Author Archive

El Niño Update

September 6, 2012

Supported by the model forecasts and the continued warmth across the Pacific Ocean, the official forecast calls for the development of most likely a weak El Niño during September 2012, persisting through December-February 2012-13


El Niño this year??

June 7, 2012

The evolving conditions, combined with model forecasts (Fig. 6), suggest that ENSO-neutral and El Niño are roughly equally likely during the late northern summer and fall. The CPC/IRI forecast calls for ENSO-neutral conditions through JAS, followed by an approximately 50% likelihood for El Niño during the remainder of the year (see CPC/IRI consensus forecast).

Happy 60th Anniversary Roofmaster

April 30, 2012

The month of April is the 60th anniversary of the founding of Roofmaster by Deryl Yundt.  My Dad had been the Pacific Coast manager for Aeroil Products Company of South Hackensack, New Jersey.  He actually had taken over for the previous manager, Les Cleasby, who was starting a new venture, to be called Cleasby Whittig, in San Francisco.

In his tenure at Aeroil, he was asked by his customers to handle more products than just what Aeroil manufactured.  In asking his manager, Joe

Joe Halperin with Dorothy & Deryl at NRCA 1990

Halperin, to expand their inventory, he was told “we are manufacturers of equipment.  You are employed to sell that equipment.  You are not employed to sell shovels.  End of conversation.”

With the financial backing of some local roofing contractors, Deryl hired one employee, Cornie.  Cornie received and delivered all orders.  We had customers that suggested new items from problems they had with roofing applications.  From that came the first Mopmaster, a 10 gallon half drum on wheels with a handle and the Rotomaster to apply asphalt to sheet for sawtooth roofs.  We had been private labeling our Feltmaster and

Feltmaster MRCA 1958 with Deryl

Gravelmaster to Aeroil for about two years, so that was added to the mix.

We have seen lots of changes in the industry in our 60 years.  From hot to cold to hot again with modifieds and Leister hot air welders.  From roofing in tee shirts and shorts to being covered in safety gear and monitor vests.  From the wonderful smell of “hot” to the sound of a Varimat V-2 at 39 feet per minute.  From selling a kettle a day in the ’70’s to celebrating selling a kettle in a quarter.

We have seen customers come and go.  Southern Distributors, Bryant Universal, San Fernando Valley Lumber, Berkheimers, Hugh McNiven.

We have seen vendors come and go.  Aeroil, Blackwell Burner, Smith Hoist.

And we have seen employees come and go.  To their maker, Deryl, Jim Nienow and John Mac.  To other ventures, Andranette and Greg.

As we enter our next 60 years, we have the third generation in place, ready to attack the challenges of a changing

IRE 2012 Vendor Thank You

marketplace and the ever changing weather, job, material and government conditions.

We raise our glass and toast all of our customers, vendors and employees, for helping us to achieve the past 60 and helping us for the generations to come.

Kettle Temperature Control

April 6, 2012

Cleasby B-61 Auto Control

Ever wonder why there have been so many different kettle temperature controls available?
As I was told, many years ago, the first temperature control was by Cleasby Manufacturing in San Francisco. It seems their next door neighbor was I.T.T. General Controls. In a conversation with a salesperson, the subject came up of overheating asphalt. It was suggested to use the thermopilot B61 valve control, normally used on a water heater. This required a pilot flame that “proved” the thermopilot to open and close the main gas valve.
In about 1955, Roofmaster came up with a 12 volt, battery operated control system. This had a solenoid valve that would operate for either liquid or

Roofmaster 12 Volt Auto Control

vapor LP fuel. By being able to work on liquid, it could work in colder temperatures and not freeze the LP tanks. A nice by product was that we used a “starter-generator” on the pump engine, so you didn’t have to hand start the engine on a cold morning.
A third type of control is the Hi-Low control. This uses a temperature sensor that expands with heat and will slowly open and close the gas valve, regulating temperature. A plus of this type of control is that it can be used on any kettle. We currently install them on smaller kettles that are used by shower pan contractors in addition to the

Hi-Low Auto Control

patented Roofmaster cold process material heating WarmMaster.
With fewer and fewer large kettles being sold, we see a lot of the Hi-Low controls being used. The shower pan people usually light their kettle in the street while they are laying up the pan. By the time they are ready to mop, the asphalt is hot, without having to worry about overheating.
As in other industries, there is always a story of evolution that can be told.

