Planning for Thermal Movement: An Essential Element of Copper Roofing Design

For centuries, copper has been used as a roofing material because of its ease of installation, adaptability to simple and unique designs, resistance to the elements and superior longevity. Copper’s warmth and beauty complements any style of building, from Gothic cathedrals to the most modern museums and private residences. Its naturally weathering surface, whether in a rich bronze tone or an elegant green patina, is a clear indication that the building owner will only accept the very best.

This detail indicates a method for terminating a copper roof at the eave. The fascia trim is bent to extend onto the roof deck to become an integral flashing apron nailed to the roof. The copper pan is secured to the apron lip to achieve vertical restraint. Horizontal movement of the copper roof sheet is accommodated by the loose-lock fold of the pan over the fascia lip. Click to view a larger version. IMAGE: <em>COPPER IN ARCHITECTURE–DESIGN HANDBOOK</em>

This detail indicates a method for terminating a copper roof at the eave. The fascia trim is bent to extend onto the roof deck to become an integral flashing apron nailed to the roof. The copper pan is secured to the apron lip to achieve vertical restraint. Horizontal movement of the copper roof sheet is accommodated by the loose-lock fold of the pan over the fascia lip. Click to view a larger version.

Unfortunately, long-term performance of even the best construction materials can be compromised if the system is not designed or installed properly. For architectural sheet-metal installations, movement that occurs with changes in temperature must be considered during the design process. All metals expand when heated and contract when cooled. While this process is well understood, far too many contractors ignore thermal movement during system design or installation. Ultimately, this can lead to failure of the roofing and flashing system, causing extreme damage to the building. The Copper in Architecture–Design Handbook, which is published by the Copper Development Association (CDA) and available online as a free download, provides examples of how to accommodate for thermal movement of copper systems.

Calculating for the potential thermal movement of sheet metal is easy. Simply multiply a metal’s coefficient of thermal expansion by the metal’s expected temperature change by the length of the piece. Remember: It’s not the air temperature we’re considering; it’s the temperature of the metal. Anyone who’s touched a metal roof or the top of their car in the summer knows it gets significantly hotter than the air!

An example based on a 10-footlong piece of copper:

  • 10 feet (typical flashing piece length) x 0.0000098 per degree F (copper’s coefficient of thermal expansion) x 200 degrees F (possible metal temperature change from coldest winter night to hottest summer day) x 12 inches per foot = 0.24 inch. In this case, the calculated movement is a little less than 1/4 inch.

Remember, the coefficient of thermal expansion depends on the type of metal you are using. Aluminum expands and contracts more than copper, and most steels move less. Series 300 alloy stainless steels are very similar to copper in movement, or expansion/ contraction rate. Naturally, temperature change is dependent on building location and exposure to the elements. Many professionals feel comfortable calculating the design movement with a temperature change in the 175 to 200 degree F range, but it’s the project architect or engineer’s responsibility to determine if this is adequate.

Modern rollforming equipment allows contractors and manufacturers to make very long panels, so potential total movement is even more significant.

Let’s investigate one type of common flashing design—in this case, at the eave, which is relatively simple but can easily be installed incorrectly:

  • Based on the previous formula, with roof panels that are 20-feet long and installed at a temperature between the hottest day and coldest night: 20 feet x 0.0000098 per degree F x 200 degrees F x 12 inches per foot = 0.47 inch.

Having one of the largest copper roofs in the country, the historic Kingswood High School, Cranford, Mich., recently underwent a massive $14 million roof-restoration project. The copper-clad roof is comprised of batten seams on the upper slopes, interior gutter with internal rainwater conductors, and standing- and flat-seam panels on the eaves. An embossed copper fascia and copper soffit panels complete the system. PHOTO: QUINN EVANS ARCHITECTS

Having one of the largest copper roofs in the country, the historic Kingswood High School, Cranford, Mich., recently underwent a massive $14 million roof-restoration project. The copper-clad roof is comprised of batten seams on the upper slopes, interior gutter with internal rainwater conductors, and standing- and flat-seam panels on the eaves. An embossed
copper fascia and copper soffit panels complete the system.

