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Coffee Conversations- Will Lorenz- PODCAST TRANSCRIPTIONS

Coffee Conversations Will Lorenz
October 26, 2020 at 2:34 p.m.

Editor's note: The following is the transcript of an interview with Will Lorenz, the president of RCMA, Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association and also the VP with General Coatings and Everroof. You can read the interview below or listen to the conversation here.

Heidi Ellsworth: Good morning. Welcome to Coffee Conversations. My name is Heidi Ellsworth and I'm with RoofersCoffeeShop®, I'm a partner there. Today, we are meeting again for a live Q and A, these Coffee Conversations have taken on a life of their own and today, as I'm watching all the different people come on, I want to welcome you. Thank you for getting your cup of coffee and joining us this morning to talk about the disruption of roof coatings. I know it sounds a little ... and I love that because roof coatings has done amazing things and I think it's at a point where it's going to just be able to provide so many solutions that we need in the world today. I am very proud and happy to welcome Will Lorenz, the president of RCMA, Roof Coatings Manufacturers Association and also the VP with General Coatings and Everroof. Welcome Will.

Will Lorenz: Thank you Heidi. It's a great opportunity. We appreciate the opportunity to come and talk to folks about roof coatings and the benefits that they provide both the building owner and the contractor. Thank you for letting us get on Roofers Coffee Shop.

Heidi Ellsworth: Will, I'm just so happy to have you here. We met a couple of years ago in RCA and I can still remember sitting at that table, looking over the beautiful city of Chicago and getting to know you and what you're doing for the industry with roof coatings and spray foam and now, to have you here today as president of RCMA, it's just ... I love how everything circles around. This is pretty cool.

Will Lorenz: The roofing industry is dynamic and it's a great place for all of us to work and enjoy and I'm just so happy to be a part of it and whether you're talking with manufacturers, like in the roof coating manufacturers side or contractors or being part of the NRCA, it's all terrific, we all are aligned really well to move forward.

Heidi Ellsworth: That partnership is really what it's all about and I have to tell you, one of the things that I have loved, that we've been able to do in the last couple of years with Roofers Coffee Shop is to become a partner with RCMA. I would love to introduce the executive director of RCMA Dan Quinonez. I got it. Quinonez, there you go. Dan and I have been working together for the last couple of years, really the coffee shop and RCMA looking at how to we bring all this information to the industry, how do we get it out there so Dan, welcome to the show. I'm just so excited to have you here today.

Dan Quinonez: Thank you Heidi. It's been a wonderful relationship. I think that Roofers Coffee Shop has been a wonderful resource to RCMA members and I'm just glad that we've been able to communicate and share so much information because I think that in our industry, it's so important that knowledge is power and we really ... our ability to work together has been giving a lot of great information to RMCA members and to the industry at large, so thank you for having us on.

Heidi Ellsworth: I think today, what we're going to be talking about, about really what is the disruption of roof coatings, how it's really taking our industry to that next level and also a little bit of the state of the industry, right? Where are we going? I know Dan, you were on the NRCA town hall last week and Will, you've been so involved with everything that's going that way, maybe let's just ... I know we have a couple of ... we have some slides, we have some things to get to but just let's give a little snapshot. Maybe Will, you could start with, what are you seeing out there in the industry and what do you see happening?

Will Lorenz: Well, I think we're all surviving COVID. I mean, I think that's the first thing. We're all essential. We're trying to get work done. The season is turning, so you've got winter coming upon half the country for sure. So, those are the short term things that we all kind of cycle a bit through, but we're seeing things that have been prospering, let's say in the residential side and then potential slowing on the commercial side and there's a little bit of uncertainty as to whether or not building owners are going to invest in roofs quickly, in the recovery in '21 and we hope that it does. We can't really be reliant on the federal government to come up with solutions for all of us. We all have to probably just talk to our customers and client base and do what we can to say, how can we help you and satisfy your needs in the roofing area and roof coatings can provide that low cost option for many solutions for roofers.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, I am hearing that a lot from contractors across the country, and really the service and maintenance part of it, right? That service and maintenance is more important than ever. They're taking care of their building owners depending on really where they're at, because as we know, there's certain sectors that are just off the charts, economically success and trending with profits and revenue, and then there's a lot that just have been closed, have been closed this whole time. So, service and maintenance seems to be taking a huge priority on that. Dan, last week, when you were ... I know, we had some great stats that came out of that town hall. What are some of the things that you're hearing on that front?

Dan Quinonez: Yeah, it was interesting to kind of listen, as a roofing industry at large, there are a percentage that are successfully navigating through this, the COVID situation. It was almost an equal percentage of those that were struggling and struggling to keep their existing contracts going forward but it was evenly split, which was very unusual. I think it's an indication that the industry at large, that you've got to have the ability to be flexible, diversify, enhance your technology, and be creative, and be resourceful and take advantage of opportunities that you can. Unfortunately, the climate is not going to change right now. From the perspective that I see as Executive Director of RCMA is, it is going to take a little while, but if you do adjust and you do kind of see what you can do to make those adjustments, I think you can navigate through this tough time and be successful. Understand the lay of the land and what's happening. Being able to work with both your workers, your contractors, your property owners, your contractors, your sales team and figure it out as best you can to make it work. It is going to take creativity, and I think those who are seeing it and are able to do it are ... of that percentage that I think are getting through this and doing well, in the process.

