The Beer That Saved My Life

Did I ever tell you about the beer that saved my life?

One day, the freezer motor in my refrigerator started to make a horrendous shrieking sound. I opened the freezer door, grabbed a pound of frozen ground round, and threw it at the back wall of the freezer. The noise stopped. Problem solved.

Unfortunately, the shrieking episodes continued and became more and more frequent. When I began dating Patti, the lovely woman who later became my wife, she was not impressed. “What are you going to do about that?” she said, hooking a thumb at my musical freezer. “What do you mean?” I replied. “I’m just never going to thaw that ground round.”

I knew that wasn’t a good long-term answer, but a new refrigerator was just not in my budget. However, Patti did some research and found out that a new freezer motor was relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

After purchasing the motor, I pulled out the refrigerator to install it. The galley kitchen was tight, so I had to reach around the refrigerator blindly to unplug it. I removed the back panel of the freezer and took out the old motor without too much difficulty. It was thirsty work, and remembered I had some beer in the refrigerator that would still be cold. I opened the door to pull one out, and realized with alarm that the refrigerator light was on. The unit was still plugged in!

Suddenly I wasn’t very thirsty any more. I realized that I had unplugged the microwave instead of the refrigerator. I was lucky not to have been shocked. It probably wouldn’t have been fatal, but I guess it possibly might have been, and it makes a better story to tell it that way. In any event, after unplugging the unit, I was able to complete the repair. We thawed the ground round and cooked up some hamburgers that night to celebrate.

What does this have to do with roofing? Unfortunately, too much. Many building owners think of their roofs much like I thought of my refrigerator. It is the job of roofing professionals to educate them so they can avoid these common mistakes:

  • Out of sight, out of mind: Roofs are often overlooked by building owners unless a problem crops up. But that’s often too late. Routine maintenance can be the key to spotting minor problems before they become major ones. It can also be a necessary component of the warranty.
  • Using stopgap measures: If a problem does crop up, owners might try to repair it themselves and cause more harm than good. As the roof becomes a platform for not only HVAC equipment but solar arrays, cell towers and satellite dishes, damage to the roof becomes more and more likely.
  • Not consulting a professional: Roofs face potential damage from extreme weather, debris, foot traffic, and a host of other problems. To get the most out of their investment, building owners need expert advice. Planning ahead can make budgeting a future repair or roof replacement much easier.
  • If you are a roofing professional with clients who might not be getting the most out of their roofing assets, stop by and talk to them about the benefits of a roof inspection or a maintenance program. Invite them out for a beer to talk it over. Of course, drinking alcoholic beverages on the job is never advisable under any circumstances, but a beer after work never hurt anyone. Who knows, it just might save someone’s life.

    University of Wisconsin Madison Offers Metal Roofing Continuing Education Course

    Anyone involved in metal roofing design, construction, commissioning, maintenance, repair, and re-roofing can benefit by enrolling in a new 1.5 day metal roofing continuing education course offered by the University of Wisconsin-Madison December 1-2, 2016.

    The informative course will be taught by Robert Haddock, director of the Metal Roof Advisory Group. Haddock has a background in the nuts and bolts of contracting, having operated one of the nation’s largest metal roofing companies. He has authored a number of training and educational curricula for various trade groups. A prolific technical author, Haddock served as a faculty member of the Roofing Industry Educational Institute and holds several US and foreign patents. He is a member of the NRCA and ASTM, as well as a lifetime honorary member of the Systems Builders Association and the Metal Construction Association.

    Topics covered in the metal roofing continuing education course include:
    • The History of Metal Roofing
    • Metal Roofing Fundamentals
    • Metal Roofing Materials
    • Codes/Standards
    • Panel Types, Attributes and Connections
    • Roof Deck Substrates
    • Common Metal Roof Accessories
    • Safety Issues
    • Tools and Field Operations
    • Low and Steep Slope Standing Seams
    • Seam Joining
    • Sealants and Fasteners
    • Re-Roofing/Roof Conversion with Metal
    • Metal Tile and Shingle
    • Snow Retention
    • The Solar Metal Roof
    • Maintenance

    Gain insight on this ancient but fascinating field by enrolling now in this highly anticipated course. For additional course details and to enroll online, visit:

    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.

    Roof Maintenance, Sustainability and RoofPoint Life-cycle Management

    The roofing industry knows good design, quality materials and proper installation are the key tenets to achieving a leak-free, long-term roofing system. Roof system maintenance is an equal part of the equation and should not be overlooked, even though there is a tendency for “out of sight, out of mind” by many building owners.

    A technician from Sheridan, Ark.-based RoofConnect walks a roof and documents it as part of an annual maintenance survey. RoofConnect, which has locations around the country, including Monroe, N.C., has made maintenance contracts a major part of its business.

    A technician from Sheridan, Ark.-based RoofConnect
    walks a roof and documents it as part of an annual maintenance survey. RoofConnect, which has locations around the country, including Monroe, N.C., has made maintenance contracts a major part of its business.

    Roof maintenance is not only important to long-term service life, it is a key factor for the overall sustainability of roof systems. RoofPoint, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing’s Guide for Environmentally Innovative Nonresidential Roofing, emphasizes durability and life-cycle management for sustainable, environmentally friendly roof systems. Of the 23 credits within RoofPoint, nine are in the Durability/Life Cycle Management (D/LCM) section. It’s clear the roofing industry recognizes the importance of longevity when it comes to environmentally friendly roof systems.

    Looking deeper into RoofPoint, one of the nine credits in the D/LCM section is titled “Roof Maintenance Program”. Establishing and maintaining a partnership with the building owner is a win-win for the roofing contractor and the building owner. Performing inspections
    and maintenance provides the owner with an ongoing information resource, ultimately allowing better management of capital and the roof asset by extending the life of the roof system.

    From a sustainability perspective, a longer lasting roof—extended by regular roof system maintenance—means roof replacement is appropriately postponed and with that comes a reduction in material and energy use, as well as reduced expense and waste. Roof system maintenance is a win for the owner, the environment and the roofing contractor.

    PHOTOS: RoofConnect