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5 Signs Your Roofing Business Needs Accountability

Posted By Chris Alberts, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, January 14, 2019
Updated: Monday, January 14, 2019

 

 

Courtesy of: Rebekkah Anderson, WiseElephantConsulting.com

 

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While running a business, it can take time to get to the root of a problem. To speed up the investigation process, we've compiled five signs that your roofing business might need more accountability!

 

 

1. Your Overhead is Through the Roof

Pun not intended, but you can still roll your eyes if you feel the need. If you find that your bookkeeper is starting to raise squiggly eyebrows at some of the numbers you've been pushing out, you might have an accountability problem. You might also have an even bigger problem if you are still running all of the numbers yourself and haven't had a chance to hire an accountant. Getting a regular accounting audit with improvement recommendations can help you know where your overhead is getting too large.

 

The roofing industry has pretty great information about profit margins, vertical returns, and industry growth metrics to benchmark your business against. Don't let it all come out in the tax season.  You could find there are many missing receipts, mis-documented paperwork, or adjusted estimates that didn't get turned in correctly to be invoiced out to customers.

 

Last year, I heard a roofing contractor say their team had to squeeze to make payroll because they had lots of customers, but $1.5 million in accounts receivable heading into the Christmas season! A good accountant pays for him or herself! Use them to find where your business procedures need more accountability.

 

 

2. You Keep Losing Good People

This is especially true for those of you who are trying to grow. You see someone with potential, they start to shine, and as they hit their prime, they leave or burn out. This could be because the rest of your team is de-motivating them to succeed with lack of accountability.

 

If you team doesn't have accountability metrics to see who is performing well and who is not, it's hard to reward those who are doing it right. If you don't have a great incentivization structures built in place for your new and old staff, you will see your good people slowly leave as they realize their work isn't valued.

 

Those that do stay, realize they don't have to work as hard because no one else is giving it their all. This leaves you with the sub-par team and higher overhead. Don't wait till you lose your best crew members to keep people accountable.

 

 

3. Your Team Appears Unmotivated

This might come through as having no sense of urgency. Your team doesn't really understand why it's so important to the homeowner to show up on time or to leave early. You keep getting requests for personal days off, and it's like pulling teeth to get people to show up for make-up days! This doesn't come as a surprise to many roofing contractors today. You might be blaming it on the new generation's work ethic, but your team is disengaging.

 

Keeping your team accountable to show up, have great service, and come through for the customer means setting performance metrics in place for each team member and individual. Have clear expectations and clear ground level requirements. One business owner I know created tiers of excellence rewarded by a 25 cent hourly bonus for each tier of excellence. The first tier started with just showing up to work on time and in a clean uniform.

 

Whatever is your biggest struggle and most important to your roofing business' future should be in your first tier incentive before being eligible for further incentives. Keeping your team engaged through accountability means your business will be more profitable.  Gallup reports 22% higher profitability and 21% productivity for workers who were engaged in the workplace.

 

 

4. Customer Complaints & Negative Reviews Take Up More Than 1 Hour a Month

If you're handling more than an hour a month of negative feedback from your customers, managers, project leads, digital reviews, (or community even), you have an accountability problem.

 

Your team should be responsible to represent themselves and your roofing business well wherever they go. If you wear the company logo, you wear the company values. This accountability needs to happen at all levels of the company internally and externally.

 

Many times, this is an area roofing contractors don't equate with an accountability problem, but your customers will tell you otherwise if you listen! They know pretty specifically what it was that made them upset with your business if you take the time to ask. Did I mention that if you solve this one you will gain about a 90% level of trust within your local area? With 88% of customers trusting online reviews almost as much as a personal referral, you can't afford to lack accountability.

 

 

5. You Have a Low Lead to Customer Conversion Rate

This is absolutely an accountability problem.  No matter how many times your sales team tells you the marketing team didn't give them quality leads, or your just aren't getting enough leads period, you have accountability as an issue.  It could be where you're spending your marketing budget, it could be a sales person refusing to ask for the sale, or it honestly even be how your front office person answered the phone today!

 

A low conversion rate means your customers are going with someone else or refusing to buy, AFTER they became a business lead.  You must track all parts of your customer's life cycle and measure it against benchmarks in order to know where the accountability problem lies.

 

A low lead to conversion rate is probably the hardest problem to overcome as a roofing business (because there are so many moving pieces involved), but the most financially rewarding problem to fight. Did you know that in the construction industry the average sales conversion rate is 22%? I was actually a bit shocked by this one!

 

Creating strong accountability systems within your roofing business will save you from mistakes, give your more time, limit frustrations, and keep your best team members for the long haul. If you need help knowing where to start, give us a call! Wise Elephant Consulting helps roofing contractors save money and grow their businesses strategically.

 

 

 

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WSRCA Exhibiting at CRA Tradeshow, Jan. 24th 2019

Posted By Alec Ward, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Thursday, January 10, 2019

Later this month, we'll be out in Denver exhibiting at Colorado Roofing Association's annual trade show. Be sure to stop by our table (located right up front) to learn about the benefits of WSRCA Membership, and how they can save you time and money!

Since 1985, CRA's annual Table Top Trade Show has been a low cost opportunity to make great new contacts with over 1000 installers, builders, architects, manufacturers and applicators of roofing products and services.

ATTENDEES

The show  is a great chance to catch up on the latest industry trends, to make important contacts with suppliers and to compare existing products and services. The trade show offers a great networking opportunity for you to make and reaffirm business and personal contacts while educating you and your employees on the newest in Colorado’s roofing industry.