Heidi Ellsworth: Right, it's differentiating on different companies, don't you think Will?

Will Lorenz: Yeah, I mean, I think if your clients view their buildings as an asset, they're going to continue to invest in it. They're not going to let it diminish or be destroyed. So, they're going to invest in what roofing solution works for them. If it's a smaller customer or it's a lease holder, maybe it's not top priority for them and you're going to have to remind those people that that's a valuable asset to them and come up with solutions, and just like you talked originally, maintenance and repair, those kind of offerings, improve cash flow for contractors and help keep that building running and sustaining. Then, it gives you that opportunity to be the first choice for them when they look at their next roofing option, whether it's extending the life of it or a new roof and you want to be that choice. Roof coatings can get up there and help weatherproof things and keep it going, so your customer is happy until they get the money to invest further into their business.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, and as you mentioned earlier, before we started that also has to do with residential too. I mean, right now, people are just trying to stay safe and that may mean repairs even residentially that maybe they haven't seen before.

Will Lorenz: It's worked exceptionally well in low slope, they work well in certain steep slope applications, obviously, in residential is a lot of tile and shingle and those things are the right products for those applications. There are metal roofs that get to be the end of their service life and coatings are an excellent way to extend the life of them and people have porches, people have all sorts of low slope areas, which coatings can seal up real well.

Heidi Ellsworth: I just want to remind everybody out there that this is a Q & A, right? This is live, so we want to make sure that we are showing this slides that we're going to be having with the RCMA. We'll show those now, but also please look at asking questions, Megan Ellsworth is in the back. You can chat with her, she'll be chatting with you. She'll bring you on to visit with Will and Dan, as we go through this. So, let's get started with some of these topics that we had, that we've been going through. So, let's start with you Will, can you kind of talk through what you're seeing out there? We talked a little bit about the benefits of the coatings for contractors and what are you seeing on how they're able to really take these kind of benefits with the coatings and really applying them into their businesses?

Will Lorenz: Yes. Well, I mean, I think NRCA numbers show that roof coatings are about 12 to 15% of the market, so a lot of roofs are being redone, extended, re-coated, restored with roof coatings. So, it's a substantial piece of the roofing market that contractors should consider being in, if they're not presently. It allows them a different avenue to talk to customers and give them an option to extend that roof. What we've seen in our marketplace, there's ... originally roof coatings were sort of in the black line business with two minutes coatings and over the years, the white coating line, the reflective coatings have taken a strong position. Those are typically acrylic, silicones, and urethanes. Those products, particularly, let's say acrylics are quite easy to install, and silicones are fast to install and they're performing roof systems and so, you can step into that marketplace pretty easily to install roof coatings. So, from a contractor standpoint, it's not a hard lift to get into that business. As I was telling you, Heidi, I think there's just two key factors for people to have to get into that business. One, you need to be able to walk roofs and be able to estimate so that you can bid the job properly. Then number two, have somebody who can run a crew to install whatever system you want properly. Roof coatings have surface preparation and details with regards to penetrations. Once you master those things, you find that roof coating is quite easy to install and gives that benefit to customers. So, you get to be able to seal up a building and keep it watertight and your customers are going to be happy with that.

Heidi Ellsworth: I think, what do you ... Dan, from the RCMA standpoint, I know exactly what Will is saying is really trying to get the message out on the sustainability, the ease of use, really the profitability and cost effectiveness of coatings. What are you seeing from coming into RMCA, kind of comments coming in from both building owners and from contractors about what's going on with coatings?

Dan Quinonez: Yeah, it's an interesting because in the last few years, I've seen a push on the regulatory side, especially on the West Coast, and even in places that you wouldn't expect for more efforts, to use coatings and reflectivity energy savings. There's definitely a push to encourage its use. I mean, take the state of California has been on the forefront of climate change, energy reduction, but you're seeing it across the board in states that normally, you wouldn't see in Georgia and North Carolina and Pennsylvania, where there's a tremendous savings to the property owner, and then, that property owner could then pass it on to the tenant. I think that's where you're looking at, there's a business side of using coatings that could give the property owner more revenue which they're looking for. I think because of that, both on the business side, the regulatory side, I think you're going to see ... there's an opportunity for tremendous growth both domestically and surprisingly, internationally too.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah.

Dan Quinonez: There's encouragement across the board and you look at Urban Heat Islands, that's popping up not just on the West Coast, but I look at a city like Baltimore and Charlotte and Philadelphia, and New York, there's a savings and then, there's also a health concern that coatings can decrease the heat in a building, and if you're talking about low and middle income developments, not only does it extend the life of the roof but it's also helping people in those lower income communities, which is a benefit to city life say in a city like Baltimore.

Heidi Ellsworth: Right. Right. Well, Will, I know with what you do, besides being president of RCMA, with Everroof and with General Coatings, to me, there seems to be a consumer push back a little bit on wanting solutions that have durability, that have energy efficiency, that really kind of people can ... especially this new generation. They're asking for these kind of ... they don't want just a roof, they want something that is going to help the environment, that can help the people in the building. What are you seeing that way?

