Archive for December, 2011

New Roof for Ulysses S. Grant’s Historic Home

James Wirth bought the home that the 18th president and military commander, Ulysses S. Grant and his wife rented from April 1860 to August 1865 in Galena Illinois. In 1865, when Grant returned from the Civil War as a hero, the citizens of Galena gave him a larger house on the east side of town, now a state museum.

Wirth knew he needed a new roof in late July when the home had considerable leaking. He wanted to keep the house historically accurate, built in 1853 or 1854 it originally had a cedar roof. Later on it was replaced with a metal roof that lasted until the mid-1990’s and then again replaced with cedar. The house is covered with shade from many large trees, making it difficult to maintain the cedar.

501 (c)

Wirth turned the home into a tax exempt, nonprofit status. He sought out companies that would give tax deductible donations for the roof repair and recognize the historical significance of the home.

He researched and found a treated cedar shingle with a 50 year warranty, specially treated to prevent decay. Watkins Group and Anbrook Industries donated some of the shingles and sold the rest to Wirth at a discount. Western Wood Preservers donated the treatment of the shingles and BeeAre Holdings offered a reduced shipping rate.

Local Companies Stepped Up To Help

Waukegan roofing donated the work and installed the cedar shingles; they also provided the additional materials needed to complete the work such as the nails. The dumpster was provided by Montgomery Trucking and Cole-White Tree Service provided a fork lift to remove the bundles of shingles from the trailer.

Wirth said he is grateful to all the contributors and hopes to open the house for tours soon.

Green Roofs Get Eco-friendly Boost

green roof researchOnce a rare concept, green roofing has gotten more attention over the last few years. As more initiatives push for environmentally friendly products, the roofing industry joined suit. Now with green products that range from a roof made of pure vegetation to solar panels and recycled roof materials, the green roof idea has made a name for itself in the market.


Researchers are now looking for more ways to further improve an already green product and bring about more eco-friendly benefits.

In The Lab

Researchers at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus have been looking into ways of making green roof products more environmentally friendly. A professor and team of students are developing ways to increase the green footprint of green roofs by testing common green roof products in different environments.

The idea is to test roof materials in various climates that may shed some light on how thesproducts can be beneficial to specific regions around the world. Further, the team is hoping to develop a product that is more absorbent of greenhouse gases and toxins commonly found in urban ozone’s.

Green Roof for Colorado Hospital

Boulder Community Hospital Foothills campus will be getting a new green roof over the cardiology building in East Boulder. The maternity ward will have full view of the native grasses set to open in December 2012.

The architect who came up with the idea, Nick Rehnberg said the new moms will have movie screen views of the Flatirons rock formation instead of gazing out onto an industrial looking roof.

The Green Roof Will Pay for Itself

The new Anderson Medical Center Cardiology building will have a 46,000 square foot roof. It is estimated to cost more than a traditional industrial roof but is expected to save $750,000 per year in cooling costs. The roof will pay for itself in approximately 7 years.

Ron Secrist, president of the Boulder Community Hospital Foundation is hoping for donations of 9 to 30 KW worth of solar panels for the new roof. In 2007 approximately $700,000 worth of panels were installed to generate about 90,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year. After 10 years Namaste solar will give the panels to the hospital, in the meantime the hospital pays a set rate.

3 New York Contractors Facing Stiff OSHA Fines

The three contractors are looking at $71,340 in fines and penalties for failing to enforce fall protection standards and also for violating other safety rules on the job. The office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration found that the contractors did not provide scaffold guardrails, stair handrails or provide sufficient safety training for their workers.

The three New York contractors had 21 alleged violations; they are Arberia & Associates, K&G Haxhari Construction and Mondi Construction, Inc.

Workers were observed at a site in the Bronx working at 24 feet above the ground without proper scaffolding, OSHA also found electrical, tripping, training and scaffolding hazards.

OSHA’s area director Diana Cortez said “the absence of required guardrails exposed these workers to potentially deadly or disabling falls of more than two stories. While it is fortunate no one fell, workplace safety cannot be left to the whims of fortune.”
The contractors have 15 business days to comply or contest the findings or meet with the area director.

Thieves Pose As Roofers To Enter Home

roofing thievesAs the times change, so do they methods criminals use to take advantage of unsuspecting residents. A home in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania was victimized by two men posing as roofing contractors.

Up To No Good

Having just had a roofing work done, the homeowners were unaware that they men they let in to “inspect” the work were actually criminals. The men rang the doorbell around 7:50pm last Friday night to inform the homeowners the completed roof repair was to be inspected to ensure proper completion. Once inside the men stole nearly $86,000 worth of jewelry, statues and valuable figurines.

There is no word on whether these criminals have been apprehended or why the homeowners had no suspicion of the men. Despite having never seen the men previously as part of the roofing contractor or crew, the homeowners failed to suspect foul play and allowed the men inside. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon as roofing scams have become more prevalent with each passing season. Police report that it  is likely the men saw roof contractor signs in the yard the days prior and used that as their cover to gain access to the home.



Widow Wins Free Roof From Local Roofer

free roof for holidayOne Leesburg, VA resident wins a new roof as part of a local roofers charity program. Sterling’s DryHome Roofing & Siding awarded Barbara Green a roof after she received the most nominations in the local event.