Admission is Free, but we do ask that you register in advance

Member CIUs = 1 per person.

 

FREE PRE-SHOW SEMINAR | 10AM TO 11AM
Collecting Payments on Construction Projects

All businesses want to get paid for the work that we do. As a contractor, subcontractor or construction company, you are solely responsible for putting the necessary measures in place to ensure you are paid promptly. This course provides a description of the methods contractors can use to collect amounts owed on construction projects. In particular, the course addresses key contract provisions; construction lien law basics; & private, state & federal payment bond claims.  Co-Presentors: Danielle Maya and Dillon Fulcher.

Seminar Cost:            Free

Seminar Start Time:   10:00 a.m. 

Seminar Room:          Forum Room #3

 Seminar Beverages Sponsor: 

Tags:  WSRCA UPDATES 

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IBC & ASCE 7-16 is Changing - WSRCA's Bottom Line

Posted By WSRCA, Tuesday, December 18, 2018

 

It has come to the attention of WSRCA’s Low-Slope and Industry Issues Committees that the 2018 International Building Code (IBC) is continuing to be adopted by more jurisdictions in the Western U.S. Please be aware that there are changes in the 2018 edition of IBC’s Chapter 15 for Roofing and its companion Chapter 16, which relates to wind-uplift resistance. These changes adopt, and requires use of the relatively new 2016 edition of the American Society of Civil Engineers “ Minimum Design Loads And Associated Criteria for Buildings and Other Structures” – (ASCE 7- 16 Standard) to determine wind-uplift design pressures for roof system attachment/securement. These changes are relatively complex, and Contractors may want to contact the Roofing Manufacturer for direction regarding roofing attachment (e.g., mechanical fastening schedules) or securement (e.g., low-rise foam adhesive bead size and spacing schedules). Contractors may also desire to carefully consider the potential affects (e.g., increase) with some materials, and labor for any additional mechanical attachment, foam adhesive, or other related roof securement needed.
 

Executive Summary:


Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) believes that it is important to alert you to the value of being aware of changes to the code, as not knowing could have a dramatic effect on the success of any roofing or reroofing construction business.

CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE...


Western States Roofing Contractors Association
356 Digital Drive - Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Local: 650-938-5441  Toll Free: 800-725-0333
Email: info@wsrca.com

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Not a Member of Western States RCA?  Click Here to Join!
or call Toll Free 1-800-725-0333

Tags:  TECHNICAL 

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Zero Net Energy: Optimizing Energy Performance on the Roof with Spray Polyurethane Foam and Photovoltaics

Posted By WSRCA, Monday, December 10, 2018

By Rick Duncan, Ph.D., P.E.,

Technical Director, Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA)

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The sustainability focus in buildings has shifted lately to one on energy performance. Not only have building codes become more stringent, with a much greater emphasis on energy efficiency, but many incentives have been introduced and made available to owners, providing them with tax credits and savings for the integration of renewable energy sources such as solar onto their homes and projects.

Increasingly ambitious movements, including Passive House and Zero Net Energy (ZNE), are also gaining in popularity as immediate issues like climate change, and the catastrophic effects of it, are top-of-mind and ever present in the news.

Even though ZNE is a bigger energy goal than what is currently highlighted for many structures, architects, builders and owners are increasingly integrating sound energy practices in their buildings. As a key component of the building enclosure, roofing systems tend to transfer (i.e. lose) significant amounts of energy if not properly designed or well maintained. Thus, it is unsurprising that they are a key focus in buildings designed to minimize energy use.

Spray Polyurethane Foam (SPF) and Photovoltaic (PV) systems are now, more than ever, utilized together on the roof as a complete solution for energy savings. SPF reduces demand for the energy generated by photovoltaics, which can make a significant difference in ZNE buildings. When combined, they provide a joint solution for the generation of renewable energy, the conservation of heating and cooling energy, and, ultimately, the elimination of the structure’s dependence on fossil-fuel consuming electricity sources.

Regardless of whether ZNE is the end goal, SPF and PV integrated in roofing are an ideal combination for many structures, providing unparalleled return on investment through energy cost savings, as well as numerous additional benefits. However, contractors should be mindful of some important installation considerations when looking to join these two powerful systems on the roof of a building, to ensure highest possible performance and lifespan.

 

PV System Overview

PV cells are the basic unit used to convert light to electricity. Many PV cells are bundled together to make a PV panel, or module. PV panels are grouped electrically to create a PV string. And depending on the system size, two or more strings are combined to create a PV array.

The dominant type of PV panel used with SPF roofing is cSi, or crystalline silicon. cSi is a typically rigid panel with glass frame and metal frame and may be applied, unlike other dominant PV panel types, via rack installation methods.

A photovoltaic system includes many components in addition to the panels. Components include racks, rails, rooftop attachment devices, grounding systems, wiring and wiring harnesses, inverter(s), and connection to the main electrical panel. Components may also include control modules and storage batteries for off-grid PV system installations.

Photovoltaic panels must be handled and maintained with caution. Electricity is produced when a single panel is exposed to light, however, because a panel is not part of a circuit, that electricity will not flow until the circuit is complete. A worker may complete the circuit by connecting the two wires from the backside of a PV panel.

When maintaining a PV system, it may become necessary at some point to disconnect or remove an individual panel from a string or an array. The whole system must be shutdown properly as a precautionary measure to prevent shocks from occurring to workers and arcing between electrical connections. This “shutdown” procedure must be followed with precision as part of a lock-out/tag-out program and is provided by the inverter manufacturer. Under no circumstances should SPF contractors ever disconnect or decommission a PV panel or system unless they are trained and qualified to do so.  

