FACTS about Public Roofing Procurement, and Oversight. Copyright 2010 by Robert R. Solomon

Sunday, August 21, 2011

"Emergency Hurricane Relief"

Please do everything necessary to prepare for hurricane season.  Especially FRESH WATER, medicines, non-perishable food (canned), a basic can opener, and perhaps a small propane heating device.  Those of you with pets will not be welcome at shelters, and I would encourage you to start planning for their safety right now.  Heed the warnings, and do exactly as they say.

This is hurricane Fran, about 350 miles from my home, which is not very far at all.

If you own commercial property, and find yourself facing the despair of a roofing disaster, I have a network of roofers who will mobilize for you, and I will share contact information to expedite the recovery process.

I do not allow my name to be associated with "Storm Chasers", or "Price Gouging", but you must keep in mind they have a regular client base they must not neglect.  Mobilization is the biggest issue, but the first thing you need to do is an emergency repair to avoid structural damage, and further damage to contents.

If you find yourself in such a position, I cannot physically help you from my computer obviously, but I can offer my skill set, and at least guide you.  I will expect a description of damages, along with a number of photos, to determine the severity of your situation, and advise you accordingly.

ANYONE I refer will be fully licensed, properly insured, and approved by a major material manufacturer, so you will just have to depend upon me to vet them first, and I know exactly how to handle that.

I feel it my responsibility to you, as I consider everyone who takes the time to visit with me here a friend.

DO NOT PANIC!  Secure your family, secure your property, and do not hesitate to ask for my help.  It is not unusual for me to spend 20 hour days during these catastrophes, and will enthusiastically share my network with you.  YOU are always the most important person on my list, and living here in Florida, I know the devastation and heartbreak hurricanes are capable of delivering.

My background also includes U.S. Customs, Ocean Shipping, etc.  For my friends in other countries, this will be critical.  I can arrange for shipments of plywood, roofing materials, or basically anything you need in larger quantities.

You will be feverishly contacting your insurance carrier, and I will help you with that as well.  But a portion of this may include the service of an International Attorney, and the most competent, and sincere person for that assignment is listed on the Blog here "Alexandre' Dammous" is an International Attorney, licensed in 26 countries, my dearest friend and colleague.  I bet my reputation on him.

Please do not misinterpret anything I say as an "Advertisement", and you will notice I do not allow advertising here.  Everything I do is voluntary, and your immediate attention is my only concern.  In full disclosure, and a matter of time management, I must charge a fee if the situation requires me blocking out large portions of time for you, as I may otherwise have to neglect someone else, and I really want to get to as many of you as possible.

Whatever your situation is, I've seen it.  This will allow me to swiftly move through our procedure together.

All those listed in my "Trusted Professionals" section are on your side, as well as many of my roofing contractor friends throughout the U.S. and the world.  So, our combined resources are rather vast.  Put simply, "You are not alone".  I am not a contractor , but maintain the very highest level of licensure within my discipline, and then some.

I will repeat:  Water, Food, Medicine.  Loved ones cannot be replaced, but structures can be rebuilt.  End of story.

Emergency topics (and photos) should be sent directly to my personal email address:  RobertRSolomon@aol.com  and I answer all email the same day it is received.

Thank you for visiting with me here, and I pray for each of you each night.  Reject negativity in all forms, and keep looking "UP".


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon

Saturday, August 20, 2011

"Let's Talk About Solar and Nanotechnology"

My post on Carbon Nanotube technology was the most popular of all my posts, so I thought we'd try that again, except in a more direct comparison.  Fair?

Before I get going here, I am very happy, and proud, to have just been appointed a Judge for "Sustainable Schools".  This program, along with "Sustainable Florida" marks my Fifth time as a Judge for the most prestigious sustainability award programs in my state.

This year, I've been assigned the "Classes" group.  This is my favorite, as I get a very in depth look at individual class efforts, and am able to connect on a more personal level.  The most inspiring being a group of handicapped kindergarteners, who raised earthworms, recovered the worm castings as fertilizer, and used the fertilizer for the butterfly garden they'd built, and maintain.

I found that story so heart warming, and am not ashamed to say I was reduced to tears thinking about their courage.  I'm a big fan of children actually touching the dirt.  I cannot properly emote my feelings, and respect for these very young children, who've made up their minds to achieve, and press forward, in the face of certain obstacle.

That, my dear friends is what I find beautiful in this life. 

