ARMA’s Awards Program is Now Accepting Submissions for the Best Steep and Low-Slope Asphalt Roofing Systems

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has launched its ARMA Excellence in Asphalt Roofing Awards Program, which recognizes the best steep and low-slope asphalt roofing projects from across North America. Formerly known as the Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Study (QARC), the program has been modernized to better reflect its mission of creating awareness around the most impressive, dynamic asphalt roofing systems.

“By repositioning the QARC Awards as the ARMA Excellence in Asphalt Roofing Awards Program, we are completing an overall ARMA rebrand begun over two years ago,” said ARMA’s Executive Vice President Reed Hitchcock. “This rebrand places an emphasis on excellence, and our logo design clearly shows a focus on both steep and low-slope asphalt roofing applications.”

There is no charge to participate in the program, and it will recognize three asphalt roofing projects each year, highlighting the contractor(s), their team, and their outstanding craftsmanship. Submissions, which require a project description and high-resolution images, must relate to a project completed within the past three years. Click here to enter your project(s) or visit asphaltroofing.org/excellence/submit-your-entry/ before December 31, 2018.

ARMA Excellence in Asphalt Roofing Award winners will receive a monetary prize (Gold – $2,000; Silver – $1,000; Bronze – $500), an opportunity to network with key asphalt roofing industry leaders, portfolio-building materials and an official certificate, as well as recognition at the International Roofing Expo (IRE), in a national trade publication, in the contractor’s local media, on the ARMA website, on social media, and more.

The entries will be judged by a panel of ARMA leaders, roofing industry experts, and prominent members of the roofing media on four criteria:

• Beauty – Does the project embody the true beauty of asphalt roofing? Is it visually attractive or interesting, does it enhance the skyline, building use or design?

• Affordability – Does the project demonstrate value through life-cycle cost or creative use of components to add benefit to the construction process or overall roofing system?

• Reliability – Does the project demonstrate asphalt roofing’s reliability, durability and strength? Does the project show how proper installation of an asphalt roofing system can help provide protection and peace of mind?

• Why Asphalt? – Why did the submitter choose to use an asphalt roofing system? Were there specific circumstances (examples: weather-related challenges, customer requests, building history, overburden requirements, evolutions in the roofing industry which change the playing field, or other situations) that made asphalt roofing the clear choice? What additional aspects about the project make it a step above the rest?

For more information, visit www.asphaltroofing.org.

 

Asphalt Roof System Helps Protect Home Against the Elements While Raising Curb Appeal

The Topsail Residence is a private estate in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. Its roof encompasses approximately 10,600 square feet. Photo: Reliant Roofing

With the sunshine state regularly experiencing a beautiful and warm subtropical climate, it’s no surprise that Florida ranks second in the United States for tourism, ranking only behind California. However, actually living in this paradise has challenges of its own — extreme humidity, powerful winds and torrential rains can test the limits of any roofing system. To keep pace with Florida’s erratic weather conditions, proper roof design, installation and maintenance are paramount. The Topsail Residence, a private estate in Ponte Vedra Beach, is a testament to how selecting the right roofing system makes a world of difference.

Previously, the homeowners had an extensive addition on their property, which consisted of adding a new two-story section to the home. A short time after remodel, the roof began to leak, causing widespread damage as well as unsightly water spots throughout the home.

The homeowners sought the expertise of Pillar to Post Home Inspectors, who discovered issues with the roof. They quickly recognized such frequent and substantial leaking required immediate attention before other, bigger problems occurred. So, they suggested the homeowners contact a roofing contractor for a further assessment.

“After inspection, the problem immediately became apparent,” says Sean Shapiro, CEO of Reliant Roofing, the Jacksonville, Florida-based company hired to install the new roof. “We found torn shingles, signs of extensive foot and ladder traffic, and leaks.”

