Roof Hugger Celebrates 25th Anniversary

In 1991, two developer/contactors and longtime friends, Red McConnohie and Dale Nelson, began a part-time business to manufacture and distribute structurally sound sub-purlins for installing a new metal roof directly over an existing metal roof. The idea came about because McConnohie owned a lease building that needed its roof to be replaced. After a few design sketches using a factory-notch concept with some ingenuity, the original Hugger sub-purlin came alive. McConnohie got his building reroofed and proposed to Nelson that they start a business together selling this innovative new product. So, they set off on a journey, which has lasted 25 years, and now has covered more than 70 million square feet of existing roofs nationally and abroad. The company is the brand Roof Hugger Inc.

The trek was not always that easy because the product is designed to fit over and around the major ribs of the existing panels. Have you ever thought about how many different metal roof profiles are out there? Hundreds, if not thousands. You have ribbed panels in a multitude of spacing and heights from 6 to 13 inches, there are corrugated panels with corrugations spaced from 2.25 to 4 inches, and of course, there are standing seams. These also widely varied because of the vertical and trapezoidal seam configurations, rib-to-rib spacing and heights and with or without standoff clips. Today, Roof Hugger has built a library full of manufacturer literature, both from the old days and the more recent. They refer to this library countless times during a given year but even to this day, they are given a previously unknown panel from a contractor or building owner needing to reroof an existing metal building.

Not only do the profiles and variations of existing metal roofs make this niche roof replacement market challenging at times, but because of the new stringent code requirements, you have panel testing to contend with, as well. Every manufacturer today, producing metal roofing, has and will continue to have their systems tested for performance. The most utilized test standard is known in metal construction as the “Standard Test Method for Structural Performance of Sheet Metal Roof and Siding Systems by Uniform Static Air Pressure Difference” or ASTM E-1592. Without it, it is extremely difficult to engineer roofing products to meet specified building code requirements for given wind speeds. It is not widely understood but each metal roof’s testing can and does vary from its counterparts although they frequently can look almost identical. This is due to seam design, clip design, metal thickness, design specifications and manufacturing limitations. Because of this, Roof Hugger began testing in 1996 and now has numerous metal roofs that have been tested over their sub-purlin systems. They have an (FM) Factory Mutual approval, as well as several (FL#) Florida Product Approved assemblies.

As Roof Hugger celebrates its 25th year, the Hugger team located outside Tampa, Fla., is excited to carry the “Hugger” brands on into the future. McConnohie passed in 2013 at the age of 87, and Roof Hugger is a big part of Red’s legacy, but Dale and Jan Nelson, now owners of Roof Hugger, continue to work relentlessly to make the Hugger stable of products better than any other metal-over-metal retrofit roof system available. Jan Nelson recently commented that “they are so fortunate to have met and grown to know the fabulous people in the metal construction industry via trade shows and organizational meetings. She went on to say, “We have gained an extended family that is surely the best gift of this journey and it puts a smile on my face daily.” Dale Nelson said, “I can’t believe it’s been 25 years. It’s been one heck of an enjoyable ride.” Dale Nelson was recently elected chairman of the Metal Construction Association (MCA), which he is no stranger to this kind of work. He has committed much of his life to volunteer work in both his private life, as well as in business activities.

Roof Hugger now has four production locations in Florida, Indiana, Texas and Washington. Three of their sub-purlin profiles can ship within two to three days and others are made-to-order to ship within 10 to 15 days. Roof Hugger is specified by numerous levels of local, state and federal government agencies, especially the U.S. Military. A recent look at their shipments, found that more than 3 million square feet have been installed at more than 70 domestic military facilities. They provide quotes in hours and a live voice always answers the phone. Prior to Red’s passing, if you were lucky he would answer the phone with a loud “ROOF HUGGER – McCONNOHIE”, and when you call today you will still get an equally enthusiastic greeting from the Roof Hugger crew of Jan, Bill, DJ or Dale.

Firestone Building Products Announces Master Contractor Award Winners

Firestone Building Products Co. LLC, a manufacturer and supplier of a comprehensive “Roots to Rooftops” product portfolio, announced the 263 firms that earned the 2016 Master Contractor Award. The top-tier companies were selected from a network of more than 3,000 Firestone Building Products Red Shield Licensed Roofing Contractors for delivering exemplary installation, quality of work and customer service.

