Trained to Be The Best

Taking on a roofing project means taking on a big responsibility. Your roof is your building’s largest feature. Beyond just appearance, your roof protects your home or business and everyone who resides or works there.

At HKC, we realize the magnitude of roof installation, repair, and upgrades. We refuse to cut corners when it comes to training our team of roofing professionals. Our extensive training program ensures that everyone who comes in contact with your project is thoroughly trained on multiple fronts.

Every HKC team member has comprehensive training regarding different types of roofing projects and materials. This education is ongoing as new technologies and materials become available. Finally, and most importantly, we ensure that every team member holds safety as the highest priority for every project.

Choosing a roofing company to entrust with your home or business is no easy decision. At HKC, our training provides our team with the expertise and experience necessary to complete your project with the highest quality standards within the time allotted.

Women in Roofing

Women In Roofing

Jamie Thiel

Understandably, roofing has long been assumed to be a male-dominated trade. The truth is that women have made and continue to make big contributions to the roofing industry.

National Women In Roofing (NWIR) is a volunteer-based organization that seeks to promote careers for women in roofing through networking, mentoring, education, and recruitment efforts. By empowering women in terms of industry education and opportunity, NWIR helps shed the stereotype of roofing as “men’s work”. Many of NWIR’s members are women who found themselves in roofing, often by chance, and rose through the ranks to be top roofing executives.

One woman who has grown into a key member of the HKC roofing team is Jamie Thiel. Originally from Charlotte, NC, Jamie was first introduced to the roofing industry via working with insurance companies. She currently serves as an HKC commercial account representative. Once she came to Cincinnati, Jamie had to learn the nuts and bolts of roofing, but she has embraced that challenge.

Jamie enjoys the variety and the occasional chaos that comes with roofing projects, as well as being outside (when it is nice!). At times, Jamie has to work a little harder to establish credibility with her clients than a man likely would, but fortunately, she has the patience to gain clients’ trust one project at a time.

Volatile Costs in A Shifting Economy

Volatile Costs In A Shifting Economy

Construction of any kind relies on a complex web of materials, people, and time. When the availability of any of these factors shifts, there is bound to be a ripple effect that influences the cost to you, the consumer.

Right now, the roofing industry is facing a rising tide of materials costs, which has caused us at HKC to raise our prices multiple times this year. Some of this increase can be attributed to new tariffs on steel and aluminum. One symptom of the current strong economy has been heightened investment and an increased demand for building materials. While this is usually seen as a good thing, it has also elevated the demand (and cost) of various building materials.

Another contributing factor has been rising freight costs. There is currently a shortage of truck drivers, which means that full shipments direct from manufacturers are a costly proposition. All of these cost components are working together right now to drive up the price of roofing, to the extent that prices we have quoted are only good for 30 days.

Costs tend to stabilize themselves once markets eventually settle down. In general, however, prices are unlikely to shrink any time soon, even if material costs come back to earth. The best course of action, then, is to pursue any roof construction before we see another spike in cost. Even in the midst of a successful run, the economic landscape can be challenging to navigate for building owners and contractors alike. We at HKC work to understand your budget, schedule and expectations to deliver the best value for your roofing project.

 

Grand Manor Shingles add Beauty

In todays crowded market of asphalt shingle manufacturers, you can get nearly any color or style shingle your heart desires. Most of the shingle roofs being installed today look very similar in design but the Grand Manor shingle manufactured by CertainTeed had a distinct appearance. This homeowner was trying to replicate the look of a tile, after their old roof was damaged by a fallen tree. The Grand Manor shingle complimented the customers pool house with it’s depth (thick material) and color blend. Copper accents at the coping cap and dead-valleys help add prestige to the project. It’s safe to say that this shingle really will last 30+ years.

This very steep roof is referred to as a mansard, where the pitch is over 21/12. A specific application is required when working on mansards roofs. The crew did a nice job of paying careful attention to the details surrounding fastener placement as well as the application of roof cement to help pre-seal the shingles.

