Installing Tubular Skylights on Cement and Clay Tile Roofs

Elite Solar Systems installed six tubular skylights and solar-powered attic fans, incorporating them into the existing tile roof of this 3,900-square-foot Gilbert home. Photos: Elite Solar Systems

Installing tubular skylights, or solar tubes, can add a profit niche for any roofing company and provide a lifestyle enhancement for existing and new clients.

“Tubular skylights allow natural light in to brighten rooms and offices during the day without the need for an electrical light source,” explains Jovane Estrada, general manager for Elite Solar Lighting & Fans, based in Chandler, Arizona, southeast of Phoenix. “They can be retrofitted into any existing roof system and placed where windows or traditional skylights are not options.”

In the desert Southwest, cement or clay tiles on pitched rooftops are a popular choice by owners of upscale homes. Recently, Estrada’s team installed six tubular skylights and solar-powered attic fans on a 3,900-square-foot two-story home built in 2009 with cement tiles in Gilbert, Arizona.

In 2001, the company began offering high-quality residential and commercial tubular skylights, solar-powered attic fans and garage exhaust fans. The parent manufacturing company, Southwest Metal Spinning, was founded 26 years ago by Estrada’s father, Saul, and brother, Juan. The components for the Elite product are made in the same location.

Typical tubular skylight components include a high-impact acrylic dome, which locks into a ring on the 1100-O aluminum flashing; this seals to a flat or pitched rooftop, protecting against rain and cracking. Beneath this, an acrylic diffusing lens connects to highly reflective anodized tubing leading to the ceiling, where it fits into a three-glazed polycarbonate diffuser.

For the Gilbert home, Elite installed a 10-inch-diameter tubular skylight with a bathroom exhaust fan kit and light kit; a 10-inch-diameter tubular skylight through the garage into a downstairs bathroom where the skylight was installed on a wall; four 13-inch-diamter tubular skylights with synchronized dimmers, which open and close the solar lights at the same time and position; two solar-powered attic fans; and a solar-powered garage exhaust fan.

“Experienced professionals can install a tubular skylight with any roof penetration,” Estrada says. “If they can cut and seal roof flashing on the tile roof, they should know or learn how to install the tubular skylight fairly easily, and your clients can enjoy new light and the peace of mind knowing the job has been done right.”

Cement Tile Challenges

The tools required for a cement or clay tile installation are minimal: safety googles; gloves; stud finder; measuring tape; pencil; drill gun; ladder; reciprocating saw to cut wood deck; grinder to cut roof tiles; caulk gun for sealant; drywall saw; tin snips; utility knife; and plumb bob/laser.

Of course, installing tubular skylights through cement tiles requires following the basic steps for any roof breach.

To avoid damage to clay tiles, unless a roofer has a great deal of experience walking on them, Estrada recommends that the tiles be removed from walk areas on the roof up to where the tubular skylight will be installed.

“Make sure the install is possible — and sometimes it isn’t, at least exactly where the client wants it — and have the appropriate tools and materials available,” Estrada says.

Next, mark where the tubular skylight is to be placed and check in the attic or crawl space for plumbing pipes and vents, wires, trusses, HVAC heat pumps and ductwork, water pipes and roof valleys that might be obstructive. “If there is an obstacle, the challenge is determining if using tubular skylight adjustable elbows will allow the install to be completed,” he says.

With the attic inspection and cuts done, an aluminum tile skirt and pitched flashing must be installed properly to the deck. “Most roofers do not use a tile skirt for tile roofs, and later a leak can damage the paper underneath the tiles,” Estrada says. He recommends applying a premium flexible sealant (supplied) to the flashing.

In this home, the central challenge was installing the tubular skylight on the roof through and into the first-floor bathroom, without disturbing the second floor just above it. “We knew we had to go through the side wall of the bathroom, but we had to make sure we had the room in the attic and inside the adjacent garage to install the tube on the sidewall,” he explains.

To do this, the 90-degree adjustable elbows were needed to be able to make the turn from having the tube travel straight down into the inside of the garage and then shift direction into the bathroom, Estrada says.

“This kind of installation requires more effort and time,” Estrada says, “but the result is that a lower level, even a basement, can be enhanced with more natural light.”

All Ups, No Downs, for Roofers, Clients

For the roofer and the homeowner, the best time to install a tubular skylight (other than at construction) is during a roof replacement or repair. The attic space and roof are open and accessible and can be sealed along with the new roof or repair. But as this case study shows, most retrofits can be easily completed, too.

“It’s an extra income stream and an incentive for customers to choose your company,” Estrada says. For example, one of Elite’s roofer clients offers a free 10-inch tubular skylight with each signed re-roofing contract.

With these, home- and business-owners light up their homes, garages, offices, hallways, bathrooms and warehouses. And, tubular skylights also offer lifestyle benefits for pets, plants and people, Estrada says. “They’ve been reported to improve a person’s mood, and the owner of this home in Gilbert told us they’ve simply changed his life.”

About the author: David M. Brown has been writing books and articles for newspapers, magazines, ezines, websites and businesses for many years. A graduate of LaSalle University and Temple University in native Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he is the father of two grown children, Shaun and Sheena, who live near him in the Phoenix area.