Because we’re installing mid-way in the temperature range and 0.47 inch is so close to 1/2 inch, dimension “A” can be 1/4 inch (one half the total potential movement). Naturally, the hem of the roof panel’s “loose lock” must coordinate with the length of the eave flashing to ensure the two are still engaged when the roof panels are fully expanded. While most contractors form eave flashings properly, some ignore the thermal movement gap “A” during installation, forcing panels to move fully onto the flashing. This eliminates the gap. When temperatures drop, the panels can’t contract, adding stress to the roofing system.

Through the years, countless thermal cycles and resulting stresses caused by expansion and contraction can take their toll. In the long run, something will fail. In some cases, work hardening of the metal can occur, causing it to crack or tear. In other cases, fasteners, such as those used to attach cleats, work back and forth, ultimately pulling them out of the substrate.

It’s easy, however, to avoid these problems. To ensure maximum performance of the roofing system, just follow the recommended design principles; understand how the different pieces of the system interact; and don’t cut corners. With a time-proven quality material like copper, proper workmanship and attention to detail can create a beautiful roof that could last the life of the building.

Learn More
For more information about architectural copper and roofing systems, visit the Copper Development Association’s website.

A Roofer Develops a Solar Solution for Ponding Water on Flat Roofs

The original Sentinel II XD Solar Roof Pump includes a rotatable 20-Watt solar panel.

The original Sentinel II XD Solar Roof Pump includes a rotatable 20-Watt solar panel.

When you say “flat roof”, many people cringe, thinking of stagnant ponding water, health concerns and damaging roof leaks. And it’s not unusual during very rainy seasons to hear about low-slope roofs collapsing under the weight of ponded water.

Auxiliary roof pumps and even solar roof pumps have been around for decades but can be unreliable. Nicholas Bryditzki, a licensed roofing contractor and certified infrared roof inspector, developed the Sentinel Solar Roof Pump because he wanted a more reliable option. “It’s not that I invented it; they already exist but none of them work,” he says. “I went to a premier solar engineer with the concept and said I want to make this thing ‘roofer-proof’.”

To Bryditzki, “roofer-proof” means the roof pump had to be very durable. Consequently, the Sentinel Solar Roof Pump is encased in spun aluminum that is powder coated with a DuPont coating to keep the patent-pending system cool. In addition, patent-pending cold-weather protection ensures the pump won’t freeze and burn out. To further protect the pump, a sensor detects when water needs to be drained, so the pump doesn’t run all the time; it uses a “siphon-effect”, per Bryditzki. The 20-Watt solar panel is large enough to recharge the battery.

The Sentinel II LP Solar Roof Pump is a stationary unit with an embedded solar panel.

The Sentinel II LP Solar Roof Pump is a stationary unit with an embedded solar panel.

“Roofers showed a little resistance to this until I showed them how to actually save a roof and service it until the owner was ready to re-pitch and re-deck or instead of installing expensive new in-roof drains,” Bryditzki adds. “That’s how it’s catching on right now.”

Currently, there are three Solar Roof Pump models available: the original Sentinel II XD Solar Roof Pump, which can be placed where it’s needed; the Sentinel II LP Solar Roof Pump, which is a stationary unit with an embedded solar panel; and Sentinel II XDR Solar Roof Pump, which features a removable solar panel that can be placed away from the pump. “We also developed a pan flashing; roofers install the pan in the roof, place the solar roof pump in the pan and, depending on the roof surface, it will help drain the roof down to virtually no water whatsoever,” Bryditzki adds.

The Sentinel II XDR Solar Roof Pump features a removable solar panel that can be placed away from the pump.

The Sentinel II XDR Solar Roof Pump features a removable solar panel that can be placed away from the pump.

Bryditzki is delighted by the Sentinel Solar Roof Pump’s success during the two years it has been available in the marketplace. He credits the success to the design of the roof pump itself. “The original prototype is still installed and running in the middle of New Mexico,” he says. “I was just out there last month and we tried to break it; we put mud, leaves and rocks in it and it was still draining.”

Learn More
Call (817) 771-5027.
Watch a Sentinel Solar Roof Pump video.

This “Roofers’ Choice” was determined by the product that received the most reader inquiries from the March/April issue’s “Materials & Gadgets” section.

PHOTOS: Nicholas Bryditzki

A Minneapolis Neighborhood Plans to Bring Solar, Vegetation and Bees to its Rooftops

As part of its commitment to maintain and enhance the physical, social and economic environment of its Minneapolis neighborhood, the Southeast Como Improvement Association (SECIA) has begun a program in which it is matching the owners of buildings with low-slope roofs to solar and green roof providers, as well as beekeepers.

