Tag Archive: roofing

  1. Roofing Industry Expos Provide Opportunities for Growth

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    Many Knickerbocker Roofing & Paving Co., Inc. employees recently participated in the 35th annual Chicago Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA) Trade Show in Oak Brook on January 18-19, 2018.  The Knickerbocker team took the opportunity to listen to industry leaders with expertise in design, building codes, construction law and more.  We networked with specifiers, suppliers and manufacturer representatives to stay on the forefront of what is happening in roofing in the Chicagoland area and nationally.  The safety seminar was attended by more than twenty-five Knickerbocker field employees and supervisors who spent their morning learning about the latest trends in safety and the most recent changes that provide for their well-being each day on the roof.

    With over 2,700 attendees this year, the show continues to be a premier regional event in the roofing and waterproofing industry.  Knickerbocker is proud to support and actively participate in the CRCA, including having our own Brian Cronin serving as 2nd Vice President of the organization.


    The largest industry show is the International Roofing Expo (IRE), sponsored by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA).  The IRE will be in New Orleans this year February 6-8.  Key members from Knickerbocker will be in attendance, making valuable connections, expanding our network and building professional relationships.  The exhibits will offer another opportunity to see the latest in roofing technology and processes from around the country.

    Like the CRCA Trade Show, the IRE is attended by a wide range of industry professionals including contractors, manufacturers, facility managers, architects and more.  With 1,317 booths at the show, we will be busy refreshing our knowledge of industry technology, products, safety and professional skills.  Additionally, there are more than 44 educational sessions for us to best utilize our time at the show.


    Knickerbocker Roofing is excited to join the many participants at this year’s Expo. As specialized roofing contractors for over 130 years, we look forward to meeting other professionals in the industry and talking with attendees about our work and top of the line services we provide.

    To learn more about our projects and stay up to date on industry news, we invite you to follow us on Twitter and connect with us on LinkedIn. To find out how we can help you with your next roofing project, repair, or service, contact us today.

    Knickerbocker Roofing & Paving Co. Inc

  2. Proud Recipient of the CRCA Gold Medal Safety Award

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    The CRCA Gold Medal Safety Award

    Knickerbocker Roofing & Paving Co., Inc. is pleased to announce our receipt of the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association’s (CRCA) 2017 Gold Medal Safety Award. Presented at CRCA’s Annual Awards Dinner, our team couldn’t be more honored and humbled for the recognition.

    Annually, the award given by the CRCA recognizes roofing contractors who have exceptional safety standards and a continuous, conscientious effort to promote safe working conditions in the roofing and waterproofing industries.

    Here at Knickerbocker, our mission is to be an incomparable roofing solutions provider by offering quality products, safely and efficiently installed by skilled trade workers . We regularly work towards maintaining our leadership role in the roofing, sheet metal, and waterproofing industries. Our aim is to always meet or exceed client expectations with our work.

    Proud Recipient of the CRCA Gold Medal Safety AwardDepicted left: Knickerbocker members at the awards dinner (L to R): David Cronin (Project Manager), Brian Cronin (Vice President), Mark Moran (President), Mark Cronin IV (Safety Director), Chris Cronin (CEO)






    More on our company:

    • Knickerbocker has been family owned and managed for 130+ years
    • All Roofing, Sheet Metal, and Carpentry work are performed by our own employees
    • Annual safety training program for all field and supervisory employees
    • Project safety inspections by independent safety consultants
    • Certified by all major roofing system manufacturers to furnish and install their roof systems
    • Annual manufacturers’ roof system application training
    • Roof inspections and evaluations at no charge
    • License and bonded with the State of Illinois Department of Professional Regulation
    • Outstanding roof leak repair and roof maintenance programs
    • The most modern and safe equipment, maintained by our full time mechanics
    • In-house sheet metal fabrication shop to custom form your sheet metal
    • Value engineering ideas to save you money and get the most from your investment
    • Long-term manufacturers’ warranties

    More on CRCA:

    Headquartered in Hillside, IL, CRCA is a local trade association of roofing and waterproofing contractors in the greater Chicagoland area. Contractors, manufacturers, distributors, manufacturers’ representatives, consultants and others are members of CRCA, where they come together to discuss and tackle issues important to the roofing industry. CRCA serves the greater construction, roofing and waterproofing industries in Illinois through volunteer members who donate significant amounts of time to the association. For further information, contact Bill McHugh, Executive Director, CRCA, 708-449-3340 or bill@crca.org.

