Definition of Resilience: Hospital Provides a Lesson in Preparing for Weather Events

Staten Island University Hospital escaped major damage during Hurricane Sandy. The city of New York allocated $28 million to fund the hospital’s resiliency plan, and the state contributed an additional $12 million.

Staten Island University Hospital escaped major damage during Hurricane Sandy. The city of New York allocated $28 million to fund the hospital’s resiliency plan, and the state contributed an additional $12 million.

Almost five years ago, Hurricane Sandy bore down on New York City with winds that reached gusts of 100 miles an hour and a storm surge 16 feet above normal that flooded huge parts of the city. Entire neighborhoods lost electricity for several days, the Stock Exchange closed during and immediately after the storm, and scuba divers were called in to assess damage in parts of the city’s submerged subway system.

Staten Island, one of New York’s five boroughs, was heavily damaged. Its position in New York Harbor, at the intersection of the coastlines of Long Island and New Jersey, leaves the island particularly exposed to storm surge during extreme weather events. A geologist from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts described Staten Island as being, “at the end of, basically, a big funnel between New Jersey and New York.”

Staten Island University Hospital almost miraculously escaped major damage, despite flood waters coming within inches of it doors. The hospital stayed open during and after Hurricane Sandy, continuing to provide vital services despite the storm. The hospital is home to the largest emergency room on Staten Island, and houses more than one third of the borough’s in-patient beds. New York Mayor DeBlasio has called the hospital, “a truly decisive healthcare facility—even more so in times of crisis.”

While both hospital and city officials were relieved that the facility had escaped Sandy largely unharmed, the lesson that Sandy delivered was taken to heart: major mitigation efforts were needed if the hospital expected to survive similar storms in the future. With this in mind, the city of New York allocated $28 million to fund the hospital’s resiliency plan, with the state kicking in an additional $12 million.

The money is being spent on three major projects to better prepare the hospital for future storms: the elevation of critical building power and mechanical systems, the installation of sanitary holding tanks and backflow prevention, and the installation of major wind resiliency and roofing improvements. 

Resilient Design

The Staten Island experience, and the plan to upgrade its ability to withstand major weather events, is hardly unique. Nationwide, resilient design has become a major focus of the construction community.

Hurricane Sandy certainly intensified the sense of urgency surrounding the need for resilience. But well before that, Hurricane Katrina, in 2005, provided a tragic case study on the fragility of seemingly stable structures, as the storm brought a small, poor southern city to the brink of chaos and devastated entire neighborhoods. While these two hurricanes drew national and international attention, communities throughout the country have also been dealing with frequent, erratic and intense weather events that disrupted daily life, resulting in economic losses and, all too often, the loss of human life. These emergencies may include catastrophic natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, sinkholes, fires, floods, tornadoes, hailstorms, and volcanic activity. They also refer to man-made events such as acts of terrorism, release of radioactive materials or other toxic waste, wildfires and hazardous material spills.

The focus, to a certain degree, is on upgrading structures that have been damaged in natural disasters. But even more, architects and building owners are focusing on building resilience into the fabric of a structure to mitigate the impact of future devastating weather events. And, as with the Staten Island Hospital, the roof is getting new attention as an important component of a truly resilient structure.

The resilience of the roofing system is a critical component in helping a building withstand a storm and rebound quickly. In addition, a robust roofing system can help maintain a habitable temperature in a building in case of loss of power. Photo: Hutchinson Design Group.

The resilience of the roofing system is a critical component in helping a building withstand a storm and rebound quickly. In addition, a robust roofing system can help maintain a habitable temperature in a building in case of loss of power. Photo: Hutchinson Design Group.

So, what is resilience, how is it defined, and why is it important to buildings in differing climates facing unique weather events? The Department of Homeland Security defines resilience as “the ability to adapt to changing conditions and withstand and rapidly recover from disruption due to emergencies.” The key words here are “adapt” and “rapidly recover.” In other words, resilience is measured in a structure’s ability to quickly return to normal after a damaging event. And the resilience of the roofing system, an essential element in protecting the integrity of a building, is a critical component in rebounding quickly. In addition, a robust roofing system can provide a critical evacuation path in an emergency, and can help maintain a habitable temperature in a building in case of loss of power.

According to a Resilience Task Force convened by the EPDM Roofing Association (ERA), two factors determine the resiliency of a roofing system: durable components and a robust design. Durable components are characterized by:
Outstanding weathering characteristics in all climates (UV resistance, and the ability to withstand extreme heat and cold).

  • Ease of maintenance and repair.
  • Excellent impact resistance.
  • Ability to withstand moderate movement cycles without fatigue.
  • Good fire resistance (low combustibility) and basic chemical resistance.
  • A robust design that will enhance the resiliency of a roofing system should incorporate:

  • Redundancy in the form of a backup system and/or waterproofing layer.
  • The ability to resist extreme weather events, climate change or change in building use.
  • Excellent wind uplift resistance, but most importantly multiple cycling to the limits of its adhesion.
  • Easily repaired with common tools and readily accessible materials.
  • More Information on Resilient Roofing

    The Resilience Task Force, working with the ERA staff, is also responding to the heightened interest in and concern over the resilience of the built environment by launching EpdmTheResilientRoof.org. The new website adds context to the information about EPDM products by providing a clearinghouse of sources about resilience, as well as an up-to-date roster of recent articles, blog posts, statements of professional organizations and other pertinent information about resilience.

    “This new website takes our commitment to the construction industry and to our customers to a new level. Our mission is to provide up-to-date science-based information about our products. Resilience is an emerging need, and we want to be the go-to source for architects, specifiers, building owners and contractors who want to ensure that their construction can withstand extreme events,” said Mike DuCharme, Chairman of ERA.

    EPDM roofs can be easily repaired and restored without the use of sophisticated, complicated equipment. Photo: Hutchinson Design Group.

    EPDM roofs can be easily repaired and restored without the use of sophisticated, complicated equipment. Photo: Hutchinson Design Group.

