RCMA Members Apply Roof Coatings for ECA EnergyFit Program

Twenty-three members of the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) volunteered to apply reflective cool roof coatings on 18 low-income row homes on the 1200 block of West Seltzer Street in North Philadelphia to support the Energy Coordinating Agency’s (ECA) EnergyFit Philly program.

Under a hot sun and high humidity, volunteers climbed up 32 foot ladders to apply reflective cool roof coatings under the guidance and support of ECA’s staff and contractors. Working on houses on both sides of the street, every roof received the first coating in about three hours.

Cooling down with iced water, volunteers listened to remarks by City Council President, Darrell Clarke – who thanked each volunteer personally – while acknowledging the good work by ECA and noting how energy conservation helps residents save money. The Director of Sustainability, Christine Knapp, drew attention to our prolonged heat wave and focused on the value of cool roof coatings to reduce air conditioning use. Finally, Darlene Pope, “the city’s best block captain,” gave the final remarks of the day. Gracious and thankful, and an advocate for clean energy, Darlene thanked the volunteers from RCMA for helping to make this day possible.

ECA’s EnergyFit Philly program preserves affordable housing by repairing, and providing energy retrofits to low income homes in poor condition. It is an innovative approach to the prevention of homelessness by preserving and stabilizing affordable housing that is currently ineligible for energy conservation programs due to roof leaks and other home repair needs. Applying roof coatings on these homes reduces the cooling load and extends the service life of the roofs.

Roof coatings are designed for protecting and extending the service life of roof assemblies for new construction and more commonly, existing roof coverings. Reflective roof coatings extend the life of the roof by reducing heat transfer into the building, decreasing thermal shock, and helping to mitigate leaks.

Roof coatings reflect visible light as well as infrared and ultraviolet radiation, causing roof surface temperature to drop by up to 55°F and decreasing the amount of heat transferred into a building on hot days. Lower roof temperatures in turn help to reduce cooling costs for buildings with air conditioning units and reduce interior temperatures and relative humidity in buildings with or without cooling units. A building owner can experience an energy savings of up to 15% after using a reflective roof coating, according to information from the U.S. EPA ENERGY STAR Program. When reflective roof coatings are used on a significant portion of a city’s roofs, they will also reduce the urban heat island effect, essentially cooling the entire city.

Several RCMA roof coatings manufacturer and supplier members have donated their products for use in this project, or volunteered their time to apply coatings to a block of low income row homes on West Seltzer Street. The RCMA is partnering with ECA on this project as part of its biennial industry conference, the International Roof Coatings Conference.

EPDM Coatings Announces Caribbean Territorial Sales Agent for Liquid Rubber

EPDM Coatings, distributor of liquid EPDM rubber for North and South America, is pleased to announce that it has approved Innovative Building Systems in Nassau Bahamas (IBS) as the territorial sales agent for the Caribbean. Over the past year through their initial marketing efforts; it was apparent that IBS is able to increase product sales and promote the product in the surrounding countries. Greg Kazmierczak, vice president of commercial sales for EPDM Coatings identified an opportunity. During the past years Mr. Kazmierczak stated his sales staff needed to turn down business due to the logistics of sending product through Miami and having customers in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic and other countries wait several weeks for product to arrive. They have been looking for a strategic partner and now with the ability of IBS to stock inventory the delivery times are significantly decreased.

IBS President Guilden Gilbert states that he is committed to increasing the sales effort and invest in promotion and advertising throughout the region. In the initial projects where the Liquid EPDM was applied Mr. Gilbert stated there was an opportunity in this area of the world where other coatings would not withstand the saltwater environments. He further added there are benefits of the Liquid EPDM over standard elastomerics or acrylics and silicones. The Liquid EPDM surpassed our expectations as well as the expectations of our customers. There is nothing like it on the market and we have hopes that it will be the standard for many of the roofs throughout the Caribbean. We have made a financial commitment and have gone through the manufacturer’s certification program.

Liquid Rubber is the only Liquid EPDM Rubber in the world. Now with over a 25 year history of success it has become the choice of thousands of customers worldwide. This one coat application extends your existing roof another 18-20 years. Its success is in the chemical cross-linking that occurs allowing the Liquid EPDM to chemically fuse itself to the roofing substrate.