The Holiday Spirit

Ms. Green is a recent widow who has suffered from limited financial resources for years. After her recent hip replacement surgery, Green fell further into financial strain. Never asking for help or handout, Green’s friends and family voted for her to receive the free roof repair to her aging home.

Ms. Green is the ninth winner of the local charity program after receiving the most nominations for the free roof. Sterling’s DryHome Roofing & Siding holds The Free Roof for the Holidays program annually by accepting nominations from local residents voting for a family in need. The roofing company has helped numerous local residents and organizations with their holiday roof program. Last year, a  Korean War veteran was the lucky winner. Local organizations such as Good Shepherd Alliance, Reston Interfaith, Falls Church Cub Scout House, Gabriel Homes, have won in previous years.


Hersheypark Arena gets Roof Update

Hershey Pennsylvania, Hersheypark Arena (originally Hershey Sports Arena) will get a new rubber membrane roof in 2012. Hershey Entertainment says the roof repair will cost $2.5 million.

The project is expected to take about 5 months to complete. The last time the rubber membrane was replaced was in the early 1990’s. The old rubber membrane will be removed and after repairs are made to the concrete roof, a new rubber membrane will be installed. The new roof and rubber membrane is expected to last 10-15 years.

A Big Part of the Community

The arena is a big part of the community and still used for Hersey Bear practices, youth, high school and Lebanon Valley College hockey, figure skating and various other events. The arena also has 100 offices for Hershey Entertainment employees and warehouse space and refrigerated food storage for Hersheypark.

The arena does not make enough money to make it profitable anymore, but they are committed to keeping the arena open for the community.

Bill Simpson, President and COO of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts Co said “It’s the heart of the community since it was built, I don’t think people appreciate how much the building is still being used. It is the focal point of the operations of the park and our company.”

Utah Man Gets Two Roofing Patents

Terry Anderson, president of TRA-MAGE in American Fork Utah recently received his second patent for roofing products created with safety in mind, the ‘Snow Bracket” and most recently, the “Ridge Riser”.

The Ridge Riser enables air to flow through the eave line, move upward and out the vent at the roof ridge. This flow of air cools the attic lowering the cost of air conditioning. It also prevents ice dams by preventing hot and cold spots on your roof.

Passed Wind Tests in Florida

“One of my reasons for coming up with this Ridge Riser® design was because the accepted way to attach roof tile to a ridge is dangerous. A roofer toe-nails a 2 x 6 or 2 x 8 to the peak of the roof, wraps some black roof paper around it, then nails the tile to that. In a wind storm that wood and tile easily blows off. If you’re in the vicinity when this happens, you’d better watch out.” Mr. Anderson said.

Snow Bracket

He received the patent for the Snow Bracket in 2006, designed to keep snow and ice on the roof and not falling off and hurting someone underneath.

Both systems can be used together in a snowy climate to keep your home safer. To learn more about the products you can visit their website at

Roofers Cut Corners On Marlins Stadium

marlins stadiumThe Miami Marlins are set to get a new roof, but recent reports have surfaced shedding light on the less than stellar construction work. After calls from a disgruntled construction worker came in, the Miami-Dade inspector general showed up to ask questions and review the integrity of the roof.

The new retractable roof passed previous inspections by a subcontractor who allegedly falsified inspection reports. The head engineers are now back on site looking into what appears to be unraveling as a big problem.

A Big No-No

Over the last few weeks, the county’s inspector general’s office and several engineers have been gathering documents to probe into the problems with the Marlins Stadium roof construction. What they have found was shocking. Documents demonstrating that original engineering specifications were ignored, numerous actions of cutting corners have been identified, as well as several falsified document surfacing highlighting the substandard work.

Back in November, Inspector General Chris Mazzella reported that, “Some issues have recently arisen that need to be resolved.” One of the main problems was getting the substandard work repaired and up to meet code requirements. The original subcontractor who falsified reports was also terminated andrecent roof repair efforts began the roof problems are said to be “resolved”. City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff said, ” The engineer of record has indicated it’s a structurally sound building.” Plans are set to complete the $634 million stadium by Spring.


FEMA Grant to replace New Orleans Aquarium Roof

Aquarium roofFEMA recently approved $2M to replace the old roof of the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans. The roof was originally repaired in 2006 after Hurricane Katrina damaged the building.

The aquarium gets significant water leaking into the building since the storm. A thermal scan of the roof shows damage that has gotten worse. In the last 5 years the patchwork repairs on the roof has cost about $300,000 including replacing carpets that were water damaged. Aquarium employees have been placing trash cans around the building to catch the dripping water.

$961,000 of the grant for Removal of Old Roof and Hazard

Once the original roofing materials are removed, the roof will be strengthened to help eliminate similar damages. The new roof will be replaced with a modified butimen roofing system.

The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas is one of the largest museums of its kind in America. Home to 15,000 sea and fish life, rare and endangered species, underwater tunnels, and a rainforest. Many of the fish died after a generator failure from Hurricane Katrina, other species were saved and brought back when the aquarium reopened in 2006.