Sorry for that rather personal observation, and we will proceed to the topic:

Clouds over the Solar Power Industry
As oil prices have plunged, solar has become less cost-competitive. And the credit squeeze has made it harder to finance solar projects
The roof of a warehouse equipped with solar panels in Buerstadt, Germany, the largest such installation in the world. Ralph Orlowski/Getty Images

BP Sees 'Slow' Recovery as Profits Miss
If the recent five-year boom in solar energy marked the birth of a global industry, the next half-decade should be its coming of age. But like most adolescents, solar is experiencing growing pains. The economic crisis has weakened demand for everything from polysilicon to rooftop panels, just as manufacturers have spent billions expanding production. The overcapacity has caused prices to plummet and left the industry financially exposed. A number of companies—especially startups—may not survive a shakeout that could last 18 months or longer.
The causes of the downturn are complex and interrelated. As the price of oil plunged from its peak last summer, solar and other forms of renewable energy became relatively less cost-competitive—dampening demand from industrial, commercial, and residential customers. At the same time, the credit squeeze has made it harder for customers, whether power companies or energy-conscious homeowners, to finance solar projects. Some also are holding back in anticipation that solar equipment prices will fall even further.
Consider the story of Peng Xiaofeng, chairman of China's LDK Solar (LDK), a maker of solar wafers. During a recent trip to Europe, he toured major solar projects that have been, in some cases, on the drawing boards for two to three years. "They're all delayed," Peng says."I don't think they'll be ready [even] in 2010 or 2011."
Trimmed SubsidiesThe industry impact has been swift. After increasing at roughly 50% annually every year since 2004, the overall market for new solar installations could slow to just 15% growth in 2009, according to analyst estimates. Retail prices for photovoltaic (PV) panels may fall by as much as one-third in 2009 because of a continued glut. Adding to the gloom: Spain and Germany, the world's top two markets for PV panels, have recently trimmed the subsidies they offered to jump-start local industries. "We're moving from a seller's to a buyer's market," says Adel El Gammal, secretary general of the European Photovoltaic Industry Assn. (EPIA).
Shares in major solar players reflect the brutal turn of events. The Claymore/MAC Global Solar Energy Index (TAN) has dropped 71% since its launch on Apr. 15 this year, and some leading companies have fared even worse. China's SunTech (STP)—founded in 2001 and now the world's largest manufacturer by revenue of PV cells, the basic building-block of panels that convert sunlight to electricity—has seen its stock plunge almost 90% since the start of 2008. Shares in Germany's Q-Cells (QCEG.DE), the global leader in PV cells by volume, have fallen more than 80% over the same period.
Despite this carnage, industry observers remain bullish on solar's longer-term prospects. As the price of panels drops in the next 12 to 18 months, solar power will become more attractive compared with other forms of energy. Consolidation among companies in the industry—especially as weaker players drop out or get acquired—also should lower costs and improve profitability.
All told, figures energy consultancy Navigants (NCI), the total amount of electricity produced worldwide via solar should soar from 3 gigawatts this year to 15 GW in 2012, the equivalent of 19 coal-fired power plants. Beyond the immediate period, says the EPIA's El Gammal, "the fundamentals are intact. There's no option but a very fast growth rate."
Spray-On Solar-Power Cells Are True Breakthrough
Stefan Lovgren
for National Geographic News
January 14, 2005
Scientists have invented a plastic solar cell that can turn the sun's power into electrical energy, even on a cloudy day.
The plastic material uses nanotechnology and contains the first solar cells able to harness the sun's invisible, infrared rays. The breakthrough has led theorists to predict that plastic solar cells could one day become five times more efficient than current solar cell technology.
Like paint, the composite can be sprayed onto other materials and used as portable electricity. A sweater coated in the material could power a cell phone or other wireless devices. A hydrogen-powered car painted with the film could potentially convert enough energy into electricity to continually recharge the car's battery.
The researchers envision that one day "solar farms" consisting of the plastic material could be rolled across deserts to generate enough clean energy to supply the entire planet's power needs.
"The sun that reaches the Earth's surface delivers 10,000 times more energy than we consume," said Ted Sargent, an electrical and computer engineering professor at the University of Toronto. Sargent is one of the inventors of the new plastic material.
"If we could cover 0.1 percent of the Earth's surface with [very efficient] large-area solar cells," he said, "we could in principle replace all of our energy habits with a source of power which is clean and renewable."
Infrared Power
Plastic solar cells are not new. But existing materials are only able to harness the sun's visible light. While half of the sun's power lies in the visible spectrum, the other half lies in the infrared spectrum.
The new material is the first plastic composite that is able to harness the infrared portion.
"Everything that's warm gives off some heat. Even people and animals give off heat," Sargent said. "So there actually is some power remaining in the infrared [spectrum], even when it appears to us to be dark outside."
The researchers combined specially designed nano particles called quantum dots with a polymer to make the plastic that can detect energy in the infrared.
With further advances, the new plastic "could allow up to 30 percent of the sun's radiant energy to be harnessed, compared to 6 percent in today's best plastic solar cells," said Peter Peumans, a Stanford University electrical engineering professor, who studied the work.
Cheap Nano Solar Cells By Kevin Bullis
Carbon nanotubes could help make nanoparticle-based solar cells more efficient and practical.
Researchers at University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, have demonstrated a way to significantly improve the efficiency of solar cells made using low-cost, readily available materials, including a chemical commonly use in paints.

