Impact of Roof Pitch

Posted on: April 28th, 2017 by Lori Smith

The pitch of a roof refers to how steep it is. It is figured by how many inches the  rises for every 12 inches in depth. For example, if a roof rises 6 inches for every 12 inches inward toward the peak, it is known as 6:12 pitch.

It is pretty dangerous to try and measure the pitch of your roof. There are a number of online roof calculators that keep you safely on the ground, but you can also measure it from inside of your attic.

The following article provides instruction on this method:

Determining Roof Pitch | This Old House

Steep roof line

Wikimedia Commons

First, measure 12 inches from one end of the level and make a mark. Then, in the attic, place the end of the level against the bottom of a roof rafter and hold it perfectly level. Now measure vertically from the 12-inch mark on the level straight up to the underside of the rafter, as illustrated. That measurement is the number of inches the roof rises in 12 inches.

See the original post here:  Determining Roof Pitch | This Old House

If you have ever been up on a roof, it is an uncomfortable place to hang out. (That is a huge understatement if you are afraid of heights.) For roofing contractors, or for brave individuals that want to save some money, there are a number of safety issues that are crucial to accomplishing the job safely.

Some of the necessary equipment for roofing, and especially on a steep roof, is:

  • Roof jacks
  • Roof harness
  • Roof ladder

If you don’t have access to this type of equipment, there are options that can keep you safe. The person in the following video built an apparatus that makes roofing a little less daunting:

How steep a roof is doesn’t just decide the type of equipment needed, it also determines the type of roofing materials that can be used. Flat roofs can’t be covered with asphalt shingles, and steep pitched roofs don’t use rubber or asphalt roll roofing.

The following post discusses why the pitch of a roof establishes the type of roof materials that are feasible for the job:

Roof Pitch Determines Choice of Roofing Materials

When choosing roofing materials, it may seem that you have an infinite choice of any material on the market:  asphalt, composite, metal,

Flat Roof

Wikimedia Commons

wood shake, rubber, MSR rooled roofing. The world of roofing materials is your oyster, right?

Not so.  Many factors determine which roofing materials you can use.  One make-or-break factor is roof pitch.

For example, you may think you want classic composite shingles on your roof, but if your pitch is below a certain ratio, you may be forced to install a different type of roofing–perhaps torch-down or standing seam metal roofing.

Read more here:  Roof Pitch Determines Choice of Roofing Materials

Another impact of roof pitch is the cost. Any pitch greater than 6:12 requires more staging, safety and labor to complete the roof properly. A steeper roof line changes the fire rating and therefore a more expensive underlayment system.


Recycling Asphalt Shingles – An Eco-Friendly Choice

Posted on: April 22nd, 2017 by Lori Smith

In a congested world with more waste than our landfills can handle, recycling is a critical component for keeping a good balance with our environment. Finding ways to remove some of the harmful chemicals and greenhouse gases released from waste is a positive step in the right direction.

Landfills and Recycling

From Pixabay

One element in the construction industry that is a great option for recycling is asphalt shingles. Not only are they recyclable, but are many times themselves made of recycled materials.

The number one use of recycling asphalt shingles is for road construction. Ground-up shingles are added to the pavement and can improve the quality of the surface. The following post explains more about roofing options that are environmentally beneficial:

Eco-Friendly Roofing Options – Green Homes – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

Among the most popular — and perhaps the “greenest” — of all roofing products are shingles made from recycled waste materials, such as plastic, rubber, or wood fiber. Some products are made from clean post-consumer waste (waste from homes), others from post-industrial waste (factory waste). Recycled-content shingles are amazingly durable, and they look nice, too. You’d never know they were made from “waste” materials!

Read more here:  Eco-Friendly Roofing Options – Green Homes – MOTHER EARTH NEWS

As mentioned above, roads are the biggest recipient of recycled shingles. Surprisingly, asphalt shingles aren’t just made of asphalt. They are comprised of fiberglass, mineral fiber and cement fillers with asphalt being a fairly small percentage of the ingredients depending on the manufacturer.The shingles are ground or chopped up and then mixed in and used a filler.

The guy in the following video had his driveway done with recycled asphalt shingles:

The more we can reuse our current resources, the better it is for everyone. It is mandatory in a number of states to recycle, and some make it convenient by offering curbside recycling programs.