    EPDM and Resiliency

    The Resilience Task Force also conducted extensive fact finding to itemize the specific attributes of EPDM membrane that make it a uniquely valuable component of a resilient of a roofing system:

  • EPDM is a thermoset material with an inherit ability to recover and return to its original shape and performance after a severe weather event.
  • EPDM has been used in numerous projects in various geographic areas from the hottest climate in the Middle East to the freezing temperatures in Antarctica and Siberia.
  • After decades of exposures to extreme environmental conditions, EPDM membrane continues to exhibit a great ability to retain the physical properties and performances of ASTM specification standards.
  • EPDM is the only commercially available membrane that performs in an unreinforced state, making it very forgiving to large amounts of movement without damage and potentially more cycles before fatiguing.
  • EPDM offers excellent impact resistance to hail, particularly when aged.
  • EPDM is resistant to extreme UV exposure and heat.
  • EPDM far exceeded the test protocol ASTM D573 which requires materials to pass four weeks at 240 degrees Fahrenheit. EPDM black or white membranes passed 68 weeks at these high temperatures.
  • Exposed EPDM roof systems have been in service now for 50-plus years with little or no surface degradation.
  • EPDM is versatile.
  • EPDM can be configured in many roofing assemblies, including below-grade and between-slab applications.
  • EPDM is compatible with a broad range of construction materials/interfaces/conditions, making it a good choice for areas that may encounter unique challenges.
  • EPDM can be exposed to moisture and intense sunlight or totally immersed in salty water.
  • EPDM can easily be installed, repaired and restored following simple procedures without the use of sophisticated, complicated equipment.
  • EPDM can be repaired during power outages.
  • For further information about the need for resilience, and the appropriate use of EPDM in resilient structures, visit EPDMTheResilientRoof.com.

    Engage With Potential Customers on the Social Media Platform They Use Most

    Social media can be an exciting territory for contractors looking to promote their businesses in a relatively inexpensive, but impactful, way. But it can be equally overwhelming with the abundance of social platforms available, as well as the nuances involved for marketing on each one.

    If you’re new to marketing your business socially, Facebook is a great place to start. It’s an easy-to-use platform that provides several features for connecting with potential customers locally and nationally. Or, if your business is already active on the platform but not seeing much return, there are simple ways to begin improving your activity today.

    Read on to learn simple tips and advice on how to effectively promote your roofing business on Facebook.

    Why Focus on Facebook?

    It’s important to note why it is relevant to establish and maintain a presence for your business on Facebook.

    First and foremost, your customers are already active on the platform. Facebook continues to be the most popular social media platform, as cited by the Pew Research Center, where 79 percent of online adults have a profile. In fact, the number of Facebook users is more than double the number of people who use other social platforms, such as Instagram (32 percent), LinkedIn (29 percent), Twitter (24 percent) or Pinterest (31 percent).

    Plus, establishing and maintaining a Facebook page can also be beneficial in driving visitors to your website. In fact, search engines tend to reward businesses with a strong social following through higher organic rankings. In other words, the more people who are engaged with your company on Facebook, the better odds your business will show up sooner in a potential customer’s search results for a local roofing contractor.

    Further, the platform is also a great way to create a sense of connection with your internal team. For instance, Facebook can be used to showcase your company culture, share news and engage with your own employees—especially if you’re a large contractor with multiple locations.

    Useful Strategies to Grow Your Page

    Profile setup: Building a solid foundation of followers begins with setting up your profile correctly. Be sure to set up a Business Page instead of a personal Facebook page. This way, current and future customers can “like” your page, or become a fan, and keep up-to-date on the latest news from your company.

    Also, it’s important to have a profile image and cover art (the large image at the top of the page), as well as complete details about your business on the “About” page, including a description of your business, location, contact information, services offered, hours, website and more.

    Tip:

    If you already have an existing account that was set up as a personal profile, you can convert it into a business page at facebook.com/business.

    Content sharing: Once your page is set up, it’s time to start sharing content. Begin with one or two posts per week, and then gradually start increasing your posting schedule as you gain a more established following.
    Think of Facebook as an extension of your website to tell customers more about your business in an inviting and personal, but still professional, atmosphere.

    Looking for content ideas? Think about sharing your knowledge and expertise: your project work! Take before-and-after photos of projects that showcase a new roof installation or repair. Or if it’s a long-term project, document it each day with photos or videos that explain the installation process you’re undergoing, the products you’re using and more. Make sure you have your customer’s consent before posting details or pictures about any project.

    Also, do you have a company blog on your website? If so, share out individual posts with a “teaser” on the details the article contains, along with a link back to the specific post. This helps to establish your credibility as a knowledgeable professional, but can also help to drive potential customers back to your website to learn more. If you’re still working to set up your company blog, another option is to publish a “Note” from the left sidebar of your Facebook business page. This long-form Facebook post is a great alternative while you work toward setting up your blog online.

    You can also consider sharing links to blog posts from a manufacturer whose products you use. They often provide helpful blog articles with tips and advice for both contractors and homeowners—so you may even find something of value to you in the process!

    Lastly, you can use your page as a way to share positive customer testimonials in the form of photos and videos. Again, it’s important to ensure you first have your customer’s consent before sharing their testimonials. Be sure to also encourage your satisfied customers to submit their own Facebook reviews for a job well done. These reviews allow them to share their experiences and rate your performance directly on your Facebook page, which can help facilitate future business and leads.

    Tip:

    Facebook can also be used as a means to share company promotions, special holiday or seasonal incentives, and events you may be hosting or attending.

    Page promotion: As you start to proactively post useful content, you’ll begin to establish a following on your page. However, there are also several paid promotion tactics you can use to increase your page’s reach and engagement.
    One popular paid tactic is a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign, which is a form of advertising where you pay a set amount each time someone clicks on an ad you’ve produced. Determine what you would ultimately like users to do, and create a post or simple ad that prompts them to take that action. For example, you can drive homeowners to visit your company website, provide their contact information for a free quote, like your Facebook page, download a coupon and more.

    If you have a particularly interesting post that has been performing well on your page (maybe it has received a lot of positive comments, for example) and you’d like it to reach even more people, consider “boosting” or sponsoring that post. This means putting a set amount of money behind promoting a post, say $100, to expand its reach. Geo-targeting, or selecting a specific audience and geography you’d like to reach, helps amplify your message to the right people—your targeted customers.

    Tip:

    Avoid using text in your images for paid posts or campaigns. Facebook guidelines reduce the reach of these images as the system considers them too “spammy” or ad-centric and cluttered. In many cases, image text could prevent your promotion from running entirely.

    Highlighted Contractor Examples

    Wondering how to apply some of these strategies? Learn more from a couple of roofing contractors who are part of IKO’s ShieldPRO plus+ Contractor Program and are already successfully using them on Facebook:

    Chad’s Roofing, Gilroy, Calif.:

    • Frequently posts project testimonials and before-and-after photos, along with job site videos that explain roofing processes to homeowners.
    • Consistently responds to questions/comments posted on the page.
    • Uses Facebook (and linked Instagram account) to promote business rather than a traditional website.

    Able Roofing, Columbus, Ohio:

    • Collects and displays several homeowner reviews on its Facebook page (more than 50 at the time of writing).
    • Shares links to blog posts on the Able Roofing website, which include helpful tips for homeowners related to home improvement, trends and renovation projects.
    • Promotes company news and local events, as well as national holidays.

    If you’re looking to grow your leads and engage with future customers, using these strategies on Facebook is a great place to start. Also, be sure to check out the IKO blog for even more helpful business tips and advice!