The Southeast Como neighborhood is surrounded by industrial buildings and essentially is the last of Minneapolis’ industrial hub. A community resident who considered the industrial buildings’ rooftops wasted but valuable space approached SECIA about partnering with Minnesota Community Solar. The for-profit organization builds large solar arrays in locations ideal for generating solar power—like roofs—and works with utilities so any Minnesota ratepayer can have access to solar energy. While SECIA’s Executive Director Ricardo McCurley was researching that option, he met a green-roof consultant who is part of the Minnesota Green Roofs Council, a nonprofit that supports green roofs in the state. In addition, Minneapolis recently eliminated permit requirements to maintain beehives in the city above 1 story.

“It occurred to me we should just play matchmaker,” McCurley says. “Let’s get a bunch of options on the table and match them to local property owners.”

After receiving a $3,000 grant from Minnesota’s Clean Energy Resource Teams, an organization that connects individuals and their communities to resources that will help them implement community-based clean-energy projects, SECIA began surveying the neighborhood. “We have an intern who currently is looking at aerial images of roofs and doing rough estimates of square footage, as well as collecting contact information for building owners,” McCurley notes. “Then we’ll be contacting all these property owners in person and via telephone and asking them questions about their flat roofs, like ‘Are you planning to reroof any time soon? How is the stormwater management on your property?’”

If the property owners show interest in learning more about sustainable options for their rooftops, SECIA will invite them to a luncheon that McCurley compares to speed dating. “We’ll have different providers of the various technologies at the luncheon, so they can talk about options,” he says. “Then if we make a match, we’re going to help the property owner through the process of finding grants to make it more affordable for them.”

McCurley thinks the program will be a success if just one property owner opts to install solar panels, a green roof or beehives. But he hopes for many installations and to make more connections within the neighborhood to expand how roofs are used. “We’re big into urban agriculture in the neighborhood,” McCurley explains. “Wouldn’t it be cool if one of the green roofs connects with a farmer who would lease the green-roof space?”

Although the program currently is in its infancy, McCurley is certain it will increase Southeast Como residents’ awareness about the benefits of green roofs, solar arrays, bees and even trees. “We’re dealing with the emerald ash borer here in the Twin Cities, particularly in our neighborhood. We’re already losing a lot of our tree canopy,” he says. “If our residents’ buildings were shaded by a beautiful ash tree and now they’re not, they’re going to feel that in HVAC costs. So what are the options to make a building more efficient? This program provides many great options!”

Want to Be Involved?
If you’d like to assist in the Southeast Como Improvement Association’s mission to bring solar, vegetation and bees to its rooftops, email, or call (612) 676-1731.

Fleet-management Technology Fuels Midwestern Roofer’s Growth

I established Roberts Roofing Co. Inc. in 1985 in a garage in St. Joseph, Mo. with a single truck and one lone employee. Since then, the company has rapidly grown into a premier roofing business in Northwest Missouri, operating a 30-truck fleet with 60 employees.

Roberts Roofing is a full-service roofing contracting firm, focusing on residential, commercial and industrial projects, including educational and government buildings and churches. It is a member of the National Roofing Contractors Association and Midwest Roofing Contractors Association and certified by GAF as a Master Elite Roofing Contractor.

Roberts Roofing’s fleet-tracking system monitors 30 trucks and has improved the business’ bottom line.

Roberts Roofing’s fleet- tracking system monitors 30 trucks and has improved the business’ bottom line.

The business is operated on the principles of quality work, expert craftsmanship, employee safety, honesty and professionalism. To better deliver on these promises for customers, my team and I knew it was important to improve efficiency and response time of crews in the field. We also knew a fleet-management system could help us achieve these goals, and, in looking for the best solution, we sought input from a few customers. After testing units recommended by our customers in a few of our vehicles, it became a no-brainer to equip the whole fleet.

A fleet-management solution was rolled out to our entire fleet in August 2012. What started as a useful vehicle- tracking tool quickly became something of much greater business value.

Having a sizable team of professional roofers, estimators and project managers on staff required knowing where they were at all times and how jobs were progressing. The fleet-management system has not only made progress and location of employees in the field more transparent, it also allowed us to better match payroll with actual time worked—a pitfall of payroll accounting for many construction companies. Additionally, we began to see a marked difference in fuel use, a decrease in the wear and tear of vehicles, better driving habits by staff and increased productivity.


