The Top 40 Products of 2018

The following product roundup features the Top 40 products of the year, as chosen by the readers of Roofing magazine. The products were selected based on the number of reader requests for sales leads through the Reader Action Card in the print issue and the number of clicks on the website, www.RoofingMagazine.com, including those generated through our monthly e-newsletter. The product generating the most leads from each print issue is also featured as our “Roofers’ Choice” product, and the 2018 winners are also included here. If you have a new product you’d like us to consider for a future edition of our Materials & Gadgets section, please email Editor-in-Chief Chris King at chris@roofingmagazine.com.

Roof Leveling Compound Helps Eliminate Ponding Water

GreenSlope is a roof leveling compound that helps eliminate water ponding areas on flat rooftops. The cured material is similar to that of a professional running track or playground surface and can withstand tough climates as well as heavy foot traffic. According to the manufacturer, the product is designed to fill in low areas and bring the roof back to its original slope, directing water toward drainage areas. It is designed for use on EPDM, TPO, PVC, modified bitumen and metal roofs. Made from EPDM, GreenSlope is lightweight, durable, and able to withstand freeze-thaw cycles. Other uses include protecting curbs, filling low areas near drains, establishing walk pads and filling pitch pans. Greenslope.co

New Product Line Secures Rooftop Pipes and Struts

Green Link introduces a family of custom-engineered, molded straps and caps for securing pipes and struts for its KnuckleHead rooftop support product line. Straps have been designed for both Heavy Pipe and Strut Support KnuckleHeads, while a cap design was developed for Lite Pipe Supports. All are molded from tough, weatherproof urethane and feature a striking “safety yellow” color. The Heavy Pipe KnuckleHead strap secures a 3-inch outside diameter pipe, while the Strut Support strap fits steel or aluminum Unistrut-type channel. The Lite Pipe Support cap is designed to secure a single 1-inch nominal pipe or two ½-inch nominal pipes. The Strut Support straps are available in nominal pipe sizes ranging from ¼ inch to 6 inches. www.Greenlinkengineering.com

Stainless Steel Bi-Metal Drill Screws Are Corrosion Resistant

Triangle Fastener Corporation introduces a full line of 304 stainless steel bi-metal self-drilling screws. Bi-metal screws have heads and threads made of 304 stainless steel, providing corrosion resistance and ductility. A hardened carbon steel drill point welded to a stainless steel body allows the screw to drill and tap steel up to 1/2 inch thick. The screws are used to attach aluminum, stainless steel, insulated metal panels (IMPs) and when ductility is needed in the connection. They are available in #12 and 1/4-inch diameters in lengths up to 12 inches. Head styles include: hex washer head, pancake head and button head. www.Trianglefastener.com

Insulation Board Contains No Halogenated Compounds

GAF introduces a new non-halogen polyisocyanurate insulation: EnergyGuard NH Polyiso Insulation Board. According to the manufacturer, the development of EnergyGuard NH Polyiso Insulation Board demonstrates the GAF commitment to providing architects, contractors, and building owners with affordable products that help them meet their sustainable and environmental design goals, by offering products that do not contain halogenated compounds. As with their current EnergyGuard Polyiso Insulation, this product line offers high insulating values to help save on energy costs and is available in a variety of thicknesses. Easy cutting in the field provides the installer with simple fabricating on the roof deck. www.GAF.com

Pre-Weathered Fastener Matches Corten Panels

Lakeside Construction Fasteners offers the new high-strength COR-10 WOOD-Xfastener, which is engineered to secure Corten metal panels into hardwood decking substrates. It is pre-weathered for an exact Corten metal panel color match, eliminating the need to wait for fasteners to be painted or weathered to match. The fastener is available in sizes from 1 inch to 3 inches, and it features an EPDM washer to ensure a sealed protective barrier. According to the manufacturer, its high-low threads and sharp T-17 cut point allows the fastener to quickly penetrate the Corten metal panel for low-cost installation. www.Lakeside-Fasteners.com

Insulation Board Designed for High Load-Bearing Applications

Kingspan Insulation has expanded its commercial product offering by introducing GreenGuard Type VII XPS Insulation Board. The product is designed for high load-bearing engineered applications requiring insulation with a minimum compressive strength of 60 psi. Type VII XPS is primarily used in commercial roofing applications, such as protected membrane and pedestal paver systems. According to the manufacturer, the insulation board offers an R-value of 5.0 per inch of thickness and meets ASTM C578 Type VII requirements. The product retains its insulating properties over time, has high water resistance and is HCFC-free. Kingspaninsulation.us

Portable RhinoBond Hand Welder Designed for Use in Tight Spaces

OMG Roofing Products introduces the RhinoBond Hand Welder. Based on patented Sinch Technology, the portable RhinoBond Hand Welder is designed to help roofers weld RhinoBond Plates in tight spaces, such as under raised rooftop equipment, and on vertical surfaces. The ergonomically designed tool features a vibrating handle and an indicator light that lets roofers know when the tool is activated and when the weld cycle is complete. The base is recessed and features centering indicator lines to help usersproperly align the tool over installed RhinoBond Plates for optimum bonding and improved productivity. www.OMGRoofing.com

High-Visibility Primer Improves Adhesion for Acrylic Coatings

KM Coatings offers KM SP 1000, a VOC-compliant, solvent-based primer designed to improve the adhesion of acrylic coatings to most aged TPO and PVC membranes. According to the manufacturer, using this primer with a KM-approved acrylic coating provides excellent coverage and long-term protection. Its orange color enables strong identification for the applicator to achieve complete monolithic surface application. www.KMcoatings.us

Two-Component SPF Adhesive Provides More Coverage

Soprema introduces a low-pressure, two-component spray polyurethane foam (SPF) adhesive to its DUOTACK family of roofing adhesive products. DUOTACK SPF was designed to provide quick, efficient adhesion of PVC membranes, insulation and cover boards to approved substrates. According to the manufacturer, the product was developed by Soprema chemists with vast knowledge and experience in the roofing and polyurethane foam industry to provide 50 percent more coverage and a faster flow rate than competing products. It also has usability in multiple applications without the need for extensive inventory and expensive equipment, like pace carts. www.Soprema.us

Adhesive-Free Attachment System Eliminates Temperature Restrictions

Carlisle SynTec Systems introduces its RapidLock (RL) Roofing System. This adhesive-free system uses VELCRO Brand Securable Solutions to fully attach 115-mil FleeceBACK RL EPDM or FleeceBACK RL TPO to InsulBase RL or SecurShield HD RL polyiso insulation. According to the manufacturer, the RapidLock system does away with temperature restrictions, has no VOCs or odors, offers wind uplift ratings comparable to traditional fully adhered single-ply systems and has a Factory Mutual 1-90 approval rating. The adhesive-free system also saves time and labor. www.CarlisleSynTec.com

High-Performance Adhesive/Sealant Anchors Rooftop Supports

Green Link offers a new adhesive/sealant designed for use with the company’s KnuckleHead Rooftop Support System. The product bonds and seals the KnuckleHead Universal Base and is effective on a wide range of roof surfaces. The new adhesive/sealant has been specially formulated to adhere to PVC, EPDM, TPO, and modified bitumen, as well as the KnuckleHead base itself, which is composed of glass-reinforced nylon. According to the company, it will not discolor from UV exposure, can be applied at temperatures as low as 32 degrees, and is capable of joint movement in excess of 35 percent. www.Greenlinkengineering.com

Cap Stapler OffersEasier Loading and Extended Tool Life

National Nail announces the upgraded 18-gauge Stinger CS150B cap stapler with an enhanced design that improves performance with easier loading, longer tool life, and tool-free adjustable exhaust. Shooting 200 caps and 200 staples before reloading, the versatile cap stapler now also provides a wider range of operating pressure (up to 120 psi) for installing roofing underlayments, house wrap, and foamboard. The Stinger CS150B shoots 5/8-inch, 7/8-inch, 1-1/4-inch, and 1-1/2-inch length 18-gauge staples with full 1-inch plastic caps. It also includes an installed belt hook and durable carrying case. www.Stingerworld.com

Composite Shake Shingles Offered in New Colors

DaVinci Roofscapes launches the Nature Crafted Collection of composite shake shingles, which includes three realistic, nature-inspired colors: Aged Cedar,Mossy Cedarand Black Oak.According to the manufacturer, each new color reflects different progressive aging processes found on real shake shingles. Each tile has been crafted to resist fire and impact, along with high winds, mold, algae, fungus and insects. The Nature Crafted Collection is available on all DaVinci Multi-Width and Single-Width Shake composite roofing tiles. www.DaVinciRoofscapes.com

Solar Mounting Platform Designed for Exposed Fastener Panels

S-5! introduces the SolarFoot, a mounting platform designed for exposed fastener metal roofing. With four points of attachment, it provides an ideal mounting platform to attach the L-Foot of a rail-mounted solar system or other ancillaries to the roof. According to the manufacturer, the SolarFoot ensures a durable, weathertight solution for the life of the solar system and the roof. Each piece contains two reservoirs of a factory-applied butyl co-polymeric sealant, allowing a water-tested seal. Simply peel the release paper from the butyl sealant and fasten through the predrilled holes in the base of the SolarFoot. www.S-5.com

3-D Modeling Tool Aids in Solar Design Projects

Aurora Solar Inc., a solar design software company, offers SmartRoof, a tool that allows anyone to accurately and easily model residential and commercial sites for solar projects. According to the company, SmartRoof intelligently infers the internal structure of a roof after a few clicks, reducing solar design time and difficulty.According to the company, SmartRoof requires just an outline of the perimeter of the roof to automatically infer its internal structure. It allows solar designers to drag and drop dormers into the model.The remote site modeling tool enables designers to intersect multiple roof structures, making modeling of complex roof structures significantly easier. www.AuroraSolar.com

