Non-Halogenated Polyiso Roof and Wall Insulation

Atlas Roofing Corporation adds ACFoam NH and EnergyShield NH to the company’s current product lines. These new non-halogenated polyiso roof and wall insulation products contain no halogenated flame retardants, providing additional environmentally friendly options to their product offerings of sustainable roofing and wall insulations for architects, designers and builders.

According to the company, ACFoam NH and EnergyShield NH product offerings are an ideal building envelope solution for projects that must meet strict specific environmental specification and customers seeking non-hal options. The Atlas NH product lines offer a variety of benefits, including:

  • Living Building Challenge “Red List” Free, with Declare label and product database listing
  • Contribute toward LEED v4 credit requirements
  • California Department of Public Health (CDPH) VOC emissions compliant 

“As a leader in polyiso manufacturing, we’re excited to introduce our non-hal technology and expand our ACFoam and EnergyShield roof and wall product lines,” said Greg Sagorski, Director of Technical Services of Atlas Roofing Corporation. “These new ACFoam and EnergyShield products provide the same great quality and performance needs customers expect, but with added benefits to meet more stringent environmental and sustainable building code goals.”

The following Atlas non-hal products are available:

  • ACFoam-II NH (also available in tapered)
  • ACFoam-III NH (also available in tapered)
  • ACFoam-Supreme NH
  • ACFoam-Recover Board NH
  • ACFoam Nail Base NH
  • ACFoam CrossVent NH
  • EnergyShield NH
  • EnergyShield CGF NH
  • Stucco-Shield NH
  • EnergyShield PanelCast NH

According to the manufacturer, all literature and product packaging of Atlas NH products will be marked with a non-hal icon for easy and visible distinction.

For more information, visit https://www.atlasrwi.com/.

Atlas Roofing’s Summit 60 Underlayment Goes Pink For Breast Cancer Awareness

In honor of breast cancer awareness, Atlas Roofing’s premiere lightweight synthetic roofing underlayment Summit 60 is going pink, with a portion of the sales proceeds to support the Susan G. Komen breast cancer foundation.

For every roll of Summit 60 sold — including traditional and limited-edition pink ribbon rolls — from Aug. 15 to Oct. 15, 2019, Atlas Roofing will donate $2 to the foundation. The Summit 60 Pink special-edition rolls will be embellished with pink branding and pink ribbons, the international symbol of breast cancer awareness. The special-edition Summit 60 will be available to contractors exclusively through Atlas Roofing distributors.

Tracy Cook, director of marketing for Atlas, said the special-edition rolls are aimed at bringing more attention to breast cancer, including early detection and research for a cure. For Cook, the cause is close to her heart. Her mother had breast cancer in the early 1990s.

“Treatment has come a long way since 1991, but it has a long way to go. Indeed, early detection is key,” Cook said. “Many of my family members have had cancer — breast, lung, oral and prostate. In every case, it’s about early detection.”

Designed To Protect
Summit 60 is designed to optimize the life of a roof system through superior water resistance and UV protection, protecting against water intrusion and mold growth. Made from a woven polymeric scrim, Summit 60 is designed for increased strength, reduced slippage between the underlayment and the roof sheathing and improved walkability during installation. The materials will not warp, buckle or crack over time like other organic felt brands. The UV coating provides 60-day protection from the sun while the roof is being installed.

Supporting Cancer Research And Early Detection
The Susan G. Komen foundation launched in 1982 and has since funded more than $988 million in research and more than $2.2 billion in education, screenings and treatment programs. Due to the worldwide efforts by the foundation and others, breast cancer mortality has declined 40% from 1989 to 2016.

However, more work needs to be done. Today, about 12% of women (or 1 in 8) will develop invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. In 2019 alone, an estimated 268,600 women and 2,670 men will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. An estimated 41,760 women and 500 men will die from breast cancer in 2019.

“Cancer of all types has touched everyone in the United States in one way or another. Since breast cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers among American women, it has impacted so many of us,” Tiara Searcy, content and digital marketing manager for Atlas Roofing, said. “We hope our efforts with Summit 60 will help make for a healthier future.”

Partners In Pink
Atlas Roofing is proud to help in the fight against breast cancer and supports the outstanding work of the Susan G. Komen foundation.

“The goal of our pink campaign is to provide much-needed funding for critical research and public education,” explained Kirk Villar, vice president of sales and marketing for Atlas. “We are honored to join forces with the community to take a stand against breast cancer.”

