Hard Hat Safety

The workers in construction industry should use their wisdom to wear head protection. It is a personal protection equipment that can keep yourself out of harm. These hard hats plays a vital role in protecting you, because a major head injury can change work, home, play and family forever. Now these hats are prepared from High- Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and there is another type of hard hat available in the market, which is known as Type II. This hat has a foam liner of Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) for comfort and safety.  For even greater detail on the importance of hard hat safety, stormgrouproofing.com

When Should a Hard Hat Be Used

In construction industry, failing to wear a hard hat can put your life at risk. These hard hats have an inner suspension, which includes a 1- 1 ¼ inch space between the head and the shell. This space works as a shock absorber in a bumping situation. Hard hats are used to protect the skull and they also have the ability to attach face shields to protect ears and eyes, new hard hats have places to accommodate mounted lights, safety glasses and ear muffs.

Types of Hard Hats

  1. Class G: The hats in this class provides limited voltage protection but good impact protection. These hard hats are used for building construction, mining, manufacturing, lumber industry and ship building.
  2. Class E: These helmets can protect electrical workers as they protect against high voltage, shock, burns and falling objects.
  3. Class C: This class will not protect the worker from falling objects or electrical shock but it can protect the workers from bumping against fixed objects.

Organizations should identify the hazards involved in a specific job and choose the type of hat that is required for this particular job. It is also the duty of the organizations to provide proper training to their workers for taking care of their personal protective equipment (PPE). In construction industry where there is a possibility of head injuries, it is recommended for employers to display signs such as “watch your head”, or “watch for the falling stones” to provide maximum security to their workers.

What is a Nail Magnet?

There is always a need of nail magnets for roofers and it grows due to the concerns of many house owners about nails, which are left in the grass during a roofing project. Several roofing contractors are using this for the promotion of their roofing services by differentiating themselves on the extra cleanup efforts. Besides this, the debris on a roofing job site is a serious concern.

What is a Nail Magnet and how it Works

Nail magnets are magnetized push brooms on wheel that can pick up any metal such as nails, screws, pins, staples and other small metal pieces in the debris on a roofing site. This nail magnet contains a release button that can dispose of metal screws and nails. Many home owners purchase them after the roofing contractors have finished a roofing job and carelessly left a ton of debris in their lawn or backyard. Which can be harmful for kids, pets and car tires. These nail magnets can help you find out all these metal bits and can also pick them in a couple of rolling passes.

It is extremely important to clean any construction site because the left over metal debris may pose serious safety concerns. If the roofing site is residential, it is the duty of the roofing contractor to make sure that there are no nails left, to avoid the risk of someone getting a sharp metal piece through his or her foot. It happens very often that screws and nails burst the contractor’s tires, so cleaning up the place can prevent costly repair as well. Residential roofing is the industry which always demands proper site cleanup. Roofing process requires a ton of nails, and if your roofer is in a hurry then it is possible several nails ends up falling into the backyard. This situation is very true for the houses who have sloping roofs.

There are so many nail magnets available in the market today that helps to clear out even that debris, which is hiding in small and confined spaces. Now a day’s many roofing contractors are using a variety of these tools to build up their reputation.  `

How is Synthetic Felt Used in Roofing

The first layer that is laid on the roof, before the roofing panels, is an underlayment, which serves the purpose of separating the roof covering and the roof deck in order to prevent unevenness and protect the deck from damaging resins, weather and/or fasteners.
Until recent years, felt paper has been the standard underlayment choice that can avoid the roof covering from being damaged due to leaked sap from the building material made of wood. However, since most wood structures now are made from plywood or other wood alternatives, this is not a problem anymore.
Felt paper is packed with asphalt that is made from compounds that are not stable and thus, will disintegrate over time, leaving the underlayment fragile and more likely to attract moisture, which in turn, weakens the roof. Exposure to the sun’s UV rays and heat can accelerate this disintegration.

Since asphalt is a residual product of the crude oil refining process, an advancement in the refining techniques has resulted in the maximum amount of product being extracted from the crude resource and thus, the residue left is not enough to favor the making of asphalt. Lesser raw material present to develop the asphalt needed for a felt underlayment and preference towards a longer-lasting and cost-efficient solution has resulted in people turning to the synthetic alternative.


What is a Synthetic felt?


Also called a synthetic underlayment, this high-performance water-resistant layer is placed prior to the shingles on the roof decking and it absorbs asphalt from the roof covering. This synthetic felt outperforms the traditional felt underlayment and proves to be the better choice with more advantages.