TEAM

Tubular Skylight Installer: Elite Solar Systems, Chandler, Arizona, www.elitesolarsystems.com

MATERIALS

Tubular Skylights: 10-inch Elite Tubular Skylight, 13-inch Elite Tubular Skylight, Elite Solar Systems

Attic Fans: 20-Watt Elite Solar Attic Fan

Tips for Tubular Skylights

Once the vertical pitched flashing is sealed and fastened properly on the roof deck, place the aluminum tile flashing over the pitched flashing, with the EPDM rubber facing down toward flashing. Fold the sides of the aluminum tile flashing and make sure flashing goes over the bottom tiles.

1. Follow the step-by-step instruction manual, supplied with the tubular skylight. Call the manufacturer and ask questions, if necessary.

2. Use all of the parts included with the tubular skylight kit. “Typically, when a part is left out, it is because the installer or roofer does not know its function,” Estrada says. “Leaving out a part can cause condensation issues, dust or bugs to enter the unit, a rainbow (distracting prism) effect on the interior of the home or other issues down the line.”

3. Quality and safety are paramount: Tested and certified products ensure your clients that the units will last through the harshest weather. Check products for certification by the International Code Council (ICC). Secondly, quality products offer UV-protection plastic, which inhibits fading of interiors. And, for installers, find out if the tubular skylights adhere to OSHA fall-protection standards.

The roof install is complete, with the tiles back in place. Notice that you can see the aluminum tile flashing toward the bottom of the tiles. Both the flashing and the aluminum tile flashing can be painted to blend in with roof.

4. For condensation control, the skylight must breathe, so don’t place sealant between the dome assembly and the roof flashing. This will cause condensation buildup.

5. For condensation, dust and bug issues, seal any gaps between the ceiling kit and the light tube as well as the light tube and the flashing with tape or spray-foam insulation, following the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

6. Offer no-leak guarantees to fully back your work for your customers. As a respected roofing company, you offer warrantied materials and installation. Look for that, too, in the tubular skylights you install.

Re-Roofing a Frank Lloyd Wright Home

The Thomas P. Hardy House in Racine, Wisconsin, was designed and built in 1905 by Frank Lloyd Wright. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

Frank Lloyd Wright. Just the name brings to mind images of beautiful homes. So, when the team at Allrite Home & Remodeling had the opportunity to work on one of Wright’s creations, they jumped at the chance. A year later, the newly-added DaVinci Single-Width Shake roof brought the team industry recognition along with praise from Frank Lloyd Wright enthusiasts.

The home, on the shore of Lake Michigan, is located in Racine, Wisconsin. It was designed and built in 1905 by Frank Lloyd Wright for attorney Thomas P. Hardy. The stucco finished front, intricately detailed windows and breathtaking waterfront views make this a home like no other in the neighborhood.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Wisconsin, the Thomas P. Hardy House has changed hands seven times. In 2012, the then-homeowner began working to restore the home to its former beauty.

The exterior was repainted to the original terracotta color. The foundation was jacked up and rotting beams were replaced. And, original light fixtures and pocket doors were all restored. As the restoration progressed, Allrite Home & Remodeling was brought in by the home’s newest owner to tackle the roof.

Selecting the Right Shake Roof

“The homeowner had three very important priorities for this historic renovation project,” says Randy Miller, owner of Allrite Home & Remodeling. “First, they wanted cedar shake, just as Frank Lloyd Wright had intended for the roof. However, they wanted to take advantage of modern advances in materials. Second, they wanted to be environmentally responsible. And third, they wanted the roof selection to please Frank Lloyd Wright loyalists.”

Many years prior, previous owners had asphalt roofing installed on the home, which was not consistent with Frank Lloyd Wright’s style. After reviewing a variety of products, the current owners decided on a composite shingle that simulates a cedar shake roof.

Single-Width Shake from DaVinci Roofscapes in the natural Aged Cedar color was chosen to restore the original appearance to the home’s exterior.

“The DaVinci product has the right quality, texture, color and warranty that the owners wanted,” says Miller. “The Single-Width Shake in the natural Aged Cedar coloring brought back the original appearance to the home exterior. As an added bonus, the composite shake shingle has a longer lifespan and will require far less maintenance.”

Soon after the team started removing the old roof, they noticed significant fire damage to the rafters above the kitchen area. Apparently a fire in the early 1960s extensively damaged the inner structure of the roof.

“The current owners had no idea so much harm had occurred,” says Miller. “We proceeded to replace the damaged wood. That was important so the home will be structurally sound and able to support the new roof.”

According to Miller, safety was also a concern. The home is located on a steep bluff overlooking Lake Michigan. High winds were a challenge as the team worked to keep materials, tools and technicians secure.

Another challenge was the location of the home on a busy road. There was also a walled-in yard. This meant there was not a good staging location for materials or a dumpster. They were able to squeeze a dumpster onto the property, but neither the placement nor the access was ideal.

Finishing Touches

After the installation of the composite shake roofing came the finishing touch: copper accents. The area around the chimney had previously been plain brown flashing. It was decided to update it with copper flashing that will continue to add character to the home as it ages and patinas.

“Installing the copper without it rippling required our expert technicians to be extremely precise as they worked,” says Miller. “Then there was the added pressure of knowing that every step of this project was being scrutinized.”

Copper accents were added, including copper flashing around the chimney.

“There are Frank Lloyd Wright fans and enthusiasts both online and in our community who watched our progress closely,” Miller continues. “They wanted to make sure every step of the way that we honored the original design of the home.”

For their successful efforts, the team at Allrite Home & Remodeling won an award in the 2019 National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) Milwaukee Remodeler of the Year Awards competition. The home received a Silver Award in the category of “Residential Historical Renovation/Restoration.”