    Overcome Procrastination in Three Easy Steps

    You are a dedicated business owner. I know this because you are taking time to increase your professional development by reading this magazine and this article.

    Because you are a business owner who is dedicated to success, it would make sense that you don’t procrastinate—right? You can quickly and easily accomplish all the important tasks and projects that help move your business forward. Your taxes are completed ahead of time. You are never up late at night looking for data to complete an estimate. You never have to redo tasks because you made errors as you were trying to finish by the deadline.

    Before you stop reading in frustration, know that according to Tim Pychyl, author of Solving the Procrastination Puzzle, everyone procrastinates. So, you are not alone!

    The question really becomes, how do you overcome your procrastination? There isn’t a “one size fits all” solution to the procrastination challenge. However, there is a process you can follow to find your solution.
    Use the acronym A.W.E.
    A – Awareness. What are some of the tasks you procrastinate on most often?
    W – Work. What are some strategies to help put yourself in motion?
    E – Evaluation. What worked and how do you do more of it?

    The Three-Step Process

    Let’s start with awareness. What are some of the tasks that typically cause you to procrastinate? Do you avoid invoicing clients? Or posting on social media? Or sending estimates? Or evaluating employees? Or doing customer service follow-up calls? Or meeting with your accountant? Or creating a marketing plan? Or creating a business plan?

    Start to really think about the tasks you put off. Now that you have a good idea about what those tasks are, it’s time to create a strategy to overcome procrastination. This is the work phase.

    According to Pychyl, we procrastinate when we find a task unattractive. The more unattractive, the more we procrastinate. Unattractive tasks have one or more of the following traits. They are:

  • Boring
  • Frustrating
  • Difficult
  • Unstructured or ambiguous
  • Lacking in personal meaning
  • Lacking in intrinsic rewards (not fun!)
  • Which trait corresponds to your task? Do you procrastinate when it comes to invoicing clients because you find paperwork boring and frustrating? Do you put off evaluating employees because you find conflict (or perceived conflict) difficult? Have you decided that you’ll do a marketing plan next year (or the year after that) because the whole idea is ambiguous and you don’t even know where to start?

    Once you can identify the trait that’s holding you back, you can create a strategy to help move yourself into action. If a task is boring, make it fun. (OK, maybe paperwork won’t ever be fun, but it can be less boring.) Play music loud, challenge yourself to finish the task in under 20 minutes, and reward yourself when it is done.

    If creating a marketing plan seems ambiguous, add some structure to it. Talk it out with some colleagues. Consult with a marketing professional. Do some reading on marketing plans. Decide what your goals are for the plan. Figure out just one step. Once you’ve identified even one step, it becomes much easier to move into action.

    Finally, evaluation. When you can do more of what works and less of what doesn’t, life becomes much easier. Yet you seldom take the time to slow down long enough to think through what is working! Take 10 minutes to check back at the end of the week. Which strategies worked? Where are you procrastinating less? Where do you still need to problem solve?

    By following the steps spelled out in A.W.E., you will be able to reduce the amount of time you procrastinate and increase your capacity to accomplish more in less time. Which leaves you with a lot more time to do all those things you love to do!

    Key Priorities for Fire Station Project Includes Visual Appeal, Resistance to Algae and Wind

    When the fire station decided to replace its aging steep-slope system, the goals included finding a system that would look good, stand up to high winds and resist algae growth.

    When the fire station decided to replace its aging steep-slope system, the goals included finding a system that would look good, stand up to high winds and resist algae growth.

    The firemen and firewomen of the Burlington Fire Department, located in Burlington, Wash., reportedly respond to about 1,800 service calls a year. The members of the department are on call 24/7, handling a variety of emergencies, both big and small.

    Whether it is fighting a fire, performing a search and rescue, or something as simple as retrieving a driver’s keys from the car, the city’s bravest are too busy to have roof issues make their days more difficult. When the fire station began to experience leaks that required countless repairs and patchwork solutions, the City of Burlington knew it was time to replace the entire roofing system and ensure that the firefighters were safe from the elements.

    Over the last few years, leaks began to appear more frequently in the fire station’s roof, with the worst leaks occurring in the paramedic’s quarters and in the firehouse’s workout room. The water would drip down on the firefighters and ceiling tiles became discolored, creating an unpleasant appearance throughout the firehouse. The intense winds in the area would also cause the shingles of the roof to become loose and fly off.

    “The roof was patched several times over the years. We filled the voids as we went,” says Brandon Bond, a lieutenant on the Burlington Fire Department for the last 10 years. “After a while, the patches and replacements weren’t working and the leaks were getting harder to fix. At that point, we knew it was time to replace the whole roof.”

    For their new roof, the city wanted a material that was visually appealing and performed against algae and wind. Also, because this was a city project, they wanted to find a contractor who was nearby and a roofing material that was manufactured locally—all of which showed pride in their community. When they considered the criteria, along with the size of the roof—24,000 square feet—the city chose to go with asphalt shingles because they provided a high level of longevity and durability while keeping it affordable.

    Asphalt shingles offered a heavyweight, wind-resistant roofing material with a number of color options, making it the optimal choice among the design team. Wind resistance was an important factor because the old roofing system sustained considerable wind damage. The winds in the area can reach 65-70 miles per hour.

    Selecting the Right System

    Cascade Roofing Company from Burlington was hired to install the new roof on the fire station. The company has been in business for nearly 30 years and works on both commercial and residential roofing projects. The owner of Cascade, Rick Steiner, explains that asphalt shingles were used on the fire station for a number of reasons.

    “Shingles were used because of the different pitch heights of the roof, their affordability and their great look,” Steiner says. “The algae-resistance was also a must. Algae grows like weeds in Washington, due to the moisture in the air and fluctuating temperatures.”

    Algae flourishes in humid climates and its spores can be carried by the wind. The temperate but rainy weather found in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. produces an environment for algae to thrive in. While algae is not known to cause damage to roofs, the dark streaks are unsightly.

    “Burlington is very wet, whether it’s raining or if we’re dealing with the humidity,” says Lauren Wilkins, a firefighter at the Burlington Fire Department since 2012. “We wanted the new roof to provide some resistance to algae so that it looked good as compared to the other surrounding roofs in the area.”

    Cascade used shingle manufacturer PABCO Roofing Products, located in nearby Tacoma, Wash. PABCO’s algae-resistant Paramount Signature Cut Shingle in Oakwood color was selected for the project because it provided exceptional curb appeal. An aggressive modified sealant was used as well as high-wind shingle application—6 nails—to add resistance to wind uplift. PABCO Paramount starter shingles were applied over PABCO Universal Starter to provide a double-layer base. A synthetic underlayment along with an ice and water shield on the leading edges were also used. Shasta HD Ridge was applied to the ridge and hips of the roof to complement the roofline.