To date, Roberts Roofing has decreased fuel spend by 30 percent, saving the business $2,000 to $3,000 monthly. An additional $24,000 to $36,000 annually pays off in a big way. Management also found there were less miles being put on trucks; the solution enabled smarter, more efficient routing and dispatching. Fewer miles driven means less need for unexpected maintenance and fewer trips to the tire store. In total, the business has saved about 100,000 miles, several sets of tires and countless oil changes.


In the hot summer months, idling can lead to skyrocketing fuel costs, and we noticed many drivers leaving the engines on for long periods of time. The fleet-management system offers alerts to notify us if one of our vehicles has been idling for a long period of time. When we receive an alert, someone in the office contacts the driver directly to bring it to his or her attention and ensure the engine is turned off in a timely manner.


Because the fleet-management solution monitors driver behavior, such as excessive and harsh braking and acceleration and speeding, which can cause accidents, my team and I have launched a safety rewards program that compensates employees with an end-of-year bonus for responsible driving. Employees are evaluated based on their work attendance; efficiency at the job site; and a clean driving record free of violations, accidents and speeding tickets. Typically, 95 percent of employees meet these standards. There also is a corrective action program in place to address the occasional mistakes. Not only does this ensure that we as a company are being represented in the most professional manner to customers and the public, but it rewards staff for good behavior, increasing employee satisfaction and loyalty.


Another core benefit of our fleet-management solution is its ability to enable the staff to make more service calls per day. Between employees completing jobs in a timely and efficient manner and smarter routing to and from sites, Roberts Roofing has been able to add at least two additional projects per day. Depending on the type of job, this can mean an additional $200 for a repair or the sale of a more expensive replacement. This means increased revenue and more satisfied customers.

We have recommended this technology to a lot of other contractors the past two years and wonder how we did business without it before. It’s easy to use, dependable and accurate.

Learn More
Roberts Roofing utilizes Fleetmatics GPS fleet tracking and management solution.

Coating a Roof? Don’t Forget Fire Ratings

Fire tests are one of the most important system tests for roof coatings, and it is essential when specifying and applying a coating over an existing roof in a maintenance or repair setting to ensure the roof system’s fire rating is not negatively affected.


The International Building Code (IBC), first published in 2000, brought together several regional codes into one central, national code and facilitated the acceleration of code adoptions across the U.S. Today, most of the U.S. follows a statewide adoption process for the IBC for Roof Assemblies and Rooftop Structures; some areas do not, which can make code enforcement tricky. Some areas still follow local adoption and may refer to older versions of the code instead of the most current 2012 IBC.

According to the most recent IBC, roof assemblies and coverings are divided into classes A, B, C or “Nonclassified” and are tested in accordance with UL 790 or ASTM E 108. These tests measure the spread of flame, recording whether the material you put on the roof will cause the flame to spread too far on the roof. The UL 790 inaugurated modern fire tests about 100 years ago and, as such, incorporates a century of data and history about roof coatings that may broaden the reach of what certifications the test provides.

“Many see UL 790 as the preferred fire test,” notes Steve Heinje, technical service manager with Quest Construction Products LLC. “It is interesting to note the ASTM E 108 test is deemed by the code requirements an equivalent test.” The ASTM E 108 is a consensus version of UL 790 and can be run by any qualified and accredited test laboratory. Many test laboratories, such as FM Approvals, conduct testing using ASTM E 108.


The roof coating is just one component in the fire rating of a roof assembly; other components include slope, the coating substrate, whether the roof deck is combustible and whether the roof is insulated. These factors, taken together, will determine the roof system’s fire rating.

Although there are exceptions, most fire ratings are done for slopes of under 3/4 inch for commercial roofs, and coatings tend to be recommended for application to a roof with 2 inches or less slope. Slope is an important factor to consider because special coatings may be needed for high slope transitions.

The substrate or membrane type is another vital component of fire testing because the substrate to which the coating is applied could affect the flammability of the roof system. When coating over an existing roof, one should note what existing roofing substrate is being coated over—whether it’s BUR, mod bit, concrete, metal, asphalt or another type of substrate.

Most coatings are tested over noncombustible decks, but additional and challenging tests are required for the use of combustible decks. It is much more difficult to achieve a Class A rating when covering a wood deck.

