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What The Devastating Nashville Tornadoes Mean for Roofing Repairs

Nashville Tornado Damage

Bricks crumbling around huge, gaping holes. Roofs torn from homes and businesses. Cars flipped over and broken glass littering the area. Nothing but seemingly unreal destruction all around.

The recent Nashville tornadoes have had a tremendous impact on the area. The area was struck with tornadoes as part of a powerful storm system that hit the area last week. Twenty-five people were killed, hundreds more displaced, and nearly 50,000 residents of the city have lost power due to the intensity of the storm.

The National Weather Service had estimated that the swath of devastation from this tornado – with an EF-3 rating – stretched on for roughly 50 or so miles. Businesses, homes, schools, and popular city attractions were either severely damaged or outright destroyed.

That EF-3 rating had maximum winds that were estimated to be around 165 mph which put it just one mile shy of the EF-4 category threshold. The highest possible rating is an EF-5, a rarely seen threshold, luckily.

In Cookeville, another nearby suburb of Nashville, another tornado hit with winds exceeding 175 mph (281.63 km/h) leaving official damage estimates unable to be determined in short order.

Extensive Damage in Nearby Cities / Towns

Perhaps the hardest-hit area is that of Five Points. Known for its thriving dive bars, chic shops, and delicious restaurants, there are signs and trees that were ripped from the ground, businesses smashed beyond recognition, and roofs simply peeled from walls.

Around 40 buildings in Nashville proper alone were flatted and the damage was so severe that officials didn’t know how to quantify the damage done even a few days later. Figuring out the cost of such repairs would be impossible in the short term.

This widespread damage and destruction has meant a need for the Nashville community to come together. Those lucky enough to walk away now look to pick up the pieces of their lives, repairing or replacing damaged homes and businesses along the way. It will be a long process, but Nashville is already working hard to move forward from the tornado that brought with it such chaos.

The Roofing Community

In a stroke of irony, the roofing community was also affected as the Nashville tornado inflicted damage to multiple roofing companies and their home base of operations. It just went to show that no one went unaffected by the devastating storm, but it also helped to galvanize the community in the wake of the Nashville tornado.

Branches of the Mr. Roof company, which is owned by the Ohio-based Crane Renovation Group, worked diligently to respond to customers from their nearby branches. Not only that, but some branches also responded to the Nashville tornado by sending three pallets of tarps from Atlanta in order to help with the cleanup and repair effort.

The Crane Renovation Group said that they were thankful that the tornado struck after their Hermitage, TN branch had closed for the evening. The building, which has been in use since 2010, sustained heavy damage from the Nashville tornado and is considered to be a damaged zone. The fact that no employees were in the building is a silver lining in the face of destruction.

In addition, the company has offered to match any donations towards the Nashville tornado relief effort by its employees. It is this kind of drive and compassion that has galvanized a community that has been drastically impacted by the devastating storm.

What Does This Mean for Roofing Repairs?

Because of the widespread impact of the Nashville tornado, it means that cleanup and repair efforts will likely be delayed. As mentioned previously, some local roofing companies had damage done to their buildings, leaving them in a less-than-optimal position to offer assistance for others.

These roofing companies will need to make quick repairs to their own buildings in the wake of the Nashville tornado wherever possible. When this happens, they will then be able to further assist those who face damage to their roofing, either in the commercial or residential field.

Those damages, meanwhile, run the gamut. Some experienced minor damages at worst, things that can either wait or can be repaired through do-it-yourself methods. Those are the fortunate group from the Nashville tornado.

There are also those who have experienced nothing short of devastation. Homes and businesses lost due to the destructive power of the tornado. Help from the roofing industry may not do a lot as the damage is quite extensive for some.

Industry Adjustments for Roofers

The roofing industry will no doubt have its hands full for the next several months throughout Nashville. Getting businesses and homes back into optimal shape will take time as the sheer amount of devastation is so vast that it left many shocked.

If the early response from roofing companies in the wake of the Nashville tornado are any indication, the repair process will be a tough and long road, but it will be paved with hard work and good intentions. Those are the foundations toward the arduous process of bringing Nashville back to what it was prior to the tornado.

And while the lives lost can never be replaced, the roofing industry will do what it can to bring a sense of security and peace back into the Nashville community. The Nashville tornado wreaked havoc and widespread destruction in its wake, but the community maintains its hope.

Pitching In

As mentioned, the roofing community will have its hands full in the wake of the Nashville tornado. As much as the roofing companies can do, it will take a good deal of time to get to everyone, and they will need help along the way.

Members of the Nashville community will no doubt contribute in whatever ways that they can, restoring schools, businesses, and homes to working order once again in an attempt to move forward from the devastation of the storm.

The move towards normalcy, towards rebuilding all that has been lost, will be one that takes time in the wake of the Nashville tornado. The Nashville community is already galvanizing in the face of the devastation, providing hope going forward.

11 Common Sense Roofing Safety Tips for 2020

Roofing Safety Tips

It should go without saying that roof work can be a dangerous business. Even on the smallest buildings, a fall could cause serious injury. Not only that, just about every aspect of being up on a roof is dangerous.

The ladders, any perimeter walls, skylights, decking, and physical exposure to the elements can put roofing contractors at risk while working up on a roof. That means taking necessary precautions and exercising safety implementations to ensure that everyone who ventures up onto the roof is doing so as safely as possible.

Roofs are not designed for foot traffic. Still, that doesn’t mean that foot traffic isn’t there. Roof inspections and repairs are a necessity, and these require workers and contractors to have to traverse across metal panels and membranes.

The majority of roofing accidents are the result of trips or falls from heights. This results in hundreds of deaths every year, as well as a huge array of non-fatal injuries that, are serious in nature.

