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 Building 1, an L-shaped, 70,000-square–foot facility housing expensive equipment and research labs.

The roof was replaced on Building 1, 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

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.”

Dallas Roofing Contractor Partners with Habitat for Humanity to Repair and Replace Roofs for Deserving Homeowners

Chris Zazo, CEO of Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, Dallas, established the non-profit Roof Angels, which repairs and/or replaces up to 30 roofs per year through Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness program.

Chris Zazo, CEO of Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, Dallas, established the non-profit Roof Angels, which repairs and/or replaces up to 30 roofs per year through Habitat for Humanity’s A Brush with Kindness program.

Chris Zazo is a CEO who sees opportunity everywhere. When he needed a corporate gift idea to give to hail-restoration customers of his commercial roofing business, Dallas-based Aspenmark Roofing & Solar, he established Hailstone Vineyards in Napa Valley, Calif., and now makes his own cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.

While considering how to differentiate Aspenmark Roofing & Solar from its competitors in a market that has no licensing, Zazo embraced community service. “I wanted to find a way to better our industry and really take the sting off the title of ‘roofing contractor,’” he says. “We were getting asked every year by this charity and that organization to support their causes‚ which we were happy to do. Then we got involved doing the new-build roofs for Dallas Habitat for Humanity and really rallied around that organization.”

To differentiate his firm’s charitable work from its for-profit work, Zazo officially established the non-profit Roof Angels in 2013, but he couldn’t quiet his entrepreneurial spirit. He wondered how he could involve the entire roofing industry in community service. “I really wanted to put together a program for the industry,” he explains. “I wanted to get the manufacturers and distributors involved, get our employees involved and create a model in which if we took it to a national organization it could be replicated anywhere in the United States. I dug a little further and found out Habitat has a program called A Brush with Kindness, which is perfect for this idea.”

Although the homes chosen for restoration are usually small, Zazo says they often have extensive damage and four or five layers of shingles.

Although the homes chosen for restoration are usually small, Zazo says they often have extensive damage and four or five layers of shingles.

A Brush with Kindness is Habitat for Humanity’s home-repair program for owners who are struggling to maintain their homes. The program seeks $10,000 donations to support one family’s home repairs. “When we found out about this program, we jumped in and asked, ‘What if we [Aspenmark Roofing & Solar] took the roof off of your hands?’” Zazo recalls. “The roof is usually about 50 to 70 percent of the budget for the home repairs, so, without it in the budget, A Brush with Kindness could do much more to a deserving family’s home. I reached out to GAF to see if they’d donate the shingles. I called SRS Distribution to see if they’d donate the accessory items and delivery. Then all we had to do was raise money for the labor. We proposed this model to Habitat and they said, ‘We love it. When can you start?’”

FUNDRAISING

A Brush with Kindness’ representatives asked Roof Angels and its partners, Parsippany, N.J.-based GAF and McKinney, Texas-based SRS Distribution, to repair and/or replace up to 30 roofs per year. In the beginning, Zazo hadn’t thought through the fundraising part of Roof Angels, so he was often paying his crews for these roof installations out of his own pocket. He started holding Happy Hours and other small events in which he could quickly raise a few thousand dollars.

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Roofing Contractor Brings Community Together to Help Homeowners in Need

Gwen Maechling

Gwen Maechling of Professional Restoration and APEX Home Solutions rallied members of the greater St. Louis community to help a family in desperate need of a new roof.

There is an old saying that goes, “A good deed is its own reward.” Sometimes one good deed can lead to another with amazing results. This is one of those stories. In the end, members of the greater St. Louis community came together to achieve something that once looked almost impossible: helping neighbors restore their home.

The community service project was spearheaded by Gwen Maechling. Maechling has been passionate about construction since her first project, a custom home she helped build in the St. Louis area when she was just 20 years old. “I was out there every single second during construction,” she recalls. “It was so exciting. It was different than any job I’d ever done. It just lit a fire in me. I’d been searching for that passion, and I found it.”