Why recycle? Around 230 million tons of trash is generated by people in the United States every year. Here are some interesting facts about recycling from

  • 68% of all paper products are recycled in the United States
  • 35% of total waste is recycled in the United States
  • Approximately 100% increase in total recycling in the United States during the past decade

Companies such as the one in the following article have machines that  grind up asphalt shingles, and feel that it is a profitable way to help the environment:

Profitability of Asphalt Shingle Recycling | Rotochopper

Asphalt Road

From Pixabay

With a strong market demand for asphalt cement (AC) and a largely untapped supply of asphalt shingle waste, shingle recycling continues to grow as one of the most profitable recycling opportunities today.

Asphalt shingle waste represents a major profit center for:
Asphalt paving contractors
Asphalt mix supply companies
Transfer stations
Material recovery facilities (MRFs)

Read more here:  Profitability of Asphalt Shingle Recycling | Rotochopper

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are companies that are using recycled materials to make synthetic or plastic roofing products. There are also organic shingles, which are made with a base mat of organic materials like waste paper, cellulose, wood fiber or other materials. These tiles are then saturated with asphalt to make them waterproof, followed by a top coating of adhesive asphalt and ceramic granules embedded in them. These options are fairly cost effective with few downsides.


Spring Storms and Your Roof

Posted on: April 15th, 2017 by Lori Smith

Springtime and warmer weather brings inevitable storms that can potentially turn violent. There is a lot of unstable air, with cool air meeting warm air, and causing  uplift which builds thunderstorms clouds. Sudden heavy downpours, hail, strong winds, and even tornadoes can cause a lot of property damage.

Image from Pixabay

Preparing your property for every possibility is wise, and there are some things you can do that might prevent disaster. Damage caused to trees by severe weather accounts for more than $1 billion in property damage in the United States each year.  Broken branches and occasionally the whole tree fall and can cause structural damage, roofing damage, siding damage, and break windows.

The following post provides an important tip that can prevent these issues from happening:

Ready Your Home for Spring Storms | Regions

While it’s true that it’s difficult to predict Mother Nature, you can take steps ahead of time to prepare your home for spring storms, minimize damage and keep your family safe. Use these tips to prepare for whatever Mother Nature has in store this season:

If a storm is imminent, it’s time to batten down the hatches right away and think safety:
* Prune dead or rotting branches from trees near your home or car that could fall during a storm.

Read more here:  Ready Your Home for Spring Storms | Regions

Another critical item of importance with spring storms and your roof is making sure your gutters are clear so that in a heavy rain the water will be carried away from your home. If water doesn’t flow through, it can pool next to your foundation, softening the soil and leading to cracks. It can also leak into your basement, causing a musty smell, black mold, water damage and flooding.

This video from Lowe’s explains that you should clear your gutters every spring and fall, with tips on best practices and safety:

Being prepared for serious weather is a good idea. If you have a basement or storm shelter, that is best; however, a windowless room in the interior of the first floor of your home is the next best option. Having a battery-operated flashlight and radio, some bottled water, blankets, and a first aid kit in your safe place is essential.

Your first task is to keep your family safe, but as already mentioned, inspecting your property before storm season hits could prevent unnecessary damage. Along with trimming back tree limbs and cleaning gutters, inspecting your roof and siding for missing or loose material should also be part of your spring routine.

The following post touches on this point:

Helpful Tips to Prepare Your Home for Spring Storms

Storm Damage

Image from Pixabay

1. Identify any existing roof or siding problems: A licensed contractor can inspect your roof for missing shingles and possible leaks and do any repair work if necessary. It’s also a good idea to inspect and reinforce any loose siding, which can quickly rip off during high winds.


If you aren’t comfortable on a ladder, none of the above activities are for you. Call a professional local roofing contractor to set up an appointment for a roof inspection or gutter cleaning. Remember: safety first!

Features of Stone Coated Metal Roofing

Posted on: April 7th, 2017 by Lori Smith

Metal roofing has become very popular because of its durability and low maintenance. Even though the initial cost is higher than traditional asphalt roofs, you should never have to replace it. Metal roofs are also energy efficient and eco-friendly.