Will Lorenz: In talking with my daughter, she's very conscious of the world, I would say and she wants to protect the world. She wants to see things like sustainable buildings. She doesn't want to see a disposable world. I always have this discussion about plastic straws, for instance. I think the same thing applies on the roofing side, which is a lot of our strategy in the past had been, when this roof gets to its service life, we take it off and we put it in the landfill, and we start over. The young kids don't necessarily want to see that. They want to see how can we make this roof start and last extremely long on its first go, and then maybe not replace it for a long while because we can extend it or make it perform longer. Do it in such a way that it's low impact to the environment and then, it helps with climate change, and it helps reduce energy, it helps make all the lives that are better. I think we're adjusting to that new reality that we've got a finite resource in this globe.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, it seems that with COVID, this is even taking ... it's even going faster. I mean, between the combination of technology and energy savings, and just kind of the ... I keep saying the sanctity of the home. There's so much there and I think that extends into our buildings and our office space and everything else. So Dan, what are some of the things for contractors and also what are you hearing from other manufacturers that are saying, "This is how you communicate that to building owners. This is really how you talk about this kind of roofing," and like the title of this coffee conversation, the disruption of really kind of a whole new way of looking at roofing.

Dan Quinonez: Yeah. This goes back ... a lot of folks, and we have an election coming in two weeks, which is always interesting, because I think folks get engaged, and they look at what's happening in Washington in terms of our industry and NRCA does a wonderful job with the flying but the interesting part that I see is that a lot of the battles that are impacting our manufacturers and our contractors are on the state and local level. That's where the real dollars could be lost as an industry or made. I think RCMA, we've made a very concerted effort to get engaged with these regulatory leaders. It's not just government agencies. There's a lot of regulatory groups that are making decisions on their bottom line, business bottom lines that some of our folks probably haven't heard of or engaged with. That are making decisions on the reflectivity of your product, where your product could be used and how it's used and we've really tried to focus on, and our group and Will being a leading effort on this is, to talk to those groups, talk about the benefit of our product, how we help both energy efficiency, climate change and that's ... get involved in their associations, encourage them to be part of that effort. I think, I look at the future with coatings and we should be part of that discussion when everybody ... I hear a lot of political leaders talk about solar panels and wind farms and all these things, and battery packs, but coatings needs to be part of that discussion. We're part of that energy efficiency. It's that plan. When you do everything and you put it all together, that's where you're seeing the real change happen, and I think that coatings has an opportunity to be part of that discussion but we have to be sure to get that in the regulator's years, that they see and hear that. I think sometimes they don't get enough of it. They don't hear enough about from contractors, they don't hear enough from manufacturers. I think we've spent a lot of time in the last few years being on the offensive, talking about the benefit of those products. I think they're starting to see it and I think they're getting at it and the more we get engaged ... RCMA I believe is the leader on talking about the benefit of coatings for climate change and energy efficiency. Will has been speaking about it and a number of our members have been getting out there talking about it.

Heidi Ellsworth: Well, this is very close to my heart, so thank you because this is the stuff we need to do. Who better to talk about it than the people who are developing it and seeing the benefits and working right in the street like you are? It's so good. We've got some great questions coming up here, so thank you, everybody for telling me and I'm going to read some of these questions and comments but please, if you want to get on and talk, we'll bring you on live. It's okay. Come on and talk to these gentlemen. They're not scary at all. It's all good. I'm going to start out with Julie. She said, she has a note here that I just think is great. Sustainability is a big part of business, model and mission. I love that, because ... Julie, thank you, and if you want to come on, just chat with Megan and let her know. Really making this part of the culture of your business and in your marketing, that is really, I think, a great ... I mean, I'm loving sales and marketing of course, but I think really looking at the benefits of coating, talking about the sustainability and the durability and like Julie said, making that part of your mission, that is pretty powerful when you're talking to building owners and home owners, I think. Will, what have you seen on that?

Will Lorenz: I think it's all the way up and down the supply chain. I mean, I think manufacturers are looking to make products with recycled material. They're looking to get products that we can provide more sustainability, more durability and longer lasting. These megatrends are here and we have to embrace them. We have to embrace technology. I've always been so impressed to how I've seen roofers have engaged ... just excellent technology to track and monitor and provide information to their customers as to the job status and what they're doing. As the suppliers, we want to do the same thing. We want to give them the products that their customers demand and they're wanting products that don't last five, eight, 10 years. They want 20 years longer and they want systems that can be renewed and can be extended out so that first cost, maybe is the most but then after that, the additional costs are less and they can continue to get the benefits without ... every time kind of coating up, "Oh I got to buy a new car. Oh, maybe I can just run the car a little longer."

Heidi Ellsworth: That's what we've been doing. Well, we have Carrie Brooks on and Carrie is going to come on with audio, and has a really great question. So I'm going to let Carrie talk about that right here. Megan, are we ready to bring Carrie on?

Megan: Carrie, you should be unmuted.

Carrie: Good morning, I actually had a question about overall environmental impact. Most of my educational background is actually in the sustainability field. I know one of the big pushes specifically with EPDM is that when you're ripping a roof, that that can then be reused on playgrounds, and recycled in various ways. What actually happens to the EPDM if it's been coated to then extend the roof life? Is that still able to be recycled for other uses or does that stop because of the coating?

Will Lorenz: I think that there are ... First of all, to try and get the membranes off and see what they can do with them. Certain coatings probably are difficult to get off of EPDM as a rubber. What the first goal of what we're trying to do see if we can take that service life, which might have been 15 or 20 years and turn it into 50 or 60 years with a couple different applications of coding. It's more difficult problem to get to how to separate materials and recycle them or get them back into use. It is a challenge and I think we all need to get involved, whether it's the manufacturers of the membranes with the coating folks to find those solutions. It is a challenge. I'm thinking it's probably difficult to get that coating off.

