Lose A Key Employee?  What Next?

Roofing businesses are tied to “Key Employees.” What happens when you lose one? Sometimes when you least expect it, things happen and the world changes overnight. Managing this risk with an organized playbook helps minimize damage and control the message within the company, and with your customers.   Join Steve Little and Jayne Williams as they share KPost’s experience of losing a few key employees; one, the heir apparent to Steve to a fatal automobile accident, and the others to key competitors.

Click link to read more: http://kpostcompany.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/WRE-Seminar-Release-6.2017.pdf
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KPost Charities Host First Scholarship Award Ceremony

KPost Charities was established as a non-profit organization in 2015.  KPost Roofing & Waterproofing has always believed that we are a blessed company and, as such, should “pay it forward”.  KPost is not new to charitable causes. They have raised monies for Susan B. Komen, Operation Kindness, Easter Seals and donated backpacks filled with school supplies for the children of KPost employees and the Young Women’s Leadership Academy at Bill Arnold Middle School in Grand Prairie, TX.

In 2015, KPost Charities awarded scholarship money to deserving children, grandchildren, and employees of roofing contractors.  The recipients were recently honored at KPost with a reception and a time for recognition of each honorees scholastic achievements and future academic goals.

 

Shane Mullinix, Business Develoment at KPost Roofing & Waterproofing

Shane Mullinix

KPost Roofing & Waterproofing Welcomes New Business Development Professional

Over the past 15-years, Shane has held New Business and Account Management positions in the real estate and construction industry representing corporate clients throughout the country, with his most recent position being Director of New Business with Saratoga Roofing & Construction in Texas and New Mexico. Prior to Saratoga, Shane spent three years, specializing in the Oil & Gas Industry while at a design build general contractor helping his clients expand their service yards throughout the lower 48 shale plays.

Prior to Shane’s professional career, he attended Abilene Christian University to play football for the Wildcats and transferred to Texas Tech University after his freshman year. As a Dallas native, Shane currently resides in Plano and has a 9 year old son named Ethan Garrett and enjoys his Christian faith, Dallas Sidekicks, playing golf, anything water, hunting and being surrounded by his friends and family.

Contact: Shane Mullinix
Phone: 972-910-8777
Email: shane.mullinix@kpostcompany.com

Many years ago, I sat with a group of women as we talked about our experiences in the roofing industry.  How it took special women to work in such a male dominated industry.  But it was also an interesting career choice for many of us as we explained to family and friends that we worked across the country promoting roofing products and working with roofing contractors to promote their businesses.

Over the years, I have met some of the most amazing women who have made roofing their career as I have also done.  I have also met amazing men who have not only supported the growth of women in this trade but have been strong mentors and encouraged me to grow my career.  It was those experiences and conversations with up and coming women in roofing that incentivized me to approach MRCA with the idea of starting a council of Women in Roofing.

That was June of 2014 and now in September of 2015, this organization has created a lot of excitement within the roofing industry.  Women from all walks including contractors, distributors, manufacturers, technology and consulting have joined in to talk, mentor and network with other women.  It has not just been women who have encouraged this growth.  Outstanding men in the roofing industry have played crucial roles. It is with the understanding that together we can create an even stronger industry and solve many of the problems that we face today including labor, safety and the overall branding of roofing as a highly professional trade.

In November at the MRCA convention, we are going to step beyond the networking events that have gotten us started over the last year.  WinR will be hosting powerful speakers and discussions that will challenge, enchant and make all of us look a little closer at how we are handling our careers and home lives.  I invite all of you to join us for this great event.

WinR is also working hard to finalize a national structure that will provide a foundation for long term sustainability and scalability of the organization.  These discussions and information will also be an active conversation at the convention.  We look forward to seeing you all there but for those who cannot attend we will keep the conversation active on our LinkedIn page at www.linkedin.com/company/women-in-roofing.

Heidi J. Ellsworth

Women in Roofing Chair

The school bells are ringing again and KPOST Roofing and Waterproofing, in conjunction with KPOST Charities, helped about 550 North Texas families get ready. As a part of its commitment to support its employees and the community at large, once again this year KPOST donated back-to-school backpacks filled with school supplies.

In addition to giving 550 backpacks to KPOST employees’ children, the company donated 220 packs to the girls who attend the Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) at Bill Arnold Middle School in Grand Prairie, Texas. The academy serves sixth through tenth grade students in an all-girl setting. It is a “School of Choice” for the school district and focuses on students who are college-ready and college-bound.

“We partnered with Pure Salon and their charity drive thru the Acts of Joy organization  and chose the YWLA for our contribution this year because of the great things they are doing with young women,” said Jayne Williams, KPOST Chief Financial Officer. “This academy inspires critical thinking and inspires confidence in these students, getting them prepared for success in college.”

“As for our donation to our employees, KPOST is a family and this is our way of giving something back to our family,” she said.  “We have to remember the reason that our employees come to work every day, to provide for their families and we wanted to show the kids we were thinking about them”.

Starting the School Year Right!

James Potter is READY!

Like just about everything else, the cost of school supplies continue to rise with the average being $55 per child. Each backpack KPOST supplied contains over 15 items that are appropriate for any school district and contain all the tools the kids will need to have a successful start to their school year.

When it comes to community support, the teams at KPOST make it a point to be involved year round. This type of investment not only allows the KPOST team to give back, but also infuses the culture throughout the organization.

“Our employees see us supporting them and others in the community on a regular basis. It’s who we are at heart, and it’s important that everyone who works with us understand that and believe in it,” said Williams. “We expect every employee to be an active participant in giving back to their community.”

A Culture of Giving Back

KPOST supports many different organizations in multiple ways. Following is a sample of the type of charitable action they take:

Conley Design – Packing Party for Troops

Aileen Struble, Senior Estimator serves on the Board. KPOST provides employees to help pack gift boxes for hundreds of Troops.

Petey Parker Teddy Bear Giveaway

We collect throughout the year for Petey Parker.  Petey and her husband, Jim Fite, dress up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus and deliver a stuffed animal to every patient in several hospitals.   So far we have collected almost 150 bears this year.

Toys for Tots

We collect from our employees Toys for Tots every Christmas.

Savage Race to Benefit ACT

It was the Savage Race where KPOST partnered with National Roofing Partners to collect monies for ACT, an autism charity.  We had 5 employees brave freezing weather to run and even swim in ice water.

Bring Your Dog to Work Day

Collect money and items for Operation Kindness.  The last one raised almost $2,000 and 100 lbs. of food and toys.

NRCA & MRCA Community Service Day

KPOST 1Every year KPOST employees participate in the work day at the annual convention of National Roofing Contractors Association and Midwest Roofing Contractors Association.  We perform landscaping, painting, roofing, and other projects on 2 or 3 houses in the host city.

The idea of giving back is ingrained in the KPOST culture and is evident by the many charitable organizations that the company has supported over the years.  The Back to School Backpack Program is emblematic of the corporate culture and the values instilled in the employees to give back.  KPOST prides itself on having a strong set of corporate values enhanced by high ethics and superior service, which establish the company as a highly desired partner in the commercial roofing industry.

Why Latinos Are Starting New Businesses Faster Than Any Other Group in America and What This Means to KPOST Roofing & Waterproofing

The highly anticipated annual startup index from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation was released in the final week of May and it suggests a phenomenon which the leadership of KPOST Roofing and Waterproofing has known for many years. The Kauffman-funded researchers found that immigrants and Latinos started new companies or became self-employed at nearly twice the rate of native-born Americans.

According to a front-page story in the Wall Street Journal, “Immigrant entrepreneurs launched 28.5 percent of new businesses in 2014, up from 25.9 percent a year earlier and just 13.3 percent in 1996.” The report noted that this group created an average of 520 businesses per month per 100,000 people last year.

This tendency toward entrepreneurship is even more impressive when it is compared to the percentage of immigrants in the U.S. population. This most recent data show immigrants accounted for only 12.9 percent of the U.S. population in 2012, up from 9.3 percent in 1996, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Keith Post

“We see this entrepreneurial spirit every day,” notes Keith Post, CEO of KPOST. “Our company, along with the other building trades, employs a great number of Hispanic workers and we have first-hand knowledge of this group’s self-starting attitude, honesty and tremendous work-ethic. These are the three of the traits of a successful entrepreneur. We promote our employees to position of leadership and reward them for their team’s performance therefore creating mini profit centers (companies) and fostering that entrepreneurial spirit”

Immigrants have traditionally had to struggle to find salaried employment because of language barriers and other obstacles. It is for this reason that many start “mom and pop shops” rather than joining larger companies. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics highlighted by Alberto Davila, chairman of the economics and finance department of the University of Texas-Pan American College in this research, “it is really Mexican self-employment that is carrying this growth.”

How Does KPOST Roofing & Waterproofing Retain Talented Hispanic Workers?

“We start with respect,” noted Jayne Williams, Chief Financial and Safety Officer of KPOST. “We don’t just tell our employees how much we appreciate their hard work. We show them with our actions, such as promoting talented employees like Luciano Perez.”

After a few minutes talking with Luciano Perez, it is obvious that he is the type of self-starting, intelligent worker which this Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation could have easily counted in their entrepreneurial index.  His enthusiasm for his work – he is the company’s Safety Manager/Certified Safety and Health Official, a crucial position in the KPOST organization – is palpable. However, he also has a rare gift which allows him to mentor other Hispanic employees: he is a born teacher.

Dallas Roofing Class

“I conduct all our safety meetings in both English and Spanish,” Perez notes. “This shows our Spanish-speaking co-workers that we respect their heritage and skills and we are committed to doing everything we can do to ensure they come home to their families every night.”

Does he think his position and longevity with the company (he’s been with the company since it was founded) have an effect on building trust and rapport among the Latinos who work for KPOST?

“Maybe,” he modestly notes. “Because I stand up in front of these guys every week and I make it a point to try and get to know them and their families, I sometimes end up being a sounding-board for their future plans. I’m hopeful that my leadership demonstrates the respect KPOST has for our employees”

“If someone comes to me and says they are thinking of doing something else, I always say ‘what does your wife say,” he chuckled. “That’s always the first and most important question. Then I say, what does your heart say? I also ask them to consider the long-term consequences and opportunities of going to another company, or becoming self-employed. Some stay and some go, but they all know our company cares for them and want the best for their future.”

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This understanding of the growing impact of Latinos on America’s future is also evident in the company’s long-range planning, let by KPOST’s President, Steve Little.

“Without our Latino families who work at KPOST, we would not be able to sustain our company…period,” notes Little. “As such, we are a microcosm of the rest of the United States. Immigrant workers are absolutely critical to many industries in our country, not the least of which are the building trades. It’s because of this that we have built human resource programs and promoted talented workers to support the retention of these valuable workers. As the Roofing and Waterproofing Partner of the Dallas Cowboys, we have an obligation to run our team like the Cowboys knowing that we have “fans” (clients) that depend on the KPOST TEAM to be there for them.”

“When one of our talented employees – Latino or Anglo – approaches me to talk about their moving on to start their own company, I ask them to give us a year. Let us teach them more about being a leader/manager and then they can make the decision. We want them to become an “intrapreneur,” using that entrepreneurial skill and energy to build a future within KPOST.”

Stacked Coins - Building ROI

Two Building Investments With Outstanding ROI

The booming North Texas economy has allowed commercial building owners and property management groups to consider re-investments in their holdings. Based on its completion of more than $280 million in roofing and waterproofing construction in the past 10 years, KPOST Company commercial roofing and waterproofing company has some suggestions for property owners and managers which will likely pay long-term dividends.

Spring is an excellent time to consider building infrastructure investments such as waterproofing, specialty installations, repair and maintenance, lightweight insulating concrete and commercial roofing.  The highly-trained, safety-focused teams at KPOST are experts at executing any and all of these improvements.

Property managers can realize the best return on investment on two types of improvements. These are:

  • Making the building more energy efficient and watertight
  • Improving the air-quality and water-tightness of the building

 

By investing in construction projects which lead to these ends, the property owner or manager can not only realize a better ROI, but the building can earn LEED certification. According to its website, “The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, was formed in 2000 and has become a cornerstone in building standards and environmental concerns.” LEED certification is now mandated by many cities for all new building projects and extensive remodels or renovations.

How to Improve Energy Efficiency 

According to the U.S. Environmental Agency’s “Energy Star” program, commercial buildings in the United States consume 17 percent of the nation’s energy at a cost of more than $100 billion per year. They also generate 17 percent of our country’s greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change. Even small reductions in this energy consumption can result in substantial improvements to a commercial building’s bottom-line.

“There are several areas where commercial property managers can make their building more energy efficient and watertight,” noted Scott Bredehoeft, sales manager for KPOST. “For example, additional insulation in the roofing system can substantially decrease the energy consumption of the building. This is true for both the summer and the winter.”

“Another tactic for energy savings is to use a white reflective coating for your roofing project,” he said. “This reflection is measured by the percentage of radiation that strikes the roof’s surface and is reflected away from it. If the energy is not reflected, it is absorbed and in the hot, Texas summer this means additional energy is needed to cool the building.”

“By covering the old roofing system with reflective coatings or film, it can become more reflective.,” he noted. “And this makes it more energy efficient.”

“Our clients have saved between 20 percent and 70 percent in the cost of energy by coating or recovering current roofs with reflective material,” Scott noted. “In many cases, the return on investment (ROI) was realized in less than 3 -5 years.”

Not only is this a smart investment in a commercial building, since coating the roof is recognized as a maintenance item by the U.S. Tax Code, 100 percent of this cost can be written off in the year the project is completed. This is another excellent ROI for the owners.

How to Improve the Air Quality of a Building

As noted in a previous post, one of the specialties of KPOST is waterproofing commercial buildings. This will result in making the building water and air-tight and it improves its energy efficiency. The waterproofing also helps to accomplish another valuable improvement: improving the air-quality of the building.

“Property managers know how toxic mold and mildew are for a commercial building,” Scott noted. “These conditions can dramatically impact the air-quality of the structure and result in diseases being spread among the people who work there. They can also result in costly clean-ups.”

Waterproofing the building prevents moisture – either from leaky windows or condensation resulting from a combination of cold and warm air – from accumulating,” he said. “When the building is water and air-tight, the air-quality will be improved and the building’s inhabitants will be more comfortable and safer from contagious disease.”

Although the new reflective roof will reduce thermal impact to a building, properly waterproofing the structure will make it air-tight and reduce the cost of energy.

Savvy commercial property managers are always looking for ways to increase the return on investment of their properties and while nothing can be done about the North Texas weather, the experts at KPOST are here to help in that process. If you would like more information on improving energy efficiency and waterproofing your building, contact us.

Is Your Building Waterproof? Here’s Why it Should Be.

There is no shortage of iconic commercial buildings in North Texas. These “statement structures” such as the Perot Museum of Nature & Science, the Omni Hotel, the Hunt Oil Headquarters and the AT&T Stadium, all designed by architectural visionaries, have transformed the skylines of the DFW metropolitan area over the past decade. However, as a contributor to the construction of each of these magnificent buildings, KPOST Company commercial roofing and waterproofing, understands the most innovative designs are only as water-tight as their most vulnerable areas.

It has been noted by many structural engineers that the windows and walls of a building – regardless of its design elegance and environmental efficiency – are the last barrier between the outside elements and the occupants inside. Because of this, waterproofing these windows and walls is absolutely critical to maintenance of the integrity of the envelope of the building.

It is for this is the reason KPOST has a business unit dedicated exclusively to waterproofing commercial buildings. This unit is led by twenty-year industry veteran Shawn Morgan, Waterproofing Division Manager.

Every Waterproofing Job is Different

“Each job presents different challenges,” notes Morgan. “For example, if it is a window glazing, masonry project or concrete repair project, KPOST makes sure we have the qualified workforce on the job who specialize in those particular trades.”

The company has extensive experience in all phases of waterproofing. “Although we have 40 years of waterproofing experience in our service leadership, our waterproofing workforce has more than 300 years combined experience in this area,” he said. “Because of this, there is typically no situation where we have not had experience in dealing with it before and can recommend the best system or repair.”

KPOST is also a member of the prestigious Sealant Waterproofing Restoration Institute (SWRI) and over the past decade Luis Diaz Deleon, the Waterproofing Operations Manger for the company, helped to develop the concrete guidelines for The International Concrete Repair Institute, a professional partnership with the SWRI.

In explaining why these professional relationships are important to KPOST customers, Luis notes,“It shows our dedication to quality, workmanship and professionalism. We have been involved in developing the specifications for concrete repairs on an international basis, not just local. My teammates and I work hard to bring the best practices to the entire industry,” he said.

Waterproofing is offered as a stand-alone contracting service or as a part of KPOST commercial roofing projects. Besides protecting a building from water infiltration, the company offers:

  • Restoration of masonry
  • Leak repair
  • Minor and gross structural concrete damage repair
  • Tuck pointing and brick replacement
  • Epoxy injection
  • Deck and traffic coatings
  • Roof coatings
  • Anti-graffiti coating
  • Interior and exterior sealant replacement
  • Expansion joint replacement
  • Below grade waterproofing

 

Morgan notes, “Because we can offer waterproofing and commercial roofing to a general contractors and multi-facility owners, we can help them save money on the entire building envelopes scopes of work. Plus, there is a convenience factor Perot_Museum_of_Nature_and_Science_pano_02of hiring us to manage the complete projects and the warranties tied to a water-tight buildings.”

The construction industry has taken note of the company’s approach to building envelope innovations. Recently, one of the Dallas skyline-defining KPOST waterproofing and roofing projects – the Perot Museum of Nature and Science – won the 2014 NRCA Golden Circle Contractor of the Year Award for innovative solutions for new construction. There are only four NRCA Golden Circle Awards given annually and KPOST has won it three of the past five years.

Waterproofing Sealants: One Size Does Not Fit All

Having extensive experience as a waterproofing sealant manufacturer’s representative before joining KPOST, Shawn Morgan has first-hand experience with the myriad sealant products and techniques available nationwide. This knowledge is invaluable for the company’s clients, consultants and the KPOST team.

“While many times we base our estimates on the specifications of the consultant or architects, there are many types of sealant materials, each with a little different warranty advantage and disadvantage,” he said.  “We know which sealant material works best for the specific substrate being utilized on the building. One size does not fit all,” he smiled.

“Waterproofing is absolutely essential for preventing water damage which can lead to equipment and inventory failures as well as downtime of your manufacturing and employees,” he said. “Leaky windows and walls which can result from inadequate or improper waterproofing product installation, can lead to mold and mildew in the building and health problems of your employees, the remediation of which can be extremely expensive.”

KPOST has the team to ensure the safety, quality and value for all your building envelope projects.

The thunderstorms which can cause a deluge of rain in North Texas during the spring, can wreak havoc with buildings that are not properly waterproofed.  For more great tips, get a copy of our white paper “If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy today and learn more about proper assessments and maintenance of your commercial property. Download now!

 

Dealing With OSHA Inspectors: The Best Defense is a Good Offense

In the competitive world of construction, sports references are often used to communicate goals, objectives, strategies and the exponential strength of a company’s management and employees working for a common goal. Just as the Dallas Cowboys must train year-round, strategically plan for each game and execute every Sunday, KPOST Company commercial roofing and waterproofing contractor must also bring it’s “A” game every day because its projects are high-profile; such as the construction of the roof of the AT&T Stadium where those Cowboys play.

At first glance, the expression, “The best defense is a good offense” seems like another sports reference. In fact, it originally came from Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz from his book ‘On War.’ According to the book, if one side does nothing but defend itself from an opposing side, he will inevitably be worn down and defeated because the other side is free to constantly regroup and attack endlessly. The general opined, “the only option to successfully defend against an opponent is to go on the offensive.”

How to Reduce the Leading Causes of Construction Deaths

Whether it’s on the sports field, battlefield or construction site, being pro-active – having an aggressive offense – about safety issues is the absolute best defense against work stoppage and fines which can occur when the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) inspectors show up unannounced at a job site. This the approach KPOST uses.

Why do these inspectors aggressively pursue worksite safety? The statistics tell the tale.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor 4,405 workers were killed on the job in 2013. On average, that’s 12 workers killed every day. The agency notes that 20.3 percent of these fatalities (1 in 5) occurred in the construction industry and the leading cause of death was falls, followed by struck by object. Better training and safety practices can lower the number of workers killed on the job.

In terms of violations reported by OSHA in fiscal year 2014, here are the top-five, most frequently sited:

1. Fall protection, construction
2. Hazard communication standard, general industry
3. Scaffolding, general requirements, construction
4. Respiratory protection, general industry
5. Powered industrial trucks, general industry

The KPOST game plan for defending every project starts with an emphasis on proactively training and re-training every employee and rigorously instilling a culture of safety. This effort is managed by KPOST CFO and Safety Officer, Jayne Williams

A Culture of Safety: It’s Just Good Business

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As the Chief Financial Officer and Safety Officer, Jayne Williams is laser-focused on the bottom line. She has seen, first-hand, the business advantages of KPOST’s impeccable safety record.

“We want our jobs to run on-schedule and on-budget but even more importantly we want our employees to come home every night,” she said. “On-going safety training is critical to meeting these three objectives.”

“Our company has one of the best workman’s compensation insurance rates in the roofing industry because we are relentless in the pursuit of safe practices,” Williams noted. “This emphasis on safety is more than just a way to avoid OSHA fines or work-stoppage. It’s also good business. The less we have pay on insurance – due to our low low rates driven by our safety record – the more competitive our estimates for construction can be,” she noted.

If Jayne is the coach of the KPOST safety team, Luciano Perez is the quarterback. As the company’s Safety Manager/Certified Safety and Health Official, Luciano has been recognized by the construction industry on numerous occasions, the most recent being his being awarded the TEXO Specialty Safety Professional of the Year in December 2014.

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“Our approach to safety is unique in our industry,” noted Williams. “We have people such as Luciano who are absolutely dedicated to safety management in all KPOST work . With his training, he has the equivalent of a ‘Master’s Degree in Safety,’” she smiled.

“We have built a culture of safety at KPOST,” she said. “From the time an employee joins our team, we instill this culture with on-going, rigorous training and incentives for excellence. Again, the most important objective for us is that our employees make it home to their families every night.”

 

In addition to building a great defense for OSHA, for more great tips, get a copy of our white paper “If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy today and learn more about proper assessments and maintenance of your commercial property. Download now!

Specialty Safety Professional of the Year

KPOST Company’s Luciano Perez Wins Prestigious TEXO Safety Award

Luciano Perez does it again! Perez, KPOST Company’s Safety Manager/Certified Safety and Health official, was honored at TEXO’s Holiday & Awards Gala December 18th, 2014, with the coveted Specialty Safety Professional of the Year award. TEXO confers this distinction only once per year, selecting its winner from a competitive pool of national contenders whose work exemplifies values-driven innovation, leadership, and commitment to safety.