Summit 60 Pink will be available across the country. For more information, contractors should contact their Atlas Roofing representative.

For more information, visit AtlasRoofing.com

Atlas Roofing Corporation Announces Changes to Leadership Team

Atlas Roofing Corporation announced Tracy Cook has joined the company as its new Director of Marketing, overseeing the Shingles & Underlayments and Roof & Wall Insulation Divisions. Cook also will guide Atlas’ overall corporate marketing strategy across the company’s Shingles & Underlayments, Roof & Wall Insulation, Molded Products and Web Technologies divisions. As the first director of marketing to manage multiple divisions under the Atlas brand, she will provide strategic guidance and insight on all marketing efforts, ensuring brand consistency, developing new marketing opportunities and expanding strategic partnerships, including those with 3M Scotchguard and television host Mike Holmes.

“We are thrilled to welcome Tracy to the marketing leadership team,” said Steve Heaton, Vice President, Roof & Wall Insulation Division. “We are taking significant strides in our marketing efforts, ensuring the right people and resources are in place to enhance our strengths and further confirm Atlas’ leadership position in the building materials industry.”

Cook joins Atlas with more than 20 years of experience and deep expertise in marketing strategy, customer insights, trend forecasting, brand strategy and management. Prior to joining Atlas, Cook worked for nine years at INVISTA, most recently serving as the Senior Director, Shopper Innovation, as well as previous senior marketing positions with Mohawk Industries and Interface. She graduated with a B.A. in liberal arts from Auburn University and resides in metro Atlanta.

In addition to Cook’s appointment as Director of Marketing, Atlas officially announced Stanley Bastek’s promotion to National Sales Director for the Shingles & Underlayments Division. Bastek started his career at Atlas in 2007 and has held several cross-functional sales and marketing positions over the past 10 years. In his new role, Bastek will manage national pricing and sales development, contractor engagement programs and distributor relationships.

“This is a very exciting time for Atlas,” said Kirk Villar, Vice President, Sales and Marketing. “These strategic investments to our sales and marketing departments ensure our continued growth and success, allowing us to deliver innovative products to our customers.”

These new appointments are part of Atlas’ continued expansion of its corporate sales and marketing footprint in Atlanta. In addition to the sales and marketing teams, the Atlanta headquarters houses several fundamental departments, including the leadership team for the Shingles & Underlayments, Roof & Wall Insulation, and Tapered Services divisions; pricing, accounting and finance; and human resources. Atlas’ marketing teams recently won multiple industry awards, including the notable Hanley Wood Brand Builder Awards for best product marketing launch and the best B2B marketing event.

For more information, visit https://www.atlasroofing.com.

Atlas Roofing Corporation Changes Name for EPS Division to Atlas Molded Products

Atlas Roofing Corporation announced that it is changing the name of its EPS division to Atlas Molded Products. According to the company, the name change reflects the company’s recent acquisition of ACH Foam Technologies in August of 2018.

“The new name – Atlas Molded Products – allows us to highlight our greater coverage and broader molded polystyrene product offering, while emphasizing the fact we are a new organization,” said Ken Farrish, President of Atlas Roofing Corporation. “As a company with its roots in roofing and insulation, we are committed to delivering innovative and value-added products and services that will help move the construction, packaging, and OEM industries forward. The acquisition increases opportunities for supplier partners as well as for Atlas employees and the communities they live in.”

Atlas Roofing Corporation has three other divisions outside of the Molded Products division, including the Shingles & Underlayment, Roof & Wall Insulation (Polyisocyanurate) and the Webtech division.

“We are very pleased to offer molded product solutions to a broader portion of North America and we are confident that our customers will appreciate our enhanced capabilities,” said Farrish. “To that end, we will continue to provide industry-leading products and services and will continue to pursue further enhancements to Atlas Roofing Corporation’s offerings.”

The new name is effective immediately and will be implemented across the company’s product and services throughout the 2019 calendar year.

For more information, visit https://www.atlasroofing.com.

Atlas Roofing Kicks Off 2019 Roof It Right Sweepstakes

Atlas Roofing announced the launch of its 2019 Roof It Right sweepstakes. This year, contractors can earn points by employing Atlas marketing tools and resources and engaging in the Asphalt Life community. The more they participate, the more chances they’ll have to win the grand prize — an all-expense-paid trip to Canada to indulge in an ultimate Asphalt Life weekend. While there, they’ll get to meet with professional contractor and TV host Mike Holmes, as well as his children, Mike Jr. and Sherry, who are also professional contractors and TV hosts.

