Malarkey Roofing Products’ Legacy XL and Windsor XL Shingles Offer More Pronounced Design on the Roof

Malarkey Roofing Products' Windsor XL in Weathered

Malarkey Roofing Products’ Windsor XL in Weathered

Malarkey Roofing Products released the Legacy XL and Windsor XL high-profile shingles in June. The new heavyweight shingles offer a more pronounced design on the roof while maintaining the fortified durability of their original shingle lines.

The Legacy shingle was introduced in 1997 as a laminate shingle in North America to utilize durable SBS polymer modified asphalt, now known as Flexor. The Legacy XL high-profile design continues that tradition of Flexor durability to promote granule adhesion and Class 4 impact resistance. It also features Scotchgard Protector from 3M for added protection against black streaks caused by algae. The Windsor shingle was introduced in 2014 as the first designer shingle line from Malarkey.

Malarkey Roofing Products' Legacy XL in Storm Grey

Malarkey Roofing Products’ Legacy XL in Storm Grey

The Windsor was created in a joint effort with contractors to offer the look of a traditional cedar shake roof with easy installation. The new Windsor XL carries those features into a high-profile design. As with the original shingle design, the Windsor XL includes durable Flexor polymer modified asphalt to promote granule adhesion and Class 4 impact resistance, as well as Scotchgard Protector from 3M for added protection against black streaks caused by algae.

Pride in Heritage

My American-born father met my German-born mother while he was in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany. My parents married, had me and moved to the U.S. to build their family. My dad worked a lot when I was young, so being the firstborn child of an immigrant mother in small-town Iowa often was—for lack of a better term—exhausting. I had to introduce her to everything American, when I was learning myself!

For example, I had to explain extracurricular activities (there isn’t volleyball in Germany) and social events (prom was a doozy). I also learned quickly—thanks to endless teasing—to keep what made me “different” as much of a secret as possible from my friends. I hid the clothes my European grandparents sent because my classmates just weren’t wearing the same styles. I begged my mother to cook “American” foods—burgers and pizza only—when friends came for sleepovers. I never spoke about traditions my mother carried on in our household. Meanwhile, I always wondered why my peers—many of whom were of German descent themselves—didn’t have a clue about any of the customs my family practiced.

Americans aren’t always good at appreciating and preserving their heritage, even when it comes to buildings. Building the most innovative, technologically modern structure almost always took precedence over preservation. The Great Recession seems to have changed that mindset by forcing building owners/facility managers to upgrade existing buildings rather than build new. In this issue of Roofing, we celebrate the historic buildings that tell the story of bygone eras and the existing buildings that have shaped our nation into what it is today. The issue’s articles underscore how contemporary roofing materials can help preserve these structures’ roofs (see “Tech Point”, for example) and artistry that made a particular roof the focal point of its community (see the other “Tech Point”).

I’m happy to say as an adult I embrace my heritage and all the things my mother taught me. In fact, I’m bringing German influences into my own home. My husband Bart is half German, but, before he met me, he knew nothing about Germany. During our honeymoon, we spent some time in Germany, and, today, you can often find Bart using the few German words I’ve taught him in normal conversation (especially with my mother). In fact, he has embraced the culture so much that when he and his business partner discussed how to celebrate Oktoberfest at the bar they own, Bart suggested my mom prepare an authentic German meal for the bar’s patrons. The young me would’ve been mortified by this idea, but these days I’m proud to share a bit of Germany with my friends and neighbors (who predominately are of German heritage themselves). And I’m grateful my husband feels the same.

How to Deal With Winter Downtime

You worked hard all summer and made a lot of money. But now summer is over and winter is quickly approaching. With winter comes downtime.

When you’re young, temporary lay-offs can be fun: Parties, travel, music and sporting events make layoffs easier to handle. When you’re older, with bills to pay and mouths to feed, layoffs can be very worrisome. There are a few basic steps you can take to help deal with temporary layoffs.