An upgrade from plain corrugated metal is stone coated metal roofing. Not only is it even more sturdy than the galvanized version, but it can provide a very classy look, imitating materials such as ceramic tile, shake, and even asphalt shingles. Because of its resistance to Mother Nature and very little maintenance, it can actually increase the value of your home.

The following post describes more about this type of roofing material:

2017 Stone Coated Steel Roofing Average Costs & Materials

Stone coated steel roofing is made from metal or steel. It is more durable, yet still retains the natural beauty of traditional roofing. After production, stone chips are laid over the metal, which is then attached to the steel piece with acrylic film. Stone coated steel roofs are ideal for homeowners who want the durability of steel roofing but like the look of asphalt shingle. It is lightweight, strong and easily installed. There’s no need for battens with steel roofing, and the metal shingles lock together. This is especially helpful against climates with heavy wind and rain.

Read more here:  2017 Stone Coated Steel Roofing Average Costs & Materials

This type of roofing dates back more than 50 years. It was initially developed in United Kingdom to protect corrugated steel roofs from harsh climates. The combination of the metal and the stone coating create a very durable material, many times having a 50 year warranty.

It is interesting to watch how it is manufactured. Each metal section is covered with glued, blasted with sand, coated with an acrylic film, and then heat dried.

The following video shows the complete process:

Even though there are a few disadvantages to this material, the positive features of stone coated metal roofing far outweigh the negatives. The upfront expense is one of the downsides. As I mentioned, it is cost effective in the long term, but in the beginning you will pay a premium price.

Although the panels overlap, they don’t interlock, which could cause problems in high winds. However, they have been tested and withstood winds of over 100 mph. Another problem is that the rock/sand coating can vary in color, causing slight discrepancies. Other than the potential for the exposed fasteners to rust, the stone coated roof is a great option.

The following post discusses some of the bonuses:

Stone-Coated Steel Roofs Cost, Benefits, Pros & Cons – What’s all the Fuss? – Roofing Calculator – Estimate your Roofing Costs –

Unlike other roofing materials, a stone – coated steel roof offers superior durability: it will not break, curl, split, crack, warp, or absorb water. The interlocking design of the roof panels, makes it resistant to heavy rain, freeze/thaw cycles, snow and wind uplift. A stone-coated steel roofing system has been successfully tested against wind speeds over 120 MPH, and 8.8 inches of rain per hour. The durability of a stone-coated steel roof will remain consistent overtime, offering superior protection for many decades to come.

Read the full post here:  Stone-Coated Steel Roofs Cost, Benefits, Pros & Cons – What’s all the Fuss? – Roofing Calculator – Estimate your Roofing Costs –

The fact that these sand-covered sheets of metal can be installed over existing asphalt shingles saves time and money. They are also lightweight, easily recycled, and they are fire resistant, which insurance companies love.

Does My Insurance Policy Cover My Roof?

Posted on: April 1st, 2017 by Lori Smith

Having homeowner’s insurance is part of owning property, but the specifics of what your policy covers is a whole different subject. Normal insurance covers damages caused by sudden or accidental causes, such as vandalism, heavy rain, hail, and wind.


Image from Pixabay

It will even cover water backup issues from a broken water heater that ruptures or damage from overflowing drains and sewers. Basically, it covers any damage that results from water moving from the ground up.

The big question, though, is what doesn’t your insurance cover?

  • Water damage from ongoing maintenance issues that haven’t been fixed
  • Older roofs are only covered based on the depreciated value
  • Aging, wear and tear, or poor condition of your roof is many times not covered
  • No flood damage is typically covered, no matter the source

The following post covers other inclement roof problems that might or might not be covered by your policy:

Does My Insurance Policy Cover Roof Damage? | Homesite Insurance

Damaged Roof

Image from Pixabay

Most homeowner insurance policies will provide coverage for roof damage caused by unpreventable reasons such as vandalism or fire. Disastrous “acts of God” such as hurricanes and tornadoes are also usually covered. Although wind, rain, and hail are covered by your home insurance policy, there are many factors that determine if your damage will be covered, and if so, how much you will be reimbursed. The same basics that apply to your roof, may apply to your exterior property as well. Exterior property is considered anything that is attached to the outside structure of your home, such as siding and gutters.