“Luciano puts a lot of effort into forming great relationships with our crews so they can have on-going dialogues about safety,” said KPOST Company President Steve Little. “He has been known to quiz the guys on safety issues and pass out spicy lollipops for correct answers. He has a true talent for bringing safety regulations to life in a meaningful way.”

Perez is no stranger to the awards scene; TEXO honored him in June 2014 for his outstanding contributions as chairman of the TEXO Latino Safety Committee and Forum. Here is a piece we ran in November, featuring Perez and KPOST’s stellar safety rating. Making Texas a Safer Place.

Prep Well and Profit: Selling Your Commercial Building 

How hard could selling this place be?

27-year-old CEO Melanie Wong looked around the expansive building, which had housed her family’s business Applied Data Resources (ADR) since 2001 in Richardson, Texas. Her father had worked tirelessly to get ADR off the ground. George Wong saw potential where others did not and he had managed to work his way into the enviable position of office supplier to some of this country’s most successful companies. He had started small in 1985, believing a healthy work ethic and strong relationships would set the tone. He was right. Eventually he had bought this building and the one next to it, which he leased to a tenant. As he began to ease into retirement, Melanie had stepped up and ultimately become CEO. And here she stood, facing the gargantuan task of negotiating both buildings’ sudden sales while George was away visiting family in Hong Kong.

Connect With A Specialist

Upon his retirement, George had placed the buildings for sale with a brokerage firm. He experienced headaches and, ultimately, no deals. After six months, he had declined to renew the agreement.

“It’s so important to identify a disinterested third party you trust who specializes in the type of property you are trying to sell,” says Nat Klein, Senior Vice President of Lincoln Property Company. Klein has closed more than 900 commercial real estate transactions over the course of his career.  He encourages sellers to ask around for recommendations, understanding that a great broker can connect a seller with other high quality brokers. “I will usually push off a downtown building to someone who specializes in those. Make sure you do your due diligence and hire the right sort of specialist for the property you have.”

Soon enough, an old friend approached the Wongs assuring them he was the right person to sell their building. He did just that, and far faster than anyone anticipated. They chided themselves for not asking him in the first place. Though the building had been up for sale for a while, when things began to happen, they happened fast. The family was caught off guard. George never meant to leave Melanie to handle the inspection, the closing, and the move single-handedly, but that’s exactly how the chips fell.

“My biggest lesson? I learned to approach every deal as if it’s really going to go through. Have your ducks in a row and be organized. Be prepared and have an exit strategy,” says Melanie, who is still amazed the transaction closed in just thirty short days with minimal negotiations.

The Good News: DFW Real Estate Is On A Tear

Commercial real estate in the Dallas Fort Worth area is hopping. Almost every day The Dallas Business Journal shares the good news:

From January to November 2014, DFW added 441,000 new jobs, which is 1/3 of all new jobs added in the United States.

Development plans for stunning high rises and Billingsley’s exciting rejuvenation of entire city blocks in Dallas spur on the commercial real estate boom. Explosive growth along the Dallas North Tollway and the arrival of heavy-hitters like the world headquarters of Toyota and the famed Nebraska Furniture Mart leave little doubt that this is a great time to sell a commercial building. The cranes seem to crowd the skylines these days.

“Luckily we see the leasing velocity helping to push the capital markets, and helping to push people’s underwriting. Buyers are interested in Dallas and being aggressive on pricing because they feel good about the prospects of leasing and releasing the buildings in virtually every sub-market,” says Evan Stone, Managing Director of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc (JLL), a professional services and investment management company specializing in commercial real estate.

Necessary Repairs: What To Do? 

When sellers look around their buildings, they often wonder how to prioritize repairs. Should they replace an ailing HVAC system? Broken window seals? Is it necessary to address each repair before placing the building on the market?

“No, it’s okay to leave a few small things undone, but not being upfront about the status of your building is fraught with risks,” says Stone, whose own storied career encompasses the sale of properties like Galleria Dallas and Plaza of the Americas. In total, Stone has sold nearly $1 billion of single tenant and sale/leaseback transactions.

While it’s acceptable to leave a few strategic repair items for the negotiating table, Stone feels sellers should understand the value of their asset and openly communicate about the building’s deferred maintenance status. If roofs and chillers should have been replaced years ago, Stone suggests sellers make those changes or provide detailed recent estimates for replacements. He stresses the importance of transparency and great documentation to enable the buyer to conduct his due diligence and get an accurate view of the asset.

“This is the best way to have your transaction go without a hitch. There is no stupid money out there. I believe an educated buyer is your best buyer and a surprise in due diligence is not a good thing for anybody,” says Stone.

Do A Document Review of Leases

Make sure all of the building’s leases are available, current, and valid. Buyers expect and deserve to know what they are buying. Stone suggests sellers do a document review in which they verify all the amendments are signed, all the start date letters are in order, and that the certificates of occupancies are readily available.

 The Roof Is A Commercial Building’s Most Valuable Asset

Quality commercial roofing companies offer building maintenance. Keep the roof in great condition to avoid costly repairs down the road. A well cared-for roof reflects well on the seller.

“You want to be perceived as someone who clearly cares about the property and has made the effort to keep the roof under warranty and well-maintained. The appearance of a leak, no matter how small, has the potential to shake a buyer’s confidence and dupe the deal,” says Steve Little, President of KPOST Company, a commercial roofing company recognized as an industry leader thanks to its highly effective preventative maintenance track record, innovative leak detection methods, lightweight concrete solutions, and building envelope maintenance.

Tips For Preparing Your Commercial Building For Sale:

1. Make sure all mechanical systems are in good working order. Consider hiring an inspector to gain an objective view of the building’s condition.

2. Roofing companies, like KPOST Company, offer detailed roof and building envelope assessments and will provide documentation for all completed repairs and estimates.

3. Now’s the time to plant flowers and clean up the landscape. Drive up appeal counts.

4. Know how much income your building generates and be prepared to share documentation to this effect. Its income, minus its overhead, helps lenders to determine the building’s value.

5. Be aware of the tax implications of selling a major commercial building. Hire a seasoned accountant to advise you on the ins and outs of capital gains taxes, state taxes, and recapture taxes, if relevant.

6. Don’t underestimate the value of social media. A few well-placed posts on social networks can make all the difference.

7. As Melanie discovered, have an exit strategy in place. It’s a good idea to figure out what to do with the current contents of the building. Arrange a storage unit or office furniture consignment shop contract well ahead of time so that, when it’s go time, there is no problem clearing out quickly.

For more great tips, get a copy of our white paper If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy today and learn more about proper assessments and maintenance of your commercial property. Download now!

Commercial Roofing Dallas

Dodge a Multi-Million Dollar Commercial Roofing Disaster in 3 Steps

It’s commercial roofing contractor’s dream. Our skylines are morphing; our cities are growing at unprecedented rates.

Frisco city officials refer to the stretch of land along the Dallas North Tollway between Plano and Frisco as the ‘5 BILLION DOLLAR MILE’ thanks to the extensive building projects happening there. The Dallas Cowboys franchise, BMW, Lexus, as well as scores of retail and restaurants have rushed onto the burgeoning scene. Not far from the Tollway, Toyota is setting up its new corporate campus to the tune of $350M and Nebraska Furniture Mart is bringing scores of assets to The Colony.

This is a great time to be in the construction and commercial roofing business, but the poseurs and profiteers will also be coming out in droves to cash in on the prosperity and land work. Now, more than ever, it’s important to separate the wheat from the chaff.

“Massive building developments are going up all over DFW and we are proud to be at the center of so many of them. No one wants their project to serve as this community’s cautionary tale. The most important aspect of a new build or repair decision is who gets hired. The general contractor matters. The architect matters. The subcontractor matters,” says Steve Little, President of KPOST Company, a Dallas-based commercial roofing company specializing in leak detection, lightweight concrete, and building portfolio management.

The Litmus Test: 3 Steps to the Best

Read on to discover the simple litmus test topics that can help property owners distinguish a marginal commercial roofing company from a truly great one, sparing themselves the costly mistakes and setbacks that sideline companies.

1. Positive Company Culture?

Good Tools and Attitudes
Does the roofing/waterproofing company’s employees carry quality tools? Quality equipment reflects the company’s devotion to safety and respectful attitudes toward employees. Is the overall attitude one of calm and kindness? Beware of stressed out or impatient demeanors, which indicate a dysfunctional workplace.

Great Safety Rating
A company that values and protects its employees is a sure bet. Check the company’s safety ratings. How does it stack up against peers on the OSHA.gov website? If a company’s name search returns no results here, it has had no violations. The fewer violations, the lower the Experience Modification Rate (EMR). Always ask for it. KPOST Company’s EMR is .56, which is an extremely low and attractive rating, especially since KPost has over 320 employees. The EMR industry average is 1.0, but those with claims above industry average will see their EMR rise above 1.0 and those with a history of below-average claims will see their EMR below 1.0.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Also ask if the company provides Workers’ Compensation Insurance to its employees. This insurance is not required in the state of Texas, but its presence speaks volumes about the company and its attitudes about its workforce. This insurance protects the property owner and the individual worker from liability in case of an accident. It also provides lost income for a worker, should he sustain an injury on the job.

2. Distinctive Company Branding?

Trucks
So much of the commercial roofing industry consists of cookie-cutter black and white trucks driving around town. If a company makes the effort to brand its trucks and employees’ uniforms, this indicates the company’s commitment to the long haul. Branding symbolizes an all-in approach to running the business. It is a truly important indicator of company health, pride, and success.

Badges
Does the employee wear a badge featuring his picture and a synopsis of the trainings and completed certifications? Again, great sign.  Always ask to take a look. Certifications might include OSHA, CPR, forklift training, etc. When in doubt, ask. The commercial roofing company should always send trained, qualified professionals to meet with customers.  A trained employee provides better quality work!

3. Legitimate References?

Check
References should be offered without hesitation. Subcontractors should feel proud of their past work and eager to share it with new clients. Companies should always call the references and ask questions.

Assess Responsiveness
“I always believe the differentiator happens not when everything is going great, but when there is a problem. How do we manage it? This is construction. This is service maintenance. We are working on top of living, breathing buildings,” says Little, whose own workforce processes over 100 projects and 10,000 work orders per year and is adept at problem-solving thanks to extensive training.

“There is going to be a problem, that’s just the odds. It’s not if you will have a problem. It’s how you manage it. So ask about those things. Find out how the company resolved issues for past clients.”

Hire a great company that will protect your assets, and you are home free. Partner with a company hyper-focused on the bid and not the client, and there is no telling what level of calamity awaits.

KPOST Company stands ready to partner with clients on small and high stakes jobs alike, offering an unequivocal guarantee that work will be completed to code and completed safely, on time, every time.

“At KPOST Company, we do it right. Clients never need to worry that we have unskilled, unsafe, unknowledgeable workers on their roofs. This is an important time in DFW as tower cranes once again are changing the city’s skyline. We are excited to lead the way with innovative and amazing roofing projects that will stand as a testament to Texas and its work ethic for decades to come,” says Little.

Worried that your commercial building may be ailing? Take the KPOST Company building assessment for access to helpful tools and information related to maintaining optimum commercial roof and building health. Take the quick assessment now!

The Young Contractors Council Gives Back: The Roofing Industry At Its Best

Research tells us that when we pause to turn our focus outward and participate in a community project or help a person in need, our feelings of satisfaction and purpose soar. Michael Steger, a professor of psychology at The University of Kentucky, has extensively researched the impact of good deeds on the psyche, finding that people who perform acts of kindness and charity are significantly happier than peers who pursue feel-good activities. And little bonds two people more rapidly than working together for the common good.

Homebound No More: The Roofers Build a Wheelchair Ramp

‘Do good, be happy’ was borne out in Dallas last week as the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association’s (MRCA’s) Young Contractors Council (YCC) held a giving back event in association with Rebuilding Together of Greater Dallas. The young contractors partnered with their mentors to rehabilitate two area houses, one inhabited by veterans, in dire need of repair. It was tough to discern who was happier at the close of one of the projects: the crowd of contractors, who had volunteered in shifts, or the rejoicing elderly woman who had been stuck inside her home for three years with no functioning wheelchair ramp.

Tracey Donels, Service Manager for KPOST Company and original founding committee member of MRCA YCC, was gratified to see that homeowner’s enthusiastic response, knowing that the YCC’s inaugural act of community service had hit the mark. They built a wheelchair ramp and a new porch awning that Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas Executive Director Dennis Luellen had previously worried might topple over in a strong gust of wind.

“Her reaction made our day. She was confined to a wheelchair with no functioning ramp. Think how scary that had to have been for her, knowing that if there were a fire or a gas leak, she couldn’t leave on her own. We really gave her freedom back to her. It was our pleasure to build that ramp, as well as fix up her house,” said Donels, who had come up with the idea of adding a charity component to the MRCA meeting after participating in a community service project with Rebuilding Together at a national roofing show (International Roofing Expo – IRE) last February.

“Tracey looked over at me at the end of that day and he said, ‘We’ve got to do this with the MRCA and the Young Contractors Council.’ He put in a ton of work and he made it happen this week,” said Kevin Gwaltney, Diamond Roofing President (Dodge City, Kansas) and YCC Chair.

Community Service: “You Look Back And Say ‘Wow!’”

Steve Little, President of both MRCA and KPOST Company, heard how willingly the YCC members went about their tasks at the Rebuilding Together event, as if there were an intrinsic tendency to volunteer engrained in each of them. He believes that by creating opportunities for people to experience the rewards of community service, they will come to seek it out and find satisfaction waiting for them there.

“I encourage our individual commercial and residential roofing companies to go home and seek out ways to volunteer together. This proved to be an excellent team-building exercise, and, most importantly, two women received the gift of safe homes and beautiful yards just in time for the holidays,” said Little.

The YCC performed a full-service overhaul of the two properties. 45 volunteers hauled trash and debris, planted new landscaping, painted, repaired, installed security lights, rebuilt a hazardous front porch, constructed a solid wheelchair ramp, and spread a lot of love in an effort to make life better for the women who call those houses home. One of the women is a veteran who takes care of her four grandchildren often and the transformation of her backyard means to world to her and the children who will play there.

“With projects like the ones Tracey and the crew worked on, you walk away and you look back and you say, ‘Wow, look at the difference we made.’ We absolutely could not do what we do without this great orchestra of volunteers,” said Luellen. His organization, Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas, is a nonprofit committed to reaching into blighted neighborhoods and transforming the homes there. Rebuilding Together Greater Dallas has affected 300 homes with the help of just over 11,000 volunteers since its inception 12 years ago.

Volunteering Together Strengthens the Roofing Industry

The YCC’s charity project added volunteerism to this month’s Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA) 65th Annual Conference, which was already packed with 141 manufacturer and vendor booths, a full complement of educational opportunities, a brand new “Women in Roofing” initiative, and 950 roofing professionals ready to learn, network, and share their best practices. It was novel for YCC mentors and protégés to spend some of that time volunteering together, shoulder to shoulder, out in the community. They agree they reaped the benefits of working toward a common goal and that volunteerism should definitely be a component of future meetings around the country.

“When we work together, we learn more about each other. That strengthens our relationships and gives us a better atmosphere for learning and interacting,” says Gwaltney, who has already reached out to Rebuilding Together, Kansas City, in anticipation of the YCC’s community outreach project at the MRCA’s 66th annual conference next year. The committee intends to recruit even more volunteers for next year’s project since this year was so meaningful and satisfying to all.

That warm atmosphere, so intrinsic to the roofing industry, was surely felt by two grandmothers who were reminded in a spectacularly personal way, that their community cares for them.

“MRCA is a great conduit for community service projects and I look forward to many more.  MRCA made a difference not only to the community, but to our colleagues and friends, who just felt good. That feeling simply produces more good deeds,” said Donels. 

For more great tips, get a copy of our white paper If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy today and learn more about proper assessments and maintenance of your commercial property. Download now!

The MRCA Visionaries: 15 Women and 1 Man Step Up To Lead

A few days ago, Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and founder of Leanin.org, co-wrote a New York Times article underscoring the importance of industry leaders stepping up and declaring their visions and dreams for their industries, while vigorously shouting down the less desirable elements. Leaders’ messages must clearly reject discrimination and include a visionary statement as well. Over the years Sandberg, and other high-flying executives like her, have repeatedly called for women to take their rightful seats in the boardrooms of America and not to apologize for the ambition that brought them there.

Women In Roofing Initiative

Steve Little, the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA), and a small but formidable group of fifteen female industry powerhouses assume the visionary mantle this week as they roll out the Women in Roofing Initiative at the MRCA’s 65th Annual Conference in Grapevine, Texas. They hope every woman in attendance will join in making this initiative a vehicle for mentoring, networking, outreach, and education for women at all stages of their careers.

Mentors Matter, Especially In Commercial Roofing

“Mentors are key,” says Little, MRCA President and President of Dallas-based KPOST Company, a regional commercial roofing company with an impressive track record of promoting women within its ranks. “Look, this is a male dominated industry. We should encourage women to come together. Commercial roofing can only benefit from a broader, deeper pool of talent. Some of the most gifted businesspeople I know in this industry happen to be women. I don’t know what I would do without the women in my company who have guided me so well,” says Little.

Many women who have carved out fulfilling careers in commercial roofing credit a mentor with helping them to find their way in the beginning, when thoughts often ended in question marks and steps were tentatively, rather than confidently, taken. They recount the relief of having someone, male or female, they could turn to for advice and guidance in those early days. Everyone interviewed for this article expressed her pleasant surprise upon discovering how warm, loyal and family-oriented the commercial roofing field has been. Many women who anticipated quickly moving on from commercial roofing have opted to stay, joking that once a person is in, she can never get out.

“I’ve had so many women approach me over the years to ask what steps I took to get where I am. Young women coming into the industry need the opportunity to have these conversations and to network with women who have seen success. We can educate and empower these young women to get into leadership roles,” says Heidi Ellsworth, Executive Vice President of Marketing, EagleView Technologies. “The initiative must cover three things: education, networking, and mentoring.”

Helene Hardy Pierce counts herself among the lucky ones whose mentors truly made a difference over the course of her career. She expresses enthusiasm over the initiative and the “boundless future” for women in the commercial roofing industry. She knows women involved in all aspects, from manufacturing to sales and technical support, from estimators, to crew members, to roofing company owners.

“I think many of the women who have been successful in this industry had a mentor who took them under their wing and provided them with very good guidance. This Women in Roofing Initiative provides structure to what has never been structured before. It is a wonderful opportunity for women,” says Hardy Pierce, whose career has taken her from fledgling engineer to Vice President of Technical Service, Codes, and Industry Relations at GAF.

A 2012 survey reveals that women feel uncomfortable to seek mentors. 63% report never having had one. And yet research shows that women benefit greatly from mentor relationships, particularly when those mentors are women.

Steve Little has mentored a number of up-and-coming bright lights in the commercial roofing industry over the years. He was listening carefully the day Heidi Ellsworth shared her vision of the Women in Roofing Initiative. Ellsworth had watched as the Young Contractors Council grew from its initial 30 members to this year’s healthy 120 members. The casual conversations that led to new ideas, advice, and future collaborations inspired her to request women form their own association. She had shared the idea with several other people, to no avail. In Little, though, Heidi found a champion. She and Shari Carlozzi, National Sales Manager, Hapco Inc., will serve as the initiative’s co-chairs.

“What a great guy.  Steve truly brings a level of integrity and professionalism to this industry. He actually started the Young Contractors Council. You need someone like that with the vision to believe in it and make it happen. We just needed a foot in the door. We’ll take it from here,” says Ellsworth.

Advice To The Young And Intrigued

“Roofing is a wonderful field. So much of my family is in it now. But really, it chose me. I was sole support for my family for a time. This industry has truly helped me in my life. There are so many opportunities for women here. I have learned so much. One of my greatest lessons has been that it is not what I am say, but how I say it that matters,” says Jayne Williams, who holds the titles Chief Financial Officer and Safety Officer for KPOST Company, as well as board member of Roof PAC. Williams relishes the idea of mentoring women new to the field.

Hardy Pierce agrees, “The roofing industry has provided me a wonderful career where, female or male, people are respected for their knowledge and opinions. This is not new and exciting like the dotcom buildup. It is not aviation, or computers, or nanotech, but every single day you have the opportunity to help someone. Because we all need shelter. You will never be a has-been or stuck in a dying industry. There is always a need for shelter. This industry has been very kind to me.”

Attend The MRCA Women In Roofing Initiative Kickoff Meeting this Week

The Women In Roofing Initiative debuts this week, offering women in the field the opportunity to shape the industry’s future. The mentoring, networking and educational opportunities promise to make the membership a meaningful one.

“I hope the roofing industry will discover exactly how many women are out there. We can join together here and show that we really are becoming a huge part of the field,” says Williams, who, with the other visionaries, is waiting at the table, boldly offering seats to any woman who dreams of propelling herself forward.

“Little victories lead to bigger ones. It doesn’t have to be magnificent with that first one, but a little victory is a victory. And this is a start for us. We will see where it goes,” says Carlozzi.

As Sandberg might say, “Lean in, friends. This is your time.”

Ban Clark Griswold From Your Commercial Roofs With 4 Easy Questions

Holiday lighting. It’s a tradition that dates back to the late 1800s, when the Savoy Theater in London debuted its enchanting “fairy lights” to mark the opening of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Isolante. Those early days of a few sparkling buildings dotting the landscape have given way to today’s “Christmas Vacation” era of abundant and intricate holiday light designs outlining the contours of our buildings, trees, fences, lawns and houses.

Merry and BRIGHT: Outshine The Other Tall Buildings, But at What Cost?

Who doesn’t love to see a commercial property shimmering with twinkle lights and the promise of a new holiday season? Deck those halls! But make sure the company hired to install the lights won’t leave the building with a holiday hangover.

Steve Little, President of KPOST Company, encourages commercial property owners to ask questions and understand who they are entrusting with their buildings. In the wrong hands, a new application of pristine holiday lights can mean a rooftop riddled with fastener holes driven right down through the waterproof barriers. It can mean surfaces gummed up with caulk and silicone that will be labor-intensive to remove down the line. Poorly executed lighting applications can not only void a roofing manufacturer’s warranty, but may require a sleigh load of effort to repair.

“People who do not know how to properly install rooftop accessories have no business winging it on customers’ roofs. Protect your asset. Factor the manufacturer’s warranty requirements as well as the company’s holiday lighting and electrical expertise into the hiring decision. Do not allow a low price to cinch your decision. Some of these lighting companies really cut corners up front, only to cost you more in the end,” says Little, who is proud of his Dallas-based commercial roofing company’s irreproachable safety track record.