Registration Is Open for the International Roof Coatings Conference

Registration is now open for the Washington, D.C.-based Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association’s (RCMA’s) 2016 International Roof Coatings Conference (IRCC), which will take place at the Sonesta Hotel Philadelphia, July 18-21. Offered in partnership with 11 industry organizations, the conference will be the premiere roof coatings event in 2016 and will offer education and industry updates to a variety of professionals involved in roofing and building sciences.

Before the conference, attendees can participate in a golf outing or volunteer in a roof coatings project with the Energy Coordinating Agency, Philadelphia. These activities will take place concurrently on Monday, July 18. The conference will officially begin with an opening reception on Monday eve-ning and will conclude with a keynote presentation from Raleigh, N.C.-based RCI Inc. and Paul Bromfield of GAF, Parsippany, N.J., on Wednesday afternoon, July 20. In addition, speakers will deliver presentations on a range of timely topics, sharing their research papers with meeting attendees and participating in conversations about the future of the coatings industry.

The RCMA Summer Meeting, open to RCMA members and non-member guests, will follow the conclusion of IRCC programming and will continue through the morning of Thursday, July 21. Highlights of the RCMA portion of the event will include presentations from FM Approvals and the Philadelphia Office of Sustainability, detailed reports on RCMA’s committee activities and a roof coating end-user panel discussion.

RCMA Bestows Award, Elects Board Members

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association, Washington, D.C., hosted more than 100 industry attendees at its 2016 Annual Meeting, Feb. 15-16, in Orlando, Fla.

During the event, the association named Greg Johnson of The Sherwin-Williams Co. the recipient of the 2015 RCMA Martin A. Davis Industry Leadership Award. The award is the highest honor bestowed by RCMA and is presented annually to an individual, selected by his or her fellow RCMA members, who has exemplified outstanding service and made significant contributions to the roof coatings industry.

Johnson has been an active and integral member of RCMA since 2008 and currently serves as chairman of the RCMA Government Affairs Committee. “Very well-deserved honoree,” comments John Ferraro, RCMA executive director. “Greg has faithfully been involved with the RCMA Government Affairs Committee. He is passionate about key advocacy issues and is a tremendous asset to the industry.”

Also during the annual meeting, new officers were elected to the RCMA board of directors for 2016. The following officers were ratified by the membership to serve two-year terms:

  • President: John Stubblefield, Polyglass USA
  • Vice President: Jonathan Dietzel, SWT Group
  • Vice President: Greg Hlavaty, Western Colloid
  • Secretary: Ed Buczek, Henry Co.
  • Treasurer: Benjamin Borns, KST Coatings

RCMA Releases 2015 Annual Report

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA) recently released its 2015 Annual Report. The report highlights the association’s five strategic objectives and accomplishments in 2015, which establishes RCMA as the leading advocate and resource in the roof coatings industry. The report was released to the public and made available on the RCMA website.

In the report, RCMA highlighted its successful merger with the Reflective Roof Coatings Institute (RRCI). The merger resulted in the launch of the RCMA Speakers Bureau program, redesign of the RCMA website, and revision of the “Reflective Roof Coatings and LEED” white paper. Additionally, RCMA met its objective to enhance its communication program by distributing seven press releases and placing 13 articles in industry publications during 2015.

By expanding its government relations program, RCMA proactively engaged in state and federal public policy issues including, but not limited to, the National Ozone Standard, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hazardous communications, and energy-efficiency tax credits.

As the technical and educational resource, RCMA spent considerable time participating in building code and standard development activities. Through the efforts of the Codes and Standards and Sustainability Task Forces, RCMA continues to be a representative of the roofing and building industry.

Additionally, RCMA set a strategic objective aiming to achieve 50 percent operating reserve for the association within five years. Because of tremendous growth, RCMA is well positioned to achieve this objective within the allotted timeframe.

Edge Adhesives Launches Brand Specializing in Waterproofing and Building Products

Edge Adhesives, a manufacturer of specialty materials and an innovator behind multiple waterproofing products, roof coatings and window flashing tapes, launches a brand: Plioseal. This move comes after the acquisition and integration of several other sealant, adhesive and coatings companies over recent years.

