GAF Energy Aims to Transform the Residential Solar Industry

Photo: GAF Energy

Earlier this year, Standard Industries launched GAF Energy, a new company with a lofty goal: revolutionizing residential rooftop solar. Working in tandem with GAF, GAF Energy is driving the adoption of integrated and affordable rooftop solar solutions across GAF’s established distribution network. The business model is designed to tap into the strength of GAF’s network of more than 6,000 certified roofing contractors to offer homeowners a comprehensive and economical approach to solar installation.

“We’ve created GAF Energy to take on roof-integrated solar and bring it to the next level,” says Martin DeBono, president of GAF Energy. “By leveraging GAF’s roofing expertise with GAF Energy’s solar expertise, we’ve created a solar kit designed specifically for roofers and their customers during the re-roof and roof construction process.”

The company believes that by standardizing these integrated solar solutions, they can be more easily installed on residential roof replacements and new construction projects. “By putting everything in a kit, we really simplify the process for a roofer,” DeBono says. “In fact, our target roofing contractor is someone who has never done solar.”

Connecting With Contractors

GAF Energy is currently working with GAF sales teams to identify contractors with residential sales teams that would be good candidates for adopting solar. Initially, the company is focusing on nine states, with plans to expand nationwide. The nine states are California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Rhode Island. Key factors in the consideration of these markets included the climate, the price of electricity, and state and local programs for utility rebates and incentives.

The roof-integrated solar kit is designed to function as part of the roof system and be aesthetically pleasing. Photo: GAF Energy

If contractors seem like they will be a good fit, GAF Energy sets up a multi-pronged training program, which includes classroom training and training in the field for both salespeople and installers. “We have full day of classroom sales training with a professional sales trainer,” DeBono explains. “After contractors complete the sales training in the classroom, we provide field resources for in-home sales training and on-the-roof training. We have field resources that we send out with roofing contractors’ salespeople into the field. Once we have a successful sale, we also provide on-the-roof training for the first installation. All of that is done just for being part of the GAF contractor network because it is our belief that we need to enable a new generation of roofers to sell and install solar.”

According to DeBono, GAF Energy is then able to provide all of the services that roofers typically do not have, including electrical services, design services, and connection services. “If the roofing contractors have the wherewithal to continue the project with the electrical and the design, we’re happy to enable that, but what we’ve found is that roofing contractors like GAF Energy to do that. We work with the roofing contractors and their customers to determine which services we provide and which services the roofer provides. It really lowers the barrier for adoption for both the roofing contractor and the homeowner.”

Contractors are already selling and installing the system. “We launched the company in January, we conducted our first sales training sessions in February, and we’ve already received our first purchase orders,” DeBono notes.

The Solar Kit

The GAF Energy solar roofing kit arrives at the home complete with everything needed for installation, including the integrated photovoltaics (PV), flashings, all of the power and electronics that are necessary, along with the hardware.

The system itself screws into the deck and is flashed in a method similar to a skylight installation. Power electronics plug into each other below the system and out of sight, and leads are connected to the inverter, which can be installed by the roofing contractor or GAF Energy.

The GAF Energy solar roofing kit arrives at the home complete with everything needed for installation. It is flashed in a method similar to a skylight installation. Photo: GAF Energy

The kit — and the business model — are designed to provide synergy with the roofing contractor. “It is our firm belief that the roof is the domain of the roofing contractor,” says DeBono. “You do not want anybody other than a roofing contractor working on your roof. As part of the Standard Industries family, we were founded to tap into this market, but we have a strong heritage from GAF, so we completely subscribe to that. We built a solar offering explicitly for roofers. First and foremost, if the roof is not a waterproof barrier for your home, it’s a failure, and we would never allow that to happen.”

The kit is also designed to be aesthetically appealing. “It is a truly roof-integrated solar system — the solar becomes the roof,” DeBono says. “It’s lower profile to the roof, and it simply looks better. The roof being one of the largest influencers on the physical appearance of one’s house, and the house being one of the largest assets a homeowner owns, homeowners don’t want to put anything ugly on their roof. By making it beautiful, we immediately eliminate the objections of those folks who say ‘I don’t want solar on my roof because it’s ugly.’”

Value for Homeowners

The relationship with GAF Energy is designed to benefit the homeowner as well as the contractor. “The value for the homeowners is they have a local contact who sells and installs our system and will be there if there is ever an issue, and they are working hand-in-hand with a manufacturer to provide an unparalleled level of support,” DeBono says. “The solar kit is covered by the same warranty as the roof. It’s backed by a waterproof guarantee from Standard Industries, which has been around for over 130 years.”

Photo: GAF Energy

DeBono believes that for most customers, the decision to add solar comes down to the bottom line. “The primary reason people go solar is to save money,” says DeBono. “There is this vision that people go solar because they are green. But the tipping point to go solar is really about saving money. As we roll this program out, we’ve been focusing on the nine states that offer the best savings.”

DeBono notes the sales cycle for his company’s solar system is about the same as that for a re-roof. “It’s definitely not longer,” he says. “The reason for that is it’s a very simple sale. With our system, we are turning your roof from a static asset into an energy-generating asset that saves you money every month. The only increase in the sales cycle may be the matter of 15 minutes or 20 minutes in the home where we explain it to the customer. What’s critical about our model — remember we have our heritage as a roofing company — is our approach is perfectly compatible with the way roofing contractors sell and do business today.”

Customers calling for a new roof might be good candidates for solar, whether they know it or not. According to DeBono, contractors handling calls about a roofing estimate first check Google maps to determine if the location will be compatible with a solar application. If so, the discussion could lead to adding the solar kit: “The contractor might say, ‘In the same time frame it will take us to put in your new roof, we can make it a solar roof. Instead of this great asset that lasts for 25 years and keeps you warm and dry, you can have a great asset that lasts for 25 years, keeps you warm and dry — and oh, by the way, it generates electricity every day and saves you money every month.’ We’re seeing that people are really interested in that value proposition.”

With a background as a nuclear engineer, submarine officer in the Navy, and six years in the solar industry, DeBono believes the roofing industry is the key to expanding the rooftop solar market. “We at GAF Energy have this mission: energy from every roof,” he says. “And when you look at the size of the roofing industry compared to the size of the solar industry, if you really want to accomplish energy from every roof, it has to be done from a roofing platform.”