Reindeer Paws and Fire Up on the Rooftop

Blake Tharp, owner of Holiday Lighting Concepts, a commercial and residential company responsible for lighting up the Westin Stonebriar, all of the local Sheraton hotels, and a number of commercial properties and residential neighborhoods in DFW, cautions that the market for holiday lights has changed significantly in the past few years. Landscape companies, keen to keep their crews busy over the holidays and get in on the holiday lighting boom, have taken up the mantle of professional light hangers with little more than a stack of flyers and good intentions. This influx of landscapers has driven prices down but introduced very real dangers into the marketplace.

“I don’t know how many times I’ve been on a roof with a huge hole, all the way through the membrane and down to the roof decking. Anything fiberglass, gets burned right through. I’d see sparks fly out, singeing the roof every time the power kicked on.” says Tharp of the shoddy installation work he has been called in to remedy in the past. “It’s the number one cause of structural fires this time of year. You can’t just splice these wires together with a little bit of tape and call it proper.”

Key Questions to Qualify Professional Commercial Holiday Lighting Companies:

1. Can you provide references attesting to your qualifications and background with installation on a warrantied roof system, electrical wiring, and Christmas lights?

The company representative ought to lead with assurances that the roof will be protected, its warranty preserved, and codes observed. Next, expect a ready list of commercial building references. Any answer that does not include mention of the superiority of LED lighting choices, thanks to the virtually nonexistent heat emissions and lower cost of operation, should not pass the sniff test.

2. What process do you use to get the lights up there straight and securely?

The worst answer, according to Tracey Donels, KPOST Company Service Department Manager, is one that features any talk of “individual mechanical fastenings and screws,” since every one of them will leave a hole in the roof and possibly the waterproofing membranes when it comes down again.

The best answer would feature a plan to install a permanent frame upon which the Christmas lights attach. A great lighting plan for metal roofs, on the other hand, features the use of industrial strength magnets, says Tharp. These lights require no silicone because the light base simply sticks to the metal roof. This system, while more expensive, will not blow off when the wind blows and it makes for a quick and easy installation.

A great answer for a concrete roof involves the use of parapet clips, which are adhered to the roof with a thin layer of silicone. A shingle tab slides into the clip and the light attaches to it.

“The Medical Center of Plano has used same ones for 10 years because the silicone is holding up well. You don’t see it from the street, so it’s very flat. You screw the light bulb into the shingle tab and you can slide the shingle tab out and reuse it the next year,” says Tharp, whose company, Holiday Lighting Concepts, is currently transitioning all of the hospital’s lights to the magnetic ones in the metal roof areas.

3. Where do you get your lights and what is the lab tested code called?

Note: The best answer is “in the United States” and only lights with an “Underwriters Laboratory Certification (UL).” Underwriters Laboratories is an independent product safety certification organization. Insurance companies will not cover damage caused by fixtures or holiday lights that do not bear the silver UL seal.

Keep in mind that the vast majority of light manufacturing gets outsourced to other countries. Recently, there has been a spate of counterfeit UL code stickers applied to lights made in other countries (read: China) so it is especially important the company is confident in the quality of its lights and the veracity of the UL stickers they bear.

4. (DRUMROLL) Can you explain your lighting company’s insurance coverage?

Note: Every company’s requirements are a little different, but in general they should hold a $2M General Aggregate policy that also carries $1M personal injury protection with property damage and medical expense coverage. Also ask to see the company’s NCCI form that shows all employees are covered by workers’ compensation therefore reducing the building owner’s risk.  Many of these policies are tough to attain. If the company in question has one, it’s a sure sign you are dealing with a bonafide professional company.

KPOST Company Can Help

KPOST Company believes that maintaining a commercial roof’s integrity and warranty should be everyone’s top priority. Allow only professionals, rather than Griswoldians, to work on your buildings this holiday season.

“Let’s keep the holiday fires in the fireplaces,” says Little, noting that KPOST Company is ready and able to expertly repair any rooftop singe or detritus of holidays past.

Special thanks to Blake Tharp, of Holiday Lighting Concepts, for his contributions to this story. He can be reached at 214-778-9303 or DFWLEDLighting@gmail.com.

Photo source: Warner Bros, IMDB

Find tips and information in the KPOST Company white paper “If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download a free copy and learn more about extending proper roof inspections as well as great tips for keeping water out of your building. Download now!

 

Commercial Roofing Dallas: Invite a Class Act To Your ISD’s Bidding Process

Rooftops Springing Up Like Bluebonnets

The lure of Texas is evident at every turn, but nowhere is this reflected more than in the eye-popping numbers on school growth. School districts across Texas are transforming their campuses, building on as they try to keep pace with the ballooning student population and in compliance with the laws governing the number of students per classroom.

Enter, KPOST Company

“Our district is growing. We’ve done about ten building additions in the past three years. We’ve had a growth in enrollment. We met KPOST Company a while back when they were subcontractors on another job,” says Scott Porter, Richardson Independent School District Security/Project Manager. “We were impressed, and since we were at the end of our five year bidding cycle, we invited them to join our pool of commercial roofers to bid out jobs.”

Texas is in the top eight fastest growing states in the country. Richardson Independent School District has grown 10% within the past four years, with its Lake Highlands schools gaining a robust 25%. In comparison, Frisco, Texas has grown 600% in the past twenty years, and ten percent of its population is under the age of six.

Factors School Districts Consider In Evaluating Commercial Roofing Contractors

Check Safety Indicators and Assess Integrity

School districts should request each bidding company provide its insurance modifier rate. The lower the number, the more successful that company has been in following the letter of the law and keeping workers and processes safe.

“Ours is .56 and we are very proud of that,” says Luciano Perez, CSHO KPOST Company Safety Manager.  KPOST Company employs almost 325 people, which further underscores the significance of such a low modifier rating.

School districts are always free to check the frequency and type of OSHA violations as well.  Willful violations mean the company blatantly ignored the law and the safety of the crew while a serious violation falls more in the realm of poor execution. For example, if there were five holes on the roof, and none were covered, the roofing company would be guilty of committing a willful violation. Covering three out of the five holes would constitute a serious violation. If a worker wears a harness that is disconnected from the building, that’s a serious violation as well. These types of violations can tell a story, particularly if there are many of them.

“We treat our guys with respect. We value them. We invest over $100,000 annually in safety training. We want to make sure the information provided transfers from the head to the heart, so it’s reflected in our team’s behavior. I coach them to give them the confidence, trust, and knowledge they need to make a “KPOST” difference on the project. If they have any issues, they can call me or any of the supervisors. We will not sacrifice safety in the name of production,” says Perez, underlining KPOST Company’s commitment to putting people first. “Our people make the difference in the success of our projects.”

Roof Longevity – Which Company Seems Most Able To Add Years to Roof Life?

Because money is tight everywhere, school districts try to accomplish maintenance and preventative tasks in-house, only bringing in a contractor when it truly adds value.

“With KPOST Company, on their preventative maintenance side, they document things really well. If I could have them do all of our roofs, I would. But I can’t afford it. We only do it on a roofs that are about 18 years old, (on a 20 year cycle),” says Porter. “We bring KPOST in to make repairs so that the roof will last 5 more years so it can go one more bond cycle.”

Surmise Commercial Roofing Expertise

“I like to give clients many options. Often, we make recommendations to the architect on the school projects if we have seen a new method that might work better than the boilerplate,” says Charlie Krauss, KPOST Company Roofing Deck Manager. KPOST Company’s involvement in industry associations keeps the company at the forefront of innovation and alert to new opportunities.

KPOST Company believes in offering several options, in terms of materials and application, in order to provide clients with a comprehensive snapshot of the products and materials available.

“The idea is to give them a quality product that is the best value. Sometimes the school district has to pay a little more up front to realize considerable savings in heating and cooling down the road. The investment to install reflective roofing membranes, and using lightweight insulating concrete decking has proven to be a great ROI,” says Krauss, who keeps abreast of innovations in green and energy efficient roofing materials.

Comparing Bids: It’s All About Work History

Porter characterizes the process of comparing bids as one of the most difficult tasks associated with his job. There’s generally the sky high bid from the contractor who likely doesn’t have time to do the work, and the lowball bid from the hasty roofing company that likely missed something significant. Then there are eight bunched in the center.

“When it’s apples to apples and I’ve got a KPOST Company and a B roofing company and their prices are within a couple hundred dollars, I look at it from standpoint of what have they done vs. what I know KPOST has done. It all goes back to work history. Did B company bring up unexpected things during projects? KPOST actually gets out and does a more thorough job of looking at the project up front. They see if they’ve done it for a school district or another place that’s similar,” says Porter, who has been at the helm of RISD’s roofing projects since 2001. “The roof KPOST did for me this past summer? Well, they had experience with the same type of roof here in the district two summers ago. They were able to accurately bid the job lower than everyone else cause they knew just what it would take.”

Partner with KPOST Company of Dallas

As school districts build up and out, with the lion’s share of commercial roofing projects confined to June through August, it is important to identify trustworthy commercial roofing companies with proven track records that bring more to the table than just the lowest bid. Growth forecasts show no slackening of the Texas population boom. KPOST Company encourages independent school districts to complete commercial roofing assessments and establish a 5-10 year plan to manage their building assets.

Find tips and information in the KPOST Company white paper “If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download a free copy and learn more about extending proper roof inspections as well as great tips for keeping water out of your building. Download now!

Frustrations of a Property Manager: The Four Toughest Hurdles

Commercial property managers face a constant barrage of phone calls to return, issues to tackle, and formidable to-do lists. Most Property Managers have duel responsibilities to their clients (Tenants) and to the building owner (Asset Managers). Their organizations consider them go-to problem solvers, but when the fixer needs to assemble her professional team of contractors, where should she turn?

“During a big storm, you would just sit there (at home) thinking, ‘Oh God. Are we going to lose tiles in the control room?’ I didn’t know what I was going to see when I walked into the office Monday morning,” says Stacy Thiele, a seasoned property manager who spent 14 years as VP of Operations for a distinctive commercial building along the Dallas North Tollway. The structure measures almost 50,000 square feet, features a unique arched roofline, and a non-traditional building envelope, which makes troubleshooting all the more complex.

“We really try to get to the heart of the problem, says Tracey Donels, KPOST Company Service Department Manager. KPOST Company offers turnkey commercial roof and waterproofing services for the Dallas-Fort Worth market, spanning leak detection, commercial roof maintenance, and even storm prep. “Their (property managers’) phones ring day in and day out with all sorts of problems. Something is always going wrong in their buildings.” Tracey feels that if he can make property managers’ phones ring eight times instead of 10 times in a day, that’s more time they can devote to the rest of their jobs. “Let me manage your building’s envelope. I will communicate. I will protect you and your client. I will get it done.”

Here, Stacy Thiele shares her four greatest frustrations as a commercial property manager, and how she dealt with them.

Frustration 1 – No One On Speed Dial:

The Initial Process of Determining Who To Rely Upon When Problems Arise

Thiele’s background, like many successful commercial property managers, includes no experience in building engineering or maintenance. A successful stint as a commercial bank branch manager landed her the VP of Operations role at age 27. The sense of responsibility was vast.

“Vendors need to understand that when people like me are put into this role, we don’t have a ‘property managers for dummies’ reference manual. When I went into my role, I had to start from the bottom. Who are our vendors? Who are our plumbers? There’s not any of that,” says Thiele.

Thiele commenced a thorough process of research through every channel she could identify, sharing the contacts she made along the way. Property managers brand new to a given market often seek to identify their peer groups via online directories or web searches. The key is to reach out, ask a lot of questions, and keenly observe each referred vendor for traits indicating an abundance of professionalism.

Frustration 2 – Déja Vu

Puddles Soak the Floor, Torrents of Water Flood the Door.

As severe weather systems pummeled North Texas with dizzying frequency, Thiele found herself mired in an on-going defensive position, which frustrated her. She had always approached her work with forethought and planning. She was a proactive person. But now? This vast building was a whole new animal.

Thiele’s company’s enormous footprint housed high dollar equipment and systems that absolutely could not get wet. A strong team offering commercial roof leak detection and comprehensive roof consulting proves invaluable in scenarios like this one.

“So often, I wouldn’t see problems until we were in the middle of the wind and the rain. There was water pouring through the front door sometimes. Water would short out our electrical systems, requiring me to deal with safety on top of everything else. It was frustrating,” says Thiele.

Thiele feels a having preventative maintenance contract would have been very helpful.

“I didn’t even know there was a preventative maintenance contract available for roofing. I would call someone when there was a problem. We were forced to be very reactive,” says Thiele.

Frustration 3 – Problem Diagnosis Scattershot

One Problem, Multiple Explanations

Thiele felt it was important to do due diligence research as she evaluated the theories various contractors and vendors offered as the cause of her building’s leaks and problems, particularly when those theories differed radically from one another.

“We had some fail points on the corners of the building. I had one contractor say all four of them need to be replaced. Then I had another say the ceiling and roof was causing the problem. Each would show the reasons why. So, who do you believe?” Thiele asked.

Scott Bredehoeft, Director of Business Development, KPOST Company, says situations like this call for a careful look at who is doing the telling. “There are proper and improper ways to fix roof and building envelope leaks. Is this company simply two men and a truck? When you leave discretion to your contractor, a lower tier contractor just might say, ‘I’m just going to go dump roof cement or caulk on it.’“

Bredehoeft advises property managers to ask roofing and WP companies how many crews they employ and whether they are tasked to specific jobs, like roof removal and application, or waterproofing. Companies that pull a crew off a new roof application to go check out a leak report at another site tend to perform their jobs with less precision. Jack of all trades, master of none.

“If a contractor has only one or two crews that do both new roofs and repairs, that ‘s a warning sign. We run 18 repair and maintenance crews/trucks. That clearly demonstrates a roofing contractor’s investment in theirbusiness to take care of their clients. The fact we keep those guys segregated from the guys who install new roofs and WP systems IS important! It is two separate skill sets. Just because you can do new construction doesn’t qualify you for service or remedial, doesn’t mean you have the skillset to man leak detection crew.”

Thiele knew that a combination of her own research skills and her ability to detect transparency served her well. “If I didn’t feel they were just trying to win a job, if I could tell they were trying to be a strategic partner with us, I hired them.”

Thiele asked open-ended questions to find out if the vendors’ answers she had so steadily researched lined up with what she thought they should be.

“I would call people to find out if one material was better than another. I looked for honor and integrity and then we developed trust. They were transparent, they were honest, and they were experts. They may be more expensive but they know what they are talking about. In fact, I would usually try to stay away from the cheaper bids,” says Thiele.

Frustration 4 – “Hey, Little Lady!”

The Phenomenon of Treating Women Diminutively

Thiele was the boss, but awkward exchanges with male contractors eventually prompted her to include a male junior colleague in meetings, as a litmus test of sorts. Here, she reveals how gender bias impacted her interactions and ultimate hiring decisions:

“It was an automatic ‘no’ if I had a male counterpart with me, and I noticed the vendor talking to him and completely ignoring me. That would show they thought I didn’t know what I was doing. Understand your client,” Thiele says emphatically.

“I think that’s pretty old school. If you are getting an indication somebody is talking down to you in your position as a woman, that’s an indication this is someone you don’t need to be dealing with. ‘Hey, little lady!’ is just disrespectful” says Bredehoeft.

Thiele’s automatic ‘yes’ was consistently the vendor who met with her on site, expressed an interest in the company, and took the time to make sure she was on-board, in terms of the details of required fixes. Thiele’s ideal vendor was not only respectful, but also willing to take the time to become acquainted with the intricacies of the problems. They were “experts in their field,” she said.

Parting Thoughts

At the end of the day, it is up to the property manager to choose whom to hire, when, and for how much. As they assesses the contractors in front of them, property managers seek out potential collaborators who can be trusted to have their backs. Relationship building is personal. The key is to select partners who will help ease the burden and view the building’s maintenance as a crucial group project, with equal measures of transparency, respect, conscientiousness, and expertise.

“I think it’s about being transparent,” says Thiele, “and answering questions as sincerely and honestly as possible.”

Find tips and information in the KPOST Company white paper “If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download a free copy and learn more about extending proper roof inspections as well as great tips for keeping water out of your building. Download now!

Yelp for Healthcare: Lush Green Roofs Debut Across City Skylines

The Affordable Care Act crashed the party that is public health care with a moxie few could comprehend, shaking up the rules, rendering the script almost unrecognizable to old-schoolers who prided themselves on fluency in “the way it is.” Paper-based medical records? Over. Enter Electronic Healthcare Records. Utilitarian composite roof views from patient windows? Cold, sterile hospital environments? Phasing out and ending. Enter KPOST Company and evidence-based design concepts.

New healthcare mandates have rushed the scene, forcing systemic changes unprecedented in the last 50 years, since Medicare’s inception in 1964. Patients have found themselves increasingly relevant to the newly imagined status quo while veteran doctors circling the retirement question have found ample reason to ghost, dignity intact. The changes decidedly favor patients’ opinions, as evidenced by the push for patient satisfaction surveys, which impact hospitals and their ability to receive full compensation from the federal government. Healthcare reform brings with it encouraging glimpses of the future (think: well-designed hospital environments, improved patient experiences, streamlined records) and a bevy of scientific research that indicates the way forward, while complicated, promises more positive patient outcomes than ever before.

Patient Satisfaction Surveys: Environment Trumps All Else

Healthcare reform has mandated green roofs for new construction projects. We did one recently for an oncology ward here in DFW. A local architect provided a great spec. The cancer patients looked out onto nothing. We combined astro turf with container gardens to transform their roof view into something truly spectacular,” said Keith Post, President of KPOST Company, a commercial roofing company featuring more than 270 employees, with 44 specialized crews, and two employees focused upon hospital design concepts.

In July 2014, The New York Times ran a story that truly encapsulates the shift toward green roofs and softer environments in response to patient feedback and research findings. The hospital, The University Medical Center of Princeton, New Jersey, developed and tested out a model patient suite, measuring patient experiences of everything from bed position to sink location; noise exposure to sleep disturbance; outside window views to direct sunlight exposure. The model suite residents reported more satisfaction with the hospital food and nursing care than their counterparts in the standard rooms, even though neither the food nor the nursing staff varied between the two groups.

Patients in the enhanced room ordered, on average, 30% less pain medication than their counterparts. Patient satisfaction rates soared from 61% to 99% following the hospital’s eventual move to a new facility featuring rooms designed like the model one. What changed, aside from patients’ perceptions of pain? The environment, the layout, the access to sunlight, and a scenic view out the window.

Under the new healthcare mandate laws, hospitals are penalized if too significant a proportion of patients report a negative experience or rate the hospital poorly.

Patient satisfaction with a hospital is largely NOT necessarily correlated to the quality of medical care received there, or by the resolution of the health problem. It boils down to environmental factors like the messages conveyed by the doctors, the kindness of the nurses and staff, as well as the physical hominess and comfort of the hospital environment‘s design. Many hospitals have even resorted to hiring “Chief Patient Experience Officers.”

Florence Nightengale Was Onto Something: The View From The Patient’s Room

“It is a curious thing to observe how almost all patients lie with their faces turned to the light, exactly as plants always make their way towards the light; a patient will even complain that it gives him pain “lying on that side.” “Then why do you lie on that side?” He does not know,–but we do. It is because it is the side towards the window… count how many sick you ever saw lying with their faces towards the wall.” – Florence Nightengale

KPOST Company specializes in Dallas commercial roofing jobs that promote aspects of environmental and landscape design for hospitals. The first study proving patient exposure to direct sunlight significantly improved patient outcomes happened all the way back in 1984. Progress sometimes takes a while for organizations to embrace. Sunshine and green space outside patient windows reduce patients’ feelings of isolation, loneliness, and stress. Detailed landscape designs atop the previously vast, empty expanses of roof make sense from both a design and human perspective.

“Sure, these hospitals face a government mandate to install green roofs but they truly love them when we are done,” says Aileen Struble, Senior Estimator at KPOST Company. “I have a background in design, so I have been delighted to partner with hospitals across the metroplex to engineer unique roofscapes made from the highest quality materials. We are after longevity and beauty here. Form as well as function.”

KPOST Company: Coaxing Hospitals Back to the Dance Floor

Hospitals reap rewards under the current laws if patients rate their experiences highly, but they will increasingly suffer financial setbacks when patients express dissatisfaction. They must be vigilant about scheduling commercial roof assessments regularly, keeping up with preventative maintenance, and choosing a commercial roofing partner that will not leave them languishing on the sidelines. Hospital rooms cannot be easily vacated due to leaks or other roof structure problems, so they must stay on top of all aspects of roof care.

“The moral to this story is simply, ‘Don’t let the patient surveys come back to haunt you.’ Keep your hospital looking beautiful and your rooftops meticulously maintained. There is no place for a leak in a hospital. Ever,” says Post.

There is no substitute for a well-designed commercial roof system, cut from the highest quality materials and conscientiously applied, particularly when the client desires the highly specialized roofscape options inherent to the hospital beautification projects cropping up across the country. Laying astro turf and planning around the electric and air conditioning systems that also reside atop the roof requires a commercial roofing company of the highest caliber.

“The law states that the environment has to be pleasing and soothing to expedite healing. We do more than that. We offer full service roofing and create beauty where there was neglected space,” says Dalila Vallejo-Newhard, KPOST Company business development representative.

There is no telling which other sweeping changes will breeze onto the healthcare scene, ushering in yet another new era of patient care, but the guiding principles of quality craftsmanship, specialty waterproofing, leak repair, lightweight concrete maintenance, full-spectrum building envelope services, and preventative maintenance will not budge one iota. Dallas commercial roofing contractors with the advanced skillset to rise to the new challenges of green roofing will continue to be in demand as hospitals scramble to keep pace with the healthcare arena’s many mandates.

For more great tips, get a copy of our white paper “If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy today and learn more about proper assessments and maintenance of your commercial property. Download now!

A “Shivery, Shovelry” Fall and Winter, Promises The Farmers’ Almanac

As the simmering heat of another late Texas summer recedes, autumn brings with it the dynamic thunderstorms, occasional hail, and temperature swings that wreak havoc on roofs accustomed to toasting in the sun. Now is the time to enlist the help of a trusted commercial roofing company, skilled at problem solving and communication, for preventative maintenance and the peace of mind that comes with it.

“Clients should know that when we climb up on each roof, we will clean it up and provide our clients with a maintenance plan that is ideal providing the peace of mind they expect from KPost. When a roof does not require maintenance, we say so,” said Steve Little, President of KPost Company. “We approach every assignment with high levels of integrity, and that is consistently reflected in the way we serve our clients.” “Clients asking for preventative maintenance for the upcoming storm season demonstrates proactive management of their company assets and limits business interruptions.”

