Top 5 Apartment Roofing Tips to Protect Your Properties

NRCA Director of Technical Services, Maciek Rupar, recently provided his perspective on how property managers can protect roof systems for Property Management Insider. The article entitled “Top 5 Apartment Roofing Tips to Protect Your Properties” highlights the importance of selecting the appropriate materials for apartment roof systems, as well as suggestions for proper maintenance.

The article addresses common mistakes apartment building owners make when selecting the wrong materials on low-slope roofs, including asphalt shingles applied to roofs that are pitched at 2:12, which slows water runoff and collects more dirt and debris that can damage roof systems.

“There is the idea that water-shedding products can work down to a slope of 2:12,” Rupar says. “But asphalt shingles wear out faster at these low slopes and don’t ensure consistent water shedding performance as they would on a higher slope.”

In addition, the article details five suggestions to help ensure the health of an apartment building’s roof system. They include:

  • Keeping roof surfaces clear of debris, dirt and other materials that could hinder water drainage and cause ponding.
  • Roof systems that have a reflective membrane design of energy efficiency should be periodically washed to remove dirt that will reduce reflection of heat.
  • Inspection and repair of perimeter-edge flashings after strong winds or hail.
  • Inspect for signs of wear and tear from foot traffic or work on roof surfaces.
  • Immediately inspect a roof system after a storm.

“Top 5 Apartment Roofing Tips to Protect Your Properties” can be read in its entirety below.

Korellis Roofing helps build Chicago’s Chinatown public library

Chinatown Library 2 300dpi

Since 1873, the Chicago Public Library system has served Chicagoans with free, open places to gather, learn, connect and read.

On Aug. 29, 2015, the Chicago Public Library system opened a new, 16,000-square-foot, two-story, branch in the city’s Chinatown neighborhood. The feng shui-inspired structure was designed to harmonize with its surrounding environment and is partially covered with a living roof, installed by NRCA member Korellis Roofing Inc., Hammond, Ind.

Working on a roughly 8,400-square-foot roof with 3,900 square feet covered in vegetation posed significant challenges.

“This project was in the heart of the Chinatown neighborhood in Chicago, so staging and loading of materials presented significant logistical challenges,” says John Ziolkowski, vice president–roofing operations at Korellis Roofing.

In addition, Korellis Roofing used a Garlock Equipment Perimeter Clamp Guardrail system to provide workers with fall protection while installing the roof membrane.

Chinatown Green Roof In Progress

Workers assemble the vegetative roof system on the Chicago Public Library’s Chinatown Branch

After the PVC roof membrane was installed, workers used a permanently installed horizontal lifeline system that borders the vegetative roof area during installation and placement of the vegetative roof system.

After overcoming numerous logistical and fall-protection challenges, Korellis Roofing successfully completed its work on the Chicago Public Library’s Chinatown branch in July 2015 in time for its August 2015 grand opening.

“The most rewarding aspect of this job was this project was truly successful because of our workforce, workmanship and expertise with installing PVC membranes and vegetative roofs,” Ziolkowski says.

For demonstrating excellent workmanship on the Chicago Public Library’s Chinatown branch, Korellis Roofing was selected as a 2016 Gold Circle Awards finalist in the Outstanding Workmanship: Low-slope category.

For more details about Korellis Roofing’s work on the roof system of the Chicago Public Library’s Chinatown branch, visit–06-01-2016/3845.

Nominations Open for 2017 Roofing Alliance for Progress MVP Award

mvp-imageThe Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress is now accepting nominations for its 2016-17 Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award program. In its 18th year, the MVP Program honors a maximum of 10 outstanding roofing workers. One winner will be chosen as Professional Roofing’s Best of the Best, an honor co-sponsored by OMG Roofing Products, Agawam, Mass. The Best of the Best winner also is featured in an article in Professional Roofing.

The MVP Program recognizes leadership in the field. Roofing contractor firms can nominate any field roofing worker, foreman or superintendent. No more than three nominations per company branch will be accepted. Distributors and supplier firms may nominate up to five warehouse employees, warehouse foremen, drivers or equipment operators. Self-nominations are not accepted.