“Our company has installed many DaVinci composite roofs during the past 15 years,” says Miller. “We’re proud of all of them. However, this project was a true labor of love. We’ve now added our mark to a beloved historical home in our community. Our entire team takes great satisfaction in knowing we were able to help bring a longer life to this Frank Lloyd Wright home.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Allrite Home & Remodeling, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, https://allriteremodeling.com

MATERIALS

Composite Shingles: Single-Width Shake, DaVinci Roofscapes, www.davinciroofscapes.com

SPF System Solves Problems for Arizona Homeowners

Overson Roofing specified a spray polyurethane foam re-roof for this Scottsdale residence to eliminate ponding issues and reduce energy costs. Photos: Overson Roofing LLC

Pat Overson has been running roofing companies since 1982. He currently co-owns Overson Roofing LLC in Mesa, Arizona, a company he founded along with his son Brett in 2005. Approximately 85 percent of the company’s work is residential, most of it re-roofing. A large chunk of that work — Overson estimates 20 percent — involves spray polyurethane foam (SPF), which is common on houses in Arizona.

“With the heat we have out here, it really helps insulate your home as well as provide good roof over your house,” Overson says. “It is the only roof out there that provides an insulation factor somewhere around R-7, which is close to about 4 inches of fiberglass insulation.”

Overson Roofing strives to recommend the best roof system for each project. Overson often finds himself recommending spray foam for existing low-slope roofs, especially those with drainage issues. He pointed to a recently completed residential project as an example. The 3,100-square-foot home in Scottsdale had a three-ply hot tar built-up roof. The homeowners noticed ponding problems, and they were also looking for ways to make their home more energy efficient. Overson felt the house was a great candidate for a Lapolla spray polyurethane foam roofing system with an elastomeric coating. The white elastomeric coating protects the SPF from ultraviolet rays and provides reflectivity to minimize temperatures on the roof.

“Sometimes customers ask us for a foam roof, and we evaluate it and make sure that it would be a good roof for their project,” he notes. “Often we recommend a foam roof when there are drainage problems because it’s a very easy system to help modify or enhance the drainage on a roof that has ponding problems. In this case, the homeowners were also very interested in the insulation factor, and they were looking to save money on electric costs and make it more economical to heat and cool.”

Roof Removal and Installation

The first step was preparing the house for the roof removal, which was done by a separate tear-off crew. The work area was covered with tarps, and the roof system was removed and taken away in a trailer. Magnets are used as part of the clean-up process to ensure nails and other debris are not left behind.

The Lapolla SPF was applied in two layers, each a half an inch thick. The system was topped with an elastomeric coating.

The substrate was then cleaned and primed before the SPF system was applied with a sprayer. When the two-part system is applied, parts A and B combine to form a closed-cell roofing system. “The result is a monolithic roof,” Overson says. “Foam roofs usually don’t have leak problems because there are no seams, and that’s a big advantage. It will also seal to almost everything. It will seal to metal, it will seal to wood, it will seal to stucco, and it will seal to almost every type of roof system.”

The keys to a successful project include proper substrate preparation and being aware of weather constraints. “It has to be, as we call it, ‘clean, dry and tight,’” Overson says. “It has to be a clean roof surface. It has to be dry — foam doesn’t adhere to any kind of moisture or water at all. And it has to be tight, which means there can’t be any bubbles or blisters in the systems you’re going over.”

After the roof is removed, the surface must be cleaned with brooms or blowers. Then the area must be secured and taped off to ensure the foam won’t be sprayed anywhere it’s not required. For example, windows and walls might need to be covered.

“It’s almost like you are a painter up there,” notes Overson. “You often have to do extensive tarping and taping. You also have to make sure it’s not windy. You don’t want winds in excess of 5 or 10 miles per hour. Preparing the area is very important step. You don’t want any overspray.”

The spray foam is applied in two layers. “You spray it on a half-inch think the first lift, and you have a second lift, also a half an inch,” Overson says. “It dries pretty quickly — often in a few minutes — so you can put on the second layer almost immediately. Similarly, after the second coat dries, you can apply the coating. We used an elastomeric coating in this project, while others might call for a polyurethane, silicone, or acrylic coating.”

In coping with different types of substrates, the skill and experience of the applicator can be crucial. “It’s an art as much as a skill,” he says. “You have to have the right rhythm and the right touch. We have really skilled applicators, and they do a great job. The techniques vary, but you are just trying to get an even surface, an even spray.”

In this case, the application was designed to eliminate drainage problems. In low areas, crews added another inch of insulation and created the proper slope toward the scuppers. “You can feather it in, and that’s where the skill of the applicator really shows,” he says. “It’s exciting that you can help people with these issues. You can’t do this with other products.”

As part of the safety plan, applicators wear white body suits that cover their skin and clothing, as well as goggles and protective breathing equipment. Proper fall protection plans must be in place for each project.

Benefits for Homeowners

Feedback from the owners has been positive, according to Overson. “We were able to enhance the drainage quite a bit and eliminate all of the ponding and drainage issues they had,” he says. “They were happy about that, and they also were excited to find out how much they saved on their monthly bills. They haven’t gone through a full cooling season yet, but many of our homeowners stay in touch with us over the years, and some find they are saving $40 to $50 a month on their electric bills.”