Perforated Starter Shingle Designed to Save Time, Reduce Waste

TAMKO Building Products introduces the Perforated Starter shingle to its roofing product line. Made from fiberglass mat coated with asphalt and surfaced with ceramic granules, the Perforated Starter course shingle is the answer to roofing contractors need for an easy to install starter strip prior to shingle application. The perforation ensures that contractors no longer lose time field cutting shingles to the appropriate size while reducing related waste. The product can be used with TAMKO’s full line of asphalt shingles, including the Heritage series laminated asphalt shingles and Elite Glass-Seal 3-Tab shingles. www.TAMKO.com

Snow-Retention System Utilizes Snap-Fit Design

AceClamp offers the Color Snap, a patented snow-retention system that utilizes a snap-fit design. The product ships to roofers with fully assembled, ready-to-install components and snap-in ice clips. Color Snap is available for either standing seam metal roofing or membrane roofing with a variant of the product known as Color Snap-M. According to the company, both varieties offer greater installation flexibility, are easier to install, and help to reduce labor costs by minimizing preparatory tasks. www.AceClamp.com

Sheet Metal Brake Designed to Reduce Labor Costs

Roper Whitney releases the Autobrake 1212, which is designed to provide accuracy and repeatability when forming 12-gauge mill steel and 14-gauge stainless steel. It features the rotating Kombi beam, which expands the machine’s folding capabilities to produce straight to box and pan bending in just 11 seconds. The box tooling is 6.3 inches in height, precision ground and laser hardened to 60. Pieces are also laser etched with the length of the tool for easy box setup. Optional left-hand or right-hand back gauge extension provides superior material positioning. Maximum 12-foot back gauge travels in less than three seconds and is provided by the six-stage design combining high speed with compact space requirements. www.RoperWhitney.com

Modified Bitumen Products Can Now Be Applied in Colder Temperatures

CertainTeed’s Flintlastic SA (self-adhering) modified asphalt low-slope roof systems can now be installed in temperatures as low as 20 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the manufacturer, the products can be installed using an application method that is safe for both installers and building occupants, as it uses no kettles or flames and has no hazardous or noxious fumes. Roofing pros only need a hot air welder and silicone roller to complete installations in cold weather, and the change is designed to help alleviate costly weather delays while making a direct impact on roofing contractor’s bottom line. www.CertainTeed.com

Multi-Purpose Joint Sealant Adheres to Damp Surfaces

Kemper System AmericaInc.offers GreatSealPE-150, a single-component joint sealant designed for long-lasting weathertight seals. According to the manufacturer, it is ideal for sealing joints in roofing, walls and masonry, as well as gaps around penetrations, flashings, windows and doors. According to the company, the product adheres even on damp surfaces, can be applied in cold weather, and in most cases, without a primer. It bonds aggressively to most building materials, including wood, vinyl, glass, fiberglass, foam insulation, asphalt, modified bitumen, EPDM, PVC, PIB rubber, and Kynarcoatings, as well as painted, galvanized and anodized metals. www.Kempersystem.net

New Colors Available for Concrete Tile Line

Boral Roofing LLC introduces a set of new colors for its signature concrete roof tile line. Inspired by the beach landscape, the six new hues in the collection are particularly well suited to complement homes of the contemporary and transitional architectural styles, according to the manufacturer. The collection includes new colors Ashen Blend, Café Sand Blend, Mottled White Blend, Atmosphere Blend, Oceana Blend, and Beach Blonde Blend, with each shade reflecting an element commonly found at the seaside. The tile is low maintenance, offers a Class A fire rating, and is fully recyclable at the end of its life on the roof. www.Boralamerica.com/roofing

New Sealant and Patch Mastic Designed for Durability, Sustainability

Chem Link launches NovaLink FP, a flash and patch mastic product, available in a 10.1-ounce cartridge. NovaLink FP is a high-quality, moisture-curing elastomeric waterproofing and sealant designed to fill, seal and level grout lines, voids, seams and surface damage on construction materials prior to application of liquid waterproofing. According to the manufacturer, the product is also useful for repairing roof leaks, asphalt shingles, roof valleys and seams, chimney flashings and in emergency roof repair situations. www.ChemLink.com

Shingles Offer Time-Release Technology to Fight Algae Growth

Seeking to reduce the prevalence of unsightly shingle discoloration caused by blue-green algae growth, which impacts 80 percent of U.S. homes, GAF introduces StainGuard Plus Technology. According to the manufacturer, the company’s proprietary time-release copper ion technology releases 10 times as much stain-fighting copper as its traditional copper coated mineral granules to better resist the growth of algae. This technology is currently available on GAF’s Timberline Ultra HD Stainguard Plus labeled shingles and is backed by a 25-year limited warranty against blue-green algae discoloration. www.GAF.com

Fasteners Designed to Attach Sheeting Over Rigid Insulation

Triangle Fastener Corporation expands its line of BLAZER Drill Screws with new sizes designed to attach metal panels over rigid insulation. These unique screws have two different threads with a gap in between that eliminates jacking of the panel during installation. According to the manufacturer, the special 1/4-14 “high thread” under the screw’s head secures the metal panel tightly against the head for optimal seal. The screws have a BLAZER3 drill point for fast penetration with less effort and a TRI-SEAL spray coating for corrosion protection. They are available in lengths including: 1-7/8, 2-3/8, 3-1/4 and 4 inches. www.Trianglefastener.com

Hip and Ridge Product Offers Added Thickness

TAMKO Building Products Inc. introduces its new Heritage Designer Ridge asphalt shingle. Constructed with SBS modified bitumen technology, the high-profile ridge product is designed to add a look of polished sophistication to finish asphalt roofing projects with style, according to the manufacturer. Two layers of asphalt shingles are laminated together to produce the high-definition appearance of added dimension in the Heritage Designer Ridge, which is up to a half inch thicker than TAMKO’s standard Heritage hip and ridge product.The product is offered in 10-inch and 8-inch overlap. www.TAMKO.com

Storm Repair System Uses Shrink Wrapping Technology

Stormseal is a storm recovery system that protects damaged roofs or walls with a patented wind-, rain- and hail-resistant polyethylene film. The technology, pioneered in Australia, is now available in the United States. According to the manufacturer, Stormseal is designed to replace flapping, leaking, flyaway tarpaulins. The low-density patented polyethylene film is cut and fitted at the worksite with the heat “shrink wrapping” technique, changing the chemical structure of the film and enhancing its strength. www.Stormseal.com

New Electric Hoist Moves Operator Away From the Load

Safety Hoist Company launches its new electric material hoist, which moves the operator a safe distance away from the hoist and its load. According to the manufacturer, its unique pendant control makes this one of the safest hoists available today. The hoist runs on 110-volt electric household current, and its controlled descent enables safe, smooth transport both up and down. The electric hoist is quiet, environmentally-friendly, and free from harmful emissions, so it can be used both indoors and outdoors. It can handle up to 500 pounds without sacrificing speed or efficiency. www.SafetyHoistCompany.com

New Line of Fasteners Designed for Extreme Environments

The new 40-year Ply-Lo Extreme line of fasteners from East Coast Fasteners is designed for extreme environments. According to the manufacturer, Ply-Lo Extreme was successfully tested in accordance to ASTM B117 for more than 3,000 hours of salt spray. With all the features of the original Ply-Lo fastener, the Ply-Lo Extreme is available in #10, #12 and #14, with a 40-year warranty. www.Plyco.com

Adjustable Steep-Slope Roof Anchor Aids Ladder Access

The RIDGEPRO is a versatile and adjustable roof anchor that can be connected to the peak before stepping onto a steep-slope roof, allowing a safe transition on and off ladders on roofs with pitches ranging from 6/12 to 12/12. The innovative arch straddles ridge vents, and the adjustable, pitch-specific settings are designed to maximize contact between the product and the roof surface. Constructed from solid, aircraft-grade aluminum, it exceeds industry standard of 5,000-pound tensile strength test when anchored. www.TheRidgePro.com

Primer Adheres to Single-Ply Membranes

Everest Systems offers Everprime All Ply, a primer for various new and aged single-ply membranes. According to the manufacturer, this high-quality, plasticizer free, single component, solvent-based primer can be applied by a spray brush or a roller. The product is designed to provide exceptional adhesion to new and aged TPO and PVC membranes. In addition, this high-performance coating provides excellent surface for subsequent application of acrylic, 100 percent solids Silicone and fluoropolymer coatings. www.Everestsystemsco.com

Work Gloves Offer Advanced Fit, Safety and Comfort

PrimeSource Building Products offers GRX Gloves, a brand-new line of quality gloves designed to promote hand safety and offer value for American workers. According to the manufacturer, GRX Gloves offer workers the latest technology in comfort, fit and safety to deliver a range of tighter fitting, more breathable gloves for a variety of applications and weather conditions. The GRX glove line will be available through the PrimeSource network of pro-contractor supply location and pro-supply locations like 84 Lumber and BMC. www.PrimesourceBP.com

Retrofit Roof Drains Feature Integrated Vortex Breaker

OMG Roofing Products introduces a new line of retrofit roof drains called Hercules-Plus. The drains feature integrated vortex breaker technology, which helps improve drain performance to quickly remove water from the roof. According to the manufacturer, independent performance testing shows that Hercules-Plus RetroDrains provide up to 2.5 times greater flow capacity than original Hercules Drains without vortex breaker technology. Drains are available in four sizes: 3 inches, 4 inches, 5 inches and 6 inches, and with an optional TPO or PVC coated flange for direct membrane attachment. www.OMGRoofing.com