The Farmers’ Almanac: Wet, Cool Fall Punctuated with Severe Weather 

Major rain-producing storms are stirring up and heading south now. This year The Farmers’ Almanac has issued a long-range weather forecast predicting:

  • Cool temperatures
  • More rainfall than usual
  • Three potential hurricanes capable of producing damaging storms

 

Facility managers and building owners must schedule preventative roof maintenance calls soon if they wish to sidestep the litany of problems severe weather visits upon unprepared roofs.

Preventative Maintenance: Why Do It?

1. Facility managers should prioritize preventative maintenance in order to preserve any manufacturer or company warranties covering their roofs.

2. Emergency repairs simply cost more, by some estimates as much as 50% more, than maintenance bills.

3. The longevity and durability of the roof in question is increased substantially when basic maintenance and proper care occur regularly.

As building owners gear up for another wild autumn, it is important to recognize that when rain and variable temperatures follow sustained high temperatures, small holes and cracks do often form in roofing material. Little remarked, “The ice stores from last winter combined with the sweltering heat from this summer is going to cause a real mess this fall on those roofs that haven’t been maintained. Cleaning drains and removing debris that could possibly block scuppers and overflow drains are high priority service items during a preventative maintenance call. The weight of standing water destroys the integrity of a roof’s structure. Even just an inch of water standing in a puddle 10 feet by 10 feet weighs roughly a quarter of a ton.”

Tackling these problems while they are still small in scope yields repair bills that are also minor and an assurance that, come what may, the roofing system will stand up to the hail and high winds Mother Nature hurtles at it. Alternately, waiting for the roofing material to degrade to the point water actually leaks into the building yields heftier repairs, billed at a premium since rush jobs always cost more. Owners and managers must accept maintenance costs as a healthy and necessary aspect of property caretaking.

Waterproof It: Let the Rain Fall Where It May

Effective weatherproofing requires a highly skilled waterproofing division experienced with a diversity of manufacturer products and a thorough knowledge of trouble spots ranging from joint sealants to flashings to seams. “At KPost, we have separate WP and roof maintenance divisions because it requires specialized craftsmen for each trade,” says Shawn Morgan, KPost WP Division Manager. Pounding rain finds its way into the subtlest of cracks and crevices, particularly when left to unattended. Gutters and drains must be free of debris in order to function effectively and prevent standing water.

“Now is the ideal time to call up our expert team, before the foul weather hits. We will scrutinize the entire building envelope, locate the minor discrepancies others miss, and repair them before they cause damage. We spare our clients stress and preserve their peace of mind,” said Tracey Donels, KPost Company Service Manager.

Find more tips and information in the KPOST Company white paper “If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download a free copy and learn more about extending proper roof inspections as well as great tips for keeping water out of your building. Download now!

 

Weather’s Fine on Cloud Nine – the Rooftop That Is!

It’s all about the view. We desire to be at the top, to enjoy the horizon, uninterrupted by other buildings. It’s so peaceful, so beautiful, and frankly hard to find in the city. Rooftops have become a largely desired commodity in our high-rise world. That is why we see so many unusual and interesting uses of commercial roofing. From infinity pools to green spaces to lounges, like the one at The Taylor in Uptown Dallas, there is no end to unusual and unique uses for rooftops in commercial spaces. Of course, that also increases the complexity of the installation.

“Choosing to maximize a commercial roof space makes good business sense and provides a unique way to add value to tenants and guests,” said Steve Little, president of KPOST Company. “Pools, lounges, and general beautification are all excellent ideas to make the most of a commercial roof while expanding the livable, usable space of the facility.”

Up on the Roof

Whether a hotel, high-rise condo, museum or football stadium, there is no shortage of unique and creative commercial roofing installations. Just in North Texas, we have the very interesting AT&T stadium, with its retractable roof, plus a multitude of other unusual roofing installations such as Perot Museum, the Omni Dallas Hotel and The Westin Galleria. The one thing these properties have in common is working with a reputable, experienced commercial roofing partner. Why is that so critical?

“These types of complex installations require a more specialized knowledge. Not every commercial roofing partner is well-equipped to handle unusual rooftop installations or high-rise projects,” said Little. It will be important to select the right roofing partner for both the installation and ongoing maintenance and repair.”

So what is it about these installations that make them so complex? There are a number of factors including:

  • Non-traditional use of water – whether it’s a pool or water feature, any time you put water in the air, there is the increased likelihood of leaks. Having the right plan for installation and maintenance will minimize that likelihood so you can enjoy the pool without concern of leaks into someone’s room. Also ensuring you have the right drainage systems in place keep the water where it belongs.

 

  • Unusual angles – the majority of commercial roof installations are at a slight angle to accommodate drainage, so to the untrained eye they are flat. When you add sharp angles or severe slopes, the installation and maintenance become more difficult. The commercial roofing team must have a strong focus on safety so you are confident they can access the roof without any issue. In addition, experience with the various roofing materials combined to create the unusual angle or slope is important as well. These are not the type of projects you want someone to climb on and off of repeatedly because he does not have the right experience and tools to complete the repair.

 

  • Brand it – with increased airline traffic, capturing the plane’s audience by putting your company logo and message on your roof promotes your brand and supports your marketing initiative!

 

  • Make it appealing – or even more functional. How many times have you stayed in a hotel with a view of the lower gravel roof? Not all that enticing is it? Now it is possible to enhance the look of that roof while keeping it functional. These beautification projects could include garden roofs that help the environment and save water by allowing for it to be used for plant life instead of draining off the roof. The complexity of these types of roofs requires expertise since the primary focus is to keep everything under it clean and dry. Plus the roof houses HVAC systems, venting and other much needed components of the building. So making it appealing should also mean ensuring that the roof still does the job.

 

Knowledge Equals Empowered

While the contractor is responsible for the installation of these roof systems, the continued maintenance will fall squarely on the shoulders of the property manager or building owner’s choice of contractor. Therefore, it is important to select a reputable commercial roofing partner who has strong experience with complex roofing installations AND maintenance. Use these tips to help you select the right commercial roofer for your complicated roofing installation:

  • Know the Score – the commercial roofer should have experience with complex installations and be able to provide examples. Testimonials and referrals are even better, as you will have a clearer understanding of their involvement in the project as well as the quality of work provided.

 

  • Safety First – obviously it is important to select a commercial roofing company with a strong safety record, but when it comes to unusual and unique installations, that safety record becomes paramount. There are too many things that could go wrong on a steeply sloped roof, or one with sharp angles, so ask for proof of the company’s safety record. It will provide peace of mind for everyone.

 

  • Where Everybody Knows Your Name – select a commercial roofing partner who has a web-based CRM (customer relationship management) system that can track all the maintenance on your roof, and also give you access to that information 24 x 7. Detailed record keeping that includes pictures and roof maps while providing transparency of the records are both a positive that empower you to keep your guests and / or tenants safe by knowing exactly what repairs have been performed and when.

 

Not all commercial roofers have the same skills, focus or abilities. When it comes to maximizing your rooftops, by all means do so in a way that is safe and provides a benefit to your customers. This will include selecting a commercial roofing partner who can ensure proper maintenance of your very unique roof!

“Specialized commercial roofing systems require a unique skill set, one that will cost a bit more, but will be worth it in the long run,” said Little. “The bitterness of poor quality lingers long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten!”

For more great tips, get a copy of our white paper If Farmers Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy today and learn more about proper assessments and maintenance of your commercial property. Download now!

Back To School: How KPOST Company is Getting Their Kids Ready

With summer ending, the school year is upon us, which means it’s time to organize carpools, confirm class schedules and purchase school supplies. The average cost of school supplies is around $55 per child and does not take into account the technology tools that some schools are now requiring.  No child should have to go without school supplies, that’s why this year the KPOST team is getting their kids ready and loading up their backpacks with fresh school supplies.

For the Back To School Backpack Program, KPOST Company employees packed 175 backpacks with school supplies for the elementary aged children of their employees.

“KPOST is a family and this is our way of giving something back to our family”, said Jayne Williams, CFO.  “We have to remember the reason that our employees come to work every day, to provide for their families and we wanted to show the kids we were thinking about them”.

A Culture of Giving

KPOST executives and team members believe in giving and do so year round. This philosophy is in alignment with their corporate culture, which includes developing award-winning employee safety programs , supporting the community, and providing excellence in all they do.

“This is just another reason I love working for KPOST,” said Christi Radogna, KPOST AR Manager. “It’s a common practice for companies to donate to charities, but what isn’t so common is to have a company look within and donate to their own employees.  I am a single Mother and school supplies add up very quickly, I am so appreciative and proud to be a part of a company that truly cares.”

Each backpack KPOST supplied contains over 15 items that are appropriate for any school district and contain all the tools the kids will need to have a successful start to their school year.

“When I gave my son Trevor the backpack,” said Christi, “he first asked if he could play with it now and then he stopped and said with a smile, can I work there too, they give away cool stuff!”

When it comes to community support, the teams at KPOST make it a point to be involved year round. This type of investment not only allows the KPOST team to give back, but also infuses the culture throughout the organization.

“Our employees see us supporting them and others in the community on a regular basis. It’s who we are at heart, and it’s important that everyone who works with us understand that and believe in it,” said Williams. “We expect every employee to be an active participant in giving back to their community.”

KPOST supports many different organizations in multiple ways. Following is a sample of the type of charitable action they take:

Charitable Cause

KPOST is Involved

Conley Design – Packing Party for Troops
Aileen Struble, Senior Estimator serves on the Board. KPOST provides employees to help pack gift boxes for hundreds of Troops.

 

Petey Parker Teddy Bear giveaway
We collect throughout the year for Petey Parker.  Petey and her husband, Jim Fite, dress up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus and deliver a stuffed animal to every patient in several hospitals.   So far we have collected almost 150 bears this year.

 

Toys for Tots
We collect from our employees Toys for Tots every Christmas.

 

Savage Race to benefit ACT
It was the Savage Race where KPOST partnered with National Roofing Partners to collect monies for ACT, an autism charity.  We had 5 employees brave freezing weather to run and even swim in ice water.

 

Bring Your Dog To Work Day
Collect money and items for Operation Kindness.  The last one raised almost $2,000 and 100 lbs. of food and toys.

 

NRCA Community Service Day
Every year KPOST employees participate in the work day at the annual convention of National Roofing Contractors Association.  We perform landscaping, painting, roofing, and other projects on 2 or 3 houses in the host city.

 

Various Charities
Every year we volunteer to provide labor and materials for roofing of local charities.

 

The idea of giving back is ingrained in the KPOST culture and is evident by the many charitable organizations that the company has supported over the years.  The Back To School Backpack Program is emblematic of the corporate culture and the values instilled in the employees to give back.  KPOST Company prides itself on having a strong set of corporate values enhanced by high ethics and superior service, which establish the company as a highly desired partner in the commercial roofing industry.

Commercial Roofer Needed? Will You Call The Avengers or Guardians?

There is no shortage of comparisons between Marvel’s massive box-office hit The Avengers and its latest record-breaking movie Guardians of the Galaxy. For example, CNN summed it up by stating The Avengers are more like the New York Yankees while Guardians of the Galaxy are more like the Bad News Bears. One has a team of professionals and the other – well they have great intentions but don’t always come together in the easiest or most seamless way. Of course, it’s just fiction, so in all cases the heroes save the day.

When you apply the super hero philosophy to who you might need to save the day for your commercial property, getting a leaky roof fixed, the best assessment performed or the right preventative maintenance provided, the reality is you would prefer a more professional team – one that has a cohesive approach, provides an experienced team and frankly can tackle any challenge you may have.

“A professional commercial roofing company will have spent time evaluating the best services for their customers, ensuring they have a well-trained team, and keeping everyone safe on the job,” said Steve Little, president of KPOST Company. “When it comes to assessing and repairing a commercial roof, you definitely want the right team.”

Picking the Right Commercial Roofing Partner

You have choices when determining who to select as your commercial roofing partner. First, let’s consider that word – partner. The right company will view their customer relationships as partnerships, and do everything possible to ensure the best end result for you and your commercial property. As part of that partnership, the right company will align with your timeline, as well as brings high levels of expertise and professionalism.  Keeping the assessments on track, getting the information to you in a timely manner and then providing the correct preventative repairs based on your timeline is key to keeping your roof in tip-top shape.

To select the right professional commercial roofing company, the following list provides you with an outline of characteristics you will want to include in your list to find the best fit:

Positive Track Record – the company should be willing to provide customer testimonials and references that prove cost savings and on-time execution. In addition, they should be willing to provide proof of an excellent safety record through letters verifying their experience modifier rating.

This Matters Because – customer testimonials provide a third-party, unbiased reference to ensure that the company can back up their claims. The experience modifier rating is also an unbiased, third-party verification via the insurance company to prove that the company’s safety record is, in fact, quite good.

Specialty Crews – teams that are trained and specifically focused on repair and preventative maintenance.

This Matters Because – there are commercial roofing companies that have crews that do everything; sort of a “jack-of-all-trades.” By ensuring that the team that performs the preventative maintenance work on your building is trained specifically for that work, you know that you are getting some trained in exactly what to look for, where to look and how to prioritize repairs needed. There’s no guesswork involved, ensuring that any quotes for work provided are spot on.

Prompt Response – teams that are well-trained with a large fleet of service trucks so that they can respond to your immediate concerns.

This Matters Because – ideally you do not have an emergency and there is no water streaming in your building. But if you do, it gives you peace of mind to know that the commercial roofing partner you’ve selected has a large enough crew with the right training to promptly respond to any issue.

Strong Expertise – teams that have strong expertise in the areas of roof and waterproofing, inspections, repair and preventative maintenance.

This Matters Because – commercial roofing is one, albeit important, aspect of the responsibilities you have in keeping your property maintained for your tenants. Waterproofing is another important piece, as is ensuring that the team who performs your inspections and preventative maintenance is experienced in their specific area.

Easily Accessible – ability to rapidly schedule and respond, as well as provide access to current and historical records online.

This Matters Because – obviously if there is a leak, you want the team to respond quickly. It is also beneficial to be able to look up prior repair calls, maintenance visits and assessments performed so you can keep track.

Excellent Assessment Reports – detailed and transparent, with specifics as to what repairs are required with a recommended timeline and explanations on how to fix the issue. The report should include annual and 5-year budget forecasts, roof plan and warranty information.

This Matters Because – assessment reports can give you detailed information that ensures you prioritize and budget repairs appropriately. Without a good assessment, you are at the mercy of the company providing the report. An excellent report empowers you to make the best decision at the right time.

“It simply becomes more expensive to postpone preventative maintenance repairs, and can turn into significantly larger repair bills in fairly short order,” said Steve. “The most effective means of minimizing repair bills is to work with a qualified, competent commercial roofing contractor who understands the multiple facets of keeping your roof in the best shape.”

You can find more tips and information in the KPOST Company white paper If Farmer’s Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy and learn more about extending proper roof inspections as well as great tips for keeping water out of your building. Download now!

 

Everything’s Bigger and Dryer in Texas: Can Your Commercial Building Take the Heat?

Texas is no stranger to severe and erratic weather, and Texans have even developed their own unique language to describe the heat. Here are a few colorful sayings courtesy of Texas Monthly.

So dry the catfish are carryin’ canteens

So dry the Baptists are sprinklin, the Methodists are spittin, and the Catholics are givin rain checks

Hot as a stolen tamale

Hot as a summer revival

It’s been dry so long, we only got a quarter-inch of rain durin Noah’s Flood

 Drier than a popcorn fart

According to a recent article by the Houston Chronicle this is one of the five worst droughts seen in Texas in the past 500 years, and it is quickly advancing towards becoming number three. In addition to the dry weather state Climatologist John Nielsen-Gammon predicts possible El Niño conditions, which could mean a wet winter and up to five inches of additional rainfall.

From tornadoes to high winds to massive thunderstorms, Texas weather is far from predictable. The question is do we hope for the best or are we taking steps to ensure that our properties are prepared for climate changes?

“When determining the best course of preparedness for a property, it is critical to consider the most expensive component of that building, which is typically the commercial roof,” said Steve Little, KPOST Company president. “You want to be prepared to take on inclement weather by understanding the roofing components, life span and appropriate preventative maintenance to ensure longevity.”

“A Drought Usually Ends With a Flood”

When deciding on the next steps to ensure your commercial property receives the right type of preventative maintenance and you are prepared for anything Texas can throw at you, it’s important to start with a thorough understanding of the state of the building materials and the associated warranties. This means having a sense of what type of maintenance has been previously performed, the materials used and how well they have been maintained, and the repairs performed in the past.

“If you have a prescriptive program that provides solid documentation on what materials were initially used during the building of the property, the warranty period of the materials, and the assessments and maintenance work performed, you have a track record that ensures you truly understand the state of your property. Think of it like a CarFax for your building,” said Luke Legrand of Conner-Legrand, Inc. an independent manufacturer’s representative of roofs, walls and skylights. Luke and his team work with architects, general contractors and building owners to ensure the best product is used for the project. They have the flexibility to recommend multiple products, rather than a single manufacturer line, and are well-equipped to make judgments on the best materials.

“To understand the importance of the right materials, you should first consider that a building is an active entity,” said Luke. “Some buildings may be bought and sold multiple times, so ensuring you know what materials were originally used as well as the maintenance plan not only help provide insight as to the value of the property, but also in how to budget for maintenance and replacement going forward.”

Because proper maintenance is important, it would seem logical that this would be a priority. Property managers and building owners would prioritize preventative maintenance; however, this may not be the case, and if you have inherited a building without good records, you may be in for some unpleasant surprises, particularly when Texas twisters or unexpected droughts hit.

“Come Hell or High Water”

The truth is we don’t know when Texas weather will take a turn on us, causing a leaky roof or other building issues. Without property assessments and maintenance, you may be out of luck and in the rain!

“Buildings expand and contract as the environment heats and cools, and so do building materials and components.   However, some materials will move more than others,” said Luke. “Of greater concern are the intersections where different types of materials meet. Manufacturers will give you a lifecycle that is based on their materials, but the wear and tear that occurs at these intersections can impact the overall building envelope. A building owner can benefit greatly from learning to look for issues before they become problems.”

By the time you see water inside the building, there is a build-up of water elsewhere that can wreak havoc throughout the building and outlying structures, including, but not limited to mold. And that’s only with a small amount of water. If there is a major weather event, then the wind gusts can rip up parts of the roof, while water seeps into places it should not be.

Texas weather can change in the blink of an eye. If your property relies on consumer dollars then the perception that you are not caring for your building can cost you more than the commercial roof repair. It can cost you losses in consumer confidence and negative tenant opinions resulting in revenue loss.

“Think about those establishments that depend on consumer traffic in the building. A retail business that has to block off floor traffic to prevent slip-falls not only presents a poor image, it has a large liability exposure. Consider a high-end restaurant with roof leaks; consumer confidence can be shaken and they simply may not return,” said Luke. “By the time you can see a leak, it becomes an emergency call, which always costs significantly more than planned and scheduled maintenance. Building downtime or operations disruption can be very costly, and is usually avoidable, or at least minimized with proper planning.”

Don’t Get Caught “Burnin’ Daylight”            

There’s no time to waste! In order to battle the continuing drought conditions and to prepare for whatever Texas throws at you next, you need a comprehensive plan delivered from your trusted roofing partner that ensures you are proactively caring for your commercial roof. Doing so will save you money on repairs, keep your reputation intact and keep your tenants happy.

You can find more tips and information in the KPOST Company white paper “If Farmer’s Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy and learn more about extending proper roof inspections as well as great tips for keeping water out of your building. Download now!

Technology Is A Game Changer for Commercial Roofing

New technological advances in construction are changing the world of commercial roofing. KPOST Company strives to stay on the forefront of industry innovations that might make for safer, more efficient, and more affordable services.

From 3-D concrete printers to energy-saving roofing systems the construction industry is full of creative, innovative thinkers making leaps and bounds in the ever-growing field of construction. This month in Roofing Contractor Magazine editor Rick Damato offers a commentary on what’s changing now and how it will impact roofing businesses in the future. Here’s what he has to say in his article “New Roofing Technology Is Changing the Game”.

“As new technologies in manufacturing and building materials continue to improve on all fronts, the business operations technologies of the roof-contracting industry have also changed.

Business communication continues to change with increasing use of teleconferencing, video conferencing and Web conferencing as ways of communicating across wide groups. With emerging enhancements to the infrastructure that delivers the bandwidth needed to deliver these services, providers will introduce more/faster/better communications tools, including some we simply have not imagined yet.

As for email, it is being nudged out by text messages and Tweets. I believe the move from desktop to laptop to tablet is finally taking business to the promised land of the paperless enterprise.

I believe building information modeling (BIM) will continue to emerge as one of the most productive tools in the history of building in the modern era.

As robotics have been in use in the factory for four decades or more, they will be used to produce metal roofing systems on the jobsite. The ability to roll out the perfect parts, virtually waste free, in real time as they are being assembled on the roof adds value in more ways than I have room to describe here.

Aerial imaging will grow from an estimating tool into new services for roofing and other contractors. As the images become more robust, they will have the ability to monitor the building envelope and even become a more important tool for roof inspectors.

 The building envelope continues to be one of the superstars of energy-efficient building design. Roof membranes, coatings and insulation material technologies will continue to be forced forward by demand.” 

The commercial roofing industry is rapidly evolving with new technologies everyday and at KPOST Company we are committed to setting industry standards.”

“We are always looking for better ways to serve our customers. Investing in new technology that allows us to better perform our jobs while also minimizing the impact to our customers is of great interest to us at KPOST,” said Steve Little, president of KPOST Company. “It’s one of the things I really like about being with KPOST – we put educating our customers first consequently earning their trust for years to come.”

Polar Plunge in July? Can Your Building Take It?

The one thing that is constant about the weather is it is not constant. For example, this very week we experienced cooler temperatures and rain in July due to a polar plunge in the Midwest. This cold snap reduced average temperatures by 10 to 20 degrees, making for record cooler temperatures, and frankly a nice break from the triple digits we had recently experienced.

Even more fascinating is the fact that the Farmer’s Almanac predicted this very cold snap, and predicts additional scattered thunderstorms for our area into August. In fact, the Farmer’s Almanac has more accurately predicted weather during its 80 year history than any other meteorological report or weather predicting agency using their proprietary method. This certainly makes for a reliable source.

To that end, the Farmer’s Almanac does predict hotter, drier weather coming up, which begs the question can your building take it?

“When you consider the impact of rapid and ongoing heating and cooling of commercial properties due to weather, you must take into account the expansion and contraction of materials, which can create a point of failure,” said Keith Post, CEO of KPOST Company. “This allows for water to enter the building, an unfortunate reality that most property managers will not realize until a large rain uncovers leaks inside.”

Meet the Havoc Brothers – Expand and Contract

“Building materials are engineered to move so that the building can appropriately withstand the elements, ground shifting and overall expansion and contraction from the changing temperatures, “ said Tracey Donels, KPOST Company service manager. “When you consider how many elements a building endures in a single week, it’s truly a testament to the endurance of the materials.”