“We had a blast last year giving away our Asphalt Life classic pickup truck, but we upped our game for 2019,” said Stan Bastek, national sales director for Atlas. “Not only will the winning contractors score a weekend in Toronto, they will also get exclusive access to the knowledge and experience of the Holmes team, which can help them elevate their brand and business.”

Atlas has made it easy for contractors to accrue points. Ways to earn include becoming a Scotchgard Protector Shingle Sales Specialist, installing an Atlas Signature Select Roofing System and attending Atlas events, to name a few. They’re also eligible to win bi-annual prizes, including Apple iPads and watches, Asphalt Life hats, Mike Holmes cornhole sets and a YETI Roadie 20 cooler.

At the end of the year, five eligible contractors will be randomly selected to travel to beautiful Toronto — home to the Holmes family — where they’ll get to film a 30-second video with Mike Holmes to promote their business. They’ll also visit the Holmes headquarters, tour the facilities and have a roundtable discussion with the HGTV and DIY Network star.

“Mike Jr., Sherry and I look forward to meeting the five finalists and sharing our business philosophies and strategies,” Holmes said. “My dad instilled in me the idea that if you’re going to do something, do it right the first time. My passion is to ‘Make It Right’ on all my jobsites, which is how I’ve gained the confidence of countless homeowners.”

Atlas Roofing is a trusted manufacturer of shingles with Scotchgard Protector by 3M, which are a HOLMES Approved Product. In fact, shingles with Scotchgard Protector are the only HOLMES Approved roofing solution for algae protection. Copper-containing granules on the shingles help prevent the ugly black streaks caused by algae, allowing roofs to look newer longer. Scotchgard Protector is available in Atlas StormMaster Shake, StormMaster Slate, Pinnacle Pristine and Legend shingles. 

“I only partner with companies that share my philosophy,” Holmes said. “It’s always been about the whywith me. Nowadays, homeowners are more interested in learning about better products and building techniques, and I like working with professionals who take the time to educate their customers. I love working with Atlas Roofing and I love the ‘Life, Roof, Play’ philosophy. When you have a team of professionals who are dedicated to their work, believe in the products they are selling and are passionate about teamwork, you are really making a difference in the industry.”

For all of the details and official rules of the Roof It Right sweepstakes, contractors should log into their Atlas Pro account at www.AtlasRoofing.com/Pro.

Asphalt Shingles Feature New Proprietary Polymer Technology

Atlas Roofing Corporation announced the launch of its StormMaster Core4 Enhanced Polymer Technology, which is available exclusively in Atlas StormMaster Shake and StormMaster Slate shingles. 

In the early 1990s, Atlas was one of the first companies to manufacture polymer-modified asphalt shingles, known as SBS (Styrene Butadiene Styrene) asphalt technology. According to the manufacturer, Core4 moves beyond SBS to a more enhanced, proprietary polymer technology.

“Atlas has changed the industry benchmark for what an asphalt shingle should be,” said Paul Casseri, product manager for Atlas Roofing. “In other words, we just raised the bar really high.”

As its name implies, StormMaster Core4 Enhanced Polymer Technology consists of four key features:

1. PolyCore Technology is the science and engineering behind Core4. Made from proprietary enhanced virgin polymers, shingles with Core4 are stronger and longer-lasting, allowing them to perform better with increased consistency and reduced variability. 

2. FlexCore Technology keeps shingles flexible in cold weather. Because of their elasticity, these shingles exceed the industry’s standard tear strength by 50 percent and lay flatter during installation so they seal more effectively. They’re also less susceptible to tearing and cracking, which can lead to blow offs, leaks and compromised long-term roof stability.

3. WeatherCore Technology gives shingles the durability they need to resist damage from hail and high winds. StormMaster shingles with Core4 pass the UL 2218 Class 4 Impact Rating and offer the highest wind warranty in the industry, with up to a 150-mph wind limited warranty with special application on StormMaster Shake.

4. ThermalCore Technology mitigates the effects of shingle expansion and contraction due to temperature change, also known as thermal shock. Thanks to this enhancement, shingles with Core4 are less prone to thermal stress degradation, which can lead to premature shedding of granules, resulting in accelerated aging and deterioration of the asphalt shingle system. 

“These enhanced polymers, at a molecular level, are more advanced in our StormMaster shingles than in any other shingle on the market,” said Stan Bastek, national sales director for Atlas Roofing. 

