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Metal Roofing Alliance Hosting Free Residential Rooftop Solar Installation Webinar for Building Trades on November 7

Webinar will cover design techniques and advanced rooftop installation considerations to help optimize the return on residential roof-mounted solar systems.

When it comes to sustainable building practices, solar is hot. With the availability and interest in residential solar systems growing rapidly nationwide, it’s important for builders, contractors and installers to know the fundamentals and brush up on best practices to help homeowners make informed decisions.

To that end, the Metal Roofing Alliance is hosting a free “Residential Solar System Installation” webinar in partnership with Green Builder, covering design techniques and advanced rooftop installation considerations to help optimize the return on residential roof-mounted solar systems.

The webinar will be held Wednesday, Nov. 7 at 2 p.m. EST. Free registration sign up is available https://www.greenbuildermedia.com/residential-solar-system-installation. The webinar will feature noted author, presenter and expert Todd Miller, president of Isaiah Industries, who has spent his long professional career in the metal roofing industry, including providing expertise, ideas and guidance to hundreds of homeowners planning for solar installations.

“Driven by California residential solar mandates coming in 2020, residential solar systems are becoming more mainstream nationwide,” said Renee Ramey, executive director of Metal Roofing Alliance. “To capitalize on the opportunity as well as to help guide homeowners during the planning process, it’s important for the trade to understand the essentials for residential rooftop solar installation.”

Contractors and roofing installers also can find the primer for solar rooftop installation on MRA’s website at www.metalroofing.com, in addition to information about how to become a MRA member and gain access to other education and training related to a wide variety of metal roof topics.

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Air barriers and vapor retarders: the current conundrum in the roofing industry

By James R. Kirby, AIA, GAF.

The roofing industry continues to discuss vapor retarders but should be discussing air barriers.

One of the primary purposes of a building envelope is to keep moisture out of a building. What makes this difficult is that water comes in many forms and can take many paths into a building. Therefore, building designers need to account for bulk water, capillary water, air-transported moisture, and water vapor, and deal with each of these with different forms of defense.

Water in its many forms

Bulk water (i.e., rain and snow) is kept out of buildings with roof membranes and facades of all types. Capillary water is primarily a ground-based issue involving water moving into and through the building envelope via capillary action. Foundation waterproofing and water barrier layers or components are used to prevent this intrusion. Air-transported water, as the name implies, is carried into a building by air that infiltrates the building envelope. Water vapor enters a building by the process of diffusion of water through the building envelope materials.

There is an order of priority for the prevention of water intrusion. Bulk water is most critical, capillary water is second, then air-transported water, and finally, of least concern—although still important—is vapor diffusion.

The design, manufacturing, and construction industries are quite good at keeping bulk water out of buildings. They are also quite good at keeping capillary water out of buildings. They have only recently begun to focus on the importance of keeping air out of buildings. That is why the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), since 2012, requires all new buildings to include an air barrier. The main reason for air barriers is to keep conditioned air from escaping and exterior air from infiltrating, but air-leakage prevention in building envelope keeps the moisture in the air from passing into and out of buildings. It may be a secondary reason, but nonetheless, this reason is important!

You may be wondering why air-transported water is a bigger issue than vapor diffusion. Indeed, the roofing industry has discussed vapor retarders for decades, but only recently focused on air barriers. But “back in the day,” multi-ply asphalt-based vapor retarders that were installed above the roof deck and below the insulation were also acting as very effective air barriers.

Diffusion versus air movement

Let’s compare vapor diffusion and air-leakage from the perspective of how much water is transported for each process. Lstiburek1, et al, determined that—in a warm climate—approximately 1½ pints of water will diffuse through a 4’x8’ gypsum board, and approximately 14 pints of moisture will be transported by air passing through a 1”x1” hole in that same gypsum board. The same research showed that—in a cold climate—approximately 2/3 of a pint of water will diffuse through a 4’x8’ gypsum board, and approximately 60 pints of water will be transported by air passing through a 1”x1” hole in the same gypsum board.

Another way of stating this is: In a warm climate, air transports 10x more water than diffusion, and in a cold climate, air transports 100x more water than diffusion. This is why air-transported moisture is much more critical to prevent than water vapor that enters a building by diffusion.