Escape route: Electrons created in a nanoparticle-based solar cell have to follow a circuitous path (red line) to reach an electrode. Many don't make it, lowering the efficiency of these cells. Researchers at Notre Dame have used carbon nanotubes to help the electrons reach the electrode, improving efficiency.
Credit: Prashant Kamat
The researchers added single-walled carbon nanotubes to a film made of titanium-dioxide nanoparticles, doubling the efficiency of converting ultraviolet light into electrons when compared with the performance of the nanoparticles alone. The solar cells could be used to make hydrogen for fuel cells directly from water or for producing electricity. Titanium oxide is a main ingredient in white paint.
The approach, developed by Notre Dame professor of chemistry and biochemistry Prashant Kamat and his colleagues, addresses one of the most significant limitations of solar cells based on nanoparticles. (See "Silicon and Sun.") Such cells are appealing because nanoparticles have a great potential for absorbing light and generating electrons. But so far, the efficiency of actual devices made of such nanoparticles has been considerably lower than that of conventional silicon solar cells. That's largely because it has proved difficult to harness the electrons that are generated to create a current.
Indeed, without the carbon nanotubes, electrons generated when light is absorbed by titanium-oxide particles have to jump from particle to particle to reach an electrode. Many never make it out to generate an electrical current. The carbon nanotubes "collect" the electrons and provide a more direct route to the electrode, improving the efficiency of the solar cells.
As they wrote online in the journal Nano Letters, the Notre Dame researchers form a mat of carbon nanotubes on an electrode. The nanotubes serve as a scaffold on which the titanium-oxide particles are deposited. "This is a very simple approach for bringing order into a disordered structure," Kamat says.
The new carbon-nanotube and nanoparticle system is not yet a practical solar cell. That's because titanium oxide only absorbs ultraviolet light; most of the visible spectrum of light is reflected rather than absorbed. But researchers have already demonstrated ways to modify the nanoparticles to absorb the visible spectrum. In one strategy, a one-molecule-thick layer of light-absorbing dye is applied to the titanium-dioxide nanoparticles. Another approach, which has been demonstrated experimentally by Kamat, is to coat the nanoparticles with quantum dots--tiny semiconductor crystals. Unlike conventional materials in which one photon generates just one electron, quantum dots have the potential to convert high-energy photons into multiple electrons.
Several other groups are exploring approaches to improve the collection of electrons within a cell, including forming titanium-oxide nanotubes or complex branching structures made of various semiconductors. But experts say that Kamat's work could be a significant step in creating cheaper, more-efficient solar cells. "This is very important work," says Gerald Meyer, professor of chemistry at Johns Hopkins University. "Using carbon nanotubes as a conduit for electrons from titanium oxide is a novel idea, and this is a beautiful proof-of-principle experiment."

As solar gets smaller, its future gets brighter / Nanotechnology could turn rooftops into a sea of power-generating stations
July 11, 2005|By Paul Carlstrom, Special to The Chronicle
Investors along Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park are pouring money into solar nanotech startups, hoping that thinking small will translate into big profits.
Both inventors and investors are betting that flexible sheets of tiny solar cells used to harness the sun's strength will ultimately provide a cheaper, more efficient source of energy than the current smorgasbord of alternative and fossil fuels.
Nanosys and Nanosolar in Palo Alto -- along with Konarka in Lowell, Mass. -- say their research will result in thin rolls of highly efficient light-collecting plastics spread across rooftops or built into building materials.