Summertime Means School Projects are Underway

The summer months provide a much-needed break in the school year, not only for the students but also for contractors needing to complete restoration projects. This summer, HKC Roofing is working at Mason Middle School, where we’re replacing 135,000 square feet of asphalt shingles. The roof is receiving all new plywood, which will be screwed in place and secured with clips to prevent movement in the future. A synthetic underlayment and self-adhering ice and water barrier is being installed as an additional line of defense against mother nature. CertainTeed’s Landmark shingle, a proven performer, is being installed to compliment the school aesthetically.

In addition to the asphalt shingles, HKC Roofing is replacing 190,000 square feet of flat roofing. EPDM (Single Ply Rubber), has been selected and is being installed over new R-30 insulation. All work is being inspected by building consultants and manufacturers field inspectors to ensure the highest quality end product. These roof systems are being supplied with manufacturers full-system warranties to protect the school district for many years to come!

 

 

 

 

Why Synthetic “Slate” Is Destroying an Industry

A little less than a year ago we wrote a post (great comments by the way) that explained how the natural slate market was being damaged by the manufacturers of “synthetic slate” marketing their rubberized, polymer, shingle as “slate”. This is a disingenuous description of a rubber material because “slate” is defined as a natural rock. Big business is taking advantage, unfairly, of a high end roofing material and leveraging the name for profit.

Let’s be real clear, this is not slate. This post is not saying there isn’t a place for this type of material (Where? I’m not sure), it just shouldn’t be called slate.

Notice the fading color after only 5 years. The color underneath is what is started as, and now the sunlight has faded the non-covered area.

Fact Checking Synthetic Slate

Quality  – If “artificial” slates are not stored flat and become twisted or curled, lay them flat in a warm place and they will return to their original flatness. Pg 9 of this PDF

Anyone who knows slate should immediately shake their head at the material being installed on a roof. This sentence came from an installation guide for synthetic slate and should cause shivers to any homeowner knowing that their roofing material can curl before it even comes out of the box. What do you think is going to happen when wind gusts and high temperatures are pulling it at it on a daily basis? This is what is going to happen which will rely on underlayment to protect a roof.

Cost –  It is simple to install and at a fraction of the weight and cost of natural slate roofing.

Fraction of the weight? Yes. It should  be mentioned that the cost to install synthetic is considerably cheaper because of the weight of the material (easier to transport) and the ability to nail with a nail gun instead of a hammer. The actual cost of the material though is similar. In order to get a Class A fire rating in synthetic slate material, you’ll need to spend upwards of $500 a square for their premium material. A typical square of slate is around $350-500, depending on size. The reduction in installation costs initially is easily outweighed by the longevity of a natural slate roof and it’s not even close. Here is an older articleoutlining the cost which shows a rubber roof with a 90 year expectancy and that is not correct. A typical life span of rubber shingles, until curling or discoloring begins, can be 20 years and occur in as few as 5 years (or less). There is no evidence that they last 50 years (without asbestos) like the warranty says. At least not yet.

Aesthetics – Our synthetic Aledora slate and Classic slate roofing is indistinguishable from natural slate – yet it has an even more refined appearance and is significantly easier to install. Inspire Roofing

Disagree. A homeowner, who doesn’t understand roofing material, most likely won’t know the difference either way which would make the word “indistinguishable” correct to them. To anyone who knows slate, they can see the rubberized texture is cheesy when compared to slate. A shiny piece of rubber that has the potential to discolor from the sun’s rays is not going to stand up to slate when considering beauty. Notice the beauty of a rubber roof.

 

Durability – It is shatter resistant unlike natural slate roofing that can shatter when walked upon or in cold weather.  Bottom bullet of this webpage,

First of all, slate does not alter with a temperature change, unlike synthetic. Synthetic slate marketing is grasping at any negative aspect of slate they can when they even try to compare the two products. Their product curls, cracks, and disintegrates.Read more on durability on this excellent article found on Black Diamond Slate. Additionally, a piece of rubber will last for a long time and creates a huge plastic trash heap in the Pacific ocean. Reference article.