It has been suggested that air infiltration and exfiltration make up 25 to 40 percent of the total heat loss in a building in a cold climate and 10 to 15 percent of total heat gain in a hot climate.2 This is likely why the IECC have air-barrier requirements and do not have any significant vapor retarder requirements for building envelopes.

2nd law of thermodynamics

There is one simple rule that defines how heat, air, and moisture move—the 2nd law of thermodynamics. That sounds like a mouthful, so let’s distill it. What it means in terms of building and roofing science is this:

  • Hot moves to cold
  • Moist moves to dry
  • High pressure moves to low pressure

Heat, moisture, and pressure always equalize when possible (i.e. if paths are available to do so). That’s why there is a drive for warm, moist air to leave a building during winter when it’s cold and dry outside.

For roof systems, the 2nd law of thermodynamics helps explain why—during the cold winter months—warm, moist interior air (e.g., 75F, 50% RH) infiltrates up into a roof system that doesn’t have a vapor retarder/air barrier in the system. The warm, moist air equalizes to the exterior where the air is cooler and drier.

There can be other reasons why this happens, like the stack effect, wind and associated membrane billowing, and internal pressurization from mechanical systems. So let’s discuss those, too.

Air Movement

The stack effect, in laymen’s terms, is the fact that warm air rises. In a tall narrow column, such as a skyscraper, this effect can be very pronounced. When warm air rises, it creates a higher pressure in the upper interior portion of a building. That increase in pressure also means the warm, moist air will escape through any pathways that are available. It will escape ‘into’ the roof or any air passage that goes to the exterior. (That’s why air barriers are now an energy code requirement for new construction. More on that in a bit.)

Membrane billowing occurs when wind creates a negative pressure above a roof system and lifts the membrane between the rows of fasteners in the seams. A billowing membrane brings interior air into the roof system regardless of temperature or moisture levels.

Air conditioning and heating equipment force air through ductwork and into the interior of a building. By forcing conditioned air into a space, the space can become somewhat pressurized. Not to a great extent, but enough to create an imbalance between the interior and the exterior, forcing interior air into the roof system.

A less desirable scenario for air and moisture infiltration into a properly installed roof assembly is to use a mechanically attached (MA) system with a single layer of insulation without a vapor retarder/air barrier (VR/AB). The MA system billows; the lack of VR/AB allows warm moist air to enter the roof system; and the board joints allow a direct path for air flow from the deck to the membrane.

A more desirable scenario is an adhered roof system with multiple layers of insulation (with board joints offset and staggered) over a VR/AB. This system helps lower the risk of these detrimental processes from occurring. The end result can be a roof system with better longevity and thermal performance, and a building with improved energy efficiency. (Of course, actual energy savings may vary based on a number of factors, like climate zone, utility rates, etc.)

Vapor Retarders and Air Barriers

Vapor retarders do just as they are named—they reduce vapor diffusion, but not all vapor retarders are equal. There are 3 classes of vapor retarder materials, as shown in the figure. The lower the perm rating, the less diffusion occurs through a material. Most roof membranes are Class I vapor retarders. A single layer self-adhered, bituminous vapor retarder has a perm rating of 0.03 perms. Plywood (1/4” thick, Douglas fir, exterior glue) is a Class II vapor retarder with a perm rating of 0.7 perms. The same plywood with interior glue is a Class III vapor retarder with a perm rating of 1.9 perms. Perm ratings for additional roofing materials are shown in the figure. Remember, these are material ratings; the full system needs to be designed and installed correctly for proper functionality.

From a designer’s perspective, if a vapor retarder is needed, which class should be used?  If a Class I vapor retarder is used, the concern is that any moisture (e.g., construction moisture due to installation methods, weather, etc.) that enters a roof system won’t be able to dry out.  It’s often a good idea to select a vapor retarder that will allow some amount of drying from diffusion.  Exceptions to this idea include roofs over indoor swimming pools and other high-humidity producing activities or processes.  Another exception is a Class I vapor retarder should be installed over a new concrete deck to prevent the moisture in the concrete from drying into the roof system.