The roofing system appeared to lack some of the key components required for weather resilience and durability, according to Shapiro. “In some areas, there was no flashing installed whatsoever, allowing rainwater the perfect leak point to pour into the home,” Shapiro notes. “The problem was just as bad where the second story met the roof below. The water was free to run through every nook and cranny. Every aspect of a proper installation of a roofing system is important, especially something as essential as flashing.”

The contiguous U.S. average annual rainfall is 32.1 inches, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Jacksonville received 65.91 inches of rainfall in 2017 –more than double the contiguous national average, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Living only 22 miles southeast of the city, the homeowners needed a roofing system that would help to protect them against Florida’s high winds and frequent rainstorms. Reliant had the solution — a new asphalt shingle roof.

A new roof system featuring GAF Grand Canyon Lifetime Designer Shingles was installed by Reliant Roofing in 2017. Photo: Reliant Roofing

“The homeowners didn’t feel comfortable just patching the leaks. They wanted protection against future leaks and the area’s common threats: high winds and stormy weather,” Shapiro says. “Therefore, we recommended installing a completely new roofing system with designer asphalt shingles.”

Reliant began by tearing off the shingles on both the older and newer sections of the roof, bringing in two full teams to tackle all 10,600 square feet. Having dealt with numerous high-wind conditions on other roofing projects, Reliant chose GAF Grand Canyon Lifetime Designer Shingles in the color Stone Wood to provide the homeowners with a durable, long-lasting shingle, a key component of a beautiful new asphalt roofing system.

“When it storms in Florida, it storms,” added Shapiro. “We wanted to install a system that could withstand torrential downpours and high winds. Additionally, it was hard to overlook the durability shingles provided at an affordable cost.”

GAF Timbertex Premium Ridge Caps were installed on the hips and ridges to provide leak protection with extra dimensions to complement the roof. Reliant hand sealed every hip and ridge cap shingle and used GAF StormGuard Self-Adhering Leak Barrier to help protect the roof deck. Crews also installed custom counterflashing to address any potential defects in the stucco. Thanks to Reliant’s craftsmanship and the shingles’ ease of installation, the homeowners received a beautiful new asphalt roofing system in just five days.

The new asphalt roof will not only help to protect the homeowners against the elements and restore their comfort of living, but also provide them incredible curb appeal for years to come.

For their work on the Topsail Residence project, Reliant Roofing received the Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study (QARC) Silver Award from the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA).

Each year, ARMA seeks the most beautiful, affordable and reliable asphalt roofing systems in North America. The Topsail Residence showcases how asphalt roofing provides durability and reliability in the face of harsh weather, while also providing aesthetically stunning designs.

ARMA is now accepting low and steep-slope asphalt roofing projects completed in 2018 for its 2019 Awards Program. Roofing professionals may submit multiple submissions, and there is no fee to enter. The program recognizes projects that exhibit innovation, performance and beauty, and which lead the way in roofing breakthroughs, such as advanced weather protection, green roofing or unique system design. The submission deadline is December 31, 2018.

For more information about asphalt roofing systems or to learn more about ARMA’s Awards Program, visit www.asphaltroofing.org.

ARMA’s New Video Illustrates Why Homeowners Need Proper Attic Ventilation

Is your roof properly ventilated? The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association’s (ARMA) latest whiteboard video outlines the components to a properly functioning attic ventilation system and the many ways it benefits a roof, such as protection against shingle deterioration and roof system damage.

How Does Proper Attic Ventilation Protect my Roof?” highlights how a balanced system of intake and exhaust results in a continuous flow of air in an unconditioned attic, helping to reduce heat and moisture buildup year-round and prolong the life of the roofing system.

Proper attic ventilation can assist in reducing energy consumption, and preventing mold, mildew and wood rot. Additionally, it can help prevent ice dams, which can cause leaking and costly damage to shingles, gutters, insulation and the whole roof system.

“Homeowners may not be aware of just how important attic ventilation is to the longevity and performance of their asphalt shingle roofing system,” said Tim McQuillen, ARMA’s director of technical services and a 25-year industry veteran. “ARMA wants to educate homeowners on proper attic ventilation and why it’s important, as well as how to recognize the signs indicating it’s time to call a roofing contractor if there are issues.”

