NRCA Releases 2015-16 Market Survey

NRCA has released its 2015-16 market survey, providing information about overall sales-volume trends in the roofing industry, roofing experiences, material usage and regional breakdowns. It is an important tool to measure the scope of the U.S. roofing industry, and the data provides a glimpse into which roof systems are trending in the low- and steep-slope roofing markets.

This year’s survey reports sales volumes for 2015 and 2016 projections averaged between $8 million and almost $9 million, respectively, and revealed a near-steady ratio of low- to steep-slope sales of 74 percent to 26 percent.

For low-slope roofs, TPO remains the market leader with a 40 percent share of the new construction market and 30 percent of the reroofing market for 2015. Asphalt shingles continue to dominate the steep-slope roofing market with a 47 percent market share for new construction and a 59 percent share for reroofing.

Polyisocyanurate insulation continues to lead its sector of the market with 80 percent of new construction and 73 percent of reroofing work. In addition, roof cover board installation for 2015 was reported as 22 percent in new construction, 42 percent in reroofing tear-offs and 36 percent in re-cover projects.

NRCA’s market survey enables roofing contractors to compare their material usage with contractors in other regions and provides manufacturers and distributors with data to analyze, which can affect future business decisions.

NRCA members may download a free electronic copy of the 2016 survey.

NRCA’s ProForeman Certificate Program Helps Field Leaders Become Excellent Foremen

Brian Draper completes the ProForeman Certificate Program.

Brian Draper completes the ProForeman Certificate Program.

When the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) debuted its ProForeman Certificate Program in 2014, Brian Draper, Superintendent at Queen City Roofing, Springfield, Mo., was the first to apply for the program.

Because he was the only participant from Queen City Roofing, Draper navigated the elements of the program completely on his own. He enjoyed the support of his boss, the company owner, Larry Stock, who is a big believer in training and education. It was no small undertaking for either of them.

The ProForeman Certificate Program is a robust, multi-faceted program aimed at helping field leaders become excellent foremen. It also enables them to become company ambassadors, as well as well-rounded and knowledgeable employees within the roofing industry as a whole. The six areas of emphasis are general education, roofing technology, construction/business practices, leadership, safety and training others.

Roofing Technology

The roofing technology portion of the certificate program required Draper to complete two programs about codes, write a recent job report and watch a technical issues webinar conducted by Mark Graham, NRCA’s vice president of technical services. The purpose of the codes programs is to expose field managers to their complexity and purpose rather than for participants to learn all the codes that affect roofing. Similarly the technical webinar is a snapshot of issues roofing contractors have to deal with every day. Each of these three programs help turn field managers, like Draper, into better-educated employees who can appreciate the complexities of their industry and, therefore, be better representatives of their companies and more understanding team members.

Draper’s recent job report discussed aspects of a TPO installation. He was required to anticipate methods, safety concerns and common problems, as well as share specific concerns for one job. Because he is a more experienced field manager, he was able to accurately demonstrate his knowledge and experience.

Construction/Business Practices

This segment of the certificate program is designed specifically to help field managers appreciate the roles and concerns of management. Draper reported aspects of these segments to be helpful to him and some others in the office. Three elements comprise this section—a webinar about customer service, a webinar about foreman daily planning and a company-based activity during which participants shadow several key management employees—from which participants learn the responsibilities and concerns of many office employees. For instance, a “daily huddles” webinar helps field managers appreciate the financial picture of the company, seen through the lenses of a job. It explains the impact a field manager’s leadership can have on a job and the company’s bottom line.

Leadership

ProForeman leadership components are the heart of the program. They are comprised of two day-long, in-person programs and two follow-up webinars. Each of these elements is aimed at teaching leadership awareness and skills.

NRCA’s premise is that most field managers already are excellent managers. They know what it takes to successfully install a roof system and are drive to achieve goals. Where roofing industry field managers often lack awareness is how to effectively influence the people who work for them.

