Editor’s note: The views in this article represent those of the author and not necessarily NRCA or Professional Roofing.
Long before the current worker shortage, finding and retaining skilled labor has been a challenge for the construction trades. This is especially true in commercial roofing where experience is required to complete jobs in a way that is timely and cost-effective. Roofing contractors are expected to deliver quality, watertight low-slope roof systems with limited labor resources while still turning a profit. However, with leaner operations, contractors have less time for self-analysis and fewer opportunities to improve their abilities to control and reduce labor expenses.
Understanding the pressures facing contractors, roofing manufacturers have attempted to address the construction labor shortage by offering products that require less skill, time and effort to install. Self-adhering polymer-modified bitumen roof membranes have been marketed as a labor-saving solution to traditional bituminous products, which require torched or hot-mopped membranes or membranes set in cold adhesive.