She later moved to Florida, earned her real-estate license and worked on several residential development projects. When she returned to the St. Louis area, she took a job selling residential roofing, siding and gutters for a company specializing in storm restoration work. She now manages production and sales training for another storm restoration company, Professional Restoration in St. Charles, Mo. She also is the owner and founder of St. Louis-based APEX Home Solutions, which handles residential roofing and remodeling projects.

A CHANCE ENCOUNTER

Maechling has overseen so many roofing projects in Glendale, Mo., that one realtor jokingly refers to it as “Gwendale.” In February 2014, she was working on a roofing project there and saw an elderly couple taking advantage of a break in the winter weather to rake leaves. She noticed the gutters were overflowing with leaves and debris, and she brought over a ladder and offered to clean the gutters out.

AFTER: Professional Restoration donated the labor to install the new roofing and siding.

AFTER: Professional Restoration donated the labor to install the new roofing and siding.

As she spoke with the couple, Charles and Jennie Blank, she realized they were both hearing impaired. At first, communicating was a bit difficult, but Maechling realized they could read lips very well, and they indicated they did not want any help. Maechling persisted, and while cleaning the gutters she noticed the home was in need of several repairs. The roof was old and leaking in several places, and the soffits, fascia board and window sills were rotting. The old three-tab shingles and siding showed evidence of extensive hail damage. “It was one of the worst homes I’ve seen,” she remembers.

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RICOWI Provides Unbiased Research on Recent Hail Damage

Each time weather reports and news stories warn of impending heavy rains and hail, the Hail Investigation Program (HIP) Committee of the Roofing Industry Committee on Weather Issues (RICOWI) Inc., Clinton, Ohio, begins a process to determine whether the hail damage is sufficient to meet the HIP requirements for deployment of volunteer research teams.

Before the daily assignments began, the volunteers reviewed the various research requirements, met their team members and learned their responsibilities.

Before the daily assignments began, the volunteers reviewed the various research requirements, met their team members and learned their responsibilities.

Mobilization criteria is met when “An event is identified as a hailstorm with hail stones greater than 1 1/2 inches in diameter causing significant damage covering an area of 5 square miles or more on one of the target- ed areas.” Once a storm that meets the criteria has been confirmed and meteorological data and local input have been obtained by HIP, a conference call with RICOWI’s Executive Committee is held to discuss HIP’s recommendation and review information. The Executive Committee decides whether to deploy.

On April 11, 2016, the hailstorm that damaged the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex met the requirements for mobilization.

RESEARCH TEAMS AND BUILDINGS

Volunteer recruitment is an ongoing process throughout the year. RICOWI members are encouraged to volunteer as a deployment team member by completing forms online or at HIP committee meetings held twice a year in conjunction with RICOWI seminars and meetings.

Once a deployment is called, an email is sent to RICOWI members to alert the volunteers and encourage new volunteers. RICOWI sponsoring organizations also promote the investigation to their memberships. Volunteers are a mixture of new and returning personnel.

On May 2, 2016, 30 industry professionals traveled from across the U.S. to assemble in Texas. These volunteers were alerted to bring their trucks, ladders and safety equipment. To provide an impartial review, 10 teams of three volunteers were balanced with roofing material representatives, roofing consultants or engineers, meteorologists, contractors and researchers. Team members volunteered to be their team’s photographer, data collector or team leader.

When the deployment was called, press releases were sent to various media in the Dallas/Fort Worth area to alert local companies and homeowners of the research investigation. RICOWI staff began making calls immediately to the local area’s government officials to seek approval for the investigation teams to conduct research. Staff also made calls throughout the research week to help identify additional buildings.

A large area in and around Wylie, Texas, had hail as large as 4 inches in diameter.

A large area in and around Wylie, Texas, had hail as large as 4 inches in diameter.

Several methods are used to help determine which areas and roofs are chosen. A list of building permits were provided to RICOWI by local building officials to assist with roof choice. In addition, one of RICOWI’s members from the area did preliminary research and provided addresses for the teams. These site owners were contacted through phone and email to notify them of the research project.

Teams were assigned low- or steep- slope research and were assigned addresses accordingly. Team members carried copies of the press release and additional information to help introduce the investigation to business owners and homeowners.

