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

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2016 National Roofing Week Is a Success

As part of National Roofing Week, Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association members celebrated their industry pride in unique ways. The following images were shared via NRCA’s Facebook page:

RoofPoint Administration Transfers to Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress announces the administration of RoofPoint has been transferred to the Alliance. RoofPoint is a voluntary, consensus-based green building rating system that provides a means for building owners and designers to select nonresidential roof systems based on long-term energy and environmental benefits.

Originally developed by the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing and co-sponsored by the Alliance, RoofPoint is a roofing-specific version of a green building rating system that promotes an environmentally responsible built environment.

“The increasing need for energy efficient and environmentally friendly roof systems makes RoofPoint an important component of our industry,” says Alliance president, James T. Patterson C.P.M of CentiMark Corporation, Canonsburg, Pa. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to manage RoofPoint, and to continue the essential role it plays in promoting environmentally sustainable buildings.”

To ensure a smooth transfer of RoofPoint to the Alliance, a task force has been established to examine RoofPoint’s data and determine next steps.

Task force members are Rob Therrien, president of The Melanson Co. Inc., Keene, N.H.; Helene Hardy-Pierce, vice president of technical services, codes and industry relations for GAF, Parsippany, N.J.; Brian Whelan, senior vice president of Sika Sarnifil Inc., Lyndhurst, N.J.; Jim Barr, president of Barr Roofing Co., Abilene, Texas; and Mark Graham, vice president of technical services for the National Roofing Contractor Association (NRCA), Rosemont, Ill.

The task force will present its recommendations to the Alliance Board of Trustees during its Nov. 17 meeting in Chicago.

NRCA Roofing Contractor Members Receive Free Consulting Services

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) announces it is now providing consulting services at no charge to its roofing contractor members.

NRCA’s Consulting Services is a benefit of membership that enables contractors to get tips and advice on current business issues, discuss business strategies or issues with consultants in the following areas.

•Legal— Roofing contractor members can obtain information about general legal issues encountered in daily business.

•Marketing— Assistance with current marketing plans is provided, as well as strategies for increasing homeowner and business owner sales and profitability.

•Information Technology— IT strategies for improving and streamlining operations for maximum business performance.

•Human Resources— Solutions to human resources related issues including federal or state employment law, employee relations and human resource management.

•Enterprise Risk Management— Advice about health, safety, insurance, legislative and regulatory issues, or learn more about loss control and regulatory compliance responsibilities.

•Technical— Solutions to technical questions including proper installation, maintenance or repair of various roof systems, or advice on a specific project.

Observe National Roofing Week by Making Informed Decisions About Roof System Maintenance

To increase recognition of the significance of roofs to every home and business, stress the value of professional roofing contractors, bring attention to the value of a career in roofing and promote the good deeds of the industry, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) is urging communities throughout the U.S. to recognize National Roofing Week taking place June 5-11.

The roof is one of the most important components of a structure, yet it is often taken for granted until it falls into disrepair. During National Roofing Week, NRCA encourages its members to participate by engaging in their communities and informing the public about the essential role roofs and professional roofing contractors play in every community.

Most roof systems last more than 20 years; however, routine evaluation and maintenance is necessary to extend its life and keep overall costs down. NRCA urges consumers to observe National Roofing Week by paying attention to wear and tear on their roof systems, and to make informed decisions about roof system maintenance and replacement.

NRCA will recognize National Roofing Week by highlighting the work, training and good deeds of its members and their employees on its various social media outlets. The winners of NRCA’s third annual children’s art contest will also be announced. Children in grades one through eight, who are relatives of NRCA members and their employees submitted artwork depicting the importance of roofs and the professional roofing contractor.

Contest winners will have their artwork featured on all National Roofing Week material and additional promotional material to be displayed at industry events throughout the year, including the 2017 International Roofing Expo and NRCA’s 130th Annual Convention in Las Vegas.

NRCA Updates Online Wind-load Calculator

NRCA has updated Roof Wind Designer, an online wind-load calculator intended to provide roofing professionals with an easy way to determine a roof system’s design wind loads for many commonly encountered building types subject to code compliance. Roof Wind Designer was developed in cooperation with the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association and North/East Roofing Contractors Association. The free Web-based application is based on ASCE 7, “Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures”, 2005 and 2010 editions. Roof Wind Designer has also been updated to determine design wind loads applicable to perimeter edge-metal flashing system design, which helps compliance with ANSI/SPRI ES-1 requirements. The application is limited to building heights less than 60 feet and is applicable to roof systems with slopes up to 12:12 and hip roofs with slopes up to 6:12.

Barr Is Elected NRCA Chairman of the Board-Elect

Jim Barr, president of Barr Roofing Co., Abilene, Texas has been elected NRCA’s 2016-17 chairman of the board-elect.

Barr previously served as an NRCA vice chairman from 2012-14 and 2015-16 and was a member of NRCA’s board of directors from 2009-12 and 2014-15.

In addition, Barr served as a vice chairman liaison to the Alliance Board of Trustees and the Affiliate Relations, Community Relations and Disaster Relief, Contractor Management, Membership Marketing, Roofing Integrated Solar Energy, Young Contractors and NRCA Retirement Program committees.

Barr also served as a director on the National Roofing Legal Resource Center Committee and as a member of the Manual Update and Technical Operations committees.

He will begin his one-year term June 1, 2016.