If you’ve been laid off, you should file for unemployment insurance as soon as possible. The sooner you file, the sooner you can be deemed eligible and the sooner you can start receiving funds. The unemployment agency will verify with your employer the reason for you losing your job.

If you are not happy in the roofing industry you might be interested in retraining, not only to learn new job skills but also to keep your mind sharp. Consider the following:

  • Take some community college courses. Community colleges are relatively inexpensive and offer a wide variety of courses to improve work skills while earning valuable college credits that may lead to a possible degree.
  • Visit your local unemployment office. It will have lists of apprenticeship and training opportunities that can lead to a more secure position.
  • Select courses at a location vocational/technical school. These schools offer a wide variety of hands-on training at reasonable costs.
  • Purchase books or software to use on your own. There are many free and reasonably priced online training and education classes available.

See “Training Resources” below for some additional ideas.

If you love roofing and want to remain in the trade, there are steps you can take to keep your head above water—financially speaking.

John M. Grohol, Psy.D., writes in “7 Ways to Cope with a Layoff” that you need to take a realistic look at your finances and budget. Do not put this off longer than a week after you are laid off. Although we may not enjoy dealing with our finances, failure to do so could result in a far worse situation down the road (which always arrives sooner than you think). Dr. Grohol suggests: “Be creative in analyzing your budget for places to cut.” Most of us assume we need things like digital television and unlimited mobile calling plans. But most of us don’t. He adds, “Now’s the time to put aside your wants temporarily and focus exclusively on your and your family’s needs.”

Your savings, rainy-day fund and even your 401(k) may offer you some temporary financial relief. Borrowing from your 401(k), for instance, is usually less expensive than adding to your credit-card debt because you are paying back the loan with interest to yourself (not a credit card company). However, borrowing from your 401(k) and other retirement accounts is usually recommended only as a last resort.

Take care of your insurance. We often don’t think about insurance until we’re faced with a layoff and find out just how expensive insurance really is. Your employer will likely offer you COBRA, which allows you to continue your employer’s health benefits with one catch: You now have to pay what your employer was paying for your benefits. Be prepared for sticker shock. Most people are amazed that a family of four’s health insurance on COBRA might be as high as $1,000 or even $1,500 a month; for a single person or couple, it can be anywhere from $500 to $800 per month. When paying bills is already going to be a challenge, COBRA might be out of reach.

Shop around. With the Affordable Care Act, there are a lot more health-insurance plans available at a wide range of costs. You may find other health insurance coverage for your family that is less expensive and won’t cut your benefits in any significant way. Weigh the costs with what you can afford. For example, you may have to pay a higher deductible for inpatient hospital stays to achieve a lower monthly premium.

If you want or need to keep working, hit the classifieds. Nearly all classified sections now are online, so searching through them is far easier than it was 10 years ago. Although it might seem like nobody is hiring (and in the construction profession, that may very well be true), you should keep an eye out anyway. Jobs sometimes become available as people retire or a company’s focus changes. Extend your search somewhat outside your trade, as well, just to see what else might be available. Check out your “dream job”, too. Some people use a layoff as an opening for a new opportunity.

Use the unemployment resources available to you, whether through your ex-employer or through your local government. Libraries, too, often offer a great set of employment and career resources (such as résumé writing services). Don’t be afraid to network. Make your situation known, build connections and, soon, unemployment will be a thing of the past!

Training Resources

The following are examples of free or low-cost training opportunities you may want to consider when you are laid off:
Free
College courses from American Standard University
Solar training in New Jersey from Information & Technology Management
Your state may offer free training, like New York

Low Cost
Penn Foster Career School

More Ideas
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration provides information and services to assist workers who have been or will be laid off.

Search for apprenticeships and youth education/training programs, like one in New York.

Interested in the safety profession? Check out Free-Training.com/osha/soshamenu.htm and Free-Training.com.