Heidi Ellsworth: Dan, have you heard anything from other manufacturers out there too in there?

Dan Quinonez: Yeah, overall, I mean, I think the roofing industry is at large and I know this from just coatings and a few other product lines. Recycling has been difficult because it's ... there needs to be a balance in terms of the cost savings towards it and the cost effectiveness. It's expensive. The cost of it far outweighs the ability of folks to spend it. I've worked and talked to quite a bit, a little bit from the national home builders. A lot of home builders just ... they recycle or tear off a roof, it's going into a dumpster. There's not a financial viability to make it a profitable industry. I think when it gets to a point where they can find the process to recycle it, I think on a cost benefit side, I think then you'll see a greater increase in finding ways to ... especially when it comes to coatings, to find a more profitable way of doing that. I think the economic scales have to tip in favor of that and technology, I think maybe behind the curb a little bit and I think hopefully in the next 10 years, it does catch up so you can utilize all roofs in that process. So, I don't know if we're just there yet. I think in some international areas, I think they are ahead of the curve on that but we're still behind that in the US.

Heidi Ellsworth: One of the things I would say, Carrie ... and first of all, thank you so much. Carrie, can you tell us where you're out of? What part of the country and who you're with?

Carrie: Yeah, I'm out of Boston, Massachusetts with North Bridge Building Products. So, we deal with roofing and also building façade, but I've also worked extensively in the manufacturing of like polyurethane based adhesives. So, I definitely understand your statements when you guys say that, we are a bit behind some ... like Europe for instance, they're just far and ahead of where we are with not only recycling measures, but also on the manufacturing end, cutting out a lot of the chemicals that aren't seemed to be beneficial to the environment, either if it's during manufacturing or even application.

Heidi Ellsworth: Carrie one of the things I would ... just from the other side of things, one of these I would recommend is for you to definitely follow up and talk with Dan and Will because I was able to go through one of the RCMA meetings before all the COVID, where we were all in person, and really was able to listen to the technical reports that they have coming out to the research that they're doing and to ... we actually toured some labs. So for you to bring that question and really that challenge, which I think is so important for us and our country, everything, for our industry, to the RCMA, that's the kind of stuff that we're talking about is how do we make this all work? I know, I may be speaking out of turn but I've seen what you guys do during those meetings.

Dan Quinonez: Yeah, please, certainly getting back. One of the things, the industry itself wants to recycle their products. We don't want to see it end up in a landfill. I think the business side of us is to see it grow and use that product in multiple sources post roofing. I think the more we hear from companies that are willing to do that, we want to share that information. We want to give that and share it with manufacturers, because interesting, a number of our RCMA members are European companies and they're kind of like, why haven't we done that in the US yet? There's a lot of regulations and a lot of pushback from states and local coats. I mean, it's fascinating the roadblocks that we get from wanting to recycle our own product and where is it ... if you look in Europe, why wouldn't you want to recycle it and use it for something else? It's not just our industry. Our industry wants to see that happen. We need to make sure it's happening from ... even on your local township level, from that local coat enforcement person. We've seen something that we can't do that. It's very bizarre how that system works.

Will Lorenz: On my company's side, my parent company makes polyurethane binders also for rubber. They do use ground tires, and so forth to make systems for children's player, and so forth. I was up in Yellowstone recently. They've got walkways around there, which are rubber systems that are bonded together, they're more comfortable to walk around in asphalt or concrete. Again, I think we should be continuing to do that. Some part, I always see is that, we're sending these products to a separator or so forth, who's collecting the materials and those folks may not have the understanding of how to do that separation and that's part of where we need a team to figure that out. I think acrylic coated ones are probably pretty easy. Even urethane coated rubbers, silicone, just kind of a difficult to get things to bond to. So, it might be more of a challenge to take ground-up EPDM and then make it into some other product where you can bind it together, but I think this is all possible. We just got to figure out a little bit better how to separate it.

Heidi Ellsworth: Carrie, any other thoughts or questions?

Carrie: No, I just want to say thank you and it's no knock on the coating industry. I understand that the membrane is such a small portion of that roof. So, when you're able to extend the roof life by 20, 25, 30 plus years, that's huge because not only are you extending the lifespan of that membrane, but also all of the adhesives that go into holding it down are fasteners, the many layers ... especially New England, the many layers of insulation and that's all things that would just end up basically in the trash. So, that coating option is just really great and I'm glad to see it gaining momentum in the market.

Heidi Ellsworth: Thank you, and Carrie, please be sure to send us in some of what you're doing to the Coffee Shop, because we want to hear it, so thank you so much.

Carrie: Thank you.

Heidi Ellsworth: We also have, our next question is coming from Shawn Carney. Shawn, thank you so much for your question. He obviously ... he or she sorry, lives out in the ... where the internet isn't real great, kind of like me in where I live in Central Oregon. So, I'm going to ask the question. Can RCMA coordinate a national response for the industry and take advantage of this change? Dan, I'm going to start with you, because I know you've been doing a lot. So they're really looking at how do we get this national response about really kind of making the changes that you're talking about in coats.