The Master Contractor Program presents three distinct industry honors annually: The Master Contractor Award, Inner Circle of Quality Award and President’s Club Award. The program’s 2016 winners collectively installed more than 309 million square feet of warranted Firestone Building Products roofing systems on new and reroof projects during 2015.

“Our annual Firestone Building Products Master Contractor Program recognizes top-tier firms for their commitment to excellence and superior workmanship,” says Tim Dunn, president of Firestone Building Products. “Ultimately, the winners’ attention to detail during all installation phases helps ensure long-term roofing system performance. Master Contractor, Inner Circle of Quality and President’s Club award winners represent our best partners in the industry. We are proud of all they have accomplished and look forward to continuing to see them achieve.”

The program’s 2016 award categories and parameters include:

  • Master Contractor
    Master Contractor Award recipients were selected based on the total square footage installed and quality points accumulated for outstanding inspection ratings on systems covered by the Firestone Building Products Red Shield Warranty. Those include: RubberGard EPDM, UltraPly TPO, asphalt and metal roofing systems.

    Master Contractors were also eligible to earn points in the sustainability category. The program recognizes Firestone Building Products’ SkyScape Vegetative Roof System and SunWave Daylighting System.

    To meet the 2016 award requirements, a contractor had to complete a minimum of eight Red Shield warranted jobs during the 2015 calendar year, be in good financial standing with Firestone Building Products, and have a Preferred Quality Incidence Rating (QIR) that did not exceed three times the average QIR for Red Shield Licensed Roofing Contractors. QIR is determined by the annual number of quality incidents per million square feet of roofing under warranty.

  • Inner Circle of Quality
    Master Contractors were eligible for the Inner Circle of Quality Award by installing a minimum of eight warranted Firestone Building Products roofing systems each in 2014 and 2015; and four roofs per year for each of the prior three years. They were also required to maintain at least 2 million square feet of Firestone Building Products roofs under warranty and achieve an annual Quality Incidence Rating (QIR) of 1.0 or less.

  • President’s Club
    Master Contractors who have accrued the highest number of quality points for superior inspection ratings and total square footage of Firestone Building Products Red Shield warranted roofing system installations completed during the past year earned the distinguished President’s Club Award.

Asking Many Questions Helps Property Managers Prepare Reroofing Budgets

Property managers are challenged with three basic decisions for their existing roof systems: Should they repair, maintain or replace their roof system? The proper execution of each phase of the roof condition will determine the longevity of a roof system. Every roof is different and requires detailed evaluation and analysis for budgeting and decision-making purposes.

The bottom line is: What is your desired outcome for your roof and what is your budget? How can you extend the life of your roofing asset and reduce the cost of ownership?

For the purpose of this discussion, we’ll focus on reroofing.

UNDERSTAND YOUR OPTIONS

If you decide to replace your roof, you have to analyze the expense of a new roof, as well as the total investment cost during the lifespan of the roof. Ask yourself these questions and work with your roofing contractor to better understand all options.

    ▪▪ What’s best for my roof, climate and budget?
    ▪▪ What do I want from my roof, other than no roof leaks?
    ▪▪ Should I prepare a one-year budget or a multi-year budget?
    ▪▪ Do I want energy-efficient solutions (improved R-values), daylighting solutions (reduce my electric bills, qualify for energy rebates) and/or safety enhancements (meet or exceed OSHA standards)?
    ▪▪ What operation, service or product is underneath my roof? Product and installation decisions are made differently for roofs over food-processing plants, semiconductor plants or hospitals, for example.
    ▪▪ What three things are most important for my new roof, other than price? (Roofing materials, manufacturer of product, weather, pollution, warranty, maintenance, aesthetics, contractor’s safety requirements, return on investment, energy efficiency, roof traffic or other concerns, for example.)
    ▪▪ What is the value of the roof system as a long-term cost of ownership and not just based on initial price?
    ▪▪ Can we reduce the capital budget by removing expensible items, such as labor for the removal of the existing roof and the cost for disposal of the old roofing materials?