Dan Worstell of Pyramid Roofing Creates Positive Change in His Community

Dan Worstell (right) is pictured with his dad Jerry (center) and his brother Dave (left).

Dan Worstell (right) is pictured with his dad Jerry (center) and his brother Dave (left).

Dan Worstell, president of Pyramid Roofing, which has offices in Newport News, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, Va., believes the biggest changes can be made with small efforts. Worstell lives his belief every day.

For example, after signing up as a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Williamsburg, he was quickly paired with 7-year-old Jordan. The plan as to spend a few hours a month with the boy over the course of a year, sharing activities and generally being a positive male role model for Jordan. Recently, the pair celebrated 10 years as “Big” and “Little,” and both their lives have changed for the better as a result of their relationship. Jordan is a smart, popular teen in his senior year of high school. He works after school and on weekends, has his own bank account and buys presents for the Worstell family at Christmas.

Meanwhile Worstell and his family—wife Tammy and sons Derek and Drew—include Jordan in family activities, from holiday celebrations to just hanging out around the house. Worstell also attends Jordan’s sporting events and hangs photos of Jordan along with his own sons on the walls of his office.

Through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Williamsburg, Wortsell has mentored Jordan for the past 10 years.

Through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Williamsburg, Wortsell has mentored Jordan for the past 10 years.

Worstell is not only one of the most prominent roofing contractors in the Hampton Roads area, he’s also a stand-up guy who cares about his employees and community.

For example, Worstell roofed the home of a disabled veteran for free and also supplied the labor to install roofing shingles (donated by Atlanta-based Atlas Roofing Corp.) at the Jamestown 4-H Center. On rain and snow days, Worstell keeps his crews working by posting on Facebook that the roofers are available to do odd jobs around the house. All Worstell asks in return is a $15 minimum donation to the Grove Christian Outreach Center.

On rainy mornings, Worstell often can be found in his company truck in the Chick-fil-A drive-thru in Hampton Roads. He hands his credit card to the cashier and moves to the end of the line, paying for breakfast for everyone originally behind him. Along with the free breakfast, the cashier passes out a chip clip with the Pyramid Roofing name and logo on it. This small investment has led to new business and positive feedback about Pyramid Roofing.

Photos: Atlas Roofing Corp.

Suicide in the Roofing Industry

A recent study released by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted suicide rates in 2012 by occupational group. According to the study, workers in construction and extraction have 53.3 suicides per 100,000, second only to workers in farming, fishing and forestry (84.5 per 100,000). As such, it is an industry imperative to shatter the stigma surrounding mental health and create caring cultures within our companies.

The CDC’s study found that of about 12,300 suicides in the 17 states studied, 1,324 people worked in construction and extraction (10.8 percent) and 1,049 (8.5 percent) worked in management, a category that includes top executives and other management positions.

The CDC tells us there is no single cause. However, several factors can increase a person’s risk for attempting or dying by suicide. On the other hand, having these risk factors does not always mean that suicide will occur. Risk factors include the following:

  • Previous suicide attempt(s)
  • History of depression or other mental illness
  • Alcohol or drug abuse
  • Family history of suicide or violence
  • Physical illness
  • Feeling alone

Suicide affects everyone, but some groups are at higher risk than others. Men are about four times more likely than women to die from suicide. However, women are more likely to express suicidal thoughts and make nonfatal attempts than men. The prevalence of suicidal thoughts, suicide planning and attempts is significantly higher among young adults aged 18 to 29 years than adults aged more than 30 years. American Indians and Alaska Natives, rural populations, and active or retired military personnel also have higher rates of suicide.

In the construction industry, including roofing, there are several factors that make the possibility of attempting suicide more prevalent. The roofing business is seasonal. We work from April to October and get laid off for several months during the winter. Conversely, during the warm months, long com- mutes and even longer workdays in hot weather, compounded by close bids, tight schedules and stringent quality-control measures increase the stress levels of roofers immensely. Depression can set in during these months.

