Archive for April, 2011

Save your back – use a stand-up tool!

April 27, 2011

Did you ever try to stand up after shooting 8000 nails?  Here’s a great alternative to being hunched over using your pneumatic roofing nailer – The Stand Up tool!

It’s 9 position trigger actuator means it will fit virtually all gun types (with a handle and trigger).  The average house requires 8-10,000 nails shot into the deck or when walls are sheeted on the deck.

This roofing nailer attachment clamps to the gun in seconds with no tool and even adjusts to five different angles with the push of a button.  It even has a hose holder so you don’t have to bend over to grab the hose.  Two contoured handles offer the user excellent control.  Standing up also makes it easier to stay on line too.  The handles can be switched for left hand operation and the support handle is adjustable up and down also.


Slide Guard Update: CalOSHA to continue and accept use of slide guards

April 22, 2011

We passed along NRCA’s brief regarding the U.S. Court of Appeals dismissing NRCA’s petition regarding OSHA’s slide guard rule last week (click here to read).  However, some news coming out from Cal/OSHA indicating they will not follow Fed OSHA’s ruling, and will maintain their separate interpretation:

Cal/OSHA will continue to accept and allow the use of roof brackets. Specific to California; there will be NO CHANGES from the current standards.  California will not revert to 6’ height requirement (will remain 20’) and the uses of slide guards/roof brackets are legal within the proper applications. Cal/OSHA will increase inspections, but their primary interest regarding roofers is their PROPER use of personal fall arrest systems that include ropes and rope grabs.


Cotton Mops 101

April 19, 2011

Several types and styles of cotton mops and yarn have been available to spread hot asphalt as far back as known.  Hanks, pin heads and screw type heads are still used in both blue and white yarns.  To break it down there are three different types and styles roofers can choose from.

The different yarns consist of Blue, White singles (1MC) and White plied. Blue yarn has historically been a waste product from blue jean type products.  It has always been the cheapest since it is a by-product the mills had no use for and wanted to get rid of.  The downside is it lasts the least amount of time, consisting of single strands and having been dyed a color weakens it and will reduce the lifespan.  White singles or 1MC is a good middle grade product.  Although still being single strands it has not been through the stresses of being dyed.  While not a waste product is will cost a little more but will last a little longer as well.  White Plied is considered by most the top line choice.  These yarns consist of pure white yarn spun together to make 2, 3 and 4 ply strands that are then used for the mops.

The different styles consist of Hanks, Pin heads or Screw heads.  Hanks (or Skeins as they are sometimes called) are simply cuts of yarn bundled together.  The typical Hank is wrapped in a 30” long bundle weighing 2-1/2 lb. Roofers make their own mops with these adding multiple hanks to make a weight they like using with staples or wire  through a mop bell.  Pin mops and Screw mops are simply pre- made mops consisting of weights from 1-1/2 lb. up to 4-1/2 lb. per mop.  With Pin heads you simply slip the mop over a sleeve on the handle and use a cotter pin or nail to hold it on while Screw mops screw into the sleeve on the handle.

While different yarns are used all over the East the styles in which they are used seems to be more regional.  Because of this we stock and supply all types and styles of these mops out of our Southeast branch.  Raw pure cotton yarn for manufacturers to use is becoming harder and harder to find since many Mills have closed over the last 20 years.  Because of this pricing of cotton mops and hanks for the roofing industry are getting higher and higher.

Court dismisses NRCA petition regarding OSHA’s slide guard rule

April 13, 2011

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Chicago, has dismissed NRCA’s petition for review of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) slide guard rule.

In February, NRCA filed a petition for judicial review of new rules issued by OSHA that fundamentally change the requirements for protecting workers from falls on residential roofing projects. The new OSHA rules, which were issued in December 2010, no longer allow the use of “slide guards,” or roof brackets, as an acceptable means of fall protection except in some narrow circumstances.

NRCA’s petition argued OSHA did not follow appropriate rulemaking procedures when it eliminated an option that has been in place for 15 years; acted without any evidence to suggest slide guards are not an effective method for fall protection; and failed to take into account the effect the new rules would have on small businesses. OSHA argued the rule is not a new standard and is, therefore, beyond the reach of an appeal.

The court agreed with OSHA, concluding that the rule’s 1999 rewrite and 1995 predecessor amounted to “an exercise of prosecutorial discretion” and not a new standard.

“We were extremely disappointed by the court’s decision, even knowing that taking on the government always is a long shot,” says NRCA Executive Vice President Bill Good. “The new OSHA rule now will take effect in just over two months, so we will do our best to help all members prepare. We also hope to meet with OSHA officials to get a better understanding of their enforcement plans. Meanwhile, we encourage all members to let us know of their experiences with the new rule and OSHA enforcement activity.”

Because OSHA’s 1994 fall-protection standard always remained as the operative standard and the only thing that changed was OSHA’s articulation of how it intended to enforce that standard, the Seventh Circuit court concluded that “by deciding to enforce the 1994 regulation as written, the Secretary has not adopted a new occupational safety and health standard.”

Based on that conclusion and because a “standard” was not at issue in NRCA’s petition, the court had no proper jurisdiction, and NRCA’s petition was dismissed.

For more information about the court’s decision, click here.


Having problems with your Torches?

April 11, 2011

We have had several roofers bring their torches in for repair or return them to the distributor claiming there is no propane pressure to the torch.  There have been changes in LP tanks recently, for safety reasons that may be the cause of this lack of pressure.  Tanks and some POL adapters now have a safety shut off check valve that can stop the flow of propane in case of a burst hose.

1.       The most common reason is that  the operator has opened the valve on the propane tank too quickly and it has activated a safety shut off check valve in the brass POL attached to the regulator.  To reset this shut off valve you need to close the valve on the tank and completely remove the regulator from the tank.  You’ll want to close the valve on the regulator (turn knob counter-clockwise until it turns without tension).  Then re-attach the regulator to the tank and slowly reopen the valve on the tank.  Now turn the regulator pressure adjusting knob five to seven turns clockwise.

2.        If your propane tank is ten gallon capacity or less it has an OPD (Overfill Protection Device) valve that  has a safety check valve in it.  This is used to stop the overfilling of a tank and stop the release of fuel if there is nothing attached to the valve.  If you do not screw in your regulator POL fully into the tank then this check valve will not allow the outflow of propane.  Tanks of 12.5 gallons or more do not have this and have no restriction on the flow of propane.  This is the reason most roofers who do torchdown prefer the larger tank, but you still want to make sure the POL is firmly screwed into the tank valve (remember it has reverse threads on the nut).

The vast majority of the time we get the torch back up and running just by resetting the check valve in the brass POL attached to the regulator.  If you follow these tips, you will stay on the job, and not have to head back to your distributor to trade in your torch.

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