    The roof system covers 24,000 square feet. An aggressive modified sealant and a high-wind shingle application using six nails add resistance to wind uplift.

    The roof system covers 24,000 square feet. An aggressive modified sealant and a high-wind shingle application using six nails add resistance to wind uplift.

    Keeping it Local

    The City of Burlington was thrilled to choose local companies for the project. The manufacturer, contractor and even the supplier were all located nearby. This provided Cascade an avenue for necessary materials to be delivered quickly, allowing them to stay under budget and ahead of schedule. The project took about two weeks and 230 squares of shingles to complete, which is equivalent to the number of shingles necessary for the company to roof six or seven regular-sized homes.

    “It’s easily the biggest shingle job I’ve ever done,” Steiner says. “But the design of the building along with the high-profile look of the shingles made the project look incredible. The city has a roof that’s going to last a very long time.”

    Steiner also points out how smooth operations were due to the local theme of the project. “Everything was on-time. The supplier was right across the street and very easy to work with,” Steiner notes. “Even the weather cooperated – it made a potentially difficult project that much easier.”

    The firefighters felt the same way. “We thought the hardest thing about the renovation would be continuing our daily operations, but we didn’t run into any problems,” Wilkins says. “They were very friendly and easy to coordinate with when moving equipment. There were no horror stories here.”

    Since the renovation was completed, the firefighters are very happy with the new roof. The firemen and firewomen of the Burlington Fire Department can now focus on keeping the residents of Burlington safe.

    The unique installation of the roof also earned Cascade Roofing and the fire station project the 2017 Bronze Award in the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study (QARC) Awards Program. Each year, ARMA seeks out the most beautiful, affordable and reliable asphalt roofing systems in North America.

    Award-winning projects are selected based on innovation, performance and beauty, and recognize projects that lead the way in areas like weather protection, green roofing or unique utilization of asphalt shingles in a roofing system. ARMA is currently accepting submissions for both low- and steep-slope roofing project installations completed in 2017 for its 2018 awards program. Roofing contractors can submit multiple projects through Dec. 31, and there is no fee to enter.

    For more information about asphalt roofing systems, the QARC awards program and more, visit the website.

    PHOTOS: JAROD TROW PHOTOGRAPHY

    Retrofit Roofing Project Highlights Advancements in Building Materials and Methods

    The roof was replaced on Huntsman Corporation’s Advanced Technology Center, an L-shaped, 70,000-square-foot facility housing expensive equipment and research labs. A TPO membrane roof system was installed over high-density polyiso cover board.

    The roof was replaced on Huntsman Corporation’s Advanced Technology Center, an L-shaped, 70,000-square-foot facility housing expensive equipment and research labs.

    Over the last few decades, computer and scientific innovations have evolved at a furious pace, with new technologies rapidly replacing only slightly older ones. In this race for the latest and greatest, it sometimes feels like the devices in our pockets and controlling our home stereos are from some virtual reality, while the building materials of our homes and workplaces are relics of a bygone age. But, looks can be deceiving, and the polyiso insulation industry is playing a role in evolving our built environment.

    For example, many commercial buildings seem only superficially different from those built a generation ago when seen from a distance. But, from behind the glass curtain walls and updated building amenities, we may not notice the disruptive technologies that have substantially improved building systems in recent years. Informed by sophisticated research and utilizing advanced components, cutting-edge building materials are thinner, stronger and more resilient than traditional products. Adopting them in both new construction and renovation can appreciably improve building performance, while also decreasing environmental impact. These products are particularly attractive to forward-looking companies interested in buildings that will prove cost-effective over the long term.

    A Case in Point

    When the Huntsman Corporation began considering facility improvements for its Huntsman Advanced Technology Center (HATC) in The Woodlands, Texas, they decided to embrace the most innovative materials available. This four-building campus, located about 35 miles north of Houston, serves as the company’s leading research and development facility in the Americas, so it is appropriate that it be built with products as advanced as the technology it houses. Replacing the aging PVC roof on Building 1 was a key element in this upgrade.

    After more than two decades of exposure to the Texas heat, the roof was approaching the end of its useful life. With expensive equipment and valuable research in labs throughout the building, Huntsman didn’t want to take any chances in modernizing the L-shaped, 70,000-square foot facility. With the added incentive of receiving the highest-level certification from its insurer, the company decided to remove and completely replace the existing roof with state-of-the-art materials.

    Commercial roofs in Texas are required to have an insulation R-value of 20 or higher, so simply replacing the existing membrane and lightweight insulating concrete on a metal deck that the building had used before with the same materials would not have sufficed. In addition, current codes which say that old roofs need to be brought up to current code when doing a tear-off job. After reviewing the options, they chose to install thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) membrane roofing over high-density polyiso cover board.

    The polyiso cover boards are lightweight and easy to cut, which reduces both time and labor costs for installation. They add strength and protection to a roofing system, enhancing the system’s long-term performance. They can be shipped with approximately three times more square feet per truckload than gypsum products, so fewer trucks are needed, leading to fuel and transportation savings. Plus, they can be cut without specialized tools and workers don’t have to worry about the dust that is created when sawing, as they would with other types of cover boards. And most importantly, these high-density boards are based on proven technology.

    A TPO membrane roof system was installed over high-density polyiso cover board.

    A TPO membrane roof system was installed over high-density polyiso cover board.


    Drawn to polyiso for its high R-value per inch of thickness, compressive strength, impressive fire-, wind- and moisture-resistance, long-term durability, and low environmental impact, Huntsman partnered with roof mechanics experienced in working with these materials and committed to both safety and quality.

    If the original installers of the previous roof 22-years earlier had witnessed this new project, they would have been amazed. Instead of hoisting heavy materials up ladders, pallets are deposited on the roof by crane. Boards are attached with fasteners and plates or foam adhesives to the deck, and robotic welders seal the seams in the TPO membrane.

    The new roof is resistant to ultraviolet, ozone and chemical exposure, which contributes to a lifespan of more than 20 years, while being virtually maintenance-free. Workers who access the roof to remove debris from the tall trees on the HATC campus can easily stay on the safety-taped walk pad areas. The roof materials are all recyclable later, leading to a very low environmental impact.

    Increasing the thermal resistance to an impressive R-21 for the combined roof system, the building now exceeds local, state and international building codes. This added insulation and the reflective white surface of the new roof are going to lower energy consumption and lead to greater indoor comfort and a decreased load on HVAC systems. The roof is much less susceptible to the mold, mildew, and will help prevent water from pooling and ponding as it did on the old roof.

    A new commercial roof is a substantial investment. Luckily, with all the cost savings inherent in both the installation process and the whole-life use of high-density polyiso cover boards, companies don’t have to forego state-of-the-art materials for financial reasons. Factoring in the ease of installation (from cutting to less dust) and weight of the cover boards, retrofitting an older building with updated roof systems can be a win-win for both clients and crews.