Tracey went on to say: “Each year we have two massive thermal changes in the spring and in the fall. When you add the polar vortex we are experiencing this summer, there are now two additional thermal changes – one at the beginning and one at the end. The reality is that building materials can only withstand so much, so these extra occurrences can definably impact the life span of building materials.”

We do know that building materials have a life cycle, and that life cycle is extended by proper maintenance. But how do you prepare for the everyday challenge of temperature changes? And the associated issues of the building expanding and contracting?

“The obvious answer is regularly scheduled assessments and preventative maintenance,” said Keith. “It is also important to prioritize based on the need. Consider that the commercial roof takes the brunt of direct sunlight, rain, snow and most other inclement weather elements. It is important to ensure that the roof receives proper maintenance by a reputable commercial roofing partner so that you keep the water out of your building.”

Take the Right Steps

When determining the best commercial roofing partner to perform an assessment and associated preventative maintenance, it is important to remember they must have the skill set to properly assess damage from a manufacturing point of view. This means understanding where to look, how to spot trouble spots and potential issues, and how to perform a visual inspection that results in a good condition assessment / maintenance report.

There are multiple areas to assess and determine the level and priority of damage so that a repair schedule can be made. Getting the inspection report will not only provide you with a budgeting tool, but also a prioritization tool to determine which repairs are critical and which can be scheduled at a later date.

The inspection report should be broken out to “warrantable” and “non-warrantable” repairs.  In many cases “warrantable” repairs will be paid for by the manufacturer under your warranty, as long as you maintained the roof per the warranty agreement.

“Your building is always in motion and constantly under attack from elements,” said Tracey. “Keeping on top of assessments and preventative maintenance is the best way to keep water out of the building, keep tenants happy, and minimize the need for expensive repairs down the road.”

You can find more tips and information in the KPOST Company white paper If Farmer’s Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy and learn more about extending proper roof inspections as well as great tips for keeping water out of your building. Download now!

 

Diversity Training Earns KPOST the Seal of Cultural Excellence Award

Workforce development and immigration reform are hot topics in the construction and commercial roofing industries. Through their work with Bilingual America, KPOST is proactively taking steps to instill a corporate culture that is inclusive and embraces diversity and is making significant investments in developing leaders in their Latino workforce.

Recently, KPOST was the first company ever to receive the Seal of Cultural Excellence Award since Bilingual America’s founding in 1992. The award was presented to the KPOST Company executive team June 26th, 2014.

“The construction industry has been woefully slow to embrace diversity at the leadership level,” says KPOST President Steve Little, “But we believe that the next generation of leaders in construction will include first-generation Latino Americans.”

We caught up with both the Latino trainees and the KPOST Company executive team to see what impact training has had at work and at home.

Enrique Rodríguez – KPOST Company Project Coordinator

So what does it mean to be a great leader? For Enrique Rodríguez, KPOST Company Project Coordinator, it means to invest time in developing others. He knows that being a great leader means being a great follower, and investing time to develop both himself and others.

“In our culture, we work hard and are protective of what we have accomplished. That creates an environment that does not allow for teaching others to become better,” said Enrique. “Now I am secure in the fact that I can lead others, teaching them to be better than me, and still keep everything I have, or even gain more, from guiding others to reach their full potential.”

Enrique chose to truly walk in his new found lessons of leadership. He implemented many of the same teachings at home, where he now has a slightly different attitude on being a role model for his family and has noticed an immediate change throughout his KPOST team:

“Everyone has noticed the new approach I’ve taken, particularly since I make it a point to have one-on-one conversations so we can discuss how everyone can improve. I show everyone the same respect.” He went on to say “This type of behavior and focus is unusual for our industry. At KPOST, we believe in investing in our people.”

Rosa Garcia – KPOST Company Operations Administration

“I recognize that we all have a lot to learn from each other. When people from Latin countries immigrate to the U.S., we want to maintain our culture while still learning about the culture in the U.S.,” said Rosa Garcia, KPOST Company Operations Administration. “One thing I did learn from the courses was that it does not matter who you are, if you become a leader you should stay focused on treating everyone the same. You should work to be humble.”

Rosa recognizes the difficulties of having to lead by example, both at work and at home, but fully understands the need to walk the talk. Always worked to be the type of person who thinks of others before herself, Rosa thinks about how she can be a better person every day.

“It’s in my DNA to be humble, but honestly I never thought about the positive impact that might have on others,” said Rosa. “I now realize the result that can have on those around me, and am appreciative to be part of the team chosen to participate in the training.”

Luciano Perez – KPOST Company Safety Manager

“After the training, I am much better equipped to understand the role of a leader, how to navigate the Anglo culture, and how important it is to have good communication skills,” said Luciano Perez. “It was a good experience and really made us feel like a more integral part of the company.”

Luciano has to interact with varying types of people in his role, including team members, customers and executives. By having a better understanding of the differences between the Latino and Anglo cultures, Luciano feels better prepared to handle his duties at KPOST.

Luciano also understands the significance of this type of cultural integration, particularly from a leadership standpoint.

The biggest “a-ha” moment for Luciano was learning how to change his mentality to be one of service to others. He has learned that it is important to build a level of respect by choosing differently.

“Leaders live in a glass house. Everything you say, how you dress, how you approach a situation makes a difference. Using slang terms and dressing down no longer work,” Luciano said. “Now I make a point to talk to others about what their potential is and what they can do to move forward. It’s about building others.”

Keith Post – Owner and CEO

“When we decided to embark upon this journey, the primary reason was to assess where we were and how to move forward to gain a better understanding of our cultures while solidifying processes and improving our communication,” said Keith. “A major benefit was we all were able to learn a significant number of differences between the Anglo and Latino cultures which will help us improve and grow.”

The majority of the KPOST Company workforce is Latino. Add that to a growing Latino population in the region and investing in this type of training makes sense. When Ricardo Gonzalez of Bilingual America met Keith and Steve Little, KPOST Company president, it seemed like a natural fit.

Keith had a couple of lessons learned he felt were critical.

“We recognize that the Latinos are very hard workers. They come giving their all and never hold back. Consequently, they do not like to be pushed as they are already bringing their “A” game.”

Keith concluded with:

“It is very apparent that we all need to work on communication so we can continue to improve our working environment and develop strong leaders. It is important to me that our team understands I really respect them. Learning more about their culture will help me reach that goal.”

Jayne Williams – CFO and Chief Safety Officer

“One of the unfortunate realities of our industry is there are many contractors who view the labor force as a commodity, and they do not care how they treat that commodity,” said Jayne. “From day one we believed everyone is important. Our people are an asset.”

As chief safety officer, Jayne has spent time not only with the KPOST Company workforce, but with their families as well. Her message is simple, but an important one.

One of the lessons learned for Jayne was the level of pride Latinos carry for the native culture.

“I told Ricardo that I was upset that others would speak Spanish in front of me. I expected them to speak English at work. Now I realize they are simply communicating in a way that is comfortable for them. I also understand how proud they are of their heritage. Sometimes we forget that heritage may not be American,” said Jayne.

“It’s interesting how often it is the little things that will make a change, like my understanding the comfort zone of speaking their own language,” Jayne continued. “Just like we treat our people differently than many of our industry brethren.”

Steve Little – President

“According to the Dallas Hispanic Chamber and the Dallas Chamber, the DFW metroplex population will be over 50% Latino by 2016. If for no other reason, the numbers are compelling enough to make any executive team pause and wonder how to better understand multi-cultural leadership,” said Steve. “For KPOST it was a natural next step.”

Steve went on to explain:

“KPOST is a business first, and a sub-contractor second. We are always thinking ahead to what will ensure we are sustainable for decades to come. When we thought about the next steps required to invest in our company, it made sense to find a good way to invest in our workforce, which presently is 90% Latino. Success with Hispanics gave us a methodology to begin that journey.”

Steve, and the rest of the KPOST team, understands that true growth will come from a deeper understanding of their team, which in this case means understanding different cultures. Without this investment, it will be difficult to find future leaders.

“We cannot rely on society to develop our leaders. This development must come from the business community,” said Steve. “The investment in the Latino leadership program makes sense for many reasons, not the least of which is this is a dedicated culture.”

Bilingual America offers businesses Spanish and Cultural Management training to help individuals and organizations develop highly successful relationships with Latinos. The Seal of Cultural Excellence award is indicative of the commitment KPOST has demonstrated to develop leaders in their Latino workforce.

“We recognize how important it is to invest in our people; doing so through multi-cultural education has resulted in positive dividends for KPOST. Our leadership team is stronger and our ability to create a more positive work environment has created higher operational efficiencies,” said Brent McFarlin, KPOST Company Vice President. “The results are nothing short of amazing!”

 

In Service of Citizens – Making Dreams Come True

Americanism is a question of principles, of idealism, of character: it is not a matter of birthplace or creed or line of descent. ~ Theodore Roosevelt, Nobel Prize-winning 26th U.S. president (1858-1919)

Alberto Ruiz is an American citizen – as of one month ago. Although he has lived in this country legally since he was eighteen years old, for Alberto, becoming an American citizen seemed a far-away ideal. That is, until Tom Williams of KPOST Company supported him in becoming a citizen.  Tom is a former Naval Lieutenant Commander and was the project coordinator of AT&T Stadium.

“I did not believe that I would ever have the great opportunity to become an American citizen,” said Alberto. “It costs quite a bit of money and we just did not have it to spend.”

KPOST Company provides their eligible employees the opportunity to realize the American dream by supporting Tom in assisting them with the myriad of paperwork and rules required to complete the process.

“We recognize that there are many reasons our eligible employees may not pursue citizenship, one of which is the prohibitive cost of hiring an attorney to complete the process,” said Tom. “It takes several hours for me to complete package, but the end result it well worth it.”

This may seem like going way beyond the norm for an employer, but KPOST Company executives believe in the effort.

“Our team members are important to us, and we recognize that there are those who, while here legally, may simply not have the means to take that next step toward citizenship,” said Steve Little, KPOST Company president. “We simply want to provide them with the opportunity to realize the dreams of our ancestors – to become an American.”

Living in America

“My life is here in the U.S. My children are Americans and I have made this my home,” said Alberto. “I actually came to this country because I could not find work in Mexico. No one would hire a kid right out of high school with no work experience. I have family in California so came to this country for the opportunities, which paid off.”

According to the Department of Homeland Security, there were approximately 8 million legal permanent residents (LPRs) living in the United States as of January 1, 2010 with the ability to naturalize. The number that actually does has decreased steadily since 2005. There is no clear-cut reason, however, in spite of best efforts to simplify the process navigating citizenship, or any other government group, can be a daunting process.

“It takes quite a bit of time to complete a packet thoroughly and correctly,” said Tom. “In addition to ensuring that the resident is eligible, you must provide all the appropriate legal documentation. Basically I spend my time dotting “I’s” and crossing the “t’s” so that the packets are completed appropriately. Then it’s just a matter of getting them approved so they can attend a Naturalization Ceremony.”

To become a citizen via naturalization, a person must first:

  • Have been a permanent resident for 5 years.
  • Have lived in the state of application for at least 3 months.
  • Be able to read, write and speak English and have a knowledge and understanding of U.S. history and government.
  • Be a person of good moral character.

“If you meet the eligibility requirements, there are background checks that determine you are a law-abiding citizen, don’t owe anything to the IRS, and have no outstanding warrants,” said Tom. ”Plus there is the test they must pass that requires extensive studying and understanding on their part.”

Tom went on to say “I’m happy to dedicate time to this important effort. The employees are so happy to become U.S. citizens, and I’m pleased to play a role in helping them do so. I’m also looking forward to helping their family members complete the citizenship process.”

KPOST Company intends to work with approximately 10 employees annually to help support them through this process.

“Ensuring our team members are part of this great country is part of who we are as a company,” said Steve. “We want them to feel pride in everything they do, and that includes being an American citizen.”

What is the most exciting aspect for Alberto regarding his newly acquired citizenship?

“I’m so excited to be able to vote and have my vote count,” Alberto said. “I had my voter registration card filled out at the ceremony a month ago so I could submit it as soon as possible. I feel it is my duty to participate in elections, particularly since as a citizen I have more rights. I’m looking forward to exercising them as an American.”

Win, Lose or Draw – Mother Nature versus Your Commercial Property

It’s World Cup mania! Whether or not you are a soccer fan, the excitement of the 2014 World Cup is contagious. Let’s face it – we all love to root for the home team. From the exciting win over Ghana to reeling in disappointment over a tie with Portugal, then to lose to Germany and still advance to the next round (which is amazing), World Cup fever has taken control!

These teams are the primed for a major competitive battle, having practiced and played beyond what most would be willing to do just for the chance to be considered best in the world. Which is why something like a last-minute goal to tie up the game is so devastating for the U.S. soccer team – it’s having that elated feeling of victory only to fizzle out in the last seconds. And yet they continue to play; to persevere for that chance at winning again.

It’s interesting to think about how often we stand up to adversity, even in our everyday lives. Take Mother Nature for example. Talk about an unfair match! Yet we, and our building envelopes, go toe to toe with her regularly. From tornadoes to high winds to massive thunder storms, Mother Nature puts up quite a fight. The question is do we hope for the best or are we taking steps to ensure that our properties are prepared for an epic battle?

“When determining the best course of preparedness for a property, it is critical to consider the most expensive component of that building, which is typically the commercial roof,” said Steve Little, KPOST Company president. “You would not consider showing up at the World Cup without having practiced and learned plays. The same is true for property management. You want to be prepared to take on inclement weather by understanding the roofing components, life span and appropriate preventative maintenance to ensure longevity.”

Setting the Game Plan

When deciding on the next steps to ensure your commercial property receives the right type of preventative maintenance and you are prepared for anything Mother Nature can throw at you, it’s important to start with a thorough understanding of the state of the building materials and the associated warranties. This means having a sense of what type of maintenance has been previously performed, the materials used and how well they have been maintained, and the repairs performed in the past.

“If you have a prescriptive program that provides solid documentation on what materials were initially used during the building of the property, the warranty period of the materials, and the assessments and maintenance work performed, you have a track record that ensures you truly understand the state of your property. Think of it like a CarFax for your building,” said Luke Legrand of Conner-Legrand, Inc. an independent manufacturer’s representative of roofs, walls and skylights. Luke and his team work with architects, general contractors and building owners to ensure the best product is used for the project. They have the flexibility to recommend multiple products, rather than a single manufacturer line, and are well-equipped to make judgments on the best materials.

“To understand the importance of the right materials, you should first consider that a building is an active entity,” said Luke. “Some buildings may be bought and sold multiple times, so ensuring you know what materials were originally used as well as the maintenance plan not only help provide insight as to the value of the property, but also in how to budget for maintenance and replacement going forward.”

Because proper maintenance is important, it would seem logical that this would be a priority. Just like the soccer players train to play in the World Cup, obviously property managers and building owners would prioritize preventative maintenance. Unfortunately, this may not be the case, and if you have inherited a building without good records, you may be in for some unpleasant surprises, particularly when Mother Nature decides to pay you a visit.

See a Leak? It’s Too Late!

If Tim Howard, the American goalie could have anticipated that amazing shot by the Portuguese player Varela, he would have adjusted appropriately. Unfortunately he could not and what was certain to be a rousing victory ended in a draw. The truth is we don’t often get to have a tie with Mother Nature. In fact, without property assessments and maintenance, she will most likely win!

“Buildings expand and contract as the environment heats and cools, and so do building materials and components.   However, some materials will move more than others,” said Luke. “Of greater concern are the intersections where different types of materials meet. Manufacturers will give you a lifecycle that is based on their materials, but the wear and tear that occurs at these intersections can impact the overall building envelope. A building owner can benefit greatly from learning to look for issues before they become problems.”

By the time you see water inside the building, there is a build-up of water elsewhere that can wreak havoc throughout the building and outlying structures, including, but not limited to mold. And that’s only with a small amount of water. If there is a major weather event, then the wind gusts can rip up parts of the roof, while water seeps into places it should not be.

Mother Nature can unleash her wrath at any time. If your property relies on consumer dollars then the perception that you are not caring for your building can cost you more than the commercial roof repair. It can cost you losses in consumer confidence and negative tenant opinions resulting in revenue loss.

“Think about those establishments that depend on consumer traffic in the building. A retail business that has to block off floor traffic to prevent slip-falls not only presents a poor image, it has a large liability exposure. Consider a high-end restaurant with roof leaks; consumer confidence can be shaken and they simply may not return,” said Luke. “By the time you can see a leak, it becomes an emergency call, which always costs significantly more than planned and scheduled maintenance. Building downtime or operations disruption can be very costly, and is usually avoidable, or at least minimized with proper planning.”

Get Your Game Face On                                                                                                          

It’s tough enough to prepare for a major tournament like the World Cup. Hours upon hours of practice and preparation go into competing for the top slots. Fortunately, the same number of hours is not required to prepare for battle with Mother Nature. What is required is a cohesive plan delivered from your trusted roofing professional that ensures you are assessing and maintaining your commercial roof. Doing so will save you money on repairs and keep your reputation intact.

You can find more tips and information in the KPOST Company white paper If Farmer’s Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy and learn more about extending proper roof inspections as well as great tips for keeping water out of your building. Download now!

 

 

 

Hey, Bank Account! Have You Lost Weight?

It’s no secret that healthy living has become increasingly popular. People have become more conscious of their diets, their environmental footprint, and are statistically seeking overall wellness. Years ago few people were aware of “organic” food; today you can find an organic section in nearly every grocery store. U.S. sales of organic products were an estimated $28.4 billion in 2012—over 4 percent of total food sales—and will reach an estimated $35 billion in 2014, according to the Nutrition Business Journal.

Whether this increased awareness of healthy living has caused a healthier society or not, it’s safe to say that everyone’s wallets are feeling a little lighter.

The grocery isn’t the only place going green. The construction industry sees regulations and standards being changed, often times to improve energy efficiency. One very important change is the ASTM C1289-13e1 standard for insulation testing that went into effect on January 1, 2014 providing new testing methods for the determination and calculation of Long-Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR) values for Polyiso roofing products.

Polyiso is a very popular roofing insulating product used in a large number of roofing systems. Recent changes of the LTTR values are based on consensus standards in the United States and Canada using a scientifically supported method to calculate the 15-year, time-weighted average R-value of roof insulation. What this means in plain English is that the insulation R-Value now has a standard, and that standard increases the amount of insulation across the board.

There are many manufacturers of Polyiso and all are required to comply with this new test standard, which is a major departure from the past, where every manufacturer had their own specifications. Those who are members of the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) have adopted the LTTR method as the exclusive means to measure thermal performance of permeable-faced Polyiso roof insulation and voluntarily submit to testing. The others are expected to comply regardless.

So what does this mean for commercial roofing and building projects in 2014?

“Not only did the R-Value change level the playing field with regard to how manufacturers sell their products, but it also has a significant cost impact,” said Keith Post, KPOST Company CEO. “In the past, the R-Values per manufacturer would vary. Now there is a standard. And that standard increases the amount of insulation required, which in turn increases the cost.”

How Will This Impact the Commercial Roofing Industry?

“This changes everything. We are talking about a fairly minor number, but it’s big enough to impact every bid,” said Kelly Lea, KPOST Company Vice President of Estimating. “Any job that was not permitted in 2013 must be rebid with the new R-Value standard, which could impact the budget.  As an example, the changing R-Values require thicker insulation which also increases the cost of a project in other ways, such as the need to use longer fasteners.”

Polyiso is in a large number of roofing systems, as it is the most common roofing insulation unless lightweight insulating concrete is installed.  The cost of lightweight insulating concrete is typically 30% less expensive than rigid Polyiso roofing system

According to KPOST Company senior estimator, Aileen Struble, R-Values are incredibly important from a budgeting and cost perspective, particularly in light of the fact that every city and county has its own building codes.

“As contractors, we are engaged in an endless learning process to be certain we are providing the correct product that meets the industry and city standards,” said Aileen. “Cities and counties can adopt building codes as they choose, and not all are up to the latest standard. It takes a lot of research to ensure the bids are in compliance with all the varying regulations and codes.”

According to Aileen, most cities and counties want to capitalize on tax advantages associated with utilizing green products to improve the environment. Therefore, they are becoming stricter about the types of construction products that can be used. Coupled with the recent R-Value change for Polyiso, the need to perform extensive research becomes paramount. Otherwise, the bid could be outdated before you even submit it.

“Roofing insulation already comprises approximately 50% of the overall cost of a roofing system. The R-Value is now at 20, but we know it will go up to 30. We’ve even heard it might increase to 42. Now the cost really starts to skyrocket,” said Keith. “We will have to research alternative coverings that are more durable and reflective in order to keep costs in check.”

Combatting Cost Increases

Having the resources to stay on top of the industry changes makes a big difference in combating rising costs. For one, it ensures that the bid you receive contains the correct information while recommending the right product.

“KPOST provides a consultative approach to our projects, so we are educating and informing along the way,” said Aileen. “Whether it’s the owner, property manager or contractor, we ensure that individual receives the right information while also providing educational materials. In addition, we approach each project from our customer’s perspective, so they receive more than one solution.”

In addition to ensuring the information is correct, there are alternatives to consider when recommending a roofing system.

“We invested in cellular lightweight insulating concrete several years ago because we could see the value it brings to our customers,” said Keith. “In addition to getting the same R-value as other products such as Polyiso, it lets us reuse the roof deck, making it environmentally friendly. Plus, it will provide a 20% savings, ensuring a solid cost savings.”

In a world where “going green” means spending green, having the right information is critical to keeping costs in check and maintaining a budget. When it comes to determining the best commercial roofing system for your project, there are several options to consider. Bottom line – find a knowledgeable, educated contractor who stays on top of the industry changes and varying codes. That will save money, time and headaches on your next commercial roofing project.

Common is Not a Bad Thing – Especially for Your Commercial Roof

Common core, common cold, commoner – depending upon the day, and your chosen definition, common has become almost a dirty word. At the very least, it’s not something we revere. In fact, it reflects things so mundane that we often dismiss them (except for Common Core which has taken on a life of its own). Regardless of your feelings on the education system in this country, common is not a word we want to have as a descriptor. However, not all things associated with common are bad. Take common sense, for example. It’s good to have common sense, and one way to exercise your sensibilities is to ensure that common maintenance items are regularly performed on your commercial roof.

“It’s easy to determine the basic and common repairs required on your commercial roof by simply choosing to have an assessment performed,” said Steve Little, president of KPOST Company. “The right assessment, performed by a qualified, competent contractor, will ensure you have the best information available to perform common roof maintenance and repairs. In many cases, there will be repairs covered by the manufacturer’s cost.”