The Plioseal brand now represents a combined 150 years of building and waterproofing expertise. This market knowledge and history in conjunction with Edge Adhesive’s corporate philosophy of market development through product innovation and design, makes Plioseal the choice premium building and waterproofing brand.

“Plioseal is an exciting and critical new step for Edge Adhesives. We are launching one of the most innovative and diversified brands in the market,” comments Edge Adhesives President Edward Klavin. “Many of the products being offered under the Plioseal brand will be the first opportunity the market has to purchase manufacturer direct. In some cases, we are launching new products that will be exclusively sold through Plioseal. With committed product development and strategic corporate acquisition, we are positioning Plioseal as the brand to look to for smart solutions for the residential, commercial and metal building construction markets.”

RCMA Merges with the Reflective Roof Coatings Institute

The Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA), Washington, D.C., and Reflective Roof Coatings Institute (RRCI), Kansas City, Mo., have merged together into one industry association that will continue to advance, promote, and expand the national and international market for roof coatings through education, outreach, technical advancement and advocacy.

“RCMA is thrilled to merge with the Reflective Roof Coatings Institute,” says John Ferraro, RCMA executive director. “RRCI has been a leader on reflective roof coatings issues and we look forward to their members’ expertise within RCMA. This merger will go a long way to increase RCMA’s growth in both its membership and its recognition within the larger roofing industry.”

Bringing the two associations together will better position the roof coatings industry in the various legislative, regulatory and building code development arenas that affect the two associations’ consolidated membership. The merger between RCMA and RRCI will result in a stronger, more unified voice for federal and state advocacy initiatives and a more robust communications and marketing program for roof coatings. In addition, the merger will result in a more detailed and comprehensive industry shipment report, which will be a huge benefit to members.

RCMA has made a number of changes to its committee and task force structure, including the creation of the new RCMA Reflective Roof Coatings Institute. Through the development of technical bulletins, case studies, white papers and research, this institute will allow RCMA to be a technical and educational resource to the industry. A strong emphasis will be placed on outreach to the end-user of coatings products, so RCMA can ensure proper and accurate information is available for their benefit.

The RCMA Annual Meeting will be held in New Orleans, Feb. 22-23, 2015, in conjunction with the International Roofing Expo. The programming, speakers and topics featured at the RCMA Annual Meeting represent broad segments of the science, technology and professional expertise on roof coatings. Registration for the meeting is open.

The association will continue to be called the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association with the existing logo and website.

An EPA Proposal to Reduce Ground-level Ozone Will Affect the Roofing Industry

On Nov. 26, 2014, the Washington, D.C.-based U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a proposal to reduce the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ground-level ozone. The existing National Ozone Standard, last strengthened in 2008, sets the acceptable level of ozone at 75 parts per billion (ppb); the proposal calls for lowering that level to 65-70ppb, or even as low as 60ppb. The National Association of Manufacturers, Washington, has called the new proposed standard the “the most expensive regulation in history,” and its passage could result in widespread effects felt across the nation and a wide array of industries, including roofing.

Ozone NAAQS and Nonattainment

Tropospheric (ground-level) ozone is one of six “criteria” pollutants regulated by the EPA, pursuant to the 1990 Clean Air Act, because it has negative human-health impacts and can be damaging to vegetative growth. Ozone is formed when volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) combine with sunlight. Significant anthropogenic (manmade) sources of VOC and NOx emissions include industrial and manufacturing facilities, vehicle exhaust, gasoline vapors, and solvents used in consumer and commercial coatings and paints.

The ozone NAAQS sets permissible ozone levels; those states and regions that do not meet those thresholds are designated as “nonattainment” areas. A nonattainment designation requires that the state develop and submit a State Implementation Plan (SIP) to the EPA, which outlines the steps that will be taken to reach and maintain compliance, or “attainment”. The steps that a state may take to work toward ozone attainment are varied but often include control measures over manufacturing and industrial processes; regulations aimed to reduce VOC emissions from paints, coatings, and manufacturing processes; or voluntary measures, such as programs that encourage the use of mass transit to reduce vehicle usage.

Additionally, the nonattainment designation comes with specific mandates from the EPA. These include tougher permitting requirements for new or expanding facilities, potential loss of federal highway and transit funding, EPA oversight in permitting, and requirements to “offset” any new emissions sources by reducing emissions in existing operations or by purchasing emissions credits from others.