Ultimately, the objective of the re- search project in Dallas/Fort Worth included the following:

  • Investigate the field performance of roofing assemblies after this major hail event.
  • Factually describe roof assembly performance and modes of damage.
  • Formally report the results for substantiated hail events.

DAY-TO-DAY DUTIES

Before the daily assignments began, the volunteers reviewed the various research requirements, met their team members and learned their responsibilities. The teams were briefed on safety, how to take proper photos and how to capture important data.

As each day began, a briefing was held providing assignments for the day. This included addresses for investigation based on whether the team was focused on low- or steep-slope research. The teams were encouraged to stop at other homes and facilities that were undergoing roof repairs in addition to their assigned inspections.

The days were hot and long for the teams. Volunteers began each day at 8 a.m. and many did not return until 5 or 6 p.m., depending on the number of roofs they were assigned. The temperature during the day was around 80 F and humid; the temperatures on the roofs were much worse.

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A Roofer’s Guide to Lightning Protection

Your roof is not only a weather barrier, it is a work platform for other trades, including lightning-protection installers. Understanding a few basics about lightning protection will simplify job-site coordination and lead to more successful projects.

Lightning protection installers are highly trained craftsmen. Like roofers, they work exposed to the weather and often at dangerous heights.

Lightning protection installers are highly trained craftsmen. Like roofers, they work exposed to the weather and often at dangerous heights.

Lightning protection systems (LPS) are increasingly being used to enhance building resilience to natural disasters. More architects are specifying them because climate change is increasing the frequency of lightning strikes, and the growing use of electronic devices in buildings make them vulnerable to lightning surges.

Lightning protection installers are among the first trades on a job site and one of the last to leave; grounding may have to be installed simultaneously with foundations and final connections cannot be made until all building systems are in place.

The Maryville, Mo.-based Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) has certification programs for journeymen and master installers. An advanced Master Installer/Designer certificate is also available; it is crucial because project architects typically delegate design authority to the lightning protection contractor. The installer/designer must then meet stringent standards issued by the Quincy, Mass.-based National Fire Protection Association; Northbrook, Ill.-based UL LLC; and LPI.

COMPONENTS

Most of an LPS is below roof level. The most obvious above-roof components are air terminals, formerly called lightning rods. They must be located at the highest points on a roof. Depending on the building’s size and configuration, additional air terminals are required around the roof perimeter at intervals not exceeding 20 feet, within the field of the roof, on rooftop equipment and as dictated by the standards. Air terminals can be as slender as 3/8-inch diameter and as short as 10-inches tall; larger ones can be used for decorative purposes or to meet special requirements. While most air terminals now have blunt tips, pointed ones are still encountered and can be a hazard to the unwary.

Air terminals are interconnected by conductors—typically multi-strand cables that can safely carry up to 3 million volts of lightning to ground. Conductors must also be used to bond rooftop equipment and metal components to ground. In most buildings, through-roof penetrations are required so the down conductors can be run inside the structure; the penetrations can be sealed with typical flashing details. If conductors are exposed to view, they should be located in the least conspicuous locations and follow the building’s architectural lines.

Every wire entering the building must have a surge-protective device on it, and these are sometimes mounted above the roof. A variety of mounting devices, connectors, fasten- ers and adhesives are also required. All LPS components should be listed by UL specifically for lightning protection.

LPS components are typically cop- per or aluminum. To prevent galvanic action with roofing and flashings, copper components should be used with copper roofing and aluminum components with steel or aluminum roofing.

Cables interconnect the air terminals (on top of the parapet) to roof penetration (foreground) and other metal items, such as the rooftop exhaust fans and their anchorage points. Interconnections are vital to the function of the lightning protection system.

Cables interconnect the air terminals (on top of the parapet) to roof penetration (foreground) and other metal items, such as the rooftop exhaust fans and their anchorage points. Interconnections are vital to the function of the lightning protection system.

CONSTRUCTION

Before getting on the job, the roofer, LPS installer, and general contractor should agree on project schedule and roof access, as well as review proposed locations of lightning protection components. Penetrations, especially, should be located and marked prior to roofing so they can be found afterward.