For more information about GAF Energy, visit www.gaf.energy.

Roof of Texas Business Gets New Life After Hailstorm

After the damaged roof system was removed, CIMA installed a self-adhering SBS modified bitumen roofing system manufactured by CertainTeed. Photo: CertainTeed

Large hailstorms are a common occurrence in Northern Texas, so when the roof of CMS Magnetics Corporation in Garland, Texas, started to leak, the company suspected hail had something to do with it.

When CMS purchased its building in 2012, the company applied to its existing roof system a roof coating designed to strengthen the system and protect it from water intrusion. In 2018, however, the roof started leaking to the point that expert guidance was needed to address the situation.

To help CMS consider its options, Plano, Texas-based CIMA Contractors, LLC, was called in to find the source of the leaks and recommend an efficient, affordable solution. CIMA Contractors is a CertainTeed-credentialed roofing contractor with more than 20 years of experience in commercial roofing and storm damage restoration. After analyzing the roof’s existing PVC membrane, CIMA determined that the roof leaks were indeed the result of hail damage from a 2014 storm.

CMS leadership worried it would have to fix or replace the entire roof system at great expense to the company. Trusting in its expertise, CIMA stood by its findings and went the extra step of presenting additional findings to the insurance company so their hail damage claim could be covered.

CIMA met with adjusters, roofing contractors and engineers from the insurance company and conducted a joint assessment. During the assessment, the team conducted forensic work to determine that recent hail had compromised the roof system and was the cause of recurring leaks. This inspired the insurance company to agree to restore the roof to its pre-storm condition.

The existing roof assembly was comprised of a 22-inch intermediate-rib steel deck supporting a 60-mil PVC roof system along with a spray-on coating. CIMA decided to take a different approach — one that would offer a solution with greater energy efficiency, better tolerance for the foot traffic required for facility maintenance, and superior impact and weather resistance.

This photo shows the damaged roof before it was replaced. Photo: CertainTeed

After removing the old roof system, CIMA mechanically attached CertainTeed’s FlintBoard ISO insulation to the building’s steel deck. In addition to helping the structure meet city building code requirements, the insulation provided year-round indoor comfort. CIMA also installed tapered FlintBoard ISO-T insulation to reconfigure the cricket geometry and sumps in the roof’s corners and redirect water runoff to a new drainage system, eliminating standing water on the roof’s surface.

CIMA then applied CertainTeed’s Black Diamond Base Sheet, a self-adhering SBS modified bitumen roofing membrane designed to provide durability, strength, ease of handling and resistance to moisture and wind-driven rain. A torch-applied layer of CertainTeed’s Flintlastic GTA cap sheet topped off the system, providing additional puncture and tear resistance. The new, more resilient system delivered a combined 220 mils of protection.

Thanks to CIMA’s professional expertise and high-quality roofing products from CertainTeed, the CMS facility is dry, safe and comfortable for its employees. For additional peace of mind, the new roof is backed by a 15-year NDL (no-dollar limit) warranty from CIMA and CertainTeed. With their roof problems addressed and their storage areas dry, CMS has expanded its capacity and inventory, paving the way for greater operational bandwidth and profit.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: CIMA Contractors, LLC, Plano, Texas, www.cimacontractors.com

MATERIALS

Base Sheet: Black Diamond, CertainTeed, www.certainteed.com

Cap Sheet: Flintlastic GTA, CertainTeed

Insulation: FlintBoard ISO and FlintBoard ISO-T, CertainTeed

Standing Up to Mother Nature

When this home’s failing roof had to be replaced, it was restored with a composite shake product from DaVinci Roofscapes. Photo: Ron Berg Studio

Decisions. Decisions. When Sheri Stamper recently purchased a home in the Village of Loch Lloyd in Missouri, she faced numerous remodeling decisions — including the search for a new roof. The one she “inherited” on her home was made of concrete foam to replicate slate or concrete tiles, but the surface was cracking and the roof was leaking.

Fortunately for Stamper the decision on a replacement roof was an easy one. She went with a composite roofing product she knew and trusted: DaVinci Roofscapes.

“I installed this company’s composite roofing tiles on a previous home,” says Stamper. “I did research prior to selecting both roofs. The DaVinci product wins out for quality, performance and style.”

For her new home, Stamper was pleased to learn that the company now offers the Black Oak color in its Nature Crafted Collection. “I like this new color offering,” says Stamper. “It has a natural look along with good texture and dimension.

“My goal was not to install a wood shake look, but rather a natural look with colors from nature. The darker tone of the Black Oak roofing appears natural, with not such a harsh appearance.”

Out With the Old

The 1995 modern/contemporary style home Stamper purchased was in distinct need of a new roof, placing it high on her list of remodeling projects. “The roof was only about seven years old, but it was a poor-quality roof,” says Stamper. “Storms had damaged it and replacing it became a top priority for me.”

To help get the new composite roof she wanted, Stamper turned to M&M Roofing out of Olathe, Kansas. “This is the second DaVinci composite roof we’ve installed for Sheri over the years,” says Craig Meyer, operations manager with M&M Roofing. “She was very correct in her assessment of the existing roof … it was in bad shape and needed replacement.”

Photo: Ron Berg Studio

According to Meyer, the Village of Loch Lloyd wants homeowners to invest in higher-performance roofing materials. If residents need a new roof, M&M Roofing’s goal is to be there to offer assistance. “We help homeowners make the connection between the investment in a composite roof and years of peace-of-mind,” Meyer says. “A roof like this may initially be more expensive than other options, but then again, there are many benefits. This composite roof resists flame spread, impact, insects and algae growth. There is the potential for yearly discounts on homeowners insurance. Easy-care roofing that requires no yearly maintenance fees is a bonus. These benefits really add up for homeowners.”

When the M&M Roofing team arrived onsite, the job of removing the existing roofing material couldn’t have been easier. “That old roof literally peeled right off,” says Meyer. “There were no nails holding it in place. It came off piece by piece, using only our hands. This may explain why some of the pieces were coming off in high wind storms.”