These rolls, the companies say, will be able to provide energy for prices as low as the electricity currently provided by utilities, which averages $1 per watt.

Other uses of nanotechnology foreseen by Konarka, Nanosolar and Nanosys include form-fitting plastic batteries for electronic devices like cell phones and laptops.

While all three companies provide prototypes for large corporate research labs and government agencies, company representatives and investors are reticent to predict when nanotechnology-powered solar systems will be commercially available. Industry watchers, however, say that achieving mass production of these products may take five years or longer.

"We take the long view, although we're not averse to having products very quickly," said Bryan Roberts, general partner at Venrock Associates in Menlo Park, a leading Nanosys investor. "Whenever you're developing a novel technology platform, you're looking at a four- to six-year time frame rather than a three- to four-year time frame."

Major investments Despite the lack of commercial product availability, Konarka, Nanosolar and Nanosys have collectively raised more than $120 million since 2001, the year all three companies were founded.

Recent investments include $7 million in debt financing for Konarka in June, making its total funding to date $38.5 million. Nanosolar recently announced more financial support in a Series B round of funding that secured $20 million in May. With previous investments of $7.25 million, it has secured a total of $27.25 million.

Both Konarka and Nanosolar have said they plan to use the money for new research and development facilities.

Nanosys, which cited poor market conditions as the reason for withdrawing its IPO in August, has raised $55 million to date. The company's last round of funding in April 2003 secured $30 million.

July 11, 2005|By Paul Carlstrom, Special to The Chronicle

Venture capitalist excitement for these new technologies reflects growth in the solar energy market as whole, say industry experts.

"The technology is maturing, and the industry is maturing. British Petroleum, Shell and the oil companies are all in this field," said David Wooley, vice president of the nonprofit Energy Foundation in San Francisco, a research group funded by major charitable trusts but not affiliated with utilities or energy producers.

Costs must be reduced

A study released by the Energy Foundation in March suggests that the United States could produce 2,900 new megawatts of solar power by 2010 -- enough to power 500,000 homes -- if the cost is significantly reduced.

Solar energy ranges between $4 and $5 per watt. The report suggests market expansion will require $2 to $2.50. If the price breakthrough occurs, says Wooley, the report's assumed price structure represents a $6.6 billion annual market opportunity.

The Energy Foundation report also says that solar energy could furnish much of the nation's electricity if available residential and commercial rooftops were fully utilized. According to the Energy Foundation, using available rooftop space could provide 710,000 megawatts across the United States, whose current electrical capacity is 950,000 megawatts.

"The market is obviously huge, demand is huge. Besides, (alternative energy) is imperative in the world we live in," said Bill Gurley, a general partner at Benchmark Capital in Menlo Park, an early investor in Nanosolar.

As for recent growth in solar energy, Paula Mints, a senior analyst at the technology research firm of Strategies Unlimited in Mountain View, says that 14,000 photovoltaic megawatts were sold last year, representing 54 percent growth in the industry.

Interest from VC investors

Mints says that VC interest in new energy technologies represents a positive development.

"It's very healthy for the industry. They (venture capitalists) see the growth and the possibilities," she said.

However, Mints also cautions against expecting immediate changes in the way energy is produced. She cites the long development history of conventional solar cells.

"It took 20 to 25 years to commercialize (conventional) photovoltaics," she said.

High production costs are among the reasons solar energy hasn't become a major source of electricity.

As solar gets smaller, its future gets brighter / Nanotechnology could turn rooftops into a sea of power-generating stations

July 11, 2005|By Paul Carlstrom, Special to The Chronicle

The black, glasslike photovoltaic cells that make up most solar panels are usually composed of crystalline silicon, which requires clean-room manufacturing facilities free of dust and airborne microbes.

Silicon is also in short supply and increasingly expensive to produce, so high manufacturing costs are the main reason behind high wattage prices.

As a result, the cost of panel installation typically equals four to five years of expensive energy before production costs are recovered and systems begin paying for themselves.

With nanotechnology, tiny solar cells can be printed onto flexible, very thin light-retaining materials, bypassing the cost of silicon production.

"Silicon is very capital-intensive. You don't need a clean room for plastic power where capital costs are one-tenth of silicon," said Raj Atluru, managing director at the venture capitalist firm of Draper Fisher Jurvetson in Menlo Park, a major investor in Konarka.

