RFMA 2012

Duro-Last® Roofing, Inc. recently exhibited at the Restaurant Facility Management Association’s (RFMA) annual conference held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The conference was attended by over 1200 restaurant facility managers and vendors. The many educational sessions covered a diverse variety of informative topics. The trade show portion of the event provided Duro-Last the opportunity to meet and discuss with facility managers the latest approaches to maintaining and repairing restaurant roofs. This is always a great event to see many of our customers in one location.

Duro-Last has a well-established corporate accounts program that includes several features. Some of which are: a single Duro-Last point of contact, approved roof specifications, budget development, tapered insulation design, pre-construction document review, regional personnel coordination, contractor referrals, and job-site inspections. The program was discussed with every new contact and reviewed with our current customers. Duro-Last also introduced our new Duro-Guard™ insulation product line and re-vamped warranty program – both were introduced to our network of authorized Duro-Last installers at our National Sales Seminar in January.

To spice things up this year, Duro-Last held a drawing for an iPod 4G Touch for one lucky winner that visited the booth to learn more about Duro-Last and the new products we introduced for 2012. Peggy Fromholz, Senior Regional Facility Manager at Red Robin International was that lucky winner.

Congratulations Peggy!

Peggy Fromholz (pictured left) with Duro-Last Corporate Accounts Coordinator Anna Hernandez.

RFMA was formed in 2004 when a group of facility directors met and determined that an organization just for restaurant facility directors would help to guide their own individual chains in keeping overhead down as new restaurants were added. Today, RFMA has an active Board of Directors, an Executive Director, an Education & Membership Manager, a Member Services Coordinator, and three committees. In the fall of 2010, RFMA launched its own official publication, “The Facilitator.”

John Deal, National Sales Manager for Duro-Last is the Co-chairman of RFMA’s Education Committee. Duro-Last has found RFMA to be a great organization through which to meet and network with facility managers in the restaurant industry.

Thank you to all who attended RFMA this year and stopped by the Duro-Last booth. See you next year in Orlando!

War of the Worlds – The Exploding Sun – Part 1


The invasion Orson Wells described so vividly on the radio October 30, 1938, was only sensational because of its time and place in history. What did Wells know about future events that we don’t know? Maybe he foresaw last year’s supernova or exploding star (it was best seen between the big and little dippers September 7-9, 2011), or the growth of solar power generation (photovoltaics = PV) or the implosion of Solyndra. Maybe he foresaw the green movement (little “green” men).

Now that I’ve got your attention, what does this have to do with today’s topic? Other than to introduce a discussion on the power of the sun, not much. Over the next two posts I will discuss photovoltaics (PV), a.k.a. solar power, its history, and the types available.

The most common type of solar module utilized today, crystalline silicon panels, are encapsulated in glass. They make up about 95% of all PV systems installed. Monocrystalline cells invented by Bell Labs in 1954 were cut as wafers from specially grown cylindrical silicon crystals. They are still among the most efficient PV systems, but they have poor tolerance for low light, are fragile and, very expensive, and require very heavy frames for rooftop mounting.

Polycrystalline cells are made from multiple sources and are not as dependent on perfect crystal growth. They are less expensive than monocrystallines, extremely fragile, and less efficient at converting sunlight to electricity.

While some crystalline manufacturers claim higher levels, typical silicone-based PVs have power production between 12 and 18 watts per square foot and operate with 14-20% efficiency. High temperature and shade reduce their output.

Thin-film PV systems don’t use crystalline silicon, but very thin layers of materials such as amorphous silicon, a mixture of copper-indium-gallium-diselenide (CIGS), or cadmium telluride. They can be flexible or rigid and can be adhered to a roof covering or rigid material.

First generation thin-films are mounted on a glass substrate and are relatively inexpensive to produce, but they are about 50% less efficient than monocrystallines. A heavy support frame is required and there have been issues with longevity and durability.

Second generation thin-films are mounted on a flexible substrate. They also do not require crystalline silicon and are easier to manufacture than first generation thin-films at the same cost. There is no requirement for special framing or support structures because they are much lighter than other PV systems. These thin-films are rugged and can often be integrated with modern roofing membranes after they are installed.

Because thin-films are typically surface-mounted, heat gain is an issue and these systems can compromise the benefits of reflective roof systems. Thin-film systems have power production of 5 to 10 watts per square foot and operate with 6-12% efficiency. Compared to crystalline silicon systems, thin-films are more effective in low light situations and are less affected by high temperatures.

In the concluding post I will introduce another type of rooftop power generation that produces electricity from the sun: Concentrated Solar Power, or CSP.