Overson summed up the project this way: “Around here, we say roofs have to do two things: they have to not leak and look good. And we achieved both of those things on this project. This is a nice-looking roof. It’s white, and it will reflect the sun, and that’s a big factor here in Arizona. We take pride in our jobs, our crews take pride in their jobs, and we know it’s not going to leak. The customer was very happy, and if the customer is happy, we are happy.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Overson Roofing LLC, Mesa, Arizona, www.oversonroofing.com

MATERIALS

Roof System: Lapolla Spray Polyurethane Foam and Elastomeric Coating, Icynene-Lapolla, www.lapolla.com

Persistence Pays Off for Roofer

After the Muirfield Design Control Committee agreed to allow the installation of DaVinci synthetic slate and shake in their community, Great Roofing and Restoration re-roofed this home in late 2019 with shake composite. Photos: DaVinci Roofscapes

Determined. Resilient. Stubborn. Those words could easily describe Ryan Lephart. Whether it’s a single home project or the challenge of securing roofing for a community, Lephart digs in for perfection.

One of Lephart’s longest quests was to secure approval to install composite roofing on homes in the Muirfield Village community in Dublin, Ohio. It took nine years, but his patience and diligent efforts paid off.

“Acceptance of new products comes slowly to some people,” says Lephart, director of business development for Great Roofing and Restoration. “This is a planned community. In the past it has only accepted real slate and shake roofing materials. Now we’ve finally gotten a toehold. We’ve gained approval for composite materials in Muirfield. As a result, we’ve installed our first DaVinci Multi-Width Shake roof there.”

Developing Muirfield

The Muirfield concept was started in 1968. That’s when golfer Jack Nicklaus teamed up with design and building professionals in Ohio. His goal was to convert unspoiled land into a world-renown golf club and living area.

The family-friendly community of Muirfield now boasts nearly 2,400 families. A winding complex of tree-lined streets includes condos, patio homes and single-family homes. And, two Jack Nicklaus golf courses.

Fast-forward about 40 years. That’s when Lephart started lobbying for composite roofing tiles at Muirfield.

The Wenners chose DaVinci synthetic shake for their residence in Findlay, Ohio.

Many of the original shake and slate roofs at Muirfield have deteriorated over time. The Design Control Committee for the development does not allow roof repairs — only roof replacements.

“Design standards are very high at Muirfield,” says Lephart, a licensed general contractor. “For nine years I presented the DaVinci product option because of its high aesthetic and performance values. Recently I met with their board again. New, more progressive people are now on the board. I brought in six boxes of DaVinci tiles and laid them out on the tables. I wanted people to see and feel the quality of the products.”

Thanks to Lephart’s persistence, the Muirfield Design Control Committee finally agreed to allow the installation of DaVinci Multi-Width Shake and DaVinci Multi-Width Slate in their community. Lephart re-roofed his first DaVinci home at Muirfield in late 2019.

“We had a beautiful shake composite in a Chesapeake color installed on a home on Aryshire Drive,” says Lephart. “We see this as a starting point in this community. With the DaVinci product now being an option for homeowners to choose for roof replacements, we believe residents will select the product for its beauty and durability.”

 “We’re confident that we’ll be re-roofing up to 10 houses in this community in 2020,” he continues. “That gets the ball rolling for future composite re-roofing projects in Muirfield.”

Single Home Attention

Lephart and the team at Great Roofing and Restoration put as much attention and effort into single family re-roofing projects as they do into multi-family communities. One example of this is homeowner Steve Wenner, a resident of Findlay, Ohio.

Amid constant worry that his real cedar shingles were blowing off in wind storms, Wenner decided to take action. He began investigating composite roofing options.

“My wife and I liked the DaVinci roofs we saw locally,” says Wenner. “We contacted several roofers and the DaVinci corporate headquarters. They gave us locations throughout northwest Ohio where we could see the composite roofing installed.”

So, the Wenners went on a mini-road trip. They spent an entire day driving around looking at dozens of roofs. And they liked what they saw.

The next step in replacing the 1991 cedar shake shingles on their home came in making the color decision. Wenner did what many homeowners do in the same situation. He took a ladder out and placed the samples on the roof. His wife Nancy stood back and evaluated the color options.

“When Nancy kept coming back to the Mountain blend color I knew we had our choice,” says Wenner. “The combination of the three shades of Mountain tones really complements the other elements of our home exterior.”

After receiving several bids for the project, the Wenners decided they liked the personal attention offered by Lephart and his company. “Selecting Great Roofing and Restoration was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made,” says Wenner. “That roofing crew has an exceptional work ethic. They took care of our property at all times and worked from sun up to sun down. I just can’t say enough good things about working with Great Roofing.”

According to Lephart, the Wenner home was a dream project. “Helping the Wenners gain a low-maintenance, top-quality DaVinci roof means they’ll have years of worry-free enjoyment,” says Lephart. “Demand for composite slate and shake shingles is up in all our locations. From Ohio to Colorado, people want impact- and fire-resistant roofing. They want roofing with a strong warranty and incredibly appealing looks. Basically, they want everything that DaVinci has to offer them in a roofing product.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Great Roofing and Restoration, Cleveland, Ohio, www.greatroofing.com

MATERIALS

Composite Shingles: Multi-Width Shake and Multi-Width Slate, DaVinci Roofscapes, www.davinciroofscapes.com

Missouri Home Gets a Fresh Appearance With Impact-Resistant Roof Upgrade

Photos: CertainTeed

Of the $723 million in property damage caused by hail in the United States annually, many of those losses take place in the “hail belt,” a center strip of the country that regularly receives more hail damage than most parts of the country.

