Sprayfoam Event Features Steve Thomas as Keynote Speaker

The Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) has announced that author and Emmy Award-winning television personality Steve Thomas, from PBS’s This Old House, will be the keynote speaker for the Sprayfoam 2017 Convention and Expo. Being held now through Feb. 1, in Palm Springs, Calif., the official national convention of the Spray Polyurethane Foam industry features three days of educational sessions, an 35,000-square-foot exhibit hall, an industry awards ceremony, professional certification programs, an annual golf tournament, and other special events and features.
 
Steve Thomas will deliver the official Sprayfoam 2017 keynote address on January 31st at 9 a.m. He is currently spokesman for Habitat for Humanity International, with an emphasis on Builders Blitz and the ReStore. Steve Thomas completed three seasons hosting Planet Green’s Renovation Nation, a sustainable building show. During his 14 years as the host of a home improvement series, This Old House, he became known as a home enthusiast and helped catapult the show to the top of PBS’s most-watched ongoing series list. He also contributed to the debut of Ask This Old House, the series in which viewer questions are addressed on-air, as host during its first year. Steve was honored with a 1997 – 1998 Daytime Emmy Award and a total of nine nominations for Outstanding Service Show Host. He is a speaker, video producer, blogger, photographer, renovator and branding consultant. He also consults on sustainable building and renovation for clients across the U.S. and is currently writing a book.
 
“As a longtime sustainable building and renovation expert, Steve Thomas is a major coup for our annual event,” says Kurt Riesenberg, executive director of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), the official organizer of the show. “His enthusiasm for quality craftsmanship in the built environment, as demonstrated in his hosting This Old House, and his high profile role with Habitat for Humanity, align with the Sprayfoam Convention & Expo’s goal of providing education and business insight to the industry.”
 
During his keynote, Steve Thomas will likely speak about his various experiences working with spray foam, both personally and professionally, as well as his current renovation efforts, while providing attendees a great perspective on the business that they will be able to bring back to their customers. He will utilize any remaining time to answer audience questions about his life-long passion for building, his time spent on This Old House and his upcoming book.
 
Sprayfoam 2017 Convention & Expo’s event agenda includes a 35,000-square-foot exhibit hall showcasing booth displays from over 80 industry organizations, manufacturers, contractors, equipment providers, and many others; a three-day educational program including more than 30 break-out sessions; a general session with Sam Rashkin, Chief Architect, Building Technologies Office highlighting the Department of Energy’s Net Zero Initiatives; the 12th Annual Industry Excellence Awards Ceremony highlighting innovation, best practices and excellence in SPF projects; SPFA Annual Member Awards, honoring members who have demonstrated dedication to the betterment of the organization and industry at-large; the Annual Golf Tournament; VIP events; member and contractor-only events; a entertaining Close-Out Reception and Networking Party.
 
The SPFA offers Professional Certification Program testing onsite. Testing is administered to individuals active in the installation of SPF in roofing and insulation, as well as to contractor and supplier companies, with the ability to gain professional accreditation on-site. Testing is offered as part of the internationally recognized program built to advocate best practices and safety in the installation of SPF. The standards-driven program is ISO 17024 compliant, was developed by committees of industry stakeholders in collaboration with OSHA, NIOSH and the EPA. Due to an abundance of PCP scholarship sponsors the Field Exams needed to obtain the Master Installer certification will be offered for free to candidates at the show for the second year in a row.
 
“Sprayfoam 2017 is the spray foam event of the year,” says John Achille, president of the SPFA. “As an annual event serving our industry with education, onsite certification, networking opportunities and more, it is the place to be if you are part of the spray polyurethane foam marketplace.”
 
Attendance for the Sprayfoam 2017 Convention & Expo is expected to exceed 1,200 individuals representing the complete Spray Polyurethane Foam industry and value chain, as well as the general public.
 
Premier sponsors of Sprayfoam 2017 include: Accella Polyurethane Systems, CertainTeed, Chemours, Covestro, Gaco Western, Honeywell, Icynene, Lapolla, NCFI Polyurethanes, and Polyurethane Machinery Corp. Premier Media Sponsors include “Sprayfoam Professional” (the official publication of the Sprayfoam 2017 event), “Building Enclosure”, “Roofing Contractor”, and “Walls & Ceilings” magazines.  

Security Bars Provide Fall Protection

Placing a fall protection device, like security bars, and leaving it for rooftop security will save contractors man-hours and liability.

Placing a fall protection device, like security bars, and leaving it for rooftop security will save contractors man-hours and liability.

Fall protection for roofers is an important topic in the roofing industry. California Code of Regulations oversees fall protection codes and has ruled on a groundbreaking issue. Security Bars have been approved for Title 8, Section 3212 Fall Protection Codes.

