William W. Taylor
Professional Roofing: What is the most difficult roofing project you've performed?
Taylor: Sea World of Texas, San Antonio. My 12-member crew installed a fabric roof system over a whale pool. Unfortunately, by the time the general contractor told us we could begin roof system installation, the pool had been filled with water. The crew installed the roof system working from a flat-bottom boat! The prefabricated membrane was made of PVC coated with Teflon® and stretched over cables attached to columns. The crew had to tension the cables to 14,000 pounds (6300 kg) using hydraulic jacks without pulling down the columns. The roof system resembles a tall sailing ship's masts.
Why did you become a roofing contractor?
After my sophomore year in college, I was working on a roofing crew learning to mop. During a beautiful Iowa summer day, I looked across the horizon at the trees and adjacent buildings' roofs and could not imagine why I would want to be an accountant, which is what I was studying at the time. I loved constructing and being able to see my work result in something tangible.
What was your first roofing experience?
I was the "brush man" on a crew that sprayed emulsion on a smooth-surfaced saw-tooth roof system. My job was to brush the emulsion with a 36-inch (900-mm) soft-bristled broom. We had a contest to see how much area we could complete each day. The camaraderie was fantastic. After several months, I really could handle a broom!
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