Do You Know the ABCs of Roofing?

Abrasion resistance: the ability to resist being worn away by contact with another moving, abrasive  surface, such as foot traffic, mechanical equipment, wind-blown particles, etc.

Back-nailing (also referred to as “Blind-nailing”): the practice of blind nailing the back portion of a roofing ply, steep roofing unit, or other components in a manner so that the fasteners are covered by the next sequential ply, or course, and are not exposed to the weather in the finished roof system.

Cold roof assembly: a roof assembly configured with the insulation below the deck, not typically in contact with the deck, allowing for a ventilation space. The temperature of the roof assembly remains close to the outside air temperature.

Click here for more terminology that will help you understand the language of roofing.


There Are Simple, Common Safety Systems Being Used for Commercial Roofing.

Roofing contractors install safety systems on roofs with flat surfaces as well as sloped surfaces. Guardrails or handrails are typically installed on roofs with flat surfaces, the guardrails made from iron bars. Foot pathways or walkways are installed on sloped roofs and are made from lightweight aluminum or metal. Some walkways include handrails for increased safety.

In addition to guardrails and walkways with handrails, commercial roofing can include permanently installed anchor points. Employees who frequently spend time on roofs for maintenance or some sort of installation use these as a personal harness system. For industrial roofs with steep slopes, this is a must.

If these safety measures are not taken, businesses may face problems with their buildings passing inspection or may even be liable for potential damages.

Additionally, according to Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, there are many commercial roofing risks of damage to consider.

When reroofing, it’s important to understand the existing roof’s resistance to severe wind and hurricanes and to know if there is or is not moisture within the existing roof cover. A safety measure that can be taken is the use of an uplift test. This test determines whether or not the roof cover has the ability to withstand or resist uplift pressures and forces, for example windstorms and hurricanes. If the roof cover does not pass the uplift test, safety measures to secure a new and existing roof cover must be taken.

What are uplift tests? These tests are conducted on the base, around the perimeter, and at the corners of the roof. Uplift tests utilize a plastic “dome” shaped apparatus that when placed on the cover, creates a suction on the roof. If it’s found that there is a roof cover failure, a contractor should repair the area immediately. An uplift test is the most practical, economic and accurate field test to measure a roof’s cover ability.

The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends that professional roofing contractors should be able to provide their clients with knowledge of roofing systems, commitment to safety, application expertise, and an overall professional maintenance program.

Assessing Roofing Needs and Contractor Qualifications

In times of economic downturn, replacing or re-covering a roof may not be viable solutions when leaks or damage occur. The more viable alternative may be roof repair. But, what if repairing the leaks isn’t the answer? What if you don’t have a warranty or can’t find it and you don’t know what kind of roof you have? “What ifs” can be answered by an experienced roofing consultant who will honestly assess the problems, the damage and have the knowledge to identify the roof system and determine the best course of action.

Once assessed, you now have the bases by which to get comparable bids assuring that apples are being compared to apples when issuing a request for bids. Next, you want to address the issue of selecting qualified contractors to bid on the repair, replacement or re-covering of one of your most important assets.

 The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends that all professional roofing contractors should be able to provide you with the following:

 Credentials – a permanent place of business, telephone number, tax ID number and business license.

 Knowledge of roofing systems – new materials and systems have sparked a tremendous change in the roofing industry over the past 10 years. Be sure that the contractor is knowledgeable of all type of roofing systems.

 Affiliation with an industry organization – whether local, state, regional or national industry association, involvement in industry associations help keep contractors better informed about the latest developments and issues in the industry.

 Committed to education – ask the contractor what types of safety training he provides for his workers and what industry programs they have attended.

 Insured and committed to safety – ask the contractor for proof of insurance, copies of insurance certificate for workers’ compensation and general liability coverage.

 License and bonded – check to see if a prospective roofing contractor is properly licensed by the state and/or bonded.

 Financial stability – a professional contractor will be able to supply you with current financial information and references from their financial institution or auditing firm.

 Application expertise – have the contractor provide a list of roofing manufacturers with whom he has licensed or approved applicator agreements.

 Insist on a written proposal – insist on a written proposal clearly outlining and describing the work to be done and specifications. The proposal should include the approximate start and completion dates, payment procedures and any additional issues such as landscape damage prevention and debris cleanup.

 Warranties – be sure that the contractor offers a warranty that covers workmanship.

 Completed projects – look for a company that readily makes references available to you and a list of completed projects.

 On-site supervision – request an explanation of their project supervision policies and quality control procedures; the name of the supervisor; and number of workers that will be required

 A professional maintenance program – ask if the contractor offers maintenance inspections throughout the year which will help ensure that your project complies with the standards specified in the warranty.

Jottan is recognized as the leading commercial roofing contractor and roofing consultants. Our philosophy of ‘Doing it Right the First Time’ is backed by our commitment to provide long-term, maintenance-free roofing solutions that are completed on time and within budget.