Seal of Approval: How to Make the Most of Asphalt-shingle Sealants

Extreme weather events, such as the wide temperature swings during the recent winter and hurricanes that afflict coastal regions, have increased consumer demand for reliable and high-performance roofs. Asphalt-shingle roofs have been proven to provide the protection homeowners need, thanks to the material’s durability and longevity.

Many asphalt shingles rely on built-in sealants to provide a solid installation. This sealant material is an asphalt-based, heat-activated, viscous bonding material, which retains adhesion in difficult weather conditions, after the initial bonding of the shingles has occurred. The sealant will fuse the asphalt shingles together when each course is properly attached to the roof deck and previous courses.

IMAGE: Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association

Click to view a larger version of this image. IMAGE: Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association

The bonding sealant is factory-applied on the front or back side of the shingle, depending on the manufacturer’s design. Heat from the sun activates and softens the sealant, initiating the bonding process. After the bonding of the shingle sealant, the shingles provide a home with superior wind-resistance.

If not installed correctly, the sealant will not be able to do its job, which could result in shingle blow-offs and other performance issues. For the roofer, shingles that are not properly installed and allowed to bond could mean an unwanted call back to the job site. The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) recommends contractors follow these essential steps to ensure asphalt shingles are installed properly the first time and that sealant adhesion is not impeded:

Scheduling: If an asphalt-shingle installation takes place in cold or windy weather, it could impact the ability of the sealant to cure. The sealant cannot bond in cold weather, and the wind could shift the shingles and break the bond before it has a chance to complete the process. Follow manufacturer instructions for cold-weather installation or plan for projects when weather conditions are more suitable.

Roof Deck: Making sure the substrate and roof deck are not damaged or deteriorated is key to maximizing the potential of the asphalt-shingle sealant. If these elements are overlooked, the shingles will not have a solid base for fastener attachment, and the sealant between the shingles could be less effective.

Underlayment: Proper installation of an approved underlayment will provide the appropriate surface for shingle installation and will help manage water. Ice-barrier underlayment materials, compliant with ASTM D 1970, are recommended for use in northern climates where accumulation of snow or ice on the roof is likely. The ice shield provides extra protection from the potential for water damage; this is especially important on reroofs of older homes where the placement or quantity of attic insulation allows heat to flow to the roof.

Accessories: Roofing accessories, such as flashings at penetrations, valleys and changes in direction of the roof, are essential to making sure the sealant can do its job. Roofers should select approved accessories, whether they are drip edges, ridge vents or other architectural details.

Nailing: The actual attachment of the asphalt shingles is where a roofer has the most control over the installation process. It is important to make sure shingles are attached to the deck with the proper type, size and quantity of nails, as well as in the precise location required. Make sure the nails are in the right place by driving them in the indicated “nailing zone.” Always ensure nails used in laminated shingles are driven through the double-thickness overlap area.

Selecting a shingle that meets or exceeds wind-speed requirements in local building codes will help a roof covering withstand windstorms and protect a home. Further, roofers should always follow all building codes and manufacturer installation requirements for shingle applications.

Asphalt shingles are manufactured to provide homeowners with beautiful, affordable and reliable protection for their homes. It is up to the installer to ensure the sealants can do their job by making sure other facets of the proper installation process are followed.

GAF Roofs Recognized in ARMA’s 2014 Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study Program

Three GAF roofs were recognized in ARMA’s (the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association’s) 2014 Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study (QARC) program. The QARC program seeks to recognize industry professionals who use asphaltic roofing and to document successful projects that illustrate the benefits of asphalt roofing systems.

Winning the Gold award was Doral City Hall, submitted by Precision Roofing Corp. of Miami. The built-up roofing project tasked the contractor with performing a complex roofing job under tight government scrutiny while protecting the building’s assets, reducing costs, and assuring roof longevity. In addition, Precision Roofing was mandated to install an energy-efficient roof system using a cap sheet that exceeds the reflectance requirements of ENERGY STAR, Title 24 and the Miami 21 Initiative. The project featured multiple roof areas, including a portion over lightweight insulating concrete using the GAFGLAS Stratavent Eliminator Nailable Venting Base Sheet, three plies of premium glass ply, and the hot-mopped EnergyCap BUR cap sheet. This premium roof system features high reflectivity, meets the latest building code standards, and offers reliable and redundant protection for this important government facility.

This year’s Silver award-winning project was completed by Advanced Roofing Inc. of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on a high-profile Publix grocery store. As a Publix Corporate preferred roofing contractor, Advanced Roofing was chosen from more than 200 other bidders for this new construction roofing project. The 60,000-square-foot roof consists of three plies of Type 6 hot-mopped roofing felt followed by one ply of Ruberoid PRF modified bitumen fire-rated cap sheet, and then coated with a white/gray striped design. The coating added reflective performance and an aesthetic design, offering Publix the extra protection of a four-ply asphalt roofing system that features both durability and sustainability. In fact, Publix Corporate uses asphalt-based roofing for 90 percent of its properties, and this roof was the 70th new roof installed by Advanced Roofing Inc. for the grocery store chain since 1996.