That is why implementing the following safety procedures is of the utmost importance. Implement these common-sense tips and you will be able to traverse the rooftops in a far safer manner and minimize your risk for disaster.

1) Use Common-Sense

One of the most common sense means of safety is, well, common sense. Use your cautious instincts when up on a roof. Don’t do anything blatantly or obviously stupid and you will generally be okay. It is when people get careless and don’t think that trouble can occur.

Common sense means moving slowly and cautiously. It means watching your footing and knowing where your tools are. It means being alert to your surroundings and making certain that you are doing everything in your power to remain safe and to avoid any nasty spills off the roof.

As the saying goes: “common sense isn’t so common these days” and that is sadly the truth. Avoid those careless mistakes and you could save yourself a lot of pain.

2) Avoid Bad Weather

This is not always an option for contractors because the job needs to be done when it needs to be done. But if at all possible, avoiding the elements is another key to safety. It is particularly dangerous when the weather is colder.

Slips and falls happen on iced-over roofs all the time and there is only so much that can be done when Mother Nature enters the fray. Again, practice caution and be wary of areas with moisture as it can freeze and turn into ice.

In horrible rain and wind, you should avoid the roof altogether. Wind can knock you off balance and send you tumbling to the ground. Instead of looking for the precise safe wind speed for working on roofs, you should use your better judgement. If it can possibly wait, try to avoid those adverse weather conditions and wait until the situation is optimal.

3) Don’t Use Cheap Ladders

One of the most common occurrences that lead to accidents on rooftops is that the ladder is past its prime and should not be in use. Think about it: that ladder can be the difference between you safely traversing on the roof and tumbling down to an unfortunate injury. Why would you chance it?

While it is understandable that cost can be a concern, safety should be a greater concern. Invest in a quality ladder that isn’t rickety and wobbly or has been around longer than you have. Get a ladder that is sturdily built and will support you solidly.

4) Dress Accordingly

Mobility and flexibility are important for safe roof work. That is why it is imperative to wear clothes that aren’t restricting yet aren’t hanging off of you. You need to be able to react and move around properly in order to maintain safety.

Tripping and falling because your pant legs are too loose is not only embarrassing but dangerous as well. That is not a story you want to have to tell anyone from your hospital bed. Keep your pants secure and away from your feet and you should be able to avoid getting tangled up in your own clothing.

Also, try to avoid wearing clothing that has rips or tears. This just adds to the possibility of snagging on the roof which adds to the danger. Of all roofing safety topics, clothing should be the easiest to comply with.

5) Wear Proper Footwear

In the same vein, it is essential to have the proper footwear when up on a rooftop. Make certain that you have rubber-soled shoes in order to get the maximum grip and traction. Slips are the most common reason for rooftop accidents, and they can be mostly prevented.

A quality pair of slip-proof boots will cost you a little money but consider it an investment in your safety. You will find yourself wishing you made the investment if you take a tumble from a rooftop and find yourself laid up in a hospital bed.

6) Protect Your Noggin

One preventative measure that seems common sense is headwear. Having a helmet feels like a no-brainer (pun intended), but it would shock you to know how many contractors don’t wear them.

The fact of the matter is that slips and falls happen. Accidents are called that for a reason. Making certain that you are protected in the event of an accident is imperative. Don’t leave yourself in a vulnerable position because you were lazy or careless.

Slap a helmet on your head before heading up to the roof. Hopefully, you won’t need it, but it could save your life.

7) Harness The Power

Believe it or not, there are plenty of instruments out there that are meant to help keep you from hurting yourself while up on a roof. That is why the roof safety harness was created, after all. Simply put a roof harness is there to keep you from taking that unfortunate plunge.

Like with any other piece of safety equipment, its use can be avoided because of cost. But again, investing in your safety is something you should be doing. Having a harness will likely save your butt more than a few times over the course of its life, making it more than worth the price of picking one up. Depending on the roof-type, you may need steep roof safety equipment.

8) Walkway Paths

If at all possible, walkway paths can be welded easily to an existing roof. This gives even and safer footing to those who have to traverse up there. And at the end of the day, that should be the first priority of anyone who has to go up on the roof.

Because they are so easy to add, it should be a must for any roofing contractor. It is just another element of safety that can be implemented to protect both yourself and your workers from disaster.

9) Implement Policies & Procedures

One way to eliminate the laziness that can lead to common rooftop accidents is to implement safety procedure guidelines for your business. Make it mandatory to implement those best practices with punishment for those who don’t follow the rules.

Employees may not like it, but it will protect them from harm and you from any legal harm. More importantly, it promotes safety. Even though some might not want to bother putting those practices into play, they should be used each and every time to ensure that every person from your company who ventures up on a roof is safely protected.

10) Don’t Drink & Climb

You would be surprised at how many people think it is okay to have an adult beverage and get up on a roof. Needless to say, this is a recipe for disaster. This goes for both commercial and homeowner roof safety.

Make certain that you have all of your faculties about you before climbing up onto a roof. Any distractions or limitations can lead to a common mistake that could send you tumbling off of the roof. Mistakes like these are so easily avoidable, yet still, happen far too often due to carelessness and a generally blasé attitude.

11) Avoid Distractions

In this day and age, this is a difficult one to adhere to, especially for business owners who need to be available at all times. But when your smartphone is constantly going off, it just leads to distractions that could compromise your safety.

If at all possible, put your phone on silent while on the rooftop. This will help avoid those distractions that can lead to dangerous situations. If this is just not possible, perhaps pass off message duties to someone on the ground who can relay the information to you while you are busy on the job.

There are about a hundred other things that you can do to prevent common accidents from happening while on the rooftop. Most of these are simple things that take very little thought or effort; some are investments in the proper clothing and equipment.