Advantages of Synthetic felt:


  • A synthetic felt is more lightweight, yet its strength is 20 times more as compared to the traditional felt paper.
  • While it can be made to be permeable to moisture, a synthetic felt does not absorb moisture, and this helps it prevent fungal growth and crinkling.
  • A woven scrim synthetic felt is easy to install and has a greater tear resistance
  • It not only provides protection from the weather but also provides more strength and a longer UV exposure window.
  • Some 100% recyclable options are also available
  • Some synthetic felts are up to 25 degrees cooler than the traditional felt, which can help reduce the energy costs
  • It guarantees longevity that surpasses the felt paper, particularly when it comes to areas with extreme weather conditions

While many of the advantages of a synthetic felt are related to the performance and quality, some of the secondary benefits ensure a smooth roofing installation with overall better quality. Its ability to lay smoothly and avoid wrinkling help reduce labor costs and ensure it does not tear.

Although a synthetic felt might be a better choice as compared to the traditional felt paper, it is important that the building code requirements and warranties of the manufacturer for the planned roof covering are followed before using it and the installation is done in accordance with the instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Fall Protection For Roofers




Falls are one of the leading causes of death. Between 2003 and 2013, around 3500 fatalities were recorded due to the lack of safety measures, which makes up 34% of the deaths that occurred in that time period.

There are many hazards that roofers are faced with, such as power tools, extreme temperatures, ladders, electricity, and noise. In order to counter these hazards, they have to be controlled by the employer so that the roofers do not risk serious injury, death, or illness.

Falls are one of the top causes of work-related deaths and injuries among roofers. An improper setup, damaged fall protection, or a complete lack of fall protection increase the risk of falling from a height. Here is a way that employers can tackle this problem. If you are in the market for commercial roof repair, make sure you abide by these rules or find a reputable roofing company that can handle the work load.

Installing a Personal Fall arrest system

Personal fall arrest systems are designed to safely stop an occurring fall before the worker strikes a lower level. These systems have three major components:

A. A connector that links the harness to the anchorage.

B. A harness for the whole body worn by the roofer.

C. The lanyards hook attached to an anchorage.

Personal fall arrest systems use a deceleration device to reduce the velocity of the falling roofer, a lifeline that is self-retractable, and a thong that is used for tightening the clothes or fastening armor.

The lower level is necessary to ensure so that the roofer avoids contact with the ground if a fall occurs. The total fall distance is measured as the minimum vertical distance between the roofer and the lower level.

To ensure that the proper fall protection is selected, it is necessary for employers to calculate the lower level distance as precisely as they can. The factors that have to be taken into consideration when calculating the fall distance are given below:

1- Safety Margin: In order to ensure safety, it is ideal  if the employer maintains a safety margin of at least 2 feet between the lower level and the worker.

2- Deceleration distance: Deceleration distance is the space stretched by the lanyard to arrest the fall. The ideal distance is around 3.5 feet, although it may vary for different fall arrest systems.

3- Back D-ring height: The D-ring height is the distance between the sole of the workers’ footwear and the D-ring. A standard distance that is used by the employers is 5 feet for a worker who is 6 feet tall. The height of the D-ring has to be adjusted accordingly for employees with a short or long height.

4- Shift of the D-ring: This shift is the calculation of how far the harness stretches and the shift of the D-ring while supporting the complete body weight of the worker. The weight of any attached tool or equipment and the weight of the tool belt are also included. Mostly, employers estimate that this shift is about 1 foot, although it varies depending on the design of the equipment and the manufacturer.

Get your Company’s Marketing In Line

I was having a conversation with a friend and roofing contractor owner just recently and as he described the challenges he was having in successfully marketing his business only smiled. Not at him or his scenario but in that among the greatest issues that prevents success is all the rubbish provided as knowledge and essential actions to obtaining his phone to ring.

The reality is that there are only a few fundamentals and by simply mastering them, most of the success you look for will be at hand.

It’s reminiscent of the talk that coach Vince Lombardi offered to his Green Bay Packers group in July of 1961 after losing an NFL Championship to the Philadelphia Eagles the previous year.

In his book, “When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi,” author David Maraniss stated that Lombardi gathered his team and told them: “Gentlemen, this is a football,” while holding a pigskin in his right hand. He was speaking about the basics of the video game.

Things like blocking, tackling and running or passing the ball are the reasons that one team wins more than another.

So, exactly what I’m motivating you to do as you read this post is to dismiss most of what you’ve ever been told about Internet marketing of your company and think about only the important basics of success and/or failure in marketing your roof service.

These 3 things, done correctly can help your overall marketing and help drive your ROI. Exactly what are they?

First, it’s your understanding of your perfect consumer. Who are they? Which part of your community do they live in? Exactly what is their primary motivation for purchasing your product or services? What makes them select your company over your competitors?