    Stay in Touch

    For more information on Knickerbocker, the roofing industry, and CRCA follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, or simply contact us today.

  3. CRCA Brings the Industry Together Under One Roof

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    What’s the benefit of belonging to a local trade organization? For us here at Knickerbocker, they are many. As a long-standing member of the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association (CRCA), we can testify to the valuable services and resources the CRCA offers its members and the customers we serve.

    So, what is the CRCA? It’s a local trade association that serves the construction, roofing, and waterproofing industries across the Chicago area. Members come together to discuss and solve issues important to the roofing industry. They are from all sectors of the industry such as contractors, manufacturers, and representatives – forming a well-rounded group of professionals to learn from and network with.

    The association is active in sponsoring events for understanding important aspects of the industry including industry affairs, safety standards, and new technologies and products. The next big event we will be attending is “Roofing Week in Chicago—Weighing the Facts!” This CRCA sponsored trade show and seminar takes place on January 19th and 20th at the Drury Lane Conference Center in Oakbrook Terrace, IL.

    Expert panels will address topics such as attic ventilation, building envelope research, lightweight structural concrete, equipment safety, and code requirements. The takeaway from these seminars adds to our already deep knowledge of the industry. We are strong believers in learning and exploring new ideas and expanding our current knowledge base to the benefit of our employee and customer base. The field is diverse and constantly growing. CRCA helps us stay current on what’s happening throughout the Chicagoland area and the industry.

    As a member of CRCA, we gain an advantage over the competition by staying current on roofing and waterproofing topics. In turn, we are better suited to offer our customers innovative solutions for tough or challenging roofing projects. From the simple to the complex, Knickerbocker has the skills and expertise to repair or replace any type of roofing system. Contact us today to talk with one of our CRCA professionals, or follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more information!

    CRCA Brings the Industry Together Under One Roof

  4. Common Myths About Roofing & The Facts That Dispel Them

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    President Abraham Lincoln once said, “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon… The great point is to bring them the real facts.” Lincoln’s theory holds true in regards to most circumstances, including roofs and roofing services. Facts can help to dispel common myths and concrete facts (no pun intended) will help you when it comes time to make the right decisions about your roof. Over the years, a lot has been said about roofing; both commercial and industrial roofing, and residential too. Because there is so much information out there, a lot of roofing myths tend to circulate. To clear up some of these common misconceptions, we’re presenting the roofing facts! Read on:

    Myth: You will save money by taking care of repairs after the damage is already done.
    Fact: You will save money by taking care of repairs before the roof leaks.
    What the experts say: A roof is the building’s first level of protection against the elements – rain, wind, sun, and snow. An article from the Chicago Tribune quoted an executive from the National Roofing Contractors Association stating, “No one thinks anything of the roof, until it leaks.” We recommend staying on top of your roof before it leaks because it can prevent further and larger damages that often times go unattended. By being proactive you can save money on some of those major repairs and expenses.

    Myth: Your roof does not need annual repair reviews.
    Fact: It is wise to survey the state of your roof (commercial, home, industrial, or institutional) regularly.
    What the experts say: At Knickerbocker, we recommend annual, or biannual, inspections to our customers. Why? Frequent examinations with written guidance reports and photos allow you to examine concern areas that should be addressed sooner than later. The per-project agreements that we offer grant ongoing roof inspections to ensure your roofs longevity and that it is properly maintained. Again, this will save you money on the inevitably big repairs you will need if you wait on inspections.

    Myth: Damaged shingled roofs have a quick fix. Simply cover the existing layer with new shingles.
    FACT: The above will NOT fix the problem, it will only create further damages in the future.
    What the experts say: Instead, old shingles should be entirely removed and replaced. Some building codes might say that the above myth is acceptable, but it is not a good idea! Head back to the article referenced above, “Think of shingles as the skin of an apple. Ever bite into that bright red skin only to get a mouthful of a soft, bruised, mushy interior? Underneath shingles is a layer of wood sheathing, usually plywood. Sheathing can rot because of leaks, inadequate attic ventilation or just age. The best way to inspect this critical layer is to strip away the old shingles.”