The key here is implementing all of these measures to make certain that both you and your workers are as safe as they possibly can be while in a dangerous position. A little common sense could help substantially cut down on the number of accidents that occur on rooftops, but people just don’t use them. Don’t be like those people; think safe.

How Much Weight Can a Concrete Roof Support?

How Much Weight Can a Concrete Roof Support Cover

When considering roofing materials, there are a lot of factors to take into consideration. Durability, cost, and a litany of other things that can impact which material you go with for your residential or commercial roof.

But weight capacity is another important one. And if you think that going with concrete means that it can by proxy support anything, you should do your homework first.

If you want to know “how much weight can a concrete roof support?” you are asking the most important question before committing to the install of that concrete roof. This guide will cover the question “how much weight can a concrete roof support?” and a litany of other things.

So, How Much Weight Can a Concrete Roof Support?

While the answer to this question can vary greatly on a number of factors within the concrete itself, a good rule of thumb is around 1,200 pounds per square foot depending on the thickness of the concrete and whether or not it has any reinforcements.

A common mistake is that amateur roofers just assume that concrete is impossibly strong, but it has weight restrictions just like any other material. Knowing “how much weight can a concrete roof support?” is one of the most vital questions when preparing for the install of that concrete roof.

Reinforcing the Roof

With newer installations, this is likely a common practice performed by the roofer doing the job. But on older homes, the question of “how much weight can a concrete roof support?” becomes irrelevant if it is quite old or has experienced a lot of damage.

While a complete replacement is the most ideal of scenarios, the cost of a new roof is often not so realistic. That is where reinforcing the roof can help to get a longer life out of your roof while implementing a fast, quick repair and reinforcement that will keep the structural integrity of the roof sound for some time to come.

Again, it is highly recommended that, wherever you can, you get a new roof. Still, there are a couple of ways to reinforce your roof to give it a little boost in terms of life span.

Addressing Repairs with Patching

If the deterioration or damage to your concrete roof isn’t terribly bad, it can be patched to extend the life a little longer. But if you are implementing extensive patchwork, it is important to note that you should not assume that it can take on a proper load and will never be able to handle the maximum weight.

How much weight can a concrete roof support? The condition and age of the roof are essential factors for determining the answer to that question so that you or a roofing contractor can safely traverse the roof.

Strengthening Existing Trusses

This is a way to add durability to your roof. By using 2×4s, you simply combine them with any existing trusses that may be in place from one end of the structure to the next. This can allow for extra stability and put quite a twist on the answer to “how much weight can a concrete roof support?”

This is not meant to be a long-term solution, however, if the roof is showing signs of wear and deterioration. Exercise caution whenever getting on the roof and understand that this is just prolonging the eventual replacement of the roof entirely.

Signs That the Roof is Failing

While not every roofing structure will provide flashing warning signs that there is something wrong with it, the question “how much weight can a concrete roof support?”  It becomes moot when the damage becomes noticeable. This is because that damage makes traversing the roof unsafe and a serious hazard.

There are definitely a few things to keep an eye out for when it comes to the condition of your roof and whether or not there may be issues currently taking place.

Leaks

The biggest issue plaguing roofing systems, concrete roofs too, is in the form of leaks. If you see multiple wet spots in your ceiling or moisture being retained on the roof, it is a strong sign that the roof has a weak spot in it that can lead to bigger issues.

Leaks are a huge issue not only for the roofing system itself but for the structural integrity of the rest of the building. If that water is allowed to persist, it has the chance to rot and decay wood that could be providing structural support and can lead to mold growth, making it a hazard to the air quality in the building.

Cracks

Cracks are a clear indication that there may be problems with your roof. This can mean that there is stress being implemented onto the roof and that it is spreading outward in other directions. This can lead to serious problems with your concrete roof, making it structurally vulnerable and making it unsafe to be near.

Small cracks are not a terribly big idea, but calling in a proper roofing contractor to survey the scene and understand the situation will allow you to stay ahead of any potentially disastrous situations. It is always better to exercise caution in scenarios such as these.

How Much Weight Can a Concrete Roof Support Again?

There are so many factors that determine “how much weight can a concrete roof support” that it isn’t a black and white question. When completely healthy and showing no signs of wear and tear, a concrete roof can safely support around 1,200 pounds (0.54 t) per square foot.

But when leaks, cracking, chipping, and other damage rears its ugly head, that figure can drop exponentially. If you see areas of your concrete roof that look concerning, the safest bet is to avoid stepping in those areas and leave it to the professionals.

Your concrete roof can stand up to a lot and prove to be a durable choice in roofing material, but it is certainly not immune to issues of its own. If you are worried about snow, you can consult this roof load calculator. And before asking “how much weight can a concrete roof support”, you need to make certain it is in optimal shape.

What is Roof Decking? (Definition + Tips)

What is Roof Decking Graphic

What is Roof Decking?

In short, the roof deck is the roofing material that lays between the structural components of a roof (the joists and trusses), the insulation, and the waterproofing layers (coatings, roofing materials, layers, etc). The roof deck is the section of the roof where everything else is placed. Because of this, it needs to be strong enough to hold weight and be durable enough to cope with having some give.

There are a wide variety of materials that can be used for roof decking. This can include anything from wood to cement, concrete to steel. The type of material used depends on just how much weight that it needs to carry.

There are other factors involved including the weight of any air conditioning equipment, rainfall in the area, and any potential build up of snow. Special features, something like walking decks or rooftop swimming pools or bars may also be needed for extra support. 

The type of roof decking varies based on whether you have a commercial or residential need. Residential buildings will likely use wood for the roof decking because it stands up to the weight of just about anything that will be placed on top of it.

Types of Roof Decking

Generally speaking, there are three different types of roof decking to keep in mind: tongue and groove, plywood or OSB sheathing, and plank sheathing. Understanding the different kinds can give you a good idea of what to expect out of each.