Again, it is important to note the materials of the existing roof being coated because these components can affect the flammability of the roof system. Polymeric insulations often reduce the allowable slope for a given system.


Another significant consideration is that the coating is applied at the appropriate thickness and rate.

“One big thing out of the coating manufacturer’s control is that the applicator uses the recommended or test-required thickness and/or rate at the point of application,” points out Skip Leonard, technical services director with Henry Co. Proper application encompasses parameters, such as the final dry-film thickness, the use of granules or gravel, use of reinforcements and even the number of coats. Accounting for these details is an integral part of installing a rated system.

Once assembled, the roof covering will be granted a Class A, B or C rating by approved testing agencies, typically through UL 790 or ASTM E 108, depending on how effective the roof proves to be in terms of fire resistance. Rated coating solutions exist for just about any existing roof system recover or coating application and often can achieve a Class A rating.

Learn More
Visit the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association website to locate a roof-coating manufacturer who can help you choose a roof coating most appropriate for your roof system. For more information about roof-coating fire ratings, check out FM Approval’s RoofNav online database for up-to-date roofing-related information or the UL Online Certifications Directory.

OSHA’s Fall Protection Clarifications for Roofers

OSHA’s fall-protection regulations are easy to find (see OSHA 29 CFR, Subpart M, 1926.500 – 1926.503 and four appendixes). Understanding them is a bit more difficult because they apply to a variety of occupations, including roofing.

The following clarifications are OSHA’s responses to questions regarding fall-protection requirements and work practices affect roofers:


The “Holes” section of the regulation requires the use of fall protection— personal fall-arrest systems (PFAS), guardrails, safety nets, covers, etc.—when there is a hole in a work/walking surface. Because a roof is a work/walking surface, employees must be protected from falling through. OSHA concluded that immediately securing a cover over a cut hole is sufficient because the cover eliminates the fall hazard requiring fall protection. The rest of the environment may still require fall protection.


A supplier who delivers roofing material onto a roof must use all available fall protection, meaning a sufficient ladder or other means with a sturdy handhold. A supplier also must wear personal fall-protection equipment and connect to existing anchorage points when receiving and delivering materials on a roof.

If anchorage points do not exist for workers at the site, suppliers are not required to install anchorage points because they spend so little time at the job site. Anchorage points are the primary contractor’s responsibility, and it’s the supplier’s responsibility to use available fall protection.


A controlled access zone (CAZ) is a designated work area marked by a warning line that only authorized employees can cross to work next to an unprotected edge. This less-safe approach is explicitly reserved for leading-edge work (the changing unprotected side of a roof or floor as it is installed) and overhand brickwork.

Except for steep roofs (slopes greater than 4-inches vertical to 12-inches horizontal) and non-residential roofing, CAZs are an option if you can prove traditional fall protection is not possible or too dangerous. Just be prepared to justify in writing why other fall protection isn’t effective; identify all authorized employees; and investigate all accidents and near accidents.

Some examples where traditional fall protection fails:

    ▪▪ Safe anchors cannot be provided.
    ▪▪ Lifelines may entangle or mire in grout.
    ▪▪ Fall protection prevents completion of the work.
    ▪▪ Work-area configuration causes ineffective fall-arrest systems.

At the very least, the CAZ must include a safety monitoring system.


A safety monitor is a competent person responsible for recognizing and warning employees they are in danger of falling. The monitor counts as part of the fall-protection solution on low-slope roofs.

The following are fall-protection options on low-slope roofs:

    ▪▪ Guardrails
    ▪▪ Safety nets
    ▪▪ PFAS
    ▪▪ Warning lines and guardrails
    ▪▪ Warning lines and safety nets
    ▪▪ Warning lines and PFAS
    ▪▪ Warning lines and safety monitors
    ▪▪ Safety monitors on roofs 50-feet wide or less

The safety monitor must:

    ▪▪ Be competent to recognize fall hazards.
    ▪▪ Warn employees when it appears they are unaware of a fall hazard or are acting unsafely.
    ▪▪ Be on the same work/walking surface as monitored employees and be able to see them.
    ▪▪ Be close enough to talk to the employees.
    ▪▪ Not have any other responsibilities.
    ▪▪ Ensure employees follow warnings and directions.