Criteria by which nominees will be evaluated include outstanding on-the-job performance; on-the-job safety performance; contributions to a team effort; community service and volunteerism; and other noteworthy contributions and activities.

Entries may be submitted by completing an official entry form, providing detailed descriptions of specific attributes, activities and other factors that make individuals noteworthy or unique. All entries must be submitted by Nov. 18, 2016.

MVP winners will receive two complimentary airfares and two nights’ hotel accommodations during NRCA’s 130th Annual Convention in Las Vegas; one complimentary conference registration and exhibit hall pass to the 2017 International Roofing Expo®; two complimentary tickets to the NRCA Industry Awards Ceremony and Cocktail Reception where winners and their companies will be formally honored; a $100 American Express gift card; recognition in Professional Roofing magazine, NRCA’s For Members Only newsletter and on The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress website; and recognition in a press release sent to local media and industry trade press.

Visit for more information or to submit a nomination, or contact Bennett Judson, the Alliance’s executive director at (800)323-9545, ext. 7513 or Entry forms may be downloaded online and mailed to The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress MVP Awards Program, c/o National Roofing Contractors Association, Attention: Bennett Judson, 10255 W. Higgins Road, Suite 600, Rosemont, IL 60018-5607.

The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress Takes Over Administration of RoofPoint™ Environmental Rating System


The Roofing Industry Alliance for Progress has announced the administration of RoofPoint has been transferred to the Alliance effective June 22.

RoofPoint is a voluntary, consensus-based green rating system that provides a means for building owners and designers to select nonresidential roof systems based on long-term energy and environmental benefits.

Originally developed by the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing and co-sponsored by the Alliance, RoofPoint is a roofing-specific version of green building rating systems that promotes an environmentally responsible built environment. Additional information about RoofPoint is available at

“The increasing need for energy efficient and environmentally friendly roof systems makes RoofPoint an important component of our industry,” says Alliance president, James T. Patterson C.P.M of CentiMark Corporation, Canonsburg, Pa. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to manage RoofPoint, and to continue the essential role it plays in promoting environmentally sustainable buildings.”

To ensure a smooth transfer of RoofPoint to the Alliance, a task force has been established to examine RoofPoint’s data and determine next steps.

Task force members are Rob Therrien, president of The Melanson Co. Inc., Keene, N.H.; Helene Hardy-Pierce, vice president of technical services, codes and industry relations for GAF, Parsippany, N.J.; Brian Whelan, senior vice president of Sika Sarnifil Inc., Lyndhurst, N.J.; Jim Barr, president of Barr Roofing Co., Abilene, Texas; and Mark Graham, vice president of technical services for the National Roofing Contractor Association (NRCA), Rosemont, Ill.

The task force will present its recommendations to the Alliance Board of Trustees during its Nov. 17 meeting in Chicago.

Alumni Roofing Co. Replaces Roof System for Ohio-based Health Facility, Restores Local Landmark

DSC_0006-web-1040Avita Health System is a nonprofit organization providing care to patients in need of financial assistance in Ohio’s Crawford, Marion and Richland counties.

In 2013, Avita Health System purchased a 185,000-square-foot building at Richmond Mall in Mansfield, Ohio, to be renovated into a medical facility. The $50 million renovation took place in several phases beginning in 2014.

A tower built on the building in 1972 to provide a screen wall to an out of date HVAC unit had become a local landmark. Avita Health System wished to maintain the tower as the building’s focal point. To accomplish this, Avita Health System turned to NRCA -member Alumni Roofing Co., Lexington, Ohio, to come up with design options for preserving the tower.

Avita-(4)-web-1040After presenting several possibilities, Alumni Roofing proposed installing a TPO membrane with the Avita logo on the TPO membrane. The company created a temporary vinyl sign with the Avita Health System logo and hung it on the tower to demonstrate the logo’s size and placement on the tower. Avita Health System chose to go with Alumni Roofing’s recommendations.

Before beginning work on the new roof system, Alumni Roofing had to address the significant safety challenges of working on a structure 100 feet in the air during high winds.

Alumni Roofing used adjustable roof brackets with 2- by 6-foot planks.IMG_1417-web-1040

“Each installer had two ropes – on for the front lanyard harness and another rope to hold onto,” says Todd Lindeman, vice president of operations for Alumni Roofing.