Queen City Roofing is lightyears ahead of many companies. According to Draper, Stock is committed to creating an atmosphere in which people enjoy their jobs and want to come to work, and he wants people to be committed to customer service. To that end, being part of the ProForeman Certificate Program was not Draper’s first exposure to leadership concepts. He has been talking to the foremen at Queen City Roofing about concepts like this for some time. NRCA’s For Foremen Only programs, which are part of the certificate program under the leadership section, helped provide Draper with additional material to discuss with the company’s field leaders. Draper notes that over time he has seen foremen come to treat their crews differently, and he reports that hardly anyone manages by yelling anymore.

Safety

It was the position of NRCA legal counsel that no one should be able to earn the ProForeman certificate without having expertise in safety. To that end, there are more requirements in this section than any other. When the program first debuted, NRCA required a roofing-specific OSHA 10-hour card, which could be substituted by a non-specific 30-hour card. There was lots of confusion over the way this was worded, so the requirement was changed to simply require an OSHA 30-hour card. Although a roofing-specific 10-hour can still satisfy, the idea is that ProForeman certificate holders be “above and beyond” when it comes to safety.

Other elements in this section include a webinar about what it means to be a competent person, a fall-protection video and assessment, job-site inspections of current jobs and a full-day NRCA program about fall protection: Roofing Industry Fall Protection A to Z.

Draper successfully completed all the requirements. In a conversation with him, he stated that Queen City Roofing experienced a transformation in its safety culture four to five years ago. Since that time, leadership and safety have taken a front seat. Draper has embraced learning and training as a way to keep these things in front of the employees at Queen City Roofing.

Training Others

The final section of the certificate program focuses on helping field managers to become excellent trainers for their employees. Not many companies have someone skilled in being a trainer, though all foremen fill this role to some extent. The intent behind these elements is to help foremen be more comfortable in their role as teachers, which is a huge advantage to the individual and the company.

The three items Draper was required to complete in this section were the following:

  • Watch an online module about what it means to be an excellent trainer.
  • Record a video of himself doing a teaching demonstration, such as part of a safety talk (a participant who is a current authorized CERTA trainer does not need to do this exercise).
  • Teach an actual classroom training session.

The classroom training exercise is an opportunity to train new (or newer) field employees on the basics of roofing. The session includes classroom time, demonstration and hands-on activities. NRCA recognizes roofing involves a lot of on-the-job training but does not believe sending new employees up on to the roof right away to learn everything is the best approach. It often frustrates busy foremen, slows down crews that need to work around what they perceive to be dead weight, and tends to weed out workers who might be highly successful if they were provided with a more structured or methodical way of learning a new skill.

Draper reported this classroom training experience to be positive for him and those who participated in the class. Queen City Roofing celebrated participants’ completion by awarding certificates and making a splash of their successes. The company is committed to using this program with future new employees.

First of Many

Draper was the first person to complete the NRCA ProForeman Certificate Program and it helped solidify and improve his skills in many existing Queen City Roofing initiatives. In many ways, Draper was ahead of the curve, coming from a company with an existing commitment to leadership development and a thriving safety culture. It was NRCA’s pleasure to award the jointly held certificate to Draper and Queen City Roofing. NRCA mailed the certificate and, with it, some award items to Draper, such as a Carhartt vest and Thermos mug with the ProForeman logo. NRCA does not expect certificate holders to attend the International Roofing Expo, but finishers are recognized at the award ceremony by name and company.

Learn More
To learn more about the ProForeman certificate program, email Janice Davis at jdavis@nrca.netor Amy Staska at astaska@nrca.net.

CNA and NRCA Seek Community Involvement Award Nominations

Chicago-based CNA and NRCA, Rosemont, Ill., are accepting nominations for the CNA/NRCA Community Involvement Award, which honors charitable works by NRCA member contractors. Nominate any chari- table project, activity or donation completed between Jan. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016, for a chance to win up to $7,500 for your charity.

One first-place winning company will receive $7,500 payable to its charity. One second-place winner will receive $5,000 payable to its charity, and one third-place winner will receive $2,500 payable to its charity. The awards will be presented during NRCA’s 130th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.

Eligible projects, activities or donations do not have to involve roofing work. For example, funds raised for a cause or volunteer work would qualify. Submissions should include an in-depth description of the charitable work, testimonial from the receiving charity and any supporting materials (photos, video, etc.). A panel of judges from CNA and NRCA will determine the winners and honorable mentions.

The deadline for submissions is Dec. 31. Learn more information about the awards program.