Also, mechanical equipment can’t be in safety monitoring areas. Because these feasibility exceptions are only listed in specific categories (low-slope roof work, leading-edge work, precast concrete erection and residential construction), if a worker doesn’t fit those categories, such as HVAC installation, the worker must follow conventional fall protection. Alternative plans are generally for situations in which there isn’t a completed structure to attach anchor points; once anchor points are available, OSHA favors regular fall protection.


OSHA’s stance on fall protection is that there is no safe working distance away from an unprotected edge. But in an interpretation of workers on a low-slope roof, having just a warning line at least 15 feet from the edge of a roof for non-roofers (HVAC installers) would be considered a “de minimis” violation if non-roofers are prohibited from crossing the warning line. A de minimis violation violates regulations without making the workplace less safe and doesn’t result in a citation.


OSHA assumes traditional fall protection is safer than creating an alternative plan and has described some industry approaches to assembling and installing roofs without foregoing fall-protection precautions just because an anchor isn’t convenient:

    ▪▪ Assemble the roof on the ground and use a crane to place it.
    ▪▪ Use permanent and reusable roof anchors and reusable truss braces while working from ladders or platforms at both ends to brace the trusses without needing to be on them.
    ▪▪ Once trusses are braced, begin initial sheathing at the eaves with workers on platforms inside the structure, removing braces one at a time. Sheath the last course while tied off to existing wood anchors.

When OSHA regulations meet the real world, they can leave you wondering how they should be interpreted, and roofing is no exception. Hopefully this summary of how OSHA has interpreted fall protection for roofing situations clarifies some of the questions.

Against the Wind

The city of Moore, Okla., recognizes it cannot keep doing things the way they’ve always been done. You may recall on May 20, 2013, an EF5 tornado did extensive damage to the town. The new residential construction codes are based on research and damage evaluation by Chris Ramseyer and Lisa Holliday, civil engineers who were part of the National Science Foundation Rapid Response team that evaluated residential structural damage after the May 2013 tornado.

“A home is deconstructed by a tornado, starting with the breaching of the garage door,” Ramseyer explains. “The uplift generated by the wind causes the roof to collapse until the pressure pulls the building apart. These new residential building codes could possibly prevent that in the future.”

The new codes require roof sheathing, hurricane clips or framing anchors, continuous plywood bracing and windresistant garage doors. Moore’s new homes are required to withstand winds up to 135 mph rather than the standard 90 mph.

Although the city of Moore deserves to be commended for passing a more stringent building code less than one year after the 2013 tornado, this wasn’t the first damaging tornadic event Moore had experienced. The town also made national headlines in 1999 when it was hit by what was then considered the deadliest tornado since 1971. Moore also was damaged by tornadoes in 1998, 2003 and 2010. In my opinion, it was time for the Moore City Council to do the right thing by its citizens.

As extreme weather events occur more frequently, more emphasis is being placed on commercial roof wind resistance, as well. Robb Davis, P.E., recently attended a continuing-education conference for civil/structural engineers that discussed changes in the 2012 International Building Code and the referenced ASCE 7-10 “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures”. During the seminar, it became clear to Davis that nobody is specifically responsible for the design of wind loading to rooftop equipment as defined in the IBC and Chapter 29 of ASCE 7-10. Therefore, Davis reached out to Roofing because he believes it’s important roofing professionals understand the code requirements for wind loading to rooftop equipment, how the load is determined and applied, and how the load is transferred to the building structure. Davis shares his insight in “Tech Point”.

As Davis points out in his article, by better understanding wind loads on rooftop equipment, roofing professionals will be even better positioned to lead the design and construction industry in creating more resilient roofs and, ultimately, strengthening the structure and protecting the people underneath.

The KEMPEROL Roofpatch Provides 50 Years of Waterproofing Technology in a Quick Kit

KEMPEROL Roofpatch is a ready-to-use patch kit from Kemper System America Inc., West Seneca, N.Y.

KEMPEROL Roofpatch is a ready-to-use patch kit from Kemper System America Inc., West Seneca, N.Y.

KEMPEROL Roofpatch is a ready-to-use patch kit from Kemper System America Inc., West Seneca, N.Y. Kemper System invented cold, liquid-applied, reinforced waterproofing technology more than 50 years ago, and the Roofpatch kit offers the company’s technology as a quick solution to reliably stop leaks and cover cracks and damaged areas.