Achieving Honorable Mention in the 2014 ARMA QARC contest was The Luzerne County Courthouse in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., submitted by Mark J. Sobeck Roof Consulting Inc. The decision to go with GAF’s Monaco roofing shingles in Venetian Coral was based on the County’s desire to re-create the look of the original building’s European clay tile while saving up to 70 percent of the cost of the original roof. The asphalt roofing shingles were also chosen for their durability, impact resistance, and ability to hold up to roof traffic compared with the original barrel-shaped Spanish tile. Not only has this roof become the talk of the town of Wilkes-Barre, it also met the four key criteria specified by the County and the roof consultant: durability, aesthetics, reliability, and cost.

“These three award-winning projects are great examples of how asphalt-based roofing can do it all—on low- and steep-slope roofs for a variety of clients,” says Lynn Picone, director of inside sales at GAF. “The roofing industry is indebted to ARMA and its leadership for following through on yet another successful QARC program. This case study program provides all industry professionals the opportunity to share good roofing practices and have their efforts recognized by ARMA’s panel of judges.”

Asphalt Roofing Projects Awarded for Sustainable Use and Beautiful Design

What do one of the largest independent supermarket chains, a local government city hall and historic mansion all have in common? An understanding and appreciation of the value provided by asphaltic roofing. From shingles to BUR to modified bitumen, these systems provided beautiful, affordable and reliable performance to the winners of the 2014 Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study Awards (QARC) program.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) bestowed the Gold Award to Precision Roofing Corp. for Doral City Hall, located in a city that was incorporated just a decade ago; the Silver Award to Advanced Roofing Inc. for a newly constructed Publix supermarket in Miami; and the Bronze Award to Certified Inc. for the Phelps Mansion, which was built in 1888 and was home to Mayor Edward Phelps, best known for bringing electric street lights, a telephone system and a Washington, D.C., railroad connection to his hometown of Laurel, Md. In addition to the three QARC winners, a series of projects were also recognized with honorable mentions.

For each of the winning projects, the asphalt roofing system played an important role; whether it was to add multiply redundancy to ensure the safety of employees and shoppers alike, meet requirements set by a historic commission that requested a product that imitated slate, or to surpass energy-efficiency standards established by the local building code.

“Asphalt roofing’s beauty and reliability contributed to making each of these distinct projects a success,” says Reed Hitchcock, executive vice-president for ARMA. “Property owners look to asphalt roofing for aesthetic designs and durable, long-lasting protection. Asphalt roofing provides the adaptability they need, evident by its use in the QARC award-winning projects.”

The annual QARC Awards program honors the architects, contractors and specifiers who use asphaltic roofing materials on low-slope and steep-slope building projects. Each year, the program reveals the most exceptional residential and commercial roofing projects from across North America. The 2014 award recipients are:

    Gold
    Project Name: Doral City Hall
    Doral, Fla.
    Company: Precision Roofing Corp.
    Project description: The roofing system consisted of multiple roof areas, including three plies of premium glass ply and an energy-efficient cap sheet that exceeded the reflectance requirements of ENERGY STAR®, Title 24 and the Miami 21 Initiative.

    Silver
    Project Name: Publix
    Miami
    Company: Advanced Roofing Inc.
    Project description: Due to the high-rise buildings adjacent to the new store, Publix’s specification required the roofing contractor top-coat the roof with a white and gray striped design consisting of a 2.5-inch Polyiso, a Stratavent Eliminator Base Sheet, three plies of Type IV and a 190 FR Modified Bitumen Cap Sheet.

    Bronze
    Project Name: Everett Victorian
    Laurel, Md.
    Company: Certified Inc.
    Project description: The asphalt roofing shingle on this home was chosen because it imitated natural slate, one of the products that had been approved by the local historic commission. The product was also easy to work with, providing a safe environment for the contractors onsite.

    Honorable Mentions
    Watts
    Mill Creek, Wash.
    Chris Howard Roofing LLC

    Dufrene Ranch
    Sloughhouse, Calif.
    Lucero’s Roofing

    Waid
    Marietta, Ga.
    Atlanta Re-Roof Specialists Inc.

    Luzerne County Courthouse
    Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
    Mark J. Sobeck Roof Consulting Inc.

The 2014 QARC judges represented experts in the roofing and home design industry, as well as the building and construction trade media. For the low-slope commercial systems, the judging criteria focused on the project’s unique aesthetics, performance and adaptability; while the steep-slope residential projects were evaluated based on the different asphalt shingle textures, styles and colors which can transform a home.

One of the judges stated that the gold winner best exemplified “how asphalt-based roofing products meet the key needs of commercial buildings – energy-efficiency, reliability and affordability—in ways that other roofing products are simply unable to.”

Another judge stated about the silver winner: “Miami presents roofing challenges with wind, hot temperatures, humidity and hurricanes. I was impressed with the use of four plies and Publix’s commitment to excellence. The cool roof is an added bonus which will save the owner in energy costs.”

The top three winners will receive a check from ARMA in the amounts of $2,000, $1,000 and $500, and will have their roofing projects featured on the ARMA website.