Conductive Primer Developed for Electronic Testing

Detec Systems has developed TruGround, a conductive primer which enables accurate electronic leak detection (ELD) testing on conventional roof membranes including black EPDM, TPO, PVC, modified bitumen, hot and cold fluid applied. According to the manufacturer, TruGround must be installed directly below the membrane per ASTM D7877. TruGround can be used for quality assurance testing on newly installed membranes and is chemically compatible with fully adhered, mechanically attached and torch-down membranes. Once applied, ELD testing can be performed for the life of the roof. Future breaches or seam voids can be quickly pinpointed, allowing repairs to be done immediately, preventing costly moisture damage from occurring. www.DetecSystems.com

Structural Acoustical Roof Decks Reduce Noise Levels

Tectum Structural Acoustical Roof Deck solutions from Armstrong Building Solutions provide predictable noise absorption, durability, and sustainability to meet building design needs. Composite roof deck options provide R-values up to 44. By providing noise absorption up to 0.80, the panels often eliminate the need for additional acoustical treatments, providing faster and easier installations than standard steel roof decks. According to the manufacturer, Tectum Roof Decks are an ideal noise reduction solution for large, high traffic, exposed structure spaces such as auditoriums, gymnasiums, arenas, pools, ice arenas and multi-use facilities. www.ArmstrongBuildingSolutions.com

Underlayment Can Be Used in Vertical Applications

MFM Building Products announces that its Ultra HT Wind & Water Seal high-temperature roofing underlayment can be used for vertical side wall applications. This self-adhering membrane is composed of a cool white, cross-laminated, high density polyethylene film laminated to a high-temperature rubberized asphalt adhesive system rated to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. According to the manufacturer, this premium product is extremely tough, is self-sealing around fasteners and offers a 90-day UV exposure rating. The company states that Ultra HT is ideal for vertical applications under metal panel systems and parapet walls capped with metal tiles. Special installation instructions must be followed for all vertical applications. www.MFMbp.com

Gravity Vent Delivers Natural Ventilation

Acme Cone Company introduces a new gravity vent that delivers natural ventilation for buildings with single-ply roofs when windows and other ventilation solutions are not an option.The vent is available in standard sizes of 12, 18 and 24 inches in white, gray and tan. It is now available for order and immediate shipment.According to the company, contractors using Acme Cone’s prefabricated flashings benefit from more efficient and productive crews who aren’t spending unnecessary time flashing in the field. www.AcmeCone.com

Fluid-Applied Roofing System Available in New Colors

Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenancelaunches six new AlphaGuard BIO Top Coat colors: light gray, medium gray, dark gray, sand, beige and safety yellow. The line enables Tremco Roofing to better support its customers’ aesthetic and safety requirements on the company’s AlphaGuard BIO projects. AlphaGuard BIO, Tremco Roofing’s fluid-applied roofing system, is an excellent choice for restoring older but still functional roofs; both the Top Coat and Base Coat have received BioPreferred certification from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.The new colors add to an already robust palette for AlphaGuard Top Coat, which includes such options as terra cotta, garnet and patina green. www.TremcoRoofing.com

Pitch Pans Can Be Used on Horizontal and Vertical Surfaces

The new ShapeShift line from Mule-Hide Products Co. Inc. is a single solution for creating pitch pans for use in virtually any low-slope roofing job, including with smooth modified bitumen systems and on both horizontal and vertical surfaces. The line — consisting of ShapeShift Pitch Pan straight and outside corner sections and MP Liquid Sealant — can be used with EPDM, TPO, PVC, metal, spray polyurethane foam (SPF), elastomeric acrylic coating, smooth modified bitumen and smooth built-up roofing systems. The straight and corner sections feature interlocking joints and snap together to form square and rectangular pitch pans 4 inches by 4 inches and larger. www.MuleHide.com

Ridge Vent Provides 15 Square Inches of Net Free Area Per Foot

Keene Building Products offers Viper Vent, a patented, lightweight ridge vent that provides 15 square inches of net free vent area per linear foot. According to the manufacturer, its double-density edge provides superior strength and rigidity, ensuring its ability to maintain a sleek finished look that makes it virtually invisible from the curb. The filter is manufactured with extra thick fibers, and the company states the UV resistant textile allows it to provide superior airflow over its lifetime. Viper Vent is available in a variety of lengths and can be applied on an asphalt, wood, tile, metal, or slate roof. www.KeeneBuilding.com

Dual-Component Extruder Minimizes Downtime

The Garlock Cyclone 5/15 Dual-Component Extruder is designed to significantly reduce the time and materials needed to adhere rigid insulation and cover boards to structural roof decks, as well as adhering fleece backed single-ply membranes in both new roofing and recover operations. The Cyclone equally dispenses a two-component, 1:1 ratio low viscosity polyurethane adhesive. Users can access connectors and load chemical containers from the front without kneeling or crouching, and the adjustable gun assembly and ergonomic design help reduce application errors and training time. www.GarlockEquip.com

 

Benefits of High-Density Polyisocyanurate Cover Boards for Roofing Systems

High-density polyiso cover boards are designed to provide a combination of impact resistance, energy savings, and ease of installation to enhance the long-term performance of a commercial roof system. Photo: Firestone Building Products

Roofing projects, whether new construction or renovation, require careful product selection to balance cost with performance. Many contractors choose to include cover boards in their roof designs to enhance overall system durability and lower long-term maintenance costs, particularly for low-slope commercial roof applications. There are many cover board products currently available — ranging from traditional gypsum board to highly engineered polyisocyanurate (or “polyiso”) technologies. Across product types, cover boards are an important component in roof systems that provide a rigid substrate and protection for other components of the roof system.

Selecting the right cover board for your project means verifying that the product will work with the chosen membrane type to provide a stable foundation for the roof and suitable protection for the underlying insulation. Understanding the unique benefits of a high-density polyiso cover board product can help roofing contractors reduce labor costs and save money during the construction process, while also contributing to lower building energy usage over the long-term life of the roof system.

Benefits of High-Density Polyiso Cover Boards

High-density polyiso cover boards provide a combination of impact resistance, energy savings, and ease of installation that make them a compelling option. They are manufactured with coated glass facers that provide well-recognized versatility during installation and service-life durability. By adding a high-density polyiso cover board, roofing contractors can enhance the long-term performance of a commercial roof system in addition to providing the following advantages:

  • Lightweight: High-density polyiso cover boards, on average, weigh 66 to 80 percent less, when compared to other products of the same thickness. Individual boards are light enough to be carried by a single worker, reducing manpower requirements.
  • High-density polyiso cover boards are light enough to be carried by a single worker, reducing manpower requirements. Photo: Firestone Building Products

    Water resistance: The water absorption by volume of high-density polyiso cover boards is about four percent—much lower than traditional boards. High-density polyiso cover boards will not rot or dissolve and can maintain their integrity under adverse weather conditions.

  • Fewer truckloads: High-density polyiso cover boards can be shipped with about three times more square feet per truckload, requiring fewer trucks, which leads to fuel and transportation savings, as well as reduced traffic congestion on job sites.
  • Reduced product staging time: High-density polyiso cover boards require less crane time with lower hoisting, loading, and staging costs. The cover boards are easier to carry and maneuver around the roof. Pallets need not be broken or redistributed as they might need to be with other products.
  • Ease of cutting: Unlike traditional gypsum boards which require heavy-duty saws or cutters to resize, high-density polyiso cover boards can be easily scored and cut using a utility knife. A single worker can measure and cut boards to size, increasing the productivity of the roofing team.
  • Weight: When considering a building’s structural design, high-density polyiso cover boards will contribute less dead load to a roof than other alternatives. Lighter dead loads can add up to savings in structural costs for new construction and fewer headaches when reroofing an existing building.
  • Greater R-value: In addition to providing suitable protection to a roof system, high-density polyiso cover boards can increase the thermal resistance of the roof and provide two to five times more R-value than other cover board options.
  • Virtually dust-free: High-density polyiso cover boards are made with polyisocyanurate foam found in insulation products, which contribute less dust during cutting. This can decrease potential seam contamination of the roof cover prior to waterproofing the laps. Reduced dust and the absence of silica particles also enhances worker safety. And, less mess also means improved productivity for installers.
  • Mold: High-density polyiso cover boards resist mold growth when tested under ASTM D3273. This makes the products highly suitable for applications prone to elevated moisture conditions.
  • Resiliency: Higher compressive strength and flexibility in cover boards improves a roof’s resistance to damage from foot traffic, heavily loaded carts, dropped hammers and other tools.
  • Versatility: High-density polyiso cover boards can be used in new construction, reroofing, and recover applications. They are suitable in mechanically attached, adhered and ballasted roof assemblies.

High-Density Cover Boards Help Ohio High School Achieve LEED Gold Certification

When the Green Local School District in Ohio began making plans for a new high school to be built in Smithville, they wanted to build for the long-term. Recognizing that operating costs should be factored into building budgets, they set a goal to seek LEED Gold certification for the new building.

The new high school in Smithville, Ohio, was designed to achieve LEED Gold certification. It features a PVC roof system including high-density polyiso cover boards.

The school district was eager to design for lowered heating costs in the brutal Ohio winters through smaller, more efficient mechanical systems. Achieving that energy efficiency required designers to look at the whole building envelope with an eye toward maximizing insulation and minimizing the thermal and vapor conductivity of the building components.
Their roofing solution? Charcoal-colored PVC membrane to capture winter sunlight over polyiso roof insulation and 1/4-inch high-density polyiso cover board from Johns Manville.

Advanced Industrial Roofing Inc., based in nearby Massillon, installed the components over the school’s structures — 12 distinct roofing areas of varying size and slope. With such a complex job, they were grateful for the ease of handling and cutting the high-density polyiso cover board and for the sturdy protective surface it provided during the installation.

What Can Visiting a Car Dealership Teach You About Closing Quotes After Roof Inspections?