Sibley, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City, sits squarely in the buckle of the hail belt. An impressive five-bedroom home built in Sibley had weathered several damaging storms, but unfortunately, the home’s wood shake roof could not stand the test of time.

When Chase Roscher, vice president of Zucca & Daughters & Sons Roofing Company, Inc., was approached by the homeowner, the home’s roof was failing and in need of total replacement.

“This particular roof was a wood shake roof and had bad hail damage,” says Roscher. He explained that while popular for its natural aesthetic, wood shake roofing can be difficult and expensive to maintain properly.

“Unlike asphalt roofing, wood shake roofing requires yearly maintenance and upkeep to avoid becoming a hazard,” said Roscher. Without diligent upkeep, he added, prolonged sun and water exposure can cause wood shake to break down, making it more vulnerable to mold, algae, fires and impact damage from hail and wind-blown debris.

When this Missouri home’s roof needed to be replaced, Zucca & Daughters & Sons Roofing installed Belmont IR shingles from CertainTeed.

In addition to needing an impact-resistant roof solution, the slope of the roof was an extremely steep 12/12 pitch. The roof would need a sturdy, reinforced shingle that would resist the forces of gravity. According to Roscher, the homeowner considered swapping out their aging wood roof with a slate roof. While slate can provide a long-lasting, sophisticated appearance, the weight and cost of the product are often prohibitive.

“Slate roofing will last longer, but it is so heavy that if your house isn’t built for it, you have to go in and do a lot of additional structural work to support it,” Roscher says. “It’s also extremely expensive compared to asphalt. For people looking for a higher-end appearance, the value proposition of an impact-resistant asphalt shingle really fits that need.”

Roscher suggested CertainTeed Belmont IR (Impact Resistant) shingles in the color Black Granite for the project. Emulating the appearance of slate, the product offered a natural-looking solution with the strength and durability of a reinforced, impact-resistant asphalt shingle. Eighty-five squares of the product were required for the project.

“We try to present Belmont to customers as an option,” says Roscher. “With this product, you’re spending less to get the same great look as slate with more functionality.”

Installing the product came with benefits for both the homeowner and the roofing contractor. The product offers Class 4 impact-resistance — the highest impact rating in the industry — allowing the homeowner to qualify for a premium discount on their home insurance and decreasing the chances of having to file a hail damage claim in the future.

For the roofing contractor, working with a familiar, lighter-weight asphalt product — as opposed to a heavier slate product — saved his crew time and improved the safety of the installation. That was especially important, given the steep pitch of the roof and three stories separating the eaves from the ground below.

“The homeowner was extremely happy, and the product gave the homeowner insurance savings and more value,” Roscher says. “That’s better for us and the homeowner.”

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Zucca & Daughters & Sons Roofing Company Inc., Blue Springs, Missouri, www.zuccaroofing.com

MATERIALS

Shingles: Belmont IR in Black Granite, CertainTeed, www.certainteed.com

Florida Keys Roofers Emerge as Leaders in Hurricane Recovery Efforts

Photos: Keys All Area Roofing

Sometime during the drive between Kissimmee and Key West in September 2017, Dion Watson and Deb Shirley realized life would never be the same.

Watson, owner of Keys All Area Roofing, and longtime partner Shirley were headed home from Central Florida after escaping the wrath of Hurricane Irma when the phone started ringing. For the next 380 miles, one caller after the other pleaded for help with their destroyed roofs.

Irma had ripped through the Keys as a Category 4 storm, leaving little untouched in its path. By the time Watson and Shirley reached Key West, they had fielded some 400 calls.

Work at Keys All Area went from a comfortable and steady pace of residential and commercial jobs to a breakneck frenzy of weathering the aftermath.

When the towers of the Faro Blanco condominiums were damaged Hurricane Irma, the condo association wanted the new roofs to retain the original character of the buildings and provide increased durability.

“I don’t even remember the first year after the hurricane,” Watson says. “My life is divided into before Irma and after Irma. It was crazy. We had almost 80 guys down here roofing seven days a week and couldn’t get it done.”

As one of the only female-owned roofing companies in Florida’s southernmost region, Keys All Area has crushed the stereotype that roofing is man’s work. Watson and Shirley don’t focus on being women in a male-dominated business, though; they focus on providing quality work.

The 18-person company has proven itself as a dedicated community partner, helping locals get back on their feet and ensuring that landmarks, like the Faro Blanco condo buildings in Marathon, remain intact.

In addition to working on private jobs (like the Faro Blanco buildings), Keys All Area has re-roofed hurricane-damaged homes in coordination with the Monroe County Long Term Recovery Group, the American Red Cross, Habitat for Humanity and the Florida Conference of the United Methodist Church. In October 2018, Keys All Area was recognized by the Marathon Chamber of Commerce with a Community Contribution Award.

All of this from two women who knew little about roofing just a few years ago.

Raising the Roof

Watson and Shirley moved to the Keys from Arkansas in 2006 to be closer to family, leaving behind their careers in human resources. In the Keys, Watson worked at a marina and became fast friends withDoug Richards of Tampa-based All Area Roofing & Waterproofing. With Richards’ encouragement, Watson learned the nuts and bolts of roofing, from quoting jobs to laying shingles, and opened a de-facto branch of All Area Roofing. Watson worked alongside the Tampa-based All Area crews, learning roofing one nail at a time.

Dion Watson and Deb Shirley of Keys All Area Roofing.

In early 2015, Watson and Richards purchased an established, reputable Keys-based roofing company, including the trucks, inventory and phone number, to bring new standards of excellence in roofing to the area. Keys All Area Roofing was born.