 

Rooftop PV Installation Types for Use with SPF

Rooftop PV systems can vary significantly in size. Large footprint buildings can employ PV systems rated from 50 kW to 1000 kW or larger while residential rooftop PV systems are commonly 3 kW to 5 kW solutions.

Rooftop PV systems may be installed either on racks or adhered directly to the roof surface. When looking to combine PV with SPF, it is generally not advised to adhere or place the PV panels directly onto the roof surface. Solar heat as well as water can accumulate between the PV and roof coating and can negatively impact coating performance.  Moreover, panels applied directly to a low-slope roof will, in nearly all cases, not optimally align with the sun, which will reduce energy production. 

Non-penetrating rack systems may be placed directly on a rooftop and held in place with ballast. Racks may also be installed with penetrating supports that require flashings. Each type provides advantages and disadvantages. For example, ballasted racks may block water flow and affect drainage, while penetrations require leak and maintenance-prone flashings. SPF is unique in that it easily self-flashes around penetrating supports.

 

Design Considerations

Rack-mounted arrays with penetrating attachments are fairly lightweight at two to three pounds per square foot, and ballasted arrays add four to six pounds per square foot. With the latter however, more ballast is utilized at the perimeters and corners of a PV array. Thus, localized loading from ballast may reach as high as 12-17 pounds per square foot, which must be considered. Most SPF roofing systems have a compressive strength of 40-60 psi. 

PV panels add weight to a rooftop and this must be factored into the design and installation. Existing structures should be analyzed by a structural engineer to determine if the additional weight of the PV system is acceptable.

Additionally, roofs are required by codes to provide “live load” capacity, a measurement, which includes people, snow, and other temporary weight-bearing scenarios that may occur. The weight of a PV system is typically below the live load capacity, however in the absence of a structural analysis, the live load capacity will be reduced by the addition of the PV system. A final consideration is whether a PV installation will create new locations for drifting snow, which may add considerable weight to a roof, and must be factored in.  When determining key considerations for wind load and fire safety, best practices require deferral to the PV supplier.

Drainage on rooftops is important for safety of the structure and longevity of the roof. PV arrays often have many points of contact with a roof, and these are possible locations that will block or slow drainage.  PV racking should be positioned to minimize ponding water, and/or include methods such as notched pads to allow drainage under points of contact, especially for ballasted systems. 

Photovoltaic panels convert approximately 15-20 percent of light to electricity, leaving the remaining unconverted energy to be released as heat. Additionally, PV panels are more effective when their temperature drops. It is for each of these reasons that the majority of rooftop PV installations are designed to encourage airflow under panels, which reduces the temperature of the panels, improves conversion efficiency and releases heat effectively. Photovoltaic panels installed 4 to 5 inches above the roof will not change the temperature of the roof and, instead, provide shade to the surface of that roof. This additional shade may extend the life of SPF roof coatings.

 

Service Life and Maintenance

Ideally, a roof system, whether SPF or another material, and the PV system should have the same expected service life.  Removal (decommissioning) and reinstallation (re-commissioning) of a PV system is costly, and the cost should be weighed relative to the residual service life of the existing roof and cost of roof replacement or recoating at the time of PV installation.  Ballasted, rack-mounted PV systems are difficult, if not impossible, to reroof (or recoat) under and around.  Elevated racks with adequate space beneath may be able to be left in place when reroofing.  A PV system that covers, for example, 10% of the rooftop will be easier to relocate during reroofing than a PV system that covers 75% of the rooftop.  Building owners should be advised of future reroofing and maintenance costs with roof-mounted PV systems. 

The life expectancy of the SPF roof system should align with the service life of the PV system, and coatings factor in as they can extend the life and improve performance of SPF on the roof.

Roof systems used as platforms for PV systems must be tough and durable, and generally speaking, SPF has greater compressive strength as density increases. Higher density SPF systems may be preferred, especially when ballasted support systems are used. 

An SPF system will be stressed during the installation of the PV system and coatings and granules will help protect the roof during this time, and during scheduled maintenance. Because a roof surface below PV panels will likely not dry as fast as non-covered portions, coatings that stand up better to standing water and biological growth should be selected.  Installation of PV systems on SPF roofing will inevitably create additional foot traffic. It is important to protect heavily trafficked areas with additional coating and granules or walk pads. The cost to do so is low and will protect the service life of the roof.

All roof mounted PV systems should be inspected and maintained at least twice a year. Wiring, attachment points and flashings should be inspected and cleaning of the top surface of the PV panels may be required.

To maintain and service the roof and PV system, workers must be able to access both. PV systems should not block access to drains, penetrations, flashings, mechanical units or other rooftop equipment. Similarly, PV systems should be installed so maintenance workers can access wiring, inspect panel-to-racking connections, and properly clean top surfaces without stepping on PV panels.

 

Summary

In closing, while there are many considerations to the application of PV systems in combination with SPF roofs, the complete energy generation and conservation solution provided by the two integrated systems performs notably well. The energy cost and earth saving benefits are both undisputable and hard to ignore.

 

About the Author

Rick Duncan, Ph.D., P.E is the Technical Director of the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA), the industry’s leading organization representing contractors, material and equipment manufacturers, distributors and industry consultants. The SPFA promotes best practices in the installation of spray foam and offers a Professional Certification Program to all those involved in the installation of the product.

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LEGAL  DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

 

Tags:  TECHNICAL 

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The Western Roofing Expo 2019 Exhibit Floor Has Sold Out!