How did Chopped Fiberglass come to the Roofing Industry

February 2, 2012

Roofmaster was approached by a gentleman named Jay Johnson in the late 1950’s, early 1960’s who had developed a chopped fiberglass gun.  His company, Glas-Craft, was located in Montrose, California.  They had

Original Glassmaster Gun

developed an air operated gun that was capable of chopping fiberglass roving into pieces anywhere from 1/2″ to 4″ long and then coating with epoxy.  Their main business was using this technology to make fiberglass chickens, horses and other products that businesses would put on display.  As it turned out, Jay used his gun to make a fiberglass catamaran, which he named “The Glass Slipper”.  He entered it in the 1966 Trans-Pacific Yacht race from Los Angeles to Hawaii and won the race on his first try.

With Glas Craft’s help, Roofmaster was able to develop a gun to chop fiberglass, blow it through a delivery tube and two spray tips to coat it with emulsion or white coatings.  The fiberglass strengthened the system and was able to help repair damaged roofs.

Glassmaster Gun

Backpack Rover Holder

Since, the Glassmaster gun has gone through some transitions and modifications to make it a little more user friendly.  Roofmaster makes the unit in their Monterey Park plant.  It comes in a lockable wooden case for protection.  It comes with a set of straps and an ergonomically placed handle.  We furnish extra anvil rollers as they wear as the blades index into them to fracture the fiberglass.  We also offer a Back Pack to hold the box of roving.  It includes a feed tube that funnels the roving to the chopper motor.

Typical usage is approximately 3# of fiberglass and 9 gallons of material per 100 square feet.  In addition to a material pump for the coatings, the Glassmaster requires a compressor with at least 20 cubic feet capacity per minute.

There are contractors that specialize in this type of roof surface.  It strengthens the roof while sealing it.

History of the Feltlayer

June 22, 2011

Ever wonder how something got started?  Let me tell you about the staple of hot roofing, the Feltlayer.

Hot asphalt had historically been applied by cotton mops.  After World War II, with the construction of larger buildings and wide open spaces, there was a machine developed in the Chicago area for applying asphalt and felt at the same time.  It was known as the Rix feltlayer and it was distributed by Aeroil Products out of Hackensack, NJ.

The only problem is that it really didn’t work.  Along comes Roofmaster’s founder, Deryl Yundt, who was Pacific Coast manager for Aeroil.  He took the original steel design and modified it to make it work.  This was in about 1951.  He manufactured it and sold it back to Aeroil, until his decision to start Roofmaster in 1952.  It became known as the Roofmaster Feltmaster.

It was pulled backward so the operator could see the ply marks on the felt and also observe the asphalt flow from the valve at the bottom so there were no voids in the asphalt between the sheets.  This was the feltlayer of choice for nearly 30 years.

Then along comes Peter van Dijk, who was from Holland.  He had an engineering firm design an aluminum feltlayer with the intention of exporting them to Europe.  Trouble was that the roofers in Europe had too much pride in their work to use a machine.  It was then that Peter hired Greg Clements, a soccer friend, to market his feltlayer in the U.S.

Greg did his job and basically took the market on the feltlayer.  Roofers liked it because it was half the weight of Roofmaster’s Feltmaster and had sealed lids, along with some other features that gave it an advantage.

With the recession of the early 80’s, Greg was let go by van Dijk, and was hired by Roofmaster.  Van Dijk also made the decision to trade his feltlayer rights to Garlock of Minneapolis.

Around 1992, Roofmaster decided to upgrade and re-engineer the aluminum feltlayer.  We went back to its original design engineer and had him update and improve on his original design.  That new design is the modern Universal Feltmaster, manufactured by Roofmaster.  The aluminum comes in as sheet, where it is manufactured in to product for shipment from Monterey Park, California.

It is available with our NonFlatLite tires and insulation.  It will work as a 36″ or metric unit by just changing a plug on the valve end.

All in all, a useful tool for those large flat roofs where you can “blow and go” with the Feltmaster!

Western Roofing Expo 2011 Wrap-up

June 8, 2011

We had a great time at the Peppermill Resort in Reno for the WSRCA’s annual Western Roofing Expo in 2011.