Here’s a key takeaway—all vapor retarders block air, but not all air barriers block vapor diffusion.  That means that when we use a vapor retarder in a roof system, it’s also acting as an air barrier.  The caveat is that the vapor retarder needs to be sealed at all perimeters and penetrations, and tied to the wall air barrier so air does not bypass the vapor retarder layer.  So, practically speaking, all vapor retarders are air barriers if they are installed to block the passage of air.

Moving Forward

The traditional way of designing roofs with vapor retarders is to install an asphaltic vapor retarder (a single layer modified sheet or a double mopping of asphalt) either directly to the deck or over a fastened hardboard.  What if that hardboard or plywood deck was recognized to be the air barrier layer, but had a moderate or high perm rating?  Since air movement brings 10-100 times more moisture as compared to diffusion, perhaps we should be considering the use of a Class II or III vapor retarder (e.g., hardboard or plywood deck) installed to be an effective air barrier that also allows some drying potential?  The wall industry has been doing this for quite some time.  Should our roof systems be designed similarly?  A gypsum-fiber board has a perm rating of approximately 24 to 30 perms, depending on thickness.  If this board is fastened to a steel deck and the joints and transitions are taped, it could be an effective air barrier that allows some drying.  Something for roof designers to consider!

Roof system design is always the responsibility of the designer, but perhaps the designers in the roofing industry can find some takeaways from the wall industry.  There is always more to learn and understand about the building science of our roof systems.

1Building Science Corporation, Build Boston—2005, Thermal and Air Leakage Control, ppt from Betsy Pettit, AIA

2“The Hidden Science of High-Performance Building Assemblies,” Environmental Building News, November 2012

Learn more about GAF.

Editor’s note: This article was first published on GAF’s blog and can be viewed here.



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Are certification and trade programs the future of our industry?


Programs can ease labor shortage by attracting young workers, and increase skill sets of all industry professionals.

How can defined certification programs benefit our industry?

Many construction trade disciplines provide clear-cut roles based on training and certification levels. For example, in carpentry, it is known that after you have worked in the industry for many years, you can eventually participate in a certification program to become a Master Carpenter. But, in the roofing industry, this career path is not as defined and applicators do not have a “master” level to aspire to. It has only recently become a topic of discussion in our industry, but could certification programs be one of the steps to overcome the current labor shortage?

Certification programs are an important step in any industry for a variety of reasons. A certification program provides industry professionals, at all levels, with something to aspire to and work towards throughout their career. In addition, it ensures that professionals have the training and skill sets required to perform the work at hand. Someone who participates in a certification program has gone through the training, learned the proper installation methods and proved they have a full understanding of the materials being installed. This could result in more properly trained and qualified workers available in the industry that provide credibility and assurance to end-customers.

Although there is no complete certification program in the roofing industry today, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) is in the process of developing one. NRCA does currently offer a certification program geared towards career development as a foreman. This program, the ProForeman Certification Program, is designed to provide education and development for individuals who are looking to become or currently hold a foreman role. This certification program covers topics ranging from safety requirements, roofing technologies, leadership and training skills – all skills required of a foreman.

Another option that is available today is through the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers & Allied Workers. This is an apprenticeship program that trains apprentices through on the job training and teaching them the required technical skills needed to excel in the roofing industry. This program is generally a three year program and once completed, apprentices graduate to a journeyman status.

To provide another certification program designed to encompass more of the roofing industry, NRCA is in the process of developing the ProCertification Program. This new program will provide roofing professionals additional education and training goals to work towards. Once fully implemented, it will be a structured, credentialed national worker program that will help attract and keep workers, while improving industry productivity through training. This program will then provide a clear career path through certification for the roofing industry, similarly to carpentry and other trade groups.

How Can We Reach the Younger Generation?

Once these programs have been fully developed, could we take this same idea and implement it into vocational programs and trade schools to attract younger generations? It is easy to see that students throughout their education are encouraged and guided to the route of a college degree, but many students find this is not the path for them. These students may not be aware that there are other options available to them, such as the roofing industry. Pushing to educate the younger generations on the options they have once graduation comes, could potentially be one step that could help improve employment numbers in our industry.

