Birds on a roof

Texas Looking for New Roofing Regulations

After a big storm hits, neighborhoods are often crawling with roofing companies that pop up overnight. Many of these fly-by-night roofing companies are not properly licensed, insured and some can even be made up of outright criminals. These roof scammers will often prey on the elderly or people who don’t have the proper information which can be bad for the whole community.

One Texas State Representative wants Texas to do more to protect the local communities by stepping up regulations for roofing companies. State Representative Kenneth Sheets is tired of local residents being taken for a ride and wants the state of Texas to intervene by requiring roofing companies to carry state-issued occupational licenses, create a voluntary registry, or by other means.

The issue has received both support and opposition from local contracting companies with the North Texas Roofing Contractors Association and the Professional Roofing Standards Council supporting some form of regulation while Texas Independent Roofing Contractor’s Association and US Hispanic Contractors Association are against any further regulation.

Rep. Sheets seems to have his consituents in mind as he pushes for regulations. Sheet’s Chief of Staff Dustin Meador spoke on the issues stating, “This is one of those things he hears about most from people in the district.” Meador knows they face multiple opinions and opposition on the matter stating, “We hear from people who say they’re against the bill because it doesn’t go far enough,” and “There are some who think this is just another form of protectionism for the industry.”

Any regulation is opposed by attorney for the Insititute for Justice, Arif Panju who has gone up against government regulation in the past. He spoke on his opposition to potential regulation, “The roofing industry in Texas is fully capable of regulating itself through voluntary certification or licensing, not unlike that offered by the Roofing Contractor’s Association of Texas,” said Panju. Panju continued, “The courts have made it clear there has to be evidence of a real problem. Mere assertions are insufficient.”

Rep. Sheets has tried and failed on multiple occasions to address the issues he says but despite the opposition, he will continue on with his fight for roofing contractor regulation by introducing another bill at the next congressional session.


Drug Busts Uncovers a Roofing Company Transporting Marijuana in Shingles

Criminals are always looking for a unique or clever way to get the best of everybody. Yes, criminals have done some pretty “creative” things and now they’ve even tried to commit crimes using the guise of good old fashioned roofing materials. The story seems like something out of Hollywood but it’s all true. Let’s look more into how these criminals tried to smuggle drugs in the U.S. using a pallet of shingles.

Smugglers attempted to transport 954 pounds of marijuana into the United States by stashing it within two pallets of innocent roofing shingles. The smugglers were caught after a K9 unit of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) “hit on” the truck. The truck was moved to a secondary inspection area where officers managed to locate nearly 1,000 pounds of marijuana.

“Smugglers will often try to conceal their contraband within a legitimate product, good work by vigilant CBP officers stopped the shipment cold,” said Beverly Good, CBP Director of the El Paso Port. When officers opened one pallet, they discovered that the center portion had been replaced by bags of marijuana. Additional searching found an additional pallet that was loaded up with the contraband, resulting in a seizure of 288 bundles of marijuana. This seizure comes less than a month after CBP officers found a similar operation of marijuana being smuggled in a load of carrots, upon further search many of the carrots were simply orange packages of tape loaded with marijuana.

Unfortunately there have been no arrests so far in the roofing shingle marijuana seizure, but CBP officers continue their investigation.

Fortunately, those who are having their home reroofed or repaired likely don’t need to be worry about any drugs in their roofing materials as this was an extremely isolated incident and the shingles were more than likely not going to end up in a reputable roofing supplier’s warehouse.

It just goes to show that criminals can be very resourceful when it comes to meeting their ends. This of course an isolated incident but here’s hoping they don’t try to keep the using the roofing world to take care of criminal activity.


Owens Corning Introduces Environmental Product Declarations

Owens Corning, the Toledo Ohio based manufacturer of residential and commercial building materials such as insulation and roofing shingles, has introduced Environmental Product Declarations for many of its core commercial and residential products. The publishing of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) casts Owens Corning in the favor of the U.S. Green Building Council and will make it easier for architects, builders, mechanical engineers and specifiers to meet the growing criteria of green building certifications.

An EPD is a document that is independently verified and gives interested parties transparent and comparable information about the environmental impact of products. The EPDs cover the life of a product beginning at raw material extraction to manufacture and production to disposal and end of life.

This document will focus on information about a product’s impact on areas such as ozone depletion, water pollution, global warming, ozone creation and greenhouse gas emissions. The EPD will provide consumers with a better understanding of a product’s sustainable qualities.

The growing demand for transparency in building and manufacturing products has grown in recent years and pushed companies such as Owens Corning to explore new avenues. The manufacturing leader has spoken on its desire to become a net-positive impact company and has instituted a broad sustainability initiative to accomplish this. Previously, in November of 2012 Owens Corning issued the first EPD for North America fiberglass insulation. In November of 2013 the company followed up with the first EPD for North American extruded polystyrene (XPS) foam insulation.

The company is also one of the first materials manufacturers to have its products assessed against the material health requirements of the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard which allows companies to obtain material health certificates.

In 2015 Owens Corning expressed its goal of providing life-cycle assessment information on all core product offerings and with this latest announcement the company will become the first roofing manufacturer to offer EPDs on asphalt roofing shingles. The company also offers a shingle recycling pledge for consumers looking to recycle older shingles; this program is responsible for saving more than 2.9 million tons from landfills since being instituted.


GAF Acquiring Danish Company Icopal

GAF roofing, based out of Parsippany New Jersey, has entered into an agreement to acquire a Danish manufacturer of waterproofing and roofing products. Icopal is known in the roofing industry as a top European manufacturer that has operated for over 100 years. The deal, agreed to for approximately 1 billion euros, will drastically expand the presence of GAF in the European marketplace they have been seeking for their products.

GAF, which was founded under the name Standard Paint Company, will buy Icopal from Investcorp Ltd., a Bahrain-based investment firm. “This is a transformative first step for our company in its vision to be a leading global industrial manufacturer,” David Winter, co-chief executive of Standard Industries, said in a statement.

The two companies espouse similar values shared in a culture of customer service, meritocracy, and high quality products with a focus on developing employees. The new partnership will allow privately held GAF, the largest roofing manufacturer in North America, to leverage its size and reach in a new market.

On average, North America makes up 25 percent of the global roofing industry while Europe accounts for roughly 15 percent. Icopal has a worldwide total of about 3,500 employees working 36 production sites earning annual revenue of $1 billion euros. Combined the company will have a presence in 80 countries and revenue will grow to an estimated $4 billion in sales with 6,500 workers employed around the globe.

Co-chief executive officer of Standard Industries, David Millstone, said in a statement, “The enhanced scale and financial strength of our combined company positions us to lead the roofing industry on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.”

GAF will be procuring a long standing reputation as Icopal, based in Herlev, Denmark, was founded in 1876 and currently supplies to residential roofing, construction and civil engineering markets among others.

With the deal expected to close in the second quarter GAF also announced that its parent company, Building Materials Corporation of America, has taken the Standard Industries name, The name change comes on the heels of the recent acquisitions of Specialty Granules Inc., Quest Construction Products, and now Icopal.