“The product itself is a cold, liquid-applied membrane system,” says Gino Soroker, brand and business development manager for Kemper System America. “Typically our product comes as a container of liquid and a roll of fleece, and you need a contractor to put the two together. Here you get the two already married.”

The kit’s flat aluminum packaging includes rubber gloves and a reinforcement fleece pre-saturated in a single-component, solvent-free and odor-free KEMPEROL 1K-SF waterproofing resin. The reinforced membrane is pre-cut to approximately 10 by 18 inches; a single patch can handle most repairs. Patches also can be overlapped to cover larger areas.

The reinforced membrane is pre-cut to approximately 10 by 18 inches; a single patch can handle most repairs.

The reinforced membrane is pre-cut to approximately 10 by 18 inches; a single patch can handle most repairs.

The multipurpose patch adheres tightly without a primer to bitumen sheets, PVC roofing, concrete, wood and metal. The resin is rainproof in 60 minutes and can be walked on after 12 hours.

Soroker says the kit is ideal for roof consultants and roofing contractors, as well as building owners and property managers, seeking an immediate repair on a roof. “If a building superintendent or roofing contractor gets called up on the roof because a tenant reports a leak and he sees an overlap or a crack, he can rip open this aluminum pouch and slap on the roof patch right there and then,” he says. “If a specifier or consultant needs to cut open the roof to find out what’s happening beneath it,
he can put the piece he cut out back in, place this patch right over it and seal up the hole he just opened.”

The kit’s flat aluminum packaging includes rubber gloves and a reinforcement fleece pre-saturated in a single-component, solvent-free and odor-free KEMPEROL 1K-SF waterproofing resin.

The kit’s flat aluminum packaging includes rubber gloves and a reinforcement fleece pre-saturated in a single-component, solvent-free and odor-free KEMPEROL 1K-SF waterproofing resin.

Developed in Germany, the UV-stable Roofpatch was introduced in the U.S. a year and a half ago. It currently is available nationwide through select distributors of building products. It also can be purchased via Kemper System America’s online store, which can be accessed through its website.

Learn more
Call (800) 541-5455.
Watch the Roofpatch demonstration video.

The inaugural “Roofers’ Choice” was determined by the product that received the most reader inquiries from the January/February issue’s “Materials & Gadgets” section.

PHOTOS: Kemper System America Inc.

Clues from the Universe Put Us on a Path to Career and Personal Happiness

I recently reconnected with an old friend, Michael. He and I met probably a decade ago while I was the editor of a green design and construction magazine and he held a leadership position in a sustainably focused association. I always appreciated Michael’s wisdom regarding the industry and life in general. Although he’s only a few years older than I, Michael is what I believe to be the definition of an “old soul”.

Michael and I changed jobs and at least two years had passed since we last chatted. It was social media—a LinkedIn anniversary notice about Michael’s consulting business—that reconnected us. I sent him a congratulatory message through LinkedIn, and he immediately called me. During the conversation, I learned Michael recently had been very ill. He spent weeks in the hospital, undergoing a battery of tests and worrying about his wife and children and their future. He believed his illness was a signal from the universe that he needed to make some changes in his life. When he recovered, Michael quit his job; moved his family across the country closer to their roots on the East Coast; and started his own environmental consulting firm, which has kept him busy doing what he loves. He is happier—and healthier—than he has ever been.

Michael said as he was lying in his hospital bed, he realized the universe had been sending him clues for a long time that he needed to make changes to his life, but he ignored them. “We can always talk ourselves out of something,” he told me. “There’s never enough time or money, and there are always responsibilities that seem to take precedence.” However, Michael thinks ignoring the universe and trudging forth ultimately resulted in his health issue, which was the wake-up call he needed to finally transform his life.

I’ve thought a lot about this conversation and was reminded of it again when I interviewed Bruce Diederich, president of Waukegan Roofing Co. Inc., Waukegan, Ill., for “Spotlight”. Waukegan Roofing is celebrating 100 years in business this year, an amazing feat for any company. Diederich, who has owned Waukegan Roofing for the past 16 years, started digging into the company’s past in anticipation of this year’s celebration. He discovered some astonishing coincidences in his own life and Waukegan Roofing’s history that—as Michael would say—suggest Diederich was destined to lead the company all along. I know it may sound unbelievable, but I think once you read “Spotlight” you too will find the coincidences and clues are difficult to ignore. These days, I’m making a conscious effort to recognize when the universe is telling me something. In fact, I now believe there’s a reason I spoke to these gentlemen recently.