According to the United States Department of Labor, in 2016, the percentage of students that enrolled in college after high school was only 69.7%. This means that 30.3% of the graduating high school students opted not to go to college. This 30.3% of students will need to find a job to support themselves and the construction industry could be the perfect fit for them. In addition to the percentage of students who do not go onto college, a large percentage of students who did enroll in college find that was not the right choice for them and never complete their degrees.  Sometimes the reasoning behind these students not attending or finishing college is the high cost of education or the stress of college is too much for them.  Whatever the reason, this offers the construction force an opportunity to reach potential employees.

Now, where are these students going? Many are finding a career path in the trades. But, the problem here is that the roofing sector of the trades does not always have a formal vocational program to offer students. So, they may be going into the construction industry, but they are most likely going into a program to become a carpenter, electrician or plumber, because these sectors have the vocational programs developed and offer a clear-cut career path once they complete their education. If the roofing industry had a larger presence in vocational or trade schools, it is possible that a portion of those students looking to learn a trade would choose to do so in the roofing industry.

How Can Certification and Vocational Programs Help?

By implementing certification programs, the roofing industry can expect to see a variety of benefits. One benefit will be that workers will be universally trained by qualified trainers within the industry. This will lead to more skilled workers among our current force, and bring new workers into the mix with the necessary training from the start. In turn, our industry as a whole should begin to see an increase in productivity and efficiency. Additionally, a certification program will offer roofing professionals a chance to advance in their career and creates a more attractive prospective industry to young professionals.

Developing a formal vocational program for students looking to pursue a career in the trades could open an entirely new pool of skilled workers. With the younger generation having greater knowledge of our industry and obtaining the required skill sets, we could continue to see the effects of the labor shortage decline. As an industry, we need to work together to bring these ideas to reality and bring new faces into the roofing industry.

“College Enrollment and Work Activity of 2016 High School Graduates.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 27 Apr. 2017, https://www.bls.gov/news.release/hsgec.nr0.htm

Hamm, Trent. “Why You Should Consider Trade School Instead of College.” The Simple Dollar, 19 Oct. 2017, https://www.thesimpledollar.com/why-you-should-consider-trade-school-instead-of-college/

Klein, Rebecca. “This Is Why 12 Percent Of High School Graduates Don’t Go To College.” The Huffington Post, TheHuffingtonPost.com, 29 Sept. 2014, https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/29/why-students-dont-go-to-college_n_5901124.html

For more information about Soprema visit here.

Editor’s note: This article was first published on Soprema’s blog and can be viewed here.


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Synthetic and Peel-and-stick Underlayments for Metal Roofing

HydraShell MAX and HydraShell Supreme SA are McElroy Metal’s new underlayments. HydraShell MAX is the standard synthetic underlayment and HydraShell Supreme SA is a peel-and-stick underlayment. HydraShell MAX has a four-layer construction and can be used under all types of finished roofing materials, including steel roofing and is suitable for roof pitches as low as ½:12. HydraShell MAX requires significantly fewer fasteners than competitive products and provides a durable deck cover. HydraShell Supreme SA is the best choice in high-temperature, self-adhering applications. The SBS modified asphalt provides excellent pliability and the cool gray surface reduces heat build-up. 

For more information, visit www.mcelroymetal.com.

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Allied Solar Division to Distribute CertainTeed Solar Systems Nationwide

Allied Solar Products has partnered with CertainTeed to expand the distribution of its Solstice Solar System.

Dave Jenkins, national vice president of solar for Allied Solar Products, noted his parent company’s long-standing relationship with CertainTeed’s building products divisions and said extending the relationship to its solar division “builds on our roofing and solar opportunities” and is “a win for both companies and their contractor customers.

“Allied Solar always looks for ways to improve its supply chains so we can deliver popular products to as many customers as possible as quickly as possible,” said Jenkins. “The move allows us to leverage our logistics, just-in-time delivery, and dedicated solar sales teams to deliver Solstice. With one of the best warranties in the industry, this solution translates into value and peace of mind for installers and their customers.”

CertainTeed’s Solstice system combines high-quality components including modules, inverters, mounting and flashing with a single-source warranty. In addition, when installed by one of CertainTeed’s Credentialed or Master Solar Installers, CertainTeed warrants the installation workmanship on the system for up to 25 years. Considered CertainTeed’s most economical solar solution, Solstice systems are designed to maximize roof space and can be configured to best suit the needs of the client.