Posted By WSRCA, Friday, December 7, 2018

 

All 85,000+ square feet of exhibit floor space for the Western Roofing Expo 2019 has been reserved in record time, over six months before the floor even opens!  Held June 9-11 at the Paris Las Vegas, the exhibit floor has officially SOLD OUT.  Fast becoming known as the premier regional roofing and waterproofing event in the United States, the Western Roofing Expo features a two-day trade show, 20 educational seminars, an amazing welcome party & lively-silent auction, unbeatable networking, and live product demonstrations every hour.

If you missed your opportunity to reserve a booth, contact WSRCA today and get on the 2019 wait list.  There's still a chance to be here!


Western States Roofing Contractors Association
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Not a Member of Western States RCA?  Click Here to Join!
or call Toll Free 1-800-725-0333

Tags:  WSRCA UPDATES 

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Introducing Interior Protection for Reroofing Projects

Posted By Dana Whedon, TuffWrap® Installations, Inc., Friday, December 7, 2018

Roofing professionals face a myriad of challenges when assessing a reroofing project. Each facility is different and so is its roof. But one challenge that can be easily overlooked is what happens on the inside of the facility when work is being done on the roof outside.

It is well-known that dust and debris can easily find their way into a facility while reroofing is taking place. Dirt, metal shavings and pieces of roof deck are all potential contaminants. Even in the case of a simple overlay, the movement of the crew on the roof can disturb existing dust on the interior high structure areas. It is important that all project participants and customers understand the potential risks to the inside of the building and what their options are to avoid them.

If the facility does not seem to be sensitive in nature, it may seem acceptable to skip this step in the planning process. Regardless of the upfront perceptions around offering interior protection, many commercial/industrial roofers and roofing consultants have determined from experience that not unlike an insurance policy, professionally installed dust and debris containment is worth the time and investment.

This is because sensitive products are not limited to food, beverages and pharmaceuticals. Anything being manufactured, stored or displayed can be impacted by the introduction of reroofing dust and debris.

And the risk is not limited to products. If people will be inside the building throughout the reroofing activities, interior protection provides an extra level of assurance about their safety. Many times, a business cannot close or stop production during reroofing, making an ongoing clean up schedule impossible. Interior protection allows the work to continue safely without disrupting operating schedules.

So how does interior protection work? In the case of reroofing, a suspended cover is hung below the roof deck to capture falling debris. It is generally a reinforced poly that when installed properly, is fully sealed around any penetrations to avoid dust infiltration. In addition, many providers offer added material options such as antimicrobial, antistatic and flame resistant. The suspended cover is installed prior to the roofer beginning the tear off and is removed by the interior protection provider post-project.

If during the project planning, it is determined that interior protection could be beneficial, the next step is to contact a provider. Like any contractor in the construction business, an interior protection provider should have specific qualifications. The installation team should be OSHA certified, lift certified and professionally trained to install the solution. Ideally, they should have the ability to work with your project schedule and have a project manager readily available to address questions and concerns. Most importantly, their suspended cover solution should meet NFPA 13 in order to avoid compromising the fire sprinkler system.

Fire sprinklers are usually located in the same area where the suspended cover is installed. This would normally create an impairment. However, the interior protection industry has options to avoid this challenge. It is important to choose a provider that has the ability to install a solution that meets NFPA 13, allowing the fire sprinklers to function as designed.

By introducing interior protection upfront, any confusion or misgivings about the interior of the building is avoided. Throughout the project duration, customers can continue to utilize their facility without worrying about negative impacts to their products or daily operations. Ultimately, dust and debris containment not only contributes to overall success of the reroofing project but it gives the customer peace of mind.

Dana Whedon
Marketing Manager
TuffWrap® Installations, Inc.
www.tuffwrap.com

 
TuffWrap® Installations, Inc. is an innovative dust and debris containment company providing interior protection solutions to a variety of industries undergoing construction projects. Protecting our clients, their products and their brands from dust and debris is our priority.

Tags:  BUSINESS  MEMBERS IN THE NEWS  TECHNICAL 

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1st Winner in WSRCA Sign-In Raffle Announced

Posted By Alec Ward, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, November 19, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, December 4, 2018

 

Congratulations to our 1st winner of the WSRCA Sign-In Raffle, Carrie Galera of Tacoma Roofing & Waterproofing! Just by signing into the WSRCA Member Area, Carrie was automatically entered into our raffle and is now the winner of a $100 Visa Cash Card!

We'll be drawing two more winners from now until the end of the year. To participate, all you have to do is sign into the WSRCA website. A winner will be randomly selected at the end of each month.
 
 
While you are signed in, take some time to explore the site and discover the valuable features available to you!
 
Regards,
 
Alec Ward | Director of Membership
Western States Roofing Contractors Association
275 Tennant Avenue, Ste 106 - Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Local: 650-938-5441  Toll Free: 800-725-0333
Email: alec@wsrca.com

Tags:  MEMBERS IN THE NEWS  WSRCA UPDATES 

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'Cool Roof' Legal Debate in Denver, Colorado

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, October 29, 2018

A year after passing “green roof” law, Denver suddenly the focus of 20-year “cool roof” debate

New law would force affected property owners to choose between creating green space, installing solar panels and saving energy.  

Courtesy of: The Denver Post  


The days of sprawling black roofs in Denver may be ending — but they won’t go quietly.