    Myth: Green roofs are a pricey rip off.
    FACT: Green roofs offer many advantages when properly installed.
    What the experts say: A recent blog from the Huffington Post commented, “Green building isn’t as difficult as you might think…” and we would agree with this statement, adding, when it’s done right. Just one of the huge advantages of a properly installed green roofing system is the prevention of leaks. At Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving, we apply our 125+ years of experience in the roofing and sheet metal industry to every green roofing installation we do. In recent years, we’ve completed many successful green roofing installations. Through our relationships with roofing manufacturers and sub-contractors, we’ve become a leader in constructing watertight green roof systems.

    As industrial leaders in the roofing industry, we remind you that these are only a few of the many myths that can lead to further damages or poorly functioning roofing systems. We would be happy to tell you more! For further information on the above, other myths, or general questions and information, give us a call at 708-339-7260 or email us at: sales@knickroof.com. We hope that you take the above information with you on your future roofing endeavors!

  5. Honored By the Recognition We Have Received as a Leading Contractor in the Roofing, Sheet Metal and Waterproofing Industries

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    Here at Knickerbocker our progress reflects our birth in 1886. The awards that we have received over the years ultimately recognize us as a leading contractor in the roofing, sheet metal and waterproofing industries.

    Many industries, including our own, have changed throughout the years, but our company’s mission remains strong: to provide outstanding solutions to our customers by offering quality products installed by skilled professionals. At Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving, employers and employees alike consistently strive to maintain our leadership role in the industry.

    With that said, we are proud of our record throughout the years and honored to be recognized for our accomplishments. The awards received include:

    • Project Awards
    • Industry Awards and Certificates
    • Manufacturer Awards and Certificates
    • Safety Awards and Recognition
    • Charity Awards and Certificates

    Here is a brief overview of each category:

    Landmark Preservation Awards
    The ability to restore historic structures is a skill held by only a few companies. Because we are one of those companies who understand the importance of preserving history and we have the capabilities to do so, we are often called in to work on projects with historic and cultural significance. Three projects we have been involved with have been recognized with Chicago Landmark Awards for restoring, reusing, and promoting the city of Chicago’s historic architecture. Landmark Awards have been won with:

    Lorado Taft Midway Studios: This challenging project consisted of small, low sloping roofs with skylights. All existing roofing material was removed and replaced with new Vermont slate, architectural shingles, and copper metal valleys to restore it to the original design. A deteriorated cupola was rebuilt and replaced. The building also houses a working art studio where we installed 12 custom fabricated skylights to enhance the studio with natural sunlight.

    Indian Boundary Field House: Restoration of the fire-damaged building consisted of removing and replacing the multi-colored, multi-width, rescinding slate roof along with new copper sheet metal flashings, valleys, gutters, and downspouts. The challenge of working with multi-color rescinding slate requires skill and expertise to properly install the large slate at the eaves with progressively smaller slate tiles installed toward the top ridge.

    Monroe Building: The steep slope on this occupied office building required exceptional skill and planning to avoid major disruptions to traffic and pedestrians. After carefully removing the existing roof we installed a custom-manufactured, two-tone, green-glazed Ludowici tile with 20 oz copper gutters and flashings. The complex nature of this project included installing a vertical and horizontal batten system and a 5,000 square foot copper gutter system. The final effect is stunning.

    Industry Awards and Certificates
    Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving has won the prestigious National Roofing Contractors Association Gold Circle Award – one which recognizes workmanship excellence. Additionally (and closer to our Chicago region home) we’ve been repeatedly acknowledged by the Chicago Roofing Contractors Association, whose members include: contractors, manufacturers, distributors, manufacturer representatives, consultants and others industry professionals, who provide leadership for the industry in this region.

    Manufacturer Awards and Certificates
    For 2014, Knickerbocker received the Partner in Quality Award from Firestone Building Products. This award recognizes those contractors who meet requirements for installation excellence and performance of qualified materials within the roofing industry. We are extremely proud to be listed as a premier roofing contractor.

    Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving recently received the 2015 Firestone Building Products Master Contractor Award. Although this isn’t the first time we’ve received the recognition as a best roofing contractor, it is the most recent of the various awards we’ve received over the years. According to Tim Dunn, president of Firestone Building Products, “The annual Master Contractor Program recognizes our best contractor firms dedicated to installing roofing systems that help commercial buildings achieve long-term performance. We’re proud to have offered this award for the last 28 years to recognize our trusted contractor partners who are some of the best in the industry.” Other manufacturer awards and certificates that we’ve received include the “Ludowici Crown Installer” (Knickerbocker was one of only three companies to achieve this designation in the industry) as well as “Approved Carlisle Applicator of Sure-Seal Elastomeric Systems.” These are just two examples of the additional esteemed awards Knickerbocker has proudly accepted.

    Safety Awards and Recognition
    Our team takes safety extremely seriously and, as a direct result, we have been frequently recognized for our commitment to safety in what we do. A part of our safety program is the annual safety training program for all of our supervisors and field employees. We commonly share the company philosophy of “safety first.” In fact, many times over the years, our safety program has been recognized by organizations like the American Subcontractors Association (ASA –Chicago).
    Charity Awards and Recognition
    Last, but certainly not least, our company and employees have received awards and recognition by charity organizations for service to our local community. We’ve been honored for our contributions and service to the DuPage Habitat for Humanity, the Leukemia Research Foundation, and the cities of Harvey and Chicago, as well as other communities and organizations in the area.

    Check out the photo gallery on our website which includes a display of several of the many awards and certificates Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving has received over the years. We’re honored and proud to share our accomplishments with you and our community!

  6. Energy Conservation Codes and Roofing: What You Need to Know

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    Most people know the important role that a roof serves to a home or building; it’s so much more than a simple covering. Of course the aesthetic appeal of a good roof adds immeasurable value, but beyond that, a good roof saves energy and money while making a building more efficient.

    What many people might not realize is that the energy efficiency of roofing is mandated by codes that require minimum thermal insulation levels. These codes are related to energy conservation and are increasing regularly. They vary individually by state and region, but follow the guidelines of the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC), which is determined by the U.S. Department of Energy.

    The purpose of increasing them, of course, is for buildings to continue achieving greater levels of energy efficiency, which is beneficial for a number of reasons. The DOE’s goal is a 30% improvement in energy efficiency compared to the previous version.

    The IECC is updated every three years and the current edition in effect for our area is IECC 2012. For the Chicago area, the latest edition increased the R-value requirements—the thermal resistance value of insulation—fromR20 to R25.

    Essentially, this means that existing roofs being renovated, and roofs that are built in new construction, must adhere to the latest R25 requirement. This pertains to all buildings, with the exception of detached one- and two-family dwelling and townhouses.

    While the specific codes that are followed are determined by individual states and cities—with some cities currently on the 2012 edition — it’s important to not only note that you must follow your city’s current requirements (again, R25 for Chicago), but to remember that these codes change regularly and rapidly.

    As each edition aims to improve efficiency over the last, we can safely assume that newer editions will increase the R-value for our city once again. While we don’t yet know what it will be, we do know that it will most likely increase, and it is important for building owners, builders, and maintenance staff to remain aware and current.

    At Knickerbocker Roofing, we are always on top of the latest news, changes, rules, and regulations related to roofing. If you have any questions about the IECC codes—or anything else—feel free to contact us anytime.

  7. The Truth Behind Roofing Insulation

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    When it comes to your building or structure, there is usually a checklist of requirements needed for the roofing. One in particular that comes to mind? The roof’s insulation, which is an important feature year-round.

    When it comes to the roofing assembly, it is important to have a high thermal value, which is a calculation of the roof’s ability to resist thermal loss. In other words, it measures how much the roof allows heat to pass through, thus keeping the hot air hot and the cold air cold. Insulation plays an important role when it comes to thermal value—the better the insulation, the higher the thermal value.