Mark Stancroff, director of CertainTeed Solar, said the Allied Solar Division’s sales know-how and logistical presence would complement CertainTeed’s strong brand recognition and installer base.

“Allied Solar’s team has strong product knowledge and solar industry expertise,” said Stancroff. “In addition, their parent company Beacon can deliver roofing material for solar jobs that require reroofs. All of this is supported by Beacon’s Pro+ e-commerce platform that allows customers to order 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“Solar and roofing contractors value these solutions which enable them to stand out in the marketplace,” Stancroff added. “Allied’s logistical capabilities and service platform allow them to provide a steady supply of product to contractors, making their work more efficient. They are a natural fit for the distribution of CertainTeed’s value-added solar solutions.”

For more information, visit www.certainteed.com/solar/.

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DUOTACK® SPF adhesive: Tips for success

By Soprema.

Following temperature and installation guidelines provides more coverage, and quicker installations.

DUOTACK SPF Adhesive is a low pressure, two-component spray polyurethane foam adhesive. It is specifically formulated by SOPREMA for adhering SENTINEL® HFB PVC membranes to approved substrates as well as adhering insulation and coverboards to approved substrates or together. When using DUOTACK SPF Adhesive products, there are some temperature considerations to take into account. In this blog post, we will address these temperature constraints and tips for a successful application.

Tip #1: The Storage Temperature Requirements

When storing DUOTACK SPF Adhesive, it is important that the product is stored in a dry environment and is left in the original packaging. The product should not be stored in direct sunlight or near heat sources. It should also not be stored in a cold area or where the product could freeze. The storage area temperature should fall between 50°F-80°F (10°C-27°C).

Tip #2: Application Temperature Requirements

Prior to application, the product must be conditioned so it reaches a temperature between 70°F-90°F (21°C-32°C). Keep in mind, that conditioning may take up to 24 hours to ensure the chemical has reached optimal application temperatures.

Tip #3: How to Condition the Product

To condition the product, store in a controlled environment with desired temperatures prior to application to ensure proper application temperatures. It can take up to 24 hours for the material in each tank to reach the required application temperature. Building and placing tanks into a hot box is an option, but requires more than a few hours of exposure.

Tip #4: What Happens if Material is Applied Outside the Desired Application Temperature Range?

If temperature guidelines are not followed and the product is applied outside of the desired range there are a few issues that can occur. First, the viscosity of the A and B components will be affected and it can result in an uneven mix of each component. If the ratio is off, the strength of the adhesive will be compromised. It is also possible that the tanks will not empty at the same rate, resulting in less coverage throughout the project.

By following all temperature and application guidelines, DUOTACK SPF Adhesive should provide you with up to 50% more coverage per kit than the competition. It will also yield time and labor savings due to a faster flow rate that will allow for quicker installation process.

Learn more about our new DUOTACK SPF Adhesive here!

Learn more about Soprema here.

Editor’s Note: This article was first published on Soprema, Inc.’s blog and can be viewed here.

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Four easy ways roofers can use technology to improve their work **


Stay competitive using aerial imagery, estimating software, social media, and innovative materials.

As a roofer, you’ve probably spent years perfecting your craft. You’ve studied the best techniques, determined which roofing products work best under which conditions and worked hard to install attractive, lasting roofs for your clients. You’ve probably also built up a strong customer base through good, old-fashioned networking, flyer distribution and word-of-mouth.

With all that, it might be hard for you, as a roofer, to picture how new technologies fit into your daily work.

But in today’s connected world, like in many other industries, roofers are finding plenty of opportunities to embrace innovation to make their work more efficient and help their businesses run smoother. Take a look at some of the examples below to get a sense of how you can grow your business, improve your client experience and achieve a better final product.

1. Simplify your jobs using aerial imagery

a. Aerial photography from airplanes

Aerial photographers continue to refine their craft, offering photographs of properties and buildings that roofers can request and purchase to use for measurements and estimates. Because these require the cost of a pilot, these images can be more expensive; but aerial photographers emphasize that the quality of their photos, using the human eye and fundamentals of composition and lighting, allow them to produce high-quality images that other unmanned options might not.

b. Drone photography

One of the most talked-about technologies of recent years is drones. These unmanned aerial devices continue to capture the public’s imagination as organizations and everyday citizens consider how to take advantage of their capabilities. The .