Knowing these aspects of who your perfect consumer is likewise helps you to call them out in your marketing. It likewise helps you to utilize your marketing to disqualify those customers you ‘d rather not serve anyhow.

A common concern with customer selection is when a professional is certified to do both domestic and commercial roofing repair work. The problem with this is the purchasers are really various. They have different requirements and different inspirations. If you can pass by one as your favored client, they should be marketed separately.

Next, is your website. You have one right? A dollar gets you $10 that your site does little to nothing to assist you communicate that you have the only solution to the problem your ideal consumer wants and is encouraged by.

What’s worse is that many websites today are built by graphic artists who by training and impulses will aim to build a beautiful website. What you want is a website that is effective and helps your customer to select you and act on that choice.

Does your site identify your perfect client “dog-whistle” style someplace near the top of the page? A main requirement of people browsing the web for things is to find out rapidly if they remain in the ideal location.

For instance, this roofing company in Denver, CO is doing a fantastic job of targeting their ideal consumers.

If your ideal possibility is a property owner in the Lakewood location of Colorado with hail damage to their asphalt shingle roofing and your words and images don’t communicate that clearly, how can you expect them to know your business offers them the very best solution to their issue?

How clearly is your call to action or next step presented to website visitors? Has your team determined all of the things that individuals are currently searching for when it concerns buying services you use and created material that seeks to assist those searchers to obtain answers?

If not, it ‘d be a smart idea to include that to your to-do list.

Lastly, there is visibility. I’ve informed my clients for some time that to unlock the door to all the opportunity in your market, you need to be visible where the biggest number of your ideal consumers will look when they have a roof problem.

Being discovered at the top of the Google AdWords is vital if you wish to catch those individuals who have an immediate requirement for a roofer.

Then, getting things set-up properly to appear in the top three spots in the Google My Business/Map section (in the middle of page one of Google search results page for the majority of keywords), can bring a flood of new calls and leads in your front door.

Last but not least is for Google to decide that you have the very best website for lots of search questions for a roofer in your market. When they decide you are better than your competition implies they will frequently include your website in the leading 10 organic search results page for your keywords.

There is constantly a portion of all searches online that are especially interested in the organic listings on page one; they will visit, read and think about for themselves whether you can help them. If they believe you can help them, they contact you, in many cases immediately.

So, there you have it, the 3 things for you to focus your efforts on when it comes to your roof companies internet marketing. Do these things and you’ll get your phone calling a lot more often.

6 Ways to Be Safe on the Roof in Winter Season

Throughout the winter months, there are few areas more dangerous than the roof of a home. Those ill-prepared for the challenges of winter season roof jobs run the risk of both injury and death. Here are six things to keep in mind when roofing throughout the winter season:

1. Hypothermia

Hypothermia takes place when a person’s core body temperature level falls below the level required to keep the vital organs operating. The two elements that promote hypothermia are low temperatures and wetness. Human perspiration in combination with winter cold conspire to carry out temperature away from an employee’s body when dealing with roofs.

The indications that a person has hypothermia include sudden sleepiness, shallow breathing and clumsiness. If you or anybody on your crew thinks someone has hypothermia, call instantly for emergency situation help, remove any damp clothes and get the private to a heated location as rapidly as possible. If a heated area isn’t close, cover the individual with a dry blanket (wool or emergency Mylar blankets are the very best).

When doing roof work in the winter, wearing three layers of clothing is the best method to assist an individual’s body fight the dangers of hypothermia:

An Inner Layer. The inner layer’s purpose is to eliminate body moisture.

An Insulation Layer. Wool or goose down are the very best material for insulation layers.

An Exterior Layer. The last layer ought to be water resistant.

Also, make sure to always bring a change of clothes and a Mylar or wool blanket in the work truck, simply in case you or somebody on your team catches hypothermia.

2. Frostbite

When your skin is not correctly secured from the wind and freezing temperatures, frostbite can happen. The areas of the body most vulnerable to frostbite for roofing contractors are the ears, nose, fingers and toes. You will understand when you have contracted frostbite due to the fact that the affected part of your body will suddenly lose feeling and eventually turn white, yellow, and, eventually, blue or black.

If you or a member of your team gets frostbite, right away raise the temperature of the body extremity in lukewarm water and call for emergency situation aid.

3. Falls

Every roofing system job needs a defense plan. Use short-term roof guardrails to protect your team from falls. Understand, however, that fall-in-place mishaps are more typical, and generally happen when workers alter instructions or change an approach of gain access to (from a ladder onto a roofing system, for instance).