    PHOTOS: HUNTSMAN CORPORATION

    Residential Selling: Consider Color, Contractors!

    Mina Starsiak (left) and Karen E. Laine started their own company, Two Chicks and a Hammer, to tackle home restoration projects. The duo currently stars in the HGTV series “Good Bones.” Photo: Two Chicks and a Hammer.

    Mina Starsiak (left) and Karen E. Laine started their own company, Two Chicks and a Hammer, to tackle home restoration projects. The duo currently stars in the HGTV series “Good Bones.” Photo: Two Chicks and a Hammer.

    “You can be a more profitable, more well-liked contractor if you talk to your clients about color.”

    Those are the words of Karen E. Laine, the mother half of the mother-daughter team who started second careers rehabbing houses in their neighborhood near downtown Indianapolis. Laine and her daughter, Mina Starsiak, discovered they had a passion for home restoration and started their own company named Two Chicks and a Hammer. Laine and Starsiak also currently star in the HGTV series “Good Bones,” which chronicles their projects repairing and rehabbing houses. They shared their insights on exterior design and the importance of roof color with Roofing.

    Laine and Starsiak note that people have strong emotional connections to color. They often use color to express their personality in both the interior and the exterior of the house. Since the roof is such a prominent exterior component, figuring out how it plays into the home’s color palette is crucial.

    Residential roofing contractors can set themselves apart from the competition if they can help homeowners find the right color combination for their home, notes Laine. “If a contactor can say, ‘I see you have a yellow house and a bright red door. I have some roof choices that will go well with that, and allow you to make changes over time,’ your clients are going to think you are a genius.”

    Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak believe since the roof is such a prominent exterior component, figuring out how it plays into the home’s color palette is crucial. Their home in the Indianapolis area is shown here. Photo: Owens Corning.

    Karen E. Laine and Mina Starsiak believe figuring out how the roof plays into the home’s color palette is crucial. Their home in the Indianapolis area is shown here. Photo: Owens Corning.

    Laine urges contractors to make the most of expanded color choices in shingles available today. “If you are contractor, carry samples with you, walk outside the house and show them how the shingle is going to enhance the exterior appearance and the color of the house,” she says. “Because it’s not just one-dimensional color; shingles are multi-dimensional. Some of them have red, and brown, and yellow. Some have blue and brown and yellow. Looked at from a distance, you might not see those distinct colors, but they inform the color spectrum of the roof and how it looks with the house.”

    She also recommends using a paint fan to help determine colors for other elements of the home. “There are usually six colors on each blade of a paint fan,” says Laine. “The top one is the lightest and the bottom one is the darkest. If you’re not secure in your color choices, you can just pick the medium color in the paint fan for your siding, the darkest color in the paint fan for your door, and the lightest color for your trim. Then you are guaranteed that they are all going to coordinate, and you’re not going to have something in the end that clashes.”

    Others might want to consider contrasting colors. “If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, then pick out a different color for the door,” says Laine. “For each homeowner, it’s a very individual opportunity to be creative and see how color feels to you. And the great thing about the colored roofs out there is because of the way they are made, they complement a wide variety of color combinations on a house.”

    Taking the time to explore different roof colors gives the contractor the opportunity to connect with the customer and build trust. Starsiak recommends that contractors take advantage of online tools that can be customized to demonstrate the ways different colored shingles will look on the house. “You can scan in a picture of your house and see how different paint colors and roof colors would look in just a few minutes,” Starsiak says. “If you were thinking of painting your house a different color, you can see which roof would go with it. There are online tools for everything now.”

    The right color combination can also make a home easier to sell when the time comes. “From a real estate perspective, there are a lot of things that go into the first impression of the outside of the house, including the siding and the landscaping or lack thereof,” notes Starsiak. “A huge part of that initial impression is the roof, so you don’t want to miss that opportunity.”

    Laine agrees. “A prettier house is going to be easier to sell, and the dimension that a colored roof adds to a house makes it prettier,” Laine says. “Aesthetics are important. You have to consider color, all you contractors out there. Look at all that alliteration—consider color, contractors! That’s your title, right there. I’ll give you that for free—it’s not trademarked.”

    Karen E. Laine (left) and Mina Starsiak were on hand at the 2017 International Roofing Expo to offer design advice to show attendees. Photo: Chris King.

    Karen E. Laine (left) and Mina Starsiak were on hand at the Owens Corning booth during the 2017 International Roofing Expo to offer design advice to show attendees. Photo: Chris King.

    Contractors and Manufacturers Team Up to Make Life Better

    In a small town in Florida, a disabled Army vet received help when he was on the verge of losing his home because he couldn’t afford a new roof. In Kansas, proceeds from the raffle of a new home went to help fight childhood cancer. In Texas, victims of a damaging storm and unscrupulous swindlers had new roofs installed and their faith in people restored.

    In each case, Atlas Roofing and local contractors stepped in to nail shingles and improve people’s lives, just as they do across the nation on a regular basis.

    “A well-installed roof with quality roofing products can represent a big improvement in someone’s life,” says Kirk Villar, vice president of sales and marketing, roof shingles and underlayment at Atlas Roofing Corporation. “Shingles can help build communities, and we are proud to partner with roofing contractors to help make that happen.”

    Here are three stories of Atlas Roofing and local contractors making life better for people who needed help.

    Assisting a Veteran

    On a cul-de-sac in Ocoee, Fla., neighbors still take care of one another. Art Burkholder, a 74-year-old retired and disabled veteran, recently discovered that human kindness, compassion and charity are still alive and well in our world.

    Burkholder, a former Army sergeant, has lived in his home since 1989. He suffered a stroke in 1998 and a heart attack just two years later. Now Burkholder, who lives on a modest fixed income, is battling cancer.

    When Burkholder’s home insurance lapsed, he couldn’t get it renewed without having a new roof installed. And without insurance, his bank placed him into a state of forced foreclosure.

    He couldn’t afford to fix the roof, and he couldn’t afford to move. Burkholder received the foreclosure notice in August of 2016. In a panic, he finally went to neighbor Tami Kneidinger for help.

    Those who live on Burkholder’s street are like a close-knit family. Kneidinger, who lived next door to Burkholder for 15 years, and his other neighbors put together a GoFundMe campaign to raise the money needed to install a new roof. They wanted to keep him at home, near the people who care about him.

    The campaign raised about a third of what was needed to fix Burkholder’s roof—nowhere near the goal. So Kneidinger and another neighbor started writing letters asking for help.

    One of the letters came to the attention of Victor Osage of G & A Certified Roofing in Winter Park, Fla., and Colin Hobbs of Atlas Roofing, who agreed to supply Burkholder with 33 squares of shingles directly from Atlas.