The ability of the roof to stand up to extreme weather is essential. “Here in the Missouri/Kansas area, our roofs have to hold up to hail, wind and snowstorms,” Meyer notes. “The only products that we’ve seen truly stand up to those conditions are impact-resistant, top-quality composite roofing.”

Proving his point, Meyer relates that his company receives calls regularly from customers praising the composite roofing they’ve had previously installed by the M&M Roofing team.

“They tell us how a hailstorm destroyed roofs in their neighborhood — except for theirs,” he says. “That’s when we really feel good about making the recommendation of an impact-resistant DaVinci roof.”

Tackling the Job

After removing the old roof on the Stamper home, the M&M Roofing team got to work on installing the new composite shake roof. First came a radiant barrier roof decking, then drip edge was installed. An ice and water shield product was added next, followed by metal in the valleys.

“This home has tons of valleys so we added the ice and water shield for extra protection,” says Meyer. “It takes more time, but it’s essential for the design of this home to help protect it from our weather conditions.”

Finally, the DaVinci Single-Width Shake tiles were installed. Arriving in pre-mixed bundles saved the installation crew time on the jobsite.

Photo: Ron Berg Studio

“Any roofing project has its challenges,” says Meyer. “For this home it was keeping our crew tied off at all times. The home goes up four stories in the back and we wanted everyone to be as safe as possible while keeping the courses straight during installation. For us, our longstanding, top-quality crews and loyal customer base are the backbone of our business. That’s why we make every effort to treat each project individually with special attention to safety.”

Introduced to the marketplace in early 2018, the Nature Crafted Collection includes realistic, nature-inspired colors including Aged Cedar, Mossy Cedar and Black Oak. “This is one of the few products on the market that looks like natural wood, but without weight or performance issues,” says Stamper. “The impact resistance, fire rating and low maintenance aspects were all features that helped me once again decide to invest in a DaVinci roof.”

With the job now complete, Meyer agrees with the homeowner. “It’s great when we can work with a repeat customer like Sheri who was so impressed with her first composite roof that she wants another one for a new home,” says Meyer. “We were really pleased that she was excited about the new Black Oak color for the composite shake shingles. The house looks spectacular with those tiles and you can easily see that they give the home a clean, natural appearance on the exterior that will last for decades to come.”

After a Hailstorm, Nineteen Office Buildings Are Restored During the Winter

Photo: DaVinci Roofscapes

Featuring 22 office buildings, fitness, conference and training centers, plus a hotel, the Denver West Office Park is an impressive complex. So, when it came time to re-roof 19 of the buildings with composite roofing tiles, it took two talented roofing crews to handle the project.

“Our crew re-roofed 14 of the buildings at Denver West,” says John Werpy, estimator/project manager for Arapahoe Roofing. “We had 85 installers on the project for four months straight. Access to the buildings, which are four stories tall, was a challenge. And, we could only load product on the weekends to minimize disturbing the tenants.”

The true challenges for Denver West began on May 8, 2017. That’s when a massive hailstorm caused extensive damage to the existing real cedar roofs on all of the structures. The National Weather Service reported hail that day ranging in sizes from golf balls to large eggs. One of the largest pieces of hail was recorded at 2.75 inches in diameter.

The damaged roofs at the Denver West Office Park were restored using 560,000 square feet of DaVinci composite shake tiles. Photo: DaVinci Roofscapes

With the idea that the complex needed more durable roofing in case of future hail storms, the search was on. The result was the selection of resilient composite shake tiles from DaVinci Roofscapes. The Bellaforté Shake tiles chosen for the complex are Class 4 impact resistant and Class A fire rated. The tiles are also designed to resist high winds (up to 110 mph), curling, cracking, insects and algae.

Once the roofing system was selected, the clock was ticking. The property owners started the project in October 2017 and set a deadline of April 2018 for completion of the roofing. Arapahoe Roofing and Gen 3 Roofing were brought in to tackle the massive composite roofing project, which continued right through the bitterly cold winter months in Denver.

Winter Installation

“We immediately started removing the damaged cedar shake roofing, but then discovered asbestos felt problems in some buildings,” says Cameron Hummel, CEO of Gen 3 Roofing. “After dealing with those issues, we went on full-push to meet the deadline.”

“For our company, this project was very personal,” Hummel continues. “We’re a third-generation family of roofers and our family has been roofing the Denver West office complex since the 1970s, when they were first built. Just as our name implies, we’ve roofed these same buildings for three generations … in the 1980s, 1990s, early 2000s, and now again in 2017/2018. We’re proud that we accomplished our portion of the re-roofing project during the winter months ahead of schedule and without any injuries or safety violations.”

A massive hailstorm caused extensive damage to the existing real cedar roofs at the complex. Photo: DaVinci Roofscapes

Winter weather was top-of-mind for the installers of the project. The first freeze in the Denver area arrived on October 10, making for a cold installation. Fortunately, DaVinci products are made of an engineered resin system designed so that tiles remain flexible for installation in colder weather. DaVinci composite tiles can be installed in temperatures as cold as 20 degrees.

“Our guys had many cold days of installation with this roofing project,” says Hummel. “However, we were able to keep on schedule because of the DaVinci products.”

When complete, the Denver West project had used 560,000 square feet of DaVinci composite shake tiles, 390,000 of them installed by Arapahoe Roofing.

“This was an ‘all hands on deck’ type of project,” says Werpy. “Re-roofing 14 structures in just a few months is intense. Our teams also re-lined the existing internal gutters and installed thousands of Rocky Mountain Snow Guards around the structures to help protect snow from avalanching down on cars and people below the roofline during winter months.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Arapahoe Roofing & Sheet Metal Inc., Louisville, Colorado, www.arapahoeroofing.com

Roofing Contractor: Gen 3 Roofing, Centennial, Colorado, www.gen3roofing.com

MATERIALS

Composite Shake: Bellaforté Shake, DaVinci Roofscapes, www.davinciroofscapes.com

Snow Guards: Rocky Mountain Snow Guards, www.rockymountainsnowguards.com

A Durable Solution

Photo: IKO

Located the heart of Halifax’s Spring Garden Road district, City Centre Atlantic features a mix of urban retail, office and residential space totaling 31,600 square feet. The site has 194 underground parking spaces servicing the office and retail components of the property.