Tongue and Groove

Tongue and groove decking is usually done with a 2×6 “tongue” formed on one edge of the board. This is meant to fit snugly into the “groove” in the board that is adjacent to it. This can be something of a challenge to replace as it is something that is not readily available in most lumber yards.

Generally speaking, this is a highly durable and stout kind of roof decking. The only time that it will need to be repaired is when it has had any extensive exposure to moisture. Be sure to take a long look when going over your tongue and groove roof decking.

Plywood or OSB Sheathing

When it comes to plywood or OSB sheathing, you may have seen it before under the false term of Wafer Board. Builders began using this method because it has strength and longevity against splitting. These methods became more and more popular in the early 1980s and 1990s and is now almost exclusively used by builders across the industry.

There are a few points that you should definitely be aware of during the installation process. Make sure to install the boards using staggered vertical joints and make certain they are parallel to the ridge line. The vertical joints that are between the boards have to be supported along the whole length and need to be nailed securely.

It is also important to ensure that you have sufficient support with an absolute maximum of 600 mm between the two rafters. Those plywood panels should be installed with 3 mm spacing between each panel unless it has been stated differently by the manufacturer.

Plank Sheathing

Plank sheathing, meanwhile, is typically something that was used before plywood. Wood shingles tend to be expensive when it comes time to tear down and replace them, so using re-sheathing over the entire roof is a far cheaper method.

Plank sheathing is generally susceptible to distortion thanks to weather changing. This can result in constant expansion and contraction that can wear down those planks over time, making them brittle with enough expansion and contraction.

It is also important to stagger your joint boards. When a number of those adjacent boards join on the same support or rafter, it can be possible for the deck to move due to all that distortion to a crack line in the singles. All the wood boards used have to be properly conditioned to be at a moisture equilibrium.

There should also be a sufficient number of fasteners to prevent any kind of buckling and each board should be fastened with at least two nails in each rafter to ensure that it is held securely but without too much force.

Protecting Your Roof

Generally speaking, you roof deck is meant to hold the fasteners to secure the roof. Sure, it can support foot traffic and the occasional snow load that will become an inevitability with any roof out there. If that wood is compromised, it might not be able to provide the level of holding power that will allow the roof to last its suggested lifespan.

Having a proper roof deck is the foundation of any good roofing system. The deck is meant to resist gravity loads as well as lateral loading from things like the wind and other seismic forces. A proper roof decking will meet design requirements like component anchorage technique, deflection resistance, fire resistance, surface characteristics, and dimensional stability.

There are a number of reasons that property owners should be interested in the type of deck that is on the building and the condition that it is in. Among them are the following reasons:

  • Condition of the roof deck – is it detached, corroded, unsafe, or damaged? Has the deck been deflected or deformed to the point where it ends up ponding water?
  • Stability – Is the deck capable of handling a much heavier roofing system like a built-up roof membrane that has a ballasted single-ply system?
  • Resistance – If the mechanical fasteners are going to be used to attach insulate or a single-ply membrane to the deck itself, will that deck be able to provide the necessary pullout resistance? There are some single-ply systems that require a stronger steel deck in order to meet wind design.
  • Removal – If the roof does need to be patched, can the sections of the deck be safely replaced or removed if necessary? There was a point in the past where it was common to remove that deteriorated decking and then replace it with metal decking and a rigid roof insulation. This can actually be quite unsafe and is definitely not recommended. Instead, new form boards and galvanized wire mesh should be used. Make certain that the galvanized wire mesh is attached to the existing wire near the perimeter of the patch. This is done for safety reasons.
  • Clearance – If the existing roofing is going to be removed all the way down to the deck and the tapered insulation or a sloped fill is going to be the way to solve the ponding problem, you need to know if the clearance at access doors, windows, and other equipment hatches will be imperiled.
  • PV Panels – What about adding PV panels to the building roof? If this is part of the plan, you need to know how they will be attached to the structure.

The decking of your roof plays an important part in supporting the overlaying material. The material itself is certainly important for keeping the elements away and holding up to the constant wear and tear that comes with exposure to the elements, but it doesn’t do its job with the proper roof decking.

Addressing Wooden Deck Problems

Make certain to properly ventilate your attic in order to eliminate any excess moisture that can be absorbed by deck panels. This reduces the amount of shrinking and swelling that the wood experiences, helping it last for longer without turning brittle and breaking.

If that brittleness occurs, it can really compromise the structural integrity of your roof as a whole and you will have to have very costly repairs or replacements done immediately to prevent any safety hazards.

Regardless of what style of roof decking that you choose, you need to make certain that it is installed properly so that you get the proper weight support that your roof needs. Take into account any additional snow weight if your area sees heavy snowfall so that your deck does not bow and crack under additional pressure.

Much like the foundation of your building, the roof decking is the basis on which the rest of the roof operates. Without a proper roof decking, your roof will eventually buckle under the pressure and need to be replaced.

Save yourself a lot of time and labor by making certain that your roof decking is installed properly and rated to handle the weight that will be on your roof. You can then focus on implementing the roofing materials that you need to get the right roof for you.

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The Roofing Alliance Announces Winners at NRCA’s Industry Awards

On February 5, 2020, the Roofing Alliance, the foundation of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), announced this year’s winners of the Construction Management Student Competition, Best of the Best Award and the Gold Circle Award Winners. They were recognized at an NRCA Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception, according to Yahoo Finance.

Student Competition

Each of the five finalist teams gave oral presentations as the final stage of the sixth annual Roofing Alliance Construction Management Student Competition. Each of the teams gave their proposals for installing a new roofing system on the Ford Center, the practice facility for the Dallas Cowboys. The Ford Center was originally installed by KPost Roofing & Waterproofing.