Likewise, when using a roofing ladder, always use the “three-point guideline.” This guideline merely states that a roofer should have at least three points of contact with the ladder at all times. 2 feet and one hand or two hands and one foot are both appropriate configurations when using a ladder in winter.

Be sure to inspect your work ladder for ice. In some cases a roofing contractor will slip on an icy ladder called and injure themselves before they even make it to the roofing system.

4. Winter season Driving

Do not forget to consider job-related travel hazards. Providing roofing professionals with a protective driving course is constantly a good idea. You will get an insurance break, and will understand with self-confidence that your team will be trained in winter season owning strategies. If at all possible, don’t do roofing system operate in temperatures listed below 40 degrees. This will assist to avoid material failure, lost labor and possible injury.

5. De-Icing and Snow Removal

Always use a trained team for getting rid of ice and snow prior to your team accesses the roof. If the people fixing the roof also do the snow and ice removal, they might overlook their own security and concentrate on finishing the repair work.

Another snow danger is its capacity to conceal roofing parts from your work group. For instance, even a light snow drift can hide a skylight or other roof opening, which can result in an employee falling through and harmful both themselves and the roof.

When it comes to eliminating ice from the roofing system, de-ice with salt. Be favorably certain all snow is also eliminated, considering that stepping on snow, even on a flat roof, can quickly make an employee lose their center of mass and slide.

6. Dehydration

Roofing professionals require a rehydration strategy, yet couple of include one into their daily routine. Some of the crucial elements of this strategy will be the following:

A morning stretch before working, which includes at least 16 ounces of bottled water. Anything less than 16 ounces of water threats possible dehydration.

Keeping an eye on urine color. If your urine is darker than normal, that indicates an individual has low kidney filtration and has to hydrate.

Consume more vegetables and fruit treats. The included moisture in vegetables and fruits will assist ward off dehydration.

Have a thermos loaded with hot chicken or tomato soup throughout a break. Unlike a sandwich, these liquids are not only delicious, they will keep you and your team hydrated. If you plan to have a couple of beers after work, go after each beer with a glass of water. It’s fine to get some brews with your team, just make certain to hydrate as you go. After you have your 2 cups of coffee in the morning, prevent it for the rest of the day. Coffee is a notorious diuretic. Stay away from it while doing outside winter season work.

Staying safe on rooftops at any time of the year must constantly be a top priority. In winter, however, its significance ends up being far more crucial. Follow these tips, and you’ll cut your danger considerably.

If you need professional roofing services, visit www.commercialleakrepairsystems.com.

The Details on Low Slope Roofing


New Codes and Laws

In the past years there has been a focused effort to establish requirements for environmental and sustainable products. To this point, these standards have not been contributed to the International Building Regulations. Nevertheless, some of these regulations have become codes in select regional municipalities and States. For instance in California, Title 24 has actually belonged to the State Building Code for a number of years. A number of municipalities throughout the nation have consisted of Energy Star roofing reflectivity rankings into their codes. A lot of industry professionals agree that it is simply a matter of time prior to the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Ranking System becomes part of the IBC code.

The biggest modification in roofing system adhesives has actually arised from increased VOC guidelines in solvent-based adhesives. The current Volatile Organic Compound level of adhesives is 20 percent of the overall material content. Solvents are mainly added to adhesives to enhance their adhesion capabilities. In the older generations of adhesives, low solvent material produced a thick adhesive that was hard to apply. As more solvent was added, the adhesive became lighter and was easier to use.

The modifications included the development of single plies and customized bitumens; the decrease of hot-applied systems; and the change of cold-applied and self-adhered membranes. These modifications were mainly propagated by economics, reductions in the labor force and ecological problems. All these issues continue to be important issues in the market. In fact, a recent poll concerning buying routines of roof customers shows that the environmental is now the number one factor in the choice of roof products, while the material’s ease of application is the primary amongst specialists.

As we get in the second decade of the 21st century the low-slope roof market is still going through modifications. The recent modifications are minor adjustments compared to the vast modifications that happened near completion of the last years. In the time duration from the 1980s through completion of the 1990s, the low-slope roof market witnessed its greatest changes in materials and innovations considering that The second world war.

RhinoBond from OMG Roof Products is an induction welding system that uses the very same fastener and plate to secure the membrane and the insulation without permeating the roof product.

In an effort to get rid of roofing system flutter in these sheets, OMG Roof Products has established a securement system that -in layman’s terms – heats the existing fastener plates to allow for adhesion of the membrane to the plates without membrane penetration. The system supplies increased accessory points, which eventually eliminates roof flutter.