Multiple challenges came with the City Centre Atlantic project for installing roofing contractor IC Roofing and Sheet Metal of Bedford, Nova Scotia. I.C. Roofing and Sheet Metal Limited is a Maritime-based company servicing Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, and Southwestern Ontario. The site offered limited street access and rooftop storage space was limited, necessitating extra movement of materials up on the roof.

The building owner was looking for a durable system with a proven track record, so a heat-welded modified bitumen system manufactured by IKO was selected. After the concrete deck on the 2,936-square-foot City Centre Atlantic roof was covered with Modiflex MP-95-FS vapor barrier, IKOTherm and IKOTherm Tapered insulation were installed using Millennium adhesive. After the cover board was installed. I.C. Roofing crews then heat welded the Torchflex TP-180-FF base sheet and light gray Torchflex TP-250 cap sheet. They also fabricated and installed the edge metal on the project.

Everything on the job went smoothly, according to Mike Croft, Atlantic Regional Manager, I.C. Roofing. The key to success on projects like this? “It’s experience,” Croft says. “I.C. Roofing ensures a quality installation through project management and employing journeyman roofers that are great tradesmen. The guys we have undertake these jobs are great journeyman roofers who do two things: they understand the tasks they are doing, and they take a lot of pride in what they are doing. You can have journeyman roofers that can install most things, but it takes a special journeyman roofer to make it look worthy. That’s stuff you can’t teach. A guy has to have that. Our guys take personal pride in their work.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: I.C. Roofing and Sheet Metal Limited, Bedford, Nova Scotia, www.icroofing.ca

MATERIALS

Vapor Barrier: Modiflex MP-95-FS, IKO, www.iko.com

Insulation: IKOTherm and IKOTherm Tapered, IKO

Cover Board: Protectoboard, IKO

Base Sheet: Torchflex TP-180-FF-Base

Cap Sheet: Torchflex TP-250-Cap

Metal Tiles Help Modernize Texas Bank’s Building and Brand

The design for the bank’s exterior incorporates metal tiles from Petersen to clad the building’s two entrances. A standing seam metal roof wraps around the building, intersecting with the metal tile. Photo: Tom Coplen, buenavistaphotography.com

When Southside Bank in Texas began a campaign to modernize its brand, management understood that the buildings it occupies play a significant role in branding. The existing flagship branch in Tyler, Texas, was re-imagined and renovated inside and out to reflect the contemporary way the bank now interacts with its customers.

Architect Chad Humphries AIA, RID, project architect and partner, Fitzpatrick Architects in Tyler, Texas, extracted the vision for the renovation from the Southside team and created the bank’s signature design element using metal tiles from Petersen to clad the building’s two entrances. A standing seam metal roof wrapped around the building, and intersected with the metal tile at the entrances.

Humphries specified 10,000 square feet of Petersen’s Snap-Clad roof panels in 22-gauge steel finished in PAC-CLAD Slate Gray color. Also specified was 2,000 square feet of Petersen’s Precision Series TS Tile in .023 aluminum finished in anodized dark bronze. Additionally, 500 square feet of Petersen’s composite rain screen in Classic Bronze finish was installed.

The building was topped with 10,000 square feet of Petersen’s Snap-Clad roof panels in 22-gauge steel. Photo: Tom Coplen, buenavistaphotography.com

“The tiles were the main design element we wanted on the entryways, to function as both wall and roof material, to blur the line between roof and wall,” Humphries says. “Metal tiles have been around in Europe for centuries, and we employed the PAC-CLAD Precision Series TS Tile as a modern option. Metal has a timelessness that is appealing, and in this project it achieved the aesthetic vision and performance needs we established.”

The tile concept on the entryways was such a success on this project that it will be duplicated on many other Southside Bank buildings. Humphries likes the metal tile’s low profile and the way it also adds texture to the wall. “I especially like the way the light interacts on the tile’s surface, which allows for a wall that changes its appearance as the sun progresses across the sky throughout the day,” he says.

When selecting products for any project, Humphries values how long a product has been on the market. “Even though the Precision Series TS Tile hasn’t been around a long time, it was Petersen’s version of a product with proven history and that was good enough for us,” he notes.

Design Challenges

Where the tile on the entryways met the standing seam roof, a junction not often encountered was created. The tile-to-panel junction was easy to deal with because ultimately it was a simple metal-to-metal joint, according to Humphries. “Additionally, the tile allowed for a 45-degree turn without requiring edge band,” he says.

A metal roof was chosen because of metal’s longevity, and the need to blend in to the building’s design, notes Humphries, who typically specifies some kind of metal element on every project. Design challenges included peeling back and sorting through the multiple phases of additions and renovations inside and outside of the building, ultimately to be truer to the original design of the building. “For example, in the 1970s they added a concrete superstructure. But in the 90s, rather than removing it, they built a giant green mansard roof over it. Over time the building’s design became a mixture of ideas with no clear vision in mind. Our job was to simplify and unify everything,” he explains.

Approximately 2,000 square feet of Petersen’s Precision Series TS Tile in .023 aluminum finished in anodized dark bronze were installed. Photo: Tom Coplen, buenavistaphotography.com

This project was the first one for installing contractor Curtis-McKinley Roofing and Sheet Metal in Longview, Texas, on which metal tile was involved, says Anthony McKinley, vice president, estimator and project manager. “The tiles tied into a valley with the existing roof, so we made sure they were cut properly and flanged,” he says. “Installation of the tile and standing seam roof was straightforward for our experienced crew. It was a slower process working with the tiles because we wanted to make sure the lines were straight, level and square. The details were custom so we took a little longer to make sure we measured correctly and got it looking right.”

All metal work on the building was performed by McKinley’s team. “This job was large in scope mainly because of the removal and replacement of the mansard roofing,” McKinley says. “After taking off the roof panels, we removed fake dormers to create a straight, plain look. We tore everything down to the wood deck. Ultimately, we were at least six months on the jobsite. Most of our time was spent removing the existing metal, which required a man lift, which is a slow process.”