Assessing a roof is easy. Assuming you have the basic technical skills, which are not difficult to learn, analyzing a roof and determining what deficiencies are present, what needs to be done, what can wait, all of that, really isn’t that hard to do.

So, why do so many roofing contractors have trouble selling the repairs their reports recommend? (And when they don’t sell the repairs they often think the problem is with their report format). Let’s see if we can bring some clarity to this.

Years ago, in my role as roofing consultant, I had a client give me a copy of an assessment report performed by a roofing contractor with a quote for about $36,000 of recommended repairs to correct deficiencies they found on a shopping center. I had also inspected the roofs and I agreed that everything they presented was a legitimate deficiency. So, what did I recommend to my client? I recommended we do none of it!

Let me give you a bit more information about the roof. In the three years that my client had owned the 84,000-square-foot shopping center, they have never had single roof leak and the well-installed gravel surfaced built up roofs were about eight years old. Do you really think a building owner is going to spend $36,000 on an 84,000-sqare-foot shopping center that had never leaked?

When you drop your car off at the body shop to have them fix a scratch on the right rear quarter panel on your car, you don’t expect them to fix the scratch, repaint the whole car, install new rims and tires, tint the windshield and upgrade the radio.

Tip 1: Most roofing contractors doing assessments produce reports and quotes “recommending” way too much work.  Just because something on a roof isn’t perfect doesn’t mean you have to fix it, at least right away. For instance, just because that EPDM wall flashing is starting to bridge, you and I both know it isn’t going to rip open for at least another three or four years and perhaps longer. (And there are exceptions, sure, but if you are on the roof regularly, monitoring it, there is no chance you won’t see it coming.) When you quote the repair of those flashings, it is the same as getting a quote to “install new tires and rims, tint your windshield and upgrade the radio” when you took your car in for that scratch on that right rear quarter panel.

There is another factor that comes in to play. When you dropped your car off at the body shop and when you see a quote to do all that unrequested work, you know you don’t need it. That isn’t the case with the typical building owner and his roofs.

The typical building owner, property manager, facility manager, building engineer, asset manager knows less about roofs than your receptionist. Think about that for a minute. While there are exceptions to this rule, they are few and far between. Do you know what that means? It means that they are not going to understand the report you produce. You can tell them what a flashing is and they will nod their head up and down. That doesn’t mean they understand. If you, instead, asked them to explain to you what a flashing is and you listen to their answer you will quickly discover that they have no real idea what a flashing is. But here is what they do know: They don’t need to spend $36,000 on a shopping center that doesn’t leak. Since they can’t understand your report, they just do none of it.

Tip 2: If you give them a laundry list of things to choose from, they will often choose “none of the above. ”So, make sure you explain why each of these things is necessary and the possible consequences of not doing them.

Tip 3: “Sell” your assessments as a way to manage an aging roof. While we can all agree that roofs should be inspected regularly, let’s also agree that the roofs that most need to be inspected regularly are aging (or problematic) roofs. Especially when you are trying to start work with a potential new client, point out that it is often possible to cost effectively extend the life of an aging roof, and the best way to figure out exactly if that might be possible and how to do it is with a formal assessment. Importantly, this also gives you a context for understanding what they are after and makes it much easier to avoid the issues mentioned in both Tips 1 and 2.

Let’s say you decide to buy a new car. You walk into the dealership and lady behind the desk says, “Just a minute, I’ll get somebody for you.” Shortly, a mechanic in greasy coveralls comes walking out the service area, wiping the grease off his hands with a rag. He walks you over to a car on the show floor and says, “You should buy this one. It is a real good car.” That isn’t how it works? Really? (And, do you think that mechanic should be surprised when you don’t buy that car? Then why are you surprised when your estimators only sell one in five estimates they put out for repairs?)

Does the professional salesman you actually buy your new car from know as much about how that car works as the mechanic? Probably not. Then why do you suppose auto dealers use salespeople to sell cars rather than mechanics or others with excellent technical expertise? Because salespeople know how to sell. In our industry, we routinely see commercial roofing service salespeople closing over 60 percent of their sales. Once you made the adjustments recommended in the first three tips, if you are not closing 60 percent or more of your service estimates coming off assessment reports, you need to follow the advice in Tip 4.

Tip 4: Hire a true sales professional to sell. When your payroll clerk and bookkeeper are both off work due to maternity leave and an auto accident, would you grab two guys from a tear-off crew and have them do the bookkeeping and payroll? If a couple of guys don’t show up on a Monday at the start of a large tear-off, do you send your payroll clerk and bookkeeper out to help with the tear-off? Then don’t expect the guy who you have assessing your customers’ roofs to also sell them the work you are quoting. Hire true sales professionals and watch your revenue grow.

By following these tips, the quality of your assessments will go up and so will your closing ratios.

4 Common Causes of Inadequate Drainage on Low-Slope Roofs

Photo 1. Roof decks with poor slope, drains that are up slope and deck defection can result in excessive ponding. Images: Hutchinson Design Group Ltd.

The stone church in rural Portugal was constructed some 700 years ago. The roofs of the transepts are large stone slabs: 5 feet wide, 10 feet to 12 feet long, and 8 inches thick. How they even made it into place is amazing, but to those like us who think in terms of water, what is even more amazing is the carved-out drainage channels. Moving water off the roof was important to builders 700 years ago in Europe, just as it was to the builders of Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat. Along with many indigenous building methods, the movement of water off roofs and away from buildings is becoming a lost design element.

It is not uncommon to walk upon recently installed roofs and see ponding at gutters, roof drains and across the roof. There are many reasons for this degradation of roof system design, including ignorance. A lack of knowledge by designers, a “roofer or builder will figure it out” mentality, and poor installation procedures can all be to blame.

Ponding water provides visual evidence to the owner that something isn’t quite right, and in some instances, it can result in roof structure collapse. If breaches in the roof membrane exist, standing water can result in excess moisture intrusion. (See Photo 1.) Additionally, water on the roof promotes algae growth that can attack some materials. It also allows for ice to form in winter, creating life safety issues as well as external forces affecting the roof cover.

So, what can you do?

In this article we’ll look at four key conditions on the roof that I see as the most erroneously conceived and installed:

  1. The roof system’s transition to the gutters
  2. Two-way structurally sloped roof decks with roof drains above the low point
  3. Four-way structurally sloped roof decks with drains above the low point
  4. Roof drains on level roof decks with tapered insulation

Accumulated Debris at Gutters

As perhaps you know and will see within this article, there are many things that irk me; one is walking on a new roof and seeing a 3- to 4-foot wide swath of black accumulated dirt and airborne components in front of the gutter. This situation

Photo 2. Owners do not like seeing ponding in front of their gutters, especially when it’s egregious. Proper design and installation would have prevented this problem. Images: Hutchinson Design Group Ltd.

results from restricted water drainage, and it is especially noticeable on reflective roof covers. (See Photo 2.) This restriction of water drainage can be due to several possible factors, including roof edge wood blocking that is too high, insulation that is too low, and the accumulation of roofing material above the slope plane. The roof deck itself can also be set too low.

When designing roof edge gutters, there are key design elements to consider:

  • Wood blocking:In addition to being of appropriate width and anchorage, wood blocking should be sloped to drain, even with sloped roof decks with an elevation 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch below the anticipated roof insulation height. The greatest error I see with most architects is that they do not draw the detail to scale. Insulation is not of the correct thickness, the wood is too big or too small, or it is depicted as one giant block floating atop the wall with no mention of anchorage.
  • Insulation:Please read the ASTM standard for polyisocyanurate and you will learn that the ISO has an allowable dimensional change. Thus, if you specified two layers of 2.25-inch ISO to match three layers of two-by wood blocking, you might be in for a surprise. You might get to the field and see that your two layers of insulation are 3/8 of an inch below the top of the wood, and the manufacturer whom you’ve complained to will pull out the ASTM standard and say, “We are within tolerances.”
  • Material layering:When the roof membrane is taken over the wood (yes you should do this) and sealed to the wall substrate, and the gutter is set in mastic and then stripped in, the accumulated material thickness can exceed 3/8 of an inch. Not much, you say, but on a roof with a 1/4-inch-per-linear-foot slope, that can result in 18 inches of ponding right in front of the gutter. Ouch.

Design recommendations for achieving complete drainage at the roof edge with gutter include:

  • Communicate with the structural engineer.Coordinate with the structural engineer to determine the elevation of the wall (less wood blocking) with the structure and roof deck. If perimeter steel angles attached to the wall rise above the roof deck, discuss with the structural engineer turning the angle downward or changing the angle to one with a vertical leg that doesn’t rise above the roof deck. Angles that rise above the roof deck create a void when

    Photo 3. Even when using tapered insulation and on four-way sloped roof decks, it is advantageous to accentuate the slope into the drain. Here a 1/2-inch-per-foot tapered insulation sump matches up to the tapered insulation with the help if a 1/2-inch tapered edge strip. Images: Hutchinson Design Group Ltd.

    the first layer of insulation is set that is most often not sealed, resulting in a thermal short and a place where dew points can be reached and condensation can occur. If reinforcing paper facers are on the insulation, mold growth can result.

  • Properly detail the wood blocking. I prefer and recommend the use of two layers of wood blocking. First off, do not use treated wood; use untreated Douglas fir. The wood should be at a minimum 8 inches wide (preferably wider) so that the gutter flange can have nail locations back far enough to allow for 3-inch minimum overlap on the stripping-in ply.