NRCA Will Host Roofing Industry Regional Summit

In an effort to make events highlighting industry issues and trends more accessible to roofing professionals, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) will host a Roofing Industry Regional Summit Monday, Oct. 24, in Oak Brook, Ill.

The full-day session will focus on updates from NRCA staff experts on technical, legal, education and legislative issues and trends that are on the horizon for the roofing industry.

All roofing professionals from the region are encouraged to participate. They will learn how to respond to industry challenges, including keeping up with roofing technology; maintaining a safe and productive workforce; and understanding and complying with laws, regulations and codes.

NRCA’s Roofing Industry Summit will be held at The Clubhouse, 298 Oakbrook Center, Oak Brook, Ill.

ASTM International Committee on Roofing and Waterproofing Presents Carl G. Cash Award

Stephen Condren, senior project manager at Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc., in Waltham, Massachusetts, receives the Carl G. Cash Award from ASTM International Committee D08 on Roofing and Waterproofing.

Condren is being recognized for his research contributions, dedication, and leadership in the advancement of roofing practice and technology. He has been a member of ASTM since 1982 and is an active member of Committee D08.

Prior to his career with Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Inc. in 1992, Condren served as vice president and general manager at Roofblok Ltd. in Lunenburg, Massachusetts, for three years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts, and a master’s in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In addition to ASTM, Condren is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the National Roofing Contractors Association.

OMG Roofing Products Promotes Two Executives to Manage Sales and Marketing

Kingbill Zhao, Asia market manager, is based in China and will support the greater Asian market.

Kingbill Zhao, Asia market manager, is based in China and will support the greater Asian market.

With the goal of accelerating growth in international markets, OMG Roofing Products creates market manager positions for both Asia and Europe. Two executives receive promotions into these roles. Kingbill Zhao, Asia market manager, is based in China and will support the greater Asian market. Lennard Spirig, Europe market manager, is based in Switzerland servicing the European market. Both are responsible for all OMG sales and marketing activities in their regions including developing products and services tailored to local market needs.

Kingbill Zhao joined OMG in 2009 as a roofing specialist and was promoted to China sales manager in 2011, where he was responsible for launching the OMG Roofing Products line in China. Since then, Kingbill has built a sales and customer service organization in China to support the company’s rapidly growing business. Prior to joining OMG, Kingbill was the international department manager for the China Waterproofing Association (CWA) where he worked with other international counterparts like National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), Germany Roofing Contractors Association (GRCA) to market China Roofing & Waterproofing Show internationally. In addition he organized Chinese company visits in US and Europe, and worked with organizations like FM Global and FLL to introduce approvals and standards to China.

Lennard Spirig, Europe market manager, is based in Switzerland servicing the European market.

Lennard Spirig, Europe market manager, is based in Switzerland servicing the European market.

“Lennard Spirig joined OMG in 2014 as Europe product marketing manager, responsible for marketing OMG products throughout Europe. Since then, Lennard has been a resource for helping to expand OMG’s footprint in Europe by assisting system manufacturer partners and by developing distribution in various European countries. Prior to joining OMG Roofing Products, Lennard spent 10 years as product manager for mechanical attachment with SFS Intec. Earlier he had been an international key account manager based in Mexico.

“OMG’s products are designed to enhance rooftop productivity and improve roof system performance,” said Web Shaffer, vice president of marketing. “Lennard and Kingbill will be focused on developing value-added products and services that meet local market needs in order to accelerate our growth in Europe and Asia respectively. I look forward to continuing to work with these two outstanding individuals.”

Headquartered in Agawam, Massachusetts, U.S.A., OMG Roofing Products is a supplier of commercial roofing products including specialty fasteners, insulation adhesives, roof drains, pipe supports, emergency repair tape as well as productivity tools such as the RhinoBond induction welding system. The company’s focus is delivering products and services that improve contractor productivity and enhance roof system performance.

Senator Sponsors Congressional Recognition of National Roofing Week

The Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association held National Roofing Week June 5-11 to increase recognition of the significance of roofs to every home and business in the U.S., promote the good deeds of the roofing industry and emphasize the value of professional roofing contractors.

Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) sponsored congressional recognition of National Roofing Week in the Congressional Record. The recognition explains a roof’s importance as a component of a home or business and recognizes National Roofing Week and its purpose.

View the recognition in its entirety.

NRCA Believes FAA Rules on Drones Will Benefit the Roofing Industry

The following statement was made by William A. Good, CAE, NRCA’s CEO:

“The National Roofing Contractors Association believes the new rules issued by the Federal Aviation Administration on the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems [UAS], commonly referred to as drones, will provide significant new opportunities for the use of such aircraft in the roofing industry.

“The new rule, which goes into effect in late August, will allow people with a ‘remote pilot in command’ certification to operate drones for commercial and educational purposes, provided the drones weigh less than 55 pounds, do not exceed 100-mph groundspeed and don’t fly more than 400-feet above ground level.

“NRCA believes the final rule is a reasonable one and is especially pleased the FAA listened to some of the concerns NRCA expressed during the rulemaking process.

“The FAA rule contains a provision for waivers to some of its rules that, for example, should allow drones to be flown at night in situations where they don’t pose any danger.

“NRCA believes drone use can be of enormous benefit to the roofing industry over time. Drones can be used to evaluate existing roofs, help prepare estimates for new roofs, conduct thermal imaging and even measure reflectivity performance. And the use of drones will mean fewer people will need to be exposed to rooftop hazards to conduct routine inspections.”

For more information on the rule, contact Harry Dietz, NRCA’s director of enterprise risk management.

Train Employees In-house about Low- and Steep-slope Roofing

NRCA’s Roof Application Training Program Package can help you train employees in-house at your convenience regarding the basics of low- and steep-slope roofing, as well as roofing equipment and setup and tear-off procedures and techniques. The package includes Roof Application Training Program: Foundations of Roofing and Roof Application Training Program: Equipment, Setup and Tear-off.

Roof Application Training Program: Foundations of Roofing includes roofing terminology, roof system components, company operations and roof safety.

Roof Application Training Program: Equipment, Setup and Tear-off offers information about safe and efficient roofing project setup and tear- off procedures and techniques; guidelines for setting up jobs for maximum efficiency; and tools and equipment used for low- and steep-slope roofing work, specifically for job setup and tear-off.

The DVD-based programs provide all the necessary tools to conduct effective training for your employees, including two-part DVD programs; instructors’ guides; and student hand-outs and exams, among other resources. The programs help new employees learn the basics and facilitate discussion with existing employees. The programs include English and Spanish training materials.

You can save by purchasing the package, which is $325 for members and $650 for nonmembers. Programs also can be purchased separately. For more information, visit NRCA’s website.

Better Understand Why the Combination of Moisture and Concrete Roof Decks Is Troublesome

The primary function of a well-built and well-designed roofing system is to prevent water from moving through into the building below it. Yet, as the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association has observed, an increasing number of “good roofs” installed on concrete roof decks have failed in recent years. Blistering, de-bonding and substrate buckling have occurred with no reports of water leakage. Upon investigation, the roofing materials and substrates are found to be wet and deteriorated.

Wagner Meters offers moisture-detection meters for concrete. The meters are designed to save time and money on a project or job site.

Wagner Meters offers moisture-detection meters for concrete. The meters are designed to save time and money on a project or job site.

Why is this? One potential cause is trapped moisture; there are numerous potential sources of trapped moisture in a structure. Let’s examine the moisture source embedded within the concrete roof deck.

WHY DOES THIS MOISTURE BECOME TRAPPED?

It often starts with the schedule. In construction, time is money, and faster completion means lower cost to the general contractor and owner. Many construction schedules include the installation of the roof on the critical path because the interior building components and finishes cannot be completed until the roof has been installed. Therefore, to keep the project on schedule, roofers are pressured to install the roof soon after the roof deck has been poured. Adding to the pressure are contracts written so the general contractor receives a mile- stone payment once the roof has been installed and the building has been topped out.