“We felt it was important to make sure the owner and architect liked what we were doing by not making design decisions on our own,” McKinley says. “Some jobs you know what to do, but on this one we wanted to make sure the architect liked it. We figured out details to make it work for integrity and water intrusion, but also to give the architect the look he wanted. We figured out the details on our own because those typically aren’t specified.” Edge metal was fabricated by McKinley’s crew. “We love working with PAC-CLAD,” McKinley says. “They have superior products, and the technical help Petersen provides is very valuable.”

TEAM

Architect: Fitzpatrick Architects in Tyler, Texas, https://fitzpatrickarchitects.com

Roofing Contractor: Curtis-McKinley Roofing and Sheet Metal, Longview, Texas, www.curtismckinleyroofing.com

MATERIALS

Roof Panels: Snap-Clad 22-gauge steel finished in PAC-CLAD Slate Gray color, Petersen, www.pac-clad.com

Metal Tiles: Precision Series TS Tile, .023 aluminum finished in anodized dark bronze, Petersen

Award-Winning Re-Roofing Project Showcases Quality Workmanship

Photo: Duro-Last

Replacing the roof on an occupied building with multiple tenants means not only meeting the needs of the building owner but several other businesses as well. When the roof is high above a busy metro area, the job can be even more demanding, but when the failing roof on a CBRE Group high-rise in Cambridge, Massachusetts, needed to be replaced, Commonwealth Building Systems was up to the challenge.

Located near the Longfellow bridge across the Charles River from downtown Boston, the building houses a variety of business and retail tenants. RMX Northeast Inc., the consultant on the project, specified the use of a PVC roofing system from Duro-Last to replace the existing stone-ballasted system and invited local contractors to bid on the project. Commonwealth Building Systems of Rockland, Massachusetts was awarded the job.

Photo: Duro-Last

Commonwealth is a commercial roofing and sheet metal contractor that focuses on the Boston and Cambridge area. Daniel Hulverson, principal at Commonwealth Building Systems, knew the logistics on the project would be a challenge. Due to construction taking place on the Longfellow Bridge at the time of the project, traffic in the area was diverted around the building, and use of a crane was limited to Saturdays. The Commonwealth team commissioned the use of a 300-ton crane on two consecutive weekends to remove the stone ballast, pavers, and existing EPDM membrane from the 180-foot-tall, multi-level roof.

“The ballast removal was probably the hardest part of the project,” Hulverson recalls. “We couldn’t do any work doing the week because of the tenants for one, because of the noise, and the Longfellow Bridge was under construction at the time. It was actually closed, so traffic was pretty much a nightmare.”

R.K. Hydrovac was called in to remove the stone ballast. The crane was used to hoist the vacuum hoses to the roof. “It was quite an undertaking on their end,” Hulverson says. “We got the stone ballast off and got all of the stock up there on two consecutive weekends. Actually, after the first weekend we were able to get started roofing. We stockpiled all of the trash and got most of the trash off on the second weekend. We had a couple more crane days to get trash out at the end, so we had maybe four of five crane setups in all.”

A Custom Solution

The new roofing system was designed to stand up to the area’s high winds. Leaving the existing insulation in place, the Commonwealth crew covered each roof area with 2 additional inches of Duro-Guard ISO II insulation, which was mechanically attached. The upper roof was above a steel deck, and the lower roof covered a concrete deck, so different fasters were used, but the fastening patterns were identical.

After the existing ballasted EPDM system was removed, crews installed a thermoplastic roof system manufactured by Duro-Last. Photo: Duro-Last

After the insulation was in place, the Duro-Last PVC membrane was attached using the Duro-Bond induction welding system. The membrane is delivered custom fabricated to fit the site. “Duro-Last comes out and pre-measures the job with our assistance, and then the sheets are made,” Hulverson says. “They give you a map and tell you where the sheets go. They measure around all of the penetrations, and everything is pre-cut. It’s pretty cool how it comes out. The rolls are listed A, B, C, D, and so on, and you just kick out the rolls and weld them in place. The sheets are pre-welded at any laps, so it reduces the amount of welding you are doing on the job and saves time.”

The Duro-Bond system uses specially coated plates that are screwed down to the deck before the membrane is put in place. The membrane is adhered to the plates using an induction welder.

Work began on the upper level and moved down to the lower level. “We went from side to side, working our way toward where the crane setup was going to be,” Hulverson explains

The upper roof was constructed over a mechanical room, so crews could work any time without fear of disrupting the tenants. Work hours were restricted on the lower level because it covered occupied business space. “We had to switch to very early hours in the morning because of the noise,” Hulverson notes. “We were starting at three in the morning so we didn’t disrupt the tenants.”

Commonwealth’s dedication to quality workmanship on the project earned the company Duro-Last’s Edge-to-Edge & Deck-to-Sky Award. Photo: Duro-Last

Staging areas were moved as the project progressed to limit the possibility of damage to the completed sections of the roof. On the last day, the roof membrane was protected by tarps and plywood as the final loads of debris were removed.

The safety concerns were straightforward. “There was a parapet wall that was above 42 inches high around the whole perimeter of the building, so safety-wise, this job was fairly easy for us,” Hulverson says.

Custom-fabricated curbs and stacks were utilized to help reduce rooftop labor. “All of Duro-Last’s curbs and pipe seals come pre-made, and they are all listed on that diagram,” Hulverson says. “You just unfold them and weld them. The corners are already pre-done. It’s a very nice system.”

Commonwealth’s sheet metal division installed all of the edge metal, which was custom fabricated by EXCEPTIONAL Metals. “Again, Duro-Last measures everything along with our superintendent, and it’s all sent out prefabrication,” Hulverson says. “The pre-assembled wall cap was installed on top of the walls.”

During the last phase of the project, Walkway pads were welded down in high-traffic areas.

Luckily, weather wasn’t a key factor. “There were some challenging windy days, as there always are in Boston, but nothing I can really remember that slowed us down to the point we couldn’t work,” says Hulverson. “The weekend crane setups and the size of the crane were unusual, but other than that it was a pretty smooth job. And the views are beautiful — you’re looking across the Charles River into Boston, so it was pretty nice.”