Misinformation –  “You emulate the natural material, but get performance and longer life over the natural product,” says Charlotte, N.C.-based custom builder, who used Enviroshake roofing on one high-profile project. “You’re saving on potential callbacks.”  Nitpicking from 2009

Wrong. This is the type of incorrect info that needs to stop. Whoever is telling the builder this information should be called out. This is incredibly inaccurate and completely false because there is 0 evidence that this type of material holds up for over 100 years. Field testing for this material hasn’t even been around that long. It’s time natural slate fights back.

Testimonials From the Slate Roofer’s Contractor Association


  • Our general observations revealed some discolored or faded products. Others curled without cracking but opened enough to allow water into buildings. In general, most fiber-cement materials quickly became unfit for roofing or became so unattractive owners were unhappy with the appearance.
  • The relentless marketing by the manufacturers, with claims of 50-75 year lifespans, less weight, colors and designer patterns, and ease of installation coupled with the consumers lack of understanding of natural slate roofs for the most part has left us as traditional roofers little choice but to install these or starve.
  • Many of the fake “slate” manufacturers have gone out of business, but new ones keep popping up (synthetic product is deliberately cycled every 15 years to avoid liability). It doesn’t make sense to me to go with an untested product when one that is tried and proven and about the same cost is available.

Read more testimonials from the Slate Roofing Contractors Association website:
Fake Slates

Final Thoughts

The slate industry is being out marketed by synthetic slate manufacturers who have deep pockets and are backed by the giants of the industry. Homeowners are getting an inferior product that is being marketed in a superior fashion. It’s a sad state of affairs that this type of material is being marketed as slate because it is far from the truth. There is no substitute for slate. It’s time tested, eco-friendly, fire-resistant, and beautiful. Rubber shingles are creating a huge dumpster in our ocean because they cannot be destroyed, and this goes along with their dubious nature of the product.

Don’t fake it. Slate it. 

 

Warranty Details

If you want further evidence about the suspect nature of synthetic slate, read what the manufacturer has to say about the warranty. I promise you, no reputable slate installer, with many years of installation experience, has to lose sleep at night wondering if the product will hold up. Remember that.

This is the “Lifetime Limited Warranty” The company has only been around for 19 years. That’s 19 years of their product in the field. Think about comparing this to natural slate which as been field tested for hundreds of years.

Warranty – Only during the first ten (10) years after installation of the Products, …  (i) provide replacement Products and Installation Costs to either repair the affected portions of the roof or replace the entire roof as set forth below, or (ii) refund the original purchase price that the Owner paid for the Products. 10 years is not a lifetime.

Wind Warranty – Manufacturer shall have no liability under this Lifetime Limited Warranty for Product damage resulting from or any way related to exposure to winds (i) in excess of ninety (90) mph; (ii) occurring after the first ten (10) years following application; or (iii) any time after the Products have been exposed to winds in excess of ninety (90) mph. You can’t expect our roof to hold up over 10 years!

Color Warranty –  All material will weather when exposed to air pollution, acid rain, ultra violet light, weather extremes, and other elements found in the outdoors. The severity of any weathering depends on the geographical location of the building, the cleanliness of the air in the area, and many other influences over which Manufacturer has no control. This Lifetime Limited Warranty will only cover fading in excess of four (4) Hunter units beyond what would be expected in the area in which the Products are installed. Let’s bring out the magnifying glass. That’s definitely 3 Hunter units. Sorry about that.