The roofing manufacturer should be consulted for its recommendations. Adhesives, for example, must be compatible with the roofing, and some manufacturers require an extra layer of membrane under attachment points.

For added assurance, the building owner should have UL or LPI Inspection Service inspect the job and certify the LPS was properly installed.

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Denver International Airport Is Reroofed with EPDM after a Hailstorm

The millions of passengers who pass through Denver International Airport each year no doubt have the usual list of things to review as they prepare for a flight: Checked baggage or carry-on? Buy some extra reading material or hope that the Wi-Fi on the plane is working? Grab
a quick bite before takeoff or take your chances with airline snacks?

The storm created concentric cracks at the point of hail impacts and, in most cases, the cracks ran completely through the original membrane.

The storm created concentric cracks at the point of hail impacts and, in most cases, the cracks ran completely through the original membrane.

Nick Lovato, a Denver-based roofing consultant, most likely runs through a similar checklist before each flight. But there’s one other important thing he does every time he walks through DIA. As he crosses the passenger bridge that connects the Jeppeson Terminal to Gate A, he always looks out at the terminal’s roof and notices with some pride that it is holding up well. Fifteen years ago, after a hailstorm shredded the original roof on Denver’s terminal building, his firm, CyberCon, Centennial, Colo., was brought in as part of the design team to assess the damage, assist in developing the specifications and oversee the installation of a new roof that would stand up to Denver’s sometimes unforgiving climate.

HAIL ALLEY

DIA, which opened in 1995, is located 23 miles northeast of the metropolitan Denver area, on the high mountain desert prairie of Colorado. Its location showcases its spectacular design incorporating peaked tent-like elements on its roof, meant to evoke the nearby Rocky Mountains or Native American dwellings or both. Unfortunately, this location also places the airport smack in the middle of what is known as “Hail Alley”, the area east of the Rockies centered in Colorado, Nebraska and Wyoming. According to the Silver Spring, Md.- based National Weather Service, this area experiences an average of nine “hail days” a year. The reason this area gets so much hail is that the freezing point—the area of the atmosphere at 32 F or less—in the high plains is much closer to the ground. In other words, the hail doesn’t have time to thaw and melt before it hits the ground.

Not only are hail storms in this area relatively frequent, they also produce the largest hail in North America. The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, Greenwood Village, Colo., says the area experiences three to four hailstorms a year categorized as “catastrophic”, causing at least $25 million in damage. Crops, commercial buildings, housing, automobiles and even livestock are at risk.

Statistically, more hail falls in June in Colorado than during any other month, and the storm that damaged DIA’s roof followed this pattern. In June 2001, the hailstorm swept over the airport. The storm was classified as “moderate” but still caused extensive damage to the flat roofs over Jeppesen Terminal and the passenger bridge. (It’s important to note that the storm did not damage the renowned tent roofs.) The airport’s original roof, non-reinforced PVC single-ply membrane, was “shredded” by the storm and needed extensive repair. Lovato and his team at CyberCon assessed the damage and recommended changes in the roofing materials that would stand up to Colorado’s climate. Lovato also oversaw the short-term emergency re- pairs to the roof and the installation of the new roof.

The initial examination of the roof also revealed that the existing polystyrene rigid insulation, ranging in thickness from 4 to 14 inches, was salvageable, representing significant savings.

The initial examination of the roof also revealed that the existing polystyrene rigid insulation, ranging in thickness from 4 to 14 inches, was salvageable, representing significant savings.

Under any circumstances, this would have been a challenging task. The fact that the work was being done at one of the busiest airports in the world made the challenge even more complex. The airport was the site of round-the-clock operations with ongoing public activity, meaning that noise and odor issues needed to be addressed. Hundreds of airplanes would be landing and taking off while the work was ongoing. And three months after the storm damaged the roof in Denver, terrorists attacked the World Trade Center, making security concerns paramount.