Commonwealth’s dedication attention to detail on this project earned the company Duro-Last’s 2018 Edge-to-Edge & Deck-to-Sky Award, which was presented in 2019. “Duro-Last was impressed by the neatness of the job, especially the wall flashing,” Hulverson says. “They were impressed with our workmanship. If there were any challenges or changes, we just met them head on and moved forward, like we typically do. The customer is always first.”

Hulverson believes the key to ensuring quality workmanship is dedicated employees, from top to bottom. “Our foremen are well trained, as are our superintendents, and I actually look over the jobs in the field as one of four owners,” he says. “We make sure the quality and craftsmanship are done the right way.”

TEAM

Roof Consultant: RMX Northeast Inc., Milford, Massachusetts, www.rmxne.com

Roofing Contractor: Commonwealth Building Systems, Rockland, Massachusetts, www.commonwealthbuildingsystems.com

MATERIALS

PVC Membrane: Duro-Last, www.duro-last.com

Insulation: Duro-Guard ISO II, Duro-Last

Edge Metal: EXCEPTIONAL Metals, www.exceptionalmetals.com

Restoring Multiple Roof Systems on Historic Structure Is a Labor of Love

The Evans family restored the mill’s main roof as well as the flat roof over a retail space. Crews also re-roofed the large covered porch on the side of the mill and the one-story log cabin residence added to the back of the mill. Photo: Evans Candy

The first thing longtime roofer Dave Fisher will do is correct your pronunciation of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania — it’s traditionally pronounced “Lang-kiss-ter” for anyone wondering. And tradition is important where Fisher’s from.

Founded in 1729, Lancaster County is one of the oldest communities in America. The area is the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country and has a strong farming and milling history. At the height of the milling industry, the area had more than 300 various types of mills operating.

The list of historical buildings in Lancaster County is long, so working on old structures is nothing new to Fisher, who runs I & D Contracting Ltd. in Lancaster. But re-roofing a 130-year-old mill to protect the interior while preserving its key historic characteristics presents unique challenges. Throw in local attachment to the building and a personal relationship with the owner and the stakes for doing the project right get even higher.

The mill had many names and many owners over its history before the Evans family purchased it in 1983. Photo: Evans Candy

This was the challenge presented to Fisher’s crew in re-roofing the Evans Candy Store in Lancaster County, done in stages over the last several years, with the most recent project being completed in 2018. The candy store is located inside a flour mill that serves as a recognizable piece of Lancaster’s history. The structure was originally built in the 1700s, but dust from grinding flour was a perpetual fire risk, and the mill burned twice over its history. The existing structure has been in place since 1889.

The mill has had many names and many owners over its history, but the Evans family purchased the mill in 1983 and has worked to bring it back to its former glory. Coming from a line of Lancaster milling families themselves, the Evans have used the historic structure to create a destination retail location that keeps people coming back for more — more chocolate, that is — oftentimes long after they have moved out of the area.

The flour mill is an iconic structure in Lancaster County. The existing structure dates back to 1889. Photo: Lancaster Historical Society, Lancaster, Pennsylvania

“I refer to us as a very large mom-and-pop store. We still get most of our business from word of mouth and know many of our customers by name or what they order, but we’ve grown and branched out into grocery stores and specialty shops,” says Steve Evans, second-generation owner of the Evans Candy Store located in the old mill. “Still, about half of the people who order through our website are people who moved out of the area, but still want their Evans chocolate.”

Fisher is no stranger to the area, the old mill or the Evans family either. “I was born and raised in Lancaster County, so I’ve been familiar with this building since I was a kid,” Fisher says. “I’ve been doing work for the Evans family for 20 years now — sisters, brothers, parents. I’ve been glad to get to work on it and be a part of its story.”

Franken-Roof

Affectionately referred to as “Franken-roof” by both Fisher and Evans, the roof on the 10,000-square-foot Evans Candy Store consists of four separate roofs — a three-story, steep-slope roof; a two-story, flat roof over a retail space; a large covered porch attached to the side of the mill; and a long, one-story log cabin residence attached to the back of the mill. Each of these roofs has a different type and color of roofing installed for various reasons, and each presented its own challenges.

At one point, an owner of the mill covered the siding with red asphalt shingles, visible in this photo at the upper right. Photo: Evans Candy

The “Franken-roof” extended to nearly every part of the mill’s exterior as a previous owner nailed red-colored asphalt shingles over all of the building’s original 1889 wood siding in an effort to protect the historic structure.

“I’ve lived in this area my whole life and I’ve never seen anything quite like it,” Evans says of the shingle-covered exterior. “When my family started restoring the mill — I was like 10 or 11 years old — I can’t tell you how many dumb asphalt shingles I picked up. That was my job. My brothers knocked them off the house and I picked them up and put them in the trash.”

Since then, the entire bottom floor of the building has been retrofitted to house to the candy store, while the upper floors have been converted into 3,000 square feet of residential space that a number of Evans family members have called home over the years.

The Steep-Slope Roof

It’s difficult to know for certain, but Fisher thinks the original roof over the main portion of the mill was slate. By the time the Evans bought the mill in 1983, the roof had been replaced with asphalt shingles. Evans hired Fisher and the I & D Contracting crew to re-roof this largest portion of the building — a 2,400-square-foot steep-slope roof — 10 years ago. To protect the historic building, Fisher wanted to start from scratch and make sure the job was done right. When he tore off the old roof, he found no real roof decking, just old barn wood in random sizes fitted together.

To preserve as much of the historical nature of the building, Fisher kept the original board decking, shoring it up where needed, and applied TAMKO Moisture Guard Ice and Rain Underlayment. To help create a more uniform surface for the shingles, Fisher chose a thick felt paper — TAMKO No. 30 Underlayment — to cover the barn wood roof deck and started laying the Heritage Premium asphalt shingles.

The shingle application required some extra care and an attentive ear due to the old barn wood deck. “There were gaps between the old barn wood pieces, so we had to listen to the sound each nail made as it went in — you could hear the difference when the nail hit one of the gaps and didn’t get any wood,” Fisher says. “In those cases, we had to move the nail and try again, because we wanted to know that it was really solid.”