Often it is best if the top of the wall is sealed prior to the installation of the wood to prevent air/moisture transport to the wood, and on precast, to prevent the migration of “damp” into the wood. The first layer of wood should be anchored to the structure (wall or framing). While not always required, I prefer to set anchors at 2 feet on center, staggered. This spacing prevents the warping of the wood. The second layer of wood should match the first in width. I suggest that this second layer of blocking be sloped, and placing a continuous shim along the roof side on the first layer will provide the proper slope. The shim width and thickness are dependent on the wood size, but for two-by-ten wood blocking, a shim of 1/2 inch by 1.5 inches will work well. The second layer of wood blocking should be set with joints offset from the lower layer and then screw fastened at 12 inches on center, staggered. Joints on both layers should be scarfed at 45degrees and screwed tight. On your detail, the height of the wood blocking at the interior side above the roof deck should be dimensioned. This will allow contractors to identify height concerns well before the installation of the insulation so adjustments can be made if necessary. I suggest that this distance be 1/4 inch to 3/8 inch below the top surface of the roof insulation or cover board atop the insulation. (See Figure 1.)

  • Make sure the insulation is higher than the wood blocking.We will not discuss insulation types, substrate boards (vapor barriers) and cover boards in this article; please see earlier articles on the topic. In designing the roof edge and discussing/coordinating with the structural engineer, the goal is to have the insulation system: substrate board, vapor retarder, cover board. The thickness should be 3/8 of an inch greater than the interior top corner of the wood blocking. One key item to remember is that spray-and-bead polyurethane adhesive adds 3/8 of an inch thickness per layer. Designing the insulation to be higher than the wood blocking is important, as it compensates for that allowable dimensional change mentioned above, as well as the thickness created by the layers of gutter flange and roofing. The goal is to create a condition in which water will flow over and into the gutter.

Two-Way Structurally Sloped Roof Decks

Often long, narrow roof areas are designed with a two-way structurally sloped roof deck designed to move water from the outer roof edge to a central point. Prudent designers would like the roof drains to be located at the low point of the structurally sloped roof deck. Typically, though, there is a steel beam at the low point, which prevents the installation of the roof drain at the low point. Consequently, the roof drains must be located on the plumbing drawings up slope from the low point. I have tried for years to explain to plumbing engineers that water doesn’t typically flow uphill, but to no avail, so we as the roof system designer have to fix it. How? By moving the low point.

How is this design goal accomplished?

Let’s start with our roof system design for the following example: a new construction project in Chicago (R-30 minimum) with a steel roof deck, two-way structural slope and the low point over a steel beam. The plans call for the drains to be installed 2 feet up slope, and thus they will be more than 1/2 inch above the low point.

The goal will be to move the structural low point to the drain line. With a structural slope, to meet the thermal value we are looking at two layers of 2.6-inch insulation. Run the first layer of 2.6-inch insulation throughout the roof. Then the fun begins: Draw a line down the center of the roof drains. From this centerline, come out 4 feet on each side with a 1/2-inch-per-foot tapered edge board (Q panel, for those who know). The next layer of 2.6-inch insulation abuts the taper. The tapered insulation at the drain line effectively moves the low point to the drains. (See Figure 2.)

Now that the water is being moved to a new low point, it then needs to be moved to the drains. This is accomplished by saddles. (See Figure 3.) Sounds simple enough, but 95 percent of the saddles I see are incorrect, and water ponds on them, over them and along them. This situation leaves, once again, a bad taste in the mouth of the owner, general contractor, construction manager, and architect — even though it’s the designer’s problem. So, I will now, for the first time, reveal my secret developed years ago: The taper of the saddles mustbe twicethe roof deck slope. If the deck slopes 1/4 inch per foot, the saddles must slope at 1/2 inch per foot. If the deck slopes at 3/8 inch per foot, as it often does, the saddle needs to be at 3/4 inch per foot. And, architects and designers, the slope of the saddle is to the valley line, not the drain. The width of the saddle is the key and determining the width of the saddle is my secret.

It’s a simple formula:

(Distance Between Drain)x 33% = X

2

Increase X to the next number divisible by 4

Example: If the drains are 60 feet apart, divide 60 by 2 to get 30 feet; multiply 30 feet by 33% = 9.9 feet. Increase 9.9 to the next number divisible by 4 to get the answer: 12 feet.

Thus, the saddles at the mid-point apex should extend out three full tapered insulation boards. It’s best if you dimension this width on the detail.

On large buildings, the saddle width and thickness can be quite high, so be sure to double-check the insulation height with the height of the roof edge. I could tell you about a roof where the insulation rose several inches above the perimeter height because someone didn’t draw the detail to scale, but that is a story for another time.

Roof Drains in Four-Way Slope Roof Decks

Structurally sloped roof decks can be beneficial in that they can create positive drainage flow. But with four-way structurally sloped roof decks, the drain is not necessarily at the low point of the roof. How far off the low point is dependent on the plumbing contractor. I have seen drains installed several feet upslope. The plumbing drawings should have a note to the fact that the roof drain sump pan should be installed as close to the low point as possible.

Even when the drain is installed very close to the low point, it is still high and will result in water ponding in front of the drain. Thus, the low point needs to be artificially moved to the drain.

This is accomplished with a drain sump. Best practices suggest that the roof insulation be installed in two layers. This will allow for the installation of the sump.

Using Chicago as an example, which calls for R-30 or 5.2-inches of insulation, the first layer of insulation 2.6 inches thick is installed across the roof deck, to the roof drain. It should be cut to the roof drain extension ring. Fill the void between the roof drain and the insulation with spray foam; trim to the insulation. Next the tapered insulation sump is installed. To match the next layer of insulation, we use 1/2-inch-per-foot tapered insulation. It starts at 1/2 inch and, with a 4-foot panel, rises to a thickness of 2.5 inches. Placed around the drain, the sump created is 8 feet by 8 feet. The next layer of insulation is 2.5 inches and abuts the backside of the tapered insulation.

The 1/2-inch-per-foot slope is used as it doubles the slope of the structurally sloped roof deck, which in this case has a slope of 1/4 inch per foot.

Level Roof Decks With Tapered Insulation

Whether re-roofing or new construction, getting the drainage correct on level roof decks is still a challenge for most designers. Perhaps they don’t realize decks are not level; they have camber, they deflect, they undulate, and the drains are often near columns so the drain pipe can run along it. When the drain is near a column where no deflection takes place, it can often be high.

I like to first ensure the proper drain assembly has been selected and designed by the plumbing engineer: the roof drain, reversible collar, threaded extension ring, clamping ring, cast iron dome. (For more detail, see “Roof Drain Installation Tips” on page XX of this issue.) The sump pan should be selected and designed by the plumbing engineer and provided by the roof drain manufacturer — not by the metal deck supplier. (That the industry cannot get this correct is one on my pet peeves.) Do not raise drains off the deck with threaded rods. (See my article “Concise Details and Coordination Between Trades Will Lead to a Quality Long-Term Solution for Roof Drains,” RoofingMay/June 2016). If designing in a vapor retarder, it needs to extend to the roof drain flange and be clamped by the reversible collar. The first layer of insulation should be cut to fit and extend under and to the extension ring. Any voids should be sealed with spray foam.

To compensate for all the potential deck irregularities, I like to accentuate the slope into the roof drain by increasing the taper. More often than not, this means designing a 1/2-inch-per-foot slope sump into the drain. With a 4-foot board, this results in an 8-foot-by-8-foot sump. (See Figure 4 and Photo 3.) After detailing this sump, the main roof four-way tapered insulation can be designed and the heights at the perimeter calculated and noted on the plans. Just a reminder that the code-required thermal value needs to be attained four feet from the drain. So, for Chicago we detail to achieve R-30 at the backside of the tapered sump.

Final Thoughts

A new roof installation that results in ponding water at the drainage point is an unfortunate occurrence. Owners can be upset: “What is that?” “I didn’t pay to have water retained at the drains!” “Who is coming up and cleaning all this stuff off my roof?” Ponding water can be a standard of care issue for designers and result in damages. Learning to properly design rooftop drainage is not difficult, but it requires some thinking and some rooftop experience. Getting up on the roof during installations will help you visualize the needs to achieve proper drainage.

Making sure the roof system drains properly requires discussions with the structural engineers for new construction. I also find it helpful to have the plumbing contractor at pre-con meetings to review the interrelationship of the roofing and drains.

Getting water off the roof as quickly as possible has been a key priority for centuries — no matter the roof cover material. If the builders using stone can achieve complete and full drainage, then I challenge you to achieve it with the materials we use today.

Codes and Standards: Dealing With Decision Makers

During the past ten years, in my role as Associate Executive Director of the EPDM Roofing Association (ERA), much of my professional focus has been on monitoring the development of building codes and standards that could impact the products of our members, and the people who use those products. This past decade has been marked by intense debate, focusing on issues such as how the design of buildings can save energy, protect the health of the people who work there, and resist the ravages of increasingly frequent intense and even cataclysmic weather events. It has been an important time for the roofing industry to be engaged.

Given the complexity of the multiple codes and standards that impact roofing, it’s important to know the difference between codes and standards. To clarify, building codes are a set of rules that are frequently adopted into law, and are designed to specify the minimum requirements to safeguard the health, safety and welfare of building occupants. Building standards are set by national organizations such as ASHRAE and determine the performance requirements of the materials used in building construction. While standards are frequently incorporated into codes, that is not always the case.

Each year, ERA has increased its commitment of time and resources to stay abreast of proposed changes in codes and standards. As part of this commitment, I have sat through, and participated in, countless hours of codes and standards meetings and hearings, as well as related meetings with individuals and groups who share ERA’s goals. When I started out, I felt that it was important for members of the roofing industry to stay involved in the code and standard-setting processes. A decade later, I am convinced that participation by the roofing industry is essential if codes and standards are to support the best possible service and products that we can give our customers.