ARMA encourages homeowners planning to install a new asphalt shingle roof to consult with their roofing contractor or the manufacturer of their roofing system to ensure their attic is properly ventilated. To view ARMA’s latest attic ventilation video, or its library of other educational videos on asphalt roofing systems, visit ARMA’s website or YouTube Channel.

ARMA’s Newest eBook Provides Guidance for Installing Three-Tab Asphalt Shingles

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has converted its popular manual, a Good Application Makes A Good Roof Better: A Simplified Guide – Installing Three-Tab Asphalt Shingles For Maximum Life & Weather Protection, into an eBook, making it easier for contractors to access it on the jobsite.

ARMA’s Good Application Guide serves as a resource for roofing professionals installing three-tab asphalt shingles, including for new-roof construction, reroofing/roof replacement and roof recovery projects.

The recently updated guide also includes special procedures for both low and steep-slope roofing systems, proper attic ventilation, ice dam protection, correct nailing methods, roof deck preparation, hip and ridge application, and underlayment, drip edge and flashing installation. As with all technical guidance, installers should also follow manufacturer’s recommended installation instructions. View a preview of the guide by clicking here.

“Three-tab shingles come in a variety of colors, styles and textures, but like with any asphalt roofing system, they have to be properly installed in order to achieve the best performance,” said Tim McQuillen, ARMA’s director of technical services, a 25-year building products industry veteran. “By converting the Good Application Guide: Three-Tab Shingles into an eBook, we can ensure contractors can access expert asphalt roofing installation techniques directly on their smartphone or tablet.”

The Good Application Guide: Three-Tab Shingles is available for $9.95 as a print-on-demand copy or $8.95 as an eBook from the ARMA Bookstore. It is also sold on other prominent digital platforms such as Amazon’s Kindle Store, Kobo, Barnes and Nobles’ Nook, Apple’s iBookstore and the Google Play store. To purchase the guide, visit www.asphaltroofing.org/arma-bookstore.

ARMA also offers several other technical publications for both residential and commercial asphalt roofing applications. They are available for purchase as print-on-demand and eBooks, and include the Good Application Makes a Good Roof Better – A Simplified Guide: Installing Laminated Asphalt Shingles for Maximum Life & Weather Protection, the Modified Bitumen Design Guide for Building Owners, and the Residential Asphalt Roofing Manual – Design and Application Methods.

For more information visit www.asphaltroofing.org

ARMA Honors Top Asphalt Projects With QARC Awards

The QARC Gold award was presented at the International Roofing Expo in New Orleans, where Imbus Roofing received a $2,000. Pictured are Bob Gardiner, CertainTeed; Steve Sutton, Imbus Roofing; Andrew Imbus, Imbus Roofing; Tom Smith, CertainTeed and Ron Gumucio, ARMA.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) recognized a historic music hall, a home with a roof built to withstand high-wind events, and a museum dedicated to the United States’ fight for independence as 2017’s top asphalt roofing installations. ARMA’s annual Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study (QARC) Awards Program awarded the projects that exemplify the most beautiful, affordable and reliable asphalt roofing systems in North America.

Imbus Roofing Co. Inc. received the Gold QARC Award for its new roof installation on the 225,000 square-foot, 139-year-old Cincinnati Music Hall. The Kentucky-based contractor installed designer asphalt shingles to replicate the Music Hall’s slate tile roof, while also providing crucial durability against Cincinnati’s tough climate.

Reliant Roofing Inc. was honored with the Silver QARC Award for its completion of Topsail Residence, a 10,600-square-foot asphalt shingle roofing system designed to endure high-wind events in Ponte Vedra, Florida. This high-performance roofing system not only provided the homeowners with a durable option, but also a visually stunning roof for years to come.

The Bronze QARC Award was given to Thomas Company Inc. of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, for its low-

slope installation on Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution. Designed to achieve LEED Gold certification, the project featured a high-quality modified bitumen roof membrane to prevent water penetration and create a more stable surface for the facility’s vegetative roof.