Evans chose the very light-colored Olde English Pewter shingle in an attempt to reduce the heat coming in to the third story. Energy efficiency is always a concern in buildings of this age. When the Evans family purchased the building, it had no drywall or insulation, just open studded walls. Over the years, the family added spray foam insulation, insulation batting and roof vents to help address heat flow in and out of the massive historic building.

Fisher notes his crew took extra care around the 130-year-old brick chimney, which had been re-pointed in the past but needed some additional work. Fisher fabricated aluminum flashing and counter flashing out of coil stock on an aluminum brake to further protect the historic structure from potential damage.

The Flat Roof

Before Evans befriended Fisher and the two started their working relationship, Evans hired another roofer friend, Josh Miller of Miller’s Roofing in Wellsville, Pennsylvania, to update the flat roof portion of the old mill. The existing asphalt roll roofing installed in the early 1980s had reached the end of its life and Evans and Miller worked together to add foam sheeting over top of the existing rolled roofing and finished it by installing a Versico EPDM roofing system in the late 1990s.

The original roof deck over the flat roof portion of the mill was tongue and groove, and the men worked carefully to preserve the integrity of the original decking as they modernized the covering.

The Covered Porch

Fast-forward to 2018, and Evans contacted Fisher to replace and repair the roof over a large covered porch connected to the side of the building. The 450-square-foot cedar shake roof was added in an effort to blend with the rest of the historical structure, but after several decades, the moss-covered shakes succumbed to water damage and began to fail.

Fisher and his crew removed the cedar shakes and found part of the reason for the roof’s failure — zero flashing connecting the shake to the side of the building, just some old caulk. As part of the re-roofing project, Fisher added new flashing where the porch roof connected to the side of the mill.

“We had to get creative — flashing underneath the existing siding to try and prevent the same problems from recurring,” Fisher says.

Evans loved the old cedar shake roof and felt torn when choosing a replacement shingle. He ended up going with Heritage Premium asphalt shingles for their durability and selected the Rustic Slate color to differentiate the covered porch from the rest of the structure.

“It was a toss-up — would I match the new shingles to the other parts of the building?” Evans recalls. “But then I realized, I kind of liked the covered porch being a separate entity unto itself. It had always had a different shade of roofing, signifying a separate area of the building, and I liked that. I chose the Rustic Slate color because it still gave that rustic, historic feel that I loved about the cedar shake.”

The Log Cabin Residence

The other roof Fisher’s crew updated on the old mill in 2018 was on the long, log-cabin residence attached to the side of the three-story structure. Despite looking like an original part of the mill’s construction, the log cabin was added to the building in 1992, as a retirement home for Evans’ aging parents.

The log cabin addition was constructed in 1992. The roof was recently replaced with TAMKO Heritage Premium asphalt shingles in Rustic Cedar to help it blend in with the rest of the historic structure. Photo: Evans Candy

By the time Fisher got a good look at the log cabin roof in 2018, he realized the existing asphalt shingles were at the end of their service life, and one particular section of the roof had been patched multiple times and had additional layers of shingles stacked on the roof in an attempt to repel water.

Fisher took the 1,600-square-foot roof down to the decking, installed ice and water shield, new felt paper and installed TAMKO Heritage Premium asphalt shingles. Evans chose the Rustic Cedar color for the new roof as it was similar to the previous shingle color that added to the rustic, historic look that Evans hoped the log cabin would have in an effort to have it meld with the rest of the 130-year-old mill structure.

“I liked that Rustic Cedar look, pairing it with the log front,” Evans notes. “I think back to olden times with the cedar shake and wanted to emulate that. And I think we accomplished it. It is fun — it makes us smile when people ask us, ‘How old is that log home?’ and we get to tell them it’s only 26 years old.”

Fisher has grown to appreciate what he calls the “hodge-podge” of roof styles and colors on the old mill, and says the most important thing is that the building’s owner got exactly what he wanted and is a happy customer.

“Sometimes if people want to see installed examples of different colors of TAMKO shingles, I just send them to the mill because they can see a variety there,” Fisher says, laughing. “I jokingly asked Steve the other day if he had a shed that we could roof for him … just to see how many different colors we could do.”

About the author: Melissa Dunson is an award-winning journalist with more than a decade of experience writing about a wide variety of business sectors, including the construction industry, and as a technical and creative writer for TAMKO Building Products.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: I & D Contracting Ltd., Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Roofing Contractor: Miller’s Roofing, Wellsville, Pennsylvania

MATERIALS

Underlayment: No. 30 Asphalt Saturated Organic Felt, TAMKO, www.tamko.com

Waterproofing: Moisture Guard Ice and Rain Underlayment, TAMKO

Asphalt Shingles: TAMKO Heritage Premium Laminated Asphalt Shingles in Olde English Pewter, Rustic Slate and Rustic Cedar

Low-Slope Roof: Versico EPDM Roofing System, www.versico.com

Copper Accents Complement Synthetic Shake Roof System

This home in Northfield, Illinois, features custom copper dormers, four copper gable vents and four small flat standing seam copper roofs that tie into the synthetic shake roof system. Photos: Davinci Roofscapes

What makes a re-roofing project truly stand out? According to Chad Janisch, owner and President of Shake Guys, it’s the ability to aesthetically and functionally blend copper accents with synthetic shake to create a one-of-a-kind roof. The home they re-roofed last year in Northfield, Illinois, perfectly illustrates his point.

“The Mayberry home project had numerous custom copper dormers that had to be tied in with the DaVinci Roofscapes system,” says Janisch. “Most re-roof projects in this market that have this much custom copper work choose to reuse the existing copper metals. However, for this project the owners approved the use of new copper.

“We created eight custom copper roof dormers, four copper gable vents and four smaller flat standing seam copper roofs. The various roof dormers and sharp angles of the roof all added to the value of capturing the beautiful details of the Bellaforté Shake roofing system.”

Prior to hiring Shake Guys, homeowner Trent Mayberry knew his real cedar shake roof was in poor condition. Hail, wind damage and severe weather had taken its toll on the roof. When he inspected the roof, Chris Paulus, a field representative for Shake Guys, found that the cedar shakes were in the beginning stages of cupping and curling. Even worse, numerous cedar shakes were starting to fail and slide off the roof. Due to the amount of damage and overall poor condition of the roof, it was determined that a replacement roof was needed.

