There is a National Skilled Labor Shortage in Skilled Trades

Did you know: For every 4 or 5 leaving skilled trades, only 1 is entering?  This is a staggering statistic.  Ask anyone in the skilled trade fields and they will agree that good, skilled labor is hard to find in construction, plumbing, electric, welding, etc.  For years, our youth has been told that the answer to a solid career is at a University.  That isn’t the case anymore. Read on for information and ways to explore and talk about skilled trades with today’s youth.  (If you’re reading this in March/April 2018, head over to our Facebook page for a fun art contest for the kids that helps start the conversation! Link: https://www.facebook.com/TotalProRoofing/posts/1917249818346638 )    

A College Diploma Does Not Guarantee a Job.

The market has become saturated with job seekers holding a coveted diploma and competition among them is heavy for white-collar jobs.  21 year-olds are disappointed to learn that $50,000+ starting salaries for a business degree are less common than they thought.  Graduating students find themselves with debt from student loans and entry level jobs closer to minimum wage and often not in the field they studied.
 
 

Technical Schools and Skilled Labor

There’s good news though!  In Georgia, there are organizations like CEFGA (Construction Education Foundation of Georgia), a non-profit, leading the way with 20 day Construction Ready programs for adults and their K12 pipeline program for our youth. (Link: www.cefga.org)  You can also learn more about Georgia Trade Five (formerly Go Build Georgia) which lists additional resources: http://www.georgiatradefive.com/   For those interested in entering the roofing field, much of the educational opportunities come in the form of apprenticeships, but there are programs available.  The National Roofing Contractor’s Association has a ProCertification program beginning Summer 2018. You can learn more about it here: http://www.nrca.net/ProCert-Training.
 
 

Empowerment & Opportunity

A recent statistic is that by 2025, 75% of the workforce will be Millennials.  It is a safe assumption that the majority of these individuals will be driven more towards technology-based jobs.  Those that think outside the box and gain a construction skill will not only have the empowerment on how to build that figurative box, but will be able to fill it with exponential amounts of opportunity. Technology skills are still needed in all fields, but those who know how to create and work with their hands are the ones who are facing the most opportunity as more companies find skilled labor roles harder to fill.
 
 

Shape the Future and Start the Conversation

Help our youth begin to look at skilled trades with a fresh view.  Help them start to think about how buildings are constructed and the materials and tools it takes.    Talk about all the inner workings of a building – plumbing, electricity, support beams, etc.   Have them try to draw a blueprint or design the layout of their perfect home and then add details on how they would run wires and pipes. Look at all the angles on many of the hip roofs constructed today. (They certainly aren’t as simple as a barn roof anymore!) For roofing, talk about how shingles and even underlayment need to be laid so that water flows off correctly for the complex facets, like in a valley.  These conversations are vital as we instill value into the skilled trades as a respectable and well-paying career option.

Is your Georgia roofing contractor REALLY licensed? (Hint: There is no Georgia Roofing License requirement!)

Did you know that there is no official Georgia Roofing License? Yikes!  There is good news though:  The RSMCA (Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association of Georgia) is leading the way to change with their voluntary licensing program. Total Pro Roofing is proud to be an early adopter and has obtained the “Low and Steep Slope” designation.

 

“Licensed and Insured”

You see it every day on roofing trucks that pass by and on their websites: “Licensed and Insured”.  It sounds great, but that “license” probably isn’t what you think they are talking about.   Many specialty trade contractors hide behind that phrase to make it seem like they have qualifications that they don’t have.  If you ask to see a copy of the roofing license, you will probably be presented with their business license.  If you have never obtained a business license before, it is as simple as walking into city hall to fill out a short application and to pay a fee.  Certainly not the technical type of construction license many homeowners assume!

RSMCA Georgia Roofing License Voluntary Program - Total Pro RoofingWhen you consider that your roof protects all the contents of your home or business, it is a pretty big deal that someone can just install a roof with no type of oversight or knowledge check.  It also makes it that much more difficult for a property owner to discern among quotes for quality workmanship, business reputation, insurance, and financial ability. A licensing program serves to screen companies for these things.

 

Proposed Legislation Wants to Protect Consumers

The Georgia HB 301 summary lists the real risk bluntly: “This bill is intended to protect Georgia homeowners and businesses, who are regularly victimized by “fly-by-night” roofers.  Often from our neighboring states, all of which have strict licensing requirements, they come to Georgia because our lack of regulation allows them to prey on the unwary.  After every natural disaster in our  state,  whether  a  hurricane  on  the  coast  or  the  recent  destructive  tornado  in  Adairsville,  unqualified  roofers  descend  on  Georgia  to  take  advantage  of  the  victims,  making  easy  money  doing  shoddy  work,  or  taking  deposits  and  doing  no  work  at  all.    Like  our  surrounding  states,  it  is  time  Georgia  stopped  these  unscrupulous  operators  by  imposing  the  same  type  of  licensing  we  require  of  plumbers, electricians, contractors, and other construction trades.”

