Thursday, March 29, 2012

Severe Weather Awareness

We think spring has been beautiful this year. The trees and tulips are blooming with full, fragrant blossoms, the bees are buzzing, the grass needs mowing (again) and the record breaking warm days are quite refreshing coming out of winter.

These warm days also bring spring storms which will produce high winds and large hail. Keeping up with the weather in the Midwest can be quite challenging, since sometimes you hear thunder and see lighting and still be standing in complete sunshine. But there are several ways to keep updated on severe weather these days, especially with apps you can download on mobile phones and other web enabled devices. Here are a couple of ideas to keep you aware of weather in your area:

1. Check your local television station and download their weather app or subscribe to their feed
2. Go online to and check out their live model or connect with them through social media
3. Google a list of "Weather Apps" and select one that fits your phone
4. Look into Radio Apps for your phone to tune you into stations that will keep you updated during the storms

No matter how prepared you are, however, there is not much you can do to protect your roof. If damage is done, please feel free to contact us for consultation on the best way to repair it. We will visit you onsite, prepare a written estimate and, if needed, work directly with your insurance company.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Difference Between Air Barriers and Vapor Barriers

We don't want to bore you too much technical jargon but it is important to understand that there is a difference between air barriers and vapor barriers.

A vapor barrier is designed to restrict the flow of water vapor through a material. The air barrier, on the other hand, restricts the flow of air through a material.

Since they are intended to control the rate of diffusion into a building assembly, water vapor material will control the rate of moisture flow where they are placed. They don't have to overlap or be continuous.

Then there are water resistive barriers, which are systems using materials primarily designed to keep liquid water from entering the building enclosure. They are designed not be be a vapor barrier and are designed to be installed on the cold side of the insulation.

To make it even more confusing, combined air barriers, vapor barriers and water resistive barriers can be provided in a single material.


It's important to know when you are dealing with the building envelope which material you choose to perform each different function.

But, that is what we are for, so when you are looking to design your air barrier system for your building, give us a call and we'll worry about all of that for you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Why Is it Important for You that We are ABAA Certified

Washington Roofing & Insulation is an accredited contractor of the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA).

Washington Roofing & Insulation
In order to become accredited, we completed intensive requirements such as attending courses and passing written exams. Furthermore, in order to be a part of the ABAA, companies must have a minimum of $300,000 bonding ability, over $2 million in general liability insurance, be specifically licensed, have a minimum of 3,000 hours of air barrier field installation or related trade experience and pay an annual membership.

That's all great, you say, but what does that mean for me?

It means that we undertook this challenge as a company to bring a higher level of commitment and professionalism in the installation of air barrier systems for our clients.  It means that our installers have thousands of hours of experience and have been trained specifically on proper installation of this product, and it means that we undergo continuing education and stay up-to-date on trends in air barriers and building envelopes.

Therefore, you will receive a superior end product when Washington Roofing & Insulation works with you to provide the air barrier system for your building.

And that's the bottom line.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Jammin' With Jam-Ex

It is usually the little things that companies do that build their reputation. One of the ways we go that extra mile is utilize products during installations that may not seem like a big deal, but provide a quality, long-lasting end result.

One of those products is called Jam-Ex. Is is a simple thermoplastic piece used to extend jambs, heads and sills of windows, curtainwalls and doors in exterior walls of buildings for air and vapor barrier systems.

We use them around windows sills to maintain an even spray flow across the entire area. No matter how well trained you are, installers will tamper the flow as they near an opening, causing a thinner air barrier around the windows and doors. Jam-Ex prevents this tapering. It also helps prevent wood warping since it is fabricated from a custom blend of resin modified, UV resistant thermoplastic.

It is not exciting, sexy or expensive. It doesn't shake hands, kiss babies or run for president. It is just a little something extra that helps provide a higher quality product and service for our customers.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Flint Hills Discovery Center Project Complete

The Flint Hills Discovery Center project is complete.
We are proud to pass along the announcement that the grand opening for the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, Kansas is right on schedule for this April. The Center broke ground in July 2010 with a mission to "celebrate, explore and care for the flint hills."

Back in November we had posted how Washington Roofing and Insulation (WRI) was working with Split Rock Studios out of Minneapolis to create a cave at the center for people to walk into and see exhibits. This was done by spraying polyurethane foam inside the structure and then the creative people at Split Rock made the "cave like" appearance by cutting into the foam and adding the vines. WRI finished the project by spraying polyurethane foam inside the walls of the cave and then using Flame Seal TB on top of the foam to create the thermal barrier needed to meet fire requirements. WRI also sprayed foam on the walls of the center.

Inside the cave during construction.
Moriah Carpenter, project estimator for the company, said that this was one of the more unique projects WRI had ever done.

"What is done behind the scenes makes a big difference," she said. "It will really help them with their energy efficiency. It was exciting to be a part of it and watch it all come together."

The Center is hosting a Contractor's Grand Opening on April 7th and then will be open to the general public shortly after that. 

"McCownGorden worked hard to get this open on time," Moriah said. "They did a fantastic job."

Inside the cave with exhibits.

Another shot of the cave's interior with exhibits.

Note: Photos compliments of the Flint Hills Discovery Center construction page