Design Challenge Causes Long-Term Leak

In our line of work we come across difficult construction details on an almost daily basis. Whether it’s a DIY job gone bad or a design professional who overlooked a detail, there’s never a shortage of difficult repair jobs and we seem to have knack for finding them all. This particular job had several issues. The first issue was a downspout that drained through the inside of a foyer ceiling. The ceiling leaked for years and even after several attempted repairs the water didn’t stop coming in. The next issue came from above, the second story box gutters had settled and were no longer pitched towards the drains. The box gutter directly above the small foyer roof constantly overflowed, sending a cascade of water to the roof down below. To exacerbate the issue, the foyer roof lacked a gutter and years of water run-off caused deterioration to the masonry wall. The client had a variety of contractors come out to review the issues but there was a struggle pinpointing an appropriate fix and executing the precise sheet metal work required. Our worker, Victor, did an excellent job preserving the integrity of the existing roofs while making alterations that would provide a long-term solution. We closed off the penetration that drained through the small foyer roof and seamed a new panel into the copper standing seam roof. On the second story, we added a downspout at the low point in the box gutter to help control overflow. Lastly, we added a new gutter to the small foyer roof and tied everything together with new downspouts. This is a good example of how an experienced estimator and a skilled technician can work together to solve a difficult issue. It’s note worthy to mention that this repair was performed at a fraction of the cost of many of the other estimates this client received.

 

Tax Changes: Time for Roof Renovation

Successfully marketing and selling a product is just one part of running a business. Companies, and the decisions that they make, are based on a variety of factors. No business operates in a vacuum.

Regulations and taxes shape the business environment and can have a big influence on investment decisions. Recent changes in tax policy have given business owners a reason to invest in their buildings sooner rather than later.

In the area of roof replacement, new tax laws allow business owners to take a deduction for the FULL AMOUNT of the new roof the year that it is installed (click here to read more). This is a dramatic change from the previous law which required owners to spread the deduction out over many years at a depreciating rate. Historically, the period of depreciated deduction outlasted the roof itself! This new policy encourages infrastructure improvement and makes 2018 a very favorable time for roof replacement.

Savvy business owners have already scheduled new roofing projects with HKC, and the number is growing every day. As our schedule fills up, new bookings may be pushed into 2019. If you are a business owner in the market for a new roof, the time to act is now. Future tax policy is always uncertain, so take advantage of this unique investment opportunity to make this year a profitable one.

Commercial Roof Training – Firestone

At HKC Roofing we install and service nearly every type of roof system, whether it’s commercial, industrial, historical or residential. One area that continues to innovate and change at a break-neck pace is the commercial roofing sector. Single-Ply roof membranes like TPO, EPDM and PVC have all seen major system improvements over the last 10 years. Every year new products are released to help improve the quality of the roof systems, while focusing on increased productivity. We’ve witnessed everything from peel and stick membranes to systems that can be secured using Velcro. Recently, Firestone’s Tri-State field inspector joined us to  review commons mistakes he see’s when performing inspections and how to avoid them. This in depth review of roof details and system specifications allows our field supervisors to catch mistakes before they happen.

Better Buisness Review – HKC Roofing

BBB Review Received

HKC went above and beyond my expectations to complete my complicated roofing job.
My home was constructed in 1908 and has its original slate roof, with the exception of the front and rear porches, which were replaced at some point with asphalt shingles. HKC was able to repair my slate roof, and reflash around my chimneys. Their repair work is indistinguishable from the original slate. HKC also replaced the deteriorating asphalt shingles on my porches. Where I was most impressed was with HKC’s service when it was determined that the masonry behind the existing flashings was deteriorated. The production manager assigned to my project coordinated a mason to complete the repairs, and scheduled an HKC crew to return the next day to complete the flashing. This was especially difficult given the short notice of good weather days in early winter. Overall, I am very pleased with the quality of work, and customer service I received from HKC. I highly recommend the company to other homeowners.

Review By: Bruce Carter (bruce.m.carter@gmail.com) – Zip Code: 41071Submitted: 01/12/2018

See more reviews on HKC Roofing at the Better Buisness Bureau’s website.

https://www.bbb.org/en/us