If a roofer was stranded on an island…

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The five most important items for a roofer.

  1. ENERGY DRINK/COFFEE/CAFFEINE
    1. Dunkin Donuts phrase  “we run on dunkin” is right on the money! Now we’re not pushing one type of coffee over the other (Don’t get offended Starbuckers), but it’s well known DD already has the “average joe” coffee market share.  We don’t know many roofers grabbing a triple whip americano with extra soy and a hint of cinnamon. However, as much as we love coffee it takes second to
      Unleash your beast!

      Total Roofing loves Monster

      Monster, Red Bull, & other drink that uses terms such as Voltage, Shock, Heartattack, Gorrilla Blood, or Warhead. This extra boost gets the day running for ALL. There’s no better way to start that 6 am shift then with a high-cranking energy drink!

2. QUALITY TOOLS  As skilled as most craftsman and roofers can be, you still need the appropiate tools. Tools such as magnetic sweepers (clean up those roofing nails that surely will puncture your tire), roofing hackets, blades (a dull blade helps no one), and more. These items depreciate quicker than your car, but are as important. For the journeyman or everyday roofer invest in quality tools. This will be the best investment you can make. They’ll make your job easier andHow can you roof 10 square in a day without an air compressor or hammer? Preparation allows you to be prepared to be your best. When you have the tools to succeed, you will.

Our Suggested Roofer Tool Brands:

Dewalt      Hitachi      Stanley    Bosch    Milwaukee

3. A RADIO A roofer can expect 8 to 10 hours of physical work throughout the day. However, what about his mind? One may assume his mind should be focused on the task at hand, which it surely is, yet what about the in-between? Material clean-up, job set-up, lunch, moving material, and switching blades allow individuals time to tune out. The radio has been intergal to the everyday blue-collar construction worker since it’s inception. Seriously, there’s a station for everyone regardless of ethnicity, gender, and even religion! Do you enjoy sports? ESPN 1000 talk radio. Are you a political man? Rush Limbaugh (So crazy, you listen). How about everyday pop culture? Eric & Kathy on 101.9. This instrument is vital to the job of a roof and crew morale.

4. Plans for the weekend Roofing is not easy. It’s phsyically draining and tough work. 50 hours of honest work makes you want to imagine a beach with a corona with dolphins in the background.  Yeah seeing a project go from the before to after is great and motivating. However, I can assure you throughout the week of working, talking, and listening to the radio, plans for the weekend are being discussed. Sure, the idea “Why would a roofer on a stranded island talk about the upcoming weekend?” You don’t know roofers. We enjoy our weekends and there as necessary as water.

5. A nice lunch cooler. Sure a Big Mac and fry sounds delicious after 5 hours of lifting, pushing, sweating, and installing those shingles. However, I can assure you not every roofer is eating out and living off fast food during the week. We’ve all had some form of finance education whether in school or the hard knocks of life. The average fast food meal runs about $8 a day and let’s say you work 5 days a week. Within a 5 week month you spent $200. I’m no mathmatican, but the cost for sandwich meat, loaf of bread (easily two weeks worth), cheese, and snacks will run you $100 or less! In the midwests seven month roofing calender year that’s a savings of $700. Here’s a few things that cost $700

55″ LED SMART Television                    Two Round Trip Tickets Southwest Airlines

The cost of making lunch and eating out every day is this Smart TV. Jimmy John's Freaky Fast sounds good, but so does watching Ricky Bobby go Freaky Fast in the Legend of Ricky Bobby

The cost of making lunch and eating out every day is this Smart TV. Jimmy John’s Freaky Fast sounds good, but so does watching Ricky Bobby go Freaky Fast in the Legend of Ricky Bobby

Fly anywhere or continue eating Burger King?

Fly anywhere or continue eating Burger King?

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Roofers take notes from Jehovah witnesses

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What’s your weather been like?

  1. Hail, rain, 80 degrees, rain, rain, rain, hail
  2. Rain, hail, 95 degrees, hail, rain, 60 degrees, rain, hail.
  3. Tsunami, hurricane, gorgeous weather
  4. Nothing out of the ordinary

The past few days have been intriguing. Every form of weather has occurred in some capacity (Hail in Tinley Park, IL, Rain in Schererville, IN, Tornados near New Lenox, IL, & more). Honestly, it may have even snowed last week in Chicago. I’m by far no meteorologist or figurehead regarding climate change, but our weather is out of whack. Whether the cause is from emissions, natural occurrence, or simply “it is, what is.” Somethings up.

Well you’re a midwestern veteran? Many would presume you adjust to the weather after 24 years. Nope. It gets stranger as you get older. After living a quarter of the century in the great heartland of the United States, I’m still adjusting. So here’s the quick moving litmus test question: Would you rather drink water daily or get water dumped on you, then pelted with five inch soft ball size sculptures of hail? Most individuals prefer drinking daily water ( 7 glasses a day?) or seasonal changes that come along with winter, spring, fall, and summer. So, why does continue living in such a harsh climate?