Both third-party service providers and individual roofing contractors have started to use drones to capture aerial imagery and related data to use in roofing projects. As one Midwestern roofer told his local news station, he’s been able to save hours on estimates and inspections by using a drone to take photos and video of client’s roofs — without him needing to climb up and capture them manually.  Please make sure you adhere to any local laws regulating the use of drones in your area.

Regardless of the source of the photos, the power of aerial photography comes when combined with software programs designed specifically for roofing professionals. These programs allow for the photos to be combined with other satellite imagery and property information to give 3D models and recommendations for everything from measurements to amount of materials a roof project may need.

For example, Hover analyzes and provides measured, customizable 3D models. Meanwhile, EagleView Technology uses aerial photography from low-flying airplanes to feed into a vector-based measuring software program that provides roofing measurements.

Using software to create advanced renderings of a roof project allows roofers to streamline their work — automating tasks that were once manual and heavily time-consuming, such as manual measurements. Some also allow roofing professionals to show clients ahead of time what a new roof would look like. These types of programs give the roofers the opportunity to work with the client to choose styles, materials, even colors before work has even begun on the roof. As the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) notes, being able to show clients an accurate representation of what their new roof could look like is the “ultimate show and tell.”

2. Speed up quoting using estimation software

An important part of every roofer’s work is putting together an accurate and fair quote for your client before the project even begins. You can reduce the time it takes to produce a quote by taking advantage of software programs that do the calculations for you.

You can start by exploring free online tools, such as 150 Points or Roofcalc, which give you a very basic estimation of the cost to install a new roof according to the specifications you enter. For more detailed quotes, consider purchasing an app or program, like AppliCad, The Estimating Edge, Exact Roofing, Stack, RoofSnap, Roofing Calculator App or Top View. These give you more functionality, including incorporating custom material and labor costs, as well as some modeling and presentation features after you’ve entered your data.

These types of programs allow roofing contractors to generate estimates in less time and can be completed on a tablet or smartphone ­— which means no running back to your home or office to use the computer (or a notepad and calculator). You can draw up an estimate quickly and accurately, even on-site, while the client waits. This gives you a faster and easier way to get customers important details they need to get started on their roof.

3. Promote yourself using social media

It’s easy to see the impact that social media has had on the world — it’s transformed everything from everyday social interactions to politics to retail industry sales. But how can a roofer take advantage of this type of tool? Although, at first, it may seem intimidating, social media can easily become a new way for you to market your offerings to your target audience. Just think of it as a digital version of word-of-mouth marketing you’ve been relying on for years — with a much wider reach.

First, consider what social platforms your prospective clients might be using. For example, a homeowner who’s looking for roofing recommendations or who’s in the middle of home renovations might use the popular social site Houzz. Create an account for your business here to showcase your best work — and be sure to include before and after photos, and even video of repairs or new builds you’re particularly proud of.

Millions of homeowners also use Facebook every day to keep in touch with family and friends, and to keep current with news and trends. Be sure to create a business page for your roofing services where you can share real-time photos of your best work, and encourage comments and testimonials from happy customers.

The important thing to remember about using social media is to keep your profiles current. Post updates often so you can stay top of mind with your audience. Social media is also highly visual. That means you should always be thinking about what rich media you can capture on the job site. This doesn’t have to be elaborate — just get into the habit of snapping photos and capturing video with your smartphone or iPad whenever you are on a job. (Remember to do so safely!) Also, let the homeowner know that you will be posting your work — and avoid publishing identifying details about the address, location or client’s name without permission.

4. Take advantage of innovative roofing materials

Technological advancements don’t always have to be digital. Besides the managing of a job, and marketing your roofing skills to a wide crowd, new innovations in roofing products continue to emerge on the market.

For instance, a roofer can improve the performance of a new roof system by taking advantage of products, like high-performance asphalt shingles, which offer more colors, an enhanced look and easier installation. IKO’s Cambridge IR Shingles with ArmourZone offer an advanced design — including an enlarged nailing area to make installation faster, easier and more accurate.

