the country, one roof at a time. 

About the author: Martin DeBono is the President of GAF Energy. He previously headed SunPower’s residential North American business and global commercial business and served as President of SunPower Capital. He has held sales and marketing positions at various high technology companies including Cisco, Siebel, Insightful and Pure Networks. DeBono is a decorated naval submarine officer and holds degrees from the University of North Carolina (BS) and Harvard University (MBA).

The ABC’s of Fall Prevention

Photos: Malta Dynamics

Falls accounted for almost 40 percent of fatalities in construction in 2017, according to OSHA, and failure to provide fall protection remains the most frequently cited OSHA violation. Nearly 400 construction workers died in the United States as a result of falls in 2017 alone. These are more than statistics on a page; these sobering numbers mean as much to the roofing industry as they do to any other profession. By nature, roofing jobs require working at heights, where we and our teams may be exposed to fall risks. It’s important to do everything we can to mitigate these risks and ensure that we and our teams go home safely at the end of the day.

Some simple precautions early on can prevent much more dangerous and costly scenarios later. Fall restraint and restricting access to hazardous areas can prevent falls in the first place, which is the preferred approach whenever possible. Guardrails are an excellent, cost-effective way to restrict access to roof perimeters, skylights, roof hatches, ladder access points, and other fall hazards. If your jobsite lacks these safety features, temporary guardrails are available that don’t penetrate the roof and damage it. These portable, free-standing safety rail systems are great for temporary jobsites or one-time contracts, where you aren’t installing permanent guardrail fixtures.

Whenever workers need to access areas in which there is a fall risk, however, fall protection is key. Personal fall protection systems are a cost-effective way to ensure the safety of your team. The basic ABC’s of fall protection are Anchors, Bodywear, and Connectors, which combine to make a complete personal fall arrest system.

Anchors

Anchors are the fixed points on a roof to which personal fall protection gear can be tied off. Anchors provide a solid foundation for any fall protection system, ensuring the rest of the worker’s fall protection equipment is secured to a stable point that can support their weight and the force of a fall.

Many styles of roof anchors are available, including standard single-worker anchors, four-way anchor plates, and swiveling anchor points that allow for increased working range, as well as reusable anchors that can be installed with screws or nails for temporary use on rooftops.

Bodywear

The gold standard of bodywear for fall protection is a full body harness. The full body harness is the roofer’s equivalent of a sailor’s life vest — both can save one’s life in an emergency. Worn properly, harnesses evenly distribute the force of stopping a fall throughout the parts of the body best able to absorb it — across the larger muscles of the legs, shoulders and chest.

Few other pieces of equipment are as personal to the user as one’s harness, so it’s important to find one that fits well and is comfortable to wear. Many harnesses offer optional padding for the back, neck and shoulders to help keep the pressure off, even when wearing a toolbelt. One-piece designs eliminate shoulder pad slippage and help to keep the harness and padding in place, allowing it to be worn safely and comfortably even while moving around on the jobsite.

Connectors

Connectors include self-retracting lifeline (SRLs), shock-absorbing lanyards and vertical lifeline assemblies. These components are what actively arrest a fall and stop an uncontrolled descent. They also assist in absorbing the fall’s impact and diverting some of the stopping force away from the worker’s body and harness.

An important factor to consider when choosing a connector for roofing jobsites is the location of your anchor point relative to the working surface. Most standard SRL and lanyard systems are designed for overhead tie-off, but this isn’t always possible when working on a rooftop. When you’re working on a leading edge — a walking/working surface with an unprotected side or edge 6 feet (1.8 m) or more above a lower level — and you don’t have an overhead anchor point, foot-level tie-off requires a different style of connector that’s designed and rated specifically for these kinds of applications.

Of course, all the best fall protection gear in the world means little if your crew doesn’t know how to use it correctly or fails to wear it because it’s uncomfortable or ill-fitting. Training and proper fitting and use of personal fall arrest systems is an important final step to take with your teams.

OSHA 29 CFR 1926.503 states: “Employers must provide a fall protection training program to workers who might be exposed to fall hazards. Training must include how to recognize fall hazards and how to minimize them.” OSHA cited 1,978 companies for failure to properly train their teams in 2018, up from 1,728 citations in 2017.

Simply purchasing fall protection equipment isn’t enough to keep your workers safe. Your team needs to know how to properly use, inspect and store safety equipment to prevent injury, and your equipment must be properly maintained and kept in good repair. Safety training courses are available from fall protection equipment manufacturers, who can train your teams on how to inspect, use and maintain their products. Knowing how to identify jobsite hazards, having a fall protection plan that meets your jobsite’s specifications and a rescue plan prepared should anything go wrong are all part of any successful training program.