We saw some old friends, met some new ones and had a great show.  With all the recent OSHA activity, there was a heavy presence on safety, and we brought along a Texas Hold ‘Um, the only unit that offers mobile fall protection for 4 workers.  Here’s a snapshot of it in our booth:

Also, we re-introduced the Lazer Wagon, which Derbigum announced is the only approved torch applicator for use with DerbiBrite Roof Membranes.

Remembering Randy Parker

March 29, 2011

Randy with Roofmaster founder Deryl Yundt

We were saddened a week ago, to hear of the passing of Randy Parker.

Randy was an avid golfer and UCLA fan.  Randy started working for us in 1991, as an outside salesperson.  He worked for us in the Southern California area for about nine years.

After he left Roofmaster, he stayed in the roofing industry, started his own roofing company, Randy the Roofer, and moved to South Carolina.

Randy and Friends

Randy was a member of Sober & Proud and Alcoholics Anonymous.  He loved fishing and NASCAR.

He always loved the deal and was very creative when it came to his customers.  We still use his favorite saying:  “We’ll make it up in volume”.

Randy's last day at Roofmaster with his "girls"

Randy always had a smile and a good story.  I laugh every time I remember his story of being caught “short” in the middle of a freeway somewhere in the South.

It is with much sadness that we say good by to our former employee and good friend, Randy Parker.

What we forget about using “hot” asphalt

November 18, 2010

We are seeing more and more roofers using hot asphalt.  We see mops, mop handles and sleeves almost flying off the shelf.  This means that hot is not dead as has been mentioned in months and years past.

This is a tried and trusted form of roofing that has been around for over 2000 years.  Today we see T.P.O. roofs that are prone to punctures and / or poor workmanship. There is a difference between a single sheet and two or three plies with a generous layer of hot in between.

All of the equipment manufacturers in the roofing industry had their start in the built up / hot asphalt arena.  Some of the original manufacturers such as Aeroil Products, from 1917, and Blackwell Burner Company from about the same time, are now gone.  But there are other companies, such as Roofmaster, that have continued to offer equipment for the hot roofer.

Now, we do not see the kettles flying off the shelf, but we do repair kettles that are well over 40 years old.  They don’t seem to wear out like lite wall tubing or mops.

Since some roofers have not used hot in a while, there are a couple of things they want to remember before starting.  Safety is the first item.  Remember gloves, long sleeved shirts and safety goggles.  You are dealing with 450 degree material.  In case of burns, there is the Roofmaster Burn Kit .  This is stocked with all the items that will help address the unfortunate burn. Remember, asphalt will continue to burn until it is cooled.  Be sure to keep an ice chest or water cooler on the job site and plunge or soak a towel, shirt or other item with cold water to cool the affected area.

Next, remember that hot pipe and rubber or metal flex hose for the transition on the roof.  Know what kind of unions you have been using.  A Stockham union requires a pipe wrench to tighten.  A tri-lug knock or two-lug knock just requires a hammer, but you cannot mix as the interior threads (where the two halves come together) are different on the three different types.

Then you will need mops, adapters and handles, mop carts, hot carriers and feltlayers, depending on the size of the job.  Knives, hook blades and maybe some knife holders will help keep your tools at hand, and Dissolve to keep your hands and tools clean.

Remember what it was like before single ply roofing…Ah, the good old days.

Ratings for Fire Extinguishers

October 6, 2010

Have you ever wondered why portable dry chemical fire extinguishers have an A, B or C or BC or ABC letters on the labels?

It has to do with the class of fire that the extinguisher will extinguish.  An “A” rated extinguisher is best used on wood, paper, rubber and plastic fires.  A “B” extinguisher is for flammable liquids, gases and greases.  A “C” extinguisher is for electrical fires.

Normally you will see a “BC” extinguisher, which will work for liquids and electrical.  Our philosophy is that for a couple of pennies more, you can have a TriClass ABC extinguisher that will handle all classes of that potential fire.  We sell four different TriClass extinguishers – 2-1/2 lb, 5 lb, 10 lb, and 20 lb.

10 lb Fire Extinguisher

Roofers should always have an extinguisher on their job site.  Keep one by the kettle and a couple on the roof for those hot jobs.  Any torch down modified jobs should have a couple because you have an open flame on the roof.  And then, those TPO jobs should have a couple on the roof in case of an electrical or debris fire.

We always work toward a safe work environment, but sometimes things happen on the job site.  Be prepared.

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