According to ARMA, the 2018 QARC Award program received some of the most impressive and innovative submissions of asphalt roofing installments to date. “This year’s submissions demonstrated asphalt’s ability to provide a durable and reliable roofing system against harsh weather while simultaneously offering an array of beautiful colors, designs and installation options,” said Ralph Vasami, ARMA’s acting executive vice president. “These projects are true examples of what asphalt roofing can offer commercial businesses and private homeowners alike.”

The 2018 QARC Award recipients are:

Gold
Project Name: The Cincinnati Music Hall
Company: Imbus Roofing Co. Inc.
Project Description: This steep-slope roof was installed with CertainTeed’s Grand Manor luxury asphalt shingles in the colors Stonegate Gray and Brownstone, as well as DiamondDeck and WinterGuard underlayments. The size, complexity and steepness of the project presented a great challenge to the contractor, who managed to install a durable asphalt roofing system that was also visually stunning.

Imbus Roofing received top honors for its work on 139-year-old Cincinnati Music Hall. Photo: CertainTeed

Silver
Project Name: Topsail Residence
Company: Reliant Roofing Inc.
Project Description: GAF Grand Canyon Lifetime Designer Shingles in the color Stone Wood was selected not only for its beauty, but its superior high-wind protection. Hand sealed Timbertex Premium Ridge Cap Shingles and GAF self-adhering Leak Barrier were also installed for added leak prevention.

Reliant Roofing received the Silver QARC Award for its completion of Topsail Residence in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Photo: Justin Alley and Kyle Brumbley

Bronze
Project Name: Museum of the American Revolution
Company: The Thomas Company Inc.
Project Description: The historic project required a high-quality roofing membrane that offered an aesthetic appeal to the building. Thomas Company chose SOPREMA’s SBS Modified Base Ply – ELASTOPHENE Flam with the SBS Modified Bitumen Flashing Base Ply – SOPRALENE Flam 180 to keep the roof water-resistant year-round, protect the roof membrane from foot traffic and add a beautiful appearance to the museum.

The Bronze QARC Award was given to Thomas Company Inc. of Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey, for its work on Philadelphia’s Museum of the American Revolution. Photo: Soprema

Honorable Mentions:
Big House Castle Rock
Jireh 7 Enterprises
Castle Rock, Colorado
Malarkey Roofing Products

Closson Chase Winery Church Roof
AI Anthony Roofing LTD
Hillier, Ontario
IKO Production Inc.

Tiny House & Top Shop
M & J Construction
Erhard, Minnesota
CertainTeed Corporation

West Loch Village Senior Apartments
M & R Roofing
Ewa Beach, Hawaii
PABCO Roofing Products

For more information about this year’s winners or to submit an asphalt roofing project, visit www.asphaltroofing.org.

ARMA Launches New Website

Homeowners and professionals seeking asphalt roofing help can find guidance and technical information easier now that the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has launched its revamped website.

Asphaltroofing.org has many new design features, including improved functionality and enhanced content that boosts usability and user-friendliness. ARMA’s sleek, new modern website provides:

  • Improvements to navigation and ease of searching
  • A simplified front page to better direct visitors to relevant information
  • Two main entry points for homeowners and professionals
  • A redesigned contractor awards submissions page that saves when visitors exit out
  • A more streamlined bookstore, which is categorized by eBook, Print-On-Demand and Print
  • Enhanced ease of mobile viewing
  • An updated photo gallery that provides entry point into ARMA member company websites
  • The consolidation of informational roofing resources, videos and materials

“The ARMA website is popular with both homeowners and roofing professionals because we are able to provide them with guidance and education on asphalt roofing systems in one easy-to-use place,” said Reed Hitchcock, executive vice president of ARMA. “Whether it’s homeowner tips for choosing the right type of asphalt shingle for their home or providing resource materials to commercial building owners or professionals on installing and maintaining their commercial roofing system, ARMA is the industry authority.”