Coming to a jobsite prepared to employ fall prevention, equipped with personal fall protection, and trained in the proper use of your safety systems lays the groundwork for keeping your crew safe when working on roofing projects at heights. These precautionary steps are important to ensuring that your team members don’t become another statistic.

About the Author: David Ivey is a Fall Protection Engineer for Malta Dynamics, where he oversees the engineering and installation of all custom fall protection systems. For more information or with questions about OSHA compliance of fall protection systems, contact him by email at divey@maltadynamics.com.

Standing Seam Roof Clamp Accommodates Variety of Seam Profiles

Dynamic Fastener offers the Standing Seam Roof Clamp, which is designed for use on a standing seam roof. The DFSSRC-03 installs over the clip on a completely seamed, attached roof section a minimum 4 feet or further from the edge with no damage to roof panels or finished seams and no roof penetrations. The clamp accommodates seams up to 1 inch wide, and the unique “flip” design of the DFSSRC-03 allows for fit on both the Butler MR24 and Butler VSR-style seams just by removing the bolts, turning one side of the clamp around the ring and replacing the bolts. According to the company, any roof that meets similar loadings, specifications, and codes of the Butler styles will accept these anchors for safety tie off.

This product serves as a part of a fall protection system with compatible equipment as determined by your competent person. A safety lanyard, of a maximum length 6-foot length, with a deceleration (shock absorber) device and full body harness should be used with the clamp. Clamps have been tested to meet and exceed the following OSHA standards: 1926.502 (d) (2), (3), (4) and (15): Anchorages for attachments of personal fall arrest equipment.

The clamp features durable, all steel construction with zinc electroplate finish, and it designed to be lightweight, reusable, and easy to use. The clamp must be attached to a fully seamed panel and must be attached over a clip that is bolted/screwed down (generally to a purlin). The flange of the clamp must be hooked under the seam before the four bolts are tightened to a torque of 50 ft./lb.

“Contractors tell me they appreciate the ease of installation,” says Ken Webb, Sales Manager, Dynamic Fastener. “Their customers, the building owners, will often request to buy the clamps from the contractor so their maintenance crews can use them as tie-off points when working on the roof. When it comes to safety, you need a reliable product that’s also affordable. You definitely get that with the DFSSRC-03 Standing Seam Roof Clamp.”

LEARN MORE

Visit: www.dynamicfastener.com

Call: (800) 821-5448

The “Roofers’ Choice” winner is determined by the product that receives the most reader inquiries from the “Materials & Gadgets” section in a previous issue. This product received the most inquiries from our July/August 2019 issue.

Flashing Best Practices

Tips on Installing Roll, Step and Roof-To-Wall Flashing

Photo: Atlas Roofing Corporation

Flashing plays a critical role in shielding a roof from water damage. Essential for leak-proof performance, flashing protects intersections of the roof plane and penetrations through the roof surface.

Installation methods and materials can vary based on region and weather. For example, some roofers may use aluminum instead of steel or copper. And some may use caulk on nail holes while others use tar. The most important rule of any roof installation is to follow ARMA guidelines.

Atlas Roofing partnered with professional contractor Mic Barringer, owner of Barringer Brothers Roofing in O’Fallon, Illinois, and asked him to share some of his best practices for flashing installation.

Roll Flashing

Installed along headwalls, roll flashing prevents water from penetrating a roof deck.

Roll flashing comes in a variety of metals, including steel and copper. These durable materials are typically used in Northern states, where roofs are prone to ice dams, and the Southeast, where roofs must withstand high winds and wind-blown rain.

Where Barringer lives in Illinois, the weather doesn’t get worse than an occasional downpour, so he uses aluminum roll flashing.

“Where we are, we get down-directional rain — we don’t get storms here,” he explains. “We even tape our flashing, and people will criticize if it’s not the way they do it — everybody does it differently. But here, this is 100 percent standard.”

How To Install:

  • Pull out the length of roll flashing needed for the headwall and extend it at least 4 inches past the sidewall.

Tip: Pull roll flashing from the center so it doesn’t uncoil and can easily be reused.

  • Adjust roll flashing so the center of the metal meets the bottom of the headwall, then nail it to the roof.

Tip: Push a hammer into the roll flashing as far as you can and slide it across the metal to create a 90-degree angle.

  • If necessary, nail roll flashing to the headwall to help smooth out wrinkles.

Note: Barringer acknowledges that nailing is not a preferred practice, but it gets the length of roll flashing as flush to the headwall as possible. To keep water from shedding behind flashing, he uses Zip System Tape, although he points out that others may use Tyvek. Starting the overlap from the bottom up, he adheres flashing to the oriented strand board (OSB).

  • Cut the extended section of roll flashing straight down, even with the sidewall and nail it to the roof deck, giving step flashing an area to drain off.