In addition, in construction, we consider ourselves “tough guys”. We believe it is not “manly” to seek help or go to a doctor for medication, despite the fact that some of us will drink alcohol and take illegal drugs to get high. Drug use and addiction are also some of the main causes of the depression that leads to suicide attempts. Unfortunately, men in general are not very likely to ask for help or discuss personal issues. Men may also have easier access to firearms. The CDC says that men are 56.9 percent more likely to use firearms to kill themselves.

To help identify those who may be prone to attempting suicide, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, New York, has developed a list of risk factors. These risk factors are broken down into several warning signs. Consider the following:

  • Changes in behavior or the presence of entirely new behaviors: This is of sharpest concern if the new or changed behavior is related to a painful event, loss or change.
  • Changes in what a person says or does: If a person talks about being a burden to others, feels trapped, experiences unbearable pain, has no reason to live and/or blatantly discusses killing himself/herself, he or she may be having suicidal thoughts.
  • Increases use of alcohol or drugs.
  • Looks for a way to kill himself/herself, such as searching online for materials or means.
  • Acts recklessly.
  • Withdraws from activities.
  • Isolates from family and friends.
  • Sleeps too much or too little.
  • Visits or calls people to say goodbye.
  • Gives away prized possessions.
  • Is aggressive.
  • Experiences changes in mood: depression, loss of interest, rage, irritability, humiliation and anxiety.

No matter what problems a person is dealing with, the volunteers at the Suicide Prevention Hotline want to help those in distress to find a reason to keep living. By calling (800) 273-TALK (8255), a person will be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in his/her area, any time. The call is confidential and free.

If you are in a crisis, whether or not you are thinking about killing yourself, please call the Lifeline. People have called for help with many troubles, including substance abuse, economic worries, relationship and family problems, sexual orientation, abuse, depression, mental and physical illnesses, and loneliness.

LEARN MORE

Construction Industry Alliance for Suicide Prevention
Understanding Suicide Fact Sheet
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Never Stop Learning

This year as I watch my friends and family send their little ones off to school, I, too, am starting a new educational journey. I’m taking piano lessons. I’ve wanted to play since I was a child but never had the opportunity. My husband heard me talk about wanting to play a few times, so he suggested giving me lessons and a piano as a gift for our first wedding anniversary.

I literally thought about it for a full day. I was completely touched that my husband wanted to help me accomplish a lifelong dream. However, did I really want to commit myself to something completely out of the ordinary? I learned to play the trumpet in middle school and played through high school, so I can read music—treble clef. I’ve never had to learn bass clef or how to make my left hand and right hand play different music at the same time. Could I do it? What if I’m the worst adult student my teacher has ever had?

I came to the realization that the accomplishments of which I’m most proud pushed me out of my comfort zone. Plus, how could I possibly say no to my husband when his gesture was so sweet? I’ve had one lesson so far and the idea of being able to coordinate my hands still seems a little like being able to rub my stomach while patting my head. However, I’m excited about the future and am hoping I’ll be playing well by the holidays!

Every issue of Roofing has an educational bent, but this issue may push you out of your comfort zone. For example, cool roofs have been a hot topic for many years. Conventional wisdom states cool roofs are not appropriate for northern climates. Kurt Shickman, executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Global Cool Cities Alliance, will challenge that notion in “Cool Roofing”. He presents new evidence from several scientific studies that demonstrate cool roofs provide benefits to buildings in Climate Zones 4 through 8.

Meanwhile, Thomas W. Hutchinson, AIA, FRCI, RRC, CSI, RRP, principal of Hutchinson Design Group Ltd., Barrington, Ill., and a member of Roofing’s editorial advisory board, shares his in-the-field experiences regularly. He notes in “From the Hutchinson Files” that code-mandated insulation thicknesses are forcing designers to take roof access door and clerestory sill details seriously. Hutch’s goal with his article is to give designers some confidence to create appropriate design and detailing solutions.