Protect Your Roof Like An Investment

Rain. Snow. Wind. Sun. Salt. It’s a wonder that some things last as long as they do with all the weather variances we face. The roof is the important building component when it comes to weather protection and is the one thing that significantly protects the investment of the owner, by protecting the structure. Maintenance-free roofing systems do not exist, because all types of roofs require a certain amount of attention.

If you haven’t already done so, now is the perfect time to start an annual maintenance program. The importance is obvious – to extend the service life of the existing roof system. You want to catch problems early or even before they occur. Comprehensive repairs not only make the roof last longer, but also provide cost savings to the facility’s owner.


Walk the perimeter of the building to ensure that any unsecured objects, such as trash cans, signs, tree limbs, and loose building materials cannot become airborne projectiles during high winds. Trees should have all dead or broken branches removed and should be trimmed away from the building to prevent possible fires or damage to the roof.


Roof edge details should be checked to ensure that they are tight fitting and properly sealed. Corners of the building are the most susceptible to wind and rain damage. Immediately fix anything that lacks integrity.


All debris and loose materials should be removed from the roof. Leaf grates, if part of the roofing system, should be cleaned and secured in a manner that keeps them in place. Make sure there is no blockage of any kind in drainage areas. Look for cracks or leaking on all areas of the roof and repair as needed.


Check all sealants on penetrations and terminations. All roof mounted equipment (HVAC units, satellite dishes, antennas, duct work, etc.) should be secured in a manner which will not allow movement. If it can be moved by hand it will become displaced in a storm or with wind. All service panel doors should be inspected to ensure that they are properly fastened. Any missing fasteners should be replaced.

A thorough maintenance program will address problems at their initial stage, minimizing or eliminating damage to interior furnishings, equipment, building materials and finishes. In this way, building owners avoid expenditures and preserve their investment, from top to bottom.

IRE 2012

Another International Roofing Expo has come and gone and we are happy to report that it was another successful show for Duro-Last® and EXCEPTIONAL® Metals. Even though we haven’t heard official numbers on attendance, the show looked busy and Duro-Last had a very full booth all three days. We’re hoping that’s an indicator that the construction industry is continuing to find itself on surer footing.

The Roofer’s Challenge in our booth was a hit again this year, where the winning time to weld a 3” Duro-Last custom-fabricated stack was 39 seconds. Anyone who welded the stack in less than 90 seconds won a Duro-Last t-shirt. Looks like this challenge is becoming too easy and we may need to think of something different for next year!

Duro-Last once again had several new products to introduce and we presented them in a new booth display that was a hit with attendees. Several EXCEPTIONAL Metals products were also on display.


Duro-Guard™ Insulation Products

We showed eight different “hands-on” roof assemblies that incorporate our new Duro-Guard insulation product line. Duro-Guard ISO and EPS Insulation panels provide high Long-Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR) values. Duro-Guard insulation panels contain no CFCs or HCFCs; have Zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP); are EPA compliant; and have virtually no Global Warming Potential (GWP).


Booth visitors appreciated the opportunity to handle many of the unique metal details of the EXCEPTIONAL Metals’ products that were on display as part of our exhibit. EXCEPTIONAL Metals manufactures high-quality metal components designed for use with any single-ply roof, including edge details, drainage systems, and vinyl-coated metal products. Standing seam roof panels are also available from EXCEPTIONAL Metals, and they were shown in the booth as well.


In addition to product displays, Duro-Last introduced our re-vamped warranty program. We now offer 16 warranties in all – a wide range of 15 and 20 year options that provide unparalleled security for virtually all commercial roofing applications, including those in high-wind and hail areas. Our standard comprehensive 15 Year No Dollar Limit (NDL) Warranty is still the best in the industry. It’s transferable, has no exclusions for ponding water, and provides coverage against consequential damages that result from defects in the Duro-Last material and/or installation workmanship.

Did you attend IRE 2012? What were some interesting products you saw or educational sessions you attended?

The Future of Roofing

Gone are the times that roofing systems were only a simple part of a building. Roofing systems are increasingly trending toward saving money and energy, and providing other environmental benefits. And this trend should continue.

White is the New Green

While in London in 2009, President Obama’s Energy Secretary Steven Chu, told his former colleagues at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that painting roofs white to reflect sunlight can make a huge difference to global warming.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu

“There’s a friend of mine, a colleague of mine, Art Rosenfeld, who’s pushing very hard for a geo-engineering we all believe will be completely benign, and that’s when you have a flat-top roof building, make it white. “Now, you smile, but he’s done a calculation, and if you take all the buildings and make their roofs white and if you make the pavement more of a concrete type of color rather than a black type of color, and you do this uniformly . . . it’s the equivalent of reducing the carbon emissions due to all the cars on the road for 11 years.”

Continue reading The Future of Roofing