Tip: This method takes the place of pre-bents, which can be difficult to fit to the corner. If you end up with a pinhole, simply cover it up later with caulk.

Step Flashing

The small “steps” created by step flashing allow water to flow down the sidewall of a roof.

Like roll flashing, step flashing also comes in a variety of metals, with aluminum and copper being the most commonly used.

Barringer uses pre-milled aluminum step flashing because it already has a perfect 90-degree angle bent into it. And because each shingle is going to drain off, he installs one piece of step flashing per shingle, based on ARMA guidelines.

Figure 1a and 1b: Application of step flashing for a 5-inch exposure. See manufacturer for application instructions for other exposures. Images: Copyright © Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association.

In states such as Minnesota, Florida and the Carolinas, roofers typically use steel or copper step flashing and bend it themselves and may also solder pieces together to protect a roof from ice dams and rain, Barringer says.

Ice and water underlayment is commonly installed behind step flashing in states with heavy storms and snow. In O’Fallon, Barringer says they use ice and water on eaves and valleys, but they’re not required to use it on protrusions because they don’t get the type of weather that would warrant it.

How To Install:

  • Start at the outside corner of the sidewall and align the first piece of step flashing with the bottom of the wall, folding the excess portion around the headwall.

Tip: If using aluminum, be gentle when handling it. Because it’s a soft metal, it rips easily.

  • Working up from the bottom of the sidewall, install step flashing below each shingle, coming down at least one-half inch to three-quarter inch over the previous piece to cover nail holes.
  • For the inside corner, cut step flashing down the middle of one side (from the longest edge toward the fold), then fold one of the cut pieces behind the other to form another 90-degree angle. Trim bottom edge of step flashing so that it extends just past the exposure (to prevent it from sticking out beneath the roof-to-wall flashing — see the next section for details).
  • Use Zip System Tape (or Tyvek) to secure the step flashing to the OSB, creating a watertight seal.

Roof-To-Wall Flashing

After roll flashing and step flashing are installed, roof-to-wall flashing can be added to give a roof a beautifully finished look.

Figure 2: Application of step flashing against a sidewall.

Roof-to-wall flashing is almost always going to be steel because it’s tough, Barringer says.

“The roof-to-wall that we do, it’s got a double-bolted bead at the bottom of it, so it sticks up a little bit, but that’s what reinforces it from the wind bending and denting it.”

Barringer says roof-to-wall flashing is pretty hard to mess up. The only thing you don’t want to do is anchor it to the roof instead of the wall because that would leave holes in the roof-to-wall flashing, which defeats its purpose, he explains.

How To Install:

  • Cut roof-to-wall flashing to length and nail it to the headwall.

Tip: Barringer says you can seal nail holes if you like, but it’s not necessary. The Zip System Tape (or Tyvek) and roll flashing are behind the roof-to-wall flashing, so water should easily flow out beneath it.

Proper Installation

When flashing is installed properly,it maintains the integrity of a roof, protectingagainst water damage. But what if the flashing isn’t done right? Would a faulty install void a shingle manufacturer’s warranty?

Barringer says manufacturers can’t guarantee anything when you’re using another company’s product.

Figure 3: Application of flashing against a front wall.

“If you have bad flashing job, it’s not the shingles’ fault that it failed, it’s the bad flashing,” he says.

For more information about proper flashing installation, refer to pages 69-77 of ARMA’s Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual, 2014 Edition.

Plus, watch Mic Barringer and his brother Stevo Barringer demonstrate proper flashing installation methods in Atlas Roofing’s “Hammer Time With Paul” web series, available at https://asphaltlife.atlasroofing.com.

About the author: Paul Casseri is the product manager of the Roofing Shingles and Underlayment Division for Atlas Roofing Corporation. For more information, visit www.atlasroofing.com.

Five Essential Roofing Contract Provisions

Contracts can either be a roofing contractor’s best friend or worst enemy. It is critical that contractors are aware of the provisions within roofing and prime contracts (as subcontracts often incorporate prime contract provisions). Due to the importance of contractual terms and provisions, outlined below are five essential contract provisions that, if not properly drafted, can have harmful consequences to your business and bottom line.

1. Scope of Work Provisions

“Scope of work” issues compose a large part of litigation under roofing contracts. Scope of work disputes typically involve contractors seeking payment for work that was not in the original contract, followed by unhappy owners disputing whether or not they agreed to the work that was performed. Scope of work issues arise when roofing contractors find areas of the roof that need additional work performed in order to successfully complete a project but may not have been adequately referenced within the contract. For instance: when a roofing contractor is performing a contract for a roof replacement, and the roofing contractor — in the process of replacing the roof — finds rotted decking that needs to be replaced, the roofing contractor is likely, and rightfully, going to perform the additional work and charge for the additional material and labor costs. The additional charges can be ripe for disagreement due to the original contract failing to adequately contemplate decking replacement as an extra charge.

