New Materials and Equipment Allows for Greater Control Over Asphalt Roofing Installations, Says QARC

Improved Fume Recovery Systems Expand Range of Applications of Traditional Hot Asphalt Roofing Materials; Better Management of Asphalt Temperature and Viscosity Improves Quality of MB and BUR Systems

[Washington, DC] – According to the Quality Commercial Asphalt Roofing Council (QARC) of the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA), modern equipment is improving the quality of asphalt roofing installations, for example, through better monitoring of asphalt temperature and viscosity during installation; as well as drastically lower fume emissions.

QARC members include the processors of liquid asphalt as well as polymer-modified bitumen products and related application equipment. Modified bitumen (MB) products have gained wide acceptance with application techniques such as cold process adhesives, torch application and hot mopping on commercial buildings. In addition, new equipment and more efficient methods for applying multiple layers of hot-asphalt have been developed, simplifying the installation of traditional built-up roof (BUR).

 “The application of hot-applied asphalt requires a skilled work force, high-quality materials and proper equipment,” says Reed Hitchcock, Executive Director of ARMA. “Fortunately, today’s equipment is better today than ever before, especially with respect to fume recovery systems.”

Fume-recovery systems are used successfully during the application of asphalt roofing materials on schools, hospitals and other facilities where people or specialized equipment are sensitive to fumes. But these systems are relatively new to the industry. After first appearing during the 1970s, they were reintroduced in the early 1990s after much redesign and testing. These systems either burn up the smoke and fumes or capture them on filters. There are three basic types.

The first type has an afterburner attached to a regular kettle lid. It can be retrofit to existing kettles or installed at the factory on new units. This system includes a safety device for loading. The second type has a burner that is separate from the kettle and connected to the kettle by a metal hose, which pulls the smoke and fumes into a fume-recovery unit. The third type also is separate from the kettle and connected with a metal hose. It uses a fan to pull the smoke and fumes into filters. In this case, a roofing worker periodically must dispose of the filters.

According to Hitchcock, asphalt-roofing installations are much different than even a decade ago, thanks in a large part to the use of more sophisticated equipment. “Fumes have been greatly curtailed through the use of new equipment and a well-trained workforce,” says Hitchcock.  “Equipment improvements contribute to a high quality installation of asphalt roofing systems.”

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association is the North American trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of bituminous-base residential and commercial fiberglass and organic asphalt shingle roofing-products, roll roofing, built-up (BUR) roofing systems, and modified bitumen roofing systems.

For additional information concerning ARMA or QARC, their programming and activities, contact ARMA at (202) 207-0917; fax (202) 223-9741; or visit the ARMA web site at www.asphaltroofing.org or www.qualityasphaltroofing.org

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About the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association 
The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is the North American trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of bituminous-based residential and commercial fiberglass and organic asphalt shingle roofing products, roll roofing, built-up (BUR) roofing systems, and modified bitumen roofing systems.

About QARC
The Quality Asphalt Roofing Council (QARC) is an initiative created to support and promote built-up and modified bitumen roof systems under the auspices of the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association.  The council is composed of roll goods producers, asphalt suppliers, equipment manufacturers, packaging suppliers and others.