According to the manufacturer, the proof is in the decades of laboratory and field tests. “Results prove that polymer-modified shingles perform better than standard asphalt technology,” Casseri explained. “Our research also shows that starting with a controlled virgin polymer is best versus recycled content, which can adversely affect the shingle’s lifespan.”

Core4 is available within the Atlas premium StormMaster Shake and StormMaster Slate shingle lines, which provide architectural style along with the durability to stand up to the toughest weather conditions. StormMaster shingles also feature the power of Scotchgard Protector by 3M, which resists the black streaks caused by algae. 

“We’ve been investing in and researching asphalt polymer technology since 1990,” Bastek said. “Atlas continues to evolve our products to give consumers long-lasting curb appeal and reliability on their roofs for years to come.”

For more information, visit www.atlasroofing.com

Atlas Roofing to Host HGTV and DIY Network Star Mike Holmes at 2019 IRE

Mike Holmes, professional contractor and TV host on HGTV and DIY Network, will be at the Atlas Roofing booth during the 2019 International Roofing Expo (IRE) in Nashville, Tennessee. 

Holmes is scheduled to be at the Atlas Roofing booth (#1454) on February 11. He will be sharing his experiences in the construction industry, interacting with fans and doing interviews. 

Holmes’ daughter, Sherry, will also take part in the IRE festivities, serving as the keynote speaker for National Women in Roofing Day on February 9.

Recently the Holmes team named Atlas shingles with Scotchgard Protector as a HOLMES Approved product.The HOLMES Approved designation represents products that meet Holmes’ high-quality standards. Atlas, 3M and the Holmes team are determined to increase awareness with homeowners to help eliminate black streaks on roofs cause by algae. “I’m proud of this work,” Holmes says. “Together we’re going to continue to improve the quality of our homes and change our industry for the better.” 

For more information, visit www.atlasroofing.com.

Expert Tips For Shingling A Cone-Shaped Roof

Cone-shaped roofs are one of those projects that contractors either love to do or avoid like the plague.

A prominent architectural feature on Queen Anne- and Norman-style homes, cone-shaped roofs are also found on Armenian and Georgian churches and medieval towers and castles. Their sloping and curved geometric surfaces can be difficult and labor intensive to shingle, especially for roofers who are accustomed to working only with straight lines.

Whereas a simple pitched roof typically has two or more sides and a hip roof has at least four sides, a conical or turret-style roof can appear to have an infinite number of sides. Some cone-shaped roofs have three to eight flat sides that create more of a geometric shape, such as a pyramid.

So, the challenge is: How do you install flat shingles on this intricate, rounded surface?

The underlayment should be applied vertically, perpendicular to the eave, as shown in this figure from the ARMA Technical Bulletin titled “How to Shingle a Cone Roof.” (Copyright Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, reprinted with permission.)

Getting Started

Thanks to their flexibility, modern asphalt shingles can be installed on roofs of any shape.

To begin shingling a cone roof, you need to know three measurements: the length of the rafter, the diameter of the cone and the widest piece of shingle you’ll be using.

To determine the distance around the base of the cone, multiply its diameter by 3.14. For example, if the diameter is 20 feet, the perimeter would equal 62.8 feet. With a 12-inch-wide shingle, you would need 63 shingles in each row around the cone.

Precise calculations are necessary because shingle pieces will need to change shape and become narrower as you move from the base of the cone up to its peak.

Cutting the shingles is a task you can do ahead of time, by creating a template, or when you get to a particular part of the installation.

Safety Concerns

Because cone-shaped roofs are usually steep and high off the ground, consider hammering footholds into the roof for stable support while you work. Better yet, use scaffolding, which not only provides a platform for leaning a ladder onto the roof, it also serves as an easily accessible shelf for your roofing materials and tools.

On a flat-sided cone roof, use the standard hip and ridge installation method. (Copyright Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, reprinted with permission.)

Underlayment and Ventilation

With preparations complete and safety equipment in place, you’re ready for the fun part: installation.

First, start by applying a good quality underlayment to the deck per the manufacturer’s instructions.

The underlayment should be applied vertically, perpendicular to the eave, following the flow pattern from the cone’s peak to its base. This process will help to prevent the material from wrinkling or buckling. You should end up with an overlap near the peak, which can be trimmed during underlayment application and before installing shingles.

Continue to overlap the underlayment vertically as you progress up the cone and use asphalt plastic cement to cement the lap edge. Alternatively, you can use a peel-and-stick underlayment. A self-adhering underlayment protects the eaves and flashing from wind-driven rain and covers any possible gaps between abutting shingles.