These articles may challenge what you’ve always done but they’re worth considering and discussing. In fact, I’d really like to hear what you think about them. In return, I’ll keep you updated on whether I’m becoming the next Chopin!

Jasper Contractors Donates Roofing Labor to Military Family in Need

Kennesaw, Ga.-based Jasper Contractors Inc. representatives believe it’s important to give back to those who serve in our military. As such, the firm joined the Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project. Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning began partnering with Support Our Troops, Daytona Beach, Fla., in March. Via the project, military families in need can apply to have a roof installed at no cost to them by an Owens Corning Platinum Preferred Roofing Contractor, such as Jasper Contractors.

From left to right: Bobby Shifteh, Jasper Contractors’ business development manager, and Arielle Dysart, chief operating officer, pose with Paul and Colette Singrossi in front of their newly reroofed home in Winter Springs, Fla.

From left to right: Bobby Shifteh, Jasper Contractors’ business development manager, and Arielle Dysart, chief operating officer, pose with Paul and Colette Singrossi in front of their newly reroofed home in Winter Springs, Fla.

Owens Corning worked with Support Our Troops to locate Paul and Colette Singrossi, who have three children and live within Jasper Contractors’ Florida service area. Paul, an E6 staff sergeant, has served 16 years in the U.S. Army and recently returned home to Winter Springs, Fla., from a deployment in Africa. Paul and Colette both are police officers in their community.

The Singrossis’ existing roof was 11-years old and consisted of a lot of patchwork that was performed to pass inspection when the Singrossis purchased their home. While Paul was in and out of the country, roof repairs were neglected and leaks began appearing and worsening.

The new 2,500-square-foot Owens Corning Oakridge laminated asphalt shingle roof in the color Driftwood was installed in just one day by seven Jasper Contractors crew members.

Carl McNair, president of Jasper Contractors, is happy to help the Singrossi family: “This gave us the opportunity to provide just a small piece of relief to one of our most treasured veterans. Mr. and Mrs. Singrossi have done a wonderful service to our country, so it was a small gesture on our part to provide them with a new roof.”

Jasper Contractors also is committed to hiring veterans. Steven Edwards (left), vice president of Sales, served in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. Jeff Gonzales (right), regional manager, served eight years in the Marine Corps. “It’s an honor to work for an employer that’s veteran friendly and takes care of veterans in the community,” Gonzales says.

Jasper Contractors also is committed to hiring veterans. Steven Edwards (left), vice president of Sales, served in the 82nd Airborne Division of the U.S. Army. Jeff Gonzales (right), regional manager, served eight years in the Marine Corps. “It’s an honor to work for an employer that’s veteran friendly and takes care of veterans in the community,” Gonzales says.

The new roof alleviates the Singrossis’ worries. “There was water seeping through [the roof] so it’s really nice to have peace of mind that we don’t have to worry about trying to find the money for that,” Colette says.

Paul adds: “[Service members] have to come back and reintegrate into society, so there’s not a lot of time to look for things that help us out. It’s nice to have the support to know that what we do is actually cared about.”

PHOTOS: JASPER CONTRACTORS INC.

LEARN MORE

Owens Corning Roof Deployment Project
Jasper Contractors Inc., Kennesaw, Ga.

Eliminate Wasted Man-hours by Sending Debris Directly into a Dumpster or Truck

Quantum Smart Solutions LLC’s Smart Chute Construction Debris Removal System is designed to make the demolition process more efficient by sending debris directly into a dumpster or truck.

Quantum Smart Solutions LLC’s Smart Chute Construction Debris Removal System is designed to make the demolition process more efficient by sending debris directly into a dumpster or truck.

Quantum Smart Solutions LLC’s Smart Chute Construction Debris Removal System is designed to make the demolition process more efficient by sending debris directly into a dumpster or truck. Consequently, crew members only handle materials one time and eliminate wasted man-hours.