    Local codes and the International Green Construction Code, instituted by the International Code Council, specify the required thermal values to reduce the loss of heat in the winter and to provide cooling from heat in the summer. Insulation is a perfect counterpart to any building’s HVAC system, for it aids in both the summer and winter months.

    Insulation can be provided by a number of materials in a roofing assembly. The most widely-used insulation within the roofing system is polyisocyanurate, which is installed within the roofing assembly. Others include expanded polystyrene, which also is installed under the roofing membrane, and extruded polystyrene, which can be installed on top of the roofing membrane since it is able to withstand exposure to the weather. Insulation can be added in layers of various thicknesses, depending on the roofing structure. Along with most insulation materials is the use of cover boards, utilized to provide additional rigidity to the roof system.

    A roof’s insulation is a necessary component of the overall building envelope. Keeping the building’s hot air hot and cold air cold is its job—and it certainly helps keep bills down and its thermal value up.

  8. Tips for Evaluating a Roofing Contractor’s Safety Performance

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    One of the most important steps when choosing a roofing contractor is to assess their safety performance. Every professional roofing organization should have a program in place for training workers and maintaining conformance to OSHA safety guidelines. In addition, they must carry both liability and workers’ compensation insurance to protect you, their business, and their workers in the event of an incident.

    Following a few simple guidelines will help ensure that the roofing contractor you are considering for hire is operating a legitimate and reputable business. Don’t hesitate to ask for proof of insurance. Any professional organization should be able to produce their certificate to demonstrate they have the appropriate level of liability to cover any personal or property injury while the roofing work is being done. Request a copy of their OSHA Form 300A. Regulations require that roofers keep a log of work-related injuries, and this is an important tool when evaluating their overall safety record. A low rate of work-related incidents will demonstrate that they are observing good safety practices. Another element to consider is the contractors “Experience Modification Rate,” or EMR. EMR is a comparison of one company’s worker compensation claims to those of similar companies in the industry. Businesses with an EMR rating below 1.0 have a lower than average claim rate, indicating that they are observing a higher level of workplace safety. Finally, ask them some specific questions – what formal safety training do they offer their employees? What specific precautions are taken, and what safety equipment should you expect to see at the worksite?

    Here at Knickerbocker Roofing, we operate in full accordance with OSHA regulations and recommendations. In addition to a documented safety program, we hold regular meetings to discuss safety issues, topics, and incidents. Our labor-management safety committee routinely discusses safety challenges and explores new ways to enhance our safety programs, and we have a systematic discipline protocol in the event that a worker violates safety rules.

    Do your safety homework. It is the responsibility of every commercial roofing contractor to protect their workers from injury and their clients from damage and liability.

  9. Weathering the Roofing Storms

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    Rain, snow, high wind. There are many types of storms that can hit at any point, and your building’s structure needs to be able to withstand these strong conditions and any potential debris. More than necessary, then, is to ensure your roof is sturdy enough in these storms, or can easily be repaired to ward off any further structural damage.

    This is where Knickerbocker can step in. As roofing experts, we have the skills to repair or rebuild your roofs after any possible storm damage. Was there a roof blow-off (where the roof peeled back and exposed the roof deck or inside structure)? Did the entire roof pull away? Was the insulation soaked? Does the flashing and perimeter edge need to be replaced? Whatever the issue is, we can solve your problem. Our emergency repair services allow for us to make small and rush repairs as soon as the storm conditions settle. Sometimes these repairs are small enough to keep your existing roof; however, the storm may have been powerful enough to permanently damage the roof. In this case, we can perform more extensive repairs or a full roof replacement.

    If the roof’s destruction is severe enough to require a complete replacement, not only can we replace it, but we can provide a roofing manufacturer’s 10, 15, or 20 year warranty. What steps do we take? First, we will evaluate the condition of the roof and work with you to determine the right solution to fit your needs. From there, we properly install the roofing to product specifications, to adhere to appropriate wind guidelines, and to meet thermal and reflectivity requirements. With our years of experience, we guarantee your roof will be strong enough to protect you in the next storm. Although Mother Nature can provide storms we can’t protect against fully – like tornadoes—we will do the best to prepare and maintain your roof to weather the storm!