INSPECTION AND REROOFING

Lovato’s inspection of the hail damage revealed the extent of the problems with the airport roof. The original PVC membrane, installed in 1991, was showing signs of degradation and premature plasticizer loss prior to being pummeled by the June 2001 storm. The storm itself created concentric cracks at the point of hail impacts and, in most cases, the cracks ran completely through the membrane. In some instances, new cracks developed in the membranes that were not initially visible following the storm. The visible cracks were repaired immediately with EPDM primer and EPDM flashing tape until more extensive repairs could begin. Lovato notes that while nature caused the damage to DIA, nature was on the roofing team’s side when the repairs were being made: The reroofing project was performed during a drought, the driest in 50 years, minimizing worries about leaks into the terminal below and giving the construction teams almost endless sunny days to finish their job.

The initial examination of the roof also revealed that the existing polystyrene rigid insulation, ranging in thickness from 4 to 14 inches, was salvageable, representing significant savings. Although a single-ply, ballasted roof was considered and would have been an excellent choice in other locations, it was ruled out at the airport given that the original structure was not designed for the additional weight and substantial remediation at the roof edge perimeter possibly would have been required.

Lovato chose 90-mil black EPDM membrane for the new roof. “It’s the perfect roof for that facility. We wanted a roof that’s going to perform. EPDM survives the best out here, given our hailstorms,” he says. A single layer of 5/8-inch glass-faced gypsum board with a primed surface was installed over the existing polystyrene rigid insulation (secured with mechanical fasteners and metal plates) to provide a dense, hail-resistant substrate for the new membrane.

In some areas adjacent to the airport’s clerestory windows, the membrane received much more solar radiation than other areas of the roof.

In some areas adjacent to the airport’s clerestory windows, the membrane received much more solar radiation than other areas of the roof.

In some areas adjacent to the airport’s clerestory windows, the membrane received much more solar radiation than other areas of the roof. When ambient temperatures exceeded 100 F, some melting of the polystyrene rigid insulation occurred. “That section of the roof was getting double reflection,” Lovato points out. To reduce the impact of this reflection, the roof was covered with a high-albedo white coating, which prevented any further damage to the top layer of the polystyrene rigid insulation board and also met the aesthetic requirements of the building.

LONG-TERM SOLUTION

Lovato’s observations about the durability of EPDM are backed up by field experience and controlled scientific testing. In 2005, the EPDM Roofing Association, Washington, D.C., commissioned a study of the impact of hail on various roofing membranes. The study, conducted by Jim D. Koontz & Associates Inc., Hobbs, N.M., showed EPDM outperforms all other available membranes in terms of hail resistance. As would be expected, 90-mil membrane offers the highest resistance against punctures. But even thinner 45-mil membranes were affected only when impacted by a 3-inch diameter ice ball at 133.2 feet per second, more than 90 mph—extreme conditions that would rarely be experienced even in the harshest climates.

Lovato travels frequently, meaning he can informally inspect the DIA roof at regular intervals as he walks through the airport. He’s confident the EPDM roof is holding up well against the Denver weather extremes, and he’s optimistic about the future. With justified pride, Lovato says, “I would expect that roof to last 30-plus years.”

PHOTOS: CyberCon

Roof Materials

90-mil Non-reinforced EPDM: Firestone Building Products
Gypsum Board: 5/8-inch DensDeck Prime from Georgia-Pacific
Plates and Concrete Fasteners: Firestone Building Products
White Elastomeric Coating: AcryliTop from Firestone Building Products
Existing Polystyrene: Dow

Hiring Our Heroes Helps Veterans Find Employment in Roofing and Other Industries

When Grant Smith returned from active duty as a U.S. Infantryman in the Marine Corps, he was concerned about finding a job. He had been in the military since the age of 18 and, having been a rifleman, he did not believe he had any marketable skills that would lead him to a job with a future. Smith’s sergeant told him about a trade fair in Columbus, Ohio, in which potential employers would be available to interview veterans for a variety of jobs in the area. At the trade fair, Smith met Chad Muth, president of Muth & Co. Roofing, Westerville, Ohio, and was hired as an installer in the spring of 2013.

Fast-forward two years and Smith is now a field supervisor.

It was a win-win for Smith and Muth, and it was all thanks to the Hiring Our Heroes program.

