January 2010
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The manual turns 40

The manual turns 40

The NRCA Roofing Manual is a continuation of a long-standing series of NRCA publications intended to provide in-depth, best industry practices and technical information concerning the design and installation of quality roof systems. As the U.S. roofing industry has evolved, so has the manual.

NRCA published its first manual, A Manual of Roofing Practice, in 1970. This was NRCA's first reference guide developed by roofing contractors to address good roofing practices. The manual was revised in 1971, 1973 and 1976. Consistent with the times, A Manual of Roofing Practice primarily addresses built-up roof systems.

In 1981, the first edition of The NRCA Roofing and Waterproofing Manual was published. This edition consists of 442 pages and contains information about built-up and steep-slope roof systems (asphalt shingles and roll roofing, clay and concrete tile, slate and wood shingles and wood shakes), waterproofing systems, a limited number of construction details and reprints of NRCA's then-current technical bulletins and Handbook of Accepted Roofing Knowledge (HARK). At the time the first edition of the manual was published, polymer-modified bitumen sheet and single-ply membrane roof systems were just beginning to enter the U.S. roofing market and, therefore, little information regarding these products and roof system types are included in this edition.

An updated version of the manual was published in 1983; this updated edition still is referred to as the manual's first edition. Changes incorporated into the 1983 version of the manual include revised built-up roofing, HARK, glossary sections and inclusion of technical bulletins issued since the first edition originally was published.

In 1985, a reformatted, updated and expanded second edition of The NRCA Roofing and Waterproofing Manual was published. This edition consists of 702 pages and for the first time provides detailed information about polymer-modified bitumen sheet and single-ply membrane roof systems, as well as a separate section of membrane roof system specifications.

In 1989, the manual's third edition was published. This edition consists of 726 pages and updated information.

In 1996, the fourth edition of The NRCA Roofing and Waterproofing Manual was published. It is a two-volume set containing 1,858 pages. The fourth edition represents a significant revision from the previous editions in that a vast majority of the text was rewritten. Also, new sections addressing metal panel and spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roof systems and The NRCA Energy Manual are included.

In 2001, the fifth edition of The NRCA Roofing and Waterproofing Manual was published. The fifth edition consists of a four-volume set containing 1,473 pages. It contains updated information from the fourth edition, and the sections addressing architectural sheet metal and metal roofing and SPF roof systems are significantly reformatted and updated. Also, for the first time, new sections addressing condensation control, ventilation and reroofing are included.

In September 2003 and January 2006, interim updates to the fifth edition were published. The interim updates incorporate new and updated information into the low-slope, steep-slope, architectural sheet metal and metal panel, SPF roof system, and appendix and construction details sections of the manual. With the 2003 and 2006 updates, The NRCA Roofing and Waterproofing Manual, Fifth Edition consists of 1,538 pages.

This year—with the publication of The NRCA Roofing Manual: Architectural Metal Flashing, Condensation Control and Reroofing—2010 and completion of The NRCA Roofing Manual—marks the 40th year of NRCA publishing its roofing contractor-developed best practices for the U.S. roofing industry.

The past editions of the manual are available for historical reference as The NRCA Roofing and Waterproofing Manual Anthology, a CD that can be purchased by contacting NRCA's Customer Service Department at (888) ASK-NRCA (275-6722) or by accessing shop.nrca.net.


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