What to Repair When

A qualified commercial roofing company will perform an assessment that provides a great deal of information. Using this report will help you determine the type, level and priority of repairs needed, as well as give you a solid idea of the timing and potential cost. You will know you have received an excellent assessment when it contains the following information:

  • Roof condition summary – outlines the sections of the building’s roof as well as the condition and recommendations.
  • Repair scope of work – provides warranty information as well as non-warranty information on the roofing components. In addition, the report will outline appropriate building maintenance that should be performed quickly.
  • Budget information – the assessment should give a total for the warranty repairs, non-warranty repairs and building maintenance repairs. Premier commercial roofing contractors will provide a bundled price for combining the work, giving you a price break and them the opportunity to perform all the repairs in one visit, thereby saving everyone time and money.

In addition to the information above, the assessment should also provide details regarding the areas in need of repair, including details about the repair and images that show the exact repair required as well as the location on the roof.

“The best assessments give you so much information that most authorized contractors can do the repairs,” said Steve. “You you should have a well thought-out document that gives you every piece of information needed to make an educated decision on the priority, type and need of each repair recommended. This level of detail ensures you can budget appropriately while also keeping your commercial property in the best shape possible – an important aspect of ensuring your commercial roofing materials stay under warranty.”

 

Keep Your Commercial Roof Under Warranty

Doing roof assessments combined with an annual roof maintenance program reduces property liabilities as well as “risk management” cost. All manufacturers require some type of annual scheduled maintenance to enforce the roof warranty. By simply choosing to have a proactively scheduled inspection of your commercial roof and property, you will uncover many issues before they become a major problem.

When determining the best roofing contractor to perform the inspection, it is important to remember they must first be an authorized contractor for the Manufacturer’s roof system to work on the installed roof during the warranty period. Second, possess the skill set to properly assess damage from a roofing manufacture’s products point of view. This means understanding where to look, how to spot trouble spots and potential issues, and how to perform a visual inspection that results in a good condition assessment / maintenance report.

There are multiple areas to assess and determine the level and priority of damage so that a repair schedule can be developed. Getting an assessment will not only provide you with a budgeting tool, but also a prioritization tool to determine which repairs are critical and which can be scheduled at a later date.

“The more proactive you are, the better for your commercial property, and your budget,” said Steve. “We have historical and measurable results that prove proactive annual roof maintenance programs following a professional roof assessment by an authorized contractor reduced the cost of roof repairs after the first few years. In addition, taking these steps extend the life of the roof and saves tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars in the long run.”

You can find more tips and information in the KPOST Company white paper If Farmer’s Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ Download your free copy and learn more about extending proper roof inspections as well as great tips for keeping water out of your building. Download now!

 

Safety Is No Accident When it Comes to Extreme Heat

Safety is top of mind for everyone in the construction industry as shown by the NRCA’s recent stand-down week fall prevention. KPOST Company is continually renewing their efforts to create a safe environment for the entire team. KPOST is proud to announce that Safety Manager, Luciano Perez was recently recognized for his Outstanding Services as the 2013 TEXO Chairman of the Board for the Latino Safety Committee & Forum.

“We are honored to receive this award. It is nice to be recognized for KPOST’s focus on safety,” said Luciano Perez. “Safety is an ongoing effort here and particularly in the summer months as we gear up for high heat.”

Things Are Heating Up in North Texas

img_0866-LP Fall ProtectionAccording to weather forecasts, the next couple weeks in North Texas are predicted to see a temperatures rise into the upper nineties. With impending heat now is the time to take active steps protect and prepare all employees who will be braving the harsh temperatures. During the summer months, the KPOST team focuses their weekly safety talks on how to stay safe even when working during the heat of the day.

In addition to education on the symptoms of heat-related illnesses, KPOST project leaders also ensure that employees understand the best way to manage themselves during these summer months. There are the obvious but still important tactics such as working early or nightly shifts to reduce the amount of time spent in the heat. There are also other tactics KPOST deploys to ensure employee safety including:

  • Providing shaded areas via tents on every job site.
  • Promoting good hydration by providing water, ice and Gatorade.
  • Encouraging work / rest cycles.

KPOST Vice President of Operations Brent McFarlin is responsible for overseeing field operations. Along with the Superintendents, he ensures that all safety measures are executed continuously on every job site.

“Our tenured workforce includes 300 employees and because of our company’s focus on employee safety we’re able to achieve an insurance modification rate of .51. The industry average is over 1.0, so we know that we are doing something right to maintain such a stellar record with a $12 million payroll,” said McFarlin.

Preparing Employees

According to Jayne Williams, KPOST’s CFO and Safety Officer “We need to make safety personal to our employees. I’m not asking them to adhere to the policies because I’m mean. I want them to be safe and go img_0863-LP Ladder Trainhome at night. It’s very important our employees know why we do this for them.”

When it comes to their employees’ safety KPOST leaves nothing up to chance, but instead entrusts award winning Safety Manager and Compliance Safety and Health Official, Luciano Perez to create a safe environment for the KPOST team.
Perez has a total of twenty-one years of experience in the construction industry, ten of which were spent with the KPOST family. Perez is a Certified Safety & Health Official (CSHO), NRCA – CERTA Program Trainer, and Safety Health and Environmental Professional (SHEP).

Luciano Perez, Safety Manager for KPOST, ensures that every week the team is reminded of the preparations and precautions to take while working in the heat. These include:

  • Wear long sleeve shirts in a light color.
  • Apply sunscreen regularly.
  • Drink two cups of water every 15 to 20 minutes to stay hydrated.
  • Steer clear of energy drinks, caffeinated beverages, colas and alcohol, which can increase chances of dehydration.

 

KPOST provides its employees with light, 100% cotton clothing, hard hats, gloves and safety glasses as part of their uniform. That is in addition to any necessary gear that might be needed or the addition of running machinery, which also increases the heat.  By ensuring employees are well versed on heat-related illnesses and signs of dehydration, KPOST is also ensuring the safety of the project and the customer. During the weekly safety meetings, employees are encouraged to get to know their own limits and understand what the temperature and humidity can do.

“The important thing is for the employee to stop, get hydrated and get into the shade,” said Williams. “Once heat illness starts, it can rapidly overtake a person, so it’s critical to stop at the first signs and take care of yourself.”

Know the Signs

While your body will adapt to working in the heat over time, it is still important to understand the different types of heat-related illnesses and what to do for yourself and others. Another reason KPOST teams are given weekly updates on employee safety and working conditions in hot weather – so they can react appropriately should the need arise.

There are two types of heat-related illnesses, which occur when the body cannot regulate its own temperature. They are heat stroke and heat exhaustion. The symptoms are similar but they show up differently. Heat stroke the person will have a body temperature of more than 103 degrees and often have red, hot dry skin without sweating. Get these people to a cooler area and do everything possible to lower their temperature.  Heat exhaustion can occur days later and typically is from lack of fluids. The best course of action is rehydration.

The more likely challenge to working on a commercial roofing project in the summer heat is dehydration. Mild to moderate dehydration symptoms include:

  • Dry, sticky mouth.
  • Sleepiness or tiredness
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

 

KPOST supervisors and employees are trained to know and understand the symptoms, as well as how to react to ensure the safety of the employee, the team and the project. In fact, the KPOST supervisors and foremen have all received the 30-Hour OSHA certification and over 90% of the employees have received the 10-hour OSHA certification.

Hydration and keeping cool are the best course of action to prevent heat-related illnesses or dehydration during hot summer months. Of course keeping employees informed through regularly scheduled safety meetings ensures that they take care of themselves and their team.  At the end of the day, it’s all about safety for our employees and our customers.

It is vital for companies with employees exposed to harsh conditions to ensure their staff is qualified and educated on the health risks, and the appropriate precautions necessary to keep workers safe in scorching temperatures.

 

 

Help Wanted! Construction Booming, Skilled Labor Dwindling

According to recent reports unemployment is at its lowest since 2008. Fortunately the construction industry has been no exception. In fact, the construction industry has seen a major rise in demand. Is this increased demand good news and can it continue? Sourceable.net commented on this surge of construction jobs and huge demand for tradespeople.

“In a recent statement, Associated General Contractors of America Chief Economist Ken Simonson said a surge in both hiring and offering worker overtime was encouraging, but pointed to a looming shortfall of workers and would eventually push up wages and trade prices.

“There is a limit to how much overtime workers can put in, and companies will be seeking to expand employment even faster if the volume of projects continues to grow” Simonson said. “But the huge drop in the number of unemployed former construction workers may make it harder to keep adding employees.”

Simonson’s comments come as growing momentum within the American building sector leads to more demand for skilled labor.

While public construction spending remains flat, private spending on multi-residential and single residential buildings during March was up 13 percent and 33 percent year-on-year respectively, while a surge in communication related infrastructure has seen non-residential spending jump 8.6 percent over the same period.

Because of this, the total number of workers employed surged to seven year highs of 6,000,000 in April and unemployment (9.4 percent) is at seven year lows, with key hot areas including Monroe in Michigan, El Centro in California, Pascagoula in Mississippi and Idaho in Washington.

At the same time, the size of the workforce is shrinking. As tradespeople retired or left the industry due to poor conditions during the post-GFC downturn and the number of new apprentices coming through dropped, AGC now says the industry has 1.1 billion fewer workers than it did four years ago

That is hurting everywhere. Doug Dhon, of Colorado based Dhon Construction, recently told the Coloradoan newspaper there was a shortage of drywallers, plumbers, framers, masons, electricians and other skilled occupations, and that he did not have a single project on the books that was adequately staffed with suitable trades – a situation which meant he and others were struggling to deliver work within agreed timeframes.

“When you can’t adequately man your projects, it puts you in a very hard spot for time” Dhon said.

“It’s a critical threat to my industry and the problem is here right now, today.”

Association officials say there has been a drop in the number of secondary-level construction training programs over the past few years, and have called on the governments at all levels to adopt measures to help schools, construction firms and local trade associations to conduct training programs for future workers.

“If elected and appointed officials don’t act soon to improve the quantity and quality of training opportunities for future workers, many construction employers will struggle to find the workers they need” AGC chief executive officer Stephen E. Sandherr said.

“It would be tragic if the construction industry can’t fill good-paying jobs because of a lack of trained recruits.”

–       See more at: http://sourceable.net/america-begs-for-tradespeople-as-construction-jobs-surge/#sthash.nS7M4Nj3.dpuf

Construction is one of the few industries that is adding jobs and continuing on with a high growth trajectory. Commercial construction is a significant percentage of that growth, begging an unusual question for young people that are having a difficult time finding employment. If you cannot obtain a solid career path in one of the “cool” technology or financial jobs, have you considered construction or commercial roofing?

Forever Young…Extending the Life of Your Building

We are inundated with ways to stay young, keep fit, and even eat to extend our lives. Whether it’s an article on the eating and work-out habits of the famous, like this one on Samuel L. Jackson, or entire programs dedicated to our healthy lives, such as Dr. Oz, there is no shortage of ideas, tips and ways we can live longer and healthier. There are plenty of ways we can stay fit and healthy, but often choose not to follow them. The same can be said of our commercial roof and property.

“Just like regular exercise helps a person stay healthy and live longer, regular maintenance to your property also extends its life,” said Steve Little, president of KPOST Company. “However, just as we have a specific lifetime, building materials also have a typical life cycle.”

The Life Cycle of Building Materials

While we would like to think that our buildings and parking lots can last forever, the reality is that even with proper treatment and maintenance, they have a life span. Just like anything else we are responsible for, proper maintenance will extend the life of any building material. At the end of the day, however, there is still a life cycle for building materials. Typically, in our Texas climate, waterproofing and/or sealants that are exposed have a life expectancy of 5-10 years.  Specifically:

  • Roof systems: 10 to 20 years depending upon the system assembly.
  • Window/wall caulking and sealants:  7-10 years
  • Wall coatings:  5-7 years
  • Paving and sidewalk sealants:  5 years

 

“These numbers represent the manufacturer’s commitment to the materials. However, this assumes that the installation and subsequent maintenance occurs,” said Steve. “Unfortunately, installations that were poorly executed will minimize the timeframes listed.” Roofing material manufactures claim that the key for extending the life of a roofing system is having a quality roofer install the system and having an annual maintenance program. Even a little maintenance on your property and commercial roofing system will go a long way to extend the life of the building materials, minimizing the need to incur capital expenditures with major replacements and positively impact the bottom line. “There are many factors that go into determining the best preventative, ongoing maintenance plan. That is one of the reasons we created a white paper on this subject – to provide building owners and property managers with a free guide to help them make the best decisions for their property,” said Little.

You can find more tips and information in the KPOST Company white paper If Farmer’s Predict a Rainy Season, Can You Keep Water Out of Your Building?“ You can download your free copy and learn more about extending the life of your building materials as well as great tips for keeping water out of your building. Download now!

Mold is Everywhere! So How Do You Keep It Out of Your Building?

Typically when we think about mold it’s throwing out a partial loaf of bread or that nasty looking take home bag of food. The truth is that mold is everywhere in our environment, including the soil, on plants and any dead or decaying matter you might see, including plant matter. It serves an important function in keeping our environment balanced, yet when unchecked, can wreak havoc on your building or home.

“Moisture control is the key to ensuring that mold does not create problems in your building. It’s important to prevent water infiltration,” said Shawn Morgan, KPOST Company Director of Waterproofing. “Otherwise you could potentially have an expensive problem to fix that may also negatively impact your tenants.”

Mold is Bad for Your Health

Even though mold performs important functions in our ecosystem, when mold grows inside a building it may negatively impact the tenants. There are known health issues associated with mold, including:

  • Allergic Reactions – some people are sensitive to mold and mold spores. The reactions can occur immediately such as in the case of dermatitis, or delayed and show up as hay fever type symptoms.
  • Asthma – folks who suffer from asthma are aware that many items in the environment can trigger an attack – mold is no exception.
  • Opportunistic Infections – there are plenty of people who simply have a weakened immune system. For these people, mold can cause infections not seen in a healthier person. These infections typically show up as respiratory illnesses. In addition, molds can cause common skin diseases such as athlete’s foot.

If your building has mold, you typically notice the musty smell first. There may be water damage in the area, including peeling paint, soft or rotting wood, and signs of leakage. If you think you have mold, it is important to have the area checked and appropriate steps taken for remediation.

“Mold is one of the environmental factors that can contribute to ‘sick building’ syndrome,” said Shawn. “The good news is there are plenty of ways to ensure waterproofing of your building envelope to keep mold at bay.”

An Ounce of Prevention

Molds can grow on just about any surface that allows for moisture and oxygen. When excessive moisture accumulates in buildings, or on building materials, you often find mold. Areas common for mold including ceiling tile, insulation, HVAC ducts and wallboards. While it is impossible to eliminate mold, taking steps to control moisture will reduce mold growth.

Steps to prevent mold include:

  • Check routinely for water leaks.
  • Double-check seals around doors and windows.
  • Make sure drains are unclogged and free of debris.
  • Look for cracks in exterior walls and roofing membranes.
  • Check HVAC systems looking for excessive condensation and/or leaks.

“One of the best ways building owners and property managers can reduce the likelihood of mold occurring is to invest in a building maintenance program,” said Shawn. “The best program will provide expertise in waterproofing and an understanding of various manufacturers’ products. Keeping buildings well maintained via routine inspections keep water out of the building, thereby keeping mold from developing.”

Building materials have a life span, so investing in routine inspections and maintenance keep the materials in better shape. Waterproofing services will provide a barrier to moisture, keeping mold out and tenants happy and healthy!

 

 

Commercial Roofing Costs are on the Rise. Guess What? So Is Everything Else…

It seems that the cost of commercial roofing and construction is continually on the rise. There are obvious, and even not so obvious reasons for this trend, including the increasing cost of materials, ongoing adoption of green regulations by municipalities, and even demand for new construction. However, there is one recent regulatory change that not only impacts commercial roofing and construction; it impacts every industry that relies on this method of transportation. What is it?

Trucking. Yes the government imposed changes to the trucking industry that, coupled with an aging and frankly aging-out workforce, creates the perfect storm.

“The federal government, in its divine wisdom, implemented a safety program for truckers that called for a weekly cut of 15 hours of drive time,” said Steve Little, KPOST Company president. “Couple that with the 15% decline in available truckers, and we have 30% less availability of trucking. That hurts everyone.”

What is the New Regulation?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has imposed changes to the trucking industry via their Hours of Service rules and regulations. The administration decreased the number of hours that a trucker can work and imposed minimums on the breaks required. These new laws went into effect in July of 2013 and while they are not recent, the impact has rippled across multiple industries, including commercial roofing.

“These changes will impact more than just the actual delivery of materials or products, it will have a domino effect across commercial roofing,” said Steve. “If laborers are required to wait on jobsites for materials, that negatively impacts the project with unnecessary overtime and job delays. The true impact will unfold over the next several years.”

The Impact to Commercial Roofing is Vast

“Before the regulatory change, we could place an order on Monday and typically have materials by the end of the week or certainly early the next week. Now that time frame is longer,” said Steve. “The ability to react to customer needs is critical in every industry. Having to wait for materials or product will negatively impact the bottom line, especially with many General Contractors changing their buying cycles to “just in time” contracts.”

Commercial roofing product manufacturers are also impacted. According to Terry Faas, director of commercial operations roofing systems for Johns Manville, the fact that commercial roofing relies on flatbed trucks generates even greater constraints due to the new regulations.

“Flatbed truck capacity is the most limited of all modes of trucking equipment and the new hours of service create a greater constraint, limiting our ability to get the equipment we need in order to deliver on time,” said Terry. “Additionally, if the shipment is a two-stop load, after the driver delivers to the first stop, which is usually the job site, they’ve run out of hours to deliver to the second stop.  The shipper, such as the manufacturer, then incurs an additional cost for the driver to keep the load overnight, consequently forcing us to miss the delivery date to the customer.  This is not a good situation for anyone. “

Some manufacturers are building regional distribution facilities to shorten the distance for deliveries with the hope that it will save time. Unfortunately it will not save money.

“Obviously having to build new facilities costs money, and that will be passed on to the consumer. While these regional facilities may make up some of the time delay, this solution will not alleviate cost increases,” said Steve.

While cost is one aspect that will be impacted by these new regulations, the construction companies will have to change the way that they conduct business. In addition to being seriously proactive on getting materials ordered, they will also need to find ways to offset increased costs early in the process.

So what is the solution?

According to Terry Faas, there is no easy solution.

“We are looking at options, such as increasing our dedicated carrier base, stocking material closer to the market and improving the proactive communication to our customers so they know what’s happening before it happens.” Terry went on to say “Getting orders and information from our customers in a timely fashion can help us plan better and ultimately be a better service provider to them.  Converting from flatbeds to vans where possible can also help mitigate issues.”

There are other mitigating circumstances that exacerbate the trucking issue. For example, the average age of a trucker is 57. Without a strong push to encourage new drivers to the industry, there will not be a talent pool to replenish the industry. Couple that with the decreased number of hours truckers can be on the road, and the combination creates a bleak outlook for this critical service.

“There is not a great solution on deck at the moment. Obviously the idea behind the regulation is to keep truckers safe as well as those who share the highways with them. However, the negative impact to commercial roofing and other industries is immense,” said Steve. “There has to be another way to ensure safety without causing such a large cost increase to so many. Without a better solution, we will see prices continue to increase while delivery times get longer. This does not bode well for many, particularly the consumer.”

Weather-Related Commercial Roof Repairs Can Take How Long?

It’s Texas and the one thing we definitely understand is weather changes. You know what we say – if you don’t like the weather, wait a minute. It will change. Unfortunately those changes can swing toward radical weather events. Just last week we saw a major hail storm sweep across North Texas, wreaking havoc and leaving behind a swath of broken windshields, major automobile damage and a large number residential and commercial roofing in need of repair. While some of the repairs are already underway, there will be others that take much longer, even months.

Case in point – last May the city of Amarillo had a major hail storm – not an unusual event in the Panhandle. Unfortunately, according to the Amarillo Globe News, most of the commercial roof repairs had not started until late October.

Why does it take five months for a commercial property to have the roof repaired? One reason is that the insurance claim process simply takes longer. Plus, commercial roof repairs are more complicated.

“Commercial roofing systems are typically hundreds of thousands of square feet and can exceed a million in size. If an inexpensive roof system is installed, then you have a roof that can be severely impacted by large storms,” said Kelly Lea, KPOST Vice President of Estimating. “The roofs that are severely damaged are addressed quickly. The others must wait their turn, which can take months, or even years.”

The KPOST team is experienced in replacing all types of roof systems after severe weather events. In cases where the roof systems were not higher quality, the insurance company had to total the roof immediately. Other companies, however, had to wait for the insurance company to provide estimates. The amount of time a company must wait is often aligned with the level of damage – the more severely damaged roofs are addressed first, with the insurance company providing estimates that are sometimes significantly less than what it takes to realistically reroof the building.

How Does the Insurance Company Decide?

Most insurance companies use Xactimate, or a similar tool, to provide formulas in which to base their estimates. The insurance company estimator will analyze the building based on the formulas and determine the amount to reimburse the building owner. The challenge comes when the reroofing project scopes outside the parameters of the formula.

For example, if you must reroof a mall, then it is safer and preferred to perform the work after hours. This complicates the logistics and falls outside the basic parameters of most estimating software formulas. If the reroofing project is more expensive that originally estimated, it is up to the business owner or property management team to engage with the insurance company to get additional funds for the project.

“We had a reroofing project that was estimated at $96,000 to replace the roof. However, the Xactimate formula did not take into account the height of the building (for safety of the roofers), slope of the roof deck or code upgrades since the roof was installed. The actual estimate was closer to $415,000,” said Lea. “It’s important to understand the overall scope of the roof project.”

“It’s also important to have excellent documentation in order to provide the insurance company with solid reasons as to why the amount estimated will not be enough. That is where an annual roof maintenance plan can be a real game changer.”

Annual Roof Maintenance Plans Change the Game

When you think about how insurance reimbursements work, it’s easier to personalize it a bit, so let’s review how the same system works with your car. If you wreck a car or it’s stolen, the insurance company calculates the reimbursement based upon their tables and formulas. However, if you are able to show that the car was in excellent or at least above-average condition, regularly maintained and well cared for, then the amount of money you are reimbursed will go up.

The same holds true for commercial roofing, except the dollar figures are significantly higher.

“The idea is to have your roof looked at once a year to catch minor problems before they become major problems. In particular, you want to make the repairs prior to any interior damage could occur,” said Tracey Donels, Roof Service Manager.

By investing in an annual roof maintenance plan, you will have documented evidence that the roof was well-maintained, repairs were made on a timely basis, and that the commercial roofing system was certainly intact ensuring no interior damage would occur.

“Routine maintenance can extend the life of a roof giving the company a significant monetary savings when you annualize the cost of the roof,” said Donels.