Dan Quinonez: Sure. One of the things we look at, looking at the lay of the land and the change of the ... balancing out the climate, and it comes ... I look at it as twofold. Number one, it's your customer base, I think the manufacturers and in terms of looking at customers, and the building owners and homeowners, what's the marketing side of things has to balance out with the technology. I think what you're seeing is a lot of folks who were thinking more about the environment and the climate, as they buy their homes, I think maybe 20 years ago, that wasn't the case. They were looking at the home themselves but now, I think consumers are starting to see, there's a benefit to having these kinds of changes there. RCMA and a number of the roofing groups are learning a tremendous more about climate change and energy efficiency. I remember talking to one of our long term members, talking about black roofs over white roofs. He said, "20 years ago, you didn't have anybody, you have maybe one product, white coating. You didn't have that 20, maybe in 15 years ago, right, Will? I mean, there weren't many of them out there." It's changed now. Everyone carries that product. Everybody is part of that and I think the reason that has happened is number one, on the regulatory side, things have changed. You're seeing it on the state and local level. They're mandating it, they're requiring it, they're encouraging it. Then, on the consumer side, it's changed, even in my own area here in Northern Virginia, outside of DC, you're starting to see a lot of new builds that are ... steep slope but there are also flat slope and flat roofs now, both slope. You're seeing these homes changes, and the designs are changing, which you're seeing white roofs on there, so they're concerned about energy efficiency and the climate. What RCMA is trying to be, we're trying to gather all that information and be a resource, both to our manufacturers but also share that information with the folks who make the policy decisions. Coordinate with them and provide them data and information. That's our primary role is to give them the education about the effectiveness of coating. So, when they go and they make their decision, whether on a regulatory side, on a co-decision, they have an understanding the benefits of coatings and I think that's ... we currently do that right now, where we go to ... we attend a number of hearings and meetings, and we participate and provide an information. Folks like Will and a number of our manufacturers also participate in those efforts. That is, on a national level is the greatest change we can make as a group.

Heidi Ellsworth: Well, and you know what, I think I have a little bit of mourning brain because Shawn and I have worked together. Shawn, forgive me. I'm sorry. Shawn has been involved in coatings, and we work together a long time ago out of Spokane. Will talk about that a little bit. I mean, Shawn, I love the fact that you're pushing to have more involvement and to really do this national ... and that's what Will has been doing. I mean, as President of RCMA, you've been talking a lot about different things. Maybe talk to that point, just a second.

Will Lorenz: Yeah, I thought Shawn's question was primarily about sustainability and recycling is at least how I interpreted it. I think those are key for us. At the end of the day, if we're disposable in this business, we're going to be replaceable too. So, I think it's very important that we look at the substrates that coatings get put on, the roof systems that exist that are the opportunity for roof coatings and be part of that dialogue because some of that roof that you're going to try and put in a landfill has got roof coating on it. It's also got insulation, cover boards, membranes or metal, or some other system, built up roof systems, things like that. The roofing industry as a whole has to be part of that dialogue and hopefully, RCMA can join forces with NRCA about it and other entities, Spry and so forth and help lead that conversation to say, "Look, we don't want our products all the time in the landfills, we want to continue to have them perform for long times and be seen as being positive to climate change and helping buildings become more efficient and perform for longer so that the customer satisfaction of what are invested in interior roofs with regard to materials and labor is worth it for the economy and how people view their lives." We want to be part of that dialogue. I think we're a voice, but I definitely think it's a broad voice that we need to get a coalition about.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, and then I'm seeing some another ... and maybe if we're looking, Stan had some ... Stan Hoberg had some questions. If he's looking to come on, and George Daisy, so both of them with some great comments. I will find out if they want me ... You know what, I'll just ask George Daisy's question, because that's the next one and then George, if you want to come on, just let me know. Can you speak to the importance of using the correct coating for the job. Not all coatings are the same. Some are designed for very specific applications, often problems happen when the wrong coating is used? Will?

Will Lorenz: I agree completely, I think, first of all, the first job, if you're putting a coating over an existing roof system is to go up there and evaluate what is there and what is in a good enough condition for you to coat because not every roof is a candidate to be extended with roof coatings for it to be weatherproof. Some of it has gotten past service life. It's moisture saturated or it's degraded to the point of which you can't get a good bond to it. So, that evaluation is key and then looking at the environment that it's in, if you have a building that's a cold storage building, and clearly you've got temperatures where you've got moisture being brought into the building, you have to have something with some vapor barrier properties to it to resist that. Otherwise, you're going to saturate the insulation below. So, there are important things there and then, there are climate zones. I think George may be hitting upon that. There are places in Arizona, where they're hot and dry and those are beautiful places for acrylic technology. They perform so well, they dry so well. There are places in the cold north, which silicones perform exceptionally well. They are the coating of choice, in my opinion for those areas. Then, there are places where there's wet and damp, and if you've got to get the coating to get on there and hopefully it's a dry surface, so it doesn't have any issues with adhesion or de-lamination. Then, if you got constant ponding water and you want a coating that holds up to that or if you're in an area that sees a lot of expansion contraction, you want a tough coating that can survive that. So, there's a lot of different options available and some of it just also comes down to what the building owner is willing to pay for, because not every solution is a Cadillac. It may be a Cadillac for that circumstance but sometimes it is actually more expensive to install and there's a number of roof systems that are put on that are 20 mils, but many are 50 mils and putting more product on there gives you more enhanced durability. Some people are also doing roof coatings with what we call fluid applied systems, which are typically reinforced with fabric and more elaborate system with better performance, better durability. So, it's not just a maintenance coating. It is a true fluid applied roof system and coatings has that whole gamut to offer to people. So, I encourage the contractor to go and look at what's on the roof and talk to his client about what they expect and then, design it from there. We've got multiple technologies that can fit in multiple systems from many great manufacturers. We've got 70 plus manufacturers and suppliers in the roof coating manufacturing organization. They have the solutions for these roofs. Some may start with a tear off because it's too far gone but many are excellent candidates for roof coatings.