Rooftop safety and security products and practices are essential for a safe work environment. Roofing Contractors spend a lot of time ensuring they comply with codes and standards. Title 8, Section 3212 states:

  • “Every floor and roof opening shall be guarded by a cover, a guardrail, or equivalent on all open sides. While the cover is not in place, the openings shall be constantly attended by someone or shall be protected by guardrails. Toe-boards shall be installed around the edges at opening where persons may pass below the opening.”

SKYCO Skylights led the push by manufacturers to update the standards so their customers could save time and money with a universal, code compliant product.

Some exceptions apply but for the most part an opening on a roof needs to have fall protections. Properly covering each hole can be time consuming for contractors. Placing a fall protection device, like security bars, and leaving it for rooftop security will save contractors man-hours and liability and give building owners and occupants the security they need.

Most building owners require security bars for their building, it can lower insurance costs and liabilities, so installing a security bar that doubles as fall protection is a practical concept. For a 500k square foot warehouse you can have upwards of 400 skylight openings.

Not all security bars are approved for Title 8, Section 3212. They need to withstand an impact test of 400 pounds minimum, no opening can be larger than 12 inches horizontally, the lip cannot be higher than 1 inch, and in the case of broken skylight glazing no impalement hazard for worker who has fallen through.

SKYCO Skylights’ team is knowledgeable in rooftop safety topics and codes but it is best practice to speak directly with a code official. For the entire detailed requirements and regulations contact SKYCO Skylights or go to the California Department of Industrial Relations website

Dan Worstell of Pyramid Roofing Creates Positive Change in His Community

Dan Worstell (right) is pictured with his dad Jerry (center) and his brother Dave (left).

Dan Worstell (right) is pictured with his dad Jerry (center) and his brother Dave (left).

Dan Worstell, president of Pyramid Roofing, which has offices in Newport News, Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, Va., believes the biggest changes can be made with small efforts. Worstell lives his belief every day.

For example, after signing up as a volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Williamsburg, he was quickly paired with 7-year-old Jordan. The plan as to spend a few hours a month with the boy over the course of a year, sharing activities and generally being a positive male role model for Jordan. Recently, the pair celebrated 10 years as “Big” and “Little,” and both their lives have changed for the better as a result of their relationship. Jordan is a smart, popular teen in his senior year of high school. He works after school and on weekends, has his own bank account and buys presents for the Worstell family at Christmas.

Meanwhile Worstell and his family—wife Tammy and sons Derek and Drew—include Jordan in family activities, from holiday celebrations to just hanging out around the house. Worstell also attends Jordan’s sporting events and hangs photos of Jordan along with his own sons on the walls of his office.

Through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Williamsburg, Wortsell has mentored Jordan for the past 10 years.

Through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Williamsburg, Wortsell has mentored Jordan for the past 10 years.

Worstell is not only one of the most prominent roofing contractors in the Hampton Roads area, he’s also a stand-up guy who cares about his employees and community.

For example, Worstell roofed the home of a disabled veteran for free and also supplied the labor to install roofing shingles (donated by Atlanta-based Atlas Roofing Corp.) at the Jamestown 4-H Center. On rain and snow days, Worstell keeps his crews working by posting on Facebook that the roofers are available to do odd jobs around the house. All Worstell asks in return is a $15 minimum donation to the Grove Christian Outreach Center.

On rainy mornings, Worstell often can be found in his company truck in the Chick-fil-A drive-thru in Hampton Roads. He hands his credit card to the cashier and moves to the end of the line, paying for breakfast for everyone originally behind him. Along with the free breakfast, the cashier passes out a chip clip with the Pyramid Roofing name and logo on it. This small investment has led to new business and positive feedback about Pyramid Roofing.

Photos: Atlas Roofing Corp.

Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress is Accepting Nominations for MVP Award

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress announces it is accepting nominations for its 2016-17 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award program. In its 18th year, the MVP Award Program honors a maximum of 10 outstanding roofing workers. One winner will be chosen as Professional Roofing’s Best of the Best, an honor co-sponsored by OMG Roofing Products.

The MVP Award Program recognizes leadership in the field. Roofing contractor firms can nominate any field roofing worker, foreman or superintendent. No more than three nominations per company branch will be accepted. Distributors and supplier firms may nominate up to five warehouse employees, warehouse foremen, drivers or equipment operators. Self-nominations are not accepted.

Criteria by which nominees will be evaluated include outstanding on-the-job performance; on-the-job safety performance; contributions to a team effort; community service and volunteerism; and other noteworthy contributions and activities.

Entries may be submitted by completing an official entry form, providing detailed descriptions of specific attributes, activities and other factors that make individuals noteworthy or unique. All entries must be submitted by Nov. 18, 2016.

MVP winners will receive two complimentary airfares and two nights’ hotel accommodations during NRCA’s 130th Annual Convention in Las Vegas; one complimentary conference registration and exhibit hall pass to the 2017 International Roofing Expo; two complimentary tickets to the NRCA Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception where winners and their companies will be formally honored; a $100 American Express gift card; recognition in Professional Roofing magazine, NRCA’s For Members Only newsletter and on The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress website; and recognition in a press release sent to local media and industry trade press.