There are multiple benefits to having an annual roof maintenance plan, including:

  • Extend the life of the CapEx investment
  • Limit interior damage
  • Save money by bundling the repairs

 

“We know our customers cannot control the weather or the timing of the insurance company, but they can give themselves a leg up by investing in an annual roof maintenance plan,” said Scott Bredehoeft, KPOST Director of Business Development. “The ability to provide excellent documentation that roof maintenance was regularly performed will provide the type of support needed to get an insurance reimbursement more in line with the cost of a reroofing project. It’s peace of mind.”

One thing is for sure – those property managers and owners that invested in an annual roof maintenance plan are certainly glad they did after last week’s hail storm. They know before a major weather event what needs to be repaired and can take steps to do so, leaving them with a much better chance of minimizing damage. If there is damage, now there is the right documentation to ensure appropriate repairs. If it’s time for your commercial roofing inspection, please give us a call to schedule one today, before the next weather event takes the area by storm.

Multi-Cultural Leadership – An Investment in the Future

Our three-part series on multi-cultural leadership began with understanding the importance of multi-cultural environments, followed by the opinions of three of the five Latino leaders that experienced the recent training and development. In this, our final post, we discuss the importance of and reaction to the Success with Hispanics training as experienced by the KPOST Company executive team.

Keith Post – Owner and CEO

“When we decided to embark upon this journey, the primary reason was to assess where we were and how to move forward to gain a better understanding of our cultures while solidifying processes and improving our communication,” said Keith. “A major benefit was we all were able to learn a significant number of differences between the Anglo and Latino cultures which will help us improve and grow.”

The majority of the KPOST Company workforce is Latino. Add that to a growing Latino population in the region and investing in this type of training makes sense. When Ricardo Gonzalez of Bilingual America met Keith and Steve Little, KPOST Company president, it seemed like a natural fit.

“We felt like Ricardo’s program would provide us with the insights and tools we needed to embark upon this journey of multi-cultural leadership growth,” said Keith. “He has an unusual program and industry experience, making him a good fit.”

Keith expected great results and was not disappointed. Immediately the teams learned that communication is very critical, and choosing to speak using slang terms would only hold them back.

“We know that effective communication will command greater respect, so we are going to invest more time and focus on helping our Latino leaders improve dialect issues, while the executive team will embark on learning to speak better Spanish,” said Keith. “Our goal is to continue expanding our training beyond the initial set and also to invest in additional training for other Latinos who we believe will make great leaders. We know that this investment will pay off over time, so it’s worth it to continue down this path as part of a long-term strategy.”

Keith knows that the Latino culture is family oriented, sincere and make great co-workers. But he also learned several other things that are important to the culture that were important to understand.

“For many Latinos, trust is earned, particularly from an Anglo. There is a long history of mistrust that must be overcome, but is well worth it,” said Keith. “In the workplace, it is the man that is always the leader, but at home, it is the woman that is the leadership figure. That is also important to understand – the role of the women in the Latino culture.”

“We are just scratching the surface and recognize there is still much to learn,” said Keith. “But what we have already done has paid off. We are seeing bigger excitement from our teams. They already feel greater respect and are excited to learn even more about effective leadership.”

Keith had a couple of lessons learned he felt were critical.

“We recognize that the Latinos are very hard workers. They come giving their all and never hold back. Consequently, they do not like to be pushed as they are already bringing their “A” game.”

Keith went on to explain:

“We have spent a lot of time and effort developing construction manuals for projects, only to learn that they are not as effective as we would like. There are better ways to communicate across language barriers, including the use of pictures. Images have a larger impact over words, even if we translate into Spanish. Our future project manuals will have a lot more pictures and we will invest more time in ensuring that our teams truly understand what we are trying to get across.”

Keith concluded with:

“Our executives met individual with the five managers that went through the training and it was a great experience for me. I was able to get to know them better and learn more about them and their culture. It was a great eye opener for me and I feel it really helped to solidify the team.’

“It is very apparent that we all need to work on communication so we can continue to improve our working environment and develop strong leaders. It is important to me that our team understands I really respect them. Learning more about their culture will help me reach that goal.”

Brent McFarlin – KPOST Company Vice President of Operations

“We recognize that our team members are talented and through the training and coaching, they now have the tools to really step into a leadership role,” said Brent. “They have a thirst for information and as a result of their course work, I have seen a major impact on the five who went through the courses as well as the teams they lead.”

Brent is pleased with the new direction the team is taking, and expressed some of the thought processes that have changed as a result.

“In the past, we have had team members who never took time off because they were concerned about teaching someone their position. There was a fear that the position would not be there when they returned. The new way of thinking reflects one of teamwork and helping one another reach new heights. There is no more fear that helping another team member rise to his or her potential will cause you to be overlooked. Now everyone realizes that behavior is better for them, the team and the company and will ultimately be rewarded.”

One of the lessons learned for Brent was how different the cultures perceive holidays. For example, while Thanksgiving is something they celebrate as part of acclimating to the Anglo culture, Mother’s Day is a much more important holiday for the Latino culture.

“We need to learn to ask what is important to others,” Brent concluded. “Our people are very talented and gifted. They are important to us and we need to invest in them, even if it’s as simple as asking questions about what is important, rather than making assumptions.”

Kelly Lea – Vice President of Estimating

Kelly Lea has spent decades working side-by-side with Latinos and had a different perspective going into the Success with Hispanics training.

“While the training did not change many of my perceptions, I did learn they prefer to work and succeed as a group. Having the option to be a leader and still be a part of that group was not something many Latinos understand immediately. For the five chosen to go through the leadership training, we had to remind them they could step into a leadership role which ultimately helps the entire team.”

Kelly recognizes that Latinos do not wish to step on each other’s toes; consequently, even someone who is the boss will be uncomfortable in the role because they do not wish to come from a place of disrespect.  In fact, Kelly knows that respect is key for the Latino community.

“We have amazing team members who have struggled recognizing it is acceptable to be individual leaders, and that being a leader does not mean acting as though you are better than the next person,” said Kelly. “It is our responsibility to ensure that everyone understands how important they are, regardless of the role they currently play. We cannot continue to grow and become better as individuals, teams and an organization without everyone doing their part.”

Kelly has learned a lot about respect and the viewpoints as expressed by others in the construction community. Unfortunately, not all are positive.

“There are companies that segregated their workforce, and were not treating employees with respect. When some of the first generation workers came to this country, there was a lot of work but also many workers. Now that has shifted. There is still a lot of work, but the workers are coming from a second generation in this country. They are more educated and while dedicated, are less likely to accept the old mentality of work until you drop,” Kelly explained. “We believe in finding better ways to compensate and reward our teams, and investing in understanding the Latino culture will help us continue along that path.”

Jayne Williams – CFO and Chief Safety Officer

“One of the unfortunate realities of our industry is there are many contractors who view the labor force as a commodity, and they do not care how they treat that commodity,” said Jayne. “From day one we believed everyone is important. Our people are an asset.”

As chief safety officer, Jayne has spent time not only with the KPOST Company workforce, but with their families as well. Her message is simple, but an important one.

“We are committed to bringing our teams home safely every night. It’s a simple statement with a strong commitment. Ensuring we have the right people in place, the right equipment and the best training ensures our teams are taken care of on every job site,” said Jayne. “It takes ensuring good leadership on every job as well, which is one of the many reasons investing time and energy in multi-cultural leadership will provide positive dividends. We can keep bringing our boys home safe every night.”

One of the sentiments that the Latinos interviewed for our last post kept expressing was the importance of remaining humble. Being a leader is about helping raise others up to reach their goals and aspirations and to be able to do this correctly, one needs to come from a place of service and humility.

“That is how we believe as well. For example, we do not have titles on our business cards because we are not stuck on who is the president or vice president,” Jayne explained. “Our team knows this. It is more important that we lead by example than be concerned about titles and hierarchy.”

One of the lessons learned for Jayne was the level of pride Latinos carry for the native culture.

“I told Ricardo that I was upset that others would speak Spanish in front of me. I expected them to speak English at work. Now I realize they are simply communicating in a way that is comfortable for them. I also understand how proud they are of their heritage. Sometimes we forget that heritage may not be American,” said Jayne.

“It’s interesting how often it is the little things that will make a change, like my understanding the comfort zone of speaking their own language,” Jayne continued. “Just like we treat our people differently than many of our industry brethren. The first time we had a pizza lunch, we had to convince some of the team to participate. They were simply not used to eating with the executive team. Now we have lunches regularly and always invite everyone to participate, even on a job site. It’s an inclusive environment that propels us to be better at everything we do.”

Steve Little – President

“According to the Dallas Hispanic Chamber and the Dallas Chamber, the DFW metroplex population will be over 50% Latino by 2016. If for no other reason, the numbers are compelling enough to make any executive team pause and wonder how to better understand multi-cultural leadership,” said Steve. “For KPOST it was a natural next step.”

Steve went on to explain:

“KPOST is a business first, and a sub-contractor second. We are always thinking ahead to what will ensure we are sustainable for decades to come. When we thought about the next steps required to invest in our company, it made sense to find a good way to invest in our workforce, which presently is 90% Latino. Success with Hispanics gave us a methodology to begin that journey.”

Steve, and the rest of the KPOST executive team, understands that true growth will come from a deeper understanding of their team, which in this case means understanding different cultures. Without this investment, it will be difficult to find future leaders.

“Our labor pool is dwindling and we frankly do not have enough people to pull from. Looking at our future from a long-term philosophy, we recognize the need to better understand our Latinos and help develop them into leaders,” said Steve. “We cannot rely on society to develop our leaders. This development must come from the business community.”

Steve concluded by saying “The investment in the Latino leadership program makes sense for many reasons, not the least of which is this is a dedicated culture. They want to maximize their efforts for your company so they can get the best return for their family. Understanding the culture helps us to not only develop future leaders, but create a transformation for their families as well. It’s a long-term investment that we believe is well worth our time, energy and focus.”

Leadership – A Universal Language?

As we continue our series on the importance of multi-cultural leadership, we chose to speak to several KPOST Company Latino leaders. These people are some of the first to complete leadership training and implement those teachings both in their professional and personal lives.

“We recognize how important it is to invest in our people; doing so through multi-cultural education has resulted in positive dividends for KPOST. Our leadership team is stronger and our ability to create a more positive work environment has created higher operational efficiencies,” said Brent McFarlin, KPOST Company Vice President. “The results are nothing short of amazing!”

Read on and see for yourself!

Enrique Rodríguez – KPOST Company Project Coordinator

“Through this series, I really had my eyes opened to the possibilities of what I can do. Now I have a different perspective on what it is to be a great leader,” said Enrique. So what does it mean to be a great leader?

For Enrique, it means to invest time in developing others. He knows that being a great leader means being a great follower, and investing time to develop himself and others. It takes commitment and discipline to become a good leader, to take time to grow and to spend time helping others reach their goals.

“In our culture, we work hard and are protective of what we have accomplished. That creates an environment that does not allow for teaching others to become better,” said Enrique. “Now I am secure in the fact that I can lead others, teaching them to be better than me, and still keep everything I have, or even gain more, from guiding others to reach their full potential.”

Enrique chose to truly walk in his new found lessons of leadership. He implemented many of the same teachings at home, where he now has a slightly different attitude on being a role model for his family.

“We spend more time discussing books and reading. Plus we are very focused on how we spend our time together,” he said. “We eat healthier and work toward being our best selves all the time, not just at work.”

Part of Enrique’s transformation is he now knows that anything is possible. He believes he is part of the solution, rather than just a piece in the overall puzzle. Now he really pushes himself to move beyond his comfort zone so he can continue his growth while helping others realize their potential.

“We were asked to pick our three gifts. Honestly, I never really gave it much thought before, but realized how important it is to understand,” he stated. “My gifts are communication, bilingual particularly, empathy and problem solving. Now I keep these top of mind so I can serve others more readily.”

Enrique has noticed an immediate change throughout his team:

“Everyone has noticed the new approach I’ve taken, particularly since I make it a point to have one-on-one conversations so we can discuss how everyone can improve. I show everyone the same respect and they are striving to become better.” He went on to say “This type of behavior and focus is unusual for our industry. At KPOST, we believe in investing in our people.”

Rosa Garcia – KPOST Company Operations Administration

“I recognize that we all have a lot to learn from each other. When people from Latin countries immigrate to the U.S., we want to maintain our culture while still learning about the culture in the U.S.,” said Rosa Garcia. “One thing I did learn from the courses was that it does not matter who you are, if you become a leader you should stay focused on treating everyone the same. You should work to be humble.”

Rosa recognizes the difficulties of having to lead by example, both at work and at home, but fully understands the need to walk the talk.

“I don’t think that everyone is cut out to be a leader,” she stated. “Leadership is for those people who really want to grow with others and learn about other people’s goals.”

Rosa knows that being a leader starts at home, and she is leading her son to become a better parent by teaching him to earn respect from his children. Raised by a single parent, Rosa has 5 siblings and watched her mother act as the leader of her family.

“My mom was my everything – role model, leader, and parent. She taught me to lead by example and now I ensure my children understand the same.”

Rosa realizes that leadership is not just something you do at work, but a way of life, a way of thinking that encompasses everything you do. That became even more apparent when the team was discussing role models, such as Mother Teresa.

“I did not really know that much about her life and how she dedicated herself 100% to others. That had a real impact on me. You do not see people who are willing to dedicate everything they have to helping others like Mother Teresa.”

Rosa has always worked to be the type of person who thinks of others before herself. She thinks about how she can be a better person every day.

“It’s in my DNA to be humble, but honestly I never thought about the positive impact that might have on others,” said Rosa. “I now realize the result that can have on those around me, and am appreciative to be part of the team chosen to participate in the training.”

Luciano Perez – KPOST Company Safety Manager

“After the training, I am much better equipped to understand the role of a leader, how to navigate the Anglo culture, and how important it is to have good communication skills,” said Luciano Perez. “It was a good experience and really made us feel like a more integral part of the company.”

Luciano has to interact with varying types of people in his role, including team members, customers and executives. By having a better understanding of the differences between the Latino and Anglo cultures, Luciano feels better prepared to handle his duties at KPOST.

Luciano also understands the significance of this type of cultural integration, particularly from a leadership standpoint.

“The Latino community is growing and makes up a large segment of the construction industry, particularly in the worker section,” said Luciano. “This program really helped us understand the perspective of the owners and C-Suite leadership team, enabling us to perpetuate a positive corporate message. This certainly helps the Latino employees feel more a part of the organization.”

Luciano had several key takeaways that he feels are areas for growth and opportunity; namely, negotiation and persuasion skills and communication.

“For me, it’s very important to learn how to communicate up and down and ranks. Additionally, learning better persuasion skills enables me to create a win-win scenario more frequently,” he stated.

Luciano also uses his new-found skills outside of the office, particularly the interpretation of body language.

“It gave me a new perspective – a bigger picture to work with. Now I can better interpret body language and learn how to read other people. This helps me to understand the right time to approach someone rather than having to guess.”

The biggest “a-ha” moment for Luciano was learning how to change his mentality to be one of service to others. He has learned that it is important to build a level of respect by choosing differently.

“Leaders live in a glass house. Everything you say, how you dress, how you approach a situation makes a difference. Using slang terms and dressing down no longer work,” Luciano said. “Now I make a point to talk to others about what their potential is and what they can do to move forward. It’s about building others.”

Luciano is taking a financial class and is excited to be learning and continuing to grow. He knows it is important to lead from a place of integrity and that this is a journey.

“We know that other roofing contractors are not providing this type of growth opportunity for their people. KPOST is pioneering this program to develop stronger Latino leaders, making them more valuable to the company overall,” said Luciano. “The more we learn, the more we can commit to quality and leadership.”

 

 

Commercial Roofing Needs Spring Cleaning, Too!

The blistering heat of last summer followed by ice and extended cold experienced during this winter can create a significant amount of stress on the materials within your commercial roof system.  Radical fluctuations in temperature cause expansion and contraction of the roof and building envelope resulting in conditions such as splits, gaps, holes in the membrane and issues with flashings that must be detected and addressed prior to the spring season’s first gully-washer.

“There is a lot of value in walking the roof before the spring rains set in.  After that first big rain is when leaks will appear, many that might have been avoided if a basic inspection was done prior,” said Tracey Donels, KPOST Company Service Manager.

Tracey went on to say “Think of it like performing maintenance on your vehicle before a road trip. You don’t wait until you are on the trip to perform the maintenance.  You do it in advance of the long drive.  The same is true of roof inspections between major seasonal changes, particularly before the April rainy season.”

According to predictions, North Texas is expected to have more rain this season than normal with the rest of Texas continuing drought conditions.  Neither bodes well for commercial roofing if appropriate inspections and preventative maintenance are not completed.

April Showers Bring…Angry Tenants?

“When you own or manage a commercial property, the last group you want to be first reporting a leak is your tenant.  By that point, the tenant is already in pain, and the property manager is under duress to make emergency repairs which are usually more expensive.  It’s far better to be proactive than reactive – to be ahead of the culprit rather than behind it,” said Scott Bredehoeft, KPOST Director of Business Development.  “You will want to eliminate as many potential problems as possible before your tenants have to report water in their space.  That can be accomplished by a visual inspection of the roof in early spring to look for obvious deficiencies and needed repairs.”

A simple visual inspection will identify obvious leak sources or contributors such as clogged drains, splits or holes in the roof membrane and flashings, and missing or loose tiles or shingles.

“Rather than taking your chances and putting the roof to the test during a heavy rain, an inspection will provide a basic punch list of items that are in need of repair.  Performing these repairs in a single maintenance call will save time and money as well as eliminate the headache later on caused by a leak,” said Tracey. “Waiting until you see a leak means not only fixing the roof problem but also repairing any internal damage, making the repair more costly and invasive to the tenant.” 

Commercial Roofing Weather Preparedness is Important

To perform a simple inspection is not difficult but does require some knowledge of what to look for as well as the best way to document.  The following checklist provides items that should be observed during a visual inspection.  It is important to ensure that these items are well-documented and photographs included so that a proper decision can be made as to the priority of the repair.

Checklist

  • Clear drains, scuppers, gutters and downspouts of debris.
  • Clear roof of debris.
  • All HVAC access panels installed and secured.
  • All hoods on vent pipes secured and in place.
  • Roof hatch or ladder cage closed and locked.
  • Any splits or punctures in the roof membrane or flashings.
  • Any open seams or laps in the roof membrane and flashing membrane.
  • Cracks in exterior walls.
  • Split or open sealants on the building exterior.
  • Missing or loose roof shingles or tiles.
  • Inspect for obvious damages to HVAC, TV or Data Satellites, gas or electrical conduits (for reporting purposes only).

 

“Now is the time to be proactive since we have been through a heat cycle and freeze cycle.  Whatever impact the weather has had on the roof should be quite obvious, allowing for identification of any suspect issues prior to their exposure by a heavy rain,” said Scott.

As you are preparing for the spring rains, remember to schedule a commercial roofing inspection. Having an experienced roofing professional perform the inspection will provide better insight and uncover challenges that may not necessarily be discovered by someone without direct roofing experience.

“I believe in getting these inspections done now so that expensive repairs can be avoided later,” said Tracey.  “This will likely ensure less calls from tenants due to leaks, and more peace of mind to get through the upcoming rainy season.”

Embracing Multi-Cultural Environments – It’s Not About Diversity

Recently KPOST Company embarked upon a new type of training and coaching program – one of aligning the varying cultures that are a part of their every-day environment, namely the Latino and U.S. cultures. To ensure the process was handled with care, KPOST executives partnered with Ricardo Gonzalez, Founder and CEO of Bilingual America. The outcome was parallel training sessions with five KPOST executives and five Latino leaders identified by the KPOST executive team to begin the journey toward developing a properly functioning multi-cultural environment.

In this, our first post on the subject, we discussed the nuances and importance of this type of training and coaching with Bilingual America CEO and founder Ricardo Gonzalez.

“It isn’t about diversity. Diversity to me is inclusion, acceptance. It’s important, but this training is about the management of the culture. Understanding the nuances of the way people think and what motivates them. How do you leverage them for the good of the organization but also for the good of the people?”

Understanding Cultures

Ricardo’s mantra is “You cannot lead people to the highest levels unless you understand them at their deepest levels.” This is the foundation for the training and coaching series he delivered to the KPOST team. By implementing their SuccesswithHispanics™ course, along with executive coaching sessions, Ricardo is able to educate on the Latino population beyond what is the basic diversity approach used for hiring. His system helps corporate leadership understand who the Latino people really are beyond just being workers. What are the trends? What and how do they think about American businesses? What are the nuances of the culture? Where is the culture going and how does this apply to business development? By answering these questions and understanding at a deeper level, companies like KPOST can be more effective at developing leadership programs.

“We learned a great deal about the differences between leadership roles in Latino cultures and the leadership and management styles used here in the U.S.,” said Steve Little, KPOST Company president. “Our new found understanding will certainly ensure we are able to create stronger development programs for all of our people.”

Cultural Cross-Pollination

“Embarking upon this type of change is not always simple or easy, but it is transformative for the organization,” said Ricardo. “We always work with people in an open, honest manner that is still very respectful for their specific company culture.”

Ricardo went on to say that culture can be sensitive or confusing, and for many in this country it is an emotionally charged subject. What his organization does is not political, but rather creates an open dialogue so that relationships can be developed effectively and all can prosper.

In addition to providing language training for executives, Bilingual America has two primary training opportunities for organizations that wish to embrace multi-cultural awareness. This is the same training that KPOST Company executives and team members underwent in the Fall of 2013 – Success with Hispanics designed for company leaders to engage in a deep understanding of the Latino people and Lideres Exitosos (Successful Leaders), a leadership development course that teaches Latinos how to be effective leaders in a U.S.-based company.

“The leadership training for Latinos covers character and ethics, communication, organizational and negotiation skills while providing an introduction to classic leadership themes,” said Ricardo. “This is often an initial introduction of these themes for many Latinos.”

For the non-Latinos, the training leaves them with techniques to understand multi-cultural management. While every tool may not be used at once, when you need it, the tool is at your disposal supporting opportunities to improve relationships for both Latinos and non-Latinos.

Impact is Very Positive

Ricardo believes that companies that invest in developing positive multi-cultural environments will benefit immensely, particularly those with large numbers of Latino employees. Some of the reasons include:

  • A better understanding of employees’ core values
  • A magnet for talent
  • Reducing accidents and improving safety
  • Expanding leadership development
  • Improving productivity

“When cultures are aligned correctly, retention is higher which positively impacts the bottom line,” said Ricardo. “When we can create positive change and are more profitable, it’s a good thing.”

