HKC Invests in Traditional Seaming Training

HKC is proud to announce we’re investing in intensive metalcraft training for several of our lead crew members.

Metal roofs nowadays are designed to have the “look” of traditional standing seam without actually accomplishing the folding sequences to make it a truly permanent installation. Many of these roof systems are prefinished and rely on sealants and butyl tapes to keep them watertight. Modern prefinished roofs have failed prematurely in many cases due to being specified beyond their mechanical limits. This is a particular issue in the current market, where metal roof popularity is growing due to its promise of being sustainable. It’s important to remember that in order to be sustainable, it has to last.

Another reason for the metal roofing boom is due to design professionals pushing these systems due to their “ease of installation.” HKC Roofing has always been leery of modern prefinished metal roof systems due to inadequate installation details and waterproofing that relies solely on sealant.

In the hopes of providing a more permanent metal roof system, we are training several of our technicians in traditional seaming methods that do not rely on sealants and can be specified on nearly any style building.

Standing seam roofing or standing seam flashing, when installed in the traditional manner, uses simple 19th-century tools and a collection of specialty seams and folding techniques to ensure all four corners of each pan are fully seamed through, twice.

Another benefit of utilizing traditional seaming is that each panel is an independent unit and, if damaged, can be un-seamed and a new one installed without disrupting the entire assembly. The same cannot be said for modern snap-lock standing seam roofs or flat seam roofs which use soldered details.

Traditional seaming was developed around the year 800 in what is modern-day France, but it has many names in different countries. In Germany, this style is called the Spengler trade. The German Spenglers have been developing this trade for over 500 years, so it has a very long tradition and track record for permanent roofing. Though the trade has been around a very long time, only portions of these seaming techniques ever made their way to the United States. Only a few basic seaming methods were taught in US apprenticeships. Therefore, a comprehensive manual was never prepared in the US.

Currently, a few individuals are working to translate German and Russian trade books into English, in hopes that more roofing contractors, manufacturers, design professionals and building owners will take note of the many advantages of installing permanent metal roofs. HKC Roofing wants to be on the right side of this movement, thus making a commitment to better understanding these seaming techniques.

At the end of the day, this style of roofing aligns with our company’s overall commitment to quality.

National Slate Association – Featured Project

Prince of Peace Church

HKC Roofing restored the 160’ tall church steeple using natural quarried slate and copper sheet metal, though, much of the tin cladding was replaced with modern galvanized sheet metal and painted. HKC diligently ensured that no dissimilar metals contacted each other. This was done by using a self-adhered ice and water membrane in between any dissimilar metals. In order to reach the cross with scaffolding we had to install (32) 8×8 wood shoring posts with horizontal beams to carry the load of the scaffolding. The shoring posts penetrated the main sanctuary roof and rested on the large, wooden sanctuary trusses. Scaffolding was erected to allows access to the steeple’s base, louvers, dormers, slate and cross. We replaced much of the millwork and moldings, including the (8) large wooden louvers. HKC installed a lightning protection system and applied new paint to the cross, galvanized flashings and millwork.


Link to NSA website:


Sustainable Roofing Practices

Sustainable Roofing Practices

At HKC, we believe that delivering world class roofs is only part of what makes us an industry leader. We also value responsible roofing practices that seek to minimize the amount of waste that we create. While some waste-generation is inevitable, HKC has taken extra steps in recent years to reduce waste to a sustainable level.

We have recently expanded our recycling program to include copper, steel, stainless steel as well, as aluminum and lead. This is in addition to our recycling of non-metal products such as cardboard, plastic, glass, and wooden pallets.

HKC has launched a roof re-purchasing program where we salvage and purchase historic slate and tile from homeowners so that we can use them for future repairs and renovations. This keeps valuable historic materials from being destroyed while also reducing landfill waste.

Along with reducing material waste, we also do what we can to conserve energy. With the help of skylights, our warehouse is illuminated entirely naturally. We are also on our way to installing a 22,000 kilowatt solar panel system which will fulfill our entire facility’s electrical needs.

We believe that in the long run, such sustainable practices will prove to be not just environmentally responsible, but profitable as well. In the short run, we are happy to deliver quality work while minimizing our environmental impact.

Church Steeple Restoration

Just like many old structures in the United State, the Prince of Peace church steeple had fallen into a state of disrepair. Due to difficult access and years of neglected maintenance, the steeple began to lean. The wood suffered structural deterioration as a result of severe water damage. The ownership was determined to restore the steeple, however. HKC worked to shore up the deteriorated structure, install new natural slate, copper sheet metal, millwork, a lightning protection system and several coats of new paint. To prevent slates from falling off the steeple, HKC secured each individual slate with two copper nails, a stainless steel slate hook and two dabs of sealant. Here’s a look at before and after pictures of the project.