The oral presentation scores were ultimately combined with the written proposal scores of each time in order to determine the winner. The Roofing Alliance announced that Texas A&M University was the winning school while Samuel Short of Auburn University won the Best Individual Presenter award.

Best of the Best Award

This award is now in its 20th year, winners of the Most Valuable Player were recognized as was the winner of the Best of the Best. The Best of the Best award is an award that is co-presented by Professional Roofing magazine and OMG Roofing Products based out of Agawam, MA.

Todd Dunlap, who was an MVP Winner of Outstanding On-the-Job Performance and Workmanship as well as a finalist for other noteworthy contributions outside the workplace, was named the Best of the Best winner.

Dunlap is a warehouse operator, superintendent, equipment operator, and foreman with Frost Roofing of Wapakoneta, OH. Dunlap has continued to demonstrate exemplary performance as well as an eagerness to continue to learn. He continues to master tasks and assignments each day.

He continues to show a commitment to leading by example while embracing positivity and the passion for those around him. This has earned him the total trust and complete respect from the entire Frost Roofing organization as well as all those who have worked with the company.

Dunlap continues to help others as well, especially during the holidays, where he opens his home to those who have no place to go. He clearly lives his life to serve others and strives to help coworkers wherever possible.

Gold Circle Award

The Roofing Alliance, as well as NRCA members, are encouraged to submit their best work each year in order to win a Gold Circle award for either Outstanding Workmanship and Innovative Solutions or for Safety Preparedness and Performance.

Since the award’s inception, more than 99 winning companies have been recognized for their achievements. This year’s Gold Circle Winners are:

Outstanding Workmanship and Innovative Solutions

  • Chadwick Technology Pty. Ltd., Killarney Heights, NSW, Australia for the Abu Dhabi International Airport Midfield Terminal, United Arab Emirates
  • The Durable Slate Co., Columbus, Ohio for Steeple Square, Dubuque, Iowa

Safety Preparedness and Performance Winner

  • CFE Inc., Elmira, New York for Kellogg’s® Florence, Phase I, Florence, Kentucky

Roof Leak Causes Delays for College Basketball Game

Earlier in the week at the International Roofing Expo in Dallas, there was a discussion about resilience and why resilient roofing is so important for protecting building operations. When you think about it, it’s simple: the roof has one job and that is to protect a building so that the operations are not disrupted.

That message became crystal clear on Wednesday, February 5, according to Facilities Net. Because of a roof leak at the historic Hinkle Fieldhouse at Butler University in Indianapolis, a top 20, nationally televised college basketball game was delayed.

The game between Villanova and the Butler Bulldogs wound up being delayed for 19 minutes. Heavy rains that permeated the area prior to tip-off eventually led to water pouring into the 92-year-old arena, ultimately pooling on the floor.

And while there were plenty of jokes made about the situation, a leaky roof is a serious matter. And if it weren’t for the staff at the fieldhouse, the situation could have wound up being a lot worse than it was. The staff went to work quickly, rigging up a red bucket in the rafters to catch the remaining water that was leaking through.

Other members of the staff worked quickly to mop up the puddles on the floor while Butler officials tried to keep a good sense of humor about the entire endeavor. The situation wound up being resolved quickly but just goes to show the importance of a quality roofing system.

Needless to say that both Villanova and Butler now understand the importance of having a working roof overhead and hope they have dealt with their last leak-based delay for the remainder of their playing days.

While the roof repairs have yet to begin, Butler wound up winning the game 79-76, ending it on a dramatic buzzer-beater shot.

Contractor Faces Over $600K in Safety Violations

Worker Follows OSHA Safety Guidelines With Fall Prevention Rails

It all started back on September 6th at a home in Macungie in Lehigh Valley. Webb Contractor Corp. workers that were on the ground did not wear head protection, failing to take proper safety precautions regarding their safety from the roofing work going on above them.

Not even a month later, on October 1st at a home in Upper Milford Township, those Webb Contractor employees used ladders that did not extend to at least three feet above the upper landing surface. And ten days after that, employees from the same company performed work on a steeply pitched roof. This roof had heights between 12 and 23.5 feet above grade and failed to use any means of fall protection.

These are just a few of the violations that face Webb Contractor. The penalties in question add up to $605,371 as issued by the U.S. Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Webb faces eight willful, two repeat, and three serious safety violations in total according to The Morning Call.

OSHA Taking Action

As stated, OSHA issued over $600,000 in fines towards Webb Contractor for repeated violations and ignored safety precautions. The corporation was created in October 2018 and already faces serious penalties in less than 2 years of operation.

Webb will be given 15 days to respond to all of the citations. It has the option of complying, requesting an informal conference or contesting the findings from OSHA.

The violations that were announced on Tuesday stem from those three Lehigh Valley work sites, but OSHA’s records indicate that Webb Contractor had several more inspections performed throughout 2019.

One such example, the head injury hazard that was cited by OSHA at the Macungie work site back in September, resulted in a repeat issue. That violation had also taken place at a worksite in Paupack, Pike County back in August of 2019.

Cases like these are set forth to illustrate the importance of safety precautions that all professional roofing contractors need to implement safety measures to protect their employees. These OSHA rules are there for the protection of the workers and should be followed on each job site.

The Ultimate 2020 Guide to Energy Efficient Roofs

Energy Efficient Roofs

In the roofing industry, the hottest topic (pun intended) is energy efficient roofs. Roofing of old was meant to keep the elements off of your head and anything after that was simply a bonus, not something to be expected.

But with the implementation of these energy efficient roofs and materials, there is an aim at making buildings more efficient, using less energy and lowering those energy costs by making it easier than ever to heat and cool a building.

And the place to start is with the roof. With the right materials in place, our building can become a model of efficiency, allowing you to keep your facility at the perfect temperature with far less effort out of your expensive HVAC system.