There are also environmental innovations, such as shingles with reflective granules, which reflect a greater amount of solar energy than conventional roofing granules. This allows less solar radiation (less heat) to enter the home through the attic. As a result, IKO Cambridge Cool Colors shingles help to lower the roof’s temperature on sunny days throughout the year, potentially reducing overall cooling loads on the home and energy costs associated with air conditioning.

Innovation is all around us, and roofers shouldn’t be afraid to take advantage of its benefits. By combining technologies that improve the way you do business, and using new roofing products and materials to improve your work, you can make sure you’re keeping up with your competitors and continue to impress and inspire your customers.

As a bonus, you may even find yourself having fun while you’re doing so.

For more information about IKO visit here.

Editor’s note: This article was first published on IKO’s blog and can be viewed here.

** In this article, we have endeavored to refer you to helpful apps and resources. However, IKO does not guarantee the third-party products or services referenced herein, and is not responsible for any failure of those third-party products or services or any loss or damage resulting from their use.


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Construction Workers 5x More Likely to Die of Opioid Overdoses

Source: NERCA September Newsletter.

Opioid Overdoses:  The study linked high fatality rates with the likelihood of workers being injured on the job.

A study by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health which was funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that construction workers are among those with the highest likelihood of dying from an opioid overdose.

From 2011 through 2015, the construction industry fatality rate was about 125 deaths for every 100,000 full-time workers for a total of 1,155 deaths in the state. The average rate for all industries was about 25, claiming a total of 4,302 lives.

The study linked high fatality rates with the likelihood of workers being injured on the job. With construction among the highest injury rates of any industry, experts believe that reducing the chance of injury could be a first step towards decreasing opioid abuse by workers. Of course, even among the construction trades, roofers are also significantly more at risk of injury than other trades. So it is important for contractors to be vigilant in trying to identify and combat drug abuse in the workforce. For resources related to opioid abuse prevention click here.

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Awards are good for sales and marketing

By Heidi J. Ellsworth.

Upcoming awards can create buzz for your company

Walking into any contractor’s office, there are usually several awards from manufacturers and local organizations.  They are a point of pride as they should be.  An additional awards avenue that every roofing contractor should look at are national association awards for quality and excellence.

There is nothing better than sharing the success of a job well done.  Contractors have amazing roofing jobs that show off the quality and professionalism of our trade.  Being able to take that project and share it with the world is a great way to market your business.  By winning awards for quality, you are validating your business and quality in the eyes of your customers.  You can show them that your work is recognized nationally.

It can also help with recognition from manufacturers and distributors.  Award winners receive press in trade magazines and on trade websites.  They are recognized on the association’s website which not only helps your public relations program but is great for Search Engine Optimizations (SEO).  And it helps to build culture.  Your crews are proud of their work and by you showing it off to the world, it makes them proud and they feel respected.  It is a win-win.

Here are seven reasons why you should add award applications to your marketing plan.

  1. Build your Portfolio – Every roofing company should have a strong portfolio of jobs on their website and in their sales presentations. If those jobs are award winners, it is even better.  As jobs are in progress remember to take quality photos that can be used for the award submissions.
  2. Public Relations – Winning awards are great for press releases, blogs and coverage. Be sure to make a big deal of winning, even if you are an honorable mention.  Being there and competing is great in itself.  Sharing your progress through the awards on social media also creates excitement and fans for your company.
  3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – The more back links you can get on other sites the better your SEO will be. Also, being placed in reputable magazines and websites can really boost your overall online reputation.
  4. Sales – Customers love to see what you can do. Show them.  It is critical that they understand the level of quality and safety that you bring to every job.  And when your employees win awards it is not just thrilling for the employee but great for the company reputation and company culture.
  5. Culture – Everyone wants to work with winners and be a part of showcasing their work and projects. Again, it shows that you are proud of your company, employees and quality of work.
  6. Industry Reputation – Awards can bring you to the notice of manufacturers and distributors. By being a part of different award programs, you will meet new people and gain relationships that can help you with better programs and even improved pricing.
  7. Customer Loyalty – For current customers, it validates their trust in you. They can share that you are their roofing company and you are an award-winning organization.  Showcasing your customers projects through award programs can also be great for their businesses or just make a homeowner very proud.

So, what are some awards that you can apply for?  Here are three awards in the roofing industry that I am aware of, there is probably a lot more.

