The Effects of Environmental Conditions on Roofing
Hurricane Matthew recently reminded all of us in the roofing industry that weather and environmental conditions can have a huge effect on your roof. There are many far more subtle conditions that exist and can cause detrimental conditions leading to premature roof failure: wind, rain, snow, freezing temperatures and heat. Each of these factors has a different effect on your roof and manifests itself in different ways. Understanding the effects of each condition and identifying the symptoms they reveal is critical to making the best roofing decisions and extending the life of your roofing asset.
Wind can cause roofs to perform (or fail to perform) in strange ways. While a roof is typically not designed to handle the wind speeds and pressure associated with a tornado or category five hurricane, it certainly should be able to withstand lower wind speeds and pressures. But how does wind affect your roof? Wind typically has its greatest effect on roofs at the perimeter edge and corners. It is at the edge of a building where the wind often creates a negative pressure or a suction force. This can place pressures on the edge and, if details are not adequately secured, it can lead to the roof peeling. Through repeated wind cycles, edge details can loosen and the roof system will begin to fail. Wind events also cause roofing issues that are associated with debris, tree branches or parts of mechanical units blowing across your roof causing punctures, damage and leaks in their wake.
Rain can also place pressure on the performance of the roof system. It is the function of the roof to properly channel rain off of the top of the building. Water that is not removed from roof surfaces can lead to many future problems including those associated with the long-term roof performance and weight load problems. To shed water from the building, the roof must have a proper drainage system. This includes being sure there is slope to the drains or gutters and that the drainage system is properly sized to handle the rain storms that are typical of the geographical area of the building. Common calculations can be performed to determine if the number of drains, size of the gutters and the amount of downspouts or drain lines are sufficient to meet the needs of your building.
Snow brings about a unique set of roofing challenges. When there is a substantial snow event, the weight of the snow can place stress on the building structure that it may not have been originally designed to hold. This condition can be exacerbated when drifts cause large piles of snow to accumulate in one area of the roof. Extended accumulation of snow and drifts, if not removed quickly, may lead to the structural integrity of the building being compromised. When snow levels get to a critical point, snow removal needs to take place. Using a roofing contractor to perform this removal is important. Snow removal procedures should be done with an understanding of what rooftop pipes, equipment and skylights are in place and their location. Additionally, those removing the snow should be secured with fall protection and knowledgeable in methods that don’t damage the roof surface.
Freezing temperatures also place unique pressures on the roof system. When water freezes, it expands. This places stress on the roof if there is any moisture present. It is for this reason that it is so important that drain lines, gutters and downspouts, along with other drainage system components, remain open and unencumbered during freezing conditions. If these conditions exist, a steaming process can be done to eliminate ice blockage of drainage areas.
Heat also places stress on a roofing system. In the case of bitumen based roofing systems, it can accelerate the leaching of the light oils from the bitumen. This can allow premature deterioration of the water resistance characteristics associated with these products. With single ply roof systems, heat can lead to premature plasticizer migration in PVC membranes causing its life cycle to be shortened. Heat can also adversely affect other single ply roof systems as well. An obvious adverse effect of heat on the roof is the added load it places on the air conditioning system. Before installing a roof, understand how the roof membrane and the type and amount of insulation can affect both your heating and cooling costs. These evaluations are readily available and can be provided at little or no cost.
Mother Nature is tough and is ultimately going to get the best of any roof system! The only question is how long can you keep her at bay and delay the need for a new roof. Understanding the environmental effects she places on a roof and putting preventative maintenance programs and procedures in place to slow the deterioration is money well spent.
Schedule an Inspection or Preventative Maintenance - complete the form on the right >>
Prepare for Winter with a Fall Preventative Maintenance Inspection
With Winter right around the corner it is important to have your roof inspected. Even if you aren’t located in a climate that gets snow, a Fall Preventative Maintenance Inspection will help with keeping your roof clean and identifying any potential repairs or improvements that may be needed. Here are some of the items that should be inspected and addressed with a Fall Preventative Maintenance Inspection:
- Drainage - Make sure that water is properly draining from your roof. All drains, scuppers, gutters and downspouts will be checked. All strainer baskets will also be cleaned and inspected for proper attachment.
- Flashings - All flashings will be inspected and verified that they are secure and sealed so water won't accumulate under them and potentially freeze in the cooler temperatures.
- HVAC and other Projections - Ensure there hasn’t been any alterations made to any projections. If there have been, make sure all are flashed and properly sealed.
- Metal Details - Inspect and make sure they are secure and installed properly.
- Pitch Pans - Check to insure they are all sealed properly.
- Roof Surface - Inspect the entire roof surface for any wind, hail or other damage.
- Building Use - Has anything changed with the building use that would cause changes to the roof such as oils or grease that may be emitted from manufacturing processes? If changes have occurred, are there any items that need to be addressed on the roof to accommodate for the building changes?