The website’s main page will primarily feature three main points of entry, the Guide for ProfessionalsGuide for Homeownersand the Quality Asphalt Roofing Case Studies (QARC) awards, making navigation to points of interest and relevant information easier and faster.

Visitors to the ARMA website can also find educational resources and publications for installation, application and other technical matters. In addition, links to ARMA’s LinkedInYouTube and Facebook pages provide visitors additional resources to stay up-to-date on news regarding asphalt roofing.

For more information visit www.asphaltroofing.org

 

Key Priorities for Fire Station Project Include Visual Appeal, Resistance to Algae and Wind

When the Burlington Fire Department decided to replace its aging steep-slope system, the goals included finding a system that would look good, stand up to high winds and resist algae growth.

When the Burlington Fire Department decided to replace its aging steep-slope system, the goals included finding a system that would look good, stand up to high winds and resist algae growth.

The firemen and firewomen of the Burlington Fire Department, located in Burlington, Wash., reportedly respond to about 1,800 service calls a year. The members of the department are on call 24/7, handling a variety of emergencies, both big and small.

Whether it is fighting a fire, performing a search and rescue, or something as simple as retrieving a driver’s keys from the car, the city’s bravest are too busy to have roof issues make their days more difficult. When the fire station began to experience leaks that required countless repairs and patchwork solutions, the City of Burlington knew it was time to replace the entire roofing system and ensure that the firefighters were safe from the elements.

Over the last few years, leaks began to appear more frequently in the fire station’s roof, with the worst leaks occurring in the paramedic’s quarters and in the firehouse’s workout room. The water would drip down on the firefighters and ceiling tiles became discolored, creating an unpleasant appearance throughout the firehouse. The intense winds in the area would also cause the shingles of the roof to become loose and fly off.

“The roof was patched several times over the years. We filled the voids as we went,” says Brandon Bond, a lieutenant on the Burlington Fire Department for the last 10 years. “After a while, the patches and replacements weren’t working and the leaks were getting harder to fix. At that point, we knew it was time to replace the whole roof.”

For their new roof, the city wanted a material that was visually appealing and performed against algae and wind. Also, because this was a city project, they wanted to find a contractor who was nearby and a roofing material that was manufactured locally—all of which showed pride in their community. When they considered the criteria, along with the size of the roof—24,000 square feet—the city chose to go with asphalt shingles because they provided a high level of longevity and durability while keeping it affordable.

Asphalt shingles offered a heavyweight, wind-resistant roofing material with a number of color options, making it the optimal choice among the design team. Wind resistance was an important factor because the old roofing system sustained considerable wind damage. The winds in the area can reach 65-70 miles per hour.

Selecting the Right System

Cascade Roofing Company from Burlington was hired to install the new roof on the fire station. The company has been in business for nearly 30 years and works on both commercial and residential roofing projects. The owner of Cascade, Rick Steiner, explains that asphalt shingles were used on the fire station for a number of reasons.

“Shingles were used because of the different pitch heights of the roof, their affordability and their great look,” Steiner says. “The algae-resistance was also a must. Algae grows like weeds in Washington, due to the moisture in the air and fluctuating temperatures.”

Algae flourishes in humid climates and its spores can be carried by the wind. The temperate but rainy weather found in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. produces an environment for algae to thrive in. While algae is not known to cause damage to roofs, the dark streaks are unsightly.

“Burlington is very wet, whether it’s raining or if we’re dealing with the humidity,” says Lauren Wilkins, a firefighter at the Burlington Fire Department since 2012. “We wanted the new roof to provide some resistance to algae so that it looked good as compared to the other surrounding roofs in the area.”