“I was on every job, from start to finish, and learned every day about the roofing industry,” Watson says. “My main goal was to bring mainland quality roofing to the Keys.”

Then came September 10, 2017, the day Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key, located about 145 miles south of Miami. Within hours, the 130-mph winds leveled 1,179 homes and damaged 2,977.

For Watson and Shirley, the catastrophic damage meant the roofing business was about to go into overdrive.

Life After Irma

Arriving in Key West, the women found their own home damaged — part of the porch roof was torn off, siding was missing and the backyard was decimated — but it was nothing like what happened to their neighbors. Roofs that were once the crowning glory of Key West bungalow homes now cluttered the streets.

Keys All Area Roofing installed 16,000 square feet of Gulf Coast Supply & Manufacturing’s aluminum VersaLoc panels.

In the weeks and months that followed, Keys All Area multiplied its staff to keep up with the demand. Shirley, an organizational whiz, quit her job in the aircraft-parts industry to become the Keys All Area director of operations, keeping the business running smoothly.

Watson and Shirley pushed back against roofing scammers by helping locals understand their options and make sense of the confusing regulations and codes in the rebuilding efforts. The women believe in honesty and quality work.

“Our quality is not going to change because it’s a residential three-square shed in the back of somebody’s yard,” Watson says. “Every job we do is like we’re doing a warranty job. Whether it’s a two-square job on a shed or a 100-square job in a shopping center, we do them the same way.”

The can-do approach, coupled with a commitment to the community, helped Keys All Area land one of its most complicated jobs yet — Faro Blanco Condominiums.

Two Buildings, Two Roofs

Compared to other buildings in the Keys, the Faro Blanco condos — twin five-story structures with octagon-shaped and flat roofs — fared well in the storm. Even so, many of the terracotta roof tiles were damaged beyond repair, so the condo association wanted new roofs that retained the original character with improved durability.

The residential buildings, located near the landmark Faro Blanco lighthouse, resort and marina, had to continue the area’s Mediterranean-style aesthetic. The choice: Gulf Coast Supply & Manufacturing’s 0.032 aluminum VersaLoc with 1.5-inch mechanically seamed panels in Terra Cotta for the highly visible mansards and Firestone UltraPly TPO with a tapered insulation system for the low-slope roof.

Teamwork at its Best

Even before the job began, Watson knew the constant ocean winds, surrounding landscape and continuous stream of residents and visitors into the buildings meant someone could easily get hurt.

The mansard and flat roofs also meant two teams needed to work simultaneously to get the job done on time. While an eight-person team was pulling tile from one roof, a 12-person team was removing the existing flat roof. An 80-foot telescoping forklift hoisted the more than 1,500 metal panels, and a boom lift ensured workers would be safe at the steep angles.

Watson says the work was made easier with Gulf Coast Supply’s assistance. Gulf Coast packaged the materials in reinforced crates so everything could be safely loaded onto the roofs and also helped with the tear-offs. The job was estimated to take 16 weeks, but the work was completed in 10 weeks, wrapping up in March of 2019.

The Gulf Coast Supply materials, style and color complement the original design and add improved structural integrity to the roof, according to Watson. While metal roofs are not mandatory in the Keys, they have become a standard for safety in storm-prone areas.

The high-velocity-wind clips and corrosion-free fasteners were used to ensure protection against the harsh elements (sun, sand and salt) that can cause rust and weathering. A polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) finish on the aluminum protects against harsh UV rays for long-lasting and vibrant color.

“It’s beautiful,” Watson says. “I would say Faro Blanco has been probably the biggest feather in my cap.”

Roofing in Paradise

In the coming months and years, Watson hopes to grow the company with a continued emphasis on customer service and support. Even though it’s been more than two years since Irma, there’s plenty more work.

“Irma recovery is ongoing with many people just now getting insurance money or assistance from nonprofits to get their roofs replaced,” Watson says. “Sadly, we still have a lot of work to do from the damage of Irma.”

About the author: Bo Copeland is the inside sales manager for Gulf Coast Supply & Manufacturing. Copeland has been lauded for his commitment to excellence in the roofing industry as the 2018 Earl Blank Memorial Service Heart Award recipient from the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association (FRSA).

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Keys All Area Roofing, Key West and Marathon, Florida, https://keysallarearoofing.com

MATERIALS

Metal Roof System: 0.032 aluminum VersaLoc with 1.5-inch mechanically seamed panels in Terra Cotta, Gulf Coast Supply & Manufacturing, https://www.gulfcoastsupply.com/

Flat Roof System: 60-mil Firestone UltraPly TPO with a tapered insulation system, Firestone Building Products, https://www.firestonebpco.com

Southern California Couple Keeps Cool With New Roof System

Temperatures in Southern California soar during summer months. Homeowners in the region typically rely on traditional air conditioning units along with electric fans for air circulation to moderate indoor temperatures and keep their residences comfortable. Though these techniques help, they obviously increase energy consumption and bills.

The Vus, a professional couple in Santa Ana, California, were one household beholden to these excessive energy costs. The couple purchased their single-story California ranch style abode in 2014. After a few years of occupancy, their consistently high electricity bills prompted an investigation to determine the cause. The couple discovered the primary culprit: excessive use of air conditioning.