Konarka, Nanosys and Nanosolar say their solar technology will reduce the time it will take consumers to recover production and installation costs to a matter of months.

In addition to being able to manufacture photovoltaic cells more quickly through printing, the companies also say that manipulating materials 100,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair will provide more light- collecting capabilities.

Each printed nanostructure solar cell would act as an autonomous solar collector, and sheets of these products would have more surface area to gather light than conventional photovoltaic cells.

The companies also say that the printed rolls of solar cells would be lighter, more resilient and flexible than silicon photovoltaics.

A rooftop opportunity

If the technical hurdles can be cleared, the biggest money will be found atop buildings.

According to Matthew Nordan, vice president of research at New York's Lux Research, "The ultimate prize is rooftop distribution applications," in which residential and commercial buildings would generate most of their own power.

The companies envision mass production of flexible plastics that would conform to the shape and pitch of rooftops or would be imprinted onto building materials like tile and siding.

"Flexibility allows you to develop new form factors. Why not integrate solar cells into, say, a Spanish tile?" said Nanosys spokesman Stephen Empedocles.

July 11, 2005|By Paul Carlstrom, Special to The Chronicle

It remains unclear, however, who would install nanotechnology-based solar components if they become commercially available.

"There's no channel to the market," said Nordan, who sees a fragmented solar installation market made up of numerous contractors, which makes adoption of any technology difficult.

Nordan also sees obstacles in transmitting solar energy from rooftop collection sites back to electrical grids and other buildings not wired with photovoltaics.

Distribution an obstacle

"The problem is distribution. Nanomaterials could provide a way to transmit energy as well as capture it."

Until the distribution issue is solved, Nordan says, solar energy will not be able to meet its potential of supplying vast amounts of power.

Analysts like Nordan and Mints say that while rooftops are the most attractive areas for investors, nanomaterial solar energy may first be implemented on mobile devices like cell phones and laptop computers.

Contracts from the military

These applications have smaller power requirements than buildings, and military research contracts at Konarka, Nanosys and Nanosolar may pave the way for commercial availability of solar batteries for communications devices.

"Price is no object for the military, and they need power on the go," said Nordan. "Besides, the mobile-phone industry is driven by new features."

All three companies rely upon government contracts in addition to private funding. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has been the most generous. Konarka has a $6 million grant, and Nanosolar has received $10.3 million.

Nanosys' $9.4 million in grants comes from that agency, as well as the Department of Energy and the Navy, among others -- although not all of this research is solar-related.

Industry watchers like Wooley of the Energy Foundation say that some kind of government assistance is necessary to make alternative sources of energy viable.

"The (solar) industry has grown and expanded through incentives. The technology doesn't need government support forever, but it's at a crucial point," he said.

Investors, however, are quick to distinguish between grants and regulations mandating alternative forms of energy.

"The bet was not made with the regulation market," said Gurley of Benchmark Capital.

Problems with government

Atluru of Draper Fisher Jurvetson concurs. "Our view is that government can cause big problems, and it is the entrepreneurs who will make the big changes."

As solar gets smaller, its future gets brighter / Nanotechnology could turn rooftops into a sea of power-generating stations

July 11, 2005|By Paul Carlstrom, Special to The Chronicle

So which way will solar energy go? Atluru said that just as there are different ways to get electricity, the same may hold true for solar energy.

"There's opportunities in traditional silicon photovoltaics, and that's really interesting, and there are companies like Konarka. There's room in the market for all these companies. It's still early days for these startups," he said.

Wooley of the Energy Foundation cautiously agrees.

"What we see is similar to the trajectory for wind energy, where it went from a small-scale industry to a large-scale industry.

"We think the solar industry could see the same growth this decade the wind industry saw in the '90s," he said. Shrinking solar, expanding profit

Konarka, Nanosolar and Nanosys say that nanotechnology could make the price of electricity less expensive per watt.

Current cost of solar energy, per watt: $4-$5

Average cost of energy from traditional fossil fuel sources, per watt: $1

Estimated cost of energy from nanotech solar panels, per watt: $2

Total energy-generating capacity of the United States: 950,000 megawatts

Potential total rooftop solar energy capacity in the United States: 710, 000 megawatts. Source: Energy Foundation

I know you're feeling a bit woozy about now after reading all this data, and I am currently pricing headache insurance.