Read More Here:  Does My Insurance Policy Cover Roof Damage? | Homesite Insurance

One topic that has become a sore spot for homeowners’ insurance is whether their roof is clean enough. Yes…that isn’t a typo.

It seems that having dark streaks on your roof can be considered a reason to cancel your insurance. Supposedly, the stains can lead to mold, mildew and algae, which can damage asphalt shingles. Roof cleaning companies are becoming more well known, as they can save you from losing a policy.

The cost of having your roof cleaned isn’t cheap, but it can prevent having to pay for a complete re-roof job.  The following news video highlights this point in question:

There are software platforms being used by a high percentage of insurance companies that estimate the replacement cost for property claims. One example which is very popular is called Xactimate. It is supposed to save time and money for the insurance companies, but does it benefit the consumer or roofing contractors?

In the following post, it offers the viewpoint that the software is a joint venture from big insurance providers that gives them free reign to control prices and force the contractors to agree to the amount:

How Roofing Prices are Manipulated by Insurance Companies (using Xactimate)

Home Insurance

Image from Pixabay

Big insurance companies got together and organised a joint venture – a company that “owns” Xactimate Solutions Inc (publisher of Xactimate). Basically, they have set up and are in control of specific prices that they “agree” to pay for work, and have FORCED the roofing industry to agree to these prices (we will discuss the FORCED part below).

Read more here:  How Roofing Prices are Manipulated by Insurance Companies (using Xactimate)

If you’re wondering, does my insurance policy cover my roof, you need to ask a lot of questions. With the pricing controls, the roofing contractor either has to cut corners or they have to hire cheap help to get work done at a price that will still allow them to earn a profit. In the same breath, the homeowner may not be able to hire a quality contractor to do the job if the coverage is too low.

Best Time of Year to Replace a Roof

Posted on: March 25th, 2017 by Lori Smith

Your roof takes a lot of abuse from the weather, but old age and a lack of maintenance are also factors in your roof’s health. Having your roof inspected every year will prevent some of the issues, but there’s no way to predict what Mother Nature will bring. If you own a home that hasn’t had an update to the covering in 20 years, that’s another reason to keep an eye out for problems.

Eventually, the dreaded day will come when you see water stains on the ceiling or drips on the walls, and then it’s definitely time to call a roofing contractor for help. Depending on the time of year, you may want to consider your options. You have to take care of emergency situations, but a total roof replacement is a different animal.

When is the best time of year to replace a roof ? The following roofer provides his opinion:

When is a good time to replace a roof, can it be done in winter (Home Roofing)

The question was, Can it be done? The answer is yes. The real question is “Should” it be done? The answer is, no, not unless it is an emergency. But Home in Winteralso let’s clarify winter, because we are having a pretty mild winter, so there’s kinda not a problem this year so far. I’ll reference “below freezing” from this point forward.

As a certified and licensed roofing contractor, my reputation is on the line. I debate this topic quite often with other roofing contractors who seem to care more about profit than a job well done. Well, I can tell you from past experience having been a professional roofer for 14 years as of the time of this posting, that the chance for failure increases exponentially when installed below freezing. It’s better just not to risk it.

Read more here:  When is a good time to replace a roof, can it be done in winter (Home Roofing)

A full roof replacement is not advisable in the winter months.  However, fixing a roof in cold weather can’t always be avoided. When your roof is leaking, you want to prevent the damage from worsening. Insulation damage, mold, and structural deterioration are potential concerns when a leak goes overlooked.

When you live in states like Minnesota that have extremely cold winters, you have to get creative if you are going to help residential and commercial property owners with their roofing needs. The roofers in the following video provide their secrets for repairing a roof in exceptionally cold temperatures:

Some advice as to the preferred time of the year for replacing your roof might be a little skewed in favor of the roofing contractor. The busiest time of year for the roofing industry is usually late summer and fall. If you want to schedule a roofer to come to your property when they are at their peak of demand, their prices might also be at the peak.

Plan ahead and schedule your new roof install so that you can choose a date during their slower time. The roofing company will be eager to have the job and will hopefully provide their services at a fair price.

The following post emphasizes the need to plan ahead for a big project if possible:

When is the Best Time to Install a New Roof

Many home improvement experts recommend that the overall best time to install a new roof is in the fall. If you poke around the internet for advice, the fall season is most likely going to be a highly popular suggestion. However, as you will learn in this post, fall is actually one of the worst times (from a homeowner’s perspective) to get the job done. Roofers and contractors recommend it because this is the time they can charge premium for their services.