The roof system features Boral’s MetalSeal self-adhering underlayment and above-sheathing ventilation. Photos: Boral Roofing LLC

The couple’s research also surprised them when they found a secondary cause for their soaring energy bills. After a thorough review, the Vus realized that the energy consumption they attributed to their air conditioner was also directly linked to a poorly performing roof. The existing, aged asphalt shingle direct deck roof was susceptible to reaching extremely hot temperatures in peak summer months, and its resistance to heat transfer was extremely poor.

The decision was then made to install a new roof system to combat the heat and exorbitant energy costs accrued during Southern California’s hotter months.

“Knowing that our energy bills weren’t going to resolve themselves, as well as the fact that we were nearing the expiration date of our asphalt roof anyhow, we made the decision to completely re-roof our home with a high-performance system,” says Christopher Vu.

A Lightweight Cool Roof

After researching their roofing options, the Vus sought a lightweight durable solution that would prevent heat transfer, offer a longer lifespan than asphalt and, of course, dramatically reduce their monthly electricity bill. After rigorous research, they selected the Boral Steel Cool Roof System, selecting Boral Steel PINE-CREST Shake, a stone coated steel material. The new roof was installed by Western Roofing Systems of Anaheim, California.

The cool roof system is comprised of a series of components that work in concert to keep the home warmer in winter and cooler in summer, reducing overall energy consumption. The result is optimized energy efficiency.

The roof was topped with Boral Steel PINE-CREST Shake, a stone coated steel material.

The lightweight stone coated steel roofing panel is manufactured from Galvalume steel and is coated with stone granules applied to the steel with an acrylic polymer adhesive. The material offers a cost-effective solution whose lighter weight poses no structural load issues. With an aesthetic that mimics traditional shake, the roof complements adjacent homes in the Vus’ neighborhood, many of which feature actual shake roofing.

“The product is steel, so it’s sturdy but also looks nice and fits right into the neighborhood aesthetic,” says Vu.

The Vus utilized an alternative solution to the 30-pound felt underlayment commonly utilized in Southern California, choosing Boral’s MetalSeal high-performance water barrier. A self-adhered product that virtually eliminates the need for nails, the underlayment is resistant to puncturing, allowing roofers to stack panels on it during installation, saving numerous time-consuming trips up and down to load product.

“For many reasons, we were able to reduce the expense and safety risk of our installation with the use of this underlayment,” adds Vu. “It also provides great protection from wind and water.”

The Vus’ cool roof system takes advantage of above-sheathing ventilation. Elevated battens provide both a thermal barrier and ventilation. Hot air rises and creates a natural convection effect. This allows the heated air to be exhausted through ventilation, leading to continuous airflow across the roof deck. The result is a cooler attic and interiors.

“We are pleasantly surprised at how effective the system is in creating a cooler living space inside our home,” says Vu.

Curb appeal and energy efficiency aside, the cool roof system is also designed to offer protection from storms and severe climate events. The roof system offers Class-4 Hail Impact Resistance, a Hurricane Wind Performance Rating and a Class A Fire Rating. The above-sheathing ventilation also enables above-deck insulation and airflow that prevents ice dams (even though that condition is less likely to occur in Southern California).

The Vus have been pleased with their new cool roof system, not only because it increases their comfort and looks nice, but because the lower costs have been quite noticeable.

“On average, we are saving almost $60 per month on our energy bills,” Vu notes. “These savings make a real difference for us and we couldn’t be happier.”

About the author: Pete Croft is brand manager for Steel Roofing with Boral Roofing LLC.  For more information, visit Boral Roofing online at www.BoralRoof.com; contact Pete at Pete.Croft@boral.com.

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.”

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.”

A Roof Coating Is the Right Answer for Florida Condo Complex

Photos: KARNAK Corporation

Educated customers make the best decisions.

That philosophy is shared by Frank Scelzi of Munyan Restoration Waterproofing and Painting Service of Tampa Bay Inc. The company was founded in 1951 as a painting and waterproofing company, and over the years it has evolved into a general contractor that handles restoration of the entire building envelope, including the roof.

Munyan Restoration often educates its customers through seminars, which sometimes have the added benefit of bringing in new business. According to Scelzi, that was how he got involved in the Sage Condo project in St. Petersburg, Florida. “We have a marketing department, and we do what’s called ‘lunch and learns,’” he says. “Our engineer also has several continuing education classes approved for facility managers and building owners who want to keep up to date on certain things. We have these several times throughout the year, and one of the property managers said he needed a roofing inspection.”

The property manager was worried that his roof needed to be replaced, and he asked Scelzi to take a look. Scelzi found the existing TPO roof was nearing the end of its service life, and it had some minor tears and punctures, but he believed the roof would be a good candidate for a restoration coating. He contacted Joe Prussel, Southeast U.S. Regional Manager for KARNAK Corp., to confirm his conclusion and determine which product would be the best fit.

“After the initial evaluation, Frank brought me back to walk the roof and look at the condition of it,” Prussel says. “Frank wanted to give them an option of coating in lieu of tearing everything off and transporting all of the trash to the dump — avoiding not only the cost but the environmental impact that would have, as well as the disruption to the residents that live there because the building has a multi-level roof.”

After adhesion tests proved a high-solids silicone coating would be an excellent fit, Scelzi submitted a written proposal and he and Prussel put on a presentation for the board and the property manager. “We told the board that we’ve been on the roof and had seen the damage that is up there, and we feel that it is a good candidate for a coating application,” Scelzi recalls. “We went through the procedure with them. We told them how we clean the roof, how we do our repairs, apply our primer, do our tie-in work, and ultimately apply the coating.”