Cascade used shingle manufacturer PABCO Roofing Products, located in nearby Tacoma, Wash. PABCO’s algae-resistant Paramount Signature Cut Shingle in Oakwood color was selected for the project because it provided exceptional curb appeal. An aggressive modified sealant was used as well as high-wind shingle application—6 nails—to add resistance to wind uplift. PABCO Paramount starter shingles were applied over PABCO Universal Starter to provide a double-layer base. A synthetic underlayment along with an ice and water shield on the leading edges were also used. Shasta HD Ridge was applied to the ridge and hips of the roof to complement the roofline.

The roof system was installed by Cascade Roofing Company using shingles manufactured by PABCO Roofing Products.

The roof system was installed by Cascade Roofing Company using shingles manufactured by PABCO Roofing Products.

Keeping it Local

The City of Burlington was thrilled to choose local companies for the project. The manufacturer, contractor and even the supplier were all located nearby. This provided Cascade an avenue for necessary materials to be delivered quickly, allowing them to stay under budget and ahead of schedule. The project took about two weeks and 230 squares of shingles to complete, which is equivalent to the number of shingles necessary for the company to roof six or seven regular-sized homes.

“It’s easily the biggest shingle job I’ve ever done,” Steiner says. “But the design of the building along with the high-profile look of the shingles made the project look incredible. The city has a roof that’s going to last a very long time.”

Steiner also points out how smooth operations were due to the local theme of the project. “Everything was on-time. The supplier was right across the street and very easy to work with,” Steiner notes. “Even the weather cooperated – it made a potentially difficult project that much easier.”

The firefighters felt the same way. “We thought the hardest thing about the renovation would be continuing our daily operations, but we didn’t run into any problems,” Wilkins says. “They were very friendly and easy to coordinate with when moving equipment. There were no horror stories here.”

Since the renovation was completed, the firefighters are very happy with the new roof. The firemen and firewomen of the Burlington Fire Department can now focus on keeping the residents of Burlington safe.

The unique installation of the roof also earned Cascade Roofing and the fire station project the 2017 Bronze Award in the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study (QARC) Awards Program. Each year, ARMA seeks out the most beautiful, affordable and reliable asphalt roofing systems in North America.

Award-winning projects are selected based on innovation, performance and beauty, and recognize projects that lead the way in areas like weather protection, green roofing or unique utilization of asphalt shingles in a roofing system. ARMA is currently accepting submissions for both low- and steep-slope roofing project installations completed in 2017 for its 2018 awards program. Roofing contractors can submit multiple projects through Dec. 31, and there is no fee to enter.

For more information about asphalt roofing systems, the QARC awards program and more, visit the website.

PHOTOS: JAROD TROW PHOTOGRAPHY

ARMA Presents Public Partnership Award

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has announced that the Miami-Dade Regulatory and Economic Resources Department is the recipient of the 2017 ARMA Public Partnership Award. 

The award, given only for the recognition of partnerships formed with ARMA, recognizes the collaboration between Miami-Dade and ARMA to update the Florida Building Code requirements in high wind zones. Aaron R. Phillips, corporate director of Technical Services at TAMKO Building Products Inc. and chair of the ARMA Codes Steering Group, presented the award to Michael Goolsby, Miami-Dade Board and Code Administration Division director. In addition, ARMA presented the staff members who worked on the project with individual certificates.

Over the past two years, Miami-Dade staff and ARMA representatives worked on updates to the roofing requirements for the High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ), during numerous meetings and conference calls to review the current provisions, develop code proposals and manage the Florida Building Commission process.

The collaboration spanned hundreds of hours to remove outdated references and coordinate the HVHZ protocols with national testing requirements. Revisions approved as a result of this effort will streamline the certification process for roofing manufacturers when launching new products or renewing existing approvals and help Miami-Dade staff manage their product approval review process.

“Miami-Dade staff members are grateful for ARMA’s recognition of our joint effort,” says Goolsby. “It was only through our shared goal that we were able to get it done.”

ARMA and Miami-Dade representatives attended the Florida Building Commission’s Rule Development Workshop in Ocala as the Commission approved the final changes. The 2017 Florida Building Code, scheduled for launch on January 1, 2018, will include every one of the dozens of proposals and public comments jointly submitted by ARMA and Miami-Dade.