Many states and regions, including California and the majority of the Northeast’s I-95 corridor, are still working to comply with the 2008 ozone standard’s 75ppb level. The proposal to lower the existing ozone standard to within the range of 65-70ppb will result in a significant increase in nonattainment areas across the country, which will in turn result in growth of stationary source restrictions and state-level regulations as states develop SIPs for achieving lower ozone levels.

The effects of a stricter ozone standard will be felt across the nation and in a wide variety of industries. “Background ozone”, or the ozone levels that would exist regardless of the presence of industry, is 30ppb or higher in most areas. For such regions, lowering the standard from 75ppb to 65ppb would represent a mandate to reduce anthropogenic ozone by more than 20 percent. Additional reductions may prove difficult to achieve and costly, especially for those areas of the country that have already implemented control measures to achieve attainment with the 2008 Standard.

Effects on the Roofing Industry

One area of particular significance to the roofing industry will be VOC regulations for architectural and industrial maintenance (AIM) coatings, as well as for industrial adhesives and sealants, which are used in the application of certain roof systems and for continued maintenance and protection of many roofs. The VOC content for a variety of AIM coatings is regulated on the national level by the EPA. Additionally, there are more stringent VOC regulations in place today across the majority of the Northeast, in several Great Lakes states, and in California’s 35 air districts for AIM coatings and adhesives and sealants as part of those states’ and regions’ SIPs for reaching attainment on existing ozone standards.

While there are regulatory bodies, such as the California Air Resources Board, Ozone Transport Commission and the Lake Michigan Air Directors Consortium that provide guidance on ozone attainment, it is ultimately left up to the states (and in the case of California, individual air districts) to develop and implement VOC regulations. As such, VOC regulations vary from state to state and region to region with rules that contain disparate VOC content limits, compliance dates, and record-keeping and reporting requirements, which can make compliance highly challenging.

Purpose of VOCs in Roof Coatings

VOCs are included in a wide array of coatings for several reasons. Solvent-based coatings can be used as an alternative to waterborne technologies, especially where freeze/thaw resistance and product application and storage in cooler climates or in winter months is required. VOCs are used to dissolve solids to keep coatings in a liquid phase, allowing for them to be applied prior to the solvent flashing out and the product curing to form a solid layer. Furthermore, coatings may be formulated with VOCs because of the solvents’ ability to soften the substrate that the coating is being applied to, improving the application and ultimate performance of the coating.

As new, stricter VOC regulations are introduced and VOC content limits are lowered in different roof coating, adhesive and sealant product categories, several negative consequences may occur. First, it may become more difficult to apply the product or to apply the product at an appropriately thin layer. Additionally, the performance of the product may be negatively impacted, which could result in the need for additional product application throughout the lifetime of the roof or, in extreme cases, a reduced life-span of the roof. Although there are many excellent waterborne technologies available, the use of water-based coatings may not be an acceptable alternative in all situations or in all roof systems.

The Path Forward

The ozone NAAQS’s publication in the Federal Register begins a 90-day comment period, which will be supplemented by several public hearings in the early months of 2015. Should the rulemaking continue forward and a lower ozone standard be approved, the EPA will begin designating attainment and nonattainment areas, which will start the process for the development of SIPs containing a host of new regulations across the country.

For manufacturers, specifiers and contractors alike, an influx of VOC regulations will prove challenging. Formulators will be forced to create high-performing products using lower-solvent content or through the use of exempt solvents; applicators will need to be aware of the rules in place to ensure they are applying compliant products; end-users will need to learn that products they have had in the past may no longer be available. Even under today’s ozone standard, keeping apace of the multitudinous and constantly changing VOC regulations is a large task. EPA’s final determination of a new ozone standard could prove to have significant and long-term ramifications that will be felt for many decades to come.

Quest Specialty Chemicals Implements ‘Buy and Build’ Strategy

If you own a coatings company with a recognizable brand, a leading market position and an entrepreneurial management team with a growth culture, Quest Specialty Chemicals’ CEO Doug Mattscheck wants to talk to you.

Quest has acquired 10 companies in the last 10 years—three since Mattscheck became CEO in 2012—and he wants to acquire more.