During the summer, in particular, a non-reflective rooftop can be one of the hottest places around and often gets hotter than the surrounding air. Even with very good insulation, it is inevitable that heat will penetrate roofs and begin to warm up attics and top floors alike. This forces air conditioners to work overtime to keep up with rising temperatures, sending your HVAC costs through the roof.

This guide will teach you everything that you need to know about energy efficient roofs and how they can help but you and your property in the long run.

Energy Star Roofing

The federal government understands how important energy efficient roofs are in the quest to conserve energy and reduce wasteful use. That is where the Energy Star program comes in. This program can help building owners choose the energy efficient roofing materials that they need to make their buildings far more efficient.

You may have seen Energy Star labels on efficient appliances everywhere. These ratings also apply to roof panels, shingles, reflective roof coatings, and any other roofing-related materials. This lets the consumer know that the specific product has been graded as energy efficient on a federal level.

Roofing materials that earn the Energy Star label are built with a high degree of solar reflectance. What this means is that instead of absorbing those rays from the sun as insulation typically does, it bounces the rays from the sun outward, away from the property.

Having the right roofing materials in place can lower the surface temperature of a roof by a whopping 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also reduce peak demand on air conditioners by up to 15 percent, meaning quite a bit of savings over the life of your roof. Buildings may also be eligible for cool roof energy savings and Energy Star roofing rebates.

Energy Efficiency and Roof Color

Driving down the street, you have undoubtedly noticed the different colors of roof throughout your neighborhood. Odds are, you didn’t really think about it as you passed them by. But the fact of the matter is that the color of your roof can play a big impact on its energy efficiency.

Unwanted heat is perhaps the biggest concern with energy efficient roofs and there is a general assumption that lighter-colored roofs would be the best option. But the fact of the matter is that things aren’t nearly as straightforward.

Once you learn more about how heat impacts your entire building, energy bills, and overall working or living environment, you will probably begin to ask yourself the question “what is the best color to reflect heat?”

Lighter colors have greater reflective properties, but the materials used in the roofing process is what dictates heat control on a far larger level. It might surprise you to know that an Energy Star-rated dark roof will typically outperform a lighter roof that isn’t designed for efficiency.

Climate is also another factor. Lighter roofs are generally the choice in the warmest climates around, but buildings in cooler climate are often better suited to have a dark roof since it can absorb free heat from the sun during the coldest months of the year.

The right idea when building energy efficient roofs is to pick out the materials first and change the color later. Having the wrong materials can create far more issues than selecting a certain color. Still, consider your climate when choosing roofing color as it can definitely have an impact on your property’s energy efficiency.

Roofing Materials and Energy Efficiency

You have likely seen asphalt shingles on the vast majority of residential homes in your area. This is because it is one of the most commonly used roofing materials due to the ease of installation and their low cost.

The unfortunate aspect of asphalt shingles is that they absorb a lot of heat and have a low reflectivity even if they are lighter in color. So, while the upfront costs might be more, moving away from shingles to another more efficient option is probably the best option.

Believe it or not, a wide array of energy efficient roofs that qualify for Energy Star are actually made from metal. This is because even though that metal gets hot in the sun, it is also highly reflective. This means that the heat gets redirected away from the house and back into the air, allowing the building to stay cooler without having to blast the A/C.

Metal roofs can also be designed as a series of panels or more traditional-looking shingles. They are also relatively easy to install, keeping your costs down if you decide that implementing a metal roof is the best way to go.

Tile roofing also allows for the easy installation of energy efficient roofs. This is because tiles can be made from a litany of different materials from clay, concrete, slate and a number of different materials. Best of all, many tile roofing materials are pre-treated in order to maximize heat reflectivity. Even if they aren’t, tile roofs are easy to treat with reflective coatings even after the installation has taken place.

Those coatings can also be applied to a wide array of roofing materials, though they are least compatible with asphalt roofs. Most of these coatings can change the physical appearance or the color of the roof, and most reflective coatings might not be a good match aesthetically for your building’s exterior. There are also pigmented coatings with add a reflectivity boost to any roof.

Lastly, a green roof is possible if you have a flat roof. This implies a rooftop garden, though the design and installation process can be quite an undertaking. Still, a green roof is not only an energy efficient roof it can create a brand-new environment that can even be used to feed your family.

Insulation for Energy Efficiency

Another way towards an energy efficient roof is added insulation. An energy efficient roof can do a lot of good things for your facility, but it can’t do all the work itself. This is where having insulation in your attic or under your roof can become so beneficial.

If you have improperly installed or insufficient insulation, it can still allow unwanted heat, so make sure to have your insulation evaluated if you are making the transition to an energy efficient roof.

It might also be a good idea to install attic fans and rafters. This encourages air circulation in a way that will bring down the temperatures beneath your roof. If you are thinking about making the switch to an energy efficient roof, think about upgrading your attic insulation as part of the process.

The Solar Reflective Index (SRI)

When considering a switch to a more energy efficient roof, one value to look into is the SRI value. This value combines measurements of both the solar reflectance value of a material as well as its thermal emissivity. Essentially, the SRI value reflects just how well a roof rejects solar heat.

  • Solar Radiation: Heats the roof surface.
  • Heat Transfer: Some heat that was absorbed by the roof is transferred into the building.
  • Solar Reflectance: CambridgeTM Cool Colors reflect a percentage of solar radiation.
  • Thermal Emissivity: Relative ability of roof surface to emit/release absorbed heat.
  • Heat Island Effect: Urban areas are full of concrete and other surfaces that absorb heat from the sun. They also have a lot of energy consumption, which also produces heat. As a result, urban areas are much warmer than the rural areas surrounding them. This affects the temperature of every building in a city.

This guide can help you get well on your way to making the switch to an energy efficient roof. When your new materials are in place, you should notice a marked difference in the way that your property manages its temperature levels.