Heidi Ellsworth: I think for the roofing contractors, what you just said is so important. So, I want to say thank you to George because ... and thank you George. George has been on before and he just sent me a little note saying not this time, he's multitasking. You know we all do that. So George, thank you so much. I think it is so important that relationship between the contractors and the manufacturers, right? I mean, you have to have that kind of really strong on relationships so that you're learning all the technical, all the new innovation, everything that's coming out, and you have somebody who has your back. Who's walking that roof with you, to making sure that things are right for the building owners. We have a note here, and I'm not sure if Stan is going to be coming on or not, but Stan Hoberg is saying that he is working with lobbyists and government to help push coatings, that they're doing that with Tropical. So, Tropical has been ... and Richard Zegelbone, who I've worked with for a long time, very, very focused on getting out there and really pushing the coatings. So, it seems like what I'm hearing and maybe, Dan, before we kind of move on to the contractor portion of this, just how much your membership is out there working every single day to help with this, is what we're hearing.

Dan Quinonez: It's an interesting thing. In the last few years, the opportunity to enhance our product line, the coatings industry through regulatory action, but both on the federal state and local level, we've seen that battle enhanced and increased tremendously. As I've said before, on the regulatory side, both manufacturers, contractors, property owners, you have to be engaged. I'll make a plug for RCMA, you know, Will does. The one that I've seen is, I think many companies in cost cutting efforts say, "You know what, I'm not so quite sure, right now, we want to be part of an association," but the one thing RCMA does, and I think we do very well, is that we represent the industry at those meetings. We're representing those manufacturers, whether they know it or not, whether they're members or not at these regulatory meetings, at these ... when we go into a congressional office and we're talking to a congressman or a senator or the EPA, we're representing the industry and the one thing that I think we do very well, is we look at the future of the industry and say, "Where should we put our efforts?" It's not just on the lobbying and regulatory side, but enhancing coatings as a whole and showing its benefit, but we also get involved in testing. We look at future problems down the line, and we get engaged in an effort. I know Will and a couple of our members have been very active on talking about ... we had a question about EPDMs and we had engaged in that. The life of coatings, the chemical substances in the coatings and how they could be regulated, looking at future problems, say ... a good example, everybody wants to talk about solar panels and the benefit of solar panels. A lot of folks may not realize that solar panels can generate heat on a roof and that could cause damage. That's a long term problem so everybody is rushing to put the panel on, because they think it's saving their money in the long run. Well, guess what? You may have to replace that roof because there's going to be heat damage in the long run. RCMA gets engaged in that. We look at the opportunity to test for those things. We work with manufacturers to test those, those coatings to see if they can withstand it. So, it's so important for ... whether as a contractor or a manufacturer to be part of an association. I give a plug to NRCA and Reid and his team to an amazing job, and this goes out to a lot of the marketing folks. It's important to be part of an association because again, they're representing your product in those areas that you may not get into. RCMA we ... it's not just meetings and cocktail parties, and receptions. We learn a lot, we study a lot, we participate in a lot of testing. We do a lot of marketing efforts, as our industry as a whole. I know Will has been really making an effort to reach out to a lot of companies who are not members and realizing that it's a benefit. Membership has its perks.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. Well, I mean, obviously, I don't remember the reception but I remember all the testing that you brought out.

Dan Quinonez: Yeah.

Heidi Ellsworth: That's a lot.

Will Lorenz: I'll just say, I think, when you look at the roofing industry as a whole, we're part of that discussion that tries to get energy tax credits for our industry, we're part of trying to make sure that regulations are responsible, and that they're consistent, and they're science based but that we're also going forward with technology, that if there's enhancements and improvements, that we're embracing it because the trends are there. People want better and what that better is keeps changing, but certainly, they want lower risk, they want better from a standpoint of environmental impact. They want to save energy and it's not always just about generating power, it's conservation and durability. Those play a great role in making a building sustainable. You can't just power your way out of it. You've got to really make a good building that performs and roof coatings are really part of that solution.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, strong buildings. Well, and I want to ... we have about 15 minutes left. So, we talked a lot about on the national level and with the manufacturers but I know, I had a number of emails ahead of time from contractors saying, I want to get coatings into my business. I want to get more involved. If I'm a residential, I want to do more commercial. If I'm doing membranes, I want to add coatings in there. I want to start a service and maintenance program. So, I know that you have been working very hard on bringing that kind of training and that kind of education to the market. So maybe you could talk just a little bit about this, Will, maybe you can start off with your contractor training program, what is it and what's happening here?