The Denver City Council will decide Monday whether to create a “cool roof” law for the city. The big hope is that requiring reflective, light-colored roofs on large buildings would lower ambient temperatures, fighting back against the city’s heat-island effect. “It’s not groundbreaking in Denver, but it’s one of the biggest” of the new cool roof laws, said Kurt Shickman, executive director of the Global Cool Cities Alliance.

“They’ll join a small number of big cities.” The change would affect new construction and reroofing projects for buildings over 25,000 square feet — not your typical home renovations. The new law also would force affected property owners to choose between creating green space, installing solar panels and saving energy. And, for once, many developers are looking forward to a new rule: It would replace the “green roof” law that voters approved last year, which would have required more costly rooftop gardens. The proposal has the support of green-roof organizer Brandon Rietheimer.  

 

Roofers vs. reformers

But even this smaller change has put the city in the middle of an ongoing debate between roofers and reformers. The council on Monday is likely to hear from industry representatives who say that the cool-roof mandate is an oversimplified approach for a complicated problem.

“Mandating a single component of a roofing assembly is just not what is good design practice,” said Ellen Thorp, associate executive director of the EPDM Roofing Association, which represents manufacturers of EPDM, a rubber membrane for roofs.

The trade association argued in a letter that cool roofs can cause two major problems in colder climates like Denver’s. First, they can purportedly accumulate moisture. Second, they are meant to retain less heat, which means heating bills can be higher. “Some of the best roofs on the market really were not going to be allowed, period,” said Jeff Johnston, president of the Colorado Roofing Association, who says that much of his Steamboat Springs business is still focused on dark roofs.  “Why eliminate it?”  

 

Attempting to adapt

The reason is simple, according to Katrina Managan, the city staffer who coordinated the roof revision. “The reason to do them is to adapt to climate change,” she said.

Denver could see a full month of 100-degree days in typical years at the end of the century, according to projections from the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization for a “high” warming scenario. And the impact will be worse in urban areas, where dry, unshaded rooftops and pavement are baked by the sun and heat the air around them. Urban environments can average up to 5 degrees hotter than the surrounding rural areas, and the difference can be much greater at times, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Cool roofs address part of that problem: They reflect the sun’s energy away and stay up to 60 degrees cooler than traditional roofs, the EPA reported. “It will save Denver a tremendous amount of money. It will create a huge amount of benefit through cooling. And it will set the example,” Shickman said. “It really does add to the argument that says we really should be considering this for almost all of our big American cities.”

City research found that the cool roof mandate would be more effective than the green roof initiative in combating heat, since the green roof requirement only covered parts of rooftops.

 

The bottom line?

Major cities began adopting cool-roof requirements nearly 20 years ago, with northerly Chicago among the first. It’s been joined by Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York City and Los Angeles, among others, according to GCCA. Much of the southern United States is now covered by the requirements, and San Francisco in 2017 adopted the first “green roofs” requirement.

“We’ve been in an epic fight between the industry and those of us on my side who are trying to push this forward,” Shickman said. Thorp, the EPDM Roofing Association representative, pointed to research to argue that Denver should proceed cautiously. Because cool roofs don’t get as hot, they can accumulate more condensation, which requires specialized designs to combat.

And she said that a cooler roof could mean higher heating costs and thus more carbon emissions in colder Denver. She acknowledged that the law would hurt sales of EPDM: Competing materials are cheaper and more popular for cool roofs. But she said that her clients also make those other materials. “They’re going to make the sale one way or another,” she said. Shickman countered that the companies are more heavily invested in EPDM, and therefore have a financial motivation to lobby against cool roofs.

Other materials “have been eating the lunch of EPDM,” he said. Thorp declined to disclose sales figures for the companies, but said the organization’s “primary driver” was to give roofers options. Cool roofs are already popular A city poll of roofers found that about 70 percent of new roofs in Denver are “cool.” “What we’re tending to find is most companies now are wanting to go to a light roof,” said Scott Nakayama, director of operations for Denver-based North-West Roofing.

“The amount that they’re going to save, as far as heating and cooling bills, tends to stand out.” His company has been installing about 20 light-colored roofs per year, and hasn’t encountered any of the issues raised by the EPDM Roofing Association, he said. Shickman points to this apparent lack of complaints as evidence that a well-designed cool roof can avoid moisture and other issues. They do come at a cost premium: Cool roofs can cost about 1.5 percent more than a traditional roof, according to city-commissioned research by Stantec, the engineering company.

Thorp said that estimate is too low. If the law is approved, it could take several years before it starts to have a regional effect, since roofs generally only need replacement every 20 years.

The rest of the details Under the change, developers of new builders can choose among the following options.

·       Install green space on the building or on the ground.

·       Pay for green space somewhere else.

·       Install renewable energy or a mix of renewable energy and green space.

·       Design the building for 12 percent energy savings compared to city standards, or achieve 5 percent savings plus green space.

·       Achieve either LEED Gold or Enterprise Green Communities certification for green design.

Existing buildings will have similar types of options, with different details.  

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LEGAL  DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

Tags:  LEGAL  TECHNICAL 

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Extending Your WSRCA Membership to All Employees

Posted By Alec Ward, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Friday, October 26, 2018
 
The value of WSRCA Membership extends far beyond your individual membership. As an enterprise membership, ALL employees of your company are considered Western States Members, and can access the amazing features within the Member's Clubhouse.
 
To share the benefits of WSRCA Membership with others in your company, simply visit the My Sub-Accounts page. From there, you can send them an invite, or create their accounts manually yourself!
 