Historically, roofers wait a minimum of 28 days after the roof deck is poured before starting to install a new roof. This is the concrete industry’s standard time for curing the concrete before testing and evaluating the concrete’s compressive strength. Twenty-eight days has no relation to the dryness of a concrete slab. Regardless, after 28 days the roofer may come under pres- sure from the general contractor to install the roof membrane. The concrete slab’s surface may pass the historic “hot asphalt” or the ASTM D4263 Standard “plastic sheet” test, but the apparently dry surface can be deceptive. Curing is not the same as drying, and significant amounts of water remain within a 28-day-old concrete deck. Depending on the ambient conditions, slab thickness and mixture proportions, the interior of the slab will likely have a relative humidity (RH) well over 90 percent at 28 days.

FROM WHERE DOES THE WATER COME?

Upon placing the concrete slab, the batch water goes to several uses. Portland cement reacts with water through the hydration process, creating the glue that holds concrete together. The remaining water held in capillary pores can be lost through evaporation, but evaporation is a slow, diffusion-based process. The diffusion rate of concrete is governed by the size and volume of capillary pores which, in turn, are controlled by the water/cement (w/cm) ratio. The total volume of water that will be lost is controlled by the degree of hydration, which is primarily related to curing and w/cm.

A 4-inch-thick concrete slab releases about 1 quart of water for each square foot of surface area. If a roof membrane is installed before this water escapes the slab, it can become trapped and collect beneath the roof system. The water does not damage the concrete, but it can migrate into the roofing system—and that’s when problems begin to occur. For instance, moisture that moves into the roofing system can:

  • Reduce thermal performance of the insulation.
  • Cause the insulation, cover board, adhesive or fasteners to lose strength, making the roofing system susceptible to uplift or damage from wind, hail or even foot traffic.
  • Lead to dimensional changes in the substrate, causing buckling and eventually damaging the roof membrane.
  • Allow mold growth.

A number of factors compound the problem. In buildings where a metal deck is installed, moisture cannot exit the slab through its bottom surface. Instead, the moisture is forced to exit the slab by moving upward. Eliminating one drying surface almost doubles the length of drying time of a concrete slab. The small slots cut in ventilated metal decking have little effect on reducing this drying time.

Ambient conditions also affect the drying rate of a concrete slab since it readily absorbs and retains moisture. Additional moisture may enter an unprotected roof slab from snow cover, rain or dew. Even overcast days will slow the rate of drying.

A MODERN-DAY PROBLEM

Before the introduction of today’s low-VOC roofing materials, historic roof systems didn’t experience as many of these moisture issues. Typically, they were in- stalled onto concrete decks on a continuous layer of hot asphalt adhesive that bonded the insulation to the deck. This low-permeable adhesive acted as a vapor retarder and limited the rate of moisture migrating from the concrete into the roofing assembly. As a result, historic roof systems were somewhat isolated from moisture coming from the concrete slab.

Many of today’s single-ply roof membranes are not installed with a vapor retarder. Moisture is able to migrate from the concrete slab into the roof materials. Modern insulation boards are often faced with moisture-sensitive paper facers and adhered to substrates with moisture-sensitive adhesives. These moisture-sensitive paper facers and adhesives are causing many of the problems.

Rene Dupuis of Middleton, Wis.- based Structural Research Inc. recently presented a paper to the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association on the subject. Some of his findings include the following:

  • Due to air-quality requirements, government regulations curtailed the use of solvent-based adhesives because they are high in VOCs. Consequently, manufacturers changed to water-based adhesives because they are lower in VOCs, have low odor, are easy to apply and pro- vide more coverage.
  • There can be several drawbacks to water-based bonding adhesives. One is that they may be moisture sensitive. Moisture and alkaline salts migrating into roof systems from concrete decks can trigger a negative reaction with some water-based adhesives. This reaction can cause the adhesives to revert to a liquid, or it may alter or delay the curing of some foam-based adhesives. Some adhesive manufacturers have recognized these problems and have be- gun reformulating their adhesives to address these drawbacks.
  • Negative reactions also occur when moisture-sensitive paper facers come into contact with moisture. This reaction typically results in decay, mold growth and loss of cohesive strength. Moisture in the roof system may also cause gypsum and wood-fiber-based cover boards to lose cohesive strength.

Dupuis noted moisture from any source can compromise adhered roof systems with wind uplift when attached to paper insulation or gypsum board. He also said facer research clearly shows paper facers suffer loss of strength as moisture content increases.

PHOTOS: Wagner Meters

Pages: 1 2 3 4