As we go into the 2nd decade of the 21st century the low-slope roofing market is still going through changes. The current modifications are minor adjustments compared to the large changes that occurred near the end of the last years.

There are presently boosted UV-modified bitumen sheets and 80-mil thermoplastic membranes available for these applications. Another solution is to provide an application of a reflective coating over the existing membrane in these areas.

When mechanically connected systems were first presented, the width of the sheets was 5 feet. This permitted sufficient attaching attachment and limited the opportunity of wind flutter. Over the years, the effort to reduce labor costs caused larger sheets that were 10 to 12 feet in width. These larger sheets have actually added to the susceptibility of wind flutter.

Due to the adhesive guidelines and the temperature restrictions of adhesive and self-adhered applications, there has been an increase in mechanically connected systems. One of the main issues relating to mechanically connected membranes has actually been there vulnerability to wind flutter, which develops substantial interior noise and contributes to membrane-fastener separation. A main reason for the membrane’s roofing system flutter is because of the width of the sheets.

For the steep-slope domestic market, some recent modifications consist of reflective shingles and life time service warranties for laminated shingles.

Since the late 1990s the adhesive manufacturers have been dealing with producing quality adhesives that meet the current VOC material policies. These regulations have actually caused the increase of water-based adhesives. There has been a considerable quantity of enhancement in the advancement of low-solvent-based adhesives and some U.S. producers can now produce solvent-based adhesives with 0 percent VOC material. Some makers are using latex/neoprene-bonding adhesives that are produced without any solvents.

Other Product Modifications

With the development of impending code changes to consist of roofing system reflectivity requirements a few of the modified bitumen producers have actually begun producing cap sheets with factory used finishings. These sheets eliminate the contractor’s labor expenses that would be required from the application of the finishing in the field while meeting the needed reflectivity rankings.

It ought to be noted that these are requirements and not codes. Nevertheless, many codes reference ASHRAE for compliance requirements, so it is a best practice to inspect the regional codes on all your tasks.

The most recent guideline that will have an impact on the roofing industry is ANSI/ASHRAE 189.1, “Standard for the Design of High-Performance, Green Buildings.” This is an update from ANSI/ASHRAE 90.1, which was customized in 2007. This brand-new policy provides minimum requirements for high- performance green structures. The goal of the brand-new standard is to get 30 percent more energy savings than the 2007 standard. The standard covers all brand-new structures and new systems in existing structures other than low-rise domestic buildings. This policy offers the requirements for roof insulation R-values for every area of the nation.

Another emerging technology is through the installation of solar panels on rooftops. Some roofing contractors have actually started partnering with solar producers as installers. One of the early disadvantages of these kinds of applications was the increased ultraviolet transmission to the roofing system surface area at points adjacent to this setups. The enhanced UV has actually caused delamination of roofing system membranes and increase of heat transmission in the building. In an effort to eliminate these risks, some of the material manufacturers have actually started using membranes particularly developed for application with photovoltaic panels.

Recent Modifications to Attachment Approaches

Although we are not seeing the sweeping system alters that we experienced in the past years, there are some product modifications that will have an effect on the industry. As kept in mind, most of these modifications are happening due to ecological issues or for the decrease of labor. The biggest effect of these conditions is in material application methods. With the significant decrease in both hot-applied and torch-applied applications, there has been an increase in adhesive applications and mechanically connected systems.

For even more information on low slope roofing, visit RFD Services.

Torch Roofing


In Canada, the biggest construction loss occurred in Downsview, Toronto in the year 1999. An entire condominium complex with wood frame construction was practically reduced to ashes after accidentally ignited by a roofing worker’s torch. Such devastating events have caused roofing contractors to reject projects that require the use of the torch roofing system.

The pervasive demand for torch-applied systems greatly influenced by the flexibility of applications under various weather conditions. In areas that have below-freezing temperatures, torch roofing is a welcome alternative since it can be applied under any weather condition. However, the relatively high figure of incidences of roof fires evidently caused by torching operations prompted several roofing contractors association to provide their members with group-funded insurance. This is also due to the fact that most insurance carriers refuse to provide insurance for building contractors who are offering torch roofing services.

Torch-related fires have significantly declined since the implementation of the National Torch Safety Program in 2003. However there are still some risks involved that still can not be addressed by the training program. The bigger issue is the structural designs both in residential and commercial sectors, which are mostly wood frame constructions. The nature of materials used in buildings pose particular risks since they are highly susceptible to fire.