Natural Slate Roof – Professionally Installed

HKC Roofing recently completed a natural slate roof installation at Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. The historic building’s old slate roof failed after nearly a century of use. We installed new slate with copper flashings. Other materials like “synthetic slate” could have been used but the owners were well educated as to the benefits of a natural slate roof. Thousands of synthetic slate roofs have failed within just 10 years and surprisingly, they are still be marketed as a longterm material. This project used traditional, time tested materials and is ready for another 100 years! 

Flat-Lock Copper Fails Prematurely

In this example of a copper sheet metal valley, we’re going to review a couple critical mistakes made during the installation and what steps should be taken to avoid premature failure of copper sheet metal.

To begin, the maximum size allowable for flat-lock soldered copper panels is 18″ x 24″. Attached below is a picture to show a properly sized copper flat-lock panel. The reason for the smaller panel is because copper expands and contracts significantly more than galvanized steel, for example. The copper flat-lock panels are secured to the roof individually so they must be kept relatively small (18″ x 24″ max.) to limit the movement and stress placed on the soldered seams.

The second design flaw is the lack of an expansion joint. Expansion joints must be incorporated to allow for movement during changes in temperature. In Cincinnati, Ohio, its possible to experience 60-70 degree temperature swings in just 24 hours. Without expansion joints the copper will destroy itself. Typically, the soldered seams will crack first and over time the copper will develop splits and cracks due to constant movement back and forth along the panel. Below is an example of a properly installed expansion joint in a copper built-in gutter, installed by HKC Roofing.

Copper is a beautiful and long lasting material when properly installed. It’s also a very expensive material, so it’s important to ensure your contractor understands all the nuances involved when working with it. Unfortunately, the copper work reviewed in this video will need to be removed and completely replaced.

Nordic Steel Gutters

HKC Roofing announces its newest gutter product line, Nordic Steel Gutters, a European style gutter system. These gutters are manufacturer in Sweden and have been installed for over 70 years in nearly every climate around the globe. The heavy duty construction of the gutter and its accessories ensures that it’s a true lifetime product. These gutters install without any fasteners penetrating the system or caulking. The engineering that goes into this product provides a fit and finish that is second to none. HKC Roofing constantly reviews and evaluates new products with the highest level of scrutiny. Our number one priority is to make sure the products we install on your home or business will last. Contact us today to receive a quote for your own Nordic Steel Gutter system.

Thanks for Another Great Year!

It’s been a real pleasure working with you throughout the past year, and we hope you’ve been satisfied with our services. As always, we appreciate the confidence you’ve placed in our abilities.

To keep your confidence, we’re always working to expand our knowledge and stay current with any new developments that might help us to serve you better.

We’re here to take the responsibility of caring for your roof off your mind. After all, we want you to be able to enjoy your home or business without ever worrying about its protection.

If there’s a certain aspect of our service that you’ve been especially pleased with, we’d love to hear about it. Of course, if there’s something you think we could be doing better, please let us know. Your input will help us to improve our services in the years ahead.


Rainy Days Disrupt Roofing

As you may have noticed, this year has been a particularly rainy one. We are currently on pace for the wettest year of the past decade. Before it is all said and done, 2018 could be the wettest in the past 20 years.

Protecting your home or business from the rain is a roof’s primary function. Extended periods of wet weather test your roof’s integrity and can quickly expose weaknesses that require professional repair. Throughout the Greater Cincinnati, roofing contractors have been receiving massive amounts of requests for service. Unfortunately, the plentiful amounts of rain that have made repairs necessary have also made it more difficult to service our customers.

Rain makes it very difficult to perform roofing services-especially on low sloping roofs. Local contractors have reported at least a 1/10 inch or rain on nearly half of the work days since May. This has delayed project schedules across the board to the extent that local roofers have had to drastically delay or turn away business.

HKC, as well as other local roofers, have weeks and weeks of backlogged repairs as well as estimate requests. It is incredibly frustrating to be unable to deliver our services in a timely fashion when our services are needed the most. Unfortunately, we are all subject to mother nature and can only work as quickly and as safely as the weather allows. While we understand that this may be of little comfort when dealing with a leaky or damaged roof, know that Cincinnati roofers are doing all we can to keep up as we eagerly await a dry spell.

HKC Roofing Joins Ohio’s Drug Free Workplace Program

HKC Roofing has joined the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation’s Drug Free Workplace Program. This added measure will promote a safer workplace for all employees. Employers participating in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation’s Drug-Free Workplace Program must implement the following components:

  • Develop a written policy;
  • Provide employee education;
  • Offer supervisor training;
  • Conduct drug and alcohol testing;
  • Offer employee assistance.