    Osage and his G & A Roofing team replaced the roof in November 2016. The crew fixed several leaking deck boards, cut away low-lying tree branches and installed Atlas Pinnacle Pristine asphalt shingles and Summit 60 synthetic underlayment.

    “It was an honor to be able to do this for Mr. Burkholder,” Osage says. “He is a wonderful man and obviously loved by his entire neighborhood.”

    Thanks to G & A Certified Roofing and Atlas Roofing, together with Kneidinger and all of Burkholder’s generous neighbors, the Army vet is no longer facing foreclosure. “If it weren’t for Atlas, none of this would have worked out,” says Kneidinger.

    Keeping Dreams Alive

    Since 1962, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital has devoted itself to finding cures for diseases and treating sick children. Founded by stage and screen comedian Danny Thomas and two friends on the premise that “no child should die in the dawn of life,” discoveries at St. Jude’s have changed the way doctors treat children with childhood cancers and other life-threatening illnesses.

    As a nonprofit organization, St. Jude’s depends on events such as the Dream Home Giveaway for ongoing financial support. Held in 30 locations around the nation this year, the Dream Home Giveaway raffles off a new home built by contractors who donate time and materials to the project. Tickets are $100 each and only a limited number are sold in each city. All proceeds go to St. Jude.

    For the second consecutive year, the builder of the Dream Home, Nies Homes, has partnered with St. Jude to bring the successful fundraiser to Wichita, Kan. After selling more than 6,500 tickets in just six days for a total donation of $650,000 in 2016, Nies Homes was eager to do its part once again in 2017. This year’s goal was to sell 8,500 tickets at $100 apiece for a total donation of $850,000. The 3,814-square-foot Dream Home will be awarded in a live ceremony on May 17.

    Bella Bush, the face of Wichita’s St. Jude Dream Home, is a true example of determination and positivity in the face of almost insurmountable odds. At 18 months old, Bella was diagnosed with a tumor on her optic nerve. She had surgery, but doctors were only able to remove a quarter of the tumor because of its location. Had doctors removed the entire tumor, she would have been blind. Bella soon began her first round of chemotherapy, which lasted a full year, sending her cancer into remission.

    Unfortunately, in 2016, Bella’s family learned her tumor had returned. Just as Nies was breaking ground on Kansas’ first St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway house, Bella began treatment again and, despite several different types of chemo, the tumor continues to grow.

    Nies Homes Vice President Curtis Cowgill is inspired by Bella’s determination. “When you think about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and all it does to provide comfort to families and children facing the battle of their lives, it touches something in all of us,” Cowgill says.

    “We are honored to be a part of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway builder team. This home-building experience is a community effort,” he continues. “And it’s humbling to build a home together knowing the result will help ensure that the work of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital can continue, bringing smiles and care to its young patients and families while finding cures to end childhood cancer.”

    Dan Phillips, owner of R. Phillips Roofing Inc., has served the Wichita community for 36 years. After working on the first St. Jude Dream Home, Phillips was eager to participate again. Crews installed Atlas Summit 60 synthetic underlayment, followed by GlassMaster Performance Fiberglass Shingles. The roof was then capped with 50 squares of Pro-Cut Hip & Ridge shingles.

    The roof of the St. Jude home included all of the components to qualify for the Atlas Signature Select Roofing System. The premium protection period includes full system coverage, non-prorated labor and materials, and tear-off and disposal costs when needed.

    “The St. Jude Dream Home represents proof that good people can come together for something that is much bigger than any one of us,” Phillips says. “I made sure to get four of my best guys to lay down the roof in just over a day. We’re all very proud of the work we accomplished.”

    Atlas Roofing is proud to be part of St. Jude’s mission and congratulates Nies Homes and R. Phillips Roofing for their support of the St. Jude Dream Home. The quality roofing materials will help the home protect its occupants and also be a symbol of hope for children afflicted by serious illnesses.

    Righting Wrongs

    Tink and Bobbye Calfee were devastated when they realized they were victims of an $11,000 roofing scam. The couple put their trust in a contractor who took their money and promised to fix their roof after a series of storms ripped through their Conroe, Texas, neighborhood in May 2016.

    Today, the Calfees and other swindled homeowners in their neighborhood have new roofs over their heads thanks to Always Great Service (AGS) of Cypress, Texas, Atlas Roofing and StormScamHelp.com. The new roofs were provided to the homeowners free of charge.

    “My husband has heart trouble, and I thought he was going to have a heart attack worrying so about it,” Bobbye Calfee says. “It’s been marvelous that somebody came in and helped us.”

    Local media documented the homeowners’ plight and the assistance offered by StormScamHelp.com, a watchdog organization founded by Genesis Contractor Solutions (GCS), based in Englewood, Colo. GCS partnered with Atlas Roofing and AGS to put new roofs on each of the affected homes. Atlas Roofing donated the shingles while AGS provided the labor.

    Diane Peoples, Atlas Roofing’s marketing and communications manager, traveled to the community in Conroe and says “This was a coordinated effort to make things right and give back to the community.”

    Virginia Tech Study Measures the Impact of Membranes on the Surrounding Environment

    Equipment tripods are set up to hold air temperature and EMT temperature sensors.

    Equipment tripods are set up to hold air temperature and EMT temperature sensors.

    For much of the past decade, the debate over when and where to install reflective roofing has been guided by two basic assumptions: first, since white roofs reflect heat and reduce air conditioning costs, they should be used in hot climates. Second, since black membranes absorb heat, they should be used in cool-to-colder climates to reduce heating costs. This reasoning has been broadly accepted and even adopted in one of the most influential industry standards, ASHRAE 90.1, which requires reflective roofing on commercial projects in the warm-weather portions of the United States, Climate Zones 1–3.

    But as reflective membranes have become more widely used, there has been a growing awareness that the choice of roof color is not simply a matter of black or white. Questions continue to be debated not only about the performance and durability of the different types of membranes, but on the impact of other key components of the roof system, including insulation and proper ventilation. The issue of possible condensation in cooler or even cold climates is garnering more attention. Given these emerging concerns, the roofing community is beginning to ask for more detailed, science-based information about the impact of reflective roofing.

    One recent area of inquiry is centering on the impact of “the thermal effects of roof color on the neighboring built environment.” In other words, when heat is reflected off of a roofing surface, how does it affect the equipment and any other structures on that roof, and how might the reflected heat be impacting the walls and windows of neighboring buildings? Put another way, where does the reflected heat go?

    THE STUDY

    To help answer those questions, the Center for High Performance Environments at Virginia Tech, supported by the RCI Foundation and with building materials donated by Carlisle Construction Materials, designed and implemented a study to compare temperatures on the surface and in the air above black EPDM and white TPO membranes. In addition, the study compared temperatures on opaque and glazed wall surfaces adjacent to the black EPDM and white TPO, and at electrical metallic tubing (EMT) above them.