I am so thankful for my many visitors from around the world, and humbled that you care what I have to share.  I try my best to bring you Independent Sustainability Research. 

Even though retired from my skill discipline of 37 years, I feel obligated to share the most objective information possible with you here.  I am always thankful for constructive criticism based upon science and public record.  Please feel free to contact me personally at the central email address below.

Reject negativity in all forms, and always remember to keep looking "UP".

Very respectfully,

Robert R. "Ron" Solomon

Monday, August 8, 2011

"White Roof Coatings & VALUE"

Today is my first foray into the roof coatings topic with you.  I've seen many, many, many coatings come and go, but I felt comfortable bringing it up today, with the help of my friends at Lexis Roof Coatings:


It is very important when addressing any coating job to do the "Prep Work".  Roofs rarely leak in the field of a system, but at joints, laps, and vertical details.  This is extremely important.

Most warranted coating projects (and I cannot emphasize enough, the value of a manufacturer's warranty), require rather labor intensive "Prep".  This is accomplished by walking the entire roof (let's use a metal roof for purpose of discussion), inspecting for all loose or missing fasteners.  These will have to be tightened, or replaced with new screws 1 size larger.

Now that you've refastened your roof, and eliminated all those open holes, we will address rust by applying either rust remover, or rust inhibitor depending upon the severity.  Replace any rusted through panels.

The seams and laps are critical, and we normally apply a mesh fabric in two layers of flashing grade material to make sure they don't leak.  Again, don't "Rush" your roofer during this phase, as it is very important.  I know you want to see that pretty white roof, but be patient.

After we've properly prepared our roof surface, we can begin with the base coat (usually gray, so we can see where we've applied the finish coat properly), and then comes the beautiful, and very reflective (LEED Compliant) white top coat.  These base and finish coats must be applied in strict accord with manufacturer's specified thicknesses.

I know everyone likes to tell you how pleasant the roofing experience is, but you cannot reasonably expect absolute perfection, so please don't act surprised when a little overspray lands on the CEO's car.  For some reason coatings know these things, and only land on the cars of corporate officers.  This is normally adressed by giving your roofer enough space to work in the first place, and any overspray is easily cleaned from the affected surface.  I normally like to find the local detailing shop, and tell the owners up front what to expect.

But coatings are far less invasive than traditional tar and gravel type systems, and you may want to review your warranty options with the manufacturer.  The following material is furnished courtesy Lexis Coatings, who have earned my confidence, and trust.

Roof Repair

Is your leaky roof causing a major disruption?
If left unattended, roof leaks can cause damage to your building’s interior and even cause structural deterioration.
built up roof

Built Up Roofing

Built up roofs (BUR) are dark colored roofs which can reach a scorching 180°F in the summer. They are made of tar or asphalt which dries out, becomes brittle and cracks. Leaks are difficult to find.
Learn about Built Up Roof Coating.
concrete roof

Concrete Roofing

Concrete roofs are porous and absorbs moisture. Moist concrete promotes rebar corrosion which causes structural damage. Uncoated concrete roofs absorb solar heat in the daytime & slowly release it at night.
Learn about Concrete Roof Coating.
metal roof

Metal Roofing

Metal roofs do not have to be old and rusted to leak. A high pitched metal roof is just as prone to leak as a low sloped one. Roof patches and other temporary fixes can aggravate the leak.
Learn about Metal Roof Coating.
modified bitumen roof

Modified Bitumen Roofing

Modified Bitumen roofs need to be coated if noticeable granule loss occurs. Don’t wait until you see crazing, cracking or blistering. Ponding conditions accelerate defects.
Learn about Modified Bitumen Roof Coating.
polyurethane foam roof

Polyurethane Foam Roofing

Polyurethane spray foam is not UV-resistant and starts deteriorating as soon as it is installed. Elastomeric coatings block harmful UV-rays and provides a seamless, watertight membrane.
Learn about Polyurethane Foam Roof Coating.
single ply roof

Single Ply Roofing

Single ply roofs like Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM), Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO), Polyvinyl Choride (PVC) and Hypalon roofing become brittle over time.

In the vast majority of applications, you will qualify for an energy rebate.  In my city (Tampa), that rebate is .60 per sq. ft., up to $15,000.00, and an owner may find that very substantial.  On average, they will also be saving approximately 20% in energy costs each month.