A few insights, based on my experience:

1. Science speaks.

ERA members, because of their close relationship with contractors and consultants, want to make sure that the choice of building materials is left in the hands of the design professional, the consultant, the architect, the engineer, the contractor and, of course, ultimately the building owner or facility manager. When we have codes and standards that do not reflect science-based evidence and/or the best practices within the roofing industry, then those stakeholders may not be able to choose the best product for the job at hand. In some cases, proposed modifications to existing codes or standards are suggested by people from the industry. In those instances, our role is to provide research and evidence to support the proposed change. Either way, science-based testimony usually carries the day. Not always, but without good scientific evidence to support a specific position, the chances of winning are nil to none. It takes time and clear thought to influence the codes and standards process, but without a base of indisputable scientific evidence, it’s hard to get out of the starting gate.

2. Collaboration is essential.

We have always welcomed forging partnerships with like-minded roofing professionals. But there have also been times when we have acted as consulting partners with regulatory agencies. A recent example: when regulatory agencies across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states were charged with improving air quality, they chose to reduce the amount of allowable volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, in adhesive sealants. This was a very good idea, and the industry was certainly supportive of the intent, but the way in which many of those states intended to enact those VOC regulations would have crippled the roofing industry. Essentially, the agencies were taking a regulation that was written for the state of California and applying it universally across the New England and Mid-Atlantic States.

So, ERA conducted studies, showing how the climate of those Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states was dissimilar from the climate of California. We also provided technical information on how product would react differently in those different climates, and then we asked for a delayed implementation period to allow the research and development divisions in our companies to develop new products. These new products are appropriate for use in the climates in question and still allow the regulatory agencies to achieve their goals, successfully reducing the amount of the VOCs. Our participation was essential to help the regulatory agencies draw up a realistic timeline that would take into account the needs of the roofing industry.

3. Monitor the decision makers.

It’s important to monitor the discussion surrounding any proposed changes in codes and standards. It’s equally as important to monitor who will be making the final decisions on these issues. Since there are various facets of the roofing industry, code-setting bodies would be wise to ask the local roofing experts for advice on whom to include in their decision-making process. I’ve seen instances where committees have incorporated someone who may technically be from the roofing industry, but that person’s breadth and depth of knowledge is not appropriate for the topic at hand.

I would say we have seen mismatch of decision makers when urban heat island and cool roof issues are being debated. An individual may know a fair amount about climate change, but that doesn’t mean the person necessarily understands the nuances of cool roofing. Additionally, they may not be aware of the breadth of research on that topic and instead rely on dated information from college or grad school without being appropriately briefed on new and emerging research.

4. Prepare for a variety of responses.

We have worked with some regulatory agencies during a collaborative process and they’ve been very grateful for our input. There have been other situations where it seems that the policymakers just want us to rubber stamp their very well-intentioned but ill-conceived draft codes. That’s not something that we are willing to give. These initiatives, these outreach campaigns, take a tremendous amount of time and effort and financial resources, and difficult as it may be, our members feel that they owe it to the industry and their customers to make sure that anything that we’re involved in is done the right way and rooted in science-based evidence. There are no shortcuts in these sometimes very difficult fights.

5. Everyone can contribute.

Every member of the roofing community can be active and engaged and make a contribution to ensuring that codes and standards reflect the true needs of the construction industry and our customers. It’s very valuable to build relationships with state legislators and attend town hall meetings. It is crucial to identify candidates that are pro-business and pro roofing, and support them financially as well as from an educational perspective by sharing information with them about the roofing industry.

This is also critically important: When you are asked to write a letter to a key decision maker, be sure to do it. Recently, as part of a campaign to preserve choice of building products for roofers, I visited a city councilmember’s office. On the wall was an enormous white board where every single constituent member’s concern was tracked, along with a reference to the response. This particular city council member had an 87 percent “close rate,” meaning that 87 percent of the concerns that they had received in a given period had been responded to. My experience has been that municipal and state legislators take constituent outreach very, very seriously. Every letter, every e-mail makes a difference.

6. Gather intelligence for your professional organization.

If there is one takeaway that I want people to get from this article, it is to keep us informed. It is darned near impossible to track everything that happens on a city, county, state and national basis because there is no software that currently tracks these issues before they are formally proposed and published for review. And that is often too late to educate the policy makers. It is critical for the readers of this article to attend their local trade association meetings and become acquainted with the policy makers and the legislators in their area. Equally as important, everyone can become a resource for legislators and policymakers when they have a question about roofing.

I’m looking forward to the next decade of victories for the roofing industry, allowing us to deliver superior roofing systems to a broad range of customers. But this will happen only if key decisions about the roof are made by roofing experts, and not mandated by politicians who are far removed from the design process.

Regular Roof Inspections Help ‘Keep the Door Open’

A roof inspector makes field observations. Photo: Kemper System America Inc.

Regular roof inspections give consultants and contractors a chance to maintain relationships with building owners and managers and create value beyond any immediate repairs.

Commercial roofs should be inspected at least twice a year, typically in the spring and fall. Roof inspections are also advised after major weather events, though contractors may already be deluged with repair requests. Of course, building managers will be more receptive to discussing regular inspections during such times, even though time is short. A service flyer and readily available letter-of-agreement can help quickly close the deal, and be used after any major job throughout the year to create recurring business. Customers should clearly understand the service offer and any special provisions for emergency repairs or exceptions such as during wider emergencies.

Common Sources of Roof Leaks

  • Cracks in or around flashings and penetrations
  • Breaks in and around gutterways and drains
  • Poor drainage or debris-clogged drainage systems
  • Storm damage, tree branches, ice dams, etc.
  • Incidental damage by other trades during construction or maintenance
  • Excessive foot traffic at rooftop access points and around HVAC units and other rooftop infrastructure
  • Old or deteriorating roofing materials

While roof leaks can be caused in several ways, many common sources of leaks can be prevented with liquid-applied coating and membrane systems that fully adhere to substrates and are both self-terminating and self-flashing. Membrane systems are fully reinforced and create a seamless surface. High-quality systems are designed to withstand ponding water, ice, snow, UV light, as well as most chemicals. Unreinforced roof coatings can be used for repairs or complete restoration of the roof surface.

If only a small area is damaged, a limited repair is best, and usually possible with compatible materials over an existing system in good condition.Check if a warranty is in place, and if possible contact the manufacturer before the repair. Perform any repairs within the guidelines of the warranty.

For wider areas, a roof recovery is often possible right over the existing roofing. If interior leaks from a field area are evident, core samples can verify the condition of the existing roof assembly down to the deck. Built-up roofs (BUR), in particular, are susceptible to sun and temperature cycling. Tiny spider cracks and micropores can develop in the surface, and the layers below can absorb moisture and deteriorate. Water always travels to its lowest point and, if left unchecked, will damage the underlying structure.

On low-slope roofs, areas of ponding water are a prime target for inspections. If the roof is covered by aggregate or overburden, it must be cleared from around the lowest point of any low-lying areas, and other areas of suspected damage. A visual inspection can locate the source of an active leak, but there may be more than one source or a larger issue that may not always be visible. Broader sampling is needed to evaluate the general condition of the roof and the scope of any deterioration.

Quality workmanship and materials help avoid callbacks and ensure long-term relationships. After completing any necessary repairs, a PMMA, polyurethane or elastomeric membrane or coatings system can be installed to extend the service life of an existing roof. Elastomeric-based coatings are generally the best value for straightforward repairs and can be ideal for recovering metal roofs. Roof restoration, in general, can enhance building performance with “Cool Roof” products, especially those with a high solar reflectance index (SRI).

At the end of the day, an ounce of prevention and a prompt response to issues can help building owners avoid expensive headaches. People remember expert advice and quality service, especially in times of need. They also may tell others — which is another way regular inspections can help keep the door open to recurring business.

Lien Pre-Notice Requirements Can Have a Drastic Impact on Lien Claims

For contractors or subcontractors seeking past-due payment, mechanics’ liens are often a necessary part of the collection process. The ability to encumber title to a property — and potentially foreclose on the land to satisfy debt — is a uniquely powerful tool claimants can utilize to collect final payment or favorably settle an account, allowing contractors to close out their project files and move on. Each state’s requirements differ, and precision and accuracy are typically imperative to success. For example, missing the state statutory deadline or inaccurately describing the subject property will usually invalidate the lien. Satisfying all of the requirements is very important, as the mechanics’ lien is often the only way to give real teeth to a contractor’s claim for past-due payment.

Accordingly, most subcontractors and suppliers frown upon anything that would make it more burdensome to successfully make a lien claim. For this reason, the emerging trend of “pre-notice” or “pre-lien” requirements — and their potential deterrent effect on lien claims — deserves attention. Twenty-five states require lien claimants to provide the project owner (or the owner’s agent) with a “pre-notice,” which is a written notice in which the claimant identifies itself, the party with whom it contracted, and what labor or materials it will be furnishing on the project. (States requiring a pre-notice in at least some circumstances include Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.)

A key characteristic of the pre-notice is that it is a prerequisite to the later filing of a mechanics’ lien under at least some circumstances. Pre-notice requirements usually require contractors and subcontractors to take action at the beginning of a project to secure their future right to file a mechanics’ lien — even if at this stage they are owed no money or have no reason to believe they would ever need to file a lien. In nearly every state with such a requirement, failing to file the pre-notice is a complete bar to ever filing a mechanics’ lien on the project in question. The pre-notice step is typically in addition to the other steps claimants already have to take to successfully make a lien claim. These other steps usually include filing and serving the lien and filing a lawsuit to enforce the lien by the required deadlines.