  1. The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress’ Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award program celebrates workers who are outstanding employees within their companies and recognizes them for their outstanding performance outside the workplace—their charitable deeds, community involvement, challenges they’ve overcome, dedication and commitment to helping others. MVPs are role models who demonstrate work-related and personal goals to which others aspire. Through the MVP program, you can nominate your employee for an award to formally recognize his or her outstanding contributions through on-the-job performance and workmanship or for outstanding performance and other noteworthy contributions outside the workplace.  The deadline for nominations is November 16, 2018.  Visit http://www.roofingindustryalliance.net/Programs/MVP/ to apply.
  2. The Gold Circle Awards program recognizes Alliance and NRCA members for outstanding contributions to the roofing industry. Unique roofing-related jobs, programs and services completed between June 1, 2016, and May 21, 2018, are eligible for the program. To be considered for a Gold Circle Award, Alliance and NRCA members are nominated by their peers and community for significant contributions to the roofing industry in the following categories: Outstanding Workmanship, Innovative Solutions and Safety Preparedness and Performance. The deadline for nominations is October 12, 2018.  For more information visit http://www.roofingindustryalliance.net/gold-circle-awards-program.   Special Note: Becoming a member of NRCA is always great for your business.
  3. ARMA Roofing Excellence in Asphalt Roofing (formerly Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Studies (QARC))is a recognition program that will give roofing contractors, consultants and architects the ability to gain the national prominence that they deserve for their work with asphalt roofing. Aside from crowning three winners, this program allows anybody to share success stories, best practices and have a chance to network and learn, while promoting the core benefits of asphaltic roofing.  ARMA encourages every roofing professional to submit of as many entries as possible, including their small residential projects as well as large commercial roofing projects. ARMA will highlight outstanding projects, including those that use innovative roofing materials as well as excellent applications of traditional asphalt roofing materials. And of course, there is absolutely no fee to enter.  Submission Deadline – December 31, 2018.   For more information visit https://asphaltroofing.org/qarc/ .
  4. Best Metal Roofing Project competition hosted by the Metal Roofing Alliance (MRA). Beginning Oct. 4, 2018 through Dec. 31, 2018, the MRA will award one monthly first prize winner for the project judged to be the most outstanding example of a great metal roofing project. Open to U.S. and Canada contractors, installers and manufacturers, entries will be evaluated based on appearance, performance and originality/use of materials and each monthly first-prize winner will receive a $500 cash prize. To enter, interested participants can upload a photo of their metal roofing project and a 200-word or less description at metalroofing.com.

Good luck applying for awards for 2019.  I look forward to seeing your company on the award stage.






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Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress Invites you to Leave a Legacy

Why support the Alliance through Planned Giving?

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress (the Alliance) gives roofing professionals the opportunity to fulfill their philanthropic goals through its formal Planned Giving Program. The roofing industry has a wonderful history of generosity, and the Alliance offers roofing professionals the chance to give back to the industry that has given so much to them.

Planned giving is a visionary activity and a forward-looking mechanism for ensuring an organization’s future for years to come. Although immediate support is needed in various ways, the Alliance has a long-term view of success and the value planned giving can provide to the roofing industry. Through deferred giving relationships, the Alliance is able to plan for the future while giving you the opportunity to plan your support methodically and in a way that makes sense for your situation.

Your support of the Alliance will provide current and future generations of roofing professionals access to cutting-edge education, research and technologies that will allow for better training and more informed leaders in their field. This access to new learning models, technology and proven methodologies will increase both efficiency and outcomes to improve the future of the roofing industry and its workers. The Alliance also takes a special philanthropic interest in sustainability of its industry by awarding scholarships to aspiring roofing professionals and charitable gifts and endowments to support the industry.

Examples of Planned Gifts

  • Wills and Bequests
  • Charitable Lead Trust
  • Charitable Remainder Trust
  • Life Insurance
  • Life Estate
  • Revocable and Irrevocable Living Trusts

Types of capital funds

  • Appreciated Assets
  • Negotiable Securities
  • Real Estate
  • Insurance Policies
  • Retirement Assets

When considering a planned gift, individuals should consult their tax professionals to determine which giving strategy is appropriate based on their personal situation.

Learn more about their Planned Giving program.

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