Will Lorenz: So, we see a need for people to understand what coatings are and how they can be used in their business and how they can be installed properly. First, we have to explain a bit of how a coating is. I mean, sometimes it's a coating that reacts and then it cures that way. Sometimes, it's a material that coalesces in forms of film and which technologies are that, which one is the acrylic, which one is the silicone. Some of them are moisture cure. We have two component. We have single components. So, we thought it's really necessary to put together training modules that could explain coatings to people in a very simple format, so they could use it, understand it. Not become a chemist overnight but really be comfortable with the coatings and coatings need to be applied onto something. So, part of that discussion is how to do it and what's the substrate and what's necessary to get that good bond and get it to cure and perform. Then, what else do you need to do when you're thinking about a coating because we look at localized reinforcement or treatment of the seams and penetrations, is part of the solution to having a good roof and coatings play a role in that, but it has to be incorporated. So, we've got three modules here that kind of help people learn about roof coatings from sort of alpha to omega, I might say. It offers you an opportunity to learn and get CEU credit but it's really designed from a person who comes in with no base knowledge about roof coatings, no preconceived notions and we're able to take them to a very far level of being able to engage and utilize roof coatings. Dan and the team and our technical affairs group that have been putting together this program worked very hard and I want to congratulate them for what they're doing here because it's the way for people need to be open to education and our group is doing a great job with that.

Dan Quinonez: Yeah.

Heidi Ellsworth: That is so good. I mean, that's what we need. We need continuing education. We're trying to recruit all these young people, all different types of people into the industry. So we need to have this kind of educational programs out there. In fact, we have a gentleman, Patrick Hanley has a question about coatings on. So Patrick, are you there?

Patrick: Yes, I'm here.

Heidi Ellsworth: Hi. Welcome to the show.

Patrick: Thank you. I had a question, after the coating is applied, is there a recommended maintenance schedule for the coming years that includes additional applications to maintain the effectiveness of the coating, and a follow up question, since they let me unmute myself, are there harsh environments, like constant sun and heat of the South that require even more applications on a regular basis? How did the different environmental areas throughout the country impact the coatings.

Heidi Ellsworth: Before we answer the question just real quick, Patrick, can you tell us exactly where you're located and your business?

Patrick: I'm currently in Orlando, Florida and I work with OMG Roofing Products.

Heidi Ellsworth: Awesome. Thank you. Go ahead, Will.

Patrick: Thanks.

Will Lorenz: I would say this. You have to know what the customer's expectation is for the roof system that you're putting on. So, if they're looking for something that's going to perform for 10 years or 20 years, you need to choose the right system that's going to do that and coatings like everything else will wear. There's always a loss rate over time. So, there comes a point of which, even if you put on a significant amount of coating, that it will wear off or wear down and you need to replace it. So, typically in our industry, they have thicknesses that are applied for a nominal 10 year or 20 year application. Usually, if you stay within that window, that's a good performance out there. Now, when you get closer to that 10 year mark, let's say at the eight year mark, you'll start to notice that maybe we should go re-coat this earlier because the weather conditions have been a little bit more challenging. The wear, as the climate change, has been happening. Maybe people have been walking on it or damaging it, and you need to get on there but I generally believe that roof contractors have a good maintenance program ideas, which is you always got to get on a roof at least once a year, if not twice a year, and look, see on there. At least get up there and clean the drains and make sure that your roof is performing and that someone hasn't come along, whether it's the air conditioner guy and drop the tool and damage your membrane or your coating or just cause something that could be a leak for you. So, it's important to get eyeballs on the roof and really have a roof that doesn't have any debris or mechanical damage. Then, generally roof systems, roof coating systems particularly, perform very well. If you're looking at an environment like Florida, which you might see a lot more sun or a lot more rainy even, you want to get a coating system that's designed for that and have enough millage to perform for the 10 year period or 20 year period, as well as have positive slope. I mean, if the roof is ponding and so forth, that's the type of things you need to address and it should be done when it's first installed but if it continues to be a problem, you've got some sagging or other things, you don't want to wait. You want to try and address that because that's when you can get into failure and other problems.

Heidi Ellsworth: Will, I know, I'm probably going to say this the wrong way, but you did a great promotion on Roofers Coffee Shop, I think probably about I don't know, wasn't it six months ago with the oscillator? The tool to measure, yeah, those are the kind of things service and maintenance-

Will Lorenz: Tropical comparative.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, there you go.

Will Lorenz: We believe that people should get what they pay for. If you're supposed to get 30 mils of coating, the contractor should be able to know that it's on there and the building owner should be able to be ... provided the information that he's gotten that application rate. So, simple things in a roof coating is to just cut a little slit, just a little sort of smiley face and put it up to an optical comparator, which has a gradient scale and you're able to read and say, "Look, this is how much we put on. We told you we were putting 30 on. We did a good job, we got 32 mils. We want to make sure that this system is going to perform and you've got what you expected." Roof coatings are a field applied material and it's very important that people apply uniformly and get to the right thicknesses. Really, in a roof system, I'll just tell you that I think it's about surface preparation and how you handle the penetrations because if it's a pipe that can bring the water in, if it's not sealed, well, it will bring water in. So, whether it's a system with a membrane or a roof coating, you got to do those things right and then the roof will perform and that's what ... part of these modules will teach you about preparation and evaluating the roof and then how to do the application right, so it's successful. That's what's really important.

Heidi Ellsworth: Well, that's what we're seeing here too. We have a couple of other people who have come in and we're getting close here so I want to make sure we get it in. First of all, some simple questions, are the contractor programs, this training, in Spanish?

Will Lorenz: Hoping to put in Spanish.