I will not get into water based, solvent based, soy based, etc., as I will be here for a solid month.  But try to seek a REPUTABLE manufacturer for your roof warranty, as 80% of roofers fail after 1 year, and you can fall back on the manufacturer, not the installer.  Peace of mind means something to me, and I will suppose, to you as well.

ALWAYS insist upon proper insurance limits, as some people who apply coatings are "Painters" by trade, and may have much lower limits.

The manufacturer will be able to suggest a few of their local contractors, and you will greatly reduce your chances of disappointment.

Hopefully, this will illustrate that not all roof coatings are created equal (% of solids), and your commercial structure.  Thank you to the people at Lexis Coatings for the data supplied.  An in depth look at their website will reveal the topic in greater detail of course.

Until we meet again, I will encourage you to "do more, to be more", and always remember: Keep looking "UP".


Robert R. "Ron" Solomon

Sunday, August 7, 2011

"Collecting Water From Asphalt Shingles"

These comments refer to virtually all petroleum based (asphalt) roofs.

I would like to say that GAF is one of the finest manufacturers of roofing materials on earth.  I've found them extremely professional.  You will never go wrong having the GAF roof of your choice, and they are well represented, both corporate, and in the field.

This information is directly from GAF’s website, and I admire them for telling you the truth.

SUBJECT: Reclaimed Water From An Asphalt Shingle Roof
Q: Can I Reclaim Water (Collect Water For Use) Run-off From My Roof?

A: Yes… But you should only use this water for lawn, shrubbery, and flower irrigation since water run-off from asphalt shingles is not FDA approved for potable water reclamation or agricultural use.
What this means…is that because it is not FDA approved, the reclaimed water is not suitable for:
• drinking
• cooking
• bathing
• watering of fruits or vegetables for human consumption

Q: What Should I Know?

A: Water reclaimed from a shingle roof… may present a variety of hazards that may affect you or your animal’s health. While the water may seem “clean”, consider:

• Asphalt is processed from crude oil and there are chemicals in asphalt that can be hazardous to your health if consumed.

• The granule surface can collect dirt and other air pollutants which vary by location… water running over these granules can collect the dirt and pollutants as it runs off the roof.

• Under the correct conditions, algae, mold, moss, and mildew can grow on the shingle surface. These fungi may be harmful to people and animals when introduced into a drinking water supply.
• Shingles may contain copper oxide, or other algae inhibitors that may harm aquatic life.

Please let me state that GAF is the largest manufacturer of roofing materials on earth. But we never consider the “lowly roof” which I happen to think is the most important component of any structure.

"If rainwater harvesting were used in only 15% of landscape irrigation in the U.S. that would equate to over 1 Billion Gallons of water saved EVERYDAY. Come learn how different technologies turn into LEED points, offering your clients the most cost effective and water efficient solutions available, adding value to your firm and proposals. Water conservation has become a necessary element to most new development projects. A roof area of 1,000 square feet  w one inch of rain equals over 600 gallons of pristine water! Rain is a perfectly pure source of water that is inexhaustible, no matter where you live.

An average home uses 40%-60% of its water for landscape irrigation. Harvesting rainwater can reduce your overall water consumption by replacing the source from municipal water to rain water. Imagine watering your small garden with pure natural rainwater"
(Courtesy: USGBC)

I was primarily thinking of the millions of people on earth who do not have accesss to fresh water, other than roof water catchment devices.  Over a million in Australia alone, 400,000 in New Zealand, and the list goes on and on. 

I think we should consider a broader scope of people than just those immediately around us.  I'm doing my very best to spread awareness of fresh water, and how to collect it with less contamination.

Looks like nobody's interested in Iceland, and their source of power, but it's really quite a fascinating example of using resources that are readily available.  97% of their energy demand is by geothermal in case you were wondering.

Most metal, tile, and Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) membranes are your very best method of collecting cleaner water.  If a shingle manufacturer tells you not to do it, I would suggest you follow that advice.

Thank you to my friends around the globe, and know I'm working hard on your behalf to make things better for ALL people.

I never cease to be amazed by the people in so many countries that visit with me, and you are most welcomed here.  If you have specific topics, or projects you think I may assist you with, simply send your request to my central email address:  RobertRSolomon@aol.com

Again, I am thankful, and want you to smile, be happy, and always remember to keep looking "UP".

Robert R. "Ron" Solomon

Giving the facts on energy efficiency and how to help.

  Welcome Good People; Today's topic is rather basic, but extraordinarily important. Clients getting BAD INFORMATION regarding Solar. Po...