After he detailed the safety plan and documented the experience and training of his crews, Scelzi told the residents what to expect during the coating application, stating, “There’s really going to be no disruption of your lifestyle while the coating system is going on.”

The board had been budgeting for a roof replacement, and the coating application was substantially less expensive. It would also be approved for the 20-year warranty the board sought. “They decided to go forward with it,” Scelzi says. “This was a real quick turnaround, which is unusual in the condo market. We were at a board meeting on a Thursday night and had a signed contract Friday morning.”

Following the Plan

A couple of weeks later, the Munyan Restoration crew was executing the plan laid out at the board meeting.

The building had a main roof on the 12th floor and two other roof sections on the fifth floor, totaling approximately 30,000 square feet. The main roof was sloped toward the interior, and its outer edges were approximately 6 feet above the center. “Everything slopes into the roof’s interior to make it more architecturally pleasing,” Scelzi notes. “It gave you a real weird feeling when you stepped out on that roof, but as far as setting up a safety perimeter, it made things fairly easy. The roof also had built-in tie-off points, so our guys could be harnessed, and that made the safety aspect very easy for the guys up there.”

The roof on the Sage Condo complex was restored using a high-solids silicone coating system manufactured by KARNAK. Photos: KARNAK Corporation

The first step was washing the roof with 799 Wash-N-Prep, an environmentally safe cleaner that can go right into the roof drains and the water system. “The entire roof was cleaned,” notes Scelzi. “We used a power washer and a round scrubber head that really raises the dirt from the roof. The roof was pretty dirty, but it really came out very, very clean and it was a real good surface for us to do our repairs and start doing our tie-in work.”

Repairs were made to seams and penetrations using Karna-Flex 505 WB repair mastic with fibers, using a brush application. The next steps included applying the primer and the coating.

The 180 Karna-Sil Epoxy Primer is a two-part epoxy that can be applied with spray equipment or a roller. A roller was used on this project, and it was applied at a rate of 3/4 of a gallon per square. “It really enhances the adhesion of the coating to the roofing membrane,” notes Prussel. “This is one of the products we did an adhesion test with and got very good results. It dries fairly quickly — in three to four hours — which makes it very user friendly.”

After the primer was dry, the Karna-Sil 670 high-solids silicone coating was applied. The product was chosen for several reasons, including its excellent performance in the adhesion test and the fact that the owner wanted a white coating. The product also allowed the contractor to meet the 20-year warranty with only one coat, minimizing labor costs.

The slope of the roof was another key consideration, as crews wanted to make sure the product didn’t run or migrate when they put it on. “What was really nice about this system from KARNAK was the high-solids silicone, even with the angle of the roof, the coating just stayed there, so we could really get our millage,” notes Scelzi. “On this job, we even exceeded it in some areas, which was good.”

For the 20-year specification, the coating was applied at a rate of 3 gallons per square, or 46 dry mils. As they put the coating down with rollers, crew members constantly checked the thickness with a mil gauge. After the project was completed, destructive testing confirmed the proper mil thickness was achieved, and then the test areas were repaired.

Smooth Operation

Weather was a concern, as rain, dew and fog are common in the area. “We had a couple of days we had to stand down due to the weather, but other than that, the project went very smoothly,” Scelzi says. “It really shows you what coatings are supposed to do — make it more friendly for the building owners and for the applicators who put it down.”

It also minimizes disruption for the residents. “We had some material we had to stack in certain areas, but the residents never even knew we were there unless they saw that material,” Scelzi says.

Prussel points out that coating applications also pose less liability for owners, as the roof area is never exposed to the weather, as it would be during a tear-off. “With a coating, there is never a liability of an open roof, and especially in Florida in summertime, you never know when you’re going to get some rain.”

Feedback on the job has been positive, notes Scelzi. “The owners, property manager and board members are very happy,” he says. “It’s a nice, clean-looking product and there are no seams. It’s a monolithic system. They are very pleased with the result, and it cost a lot less than a roof replacement.”

The project included a contract for an annual maintenance program. According to Prussel, proper maintenance not only safeguards the warranty, it can save owners money in the long run by ensuring the likelihood that the roof will be a good candidate for another coating application when the warranty period nears its expiration.

“Whenever we do a presentation for a building owner, a board, or a property manager, we always stress the importance of maintenance,” Prussel says. “It’s extremely vital to any roofing project, be it a coating or a new membrane, that a certified applicator of that manufacturer observe the roof a minimum of once a year, maintain it, make any repairs, and make a report for the owner.”

Scelzi and Prussel believe that teamwork between the manufacturer and the contractor is essential at every phase of the job. “As the manufacturer working with the applicator, we have a technical support team that can advise the applicator which product would be the best fit for that substrate,” says Prussel. “We are there to specifically design a system that is the best fit for the owner of that building, and we can advise the contractor on the application, and they can lay out the best option for that customer. We want to make sure our product will work, our product will last, and everybody will be happy.”

Scelzi agrees. “It gives the customer a good feeling to know they have a quality contractor and a quality manufacturer standing behind them,” he says.

TEAM

Roofing Contractor: Munyan Restoration Waterproofing and Painting Service of Tampa Bay Inc., Clearwater, Florida, www.munyanpainting.com

MATERIALS

Roof Coating: Karna-Sil 670 high-solids silicone, KARNAK, www.karnakcorp.com

Primer: 180 Karna-Sil Epoxy Primer, KARNAK

Repair Mastic: Karna-Flex 505 WB, KARNAK

Cleaning Agent: 799 Wash-N-Prep, KARNAK