Read more here:  When is the Best Time to Install a New Roof


Why Use Roofing Ventilation

Posted on: March 18th, 2017 by Lori Smith

When it comes to investing in your homes health and energy conservation, roof ventilation is by far the cheapest method to pull hot air out of your attic in the summer and remove moisture year around. There are various types of vents you can install depending on the type of roof you have.

For example, on a gable roof, you might want louvered gable vents, and on a hip roof you could choose ridge vents. If you have a flat roof, you would opt for a box, power, or wind turbine vent.

The main venting systems are:

roof, metal roof, tin roof

Image from Pixabay via sam_higgins_rulz

  • Ridge Vents & Off Ridge Vents
  • Box Vents
  • Power Vents
  • Wind Turbine Vents
  • Soffit Vents
  • Cupola Vents
  •  Louvered Gable Vents


The other factor that decides the type of roof ventilation is the size of your home. The common formula is for every 300 square foot of attic space you need 1 foot of roofing ventilation. This measurement is essentially the floor space in your home.

Best case scenario, you want to split the ventilation space between soffit vents and roof vents to provide maximum air flow.  The following post explains why the correct amount of attic ventilation is critical for your home’s health:

5 Myths about Attic Ventilation


Just like properly sizing your furnace and air conditioning unit, you want precisely the right amount of attic ventilation for your home. Insufficient ventilation can lead to moisture problems during the winter and decreased energy efficiency during the summer but too much ventilation can be just as bad, if not worse. Roof vents create an additional roof penetration, essentially another place of vulnerability where leaks can occur. Some vents are necessary, but you don’t want to needlessly increase the number of roof penetrations. More than leaks, these seams can cause blowouts during a hurricane or allow sparks from a wildfire to enter your home and set it ablaze.

Read more here:  5 Myths about Attic Ventilation

This video goes through the process of installing a box vent on an existing roof. I really like the creator of the video because he gives really practical advice for do-it-yourself types who want to tackle their own projects. However, getting up on a roof and working isn’t for everyone, and safety is a huge factor, so be sure that you take all the necessary precautions for roof safety.

Watch how to install a box vent and replace the shingles properly so you avoid any leaks:

Many people prefer ridge vents, as they are lower in profile and you only install one long vent along the peak of the roof. A ridge vent is more expensive than box vents but since both are non-mechanical, they do rely on also having soffit vents to create the correct flow of air.

The next post goes over the reasons that ridge vents are popular for a hip roof:

GAF | Cobra Hip Vent

Ridge Vent*Provide a safe and effective attic ventilation solution for roofs with little or no ridge

*Remove excess heat and moisture to protect your roof from premature deterioration

* Look virtually invisible when installed on your roof

*Protect against weather infiltration that can damage your attic and possessions

*Avoid rot and limit the growth of harmful mold

*Guard against ice damming in harsh winter climates

*Possibly reduce excessive utility costs

Read the original post here:  GAF | Cobra Hip Vent

Powered roof vents are a great option, as you don’t have to rely on the wind and what direction it is blowing for your vent to flow properly. With box, ridge, gable and soffit vents, if the wind isn’t blowing, you don’t get much air movement.

Carbon Monoxide Safety with Construction Sites

Posted on: March 11th, 2017 by Lori Smith
Construction Sign

Image from Iconfinder

Carbon monoxide is a sneaky gas because it has no odor, color, or taste but it is very toxic. It is produced by fumes generated any time you burn fuel in engines, furnaces, and fireplaces to name a few. It can build up in enclosed areas and poison people and animals who breathe it.

In the construction world, it is very common to have gasoline-powered equipment like generators, compressors, or skid loaders on the building site as well as heavy equipment doing dirt work. All of these factors in a confined area are a potential disaster waiting to happen without proper ventilation.