It is not only a great way of conserving energy – which is great for the environment – but it can also save you quite a bit of money over the life of your roof. Especially during the more inclement months of the year, energy costs can sky-rocket just trying to keep up with the rising temperatures.

With an energy efficient roof, you can let the air conditioner take a well-deserved break instead of having to run all summer long. The cost savings alone are worth it, but if you have an older HVAC system, it will be worth making the switch simply to not have to hear that old HVAC unit kick on and off repeatedly.

The upfront costs can be daunting, but making the switch to an energy efficient roof can save you money in the long run and will be a great investment over time.

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6 Crazy Commercial Roofing Emergencies You Hope To Never Endure

Commercial Roofing Emergencies Blog Cover

Most of the time, Commercial roofing can seem like a pretty straightforward process, but there are so many things that can go wrong either before, during, or after the installation that can leave you with your head in your hands, dreading what comes next.

Here are a few scenarios that we hope you never have to endure. Check out these 6 commercial roofing emergencies.

1) Bearing the Load

Imagine the scenario: you are in need of a new commercial roof. You go through the bidding process and find the right roofer for your needs. You go through the installation process and come out on the other side with a new roof.

It seems straightforward, right? Well, it might not be if you don’t hire the right consultant. A real horror story goes something like this.

You bring in the contractor of choice to perform the job. The contractor, who has a reliable reputation, follows the consultant’s documents that layout an effort to recover a built-up roof. There is even a little extra gravel to make sure the roof is well-covered.

Here’s where the problem comes in: the structure is only meant to support 20 pounds per square foot. There are already 10 pounds per square foot of built-up roofing. Now, there is 17 pounds of re-covering roofing material per square foot. That’s not even including added drainage pipes or any other fixtures that may be added to aid in the drainage process.

You can see where this is going. Because the load is already precarious, all it takes is light snow or a buildup of water to bring a whole lot of water down onto your head and create a massive mess. The less here is to hire a competent consultant to make sure that your structure can withstand the work being done.

2) Get it in Writing

Another scenario that has happened all too often is one like this. A property manager has just taken over the job. Her predecessor had a new roof installed on the building just a year ago yet there are major, persistent leaks happening.

Further inspection reveals that the new roof had been installed over existing roofing material and it had been done poorly. The roof is no longer waterproof and has in fact seen a huge collection of moisture that leaves the vast majority of the roof saturated.

The manager goes to find the contract so that she can resolve the issue with the contractor. And then it sets in: there is no contract. The previous manager didn’t get one even though the previous installation cost $48,000.

Now, the new manager is left to explain to the owner of the property why the roof has to be replaced yet again and why there is no recourse against the roofer who performed the initial job. The moral here is always, always get a signed contract.

3) Closer Inspection

Having a roofing inspection performed is a great thing to do for existing buildings. But don’t wait until after the roof is installed before having someone look at it. Bringing in a professional to look things over before the installation can save your butt.

Take, for example, a contractor that was roofing an addition to an existing building. Instead of taking the proper methods to fill the pitch pans with grout, the roofer filled it with gravel from an adjacent roof. There would be no way to tell what happened without having someone look at it beforehand.

Then the vibrations start. This causes the sealer to crack prematurely, which then allows water to enter the building. The cracking continues until it is actually replaced with something more appropriate for that installation.

While this might not be as bad as paying for two roofing installations, leaks are nothing to scoff at. They can cause major structural damage to a building if left unchecked. Not only that, there is the chance that mold and mildew could follow. These can create serious respiratory issues for all involved, which then opens the business up to expensive lawsuits.

The moral here is to make certain that you have the roof inspected before and after the roof has been installed. This way, critical errors can be caught immediately before they have a real chance to cause serious damage.

4) It’s More Than Just Surface Appeal

Similar to one of the above scenarios, a facility executive begins to see issues with a roof that had been purchased the year before. They got it at a great price and even did their due diligence by having a visual roof inspection performed.

The problem here is that the inspection did not include scores of the roof as part of the overall scope of work. The roof, which is brand new at the time, looks to be in excellent condition and no one bats an eyelash.

Just a year later, the splits already begin to take place throughout the roof. There are some splits as large as 20 or 30 yards, but oddly enough, not every section of the roof was damaged. As you progress across the roof, you notice that the condition gets worse. The splits don’t’ quite follow the seams of the material and appear to be at random locations.

In order to determine what happened, cores were taken from both the bad and good areas of the roof. As it turns out, the roofer had started to leave gaps between the insulation boards and the gaps got progressively larger as he moved across the roof.

The roofer in question had underbid the project and was trying to save money by leaving those gaps, reducing the amount of material that had to be bought. The result of these gaps is that the membrane was no longer being supported.

The movement that happens in every kind of roofing material led to the membrane to relax and stretch at its weakest location, eventually causing it to snap. Moisture continues to get into the broken system, causing more blisters to appear over the roof.

Fixing this takes extensive work that costs your business hundreds of thousands of dollars. The moral here is to make certain that it is understood what is going on beneath the surface of the job.

5) Small Roofs Can Have Big Problems

Just because your roof is smaller does not mean that you are immune from some seriously large problems. For instance, consider a 40-by-20-foot building that has a coal tar pitch roof. The water eventually ponded heavily on the roof and developed a leak that no one could find. This building houses equipment for the local electric company and the water ends up in the electrical works.

The problem here is that there were no readily observable problems. An examination around the location of the leak revealed nothing out of the ordinary. Something like water staining may have been an indication. Since the water was puddling near a wall-floor intersection, the consultant thought that the water might have been coming from below.

Not only that, there had been a recent wall painting that got rid of the stains that may have revealed where the leaks were. With no signs of an issue, it can be tough to peg the problem. The leaking becomes worse and now there is a huge section of the roof that has structural damage.