 

21 States Already have Roofing Licensing Requirements

Needless to say, there has been a push among reputable companies to bring a Georgia roofing license to the state.  They want to join the following 21 states that already have licensing requirements: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina*, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia. (*Only for roofing jobs worth more than $30,000).  Source: National Association of State Contractors Licensing Agencies.

 

Georgia Roofing Voluntary Licensing Program

The Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association of Georgia has established a voluntary licensing program.  Their website states: “The RSMCA Georgia Licensed Roofing Contractor program was developed to increase consumer protection and secure the public confidence in the roofing industry by elevating the roofing contractor’s knowledge, skills and professionalism through voluntary self-regulation.”  A roofing contractor can obtain licenses for low slope, steep slope, or both categories combined.  It also serves to qualify contractors for financial ability, proper insurance, business licenses, withholding and employer identification numbers, and references.  You can learn more about this voluntary program here: https://www.rsmca.org/page-1221326

 

Total Pro Roofing would like to issue the challenge to fellow Georgia roofing companies: Lets join together in elevating our industry and showing our client base this is a trade they can be confident in.   Join us in obtaining your Georgia roofing license.

 

Learn more with the following resources:

Georgia Roofing “Specialty Trade” exemption.    Link:  http://sos.ga.gov/index.php/licensing/plb/46/exempt_specialty_contractors.   You can reference “shingles and shakes” listed on the attached document which also names a variety of other trades that are exempt: http://sos.ga.gov/admin/files/49_TraditionalSpecialtyContractors.pdf

 

For those interested in reading more about state licensing attempts with Georgia House Bill 301, information can be found here:   Summary:  https://www.rsmca.org/Resources/Documents/RSMCA%20HB%20301%20-%20Roofing%20Contractor%20Licensing%20-%20Bullet%20Points%202013.pdf Full text: https://opb.georgia.gov/sites/opb.georgia.gov/files/related_files/site_page/HB%20301%20Final%20Combined%20%28PUBLISHED%29.pdf

 

Your Roof and Selling your Home

The time has come and you are selling your home.  Now it seems like all those little repairs you have been putting off aren’t so little anymore. Suddenly, you notice your roof and realize it is looking pretty rough compared to the neighbor’s. What do you do now?

 

Sometimes it could be a case of just faded shingles with granular loss from age, especially if you’ve had no leaks. (You’ll need to take a peek in your attic to look for signs of water stains on the underside of the roof decking.) Most of the basic 3-tab shingles that are aging out now were rated at 20-25 years. If you know the age of your roof and it is in the upper teens, be prepared for a buyer to bring a new roof request into play.  As a shingles age and become brittle, repairs become increasingly difficult.  Repairing an aging roof typically won’t match visually because of fading.  Unfortunately, color options for shingles aren’t as plentiful as paint colors.

 

What if you’re missing shingles? What if there is storm damage up there? You will want a roofing professional to examine the damage first to prevent filing an unnecessary claim, but you might be a candidate for an insurance replacement. A good hail indicator? Check your gutters for dings.  With 2017’s Hurricane Irma coming into North Georgia, many homes still have unaddressed wind damage. Often, wind damage isn’t quite as visible because shingles can be lifted just enough to remain on the roof, but have a broken seal creating leak opportunities.  Wind and hail damage are one of the most common causes for homeowners needing a new roof.   The benefit is that the out of pocket cost is just your deductible and the insurance company picks up the balance. (A far better alternative to paying full price with all the other expenses that you encounter getting your home ready for the market.)  Total Pro Roofing is experienced with claims processing if that’s the proper route for your needs.

 

Caution-HOA-approval Wanting to appeal to the largest buyer pool, you make the decision to replace your roof.  (A 2016 study found that 71% wanted a move-in ready home.  Source: PRNewsWire.com. It can also prevent closing delays and further negotiations once your buyer has your home checked out by an inspector.)  What now? We recommend looking at the homes in your neighborhood.  Pay attention to the popular colors and shingle styles.  You’ll likely notice architectural style shingles on many of the newer roofs.  (This dimensional shingle not only has better curb appeal, but can also help to mask structural imperfections in an aging and settling home.)  Just like you can attract a wide range of buyers with neutral interior wall color, the same can be said for picking a roof that complements the neighborhood colors. Your decision might be even easier if you have an HOA. If that is the case, you might find your choices are already narrowed down to 3-4 color choices, sometimes less.