I know it won’t always be easy to ascertain what the clues are telling me or how exactly to follow them but, based on Michael and Bruce Diederich’s experiences, I’m open to the possibilities.

Energy-efficient Cool-roof Legislation: Creating Jobs and Reducing Energy Costs

Building on two roofing trends—higher thermal performance and cooler roofs in hotter climates—that have policymakers and architects seeing eye to eye, energy-efficient cool-roof legislation offers a significant opportunity to increase building energy efficiency and create jobs. Known in the last Congress in the Senate as S. 1575, the Energy-Efficient Cool Roof Jobs Act, and in the House of Representatives as H.R. 2962, the Roofing Efficiency Jobs Act, the legislation is scheduled to be reintroduced this spring.

The intent of the legislation is to encourage improvement in the thermal performance of existing roofs and, where appropriate in the designer’s judgment, encourage the use of a white or reflective roof surface in hotter climates. This is a clear win-win for the environment and building owners in terms of reduced energy costs and reduced pollution associated with energy consumption.

energy efficiency

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SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS lie within the commercial roofing sector, where more than 50 billion square feet of flat roofs are currently available for retrofit, 4 billion of which are typically retrofitted each year. The legislation would provide a 20-year depreciation period (instead of the current 39 years) for commercial roofs that meet minimum R-values that are significantly higher (requiring more insulation) than those required under state and local building codes and that have a white or other highly reflective surface. This change would correct an inequity in the current depreciation system (the average life span of a low-slope roof is only 17 years). By providing this incentive, the federal government would allow building owners and architects to decide whether the combination of thermal insulation and reflective roofs are appropriate for a given climate.

The required R-values under the proposed legislation are identical to the prescriptive requirements found under ASHRAE 189.1-2011, “Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings”. This legislation would be limited to retrofits of existing low-slope roofs and would not be available to new buildings. The cool roof requirement would only apply to buildings in ASHRAE Climate Zones 1 through 5, which covers approximately the area of the country from Chicago and Boston south. Roofs may qualify for the depreciation in zones 6, 7 and 8 but would not need a cool surface. View a map of the ASHRAE Climate Zones.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Annual Energy Review, 2011, buildings account for 19 percent of the nation’s total energy usage and 34 percent of its electricity usage. Policies directed at commercial buildings are important to improving the economy, reducing pollution and strengthening energy efficiency. Although the country has over time maintained a steady pace in improving energy efficiency, a huge potential still exists, especially for commercial buildings. A wide range of credible estimates are available that point to this potential for cost-effective energy-efficiency improvements (see the graph).

THIS PROPOSED legislation complements the approaches taken in more comprehensive energy-efficiency proposals by focusing on the roof, which is the only building-envelope component that is regularly replaced but rarely upgraded to address energy and other environmental impacts.

Most buildings were constructed before building energy codes were first developed in the mid-1970s, or buildings were constructed under relatively weak codes, so these older, under-insulated roofs offer an important opportunity for increased energy savings. During the next 17 to 20 years, most of the weatherproof membranes on all commercial roofs will be replaced or recovered, which is the most cost-effective time to add needed insulation.

By accelerating demand for energy-efficient commercial roofs, the proposed legislation would:

    ▪▪ Create nearly 40,000 new jobs among roofing contractors and manufacturers.
    ▪▪ Add $1 billion in taxable annual revenue to the construction sector.
    ▪▪ Save $86 million in energy costs in the first year.
    ▪▪ Eliminate and offset carbon emissions by 1.2 million metric tons (equal to emissions of 229,000 cars).

THE LEGISLATION has the support of the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association; National Roofing Contractors Association; Alliance to Save Energy; American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy; Associated Buildings & Contractors Inc.; Building Owners and Managers Association International; United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers; and several more construction industry associations.

When Sens. Cardin and Crapo reintroduce the Energy-Efficient Cool Roof Jobs Act, they hope it will influence the future debate about tax and energy policy. Although consideration of tax reform has stalled for the moment, when Congress returns to this issue it will be a golden opportunity to consider ideas for reforming cost-recovery periods and removing the disincentives that overly long depreciation schedules currently place on building energy-efficiency improvements.