ARMA is now accepting submissions for the 2015 QARC awards campaign. For more information about the QARC Awards or to submit a project, please visit the association’s website.

ARMA Releases Educational Video

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association has produced a short, educational video, titled “Asphalt Roofing and the Science of Color”. It explains how manufacturers create different color shades and combinations. The video is designed to help homeowners choose the color that works best for their home. Watch the video on the association website or YouTube channel.

Asphalt Roofing Industry Announces Winners of 2012 Accident Prevention Contest

The asphalt roofing industry is honoring 12 companies for their commitment to safety in the workplace. The Washington, D.C.-based Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) recognized the winners for their outstanding safety records in the manufacture of asphalt roofing materials.

“We are extremely proud of all this year’s winners,” says Reed Hitchcock, executive vice-president of ARMA. “Safety is a No. 1 concern for all our ARMA members. The work that ARMA’s Health, Safety & Environment Committee puts into this contest every year shows our continued focus on the safety of our members and how the industry is taking proactive steps to maintain and improve on our collective safety records.”

The contest’s winners are determined by the “ARMA Index,” which scores facilities based on their safety data for the year. To ensure all participants competed against plants of comparable size and capacity, entrants were grouped by the following criteria: Group A comprised facilities with more than 300,000 labor hours worked per year; Group B included facilities with 200,000 to 300,000 labor hours; Group C with 100,000 to 200,000 labor hours; and Group D with 100,000 or fewer labor hours worked per year. The facilities were classified based on the previous year’s total labor-hours worked.

Awards were presented in four categories: President’s Award, Award of Excellence, Perfect Employee Safety Certificate and Certificate of Improvement.

President’s Award: Presented to the plant in each labor-hour group that has had the lowest combined ARMA Index over the last two years.

  • Group A: GAF, Michigan City, Ind.
  • Group B: GAF, Baltimore
  • Group C: Atlas Roofing Corp., Hampton, Ga.
  • Group D: CertainTeed Corp., Wilmington, Calif.

Award of Excellence: Presented to those plants that have recorded three consecutive years of a “perfect” ARMA Index and are not President’s Award winners.

  • CertainTeed Corp., Little Rock, Ark.
  • GAF, Walpole, Mass.
  • Henry Co., Bartow, Fla.; Houston; Huntington Park, Calif.; and Ontario, Calif.
  • Owens Corning, Brookville, Ind., and Houston
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Atlanta; Jacksonville, Fla.; Memphis; Minneapolis; Portland, Ore.; and Summit, Ill.
  • Tarco, North Little Rock, Ark.

Perfect Employee Safety Certificate: Presented to those plants that had a “perfect” ARMA Index for 2012.

  • Atlas Roofing Corp., Franklin, Ohio
  • CertainTeed Corp., Milan, Ohio; Oxford, N.C.; Little Rock, Ark.; and Wilmington, Calif.
  • GAF, Fresno, Calif.; Walpole, Mass.; Tampa, Fla.; Fontana, Calif.; Chester, S.C.; Shafter, Calif.; and Stockton, Calif.
  • Henry Co., Indianapolis; Ontario, Calif.; Bartow, Fla.; Huntington Park, Calif.; Kingman, Ariz.; and Houston
  • Johns Manville, Macon, Ga., and South Gate, Calif.
  • Malarkey Roofing Products, Oklahoma City
  • Owens Corning, Jacksonville, Fla.; Houston; Kearny, N.J.; Savannah, Ga.; and Brookville, Ind.
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Kearny, N.J.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Irving, Texas; Houston; Denver; Atlanta; Medina, Ohio; Memphis; Minneapolis; Oklahoma City; Portland, Ore.; and Summit, Ill.
  • TAMKO Building Products, Columbus, Kan.
  • Tarco, North Little Rock, Ark.

Certificate of Improvement: Presented to those plants that demonstrate an improvement in their ARMA Index of at least 25 percent compared with their previous year’s performance.

  • Atlas Roofing Corp., Ardmore, Okla.; Franklin, Ohio; and Daingerfield, Texas
  • Building Products of Canada, Joliette, Quebec, Canada; Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; and LaSalle, Quebec
  • CertainTeed Corp., Oxford, N.C.; Milan, Ohio; and Norwood, Mass.
  • GAF, Tuscaloosa, Ala.; Myerstown, Pa.; Tampa, Fla.; Stockton, Calif.; Chester, S.C.; and Fontana, Calif.
  • Henry Co., Indianapolis
  • IKO Production Inc., Wilmington, Del.
  • Johns Manville, South Gate, Calif.
  • Owens Corning, Denver; Minneapolis; Summit, Ill.; Memphis; and Kearny, N.J.
  • Owens Corning (Asphalt), Oklahoma City; Medina, Ohio; Kearny, N.J.; Denver; and Houston
  • Polyglass USA Inc., Hazleton, Pa., and Winter Haven, Fla.
  • TAMKO Building Products, Joplin, Mo., and Columbus, Kan.

For each of the awards, participants must file quarterly reports, which measure key components of a comprehensive plant safety program, including lost or restricted time after an injury, OSHA reportable incidents and the labor hours worked at the location.