What happens to the body when carbon monoxide is continuously inhaled? The following article from National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) explains the effects of increased exposure to carbon monoxide and what the symptoms are:

CDC – Carbon Monoxide – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic

Exposure to carbon monoxide impedes the blood’s ability to carry oxygen to body tissues and vital organs. When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it combines with hemoglobin (an iron-protein component of red blood cells), producing carboxyhemoglobin (COHb), which Carbon Monoxide Molecular Modelgreatly diminishes hemoglobin’s oxygen-carrying capacity. Hemoglobin’s binding affinity for carbon monoxide is 300 times greater than its affinity for oxygen. As a result, small amounts of carbon monoxide can dramatically reduce hemoglobin’s ability to transport oxygen. Common symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure are headache, nausea, rapid breathing, weakness, exhaustion, dizziness, and confusion. Hypoxia (severe oxygen deficiency) due to acute carbon monoxide poisoning may result in reversible neurological effects, or it may result in long-term (and possibly delayed) irreversible neurological (brain damage) or cardiological (heart damage) effects.

Read more here:  CDC – Carbon Monoxide – NIOSH Workplace Safety and Health Topic

It is scary to think of how quickly carbon monoxide poisoning can happen, especially with people more vulnerable such as the elderly, small children, and people with breathing issues. In a matter of a few minutes, symptoms can escalate to hypoxia, or severe oxygen deficiency. The key for avoiding this situation is having some fresh air flowing through an area.

In the following video by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, it demonstrates what can happen if you are in a closed area with gas-powered equipment and safety tips for construction workers:

Along with ventilation, a portable carbon monoxide detector can prevent emergencies from happening and keep construction workers safe.  There are specific levels of carbon monoxide exposure that are outlined in the following post:

Construction Sites and Carbon Monoxide Hazards

Exposure limits. The carbon monoxide content of the atmosphere in a room, building, vehicle, railcar or any enclosed space shall be maintained at

Construction Zone

Image from Iconfinder

not more than 50 parts per million (ppm) (0.005%) as an eight hour average area level and employees shall be removed from the enclosed space if the carbon monoxide concentration exceeds a ceiling of 100 ppm (0.01%).

See more here:  Construction Sites and Carbon Monoxide Hazards

We have a shop that has a propane heater, and as long as we run the exhaust fan, it works great. However, the fan is somewhat counterproductive to heating the building. If we don’t have the fan running, our carbon monoxide detector always goes off, even though we never smell any odor. It’s critical to be aware of carbon monoxide safety and not wait until symptoms occur.

Installing Foam Board Insulation

Posted on: March 3rd, 2017 by Lori Smith

There are a number of effective types of insulation that are used in construction. Batt and blanket insulation are the most common, but other well known types are blown-in insulation and spray-on foam insulation.

One class of insulation that is very affordable and efficient is foam board insulation. It can be used to insulate almost any part of your home, but is especially effective insulating cement basement walls and as exterior wall sheathing.

The following post explains why foam board or Styrofoam provides beneficial insulation value:

Why is styrofoam a good insulator? |

Styrofoam works well as an insulator because it mostly consists of air confined to small pockets. These pockets hinder the convection process from carrying heat energy away from (or to) the substance inside the container.Foamboard

Three different processes allow heat energy to flow: radiation, convection and conduction. Of these, conduction and convection are the two processes relevant to the use of Styrofoam. Conduction involves the flow of heat energy from a hotter object to a colder one. For example, a person picking up an ice cube notices that the ice cube melts in his hand as heat conducts from his hand to the cube. Convection involves a series of currents that emerge when a gas or liquid flows from a warmer place to a cooler one, or vice versa.

Why is styrofoam a good insulator? |

Even though that is a pretty technical explanation of why foam board provides good insulation, it basically comes down to the fact that it is the first line of defense against moisture and mold. That is why it works so well for basement walls.

In the following video, the contractor provides a step-by-step process of installing foam board in a basement before you frame out the walls:

So just how effective is foam board insulation? It really comes down to the R value, which is the capacity of the insulating material to resist heat flow. Some types are used as part of the foundation, which are filled with cement and remain as part of the wall assembly.

However, other kinds of rigid insulation foam boards and their R values vary. The main 3 types are Expanded Polystyrene Foam (EPF), Extruded Polystyrene Foam (XPS), and Polyisocyanurate (polyiso). The following post goes into more detail of the R value of these three types of insulation:

Foam Board Insulation – R Values and Types

Expanded Polystyrene Foam

Expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) is the cheapest and least used foam board product on the market. This product typically has an R value of 3.6 to 4.0 per inch of thickness.