  10. Sustainability and Roofing

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    What does sustainability mean to the roofing industry? Seems like a simple question, but it’s not so simple to answer. Different roof types impact the environment in different ways. When sustainability in roofing first became relevant, the thought immediately jumped to green roofs, which provide rainwater management while protecting the underlying materials, insulating the building, and offering an appealing aesthetic. White roofs, which reflect heat off the building and reduce the ”urban heat island” effect, have caught on as energy cost cutters in certain climates. However, their reflectance may be wasting the suns rays and increasing heating costs during winter months in colder regions, and controversy exists over whether they are a help or a hindrance to global warming.

    Of paramount importance to sustainability, then, is durability. A roof with a long service life requires replacement less often, which reduces the need for construction materials, saves the energy used to produce them, and avoids having to send discarded material to landfills. It is necessary, then, to consider a roof’s life cycle when opting for sustainability—ensure the roof is built properly and made to last. Choosing environmentally-friendly products, such as those that are recyclable and/or made from recycled products, are a good option if the material demonstrates acceptable longevity. Using natural materials, such as slate and tile, gives you a roof with a useful life upwards of 75 years. Ballast roofing, which can be replaced without affecting a structure’s insulation, is another option to consider. Additionally, new international building codes are requiring higher levels of insulation, in order to essentially reduce heating and cooling costs.

    So, you can see that there are many effective choices for adding a sustainable element to any roof. And when you’re planning your next roofing project, Knickerbocker Roofing is ready to help you select the right strategy to meet your sustainability goals.

  11. Tips on Hiring a Roofing Contractor

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    Are you getting a new roof? If the answer is yes, then you have landed on the right page. With over 125 years working in the roofing industry, we consider ourselves masters in roofing. We can help point you in the right direction as you determine your roofing needs. Here are five things to consider when hiring a roofing contractor:

    1. The contractor’s experience and expertise. You certainly don’t want your new roof to fail shortly after it’s installed. Make sure your contractor regularly performs this type of work, the workforce is properly trained, and they have extensive experience in this industry.
    2. The quality of the roof. Ask around for contractor references and ensure you are putting the highest quality roof above you. This new roof should be a long-term solution, with a design and materials that will withstand the test of time.
    3. The contractor’s licenses. Ask the contractors for proper licenses and bonds before you hire them.
    4. The contractor’s insurance. Inquire about their certificate of insurance and thoroughly review the coverage and effective dates. Be sure you are protected.
    5. Maintenance. Determine that the contractor has a dedicated maintenance division that provides periodic maintenance inspections and emergency repairs, as needed.

    In addition to these tips, the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) also provides recommendations on their website, such as securing written proposals and warranties. One of the main guidelines to follow when choosing a roofing contractor is to ensure that the roof will be safe and long-lasting. As roofing contractors, we know the importance of a good roof. Feel free to visit our website for further information!

  12. Setting High Standards for Over 125 Years

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    1886 was certainly a busy year. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated in New York. The Hall-Heroult process for refining aluminum was created. Germany’s Karl Benz received a patent for the first gasoline-powered automobile. Most importantly, in our eyes at least, Knickerbocker Roofing and Paving was established.

    As our name implies, we were built from the top down—more specifically, we placed our focus on roofing. Roofing was a simpler process than it is today. But as long-distance transportation and heavy industry began seriously cranking at the turn of the twentieth century, we also made a name for ourselves serving the railroad boom. Our main responsibility was to install roofing for train stations. Since then, we have seen industry and roofing grow and expand in application and complexity – and we have done much the same.

    At the present time, we are under our fifth generation of ownership – yes, the same family that started the business with the paving of Michigan Ave – and we have shifted our focus to five main areas: flat roofing, slate/tile steep roofing, green roofing, architectural sheet metal (which has been a part of our business for 40 years), and service/maintenance (our service department maintains, repairs, and upgrades most roofing systems). Although our focus is still on the installation and maintenance of roofing systems, we have adapted to the times and changes of the industry. Here’s to believing we’ll be masters in roofing in another 125 years.

    Don’t worry, though, you won’t have to wait 125 years for our next blog post! Check back on a monthly basis for more company and industry news. Until then, feel free to visit us at our website.