DO YOUR RESEARCH

Work with your roofing contractor to prepare a comprehensive plan for reroofing. The National Roofing Contractors Association and Building Owners and Managers Association International also are excellent resources.

Have your contractor review the best options for your building related to insulation type and amount; drainage condition and requirements; roofing membrane type/thickness; and safety requirements, such as roof hatches, guard rails, skylight screens and walk pads. Look at the slope of the roof to avoid standing-water problems. Are your gutters, downspouts and drains properly sized for adequate water drainage?

Budget numbers should be based on actual costs using measurement tools and Roof Life Index (RLI) tools. When budgeting for a capital project, there can be changes between the time the budget is set and when the project is installed. Materials and/or labor prices can increase. Damage to a roof can increase due to age, weather or other circumstances. Work with your contractor to lock in pricing for repair work during the interim months until the reroofing project begins.

Consider a thermal scan to define the extent of any compromised insulation.

Review local and national building codes for R-value and wind-uplift requirements. Check with your insurance carrier to determine whether the roof replacement system meets its requirements for roof assemblies.

It takes research, planning and capital to install a new roof system. Your roofing contractor is an excellent partner in reviewing your roofing needs, your budget considerations and maximizing the investment in your roofing asset.

Insulation and Roof Replacements

When existing roofs (that are part of the building’s thermal envelope) are removed and replaced and when the roof assembly includes above-deck insulation, the energy code now requires that the insulation levels comply with the requirements for new construction, according to a proposal approved by International Code Council at public comment hearings held in October 2013.

This high-performance roof system was recently installed on a high school north of Chicago. It features two layers of 3-inch 25-psi, double-coated fiberglass-faced polyisocyanurate insulation set in bead-foam adhesive at 4 inches on center, weighted with five 5-gallon pails of adhesive per 4- by 4-foot board to ensure a positive bond into the bead foam until set. PHOTO: Hutchinson Design Group LLC

This high-performance roof system was recently installed on a high school north of Chicago. It features two layers of 3-inch 25-psi, double-coated fiberglass-faced polyisocyanurate insulation set in bead-foam adhesive at 4 inches on center, weighted with five 5-gallon pails of adhesive per 4- by 4-foot board to ensure a positive bond into the bead foam until set. PHOTO: Hutchinson Design Group LLC

As a result of this proposal approval, the 2015 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) provides new language that provides clear unambiguous direction on how the energy code provisions apply to roof repair, roof recover and roof replacement.

Until this update there was a great deal of confusion given the various terms—such as reroofing, roof repair, roof recover and roof replacement—used to describe roofing projects on existing buildings in the International Building Code and the IECC. The clarification will help to mitigate this confusion.

Numerous studies have demonstrated the energy savings provided by a well-insulated roofing system. It is critical to minimize energy losses and upgrade insulation levels when roofs are replaced to comply with code requirements for new construction.

Each year about 2.5 billion square feet of roof coverings are installed on existing buildings and the opportunity to upgrade the insulation levels on these roof systems occurs just once in several decades when the roof is replaced or even longer when existing roofs are “recovered”. Until recently this requirement was prescribed using vague and confusing language, as noted.

Moving forward the IECC will use the same definitions found in the International Building code:

  • Reroofing: The process of recovering or replacing an existing roof covering. See “Roof Recover” and “Roof Replacement”.
  • Roof Recover: The process of installing an additional roof covering over a prepared existing roof covering without removing the existing roof covering.
  • Roof Replacement: The process of removing the existing roof covering, repairing any damaged substrate and installing a new roof covering.
  • Roof Repair: Reconstruction or renewal of any part of an existing roof for the purposes of its maintenance.

A survey of building departments in many states and regions in the U.S. found that online roofing permit application forms rarely included any information on the energy code and required insulation levels. With the changes to the 2015 IECC, it will be easier for building departments to correlate the building code and energy code requirements for roof replacements.

The clarification to the 2015 IECC makes the code easier to interpret and enforce. Along the way, it will help ensure that the opportunity to save energy when replacing roofs is not lost.

Another benefit of this update is that the exemption for roof repair is now clearly defined making it easier for building owners and roofing contractors to perform routine maintenance without triggering energy-efficiency upgrades, which would add costs.