 

At Total Pro Roofing, we are happy to inspect your roof and offer guidance with repairs as you prepare your home for the market. We have replaced and repaired thousands of roofs and can help provide insight on shingle style and color trends as well. Give us a call at 770-624-1009 or email us at: office@totalproroofing.com to schedule an appointment.

Wind Damage and Your Roof

lifted shingles from wind damage

Wind can cause major damage to roofs, especially older 3-tab shingles. When wind catches shingles, it damages the seal, lifts shingles, creases them, and can even blow them off the roof completely.  Any wind damage to a roof should be cause for concern, because moisture can now begin to work its way into your home or business which means costlier repairs.

 

missing shingles marked during an inspection
A chalked roof with missing shingles after an inspection.

Some wind damage can be seen from the ground.  Here is what to look for:

  1. Shingles that are lifted.
  2. Shingles that are creased and flipped back
  3. Shingles that are completely missing. You will see the gap (often darker from the un-faded shingle below it) or even black patches of exposed felt.  Felt is just a safety net for temporary water proofing while a roof is being installed.  It can be torn by hand and does have holes in it from roof installation.
  4. If you see exposed wood on your roof, you need to act even more urgently as water damage risks are greater due to the absent felt underlayment.  Moisture is absorbed into the wood and will work its way through your attic, insulation, ceilings, and drywall.

Wind damage isn’t uniform.  One slope of your roof can be pristine, while another can be damaged from high winds towards it.   Neighbors can also have varying amounts of damage if their home is sheltered by surrounding trees.  (We see this increased protection with hail damage as well, but those homes have a higher risk of a tree falling on them.)

 

Not all damage is visible at ground level and requires inspections.  Shingles can be loosened, flipped upward, and then returned to their usual position in a single storm, but the damage is done.  Future rain then penetrates under the shingles and water damage increases.  Wind can also push debris under the flapping shingles.

 

Repairing wind damage really is an urgent item.  Your roofing system is designed to protect your interior, and a fault in your roof means that you are exposed to eventual interior repairs from water damage and mold exposure.  The good news?  As a storm damage item, these types of roof repairs and replacements are covered by your homeowner’s insurance.  Our representatives are trained in this process and are happy to explain further.

 

If you suspect you have wind damage, please contact Total Pro Roofing for an inspection at: 770-624-1009.   Learn more about us at www.totalproroofing.com or by clicking the links above.  We are an accredited BBB member with an A+ rating, fully insured, and were proudly voted Best Roofer for Best of Gwinnett 2016.

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CertainTeed Plant Tour

Total Pro Roofing team members at the CertainTeed Peachtree City manufacturing facility.
Total Pro Roofing team members at the CertainTeed Peachtree City manufacturing facility.

Last Week, we spent a day meeting at CertainTeed’s Peachtree City manufacturing plant.  (We are fortunate to have this facility close to home in the Atlanta area.)  Before the CertainTeed plant tour started, we sat in on a presentation about the plant, safety procedures, and how the shingles are produced.  And yes, it meant we got to don protective hats, ear plugs, and safety glasses.

This part of the plant where the hot asphalt was applied to the fiberglass base was surprisingly compact.
This part of the plant where the hot asphalt was applied to the fiberglass base was surprisingly compact.

Walking through their facility, we were impressed with their efficiency.  Pallets upon pallets of shingles set ready for distribution to regional suppliers.  They don’t produce every color at this location, but their supply chain means that they still house additional SKU’s to best serve the industry that calls on them.  We watched as the shingle base (a white fiber glass material) was threaded into the process.  A solid line of material snaked through the plant receiving hot asphalt applications, colored granules, and everything that makes the shingle what it is.  At the very end of the line, the shingles were cut and a machine stacked and sorted them into packaging.  The best part is that they are made right here in the USA.

Obviously, there are many, many details I’m not including here today, like how they track their batches for warranty servicing, or that they treated us to a great lunch too. What I do want to stress is how we have a great relationship with our supply chain.  It means we are can better service our clients too, and we’ve put it to the test.  It meant a seamless process recently when a homeowner had an irregularity on some installed shingles, and CertainTeed stood behind their product quickly honoring their manufacturer’s warranty.  It doesn’t get better than that.

-Jena Carver (Administrative Director)

 

Want to learn even more about the shingle manufacturing process?  Check out this video below from CertainTeed’s channel:

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