More popularly known as the rubberized asphalt, the torch roofing system is commonly used in flat roofs. Basically the concept of torch-applied roofing system involves melting asphalt using a torch to create an impermeable roof. However, torch applications are highly hazardous to both roofers and the public. Roofing workers may suffer serious burns from the torch and high temperatures can possibly start a fire. Most roofers are not insured for the fire hazard that’s involved in the application of this system. This is the main reason why most manufacturers no longer permit direct torch application to wood substrates. Still, in view of the overwhelming demand of torch roofing, roofers readily take on the job albeit the risks involved in its application.

Get More Roofing Info Here

Since the risks associated in this type of application, manufacturers have come up with alternatives such as the cold-process roofing applications. Manufacturers have introduced self-adhering membranes that are available in the market nowadays to hopefully reduce the necessity to the use torch roofing systems. Although there is a demand for this application system, they are still restricted to warm-weather conditions. Indications show that torch roofing system will still be the prevalently preferred method. Hence, the safety and security in the use of this system will still be a cause of concern to contractors and insurance companies.

Copper Is the Solution for Challenging Residential Roof Restoration

Copper Is the Solution for Challenging Residential Roof Restoration

This home in Alexandria, Va., was retrofitted with a copper double-lock standing seam roof system

This home in Alexandria, Va., was retrofitted with a copper double-lock standing seam roof system installed by Wagner Roofing. The 16-ounce copper roof panels were 17 inches wide. Photos: Landmarks Photography—Jay Stearns

“We like the tough jobs,” says Dean Jagusch, president and owner of Wagner Roofing Company. “We like the intricate jobs.”

Headquartered in Hyattsville, Md., Wagner Roofing has served the Washington area market for more than a century. “We specialize in historic restoration and innovative architectural roofing and sheet metal,” Jagusch notes. “We’re full service. We do slate, copper, tile, and have a low-slope commercial division as well. But our trophy stuff tends to be of the steep-slope variety.”

A recent residential restoration project in Alexandria, Va., certainly qualifies as “trophy stuff,” taking home a North American Copper in Architecture Award from the Copper Development Association (CDA) in the “Restoration: Roof and Wall” category.

It’s easy to see why. The origami-inspired design features multiple roof angles, but the daring design was problematic. Even though the home was relatively new, the owners were plagued by leaks. Along with Restoration Engineering Inc. of Fairfax, Va., Wagner Roofing was called in to consult on the project, determine the source of the leaks, and come up with a solution.

The original galvalume standing seam roof channeled the water into a large, stainless steel internal gutter with roof drains. Jagusch found that the leaks were occurring at two types of critical points. First, there were leaks where the internal roof drains met the central gutter. The other problem spots were along the pitch transitions.

Jagusch felt that installing a conventional-style painted galvalume roofing system in those spots was almost impossible. “We felt that was since it was an area that was failing, we wanted a metal we could work with when we met a transition and turn the panels vertical where we needed to without having to break them and rely on rivets and caulk,” he says.

Custom five-sided downspouts were fabricated

Custom five-sided downspouts were fabricated, but large windows at the back of the home offered few options for support. The downspouts were attached up under the framing system. Photos: Landmarks Photography—Jay Stearns

Copper was the answer. “The detailing was pretty tough to do, so we recommended changing it to copper so we could work with it, be able to solder and have a more seamless roofing assembly,” Jagusch recalls.

Another key to the project was redesigning how the roof drained. “We decided to push all the water to the exterior,” he says. “We collaborated with Restoration Engineering and we fleshed out the original redesign.”

The team decided that installing a copper roof system with a new drainage plan would be the best way to eliminate the leaks and keep the inspiring look the homeowners desired.

“We wanted to eliminate the drains and push all the water to the exterior, so that’s why we went for the re-slope of the big central gutter,” Jagusch says. “Also, at the transitions, we wanted to make sure we were 100 percent watertight, so we used a combination of turning up panels and soldered cleats to get everything into place.”

Solving the Puzzle

With its intersecting planes, the roof made laying out the panels an intricate puzzle. “You also had large expanses of roofing that changed pitch throughout,” Jagusch explains. “Panels had to be laid correctly because not only does the roof slope up, but it also slopes sideways. The layout of the panels was critical from the get-go. We all looked at it and agreed that we would follow parallel to the actual trusses, which we felt was the best solution.”

The old roof system was removed and stripped down to the 3/4–inch plywood deck. “We covered the entire roof deck with Grace Ultra,” said Jagusch. “We then used a slip sheet and installed 1-inch-high, double lock, 17-inch-wide, 16-ounce copper standing seam panels.”

Photos: Landmarks Photography—Jay Stearns

Photos: Landmarks Photography—Jay Stearns

Panels were roll formed at the Wagner metal shop out of 20-inch-wide coils using an ESE roll former and trailered to the jobsite. Approximately 5,400 square feet of copper panels were installed on the project. The double-lock seams were mechanically seamed. Twenty-ounce copper flat-seamed panels were used in the large valleys.