The Smart Chute was originally designed with the roofing industry in mind and can be used to service debris removal up to a 4-story elevation. “Our patent-pending Smart Chute is taking construction debris transporting to the next level,” says Scott Matovich, president of Quantum Smart Solutions. “It has proven to save roofing contractors time and money on every use, while reducing crew size.” Matovich notes the full return on investment in the Smart Chute could be 90 days or less.

Edward R. Faulkner, vice president of Sales at Quantum Smart Solutions, adds: “The Smart Chute sets up and breaks down in minutes. It will assist your crew in completing each job 30 percent faster while keeping your customers happier as their surrounding property will remain damage- and debris-free.”

The Smart Chute is primarily made of lightweight non-rusting aluminum. Chute sections nest into one another for easy assembly and shipment. The chute panels lock into place along the rails during assembly. At the top, the chute is attached to a structure with heavy-duty hinges, angling the chute toward a dumpster or directly into a truck.

The Smart Chute is offered in three sizes and can be used in 8-, 12-, 16-, 20-, 24-, 28-, 32-, 36- and 40-foot configurations. The product also is available in custom lengths and widths. It comes with a five-year warranty.

The High Roofer: Recognize Whether Drug Abuse Is Occurring in Your Workplace

Drug abuse in the workplace is a great threat to the health and safety of American
workers, and roofers are no exception. Roofers have the fifth-highest work-related death rate in construction—about twice the average for all construction (about 50 roofers are killed on the job each year, most by falls). According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the construction industry, including the roofing trade, has the second highest level of alcohol abuse and sixth highest level of drug abuse. (The survey is sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C.)

Signs and symptoms of drug abuse in the workplace are absenteeism, staff turnover, lower productivity, poor work quality and overall poor morale. These can lead to increased accidents and near misses, theft of equipment and materials, and equipment breakdowns.

In addition, behavioral issues commonly are associated with substance abuse. For example, addicted workers may exhibit a change in attitude or work performance, erratic performance, hangover symptoms and secretive behavior. Other signs include isolation, forgetfulness, indecision, erratic judgment, impulsive and temperamental behavior, changes in personal appearance and hygiene, jitters, hand tremors, hyper-excitability, carelessness, sleeping on the job, trouble with police, aggression and constant illnesses.

If your employees are using, some common sites for drug abuse while at work are lunchrooms and lounge areas, parking lots and cars, remote areas of a worksite, equipment and storage rooms, and restrooms.

Read on to learn about today’s common drugs and identify whether your employees have addictions to these drugs:

Marijuana

Marijuana, also known as weed, reefer, pot, etc., comes from the hemp plant (cannabis sativa). About 10 percent of roofing workers claim to use marijuana. In 1974, marijuana had an approximate 1 percent content of THC (the chemical responsible for marijuana’s high). Depending on the grower, today’s marijuana’s THC content can be between 15 and 22 percent.

Marijuana is highly carcinogenic. One joint is equivalent to 25 cigarettes. It can be smoked, eaten or vaped. Marijuana affects the user’s mental function. Feelings include a sense of well-being, irritability, insomnia, anxiety, depression, apathy, diminished concentration, delayed decision-making, impaired short- term memory, erratic cognitive functions and distortions in time estimation.

Signs and symptoms of marijuana use include impaired tracking, distinctive odor on clothing, decrease in visual functioning and other ophthalmic problems, reddened eyes, slowed speech, chronic fatigue and a lack of motivation. Acute/overdose effects are aggressive urges, anxiety, confusion, fearfulness, hallucinations and heavy sedation.

Withdrawal comes with a loss of appetite, restlessness, chronic fatigue and a lack of motivation.

Methamphetamine

Amphetamine, methamphetamine, uppers, speed, crank and ice are similar in makeup and effect. The second-most widely used drug (after marijuana), meth can come in different colors: white, brown, pink. It can be taken orally as tablets or capsules. Its liquid form can be injected or mixed with other fluids and drank. It can also be snorted as a powder. In its rock form, it can be smoked.