- Western States Roofing Contractors Association

Tags:  WSRCA UPDATES 

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OSHA’s Rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Fall Protection Standards

Posted By Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, October 22, 2018

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Courtesy of: OSHA.gov

 

BACKGROUND

Falls from heights and on the same level (a working surface) are among the leading causes of serious work-related injuries and deaths. OSHA estimates that, on average, approximately 202,066 serious (lost-workday) injuries and 345 fatalities occur annually among workers directly affected by the final standard.

OSHA’s final rule on Walking-Working Surfaces and Personal Fall Protection Systems better protects workers in general industry from these hazards by updating and clarifying standards and adding training and inspection requirements. The rule affects a wide range of workers, from window washers to chimney sweeps. It does not change construction or agricultural standards.

The rule incorporates advances in technology, industry best practices, and national consensus standards to provide effective and cost-efficient worker protection. Specifically, the rule updates general industry standards addressing slip, trip, and fall hazards (subpart D), and adds requirements for personal fall protection systems (subpart I).

OSHA estimates this rule will prevent 29 fatalities and 5,842 lost-workday injuries every year.

The rule benefits employers by providing greater flexibility in choosing a fall protection system. For example, it eliminates the existing mandate to use guardrails as a primary fall protection method and allows employers to choose from accepted fall protection systems they believe will work best in a particular situation — an approach that has been successful in the construction industry since 1994. In addition, employers will be able to use nonconventional fall protection in certain situations, such as designated areas on low-slope roofs.

As much as possible, OSHA aligned fall protection requirements for general industry with those for construction, easing compliance for employers who perform both types of activities. For example, the final rule replaces the outdated general industry scaffold standards with a requirement that employers comply with OSHA’s construction scaffold standards.

The rule phases out a 1993 exception for the outdoor advertising industry that allows “qualified climbers” to forego fall protection. At least three workers have fallen from fixed ladders under this exception. One of them died. The final rule phases in the fixed ladder fall protection requirements for employers in outdoor advertising.

 

FALL PROTECTION OPTIONS

The rule requires employers to protect workers from fall hazards along unprotected sides or edges that are at least 4 feet above a lower level. It also sets requirements for fall protection in specific situations, such as hoist areas, runways, areas above dangerous equipment, wall openings, repair pits, stairways, scaffolds, and slaughtering platforms. And it establishes requirements for the performance, inspection, use, and maintenance of personal fall protection systems.

OSHA defines fall protection as “any equipment, device, or system that prevents a worker from falling from an elevation or mitigates the effect of such a fall.” Under the final rule, employers may choose from the following fall protection options:

• Guardrail System – A barrier erected along an unprotected or exposed side, edge, or other area of a walking-working surface to prevent workers from falling to a lower level.

• Safety Net System – A horizontal or semihorizontal, cantilever-style barrier that uses a netting system to stop falling workers before they make contact with a lower level or obstruction.

• Personal Fall Arrest System – A system that arrests/stops a fall before the worker contacts a lower level. Consists of a body harness, anchorage, and connector, and may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline, or a suitable combination. Like OSHA’s construction standards, the final rule prohibits the use of body belts as part of a personal fall arrest system.

• Positioning System – A system of equipment and connectors that, when used with a body harness or body belt, allows a worker to be supported on an elevated vertical surface, such as a wall or window sill, and work with both hands free.

• Travel Restraint System – A combination of an anchorage, anchorage connector, lanyard (or other means of connection), and body support to eliminate the possibility of a worker going over the unprotected edge or side of a walking-working surface.

• Ladder Safety System – A system attached to a fixed ladder designed to eliminate or reduce the possibility of a worker falling off the ladder. A ladder safety system usually consists of a carrier, safety sleeve, lanyard, connectors, and body harness. Cages and wells are not considered ladder safety systems.

 

ROPE DESCENT SYSTEMS

The rule codifies a 1991 OSHA memorandum that permits employers to use Rope Descent Systems (RDS), which consist of a roof anchorage, support rope, descent device, carabiners or shackles, and a chair or seatboard. These systems are widely used throughout the country to perform elevated work, such as window washing.

The rule adds a 300-foot height limit for the use of RDS. It also requires building owners to affirm in writing that permanent building anchorages used for RDS have been tested, certified, and maintained as capable of supporting 5,000 pounds for each worker attached. This mirrors the requirement in OSHA’s Powered Platforms standard.

 

LADDER SAFETY SYSTEMS

Falls from ladders account for 20 percent of all fatal and lost work-day injuries in general industry. The new rule includes requirements to protect workers from falling off fixed and portable ladders as well as mobile ladder stands and platforms. (The ladder requirements do not apply to ladders used in emergency operations or ladders that are an integral part of or designed into a machine or piece of equipment).

In general, ladders must be capable of supporting their maximum intended load, while mobile ladder stands and platforms must be capable of supporting four times their maximum intended load. Each ladder must be inspected before initial use in a work shift to identify defects that could cause injury.

Fixed Ladders – Fixed ladders are permanently attached to a structure, building, or equipment. These include individual-rung ladders, but not ship stairs, step bolts, or manhole steps. The new rule phases in a requirement for employers to have ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems for fixed ladders that extend more than 24 feet, and phases out the use of cages or wells for fall protection under the following timeline: Starting in two years, all new fixed ladders and replacement ladder/ladder sections must have a ladder safety or personal fall protection system. For existing ladders, within two years, employers must install a cage, well, ladder safety system, or personal fall arrest system on fixed ladders that do not have any fall protection. Within 20 years, all ladders extending more than 24 feet must have a ladder safety or personal fall arrest system.