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.

How to Choose a Roofing Contractor

The greatest challenge for anyone responsible for any physical asset is how to keep it operating properly. The key is finding qualified maintenance providers to solve problems that are beyond our own abilities. With the advent of the Internet, our options are limitless. If we need a doctor, we Google the type of doctor we need and get a list of options. The same can be said for all other types of goods and services. But with more options, are we really getting more quality from these numerous choices?

Unfortunately, people and companies can make any claim on the Internet and, as long as they don’t slander anybody else, it’s perfectly legal. I get emails every day claiming to have a cure for cancer, obesity, hemorrhoids, etc., and all I have to do is log on to the website, enter my credit card number and the “cure” will be sent to my house within 72 hours.

Everyone knows this is a hoax, right? Yet more and more of these websites keep popping up every day. Clearly someone is falling for these frauds or there wouldn’t be any! But I digress. The topic of this article is “how to choose a roofing contractor”, not “how not to get ripped off using the Internet.”

Preliminary Questions

Consequently, if I have a roof leak, the first thing I will do is conduct a web search for roofing contractors in my area. I will probably look for ones located closest to my facility. I will call the company and say something like: “I have a roof leak. Do you fix those?” The contractor will probably say, “Yes, I can fix leaks.” I will then say: “Great! When can you be here?” And the rest is, as they say, history. Hopefully, the contractor I selected is licensed, bonded, insured and competent. As you can see, I didn’t ask any of those questions, so I really don’t know. But he must be good; he was listed on the Internet!

If he’s not licensed, there is probably a pretty good reason why he isn’t—he’s not a real contractor, just kind of a handyman. If he’s not bonded and there is a problem with the work he performs and he refuses to fix his mistakes, I will have no recourse to take legal action because he doesn’t have a bonding company backing his work. If he isn’t insured and he falls off my roof, he can sue me personally for causing him bodily injury.

Before any contractor comes out to your facility, make sure the company is licensed, bonded and insured. Always ask for the license number, bonding company name and number, and personal liability insurance policy number. Once you get this information, verify these numbers and providers. I once had a contractor give me his license number only to find out the number was made up! If the information checks out, set up an appointment for the contractor to evaluate your problem. Don’t set the appointment and then check out the company’s qualifications. If a roofer comes out, climbs on your roof and falls off without liability insurance, you are on the hook paying for “Mr. FastRoofs Inc.’s” medical bills or worse: he sues you for not having fall protection on your roof—not that you should know what that is—and rest assured you will pay his medical and legal bills!

Once you have determined a certain level of legitimacy, you should also check what other types of certifications the contractor has attained. I would determine whether he or she belongs to the Better Business Bureau. This is no guarantee that these companies won’t have problems, but it does show a willingness to be responsible once the work has been completed. Also, determine whether the company belongs to trade associations. A roofing contractor should be “a member in good standing” and belong to the Rosemont, Ill.-based National Roofing Contractors Association or one of its affiliates.

Don’t assume just because a company says it belongs to a trade association it does. I once dealt with a painting contractor that listed on its website belonging to the Painting and Decorating Contractors of America, Maryland Heights, Mo. I called the trade association and learned the contractor did not belong at all! In other words, if a contractor makes a claim, make a call and check it out—no matter what!

The Proposal

Once you have properly vetted your prospective contractor, call him and describe your problem in the most basic terms. Most people want to solve the problem themselves and then just have the contractor effect the change.

Customers often will call and say: “I have a lot of problems on my roof. Can you come out and give me a quote for a new roof?” I am sure many of you are reading this and are completely incredulous this happens but, be honest, it’s human nature to not want to seem ignorant. As a matter of fact, I find those with the most experience are quickest to opine on their problems when they really don’t have a clue as to what’s wrong with their roof.

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Research Roof Warranties Before Hiring Roofing Contractors

Many times, consumers can have a false sense of security with a new roof system warranty, according to Kevin Krolczyk, president of Long Lake, Minn.-based Mint Roofing.

The importance of researching a roof system warranty before selecting a roofing contractor for a roof system replacement is highlighted in Krolczyk’s column, “Warranties: What you should know to truly protect your roof investment,” posted to Everybody Needs a Roof, the official consumer website of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA). The column is posted on the site’s “From the Experts” page.

Krolczyk advises that all homeowners and building owners take the time to read the fine print on a roof warranty because coverage can vary greatly between manufacturers, which may make a big difference when roof issues occur.

In addition, the column reminds consumers that with most warranties, the roofing contractor who installs the roof system covers the first two years, so it is essential to hire a reputable roofing contractor who has a track record of responding in a timely manner to problems. Krolczyk emphasizes that a professional roofing contractor will provide assistance regarding aspects of a warranty that are often misunderstood.

To read Krolczyk’s column in its entirety, visit NRCA’s Everybody Needs a Roof website.