Proponents of pre-notice requirements often point to the positive consequences they can have for both claimants and project owners. Often, the purpose of these requirements is to place the project owner or its title insurer on notice of all parties who are furnishing labor or materials on the property. Notice of potential lien claimants helps owners avoid liens from emerging retroactively through the doctrine of “relation back,” which makes mechanics’ lien effective as of the date of the contractor’s first date of furnishing of labor or materials, even if the lien is not filed until later. Theoretically, if an owner knows who all of the subcontractors and suppliers are beforea closing or refinance occurs, the owner will have an incentive to pay any unpaid parties who could later file liens that would relate back to the parties’ first date of work on a project and cloud the title afterthe sale or refinance. Also, in many states the pre-notice will validate the lien even when the pre-notice is served after the statutory deadline as long as it is served before the property refinances or conveys to a new owner.

Potential Pitfalls

Because they add steps to the administrative and legal procedure for lien filing and potentially deter claimants from being successful, pre-notice requirements are generally unpopular among lien claimants. A less obvious, but significant, consequence of pre-notice requirements is the negative impact they can have on customer relationships. For many general contractors, pre-notices going from their subcontractors or suppliers to an owner feel overly aggressive because they come at the beginning of a project, when no money is likely to be owed yet. General contractors do not want their customers — the owners — to think that their subcontractors are worried about being paid promptly. General contractors also don’t enjoy the idea that a subcontractor or supplier is litigious or intends to one day file a lien on a project, and some of them make this known to their subcontractors. The result? Many potential lien claimants will refrain from filing or serving a pre-notice in an effort to satisfy the general contractors. But if the general contractor or owner encounters financial trouble or fails to make contract payments down the road, these would-be claimants will have jeopardized or eliminated their ability to assert a lien claim.

North Carolina’s statute is an example. The statute has long required that lien claimants file and serve their liens within 120 days of the last date of furnishing on a project and perfect their lien claims with a lawsuit within 180 days of the last date of furnishing. In 2013, North Carolina’s legislature added a pre-notice requirement that lien claimants file and serve a “Notice to Lien Agent” within 15 days of commencement or before a sale or refinance takes place. A Lien Agent is the title insurance company assigned to the project. The Notice to Lien Agent is typically served using an approved statewide electronic filing system that transmits notice not only to the Lien Agent but also to the general contractor. In addition to North Carolina, another 10 of the other states with pre-notice requirements also require the notice to be sent to the prime contractor. (These states include California, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, Utah, Wyoming, and Virginia.)

For many general contractors, this sends a message that subcontractors or suppliers either don’t trust them to make timely payments, or, worse, that they intend to file a lien on the project. One North Carolina concrete supplier reported that as a regular practice, his company files and serves a Notice to Lien Agent on every project where it furnishes material, but that “we’ve lost customers over it.” He said that he understands why some suppliers don’t file the Notice to Lien Agent but said that for his company, protecting prospective lien rights and the right to full payment outweighs appeasing customers who are offended.

An impending change to the North Carolina statute may complicate the pre-notice procedure further. Beginning October 1, duly filed and served Notices to Lien Agent will expire after five years and will have to be renewed at that time. Furthermore, lien claimants will be required to “cancel” their Notice to Lien Agent “a reasonable time after the potential lien claimant has confirmed its receipt of final payment.”

Because North Carolina’s only approved electronic filing system for Notices to Lien Agent, www.liensnc.com, currently has no mechanism for canceling a Notice to Lien Agent, under the current system if a lien claimant has served the Notice, there is no official way to un-serve it. When the new law is passed and the electronic system is changed accordingly, general contractors who make their displeasure known to their subcontractors could potentially influence their subcontractors to cancel the pre-notice prematurely — thereby potentially eliminating their ability to file a mechanics’ lien, even if non-payment occurs.

Whether subcontractors and suppliers want to make a regular practice of filing and serving mechanics’ lien pre-notices is a judgment call for them. But in an increasing number of states, this could mean effectively waiving any lien rights they have.

Cool Roofs Are Still a Hot Topic

Figure 1. ASHRAE Climate Zone Map. Cool roofs are currently required in Zones 1-3 only.

The overwhelming consensus is that cool roofs are a clear top choice in warm climates, but what about cooler ones?

Studies and decades of real-world experience clearly show that cool roofs are net energy savers and improve thermal comfort in Climate Zones 1-3. The model codes (ASHRAE and the I-codes) already include requirements for some new and replacement roofs to be highly reflective in these areas.

But what about “cool, northern” climates like Climate Zone 4? Shown in yellow on the ASHRAE Climate Zone Map in Figure 1, Zone 4 stretches from the Mid-Atlantic across the southern Appalachian states to the southern Midwest.

There are a number of myths that have led to a notion that the dividing line between “warm” and “cool” lies between Climate Zone 3 and Zone 4. In “cool” climates where heating degree days outnumber cooling degree days, the traditional thinking goes, the cost of extra heating demand caused by cool roofs in winter would offset the cooling energy cost savings in summer. Despite decades of market experience and a vast body of research supporting the net benefits of cool roofs in Climate Zone 4, this line of thinking has been an obstacle to cool roof policy in the United States. Let’s dispel some of those myths by looking at a few facts.

  • Winter heating penalties associated with cool roofs in cool climates are vastly overstated. Higher insulation levels in Climate Zone 4 do not offset the benefits of cool roofs. Research over the last couple of year (field and modeling), some of which I’ve cited in this article, show that the so-called “winter heating penalty” is much smaller than many

    Figure 2. Peak demand is remarkably similar across climates. Source: Dr. Jim Hoff. “Reducing Peak Energy Demand: A Hidden Benefit of Cool Roofs.”

    thought. Specifically, a field and modeling study done at Princeton University’s campus (in Climate Zone 4) compared cool and black membranes over roofs with insulation levels up to R-48. The studies show that cool roofs reduce heat inflow in summer but have the same heat loss in winter as black surfaced roofs over the same level of insulation.
    Another study evaluated the impact of reflective roofs on new and older vintage commercial buildings in cold locations including Anchorage, Milwaukee, Montreal, and Toronto. All cities in the study are located in climates zones north of Climate Zone 4 and experience longer, colder winters than cities in Climate Zone 4. The study finds that “Cool roofs for the simulated buildings resulted in annual energy expenditure savings in all cold climates.” The study also identified peak energy savings in addition to the base energy efficiency gains.

  • Figure 3. Projected temperature change for mid-century (left) and end-of-century (right) in the United States under higher (top) and lower (bottom) emissions scenarios. The brackets on the thermometers represent the likely range of model projections, though lower or higher outcomes are possible. Source: USGCRP (2009).

    Heating and cooling degree days are not a good way to determine the appropriateness of cool roofs. Heating/cooling degree days indicate the intensity of the annual heating/cooling demand in a location, as a function of how far the outdoor air temperature is below/above a “comfortable” temperature and how much of the year is spent below/above that threshold. These metrics paint a misleading picture because they are based on outdoor air temperature and do not account for the sun’s ability to heat buildings or on the heat generated by human activity in the building. To illustrate this point, consider a cool sunny day during which the outdoor temperature approaches, but never exceeds, the comfort threshold (meaning zero cooling degree days). The sun may nevertheless heat the building enough throughout the day to require air conditioning by late afternoon, and cooling degree days would then underestimate actual cooling energy use.

Conversely, the sun’s heat on a cold sunny day may cause heating degree days

Figure 4. Energy cost increases and total damages from rising heat. Source: Solomon Hsiang et al. “Estimating economic damage from Climate Change in the U.S.” Science, June 2017.

to overstate the true demand for heating energy. This suggests that reflective roofs can save energy over the course of a year even if heating degree days exceed cooling degree days. Or take heat from building occupancy and activity — many commercial buildings run space cooling year-round, thus negating the concept of a heating penalty altogether. The effect of occupancy will only increase as building standards require more insulation and fewer air gaps. The comparison of heating and cooling degree days, though simple and logical-sounding, is actually a very unreliable rule of thumb for the assessing the suitability of reflective roofs.

  • Peak energy demand reduction is a huge, but often overlooked, benefit of cool roofs in all climate zones. Reflective roofs save the most energy during peak energy demand periods, like hot summer afternoons. Field studies indicate a peak demand savings of 15 percent to 30 percent resulting from reflective roofs (see http://www.coolrooftoolkit.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/CEE_FL-Cool-Roof.pdf).

Unfortunately, most energy savings calculators exclude peak demand, thus painting only a partial picture of the energy savings opportunity of cool roofs. Peak reductions are more than just an energy saver. Most utilities charge a peak demand fee to non-residential customers based on their maximum demand in a given period of time. This fee can be more than half the bill for some customers. Peak

Figure 5. Summers in New England could soon feel like summers in South Carolina. Source: Union of Concerned Scientists. “The Changing Northeast Climate,” 2006.

demand is also different from “base” cooling demand because it is not driven by climate. The graph in Figure 3 compares base and peak cooling demand for all U.S. climate zones and finds that peak demand requirements in Minneapolis are the same as they are in Phoenix.

  • “Cool” climates in the United States are starting to feel a lot hotter. Scientists predict an average increase in temperatures of 4-6 degrees Fahrenheit in the United States over the next 30 years or so. But as the maps in Figures 4 and 5 show, the amount of warming and its economic impact will be most acutely experienced in parts of the United States covered by Climate Zones 1 through 4.

It won’t just be hot areas getting hotter. An analysis by Union of Concerned Scientists forecast that, under a high but realistic emissions scenario, summers in New York City (the northernmost city in Climate Zone 4) could feel like South Carolina. Recently, the school district in Eau Claire, Wisconsin committed to replacing its black membrane roofs with white ones to help reduce temperatures during their increasingly hot summers. So, even if one still believes that Climate Zone 4 is too cool for cool roofs now, it certainly won’t be for long.