The various roof dormers and sharp angles of the roof accent the detials of the Bellaforté Shake roofing system by DaVinci Roofscapes. Photos: Davinci Roofscapes

“Shake Guys helped me from the initial roof assessment to coordinating all aspects of the estimates,” says Mayberry. “They worked with the insurance company to get a replacement roof approved, provided references so I could see their other projects, then did a professional installation job and great follow-up. This was a responsive, knowledgeable and caring team that I would highly recommend. Overall they provided great ‘end-to-end’ service.”

Enhanced Curb Appeal

Pleased with his selection of a roofing team for his home, Mayberry next had to make a decision on a roofing material. He wanted an alternative cedar shake that enhanced the curb appeal of his home. At the same time his top desire was to find a roofing product that would not deteriorate over time and put him in a similar situation for replacement.

“We’ve installed DaVinci synthetic shake roofs for the past three years,” says Janisch. “During that time, we’ve seen a very sharp increase and demand for alternative shake roofs and have installed more than 70 DaVinci roofing systems. Real cedar shake shingles just can’t hold up long-term against our Chicago-area weather conditions.”

Janisch points to some key benefits for homeowners. “The synthetic shake tiles are Class A fire and Class 4 impact rated, they withstand high winds and severe weather, plus they resist insects, algae and decay,” he notes. “With the Lifetime Limited Warranty on the DaVinci product and low maintenance appeal, you can’t beat the return on investment.”

Photos: Davinci Roofscapes

Shake Guys, whose primary focus is to replace real cedar roofs with an alternative composite roofing system, worked with Mayberry to select the Tahoe color for the Bellaforté Shake shingles. The new color and refreshed roof has added substantially to the curb appeal of the home.

“This roofing project took about 10 days to complete due to the custom copper work, but it was well worth it,” says Janisch. “The house looks stunning. I believe this will serve as a showpiece house to other residents in the area who are considering a new roof.”

“The investment that the Mayberry family made in this new synthetic shake roof gives them instant added curb appeal and value for their home,” he concludes. “Over time, this low-maintenance roof will also save them money and headaches. They’ll no longer have to invest in preserving real cedar tiles and maintaining them.”

Quick, Clean Construction of Vineyard Villas Aided by Insulated Metal Panels

Two 1,300-square-foot guest houses now provide overnight accommodations at Overmountain Vineyards. Insulated metal panels from Metl-Span were used for the walls and roofing. Photos: Metl-Span

Overmountain Vineyards, a family-operated vineyard in Polk County, North Carolina, wanted to offer its visitors comfortable overnight accommodations. Working with some talented designers, the plan was to construct two 1,300 square foot guest houses, using insulated metal panels (IMPs) from Metl-Span for the walls and roofing.

The two-bedroom, two-bath luxury villas each offer a scenic view of the Overmountain Vineyards along with a private patio. Suitable for four guests, both villas are just five minutes from the Tryon International Equestrian center and housed members of teams from Europe during the September 2018 competition. Each is stocked with a complete inventory of household items for the kitchen and bedrooms.

Each building is constructed on a concrete slab, which serves as the interior flooring as well. The concrete, which was colored while mixing in the truck, is finished with an acrylic coating.

“The vineyards’ owner, Frank Lilly, wanted the guest houses to have a modern look,” says architect Julia McIntyre of Tryon, North Carolina. “The outside is a very minimalist look, but the inside is not. Each house front features sliding glass doors that lead to an extended patio with a view of the vineyards. The insulated metal panels have a clean look and are very low maintenance, easy to care for.”

Sloping from the front of the villa to the back, the roof extends 6 feet beyond the front wall to cover the patio area, creating more “living space.” The roof extends 5 feet beyond the walls in the back and on the sides. Photos: Metl-Span

The IMPs were an integral focus of the design. “With the insulated metal panels, you’re building with a system and we were very pleased to discover the different colors and different textures we could choose from,” says McIntyre. “One couple that stayed there has already approached me about designing a mountain home for them using insulated metal panels. I don’t believe they have a lot yet, but we’ve started work on the design.”

Interior decorating features a combination of modern design as well as some antique architectural woodwork, salvaged from older buildings in the area. McIntyre says the insulated metal panels, installed on a metal framing system from Mesco Building Solutions, helped shorten erection time and therefore reduced construction costs.

“This was our first time installing insulated metal panels,” says Myron Yoder, owner of M. Yoder Construction Inc., Columbus, North Carolina. “We really liked the way they went together and it didn’t take too long. We’ve done a lot of steel buildings; we build a lot of barns and do some commercial work, but if you can do steel buildings, I believe you can build with insulated metal panels.”

The roof slopes from the front of the villa to the back and extends 6 feet beyond the front wall to cover the patio area, creating more “living space.” The roof extends 5 feet beyond the walls in the back and on the sides. To achieve an R-value of R-34 to reduce energy costs, the Metl-Span LS-36 insulated roof panels contain a 5-inch urethane core. The exterior traditional rib panels are 26-gauge Galvalume in Sandstone, while the interior panels are 26-gauge Galvalume in Mesa Almond.

The two-bedroom, two-bath guest homes were built on concrete slabs. Metl-Span’s CF-42 panels were used for the walls of the villas. Photos: Metl-Span

LS-36 insulated metal panels have an overlapping, through-fastened joint, allowing for installation that is quicker than other construction methods. This reduces labor costs and made the villas available for occupancy sooner.

Metl-Span’s CF-42 panels were used for the walls of the villas — 14 feet tall in the front and 8 feet tall in the back. The 26-gauge Galvalume exterior and interior panels contain a 2-1/2-inch urethane core, providing an R-value of R-19. Exterior panels are Sandstone, matching the roof. The interior panels are Almond.

Yoder says the panel handling and installation isn’t much different than constructing a steel building. “We used a lift to get the panels in place, but we didn’t need a crane or any other outlandish equipment,” he says. “It’s a very economical construction and it’s a pretty tight house.”