Within minutes after being smoked or injected, users experience an intense “rush”, which is said to be very pleasurable. Although the rush only lasts a few minutes, the effects can last for up to 12 hours and keep users awake and moving for several days at a time. Meth users build up a tolerance, which forces them to have a strong desire for more.

Visible signs and symptoms of meth use are hyper-excitability, dilated pupils, profuse sweating, confusion, panic, talkativeness and an inability to concentrate. Regular use produces strong psycho- logical dependence and increased drug tolerance. High doses may cause toxic psychosis, resembling schizophrenia. Intoxication may induce heart attack or stroke. Chronic users experience increased impulsive or risk-taking behaviors.

Withdrawal causes severe depression. The effects of meth are so potent that there is a 95 percent relapse rate.

Cocaine

Cocaine was once called the “Rich Man’s Drug” because of its short-lived effects. Regular use can upset chemical balance in the brain. It also causes the heart to beat faster and harder. Deaths caused by overdose can occur when taken with depressants.

Signs and symptoms of cocaine use in the workplace include financial problems; frequent absences from work; increased physical activity followed by fatigue, isolation and withdrawal.

Cocaine users usually show increasing secretive behaviors and unusual defensiveness. Other symptoms include wide mood swings, nose problems, difficulty in concentration and dilated pupils. Cocaine addicts exhibit the strongest mental dependency of all drugs, and the treatment success rates are lower than all other addictive drugs.

Opioids

One of the worst drug problems in the U.S. today is the opiate/opioid epidemic. Natural opiates are derived from resin of the poppy plant. However, synthetic opioids are increasingly replacing natural opiates.

Addiction to opioid medications has impacted every level of society. Many people blame the addiction prevalence on health-care providers who are quick to write a prescription for help with chronic pain. An estimated 210 million prescriptions for opiates were dispensed in 2010 alone. According to DrugAbuse.com, examples of opiates include heroin, morphine, oxycodone (trade names are OxyContin and Percocet), hydrocodone (trade names are Vicodin and Lortab), codeine and fentanyl. Frighteningly, prescription opiate abusers are far more likely to eventually develop a heroin addiction than a non-opiate abuser because heroin will offer a similar high at a cheaper price.

Any long-term use puts a person at risk of addiction, even if the substance is used as prescribed. Many people who use opiates will develop a tolerance to them—a phenomenon that can trigger the cycle of addiction. When this occurs, people routinely take more of the substance to elicit the desired response. This ever-increasing dosing places one at great risk for overdose.

Physical signs that someone may be abusing an opiate include noticeable elation/euphoria, marked sedation/ drowsiness, confusion, constricted pupils, slowed breathing, and intermittent nodding off or loss of consciousness. Other signs of opiate abuse include shifting or dramatically changing moods, extra pill bottles turning up in the trash, social withdrawal/isolation, and sudden financial problems.

Withdrawal symptoms from opiates can be extremely severe. The symptoms mimic the flu and include headache, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, fatigue, anxiety and inability to sleep. These symptoms can be so severe that the addict will do anything to feel better.

Don’t Mix Roofing and Drugs

Because falls from roof edges account for half or three-fourths of roofers’ deaths, it’s not difficult to understand why drug use on the job would be concerning. For roofers in residential construction, falls from roof edges accounted for 70 percent of work-related fall deaths and 90 percent of roof fall deaths. These statistics coupled with the statistics on drug abuse in the construction industry suggest that drug abuse possibly may be a contributor to falls.

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Self-flashing Skylights on Commercial Warehouses Are Beginning to Leak

Today, many commercial roofers are dealing with a large-scale problem—reinstalling and replacing leaky self-flashing skylights on commercial warehouses. I have seen firsthand how improper installation of self-flashing skylights has become a headache for commercial property owners.

many of the skylights installed on commercial warehouse properties in the western Sunbelt states were installed improperly because they were installed first and foremost as fall protection for the open floor in the roof during construction by the builder and not by the roofer.