The point here is that nothing is ever what it seems in the roofing and to uncover every stone until you find the problem. Commercial roofing emergencies can manifest in smaller roofs.

6) Bad Actor Roofing Contractor

Unfortunately, scams are apart of just about any aspect of life. There are scam artists looking to take advantage of people. All you can do is try to avoid them.

Here is an all-too-common scenario: a massive storm has just hit the area. In its wake, it has done substantial damage to your commercial building. The roof needs heavy repairs or a complete replacement.

Suddenly, a contractor appears on your property telling you that they can provide you with a timely replacement at a price that seems too good to be true. Here’s a little spoiler alert: if the price is too good to be true, it likely is.

The contractor performs the work and leaves. It isn’t long before you start to notice issues with the leak. Areas cracking, peeling, and otherwise not doing the job that they are meant to. Leaks begin to be a huge issue.

You go to find that local contractor’s information. Their phone is disconnected and there is no known address. You begin to panic as it sets in that you were had. A scam artist showed up, took your money, performed a subpar job with subpar materials, and left town before you would notice the difference.

Again, if the price is too good to be true, it likely is. Always vet a contractor before agreeing to anything because not vetting that contractor can result in tens of thousands of dollars lost. Sadly, these kinds of emergency repair scams happen all the time and there is a long list of horror stories.

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Can You Put New Shingles On Top of Old Ones?

Can You Put New Shingles on Top of Old Ones

There may come a time where your existing roof just isn’t doing what it should. Leaks, broken shingles, and a litany of other problems can creep up, bringing you to the conclusion that you need to make a change to your current system.

Unfortunately, that leaves you with another question: can your new shingles be placed over the top of the old ones? The short answer is “yes”, you can lay new roof shingles over top of the old ones, but there are other reasons to take into consideration.

The Basic Rules

Know this: placing old shingles over top of the new ones is only possible with asphalt shingles, which are also known as composition shingles. You cannot place a new layer over top of slate or wood and you should definitely never mix materials like laying asphalt shingles over cedar shakes.

And perhaps the most important rule for laying new shingles over top of old ones is that the old roofing has to be in pretty good condition. If you are laying new roofing shingles over top of an existing roofing system that has a ton of leaks or damage, you aren’t doing yourself any good.

Why Add New Roof Shingles Over Top of Old Ones?

It might seem like an obvious benefit to having multiple layers of protection on your roof, but that is not automatically true. As a matter of fact, having multiple layers of shingles does not mean that your roof is any more waterproof than it may have before.

Not only that, having multiple roofing layers can create problems all its own. The biggest reason to lay down new shingles over top of the old ones comes down to a simple matter of convenience and cost. Keeping the old shingles on means that you skip the messy labor and disposal costs that can be involved with the tearing off of the old shingles.

It is important to note that both of these have caveats. It isn’t as simple as putting the new roof over the top of the old; there is special prep work that needs to be done in order to complete the new install. Things like removing ridge caps, vents, and misshapen angles are just the tip of the iceberg.

That’s not even taking into account the fact that you might still have to replace or add new flashing. This can sometimes be tricky to do over old roofing. And the fact is that while you might be saving tear-off costs, you really are just delaying the cost. When you have to start over with a new roof, you’ll just have to tear it off and start over.

Putting new roofing over the existing structure is a “pay me now or pay me later” scenario. You will save on costs in the short-term, but you will eventually need to pay for the full cost of a new roof at some point.

Why You Should Not Add New Roofing Shingles Over the Old Ones

Though we already touched on a few basic reasons above that it isn’t a good idea to put new shingles over the old, there are also a few universal reasons not to reroof. Here are things to check out if you are seriously considering adding your new roofing shingles over top of the old ones.

Why You Should Not Add New Roofing Shingles Over Old Ones

Shingles Add Weight

Your roof is likely graded for a very specific amount of weight. This is factoring in not only the shingles but extra for snow that could accumulate as well. When you add extra roofing shingles over the top, you are only adding weight to the existing structure.

This creates an issue as far as how much your current roofing structure can handle. If you overload the roof, there is a chance that it may not be able to hold up. And when this becomes a possibility, there is a chance that the structure of your home is then unsafe with the chance of a potential collapse.

Shingles are Designed for Flat Surfaces

Shingles are not meant to bridge over gaps, humps, or dips. This includes the stepped texture that is created by overlapping shingles. While some experienced roofers have tricks for laying new roofing shingles over the old, there is still a chance that there are curled, cupped, or misshapen shingles.

These defects will then telegraph throughout to the new layer. If you decide that you absolutely have to re-layer your roof, use laminated, or dimensional, shingles, since they are thicker and offer, have staggered edge profiles that help to hid any high spots or dips that might be in the old roofing.

No Visual Inspection

Without that tear-off process, roofers are not able to see what the decking underneath looks like. A roofer worth their salt will perform a careful inspection, known as a “walking” inspection, to look for spongy and problem areas. This allows them to make localized repairs before the re-roofing process.

When you hire a less-than-reputable roofer to do the job, they might not bother with this portion of the process. This leaves your roof susceptible to any damaged areas, which could permeate through the new layer of roofing shingles.

There is a litany of reasons why it is not a great idea to simply shingle over top of an existing layer of shingling. It is understandable that some don’t want to fork out the upfront costs involved in new roofing installations, but it is beneficial in the long-run to not roof over the older layer of the roof.

The reasons above should be enough to deter you from simply laying the new roofing shingles over top of the old ones, but just know that there are even more reasons why it is not a good reason to do so. You might save in the short-term, but it will definitely cost you in the long-run.

Take the necessary precautions when laying down your new roofing shingles and, if at all possible, remove the previous layer before doing so. It will save you a lot of trouble in the end.

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