Improving Disaster Mitigation Strategies

This past January, the National Institute of Building Sciences (NIBS), a non-governmental, non-profit organization, reported that for every dollar spent on mitigation efforts to protect the built environment from the ravages of natural disasters, six dollars could be saved. These findings were part of a follow-up to the widely cited benefit-cost ratio of four to one in a comparable study by NIBS more than a decade ago. For this most recent study, NIBS reviewed the outcomes of 23 years of mitigation grants funded by FEMA, HUD, and the U.S. Economic Development Administration.

On the same day that the NIBS study was released, FEMA released its draft National Mitigation Investment Strategy to provide a “national approach to investments in mitigation activities and risk management across the United States.” According to the FEMA draft, the final investment strategy will be grounded in three fundamental principles: (1) catalyze private and non-profit sector mitigation investments and innovation; (2) improve collaboration between the federal government and state, local, tribal and territorial governments, respecting local expertise in mitigation investing; and (3) make data- and risk-informed decisions that include lifetime costs and risks. The investment strategy’s overarching goal, according to FEMA, is to improve the coordination and effectiveness of “mitigation investments,” defined as risk management actions taken to avoid, reduce, or transfer risks from natural hazards, including severe weather.

FEMA invited comment on its draft report and will publish its final strategy in November. Given the potential impact of this report on the built environment, and the industries that work to incorporate resilient strategies, the EPDM Roofing Association (ERA) submitted feedback to FEMA. ERA represents Johns Manville, Firestone Building Products, and Carlisle SynTec Inc., the three EPDM manufacturing members of the association, whose businesses span the globe. EPDM roofing membranes have been one of the leading commercial roofing materials in the country for the past 40 years, and the companies’ knowledge of the role of roof performance in achieving a building’s resilience is unparalleled.

In our response to FEMA, ERA noted that we appreciate the role that the built environment plays in a comprehensive disaster mitigation strategy. As an organization, ERA has invested time and resources to gather and provide state-of-the-art information about various approaches to creating a resilient built environment. This past year, ERA established a new microsite, EPDMtheresilientroof.com, to provide the roofing industry with a one-stop source for information about resilience. As part of information gathering for this site, ERA staff and members have visited three of the premier research facilities in the country: Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), and the National Center for Atmospheric Research. These visits were also devoted to gaining a fuller understanding of the intersection between public and private progress in research and development.

At the outset of our response to FEMA, ERA commended FEMA for its issuance of the draft strategy, and supported all the recommended goals as desirable as risk management strategies to be implemented at the private and public sector levels. However, given ERA’s experience with building performance, we also focused our comments on two of the specific recommended strategies in the published draft.

First, ERA responded to the recommendation that “Federal departments and agencies should ensure up-to-date building standards are used for federal building projects and could incentivize state, local, tribal and territorial governments receiving federal aid for building projects to adopt and enforce, at a minimum, the most current version of model building codes.”
Commenting on this recommendation, ERA pointed out that a review of hurricane and related weather catastrophic events demonstrates that the better the building quality and the better the building codes, the better the performance of the community. While there has been substantial improvement in many states across the country, adoption and compliance pose significant hurdles for overall performance in disaster events. The urgency of this cannot be overstated. Part of this effort to upgrade the building codes and consequently overall resilience must focus on the quality of materials, installation, and inspection of final construction to ensure compliance by local authorities.

The experiences of the roofing industry in its inspection of many disasters over the years have confirmed that a well-installed, inspected, and well-maintained roof is a linchpin of overall building resilience. ERA believes that federal funding to the states to allow for the kind of technical assistance that enhances code quality and state and local compliance programs necessary to achieve physical and community resilience should be provided.
Additionally, ERA responded specifically to the recommendation that “Public sector entities should focus more on rebuilding better as well as rebuilding quickly following damage caused by natural disasters.”
ERA pointed out in its response that this recommendation to achieve rebuilding better buildings quickly following damage caused by natural disasters is among the most important in the report. As FEMA Deputy Director Roy White has pointed out in several presentations focused on resilience, it makes no sense for the agency to fund rebuilding of a destroyed facility to standards that existed when the original building was constructed with the likelihood that it would not be able to withstand another weather event beyond historic norms. Consequently, ERA recommends that FEMA and HUD need to have authority and appropriations to ensure that rebuilding is done with an eye towards future — not historic — climate conditions. This is in recognition that the original basis for many buildings that then are destroyed has been dramatically changed by recently evolving weather patterns. In addition, as the FEMA and NIBS study recently demonstrated, there is a payback to the government of a 6 to 1 ratio for investing in rebuilding to a more resilient standard.

There are many, many elements of the draft strategy that ERA supports; however, we believe the two mentioned above are particularly within our expertise and with which we are very familiar. We look forward to the final mitigation strategy report from FEMA, due to be released in November, and we encourage FEMA to incorporate our recommendations to ensure that the value of investment in resilience be realized to the fullest extent possible.

Psychology-Based Strategies Can Help You Close More Deals

Getting potential customers to choose your roofing company rather than the competition comes down to more than just a name or reputation. Because consumer buying decisions are based in human psychology and emotion, you need to know how the brain interprets information so you can adjust your sales strategy accordingly.

To help close your next big roofing job, try incorporating some of the following psychology-based strategies into your advertising and sales pitch.

Use the Framing Effect

Consumers hate to miss out on opportunities.

For example, consider these two statements:

  1. Book an appointment online and receive a discount!
  2. Book an appointment online before August 1 and receive 10 percent off a new roof installation!

Both offer essentially the same proposition — book online to save some money. Put the first one on your website and you would get a few responses. Use the second appeal, however, and you could expect a considerably higher conversion rate.

Adding a deadline triggers a psychological technique known as the framing effect in your customers’ minds.

According to the framing effect, people react differently based on how options are presented. The thought of being left out — a condition known as loss aversion, or FOMO (fear of missing out) — causes a stronger, more immediate response than a simple discount or reward does.

Marketingland.com used college students to document how the framing effect works. Researchers sent emails reminding Ph.D. students to register for an economics conference. Some emails offered a discount for registering early, others mentioned a penalty for registering late. The penalty email had a much bigger impact, spurring 93 percent of the recipients to sign up early. By contrast, only 67 percent registered early when presented with the discount option.

Understanding the framing effect helps you position your value more effectively to customers. Combine that knowledge with some local market research and you have a good chance of outmaneuvering your competitors.

You Get What You Pay For

In addition to urgency and gain, consumers generally feel better when paying more for things that have tangible value versus paying less on a purchase with suspect quality or little value. To most consumers, price is a reflection of the quality of your work. Furthermore, your willingness to price match is a reflection of how much value they should place in you.

Consider the psychology of “we match all competitive quotes,” “lowest prices in town” or “free roof inspections.” You have set an expectation that your time has no value and your brand is built around a willingness to be cheap. When you take the time to defend your price with a well-developed sales pitch and refuse to compromise on quality, your customer will view your bid as a benchmark for all the rest.

Just keep in mind that you won’t win them all — because there will always be a segment of the market looking for the lowest cost and a company willing to offer it.

Avoid Analysis Paralysis

Always give customers fewer options. This strategy may sound counterintuitive, but if you give consumers too many alternatives, they are likely to avoid choosing any — a result known as “analysis paralysis.”

Instead of overwhelming buyers with every shingle type and color, group your products into a handful of categories from which they can choose, or perform a needs analysis to condition the sale before presenting product options.

Provide Social Proof

People like to fit in with the crowd and follow their peers. If one person approves of your services and products, his/her friends and family are likely to approve too. It’s a technique called social proof.

You can use digital media platforms to provide social proof and showcase how your current customers are benefitting from your roofing expertise.

For instance, always ask recent customers to write reviews on Facebook, Google and the Better Business Bureau (BBB). And don’t forget Yelp and other review sites. You can also encourage your customers to share your social content on their own Facebook pages, which they are more likely to do if you post transformative before-and-after photos and/or videos of their home.

Apply the Theory of Reciprocity

Giving people something helps create a bond between them and your company — even if it’s something as simple as a “like” on Facebook, a helpful video you share or an EagleView Report showing aerial images of their home.

Creating a feeling of loyalty can inspire customers to remember you when they are ready to tackle their next big project.

Let Your Body Talk

When meeting with prospects in person, use nonverbal cues in your body language to help make a good first impression and establish trust.

For instance:

  • Open your arms. Crossing your arms signals a closed-off or defensive attitude. Keeping your arms open and relaxed shows that you’re fully involved and interested in the discussion.
  • Lean forward. Leaning forward and in toward customers illustrates that you’re engaged in the conversation and paying attention.
  • Mirror. Try to match and mirror the body language of prospective buyers. Reflecting back the same posture, gestures and movements as your customers helps them to relax and feel comfortable during the sales pitch.

Tap Into The Reptilian Brain

Consumers continuously evaluate whether products and services are worth the cost. This decision-making process takes place in the reptilian brain — the oldest evolutionary layer of the brain. The reptilian brain is made up of the brain stem and cerebellum, which not only control the body’s vital functions, such as breathing and heart rate, but also instinctual actions and decisions.

Grab the attention of a customer’s reptilian brain with your company’s website or advertising and you’ll have a much better chance of guiding them toward a sale. This strategy is known as neuromarketing.

For example, the reptilian brain easily understands contrast. Show customers why your business is better than your competitor’s and why what you have to say is important. To stand out, use phrases such as “We are the only …” and “We are the best.”

The reptilian brain is geared to respond to visuals, so images can be far more persuasive than words. Be creative in your communications. Use short, simple sentences and include images that demonstrate the value of your claims. Incorporate customer testimonials as proof and share quick demonstrations of your products that will grab a consumer’s attention.

Incorporating psychology into your sales pitch and advertising is not about trying to trick customers. It’s about understanding how people’s brains interpret information so you can make decisions and focus your messaging accordingly.

Using these strategies to understand people’s minds can help you be more confident in your dealings with prospective customers and ultimately help you land more jobs.