Next, check the ventilation. If the cone is open to the attic area, it should be part of the ventilation system. To accommodate static ventilation in the main portion of the attic, increase the requirement for the net-free area by the same square footage as the cone-shaped room. If the area is open to the living space, a ceiling fan can help force moisture and heat from the cone-shaped room to the main living area for dispersal. Using a room dehumidifier may also be helpful.

When working with a completely circular cone, use an off-peak, roll-type ridge vent at the peak for positive ventilation. The formula for cone-shaped rooms is consistent with any other residential area:

  • Equal intake and exhaust vents: 300 square feet of attic area = 1 square foot of net-free vent area
  • Exhaust vents only: 150 square feet of attic area = 1 square foot of net-free vent area

In cases with no ventilation, make the homeowner aware of potential issues with accelerated wear and how it can affect the product’s warranty. For more specific requirements, contact the shingle manufacturer.

Shingling Flat-Sided vs. Rounded Cones

After installing underlayment and addressing ventilation, you can start applying shingles.

When shingling a rounded cone roof, divide the roof into three distinct zones. (Copyright Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, reprinted with permission.)

If you’re working with a flat-sided cone roof, you can use the standard hip and ridge installation method. Snap vertical chalk lines from the cone tip to the eave center on each of the flat sides. Then apply shingles to the flat areas, cutting at the hips or joints. Use a standard hip and ridge shingle to complete the hip joints.

To ensure a continuous roofing line, snap horizontal chalk lines around the cone so that shingles will line up on adjacent sides.

Shingles on steep-sided cone roofs — those greater than 21/12 slope — may need to be hand sealed with asphalt plastic cement. Check the manufacturer’s instructions for steep-slope application.

When shingling a rounded cone roof, you won’t have a horizontal line to follow because of the curvature. If you try to create a line, butting the sides of the shingles together, the shingles will gradually curve downward and won’t correctly align when you encircle the cone.

To make installation easier, divide the roof into three distinct zones. Start applying shingles to zone one, at the bottom of the cone, and then work your way up to zones two and three.

While you are nailing, have another crew member help hold the shingles down around the curve so they are flush against the surface.

Side overlap of shingles is more noticeable in the upper portions of each cone. Trim shingles at an angle to make the joint parallel to water flow. (Copyright Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, reprinted with permission.)

Because the cone shape tapers from the base to the peak, succeeding courses require less material.

The degree of horizontal offset and varied shingle cutouts will create a random appearance. When using standard three-tab shingles, trim each shingle for proper vertical alignment. A simpler alternative would be to use a randomly applied shingle that doesn’t need to be vertically aligned.

Shingling a cone-shaped roof may be challenging, but with the proper knowledge and execution, you can restore this architectural focal point to its full glory.

For more information from Atlas Roofing, including technical bulletins, installation instructions and product data sheets, visit atlasroofing.com.

3M, Atlas Roofing and Mike Holmes Collaborate to Protect the Curb Appeal of Homes

Black streaks caused by algae have been hiding in plain sight on roofs for years. Professional contractor and TV host Mike Holmes is known for insisting on nothing less than the best product for the job and helping homeowners understand what it takes to make it right the first time. Together, 3M, Mike Holmes and his team plan to increase awareness with homeowners to help eliminate black streaks on roofs for good by naming shingles with Scotchgard Protector a HOLMES Approved Product. Atlas Roofing will leverage its relationship with its roofing contractors, including those trained as Scotchgard Protector Shingle Sales Specialists, to help them effectively bring this message to homeowners through a powerful set of marketing tools.

“I’m proud to partner with 3M and I’m excited to see how far we can take the message,” said Mike Holmes, professional contractor and TV host on HGTV and DIY Network. “Together, we’re going to continue to improve the quality of our homes, increase the value of our homes and change our industry for the better.”

This fall, The Holmes Group will partner with two Atlas PRO Plus contractors to transform homes in need of a curb appeal facelift. The teams, led by Mike Holmes Jr. and Sherry Holmes, will work together to make over two homes with Atlas Pinnacle Pristine Shingles with Scotchgard Protector. The Holmes siblings will undoubtedly strike up some friendly competition vying for the best transformation story. Viewers can tune in to the online micro-series later this fall.