The safety plan included full scaffolding during every phase of the project. “We have our own safety scaffolding system,” Jagusch says. “Our guys demand it on our jobs, and we demand it of them to come home safely every day. We are very proud of our safety record. It’s front of mind for us.”

In addition to the roof, all of the metal cladding was replaced on the southeast feature wall. The top of the wall was reconfigured to accommodate the new sloped valley. Where the wall met the roof, a band was fabricated to match the top part of the fascia. Other details included copper cladding for the chimney.

Drainage was redirected to the perimeter, where custom-fabricated gutters were installed. “On the west side, the roof was originally designed to dump off straight onto a rock feature on the ground, but we fashioned a custom copper box gutter about 35 or 40 feet long,” Jagusch states.

At the either end of the large internal gutter and at the end of a large valley, shop-fabricated copper conductor heads were installed. Custom five-sided downspouts were fabricated, but installing them posed another challenge, as large window areas offered few options for support. The downspouts had to be snugged up under the framing system.

“Everything had to work with the other building components,” Jagusch explains. “One of the tougher things on this project was being able to have the function and the form both top of mind, in that order. The key was to make the functional stuff look good.”

Showpiece Project

The project was completed about a year ago, and the copper has begun to change in color. “The copper now has a gorgeous bronze, kind of purplish hue to it,” notes Jagusch. “I think it will eventually develop a green patina, but with the way the environment is these days, I think it will take 15 years or so before it gets to that point. That’s the cool thing about copper—it’s a natural, breathing material that is constantly changing, constantly evolving.”

Copper cladding was installed on a feature wall

Copper cladding was installed on a feature wall, which also featured changes in slope. The top of the wall was reconfigured and a band was added to match the top part of the fascia. Photos: Landmarks Photography—Jay Stearns

Wagner Roofing has a maintenance agreement in place on the home, so Jagusch has stayed in touch with the owners and kept tabs on the project, which is performing well. “I’ve got just one hell of a team here,” he says. “It wasn’t just one estimator that went out and brought this thing in. In our business, estimating and roofing is a team sport. We kicked this thing around a lot with all divisions of the company, from estimating to operations to the actual installers before we finally settled on a number for this thing.”

“We work on some pretty spectacular places, and of course this is one of them,” he concludes. “We like a challenge, and this is the stuff that my team really loves to get their teeth into.”

Published at Wed, 04 Oct 2017 07:00:46 +0000

North Carolina Middle School Generates More Energy Than It Uses

North Carolina Middle School Generates More Energy Than It Uses

Sandy Grove Middle School in Hoke County, N.C.

Sandy Grove Middle School in Hoke County, N.C., was designed to be an energy-positive building. It generates 40 percent more energy than it consumes. Photo: Mathew Carbone Photography

When Robbie Ferris first presented the idea of a school building that generates more energy than it uses, people were skeptical. Now he can point to Sandy Grove Middle School in Hoke County, N.C., as proof that a high-performance school building can go well beyond net zero and generate 40 percent more energy than it consumes.

Ferris is the president of SfL+a Architects and manager at Firstfloor, a development company that specializes in public-private partnerships and design-build-operate agreements. “We designed the building, we own it and we lease it to the school district,” he says. “We monitor all of the systems remotely. One of the reasons we do that is because when you put really high-performance systems in buildings, you have to make sure they are operating at peak efficiency. It can take time to make sure everything is optimized.”

Three years after completion, Sandy Grove Middle School is outperforming its energy models, and the building continues to win accolades. It recently received Energy Star 100 Certification and has been recognized as the nation’s most energy positive school.

“Sandy Grove Middle School is a perfect example of a high-performance facility,” says Ferris. “With the public-private lease-back model, everyone wins. The students receive a quality school, it fits in to the school system budget, and it is energy efficient to help both total cost and our environment.”

The building’s systems were designed to be as energy-efficient as possible, and that includes the roof, which features an array of photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate electricity. “We wanted a roof that would last 30 years,” Ferris notes. “We’ve had a tremendous amount of success with TPOs, and metal roofs as well. This particular client wanted a metal roof look from the front, but they were very open to a membrane roof on other parts of the building. We made the decision to put the metal roof on the front of the building and a TPO on the wings at the back of the building.”

On this project, the warranties were important considerations, along with durability and energy efficiency. SfL+a specified a standing seam metal roof system manufactured by Dimensional Metals Inc. and a TPO system manufactured by GenFlex. “Obviously, if you’re putting a couple of million dollars’ worth of solar panels on your roof, you want to make sure you have a roof that is going to be problem free.”