Recent weather changes in the midwest have caused severe damage to homes and insurance companies

Recent weather changes in the midwest have caused severe damage to homes and insurance companies

As an employee of a roofing and construction company, I side with drinking water even though our Ice Mountain jugs have been lax on their delivery of late, I would also stick with the midwest. Have you ever installed an EPDM roof when it’s 96 degrees and you’re on the hottest part of a roof.  Now when it comes to vacation…..give me a frozen drink and sand. Seriously though, as an employee of a roofing company wouldn’t you want to operate in the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana region? The four options above wreak  havoc on all building products (exterior and interior). That means continual employment? As recipients of such chaotic weather it’s unfortunate, however as roofing professionals it’s a catch-22. This weather creates potential for opportunities, but can tarnish the industry’s name or a quickly diminish a company’s reputation enough you void those chances. Every industry has it’s price points, quality, and out-of-the-truckers. However, of late these bad companies have scared consumers, while receiving the most media attention (bad stories get the best ratings), which creates a misconstrued perception of us. This week a client called and said “I had between 5 to 10 roofers knock on my door, each day of this week.” That individual had over 50 separate “companies” inquire about their home and roofing system. Imagine if you had 50 people come to your house in a week. Most families don’t enjoy that many people for family events and they were invited.

We live in a hyper consuming economy and it is honestly getting more difficult to make a living. However, there should never be a situation where you take a advantage of an individual. So, we ask all roofers and roofing salesman to act in the best discretion when it comes to door-to-door marketing. It’s a great technique to help serve others while putting food on your table. However, remember an awful experience may not only ruin the process for the roofing industry and you, but also other organizations that make a living off it. Not all of people are watching your best interest regarding your upstairs, but some are and respect that.

A common Fly by night roofing comic.

A common Fly by night roofing comic.

Yesterday a man commented on our Facebook saying “roofers are like ambulance chasing lawyers.” As someone aware of the competitive nature of storms and insurance wars, he’s kinda right. Be smart, read the dotted line, and call a licensed roofer. Too be honest I would say storm contractors are quicker on the fly than ambulances, in getting the paperwork signed. Be Safe.

Waterproofing roofers place on the totem pole

So you’re a roofer?

Often discussing fields of occupation there are times we feel inept. Especially when the grandest question of them enters your life. So “what do you do?”

This question regardless of one’s job can cause discomfort especially within your physical body. Common symptoms such as intense sweating, a lack of eye contact, or worse body odor! It happens and it’s natural. That’s why you have to instill the nerve to say: I work in the roofing industry and I’m damn proud of it. Even after years of trial and error you become cognitive of patterned responses such as “Oh,” “really”, “that’s hard work”, or the common glance away/lost their interest type. Don’t let others perception and ignorance affect your mood.

Seriously, why the discomfort or embarrassment?

Don’t be! Embrace your job! This trade is honorable and necessary. Unless you’re a professional baseball player or work solely outside, do you not need a roof?

Here’s a list of places that don’t need a roof: National Park (I bet there gift shop has one), soccer field (that’s changing before our eyes), Garden, and few others. There’s no doubt you need a roof living in the Midwest. Even the homeless people of the Midwest find shelter in awful conditions. A roof is second nature to us. It’s such a necessity that people neglect its obvious nature. Whether you’re the 1 percent or fighting to make it through the day this product demands your attention. Heck, even the Mennonite uses this product!

Why does one delay their next roof project? Believe it or not it’s common for a home with a tarp to sit as-is for a year or two. It’s astonishing that individuals will avoid getting a watertight system on their home. They say “well, it’s expensive” and I think well yeah! Why wouldn’t it? It protects your family, things, and biggest investment from the elements. How many times have you slept in or even under your Lexus? Nice car, bad roof? Priorities. Yet the homeowner believes the roofer is taking advantage of them and on to the next estimate they go.

Master degree or master at decking (roof decking) that is.

Our society so-often is preached to praise doctors, teachers, and technology careers. This article is not intended to relegate that praise towards our field, but start taking the joy we deserve in our hard work. At the end of the day most/if not all work under a 20-year single-ply roofing membrane or asphalt shingle you installed. So enjoy the moment knowing that you’re the one whom installed that product that allows them to continue performing what they love to do.

What caused this article one may ask. Well, I opened the NRCA Roofing Manual: Steep-slope roof systems 2013 book regarding an installation question on fire-treated insulation. I wanted to make sure it was the best product for a specific structure. Based off my research it wasn’t and there were alternatives. See this NRCA Roofing manual consists of over 2,000 pages of knowledge pertaining to a roof: installation, code, best methods, & breakthroughs. See our field is more than four nails per shingle even if today most believe “I can do his job.” You may be right. However, with WebMD and the Internet I could also, do yours too. So, lets quit competing with other people and start embracing YOU.wa