Dan Quinonez: We will be. We're very excited about it for RCMA. This is going to be the first time RCMA is doing this, this web based training. We're probably going to ... most likely going to end up launching it in early January. Incredibly excited by it. A lot of our members have worked very hard over the last year to develop these modules and this program. Once it is set up, we'll start initially in English and then, have it translated in Spanish as well. It is a first time going out and doing this. We're very excited about it and I think we hope in the long terms, this will allow RCMA to enhance its training program and I think that is going to be a wonderful opportunity for both contractors and eventually, at some point, expand that to folks who are roofing consultants as well. I think that it's something we really look forward to seeing it grow over a period of time.

Heidi Ellsworth: Well, I have to tell you, you're getting a lot of attention here on that questions. So, that was definitely one where Julie want ... So the request is to have it in Spanish too, how important is that for all the trainee?

Will Lorenz: Right, very important.

Heidi Ellsworth: Very important and then, we also had a question about can you comment on ... and maybe what I'm going to say, since we're getting close on time, but really the comment was on labor situation in the COVID phase. How labor is working. So, maybe just real quickly, the fact that they can do this kind of training right now during COVID, right and then, how's that helping the labor situation?

Will Lorenz: Yeah, I mean, I'll say this, I think roof coatings generally can be installed with less labor than other roof systems. So that's the first benefit to a contractor looking to install it. It may need a few individuals, but maybe not as many as some other roof systems. So, less to train and less to put on a roof. I believe once you address surface preparation and penetrations well, you'll find that it works well. Most coatings being applied are either acrylic, silicones or urethanes or bituminous. There's not a lot of mixing and a lot complications for people to get it. Let's say formulated right up on the roof. Most of them are, open up the bucket or spray it out in a single component because that's what people want. They want ease and convenience. They want a single component system and our industry really has developed that type of technology. The modules give you that ability to learn how to install the product but you might have to choose which path you want to go, whether you're going to be the dip and roll kind of guy, where you're going to have more labor folks doing it or you're going to invest in high pressure equipment to spray it out there. I would encourage good sized contractors certainly invest in the equipment because that's where your next level of labor saving is, is being able to apply either with rollers or being mechanical rolling or high pressure spray, and you'll find that suddenly your profitability increases a great deal because you've got more square footage done that day than with a number of individuals out there, dipping and rolling.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah, well, I just want to point this out too. My dear friend, Jennifer Tripane, she said, I'm excited to be able to share and promote unbiased contractor education on coatings from RCMA before getting into the specific coating systems that I provide. When do you expect this program to roll out, Dan?

Dan Quinonez: Expecting it hopefully, I think early in January and I'm looking forward to ... we're all praying and hoping that we can have an IRE, that really kind of demonstrating the program there. I'm hoping in January, February, the latest once we're able to roll it out. To answer that question too, about the lack of workers and stuff, I think COVID opened the opportunity for a real discussion on this issue. I think re-training and finding workers and, what are we going to do when the economy comes back, if we're struggling during COVID to find workers? I made this point in a discussion before the hotel restaurant industry has been decimated and there's a lot of folks that were out of work there. It's an opportunity to them to look for new career changes to say, "I can have ... make a substantial living working in the roofing industry," and there's longevity there and the construction industry as a whole, there's a real opportunity for folks to think about. Maybe that is the place to look at and there's an opportunity for folks that are looking for work to think about it as well.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. I agree, 100%. I mean we could go for another hour, gentlemen. I mean, this is just like so great. So, I do want to say Doug Keller, I know you had an awesome question on silicones and how they're adhering. So, I'm going to get you over to Will afterwards. I think this is a very much of a Will question so Will stay tuned, you're going to have a cool question-

Will Lorenz: Right, thank you.

Heidi Ellsworth: I also want to say thank you. We had a couple ... Bobby Picker, you had another question about RCMA coating criteria. We'll get back to you on that question. Jimmy, thank you for the shout out on the job today. I want to also say that there are several RCMA companies who have education and training on Roofers Coffee Shop. Greg Hlavaty with Western Colloid, who was the President last year, they did an awesome job in RLW on the Roofers Coffee Shop, talking about application skills, how to do it, about the technology that Will is talking about in spring. So, there is just so much information on the RCMA and then, we take all that RCMA and we put it on Roofers Coffee Shop. So take the time to go on demand and listen to some of these education. Like I said, these two gentlemen are very easy to get ahold of. So, I would encourage everyone to reach out to them, ask them questions about the training. We will definitely ... Dan, right? We're going to be able to get a big hurray celebration when these trainings launch on Roofers Coffee Shop, right?

Dan Quinonez: We are, absolutely.

Heidi Ellsworth: Yeah. So, okay, well, thank you. Thank you, Will. Thank you, Dan for being here today.

Dan Quinonez: Thank you.

Will Lorenz: Wonderful. Thank you, Heidi. It's been well.

Heidi Ellsworth: Thank you and thank all of you for listening. Thank you for being here. Thank you for being part of the conversation. That's what we want. We really want to keep this conversation going. So, two weeks from now, on November 5th, we're going to be talking about how we get more veterans into roofing. I'm very excited about this topic. We have some contractors, some veterans who have done so much for our country who are in roofing, who are helping to bring more veterans into the roofing industry, and what can we be doing as an industry to help our veterans who've done so much for all of us? So, it's November, Veterans Day and we're going to kick it off on Coffee Conversations on November 5th. So thank you, gentlemen. Thank you everyone for listening and have a great day.

Dan Quinonez: Thank you.

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