Portable Ladders – Portable ladders usually consist of side rails joined at intervals by steps, rungs, or cleats. They can be self-supporting or lean against a supporting structure. The final rule will be easier for employers and workers to understand and follow because it uses flexible performancebased language instead of detailed specification and design requirements. Under the revisions, employers must ensure that: rungs and steps are slip resistant; portable ladders used on slippery surfaces are secured and stabilized; portable ladders are not moved, shifted, or extended while a worker is on them; top steps and caps of stepladders are not used as steps; ladders are not fastened together to provide added length unless designed for such use; and ladders are not placed on boxes, barrels, or other unstable bases to obtain added height.

 

TRAINING REQUIREMENTS

The rule adds a requirement that employers ensure workers who use personal fall protection and work in other specified high hazard situations are trained, and retrained as necessary, about fall and equipment hazards, including fall protection systems. A qualified person must train these workers to correctly: identify and minimize fall hazards; use personal fall protection systems and rope descent systems; and maintain, inspect, and store equipment or systems used for fall protection.

When there is a change in workplace operations or equipment, or the employer believes that a worker would benefit from additional training based on a lack of knowledge or skill, then the worker must be retrained. The training must be provided in a language and vocabulary that workers understand.

 

TIMELINE

Most of the rule will become effective 60 days after it is published in the Federal Register, but some provisions have delayed effective dates, including: • Ensuring exposed workers are trained on fall hazards (6 months), • Ensuring workers who use equipment covered by the final rule are trained (6 months), • Inspecting and certifying permanent anchorages for rope descent systems (1 year), • Installing personal fall arrest or ladder safety systems on new fixed ladders over 24 feet and on replacement ladders/ladder sections, including fixed ladders on outdoor advertising structures (2 years), • Ensuring existing fixed ladders over 24 feet, including those on outdoor advertising structures, are equipped with a cage, well, personal fall arrest system, or ladder safety system (2 years), and • Replacing cages and wells (used as fall protection) with ladder safety or personal fall arrest systems on all fixed ladders over 24 feet (20 years).

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Additional information on OSHA’s rule on walking-working surfaces and personal fall protection systems can be found at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3903.pdf. OSHA can provide extensive help through a variety of programs, including technical assistance about effective safety and health programs, workplace consultations, and training and education. For more information on other safety-related issues impacting workers, to report an emergency, fatality, inpatient hospitalization, or to file a confidential complaint, contact your nearest OSHA office, visit www.osha.gov, or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627

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LEGAL  DISCLAIMER

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

Tags:  SAFETY 

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OSHA's SILICA STANDARD

Posted By Chris Alberts, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, October 15, 2018
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2018

 

Courtesy of: Trent Cotney and Travis McConnell

Cotney Construction Law
866.303.5868 | tcotney@cotneycl.com

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) controversial rule regulating exposure to respirable crystalline silica (silica) took effect on June 23, 2016. Enforcement of the new standard began on September 23, 2017 for those working in the construction industry, and on June 23, 2018 for the general industry.

The key provision with the greatest impact on the roofing industry is the stricter permissible exposure limit (PEL) for respirable crystalline silica. Silica is a common mineral found in concrete, brick, mortar, and other construction materials. Workers may be exposed to silica when performing tasks, such as: cutting masonry, operating jackhammers, drills, grinders, or using other heavy equipment. In the roofing industry, silica exposure commonly occurs as the result of cutting, crushing, drilling, or blasting cement roofing tiles. Yet, other common roofing activities may also lead to employee exposure.

OSHA’s new exposure limit reduces the allowable silica exposure from 250 to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged over a traditional eight-hour shift, a limitation that is five times lower than what was previously required for the construction industry. This degree of change in the regulatory standard is unprecedented for any industry. As a result, contractors will be required to comply with more burdensome rules mandating air monitoring procedures, use of respirators, medical examinations, testing, equipment maintenance, and will frequently be required to purchase new equipment which is compliant.

The rule requires employers to limit workers’ exposure to silica and provides two compliance options: follow Table 1 or implement alternative exposure control methods. Table 1 consists of 18 construction-related activities and details engineering controls, as well as the specific conditions which would require employees to wear respirators. For example, Table 1 requires that contractors use a saw equipped with an integrated water delivery system when using stationary masonry saws to cut material containing silica. When using a handheld drill to penetrate material containing silica, Table 1 requires contractors to use a drill with a dust collection system filter with 99% or greater efficiency and a filter-cleaning mechanism (along with other requirements).

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE...

Author’s note:  The information contained in this article is for general educational information only.  This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.

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Trent Cotney, CEO of Cotney Construction Law, is an advocate for the roofing industry and General Counsel of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA).  For more information, contact the author at 866.303.5868 or go to www.cotneycl.com. 

All rights reserved.  All content (text, trademarks, illustrations, reports, photos, logos, graphics, files, designs, arrangements, etc.) in this Technical Opinion (“Opinion”) is the intellectual property of Western States Roofing Contractors Association (WSRCA) and is protected by the applicable protective laws governing intellectual property. The Opinion is intended for the exclusive use by its members as a feature of their membership. This document is intended to be used for educational purposes only, and no one should act or rely solely on any information contained in this Opinion as it is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney or construction engineer with specific project knowledge. Neither WSRCA nor any of its, contractors, subcontractors, or any of their employees, directors, officers, agents, or assigns make any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or any third party’s use (or the results of such use) of any information or process disclosed in the Opinion.  Reference herein to any general or specific commercial product, process or service does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement or recommendation by WSRCA. References are provided as citations and aids to help identify and locate other resources that may be of interest, and are not intended to state or imply that WSRCA sponsors, is affiliated or associated with, or is legally responsible for the content reflected in those resources. WSRCA has no control over those resources and the inclusion of any references does not necessarily imply the recommendation or endorsement of same.