- Safety - Review of roof safety protocol to make sure the roof is a safe place. Are there any safety considerations to take prior to winter? Some of those items would include rail hatch systems, walk pads, snow guards and heat tape.
After any roof inspection, make sure you are receiving a full written report with photos and fully understand any recommended repairs. The overall goal of the inspection is to ensure your roof is in good condition and will remain that way throughout its useful life.
Schedule your Fall Preventative Maintenance Inspection - complete the form on the right >>
QuestMark Launches an Updated Online Catalog
QuestMark is excited to announce the launch of our updated online flooring catalog. The QuestMark online catalog offers a wide variety of do-it-yourself (DIY) products. We offer floor patch, coatings, floor maintenance products, along with the tools and accessories needed to get the job done.
The online catalog has a new look and added improvements:
- Punch out capabilities – purchase your needed products from within your procurement application and store pertinent information
- Easier navigation
- Advanced checkout options – view past orders, reorder and view order status as well as check out with credit cards, purchase orders or PunchOut
In addition to all the products available through the catalog, you can also find the following:
- SDS sheets
- Technical data sheets
- Product directions
- Educational videos
- Spend reporting by product or location
If you already have an account with QuestMark your information will be automatically transferred for your convenience. If you do not have an account, please go to the catalog and create one so you can start enjoying all the benefits of shopping online with QuestMark. For any assistance with the catalog or the products online, please contact our Ecommerce Manager, Bob Power at Bob.Power@CentiMark.com
Labor Trends in the Roofing Industry and CentiMark’s Proactive Initiatives
Your roof is only as good as the people who install it. At CentiMark, we work very hard to find the best qualified associates, from roofing crews to management. Both finding and developing a strong labor force is what truly differentiates one contractor from another. We aggressively invest both time and money into finding, retaining and promoting workers. We take pride in the tenure of our workforce to include 100 associates who have 20+ years of experience with CentiMark and 22 associates who have 30+ years with the company.
Over the past years, the construction industry has had the challenge of labor and skilled workforce shortages. This trend is expected to continue into 2017. The challenges of the workforce shortage that impact the industry include:
- Maintaining worker-quality and safety with inexperienced skilled labor
- Increases in pay, bonuses or benefits to solicit and maintain workers
- Investment costs for recruiting and training for new hires
- Compliance with regulatory agencies
- Rising healthcare costs
To help overcome these challenges, CentiMark invests in recruitment, training and retaining our employees not only for our benefit, but for our customers. Consistency in our workforce, specifically our crews, helps ensure the quality workmanship and attention to details that is the CentiMark Difference. Here is how we overcome these challenges.
To help attract and maintain associates, CentiMark workers are part-owners of the company through an ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Program). This gives our associates an added financial incentive to work smartly, efficiently and safely. We also offer competitive wages and salary, a comprehensive benefit plan and opportunities for training, advancement and relocation.
We have invested millions of dollars in state-of-the-art safety equipment and training programs. To increase production, reduce duplicate movement of roofing materials and waste and keep job sites safer, we partner with equipment manufacturers to customize equipment for efficiency and to maximize work processes. For example, we utilize wheelbarrows that are rounded - not square - to facilitate the removal of roofing tear-off materials to fit through round trash shoots to move materials to dumpsters. This has reduced the manual labor time required to lift and push the materials from a square wheelbarrow into a round trash shoot and reduces related injuries.
We utilize CentiMark human resource recruiters throughout the United States and Canada to identify potential candidates. Some successful opportunities and strategies to meet potential applicants include:
- We brand CentiMark not only as a great company to work for but also one that provides good financial opportunities, benefits, training, advancement and relocation opportunities.
- We promote CentiMark as a career choice - not just a job in construction.
- To maximize recruitment efforts from laborers to professionals, we list jobs openings on CentiMark’s website and other online job sites including Jazz, LinkedIn, Indeed, Glassdoor, Craigslist and Careerjet.
- Our recruiters use targeted mailers, email campaigns, referral bonus programs for current employees, radio ads, newspaper ads, coffee cup sleeves and sponsorship of youth sports teams.
- To brand CentiMark in the community, we utilize CentiMark banners on jobsites and signage on CentiMark vans and trucks.
- Our recruiters make presentations to various groups and build partnerships and relationships in the community. They attend job fairs with Job Corps, technical schools, community colleges, veterans groups, non-profit organizations and community centers to find potential employees.
- Once a candidate is hired by CentiMark, our Human Resources staff work at onboarding with the new associates. We have established procedures to make new associates feel welcome, informed and ultimately successful. We follow-up with the associates to see how they are progressing in their training and day-to-day job.
In many ways, recruiting candidates is like selling: you have to be persistent, resourceful, passionate and positive. Our focus on recruiting and retaining our associates makes a difference for you, our customers through the quality workmanship and attention to the details.
For positions we are currently hiring, click here