A Smooth Installation

The installation was a challenging one, but everything went smoothly, notes Aaron Thomas, president and CEO of Metcon Inc. Headquartered in Pembroke, N.C., Metcon is a full-service general contractor that specializes in energy positive commercial buildings, so it was perfectly suited to serve as the construction manager on the project.

Photovoltaic panels were installed

Photovoltaic panels were installed on both the standing seam metal roof and the TPO system. The systems on the low-slope roof sections are fully ballasted, and both sections were installed without penetrating the roof system. Photo: SfL+a Architects

Thomas and Ryan Parker, senior project manager with Metcon, coordinated the work of subcontractors on the job, including the Youngsville, N.C. branch of Eastern Corp., which installed the TPO and metal roofs, and PowerSecure, the solar installer on the project, based in Wake Forest, N.C.

The roof systems covered 85,000 square feet, and Sharp PV panels were installed on both the metal roof and the TPO system. Solar panels were also installed on freestanding structures called “solar trees.” Each solar tree is 20 feet tall, 25 feet wide and weighs 3,200 pounds.

“The TPO roof system was upgraded to an 80-mil product due to solar panels being added to the roof,” Parker notes. “It was 100 percent ballasted on the low-slope sections, with slip sheets being used below the racking on the TPO roof.”

On the metal roof, clips manufactured by S-5! were used to affix the solar racking to the seams. “There are no penetrations for the frames, and penetrations for the electrical wiring went through vertical walls, not the roof,” Parker says. “There were no penetrations anywhere in the roof system, which made all of the warranties that much easier to keep intact.”

The biggest challenges on the project, according to Parker, were coordinating the different scopes of work and ensuring all of the manufacturers’ warranty considerations were met. “We had two different kinds of roofs, both coupled with solar panels,” Parker says. “Like any rooftop with photovoltaic products, there had to be special attention paid to the warranties of all parties involved. Both Genflex and DMI were closely involved in coordinating details to ensure that the owner achieved a great roof free of defects.”

The building’s systems were designed for energy efficiency

The building’s systems were designed for energy efficiency, and the roof features an array of photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. Photo: Mathew Carbone Photography

One key was developing a detailed schedule and keeping everyone on it. “We would meet once a week and huddle up on how it was progressing and what else needed to be done,” Parker recalls. “We found that by using a collaborative submittal sharing platform, all of the varying parts and pieces could be checked by all parties to ensure compatibility.”

There were multiple safety concerns associated with combining solar panels to the roofing system, so everyone had to be on the same page. “The roofing subcontractor and the solar subcontractor performed a joint safety plan that utilized common tie off points,” Parker notes. “The job had zero lost time.”

“Everyone coordinated their work and it was a great team effort,” Ferris says. “It was one of the smoothest jobs I’ve ever seen. We have not had a single leak on that project—not a single problem.”

Proof Positive

For Ferris, the greatest obstacle on energy-positive projects convincing members of the public and governmental agencies of the benefits. “The biggest challenges had nothing to do with construction; they had to do with just doing something new and different,” he says. “The toughest challenge was getting the school board, the county commissioners, the public and the review agencies on board. It took a very long time—and lots of meetings.”

Photo: SfL+a Architects

Now Ferris can point to Sandy Grove as an example of just how a high-performance school building can pay huge dividends. “As soon as you see it in real life, you’re on board,” he says. “It’s very exciting for people to see it. If we can get people to the school, they’ll walk away convinced it is the right thing to do.”

With Sandy Grove, the school district has a 30-year lease with an option to purchase. Ferris believes the lease model is the perfect solution for educators. “We’re responsible for any problems for the life of the lease,” he says. “If a problem does come up, we usually know about it before the school does because we monitor the systems remotely online.”

“In their world, buildings are a distraction from educating kids,” Ferris concludes. “This is one building that is not a distraction.”


Building Owner: Firstfloor, Inc., Winston-Salem, N.C., Firstfloor.biz
Architect: SfL+a Architects, Raleigh, N.C., Sfla.biz
Construction Manager: Metcon Inc., Pembroke, N.C., Metconus.com
Roofing Contractor: Eastern Corp., Youngsville, N.C.
Photovoltaic Panel Installer: PowerSecure, Wake Forest, N.C., Powersecure.com
Metal Roof System Manufacturer: Dimensional Metals Inc., DMImetals.com
TPO Roof System Manufacturer: GenFlex Roofing Systems, GenFlex.com

Published at Wed, 04 Oct 2017 12:30:24 +0000