In addition, Alumni Roofing installed a guardrail to prevent tools and debris from falling to the ground.

After extensive preparation, the TPO membrane with the Avita Health System logo was adhered to the tower. Once the roof system was complete, Avita Health System installed multicolored LED lights around the tower’s base to make it visible from nearly 1 mile away.

In December 2014, Alumni Roofing successfully completed its work on the Avita Health System tower.

“The most rewarding part of the job is knowing we played a key role in preserving a community landmark,” Lindeman says. “And we helped our customer develop a unique focal point to its new hospital.”

For demonstrating ingenuity on the project, Alumni Roofing received a 2016 Gold Circle Award honorable mention in the Innovative Solutions: Reroofing category.

For more details on Alumni Roofing’s work on Avita Health System’s roof system, visit–06-01-2016/3845.

New Federal Aviation Administration Rules on Drones Will Be Enormous Benefit to the Roofing Industry


NRCA believes the new rules issued by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on the commercial use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, will provide significant new opportunities for the use of such aircraft in the roofing industry.

The new rule, which goes into effect in late August, will allow people with a “remote pilot in command” certification to operate drones for commercial and educational purposes, provided that the drones weigh less than 55 pounds, do not exceed 100 miles per hour groundspeed and don’t fly more than 400 feet above ground level.

NRCA believes the final rule is a reasonable one, and we are especially pleased that the FAA listened to some of the concerns we expressed during the rulemaking process.

The FAA rule contains a provision for waivers to some of its rules that, for example, should allow drones to be flown at night in situations where they don’t pose any danger.

NRCA believes drone use can be of enormous benefit to the roofing industry over time.  Drones can be used to evaluate existing roofs, help to prepare estimates for new roofs, conduct thermal imaging and even measure reflectivity performance.  And the use of drones will mean that fewer people will need to be exposed to rooftop hazards to conduct routine inspections.

For more information on the rule, contact Harry Dietz, NRCA’s director of enterprise risk management at

OSHA and the new silica rule

The following column, written by NRCA CEO Bill Good, addresses the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) recently adopted rule regarding worker exposure to silica; it appears in the June 2016 issue of Professional Roofing magazine.

Silica PictureWe can take some comfort
, I suppose, in the fact it could have been a lot worse.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been working on a rule to regulate worker exposure to silica for a long time, and it became clear OSHA head David Michaels wanted to see the rule completed before his term expires at the end of this year. He did it, and it will be his legacy. OSHA’s final rule was issued March 25; it goes into effect June 23; and it will be enforced beginning June 23, 2017.

As is usually the case, we learned a lot of lessons through the rulemaking process—some good, some less than good and many reminding us how frustrating the process can be.

As is required in all federal rulemakings, the public was invited to comment and testify at OSHA hearings. NRCA did both, and we take some satisfaction in knowing we were heard. For example, the rule’s preamble discusses the impracticality of using wet saws on roofs (though the final rule, in effect, requires them).

We learned, again, that despite receiving opposing comments, OSHA usually gets its way. The final rule is 1,772 pages, and most of it is a legal word salad, the main purpose of which is to scare off potential litigants.

We learned, again, facts don’t matter much to regulatory folks. For example, though OSHA imagines the new rule will save 600 lives annually, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports exactly 111 people died from silicosis in 2013. And OSHA estimates the cost for a company to comply with the rule will be in the neighborhood of $600 per year. Just the time required for training will quickly eat up $600 for most contractors.

Still, OSHA responded to our argument that neither requiring respirators for roofing workers in, say, August in Arizona is a particularly grand idea nor is imagining vacuums attached to saws will actually work well on roofs. So we are left with using wet saws and dust masks— still problematic but at least the requirement is straightforward.

Sadly, we all know what will happen in the real world. Professional contractors will try hard to comply and will be cited for minor infractions. Unprofessional contractors will do nothing—or hire subcontract labor that will do nothing—and will, for the most part, go undetected.

The real lesson is we’ll spend an awful lot of time, money and energy with little progress toward improving worker health. But Michaels will have his legacy.


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