    Specifically, the Virginia Tech study was designed to answer the following questions:

    • What is the effect of roof membrane reflectivity on air temperatures at various heights above the roof surface?
    • What is the effect of roof membrane reflectivity on temperatures of EMT at various heights above the roof surface?
    • What is the effect of roof membrane reflectivity on temperatures of opaque wall surfaces adjacent and perpendicular to them?
    • What is the effect of roof membrane reflectivity on temperatures of glazed wall surfaces adjacent and perpendicular to the roof surface?

    To initiate the study, the Virginia Tech team needed to find an existing roof structure with the appropriate neighboring surfaces. They found a perfect location for the research right in their own backyard. The roof of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech was selected as the site of the experiment because it had both opaque and glazed wall areas adjacent to a low-slope roof. In addition, it featured safe roof access.

    In order to carry out the study, 1.5 mm of reinforced white TPO and 1.5 mm of non-reinforced black EPDM from the same manufacturer were positioned on the roof site. A 12-by-6-meter overlay of each membrane was installed adjacent to the opaque wall and a 6-by-6-meter overlay of each was installed next to the glazed wall. At each “location of interest”—on the EPDM, on the TPO, and next to the opaque and glazed walls—the researchers installed temperature sensors. These sensors were placed at four heights (8, 14, 23, and 86 centimeters), and additional sensors were embedded on the roof surface itself in the TPO and EPDM. Using these sensors, temperatures were recorded on bright, sunny days with little or no wind. The researchers controlled for as many variables as possible, taking temperature readings from the sensors on and above the EPDM and TPO on the same days, at the same time, and under the same atmospheric conditions.

    The roof of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech is the site of the experiment because it has opaque and glazed wall areas adjacent to a low-slope roof.

    The roof of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech is the site of the experiment because it has opaque and glazed wall areas adjacent to a low-slope roof.

    THE RESULTS

    The output from the sensors showed that at the surface of the roof, the black membrane was significantly hotter than the white membrane, and remained hotter at the measuring points of 8 cm and 14 cm (just over 3 inches and 5.5 inches, respectively). However, the air temperature differences at the sensors 23 centimeters (about 9 inches) and 86 centimeters (just under three feet) above the surface of the roof were not statistically significant. In other words, at the site the air temperature just above the white roof was cooler, but beginning at about 9 inches above the roof surface, there was no difference in the temperature above the white and black membranes.

    On the precast concrete panel adjacent to the TPO and EPDM, temperatures were warmer next to the TPO than adjacent to the EPDM, leading the study authors to hypothesize that the TPO reflected more heat energy onto the wall than did the EPDM. Exterior glazing surface temperatures were found to be approximately 2 degrees Celsius hotter adjacent to the TPO overlay as compared to the EPDM overlay.

    Elizabeth Grant led the team that designed and implemented the study. She says her findings show that you need to take the entire environment into account when designing a roof system. “You need to think about what’s happening on top of the roof,” she says. “Is it adjacent to a wall? Is it adjacent to windows? Is it going to reflect heat into those spaces?”

    Samir Ibrahim, director of design services at Carlisle SynTec, believes the study results will help frame additional research. “These findings are an important reminder that the full impact of reflective roofing on a building and on surrounding buildings is not fully understood,” he says. “Additional research and joint studies, covering different climatic conditions, are certainly warranted to broaden the knowledge and understanding of the true impact on the built-environment.”

    Mobile Technology Is Changing Online Marketing for Roofing Companies

    It seems like the Internet is changing every six months, doesn’t it? The moment you have a marketing strategy worked out, it is thrown into flux by another Google update or market trend.

    Right now, that market trend is toward mobile technology. This shouldn’t come as a shock. In fact, I bet you’ve checked your phone since you started reading this article, and we’re only four sentences in!

    Mobile technology has significantly changed the landscape of online marketing. More homeowners are using their mobile phones to search for roofing services than ever before. But between the rapid changes in homeowner behavior, the explosion of mobile devices and the intense local competition most roofing companies have, keeping up with the mobile world can seem daunting, if not impossible.

    Fear not! We are going to tackle the five ways mobile technology is changing the residential roofing business, and discuss how each one is going to help you win more business from online homeowners.

    1. MOBILE is no longer a millennial phenomenon. It was only a few years ago when we were shrugging off the mobile movement. Mobile obsession was primarily a thing for teens and twenty-somethings, right?

    Not anymore. Since mobile devices have become more affordable and accessible, homeowners of all ages are turning to their phones when they have an urgent need, such as a repair or roofing emergency. In fact, that is the first device they turn to.

    For homeowners over 50, mobile phones are the central device in their daily lives, and they are likely using them to make phone calls and submit web forms. And while home ownership among millennials is rising, a hefty number of leads tend to come from the 50-plus crowd. Adapting to mobile technology is going to help you drive leads across all demographics.

    2. GOOGLE has welcomed mobile with open arms. Google tells us that more than half of the queries on their search engine now come from mobile, and it is only going to increase. As a result, they have revamped their pay-per-click (PPC) advertising to reflect the immediacy of mobile searches. Folks at the top, as they say, get the best fruit.

    In PPC campaigns, roofing companies need to optimize for mobile. This requires more than checking the “Mobile” box in your ad campaign. You will want to use extensions that make it easier for homeowners to call from their mobile devices and determine how close you are to their location.

    Simply stated: homeowners are making their roofing choices at the top of Google’s mobile search pages. To get to the top, you need to have mobile-optimized ads that appeal to mobile users. Being at the top of the page is one of those lead drivers that growing roofing companies cannot do without.

    3. TAP-TO-CALL is exactly what homeowners are looking for. In the time-constrained world that we’re in, Google offers homeowners a number of specific roofing choices immediately. However, being at the top of the page means nothing if a person can’t get in touch with you.

    Homeowners with roofing needs want to resolve the issue as soon as possible. That’s why it’s important to have a tap-to-call option on your website pages and ads. But, that is only half the battle.

    In home improvement, excellent phone work is still necessary. There is nothing more frustrating to homeowners than going to a roofing contractor’s website, liking what they see, dialing the number … and then getting no answer. Or a long hold time. Or going straight to voicemail. Or not getting a prompt call back.

    All of these non-responses drive the homeowner to do the same thing: call your competitor.

    Mobile has made it easier than ever to go down a list, contacting company after company until they get a response. Roofing companies that want to grow and scale need to have tap-to-call options and strong phone practices to make the most of their mobile presence.

    4. RESPONSIVE WEBSITES are more than the future—they’re the industry standard. Mobile is now a fact of life for roofing companies. And if your company’s website requires customers to zoom in on teeny tiny letters, they’re going to get frustrated and move on.

    At the very least, every company needs to have a responsive website that accommodates all sizes and models of mobile phones. Responsive sites are Google-friendly and they display in ways that are easiest for homeowners to navigate and understand.