Many of the self-flashing skylights installed on commercial warehouse properties in the western Sunbelt states were installed improperly because they were installed first and foremost as fall protection for the open floor in the roof during construction by the builder and not by the roofer.

Around the late 1970s and early 1980s, intermodal freight became a huge part of global distribution. To handle the increase in freight projects, warehouse construction exploded. The Port of Oakland, for instance, invested heavily in intermodal container transfer capabilities in the ’80s. In fact, the aggressive growth of intermodal freight distribution continued into the early 2000s.

The cheapest and easiest way for skylights to be installed on these warehouses was to use self-flashing skylights. The metal curb or L bracket attached to the bottom of the skylight was, in theory, supposed to be set on top of the built-up roofing material and then stripped in, sandwiching the flange between he roofing layers. The result would be roofing material, then skylight, then more roofing material over the flashing on the skylight.

Unfortunately, many of the skylights installed on commercial warehouse properties in the western Sunbelt states were installed improperly because they were installed first and foremost as fall protection for the open floor in the roof during construction by the builder and not by the roofer. Our teams have seen thousands of these original self-flashing skylight installations where self-flashing flanges are set directly on the plywood roof deck, below all the roofing materials.

Most of the original roofers didn’t budget in the time and money it took to pull the skylight assembly apart from the roof deck and re-install it the proper way. Nor did they wash the oils off the new metal from the galvanizing process or use asphalt primer to prep the steel flanges of the assembly and ensure the roofing asphalt would stick properly. Over the years, as the metal of the skylight flanges expanded and contracted and the built-up roof did the same, but at a different rate, the roofing system eventually separated from the skylight, leaving a self-flashing skylight that’s now turned into what we jokingly refer to as a “self-leaking skylight”. This is part of the reason why everyone thinks skylights always leak.

The best way we’ve found to install leak-free skylights on a commercial warehouse roof, especially when re- placing the self-flashing skylights on an existing building, is to use a curb-mounted skylight. A curb-mounted skylight fits like a shoebox lid over a new curb the roofing contractor fabricates as part of the installation. This curbed design eliminates the metal flange and offers waterproofing redundancy in critical areas of the installation, so water can’t get into the building at the skylight opening. Because the new skylight is installed on a curb, it’s also much easier to address any future issues with the skylight or to replace it down the road if necessary. This especially comes in handy when owners lease to new tenants. New building occupancy regulations mean skylights may be required by municipalities to be changed out for smoke vents to comply with fire codes.

If you’re dealing with one or more self-flashing skylight leaks, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Check if there is condensation on the inside of the skylight; a lot of skylights have a trough where condensation runoff will leak into the building.
  • Be sure to check the juncture where the skylight and the roof meet (the skylight base flashing), which can sometimes include up to 5 inches of mastic at the base flashing.
  • If the skylight has a frameless acrylic cap without a metal frame around the outside, check the acrylic dome for stress cracks. It is possible to replace some acrylic domes on some skylights but often the cost of an acrylic dome is roughly the same as the cost of a new skylight, and if you’re already considering installing a new roof with a 15- to 20-year warranty, it doesn’t make much sense to leave the “self-leaking skylight” frame in place. Replacing the skylights during the reroofing project is much more cost-effective than re- turning to replace skylights later. In addition, skylight technology is far better now than it was 15 or 20 years ago (think about today’s impact-resistant polycarbonate and better UV and fall protection).

Above all else, don’t let self-flashing skylights give you and your roofing business a bad name. Instead, address the issue with your commercial clients and educate them about the best choices for their skylights and how they can stay current with the International Building Code and municipal codes. You’ll be helping them protect one of their biggest assets by ensuring their skylights stay leak-free.

PHOTOS: Highland Commercial Roofing