“This kind of cooperation between a public regulator and a private trade association is rare enough,” says ARMA’s vice president of Code and Regulatory Compliance, Michael Fischer. “The positive results are unprecedented.”   
 
Phillips noted that the efforts aren’t necessarily over. “We hope to build on this partnership and continue to improve the product approval process during future Florida code updates,” he says.
 
ARMA’s efforts in the codes, standards, and technical arenas translate to effective minimum code requirements, useful material standards, and educational resources for the industry.  Technical manuals, installation guides, Fast Facts, and technical bulletins are available on ARMA’s website and provide best practices for a variety of roofing topics.  Visit the website for access to all of these materials and more.

Roofing Torch Program Reduces Fire Hazards During Modified Bitumen Application

CERTA offers a certification program in which authorized trainers deliver behavior-based training to roofing workers who install polymer modified bitumen roof systems.

CERTA offers a certification program in which authorized trainers deliver behavior-based training to roofing workers who install polymer modified bitumen roof systems.

The latest market survey conducted by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) shows the use of polymer modified bitumen as a percentage of all new roof systems, installed both in new construction and re-roofing projects, comprises about 10 percent of the total low-slope market, according to members responding. The significance of that share of the market for polymer-modified bitumen also highlights the importance of proper training in the use of roofing torches, the most common method for installation of such systems.

Background

In 1986, the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA), in conjunction with industry organizations, the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association, and the United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers and Allied Workers, developed a curriculum to train roofing workers in the safe application of torch-applied roof systems. This program was named the Certified Roofing Torch Applicator, or CERTA, program.

In 2003, insurance industry representatives approached NRCA to address concerns about an increase of losses and incidents involving torching activities conducted by roofing workers. One prominent insurer experienced over $7 million in roofing torch-related claims in 2002 spread over more than 30 separate occurrences. The need for enhanced work practices and focused safety training to address torching activities became apparent, and NRCA arranged with MRCA to adopt and revise the nature of and deliverables offered by the CERTA program.

CERTA now offers a unique, comprehensive certification program in which authorized trainers deliver effective behavior-based training to roofing workers who install polymer modified bitumen roof systems. CERTA-authorized trainers undergo a rigorous full-day training session that includes classroom and hands-on instruction in propane safety, hazards related to torch use, proper techniques for safe installation of polymer modified bitumen, and development of training skills. Individuals who successfully complete all aspects of the program then are authorized to deliver training, under the CERTA protocol, to workers who qualify as certified roofing torch applicators.

MRCA continues to work with NRCA to make sure the program is up-to-date and uses the most effective procedures to develop authorized trainers and enhance the curriculum. Since its inception, roofing contractors who have trained their workers under CERTA generally have experienced fewer torch-related fires, injuries and property damage. Insurance industry claims also are a testament to the CERTA program success—the insurer that experienced over 30 torch-related claims in 2002 now can count such average yearly claims on one hand with a significantly reduced average yearly dollar loss.

Safety Specifics

Trainees in a CERTA class spend a great deal of time on some specific aspects of the use of roofing torches to install a polymer modified bitumen roof system. Those specifics have a direct correlation to keeping workers and others safe, and minimizing the likelihood of property damage. First, the CERTA curriculum focuses on the inherent danger of roofing torches and discusses assessing job hazards and establishing controls for torching operations. Details cover the proper personal protective equipment to minimize or eliminate exposure to burns and the critical need to handle propane properly and make sure equipment is in good condition.

Pre-job planning enforces the significance of determining the hazards unique to the particular worksite and developing the necessary controls to address those hazards. In addition to general working conditions and weather issues that may influence job site safety, specific hazards such as the presence of a combustible roof deck, roof penetrations, concealed attic areas and combustible flashing substrates are addressed and suitable controls are suggested and discussed. Also, attendees get comprehensive information on the types and ratings of fire extinguishers and how they are used most effectively along with the minimum CERTA requirements for appropriate fire extinguishers that must be on a roof. In fact, CERTA requires a fire extinguisher capacity far exceeding OSHA’s fire protection requirements during torch operations— two 4A60BC-rated fire extinguishers within 10 feet of torching activity.