Well-crafted scope of work provisions are imperative to include in roofing contracts. If additional work is encountered during a roofing project, as we all know is typically the case, the contract should explicitly state that the extra work (i.e., replacement of decking, fascia, soffits, etc.) will be an additional cost. Just as important, the contract should also state the method of pricing for this extra work.

2. Indemnification Provisions

Indemnification provisions are another important component of roofing contracts. Indemnification is the compensation for damages (or loss) as a result of someone else’s bad acts or omissions. For the roofing industry, indemnification clauses are important because they limit a roofing contractor’s liability.

It is important to note that there are several different types of indemnification provisions within roofing contracts: standard indemnity, super indemnity, and those that fall in between. Standard indemnity is the indemnification of the customer for the roofer’s actions that cause damage to the subject property. Super indemnity includes indemnification from the roofer’s own actions that cause damage, in addition to indemnifying a customer of his/her own acts. For instance: if a customer goes on a roof after hours to move equipment around, tearing a hole in a tarp covering which later leads to water damage, the super indemnity provision allows the customer to make a claim against the contractor — even though the customer’s own act caused the damage.

Indemnification provisions are complex and heavily litigated. Individual states have specific statutes and rules that control indemnification provisions in construction contracts. Due to this, roofers must ensure contracts are sensibly reviewed to ensure that the contract and its provisions comply with applicable state laws.

3. Liquidated Damages Provisions in Construction Contracts

When there is a contract, and one party to the contract breaches it, the non-breaching party oftentimes desires a liquidated damages provision in the contract to limit its damage exposure. Liquidated damages provisions are created to compensate a non-breaching party for the damages incurred from another party’s breach of the contract based on a predetermined amount and can protect a roofing contractor from large losses.

In roofing contracts, liquidated damages are usually tied to timely completion of the work by the contractor — that is, if not timely completed, the project owner is able to collect liquidated damages from the contractor due to failure to complete the project within the set timeframe.

Liquidated damages provisions must be carefully crafted and generally must abide by the following:

  • The damages must be intended to compensate the project owner for the breach of the contract — the liquidated damages provision cannot be a penalty. Courts have found that if the stipulated sum for liquidated damages is too great in comparison to the actual contract amount, the liquidated damages provision will not be enforced.
  • The liquidated damages provision is not enforceable if the non-breaching party contributed to the breach.
  • Because liquidated damages compensate for damages caused during late completion of a project, liquidated damages cannot be sought after the project has been substantially completed since the owner is no longer accruing damages.

These general rules of liquidated damages are important for roofing contractors to be aware of because when a project owner withholds proceeds, the contractor will be ready to make proper arguments to secure payment and potentially void the liquidated damages provision. To void a liquidated damages provision, the contractor can argue that any one of the above liquidated damages provisions has been violated. By proving any of above, the liquidated damages provision may not be enforced by a court and the contractor can successfully collect payment.

4. No Damages for Delay Clauses

Owners try to include limitations of liability and disclaimers within their roofing contracts. This is done to limit a roofing contractor’s ability to collect additional compensation from work due to unexpected delays and other conditions. Typically, under no damages for delay clauses, the roofing contractor is given extra time to complete a project but is not compensated for extra costs incurred due to said delay. No damages for delay clauses have a wide breadth in that they cover delays whether they are caused by an owner or caused by acts of God.

No damages for delay clauses are for the most part upheld in courts of law. However, there are certain circumstances where courts have declined to enforce a no damages for delay clause. If it is shown that an owner has acted in bad faith, the owner defrauded the contractor, or that the owner interfered with the contractor’s ability to finish the project, courts have the ability to decline to enforce a no damages for delay clause.

No damages for delay clauses—which can be found within bid documents—are important for roofing contractors to take note of since it allows roofing contractors to accurately adjust both their bids and work according to the contract terms.

5. Retainage Provisions

Retainage — or the withholding of a predetermined percentage of each progress or final payment — is included in many roofing and general construction contracts. Owners and prime contractors withhold retainage until final completion of the project. Retainage provisions have dual purposes: (1) they are used as an incentive for roofing contractors to complete the project; and (2) are used as protection by the owner in the event of uncompleted or defective work.

Roofing contractors should be wary that retainage can deepen the impact of subpar estimating as 5 percent to 10 percent of the contracted price is typically not paid until final completion of the project.

About the author: David Keel is an attorney at Cotney Construction Law who focuses his practice in various areas of construction law, and he serves as General Counsel of Space Coast Licensed Roofers Association. Cotney Construction Law is an advocate for the roofing industry and serves as General Counsel for FRSA, RT3, NWIR, TARC, WSRCA and several other roofing associations. For more information, visit www.cotneycl.com.

Author’s note: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.