Tags:  LEGAL  SAFETY 

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OUR OFFICE IS MOVING! Western States will be closed November 5-9, 2018

Posted By Alec Ward, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2018

 
WSRCA is pleased to announce our new forever home!


WESTERN STATES ROOFING CONTRACTORS ASSOCIATION
356 Digital Drive
Morgan Hill, California 95037


Please make a note of our new location.  The office will be closed from November 5th until November 9th, re-opening on Monday November 12th.  All of our contact information will stay the same.

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Use Free Inspections to Land More Roofing Service Business

Posted By FCS Roof Software, WSRCA Associate Member, Monday, October 8, 2018
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2018

 

Over the last eight years, our team at FCS has had the opportunity to work with thousands of successful roofing contractors. Not surprisingly, many of them have stated that their continuous growth was a direct result of increasing their service and repair work while also providing an exceptional customer service experience.

Recognize the Need for “Free”

These successful roofing contractors all understood one thing – that in order to have a steady pipeline full of prospects for their sales team and increase their service work, they needed to offer free, no obligation roofing inspections to get those customers in the door first.

Roofing companies that offer free inspections end up getting much closer to their potential customers – a lot faster. And, they are starting off the relationship on the right foot by positioning themselves as an advisor, identifying current and future problem areas on their roof right from the start.

It’s important to keep in mind that some activities that may currently be unprofitable can pay off in the long run if the customers are good long-term prospects. Sales efforts in 2018 will have a long-term impact on sales and profitability in 2019 and beyond.

Provide Detailed Inspection Reports

One of the ways to stand out from the competition is to provide a detailed roofing analysis report upon completion of the inspection. An Inspection Report instantly gives you more credibility and will also allow the prospective customer to make an informed decision on their roofing work – without having to set foot on the roof. These reports will provide the condition of the roof’s membrane, flashings, perimeter edge and fascia, expansion joint covers, pitch pockets and penetrations.

Inspection Reports should also indicate the exact locations in addition to describing and prioritizing the roof work needed (emergency vs. remedial) with any related costs and photos. These reports can also be used in preparing and submitting requests for warranty repairs.

Offer Ongoing Service Agreements

Your Inspection Reports should also ALWAYS be accompanied with an ongoing roof maintenance plan recommendation or Service Agreement which will maximize the capacity and longevity of their roof.

By offering customers ongoing Service Agreements, you create “sticky” relationships whereby customers stay loyal and continue to generate predictable revenue.

Consider offering a dedicated Service Agreement that includes a 2-hour emergency arrival time and locked-in rates that they can incorporate into their roof’s maintenance budget.

Get Ready for More Inspections

As the demand for your roofing inspections grow, you need to be able to manage them efficiently and offer an experience that keeps your customers happy. Here are some ways to be more efficient and profitable:

  • Follow-up with inspection inquiries ASAP as they may be requesting a free inspection from multiple companies in the same day.
  • Track your inspection results and see how they measure up (i.e. how many new customers do your free inspections yield?).
  • Create a template for your Inspection Reports in which you can include photos, date stamps and canned recommendations for each deficiency.
  • Create a template for your Service Agreement in which you outline the various roof maintenance options you offer.
  • Store and track warranty information.
  • Go paperless by granting your customers online access to project management tools that help them track job progress, expenses, costs and historical information for budgeting and future reference.
  • Provide automated inspection and service/repair status updates via text or email.

Looking for an easy to use inspection tool?

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WSRCA Member-Only Discounts of Roofing Materials and Related Services!

Posted By Alec Ward, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, October 1, 2018
Updated: Monday, October 1, 2018

WSRCA is pleased to announce a new money-saving membership feature for members: the WSRCA Member Discounts program!

Thanks to the generosity of WSRCA Manufacturer and Service Provider Members below, all WSRCA members now have access to exclusive discounts specific to the needs of roofing professionals.

Sign into your member account and start saving on roofing products and related services today! And don't forget, members who sign into their account from now until 12/31/2018 are automatically entered into our monthly drawing for $100!


Sincerely,

Western States Roofing Contractors Association

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Not a Member of Western States RCA? Click Here to Join!
or call Toll Free 1-800-725-0333

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Use Your WSRCA Membership and Win $100!

Posted By Alec Ward, Western States Roofing Contractors Association, Monday, October 1, 2018

 

Ask any active WSRCA member, and they'll tell you the same thing:

 
The more you utilize WSRCA member benefits, the more time & money you'll save.
 
On average, a member who takes advantage of all WSRCA benefits increases their bottom line by an additional $22,809 each year. Before you can start enjoying the same benefits, however, you first have to sign-into the WSRCA Members Area!
 
To encourage members like you who have yet to explore the membership area, we are offering a special incentive. For the rest of the year, we will be raffling off a monthly cash prize of $100, just for signing in!
 
It's easy to participate. All you have to do is sign into the WSRCA website. A winner will be randomly selected at the end of each month.
 
 
While you are signed in, take some time to explore the site and discover the valuable features available to you!
 
Regards,
 
Alec Ward | Director of Membership
Western States Roofing Contractors Association
275 Tennant Avenue, Ste 106 - Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Local: 650-938-5441  Toll Free: 800-725-0333
Email: alec@wsrca.com

Tags:  WSRCA UPDATES 

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