Another important fire prevention protocol is the use of a fire watch system. The intent of the fire watch is that a dedicated individual is charged with inspecting the work area after the last torch, or other heat generating tool, is extinguished. Ordinarily, this is accomplished visually, but it can also be done more scientifically with the use of temperature sensing infrared thermometer. These are inexpensive tools that read the temperature of an area that the tool is pointed at and display the reading in degrees on the screen. The fire watch individual would shoot various specific locations where hot work was done—for example, at roof penetrations, flashings or field areas—noting the temperature for each spot. This procedure would be followed for the same spots a short time later, and if the temperature had increased, the possibility that a fire under the roof surface could be a source of the increased heat being generated would require further steps to determine the nature of the heat increase and the proper action to take.

Historically, many industries and building owners have required a 30-minute fire watch be maintained after the last torch or other tool has been extinguished. Under the CERTA protocol, a two-hour fire watch is demanded of a CERTA roofing torch applicator. The fire watch must be maintained not just at the end of the day but at other break times, such as lunch, so that fires do not start when workers may be away from the work area or inattentive during break times.

Another key element of training for the CERTA torch applicator involves installation techniques that are intended to reduce the likelihood of a fire being started. The techniques include specified thermal barriers to protect combustible roof decks and substrate protection for flashing installations, along with an alternative torching technique that minimizes the use of direct torching.

Certa Works

Installation of polymer-modified bitumen roof systems using propane roofing torches requires adherence to a number of safety procedures and an awareness of the hazards that workers may encounter. The CERTA program has a proven track record of enhancing the safe practices of roofing workers who install these systems and the roofing industry, building owners and the general public are all safer because of its development and use.

Photo: NRCA

ARMA Names Winners of 2017 QARC Awards Program

The Washington, D.C.-based Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) has named three winners of its annual Quality Asphalt Roofing Case-Study (QARC) Awards Program. The program seeks contractors who choose asphalt roofing and install beautiful and high-performing systems. This year, a stunning home in North Carolina, a commercial building in Florida and a firehouse in Washington state have been chosen as winners.

Chapel Hill Roofing Co. received the Gold QARC Award for its residential project titled The Triangle Home. The North Carolina-based contractor installed a full asphalt roofing system to fit the home’s complex architecture and the homeowner’s desire for a range of color options, protection from the elements and algae resistance at an affordable price.

The Silver Award was given to Advanced Roofing Inc., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for the second year in a row. Its completion of a 49,955-square-foot roof on the Broward County Addiction Recovery Center’s Stephen R. Booher Building impressed judges with its intricacy. The new high-performance roof system provides weatherproof protection for the building’s residents.

Cascade Roofing Co., Burlington, Wash., was honored with the Bronze QARC Award for its steep-slope installation on the Burlington Fire Department firehouse. The building needed a new roof and required a product that had visual appeal, wind resistance and algae resistance. Cascade Roofing installed a full asphalt roofing system, including a synthetic underlayment and an ice and water shield on the leading edges.

ARMA received a record 40 submissions this year. These projects demonstrated the range of colors and designs that asphalt roofing can achieve, its ability to meet challenging project requirements and to provide reliability in tough climates. Each year, these projects are judged by a panel of roofing industry experts from trade associations, architecture firms and the media. Judges score projects based on their use of asphalt roofing technology to provide curb appeal, durability and value.

“As the QARC Awards Program has expanded over the last seven years, it has grown increasingly challenging for our judges to choose from the numerous excellent projects we receive,” notes Reed Hitchcock, ARMA’s executive vice president. “This year, it came down to identifying which projects demonstrated how contractors use asphalt roofing to solve key challenges for building owners and to provide peace of mind with a protective roof system.”

For more information about the QARC awards projects, visit the web page.