    If you’re not sure if your website is responsive, try to access the URL on your mobile phone. Can you see the words at a glance? Do you have to slide around to find a phone number? If so, you probably need to upgrade to a responsive design.

    Having a responsive website boosts your site’s usability, making it more likely that you’ll be there when a homeowner searches for roof replacement. Plus, customers in the 50-plus bracket will sincerely appreciate text that is easy to read.

    5. MOBILE WEB FORMS are your key to connection, so get it right. Homeowners are embracing web forms in greater and greater numbers. And it’s easy to see why. With busy routines and packed schedules, many homeowners simply have limited time to solve their roofing issues. A web form shows the homeowner how responsive you are and how much you value their inquiry.

    That is why more and more roofing businesses are turning to online appointment scheduling in their web forms. Letting the homeowner select an appointment time has a number of benefits. First, homeowners who can schedule their own appointments are far more likely to complete a web form. Second, it gives you a competitive advantage over other forms that do not offer scheduling. It’s simply more convenient and gives the homeowners a greater feeling of control.

    Also, self-schedulers are much less likely to become no-shows. As we all know, no-shows are frustrating, costly and a big headache. Letting the homeowner commit to a time that works also shows that your easy to work with and responsive to their needs.

    Lastly, web forms are a big hit with Millennials. The 35 and under crowd loves to schedule everything online— haircuts, spin classes, restaurant reservations, vacations, hotel stays. You name it, they are reserving it online. This, too, is becoming an ingrained behavior among the next generation of homeowners, so optimizing your web forms is going to become even more important in the years to come.

    Dominate the Mobile Market

    Many roofing companies are frustrated with the online world. Roofing is already a very local business, which makes it challenging to grow and expand. By embracing the mobile world, roofing companies can stand out and beat the competition. And for roofers looking for replacement leads, it’s 100 percent worth the time and expense to do it right.

    While the mobile world is complex and somewhat confusing, so is the rest of running a business. And I’m guessing your company is already doing that well. If you embrace these mobile trends, you’ll learn how to master them and drive more leads–and more business–to your company.

    Roof Restoration Project Keeps Rehab Facility Operating

    Skyline Roof Restoration

    Bill Steeves (left) and Steve Broda launched Skyline Roof Restoration, a company that specializes in restoring roofs with coatings.

    Rehabilitation facilities help their patients stay healthy. Keeping roofs healthy is another matter.

    When the roof at a rehabilitation center in Colorado was reaching the end of its service life, roofing contractor Bill Steeves recognized it was the perfect candidate for roof restoration project. Steeves is the president of Skyline Roof Restoration Inc., based in Frederick, Colo. The company specializes in roof coatings. It was launched last year by Steeves and his partner, Steve Broda. Broda is the founder of Skyline Roofing Inc., a full-service commercial roof contracting firm, also located in Frederick, where both men have worked since 2006.

    “We formed Skyline Roof Restoration as a vehicle to promote restoring roofs with coatings,” Steeves says. “We have both been involved with various coating projects in the past and wanted to offer our expertise to clients where restoration is their most prudent option.”

    In the Denver area, the coatings market is booming in part due to changes in local energy codes, notes Broda. Several municipalities have mandated with that a roof tear-off and replacement, the R-values in the roof have to be brought up to those for new construction. “It was becoming unaffordable for some people to do total roof replacement and upgrade to R-30 or R-38,” Broda says. “We needed another tool to provide them with a roofing option that was economical and did not force them to add the extra R-value to their roof systems.”

    In many cases, coating an existing membrane roof can be an excellent option. “It can save the customers a lot of money compared to a roof replacement, and depending on the system and the thickness, we can offer a 20-year NDL warranty,” Broda notes.

    Skyline Roof Restoration

    The Centre Avenue Health & Rehab project encompassed 21,863 square feet of low-slope roof on 10 separate roof levels. The low-slope sections were surrounded by a standing seam metal roof.

    According to Steeves and Broda, the key to the success of a roof restoration is making sure the underlying substrate is a good candidate for the coating. Skyline Roof Restoration will only authorize a coating project if it is the best option for the facility. “Steve and I have a combined 77 years of experience in commercial roofing, and there are very few scenarios we have not run across,” Steeves says. “We have both built very strong commercial companies based on return customers and referrals. We both really care about the final product, value to our customers, and the relationships we have developed over the years.”

    The Diagnosis

    Steeves had a hunch that the roof at the Centre Avenue Health & Rehab facility in Fort Collins might be reaching the end of its life span. “We have been doing all of the roofing work for Columbine Health Systems, the owner of Centre Avenue Health & Rehab, for more than seven years and have developed a great working relationship with the owner,” he says. “We had never been called to Centre Avenue for any leaks, but I knew the building was about 18 years old.”

    This aerial photo shows the Centre Avenue Heath & Rehab roof after the restoration process was completed.

    This aerial photo shows the Centre Avenue Heath & Rehab roof after the restoration process was completed.

    Steeves suggested it was time to conduct a roof inspection at Centre Avenue but was told to wait. Sure enough, the next time it rained, a leak was detected. When Steeves met his repair crew on the site, he noticed that the fully adhered EPDM roof system on the flat roof sections was just beginning to exhibit signs of oxidation. A few stress fractures were visible in the membrane. “It was a perfect candidate for a roof restoration,” he says.

    In a meeting with the owner, Steeves suggested the application of a high-solids silicone restoration system from GE Momentive. “I explained that the restoration process would, in effect, freeze the aging process of the EPDM by protecting it from further UV degradation,” Steeves says. “I had also, prior to our meeting, completed some research and found out that the local power company was offering a rebate for any Energy Star-qualified roof covering, which further reduced his total capital outlay.”

    When Steeves detailed the costs involved with the coating project as opposed to a tear-off and replacement, the owner gave him the go ahead on the roof restoration plan and opted for a 15-year NDL warranty.

    Broda and Steeves note that there are cases in which the existing roof is too far degraded to work well with a coating, and in those cases, the only viable option is a roof replacement. The silicone coating can be used on membranes including EPDM, TPO, PVC, modified bitumen and smooth built-up roofs, as well as metal. “It works with all types of membranes, but you have to catch these roofs before the end of their serviceable life,” says Broda. “They have to have some life left in them to coat them. If we are not comfortable putting a coating on a roof, we won’t do it.”

    Often all that is needed is minor repair of wall flashings, curb flashings and penetrations. Wet insulation is another problem to look out for. “We’ll do an infrared scan of the roof before we coat it to make sure we don’t have any wet insulation in there.”

    Every proposal is also contingent on a successful adhesion test. A sample area is set up and a pullout test is conducted to determine if the product will adhere well.

    Photos: Skyline Roof Restoration Inc.

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