“I am excited about this collaboration! I love tackling projects around homes that improve the curb appeal and this is a great fit for our ‘Holmes Approved’ family,” said Sherry Holmes, contractor, TV host and DIYer. Mike Holmes Jr. added, “my dad always says start from the outside in. If you’re taking care of your home that care should include the roof.”

“The Holmes name brings added value to the already highly respected Scotchgard brand,” said Stan Bastek, director of marketing and sales development for Atlas Roofing. “When the Holmes group endorses a brand, they are communicating to consumers that they see the same problem we do: how ugly black streaks on roofs reduce curb appeal and home value. We can’t wait to get to work with Mike, MJ and Sherry to spread the word!”

Invented by 3M to combat black streaks on roofs caused by algae, copper-containing roofing granules have been proven successful on hundreds of thousands of homes across the country over the last two decades. Available as shingles with Scotchgard Protector, this long-term, proven solution provides homeowners a beautiful roof free from ugly black streaks.

“The Scotchgard brand is synonymous with protection for homeowners, so protection from roof algae is the fulfillment of what that brand promises—a roof free of black streaks that retains its aesthetic appearance,” said Frank Klink, Ph.D., senior laboratory manager, 3M Industrial Mineral Products Division. “Our decades of research into the scientific properties of copper, and field experience with shingle technologies and roof algae, has proven a minimum 10 percent blend of 3M copper-containing granules uniformly distributed across the shingle surface, and hip and ridge are all required for superior protection against algae.”

The Holmes Group recognizes that shingles with Scotchgard Protector provide a long-term solution to help prevent algae growth from taking hold. Based on incorporating the prescribed formula into the shingle, and then using third-party testing on each shingle run, that recognition now comes with inclusion on the “HOLMES Approved Product” list.

By addressing the No. 1 appearance-related problem reported to roofing contractors, shingles with Scotchgard Protector help maintain the roof’s appearance and preserve the beauty of the home. This solution, coupled with 3M training to become a Scotchgard Protector Shingle Sales Specialist, gives contractors a real opportunity to connect and add value to the conversation with homeowners. As a recent survey of these participating contractors indicates, 80 percent realized an improvement in their close rates by as much as 10-20 percent.

Homeowners don’t have to accept the fate of a roof looking old before its time due to the black streaks of algae. 3M science, decades of research and more than one million installations have proven that shingles with Scotchgard Protector will protect your home and help keep it looking good for years to come.

For more information, visit 3M at www.3M.com/resistblackstreaks, The Holmes Group at makeitright.scotchgard.com or Atlas Roofing at www.atlasroofing.com/scotchgard.

 Mike Holmes, Sherry Holmes and Mike Holmes Jr.

Mike Holmes, Sherry Holmes and Mike Holmes Jr.

Tough Questions

I spent Father’s Day in a less than optimal spot — visiting my dad in the local hospital.

My father is 87, and a fall down the stairs resulted in life-threatening injuries. As I headed to the intensive care unit that first night, I didn’t know what to expect. However, I did know what my father’s wishes were regarding his care.

My dad is an attorney, and he prides himself on his estate planning, which is guided by two principles: taking care of his family and not paying a penny more in taxes than he has to. My brother, my sister and I know the details and who to contact when he passes away. But when my mom passed away unexpectedly more than a decade ago, we realized we didn’t know what her wishes were regarding critical care or even her funeral.

We learned from those mistakes. Our family discussed not only dad’s estate plan but his preferences for a funeral service (less funeral home, more Irish wake) and his thoughts about being kept alive by artificial means (no). I have a durable power of attorney in my briefcase and a form designating me as his patient advocate.

I was able to concentrate on the most important thing: making sure my dad got the care he needed. With the help of some talented and dedicated health care professionals, he’s doing much better now; he’s in a rehab unit and back on his feet. Hopefully we won’t need to look at his estate plans for a long time to come.

I can’t imagine going through the experience without that preparation. I thought back on the article about exit and succession planning in our last issue by Angie Lewis titled “Leaving Your Business Legacy.” In it, she details the advice of business planning experts Kevin Kennedy and Joe Bazzano of Beacon Exit Planning, who spell out retirement strategies. They also stress the importance of contingency planning — preparing for an unexpected illness or death.

If you haven’t read that article yet, I strongly urge you to do so. You can also log on to view an on-demand webinar on the same subject sponsored by Atlas Roofing.

Contact your attorney and get advice specifically tailored for your situation. Then talk to your family members and ask some tough questions. Take it from me, these conversations are not easy, but asking tough questions now can make difficult times a lot easier.