HELPING VETERANS

Grant Smith (middle), a former U.S. Infantryman in the Marine Corps, was hired as an installer by Muth & Co. Roofing, Westerville, Ohio, through Hiring Our Heroes. Just two years later, he is a field supervisor.

Grant Smith (middle), a former U.S. Infantryman in the Marine Corps, was hired as an installer by Muth & Co. Roofing, Westerville, Ohio, through Hiring Our Heroes. Just two
years later, he is a field supervisor.


Hiring Our Heroes is a national initiative administered by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Washington, D.C. Its mission is to help veterans, active service members and their spouses transition back into the workforce through a series of hiring fairs held throughout the country, as well as through an online process. To date, more than 850 fairs have been held with 35,000 employers participating, including businesses of all sizes, as well as government and nonprofits. The program also offers employment workshops, résumé reviews and career coaching.

The initiative began four years ago as a response to the gap between businesses looking for skilled workers and those returning from the military with no idea where to look for employment. Job seekers and potential employers may attend hiring fairs at no charge.

“That is one thing that makes the program stand out and makes it so successful—small- and medium-sized businesses can come. A lot don’t have recruiters or HR, but they want to hire a vet, a quality worker,” says Kim Morton, communications manager for Hiring Our Heroes.

Though the numbers are not updated daily, Morton says her team has been able to track 25,000 hires made through the hiring fairs, and those are only from employers reporting back to the program.

The draw for employers is multifold. “Most employers are there because they know they’re going to get a quality employee,” Morton notes. “[Veterans] have had years of discipline and dedication. They know how to stay until the job is done and know how to problem solve; that is the No. 1 skill employers are looking for.”

In addition, Morton adds, veterans know how to work in flexible and uncertain conditions and can be resourceful to get the job done. “Once [a company] hires a vet, they want more, so we see employers coming time and time again,” she says.

Although the fairs are open to veterans of any era, Morton says the majority who attend are post-9/11 vets because their unemployment rate consistently has been higher than the national unemployment average. “For veterans under age 25, those numbers are closer to 20 percent. Those are the ones we see come to events the most,” Morton states.

In addition to in-person fairs, employers and veterans can find each other via online tools, such as a jobs portal and an employer best practices site, within the Hiring Our Heroes website. “Our goal is to ensure veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses are able to utilize our resources to connect with employers no matter where they are in the world,” Morton remarks.

PHOTO: MUTH & CO. ROOFING

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A Review of Slate Roofs: Design and Installation Manual

The Fair St. Christian Church, Springfield, Ohio, features North Country Black, Vermont Unfading Green and Vermont Unfading Red.

The Fair St. Christian
Church, Springfield, Ohio,
features North Country Black, Vermont Unfading Green and Vermont Unfading Red.

Over the years, I have read every slate and sheet-metal book I have been able to get my hands on. The National Slate Association’s Slate Roofs: Design and Installation Manual, 2010 edition, is by far the most comprehensive and practically designed slate roofing book I have read. As a slate roofing contractor, I recognize the value of the information being put forth in this book. It is loaded with information, ranging from the basic characteristics of slate through some of the most complex installation details relating to slate roofing and affiliated sheet-metal details. The details are designed to match the intended life cycle of a slate roof, which should last a century or more with proper care.

Too often I see architectural details that are over- or under-designed. If they are over-designed, the result is likely a much higher price for the building owner. Also, over-designed roofs many times have the unintended consequence of failing prematurely. On paper, the detail looks like it will last a lifetime but experience shows some of these details just will not work in the field. Under-designed roofs just cannot stand up to the 100-year life cycle of a slate roof. The details the NSA brings forth in this publication have been time-tested and provide a standard way for designers to create a roof design that will stand the test of time.

I believe if this book can become the standard from which all slate roof installers, designers and building owners can work, then we will all win. When the details are correct the first time around, the building owner will end up with the best roof possible without a bloated budget caused by inefficient design; the designer does not end up with a strained relationship with the contractor and building owner because of poor design; and the contractor is able to correctly install a long-lasting slate roof and create another satisfied customer.

The 2010 NSA manual has become the main source of information for slate roofing for my roofing company.