“Acquisitions are the catalyst of our growth and operating improvements augment our growth,” Mattscheck says. “The top 10 coatings companies control the lion’s share of the market, and another thousand companies battle for the balance of it. We want to acquire the best of those small- to medium-sized coatings companies.

“We have a buy-and-build strategy. We buy companies with solid management teams, strong brands and high-value products that have a high touch component in sales and technical support. Then we work hard at efficiently managing our brands, increasing market penetration, developing new products and making operational improvements.“

Quest is the 12th largest coatings company in the United States and one of the largest privately held coatings companies in the world. Last year’s sales were $239 million and are on the rise again in 2014.

The company operates three complementary divisions: Quest Automotive, Quest Industrial and Quest Construction. Each manufactures and markets some of the leading brands in the automotive aftermarket, industrial, transportation and construction industries.

“We serve large, multi-billion global markets that are fragmented. They are not economical for high-volume coatings companies and often too technical for smaller competitors. However, they offer significant growth opportunities for Quest and have allowed us to financially outpace, as a percentage of growth, the world’s largest coatings manufacturers,” Mattscheck adds.

“Our goal is to become a major global coatings company. We can do that by further diversifying our products, end markets, customers and geographies. We want leading positions in niche markets where we can obtain the highest margins and fastest growth.”

Karnak Discusses Roof Coatings Industry with Rep. Leonard Lance

Karnak Corp., a member company of the Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association (RCMA), hosted U.S. Representative Leonard Lance (R-NJ-7) at its headquarters recently in Clark, N.J. During his visit, he met with Karnak President Sarah Jelin and Chris Salazar, chief operating officer, to discuss the roof coatings industry and the issues impacting coating manufacturers, such as clarifying the IRS 25C tax credit and concerns over the EPA’s potential proposal to lower the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for Ground-Level Ozone.

In 2013, Congressman Lance first met with Jelin, Salazar, and RCMA Executive Director John Ferraro during the RCMA Government Affairs Lobby Day in Washington. RCMA, the national trade association representing the manufacturers of cold-applied coatings and cements used for roofing and waterproofing, facilitated meetings with 70 different congressional offices during their Lobby Day on July 24, 2013. Since then, the Association’s manufacturing members have continued their dialogues with the members of Congress from their states and districts. The visit to the Karnak Corporation manufacturing facility to learn more about the issues of interest to the roof coatings industry can be seen as a product of these efforts.

“We are very pleased with the visit by the Honorable Congressman Leonard Lance to Karnak Headquarters in Clark, N.J. Congressman Lance listened carefully to the regulatory challenges that affect and threaten our industry,” said Salazar.

During their meeting, Jelin and Salazar emphasized to the Congressman some of the issues that are most highly impacting their industry, including modification of language used in the Homeowner Energy Efficiency Tax Credit (IRC Sec. 25C) to include roof coatings, the Commercial Building Tax Deduction (IRC Sec. 179D), and the EPA’s potential proposal to lower the Ozone NAAQS from the current 0.075 parts per million (ppm) to 0.06-0.07ppm.

At its 2013 Lobby Day, RCMA spoke in opposition to the proposed reduction to the EPA NAAQS for Ozone, as this highly-costly regulation would be damaging to companies, jobs, and the economy. Of particular concern to the RMCA is that a reduction to the standard would likely result in the implementation of hundreds of state and local regulations aimed at further limiting the volume of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) contained in products. Over-reduction of VOCs in roof coatings can result in a number of issues for the effectiveness of the products, and the regulatory burden of keeping apace of hundreds of different rules is extremely high for small businesses.

“The EPA-proposed reduction of ground level ozone will impact VOC limits throughout the U.S. and generate a multitude of different requirements by county and state, making compliance extremely burdensome,” noted Salazar, who has worked to ensure the VOC compliance of his company’s products for decades. “Congressman Lance recognized that our businesses are important to the economy, and promised to do his best after reviewing the RCMA informational materials we provided.”

Roof coatings protect roofs against water, chemicals, and physical damage, and can prolong the life of new roof systems and extend the lives of existing roof systems, which can result in less tear-off waste and a reduced environmental impact from fewer full roof replacements. Solar reflective roof coatings, which reflect visible light as well as infrared and ultraviolet radiation, lead to lower roof temperatures and have been shown to reduce building energy costs and improve air quality.