Extruded Polystyrene Foam

Extruded polystyrene foam (XPS) also known as blue board or pink board comes in many different thicknesses and edge profiles. This insulation board is probably one of the most widely used foam board insulation products in the residential construction industry. XPS has an R value of 4.5 to 5.0 per inch of thickness.

Polyisocyanurate and Polyurethane

Polyisocyanurate also known as polyiso is seen in all kinds of commercial building applications and more recently with residential building projects. Polyiso is typically used with a foil facing and it has an R value of 7.0 to 8.0 per inch of thickness. The reflective foil facing makes it an excellent insulation board when radiant heat is involved. The foil facing also makes it very easy to seal with good quality foil faced tapes.

Read more here:  Foam Board Insulation – R Values and Types

The biggest negative for using any Styrofoam products is the environmental effects. It isn’t biodegradable and when heated puts off fumes that aren’t healthy. As far as using foam board for insulation, though, I wasn’t able to find information related to this issue. As long as it isn’t subjected to high temperatures, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Preventing Heat Related Illness in Construction

Posted on: February 25th, 2017 by Lori Smith

Heat Related IllnessThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is the main federal agency charged with the enforcement of safety and health legislation for employers and their employees. Because of the fact that 4,500 workers die on the job each year in the U.S., these regulatory agencies provide guidelines for the protection of laborers.

With roofing jobs, the risk for injuries and heat related illness is statistically high, as are other positions in the construction industry.  OSHA’s stats from 2014 show that 2,630 workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and related causes on the job. Denver roofers are especially susceptible to heat with the high elevation and 300 plus days of sunshine for the Front Range area.

In every state, all roofing companies have to protect their workers, and the following post from OSHA offers some tips for managing this issue:

OSHA’s Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers | Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Working in full sunlight can increase heat index values by 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep this in mind and plan additional precautions for working in these conditions.

Any worker exposed to hot and humid conditions is at risk of heat illness, especially those doing heavy work tasks or using bulky protective clothing and equipment. Some workers might be at greater risk than others if they have not built up a tolerance to hot conditions, including new workers, temporary workers, or those returning to work after a week or more off. All workers are at risk during a heat wave.

Read the full post here:  OSHA’s Campaign to Prevent Heat Illness in Outdoor Workers | Occupational Safety and Health Administration

This video outlines the four types of occupational heat exposure:

  1. Heat stroke
  2. Heat exhaustion
  3. Heat Cramps
  4. Heat Rash

One benefit of working construction in the Denver metro area is that the air is dry, because humid climates have a higher probability of heat related issues.  The ways to avoid any problems are being properly hydrated, taking breaks, and avoiding being in the direct sun as much as possible. Many people begin having symptoms such as red, flushed, dry skin followed by nausea, headache, and dizziness.

This video is by a construction company in Wisconsin, outlining the signs of heat illness:

Knowing the signs of heat exhaustion is just part of the battle. Coaching your staff on best practices when the weather is hot and humid will prepare them for the hottest days. Watching the local weather forecast online or on TV can be beneficial in planning ahead.

Another key tip is to not drink alcohol before or during work and stay away from drinks that have caffeine. The following post provides pointers for managing the heat:

Tips to Help Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses on the Roof – GAF Blog

To help avoid heat-related problems, make sure you have these countermeasures ready:

  • Allow for breaks in air-conditioned areas. If AC is not available, find shade, cooler areas, and/or fans.
  • Drink plenty of decaffeinated drinks. Sports drinks such as Gatorade are preferred, as they will replenish lost electrolytes.
  • Drink up to 10 8-oz. cups of water in an 8-hour shift. Be careful not to overhydrate.
  • Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Thirst is a poor indicator of heat stress.
  • Wet your hair, neck, and face as frequently as possible with water or a spray bottle.

Find out more here:  Tips to Help Prevent Heat-Related Illnesses on the Roof – GAF Blog

My own experience with having heat exhaustion is that once I got to the place where I should have gotten in the shade, all I could see was black dots behind my eyes and I felt extremely dizzy. Drinking water, getting out of the sun, and getting a damp cloth on my head to cool me down was the key. If you don’t take these measures in time, it can escalate to a heat stroke, which can be fatal.