He went on to say:

“For a business leader to care to the depth that KPOST has shown is impressive and necessary for the well-being of their company. Developing large numbers of Latino leaders who will be strong leaders in our companies and communities will only happen through business, not government initiatives. Businesses should have a vested interest in the success of the people who work for them. The ability to invest and hold people accountable is unique to a business environment and something that social initiatives cannot do.”

“Our teams are already excited about the additional possibilities this program brings to our business and are showing positive signs of renewed interest, collaboration and intent to help our organization grow,” said Steve.  “A greater understanding of each other’s core values creates stronger sustainability for KPost. We are thrilled with the results so far and look forward to continuing this journey.”

 

Bringing Sexy Back – KPOST Changing Younger Generations’ View on Commercial Roofing

From a less than stellar January jobs report, which showed 48,000 of the jobs added were in the construction industry, to stories on the large numbers of young people out of work – 15% of workers ages 16 to 24 according to one study – it makes you wonder what the economic future will be for younger generations in the U.S.

There is much discussion on this very topic in, of all places, the commercial roofing industry. Construction is one of the few industries that is adding jobs and continuing a high growth trajectory. Commercial construction is a significant percentage of that growth, begging an unusual question for young people. If you cannot obtain a solid career path in one of the “cool” technology or financial jobs, have you considered the sexy side of commercial roofing?

Commercial roofing may seem like an “old school” industry, but there are numerous benefits for someone who is up for the challenge, including:

  • Viability – as a growing industry, there is plenty of opportunity for the right person. Roofing is one of the four basic items of a building that needs continued maintenance.
  • Cross-Functional Talent – many of the talents that apply in other business such as accounting, supply chain management, IT services, management and marketing also apply to roofing.
  • Challenging – it is more complex than most people realize, with ever-changing technology government regulations and environmental conditions providing ample opportunities for growth.
  • Not Your Father’s Roofing – there is a method to performing commercial roofing beyond what the average person realizes. There are nuances to correctly estimating, construction and maintaining a commercial roof that is significantly beyond what you see in residential.

 

With the ability to find long-term career paths, something hard to come by in 2014, make good money and receive regular challenges, why wouldn’t young people consider a career in roofing?

According to Steve Little, KPOST Company Head Coach, there is more than one challenge:

“The subcontracting industry is historically made up of generational companies. Typically young people would follow their father’s footsteps into the family business. Unfortunately, it seems today that the children are more interested in computers and not going into the family business.”

Fortunately, Little, who is also the current President Midwest Regional Contractors Association (MRCA) collaborated with other commercial roofing contractors and industry associations, are tackling the challenges:

“It is important to create a subculture that makes roofing sexy. At the Midwest Regional Contractors Association, we started a Young Contractors Council and then asked the question ‘What we could do to make roofing more appealing’. It came down to understanding why they were in the industry, what would help make the industry more appealing, and then learning to speak their language.”

KPOST Company decided they should begin “at home,” and started recruiting younger people into all departments and divisions of the organization several years ago. Our GenX and GenY employees have a different and unique perspective on the commercial roofing industry, particularly with regard to how it impacts their future and the future of KPost Company.

Tracey Donels –KPost Company Service Manager

hardhats

According to Tracey, he was a “test case,” primarily because he did not have commercial roofing experience, but as a Gen Xer, has a college degree and had done some minor construction experience. He began in the field and worked his way up to his current position. According to Tracey, it was a great opportunity for him and he is committed to furthering his career.

He also wants to help other young people realize the benefits of a career in commercial roofing. He sits on the Young Contractors Council (YCC) at the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA), which currently has 85 members and is growing. Their primary focus is to bridge the communication gap between the GenY and Baby Boomer generations, educate younger people who are in the roofing industry via specialized educational sessions and conferences and to generate a format to young contractors share best business practices . In addition, the YCC wants to provide the benefits of a career in commercial roofing to others with higher education who may not have considered it before.

“Often, when someone is interested in contracting, they choose a different path such as architect or general contractor. They often skip over the opportunities in the subcontractor industry like commercial roofing. We want to show how positive a career in our industry can be by helping other young people understand the career path and viability of being part of a subcontractor business,” said Tracey.

Recently the YCC has held special sessions at the annual MRCA conference. They have had panels of seasoned roofing contractors to a professor from the Kellogg School of Business who spoke on cross-generational management. Last year, the YCC added webinars to allow those who are unable to travel to the conference an opportunity to learn and grow.

“We want to continue improving our educational opportunities through the YCC. Obviously not all of the young people working in contracting have an opportunity to attend a conference, so by adding the webinars and other digital formats will help improve the abilities of young people around the country, our hope is that our efforts will draw more attendees to the conferences in the future,” said Tracey.

Having the opportunity to network with other commercial roofing companies and contractors across the country has strong benefits, according to Tracey.

“It’s amazing what you can learn just from talking to other people in your industry, even if they are competitors. We all have similar issues, and by sharing best practices and learning from others, not only are you a better employee, but you meet people in your age group. It’s powerful!”

Ryan Little – KPOST Company Project Management Department Head

Ryan came to KPOST Company just over four years ago to start a new project management department. He started in the field as a General Contractor superintendent, then a project engineer, estimating and finally project management. With vast experience working for a general contractor, Ryan was not new to construction, but moving to a large subcontractor doing commercial roofing was definitely a change.

“Most people don’t understand how technical commercial roofing is. You don’t see the top of a skyscraper. It is a completely different animal. Roofs provide thermal resistance, and are the primary insulating factor of the building. We have to ensure we work seamlessly with all the other subcontractors to ensure the best roof is installed,” said Ryan. “People don’t understand how intense and difficult it is.”

Ryan understands that it does not matter what industry you are in, you have to grow into your position. He certainly did so at KPOST by working in various areas before ramping up the project management department.

I find it very interesting and extremely challenging. Every job is different,” said Ryan.” We are tasked to keep water out of buildings which is the number one litigated problem in all of phases construction. It takes a team of dedicated people to execute the project to a mutually satisfying success of all parties.”

Ryan is active with the Young Contractors Council of TEXO, the largest commercial contractors association in Texas and one of the largest affiliated with the national Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC) and The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).

The YCC meets monthly to network and enjoy education via speakers who provide information on everything from risk management to industry specific education. In addition, the YCC has Small Groups, which also meet monthly to have more intimate conversations on their various industries, their challenges, and how to improve their current situations.

Eleanor Berger – KPOST Company Service/Waterproofing Coordinator

Eleanor started her career in recruiting, a primarily female dominated industry, where she worked her way up to running the accounting office. But she wanted more.

“I was looking for a challenge when I ran across a job posting at KPOST. It looked interesting and really different, so I thought I would give it a shot,” said Eleanor. I have found it really fascinating. It’s a whole new world and I feel lucky to be a young person working in such an invigorating industry.”

Eleanor is dedicated to learning and growing, and has found opportunity to do so in KPOST Services Department. She originally started doing primarily administrative accounting work but in the last year she advanced to being responsible for scheduling (20 crews), ordering all materials, reviewing performance paperwork and communicating with customers – a significantly different role than her accounting job. However she is happy she made the switch and enjoys constantly learning and growing. According to Eleanor:

“In 3 to 5 years I’ll have a knowledge base you cannot buy – you have to learn. I’m happy to be with a company focused on youth and educating its employees. KPost is investing in me and my future and in turn I’m committed to growing the company”

Her advice to other young people considering a career in commercial roofing is this:

“It’s a world like you have never experienced. I feel that from a career perspective, this is the stuff that you day dream about. However, it’s not easy. You will only succeed if you are willing to give 100%.”

Eleanor enjoys her new-found career, stating she spends so much time with her co-workers they have become like family. With the constant changes, learning opportunities and consistent work, there is always plenty to do.

“I’m really glad I came to KPOST. Since advancing I’ve met many of our clients and I’ve actually been up on many roofs, it’s still pretty mind blowing,” said Eleanor. “You definitely get what you give and its a great world, if you are up for it.”

Commercial Roofing Innovation Earns KPOST an Eagle Award for the Perot Museum

Called a “world of wonder” by The Dallas Morning News, the Perot Museum of Science and Nature has quickly become an icon, its unique shape adding more character to the downtown Dallas skyline. This unusual building took three years, multiple plans, lots of teamwork and a group of dedicated people who believed in making it happen. Among those were commercial roofing experts KPOST Company, who were recently given the Eagle Award from the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) for their work on the Perot Museum.

“It takes dedication and teamwork, plus a commitment to quality. But more importantly, it requires collaboration amongst all the contractors, architects and designers to ensure that the building comes together on time, within budget and without issues,” said Steve Little, KPOST Company president. “Our team was uniquely qualified for this project because we bring to the table multiple services, talent, and the ability to complete unusual, complex commercial roofing projects.”

The Best Laid Plans

“I believe I saw the first drawings for the Perot Museum in 2008. Of course, as with many projects of this nature, the designs and plans did change,” said Aileen Struble, KPOST Company Senior Estimator. “Our team worked side-by-side with contractors and the architect to ascertain the best materials for the building so that it would be aesthetically pleasing and well-built.”

In addition to recommending various design elements, KPOST Company was tasked with ensuring the plaza and terrace roofing was water-tight. This area contains a water feature along with other complexities, but the KPOST team was up to the task.

Let the Games Begin

The exterior escalator is certainly a dramatic element and provided a challenge for the contractor team. According to Ryan Little, KPOST Company Project Management Department Head, there were plenty of obstacles to overcome.

“The only access to the escalator was through a window or from the catwalk level above. Our workers were using personal fall arrest systems and power grip suction cups to gain access, and then repel down a 30 plus degree sloped roof to gain access to the work area,” said Ryan. “As always, the primary goal is to keep our team and the other workers safe while also completing the work in a quality manner.”

perot stair

There were multiple teams required to install the escalator. For KPOST Company, the collaboration between the subcontractors to provide waterproofing, glass, and plumbing was critical to ensure the enclosure would be leak free. In addition, a gutter was also required but this was no ordinary gutter.

“The surface of the Perot Museum has multiple un-uniform architectural features requiring precise measurements for the entire length of the gutter,” said Ryan. “Ultimately we fabricated a mock-up to ensure the gutter would attach properly since there is no room for error with these types of installations.”

Of course, that was only one element of the overall project for KPOST Company. Another complex portion of the project was the plaza.

“The plaza needed to slope and drain, plus there is a water feature that runs through it, so figuring out how to keep everything water-tight was a high priority,” said Aileen. “In the end we devised a membrane system with tapered concrete and drainage channels.”

p2

Ultimately the KPOST team overcame the challenges with the plaza and terrace areas, working with a strong team of manufacturers to ensure the best roof system. KPOST installed an 80 mil fleece back TPO roof system over the entire plaza and terrace area, which included wrapping hundreds of rebar supports for future structure topping slab tie-in as well as weeks of coordination with other subcontractors to establish curb designs that could be wrapped and waterproofed. In addition, they coordinated the formation and placement of concrete stairs, ramps, water features, and planters that maintained the design intent and constructability of the plaza while also providing a watertight system.

To ensure the highest levels of quality, KPOST contracted with an electronic leak detection testing agency to apply small currents across the roof surface as a means to find any breaks in the membrane.  Upon completion of the test, KPOST installed the required high density insulation protection board, drainage mats and protection mats.  As a safety measure, a second test was completed before the structural concrete was poured.

It Takes a Village

“Projects of this complexity require constant collaboration and communication to ensure a quality end result,” said Ryan. “You have to keep your finger on the pulse of the entire project and be willing to pitch in wherever you can add value.”

The Perot Museum is part of the Perot family legacy and a gift to the North Texas area, particularly the children who have a unique place to go and experience all types of science and nature. But it took more than just an idea. It took an entire team of people who believe in the project and wanted to bring it to life.

“It is an honor to receive this Excellence in Construction award from ABC for the Perot Museum project. The museum is an important building, both from an architectural and design standpoint and from the legacy it leaves for the North Texas area,” said Steve. “It’s an honor to work side-by-side with great teams, other contractors, architects and good folks like the Perot family to bring something like this to life.”

Attention Washington: No More Tax Payments Until You Regain Our Trust

Recently John Boehner sent a message to the White House stating that an immigration bill is unlikely to pass because the president must win the trust of the Republicans. Sounds a little like stall tactics, don’t you think? Are there parties in Washington who believe they have the trust of the American people?

Trust is earned, and while it would be nice if we could stop paying taxes until the boys and girls in D.C. actually earned our trust, we do recognize that will never happen. While there are multiple reasons given for not passing immigration reform, most are short-sighted and smack of hidden agendas – on both sides.

Why stall on immigration reform, or any of the other important issues presently before Congress? Steve Little, KPOST Company president, provided his fresh perspective on the challenges facing the hill today:

Were They Really Trying to Pass Immigration Reform?

Both political parties interest in immigration reform are 100% driven by capturing constituents’ votes. How can they capture votes to get elected so we can do this all over again? I don’t think that either party understands the impact to their daily lives when they make these decisions as they think about who is voting for them. Either they want the immigrant vote or they want the constituent’s vote who does not want the illegal immigrant in the country, but neither thinks about the real impact. It’s a very polarizing position. Politicians no longer respect each other or the system designed by our forefathers.

We live in a time that the backbone of our politicians is becoming weaker because the exposure to information is greater. It used to be that folks could gather round a table, have some meat in their conversation and then go back to Congress and take action. Now it’s all public knowledge and public perception. We live in the information age where every bit of information is accessible 24/7 via some channel, whether it is on television, social media or even radio. Now politicians are afraid to really speak up and come out and stand on a position because it goes into social media immediately, where they are judged based on limited information. Before they can affect change they are bombarded with other’s positions derailing them before they have a chance to affect change. If this trend continues, it will be the demise of our political system.

Bill Clinton Would Still Be in Office

My political stance is Bill Clinton would still be in office if there were no term limits. Some way he got with Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole and the three of them together figured out how to balance the budget, how to affect change, how to do things that were good for this country. Together they pulled all the parties together to do what was best for the country as a whole and not a specific party’s agenda.

How fabulous was it that for the first time in many years this country had a balanced budget. Can you imagine running your household without a balanced budget? Running your business without a balanced budget? Somewhere, somehow, somebody is realizing we have to do something different.

It Can’t Be Radical. It Has to Be Logical.

The tea party had an opportunity to affect change, but they got too radical. The youth, when Obama first got into office, had an opportunity to affect change. They became too apathetic.

It’s like “Come on folks! I don’t care if you are red or blue. Get to a position and stand on it. Otherwise you are going to implode the businesses in this country.”

Ask yourself this – who will stock your grocery shelves? We don’t have a clue. The natural progression of immigrants coming into the entry level pay level has been thwarted by the thought we need to have more educated immigrants to perpetuate science and technology. But at the end of the day, who is going to clean the operating & hospital rooms? Who is going to roof our buildings? Who is going to do the things that need to be done that make this country run every day?

We can get up on our high horses and we can build up walls around our borders to reach high into the sky. We can say all the things we are saying against immigration, but at the same when there aren’t enough fruits and vegetables, when the shelves aren’t being stocked, when the buildings are not being built, because all of our kids want to be in technology, where will we be?

Both Parties are Screwed Up

What was interesting about the election of this particular president was it was the first time we had a non-Caucasian, with limited political experience, with such a polarizing vote from our youth.  I think the reason Obama was elected was we did not have a better choice, and that Obama’s camp offered a breath of fresh air; they offered change. What they did was market to the people that would get off couches, get on their mopeds and go to the voting booth. Actions instead of rhetoric!

Unfortunately, now this party seems focused on putting things out to the immigrants and Latino community about the old fat white guys in the Republican Party wanting to do XYZ. There may not be any truth to it, but because the issue is already so heated, it gains momentum in the self serving media without any ground.

Then the Republicans try to reinvent themselves with the Tea Party, but unfortunately it was a position of what they were not going to do. They kept taking the position of no, no, no, then the media blasts it out, and eventually you tune it out. Why not take the position of yes, yes, yes…..what can they do to affect change?

They have to do something or the Republicans will get slaughtered. There are people completely on the left and completely on the right. What worked for Clinton, Dole and Gingrich was they figured out a way to get to that middle. You are not going to be happy with everything, but if we get to the middle to benefit the country, then it’s the right thing to do. End the end, Everyone WON!

Frankly, border control has been our primary focus and it does not seem to be worth our time. Mexico has managed to improve their own economic status, making it less likely they need the jobs in our country. Now I’m looking to legal people who now are coming in from Guatemala, Vietnam and the Dominican Republic. So do whatever has to be done with border control and get on with it.

It’s time to quit with the smoke. All the border control and visa tracking systems are pointless if we don’t have the funds and capabilities to implement and manage them. If they do not come up with some form of immigration reform, in the next three years it will cripple construction which is one of the four legs of the foundation of this country. Soon we won’t need retail employees because over 50% of retail sales are moving online. Now two of the four legs are negatively impacted.   The third leg is food, another industry that immigrants are working in as they arrive in this country. You must grow the food, then package and distribute it or people don’t eat. Three of the four legs broken do not bode well for the future.

My position is what’s the right thing for the country? Not what is right for a specific party. Our political system is so impacted by the media in its own self serving way it does not allow the politicians to formulate a plan. It’s time to reach middle ground, developing plans of action and taking charge of the future of our country. No more bickering, posturing and positioning. Meet in the middle and figure it out before our country is in ruins and it will take decades to recover.

The 80’s Called – It Doesn’t Know What to Make of the New World of Concrete

The Radio Shack commercial aired during the Super Bowl was a fun, somewhat self-effacing piece that showed 80’s icons coming into the store to “get their stuff back.” From Hulk Hogan to Mary Lou Retton, with help from iconic characters like Alf, the entire store is emptied of all products, leaving only bare shelves so that the new Radio Shack can emerge with a new fresh feel. Clean look, new design, and lots of possibilities.

It was this commercial that reminds us how we can take some things for granted, assuming they never change, only to find out that there is a whole new way of thinking. Innovative ideas applied to everyday items that we don’t think of often – such as concrete.

Recently the World of Concrete conference invaded Las Vegas, providing education, training and tons of innovative ideas. As everyday items go, concrete is one that we would not give a second thought. It makes up our sidewalks, parking garages, and even flooring, but truthfully, how exciting can concrete really be?

“The World of Concrete is the largest industry trade show in the world. It fills multiple buildings and parking lots with opportunities for education, training, growth, and of course, demonstrations of new products and industry developments,” said Shawn Morgan, KPOST Company Director of Waterproofing. “Most people would be surprised as the size and scope of this conference. People attend from all around the globe.”

What’s New in the World of Concrete

“We are seeing significant growth in the air barrier industry. What started off simply as an energy savings to buildings, particularly in the northeast, has now become mandatory in several states and rapidly gaining popularity across the U.S.,” said Shawn.

Air barriers are designed to control air leakage in and out of buildings, and can take many forms including membranes, open and closed-cell spray foam, and boardstock. Supported across the industry by the Air Barrier Association of America (ABAA), air barriers now have their own codes and standards. These codes are being adopted by various states and manufacturers and design professionals.

“As air barriers become more prevalent, we will see additional codes and regulations being adopted by municipalities. The benefits are proven, so manufacturers are organizing in order to provide better options across varying geographies, rather than only the northeast,” said Shawn.

Another interesting development from the World of Concrete is “vector mapping,” a technology that is rapidly gaining notoriety as a method of leak detection. Think CSI – the team needs to find something without breaking ground, and they need to find it quickly. They break out equipment that lets them “see” through walls and underground. Vector mapping provides a similar function.

Using low voltage vector mapping allows for quicker and easier leak detection. The surface of the roof or deck membrane is moistened (not flooded) to create an electrically conductive medium. A conductive wire loop is laid on the membrane around a section of the area to be tested. One lead from a pulse generator is connected to this wire loop perimeter. The other lead from the generator is connected to the structural roof deck. Leaks or breaches in the membrane are detected when the electric current flows across the membrane and down through the breach to the deck, completing the circuit. The technician uses two probes connected to a receiver to determine the direction of the electric current and precisely locate the breach, ensuring faster, more accurate means of leak detection.

“This technology has been widely used in Europe for several years. Now it is rapidly being adopted in the U.S.,” said Steve Little, President of KPOST Company. “It provides an accurate and non-destructive way to chase and locate leaks, something we are always interested in doing to preserve the integrity of a structure. Now when it comes to leak detection, our waterproofing team has better ways to keep the building envelope intact.”

While the 80’s may not know what to do with all this technology, the waterproofing team at KPOST will have no problem adopting and adapting.

“We are always looking for better ways to serve our customers. Investing in new technology that allows us to better perform our jobs while also minimizing the impact to our customers is of great interest to us at KPOST,” said Steve. “It’s one of the things I really like about being with KPOST – we put educating our customers first consequently earning their trust to maintain their building envelope for years to come.”

Commercial Roofing Ensures Safer Environments for Data Centers

With the continuing saga of the Target security breach, it’s no wonder that security is top of mind for businesses and consumers alike. Most recently, the Department of Justice announced they are investigating the Target data breach, while the Target internal investigation yields a stolen vendor’s credentials as the source of the access. Target has chosen to be very transparent about the breach, offering not only apologies but a free subscription for credit monitoring to those impacted. Choosing to invest in security is no small task, and one of the reasons that data centers are becoming more prevalent.

Data centers offer levels of security that many companies cannot reach on their own. Coupled with the popularity of cloud applications, data centers are cropping up more frequently, particularly in the North Texas area.

The majority of data centers are not built from the ground up. In fact, taking over existing infrastructure and then retrofitting is not only more cost effective, but allows the data center to be placed on the right real estate, rather than trying to build on the outskirts of a city or inside new developments. Data centers require specialized power support, such as being on a section of the grid that has higher priority or investing in multiple generators, as well as excess cooling so a top of the line HVAC system is important. Specialized fire control systems are needed so that there is no water sprayed on the sensitive equipment. Water is the nemesis of a data center. This is where commercial roofing for data centers plays a large role.

“Data centers are a little different in that we need to install a roofing system that has minimal penetrations, thereby minimizing the chance of leaks,” said Charlie Krauss, KPOST Company Roofing Deck Manager. “Besides security and power management, controlling moisture penetration of the building envelope is one of the highest priorities of managing a data center.”

Lightweight Insulating Concrete for Data Centers

Using lightweight insulating concrete (LWIC) supports the specialized needs of data center reroofing. “The LWIC system eliminates fasteners thru the deck therefore minimizing roof penetrations so there are fewer places for leaks to occur. In addition, the elimination of fasteners, adhesives, and Polyiso reduces insulation costs up to 30% while still constructing to slope to the outside perimeter, which eliminates roof drains ensuring that water runs off the roof as desired,” stated Steve Little, KPOST Company President.  ”LWIC systems promote green construction and reduce future costs of reroofing, as well as eliminate unnecessary dumping in landfills and protect our carbon footprint.”

“To get the water off the roof, it is important to consider the product as well as the design of the system. This is where value engineering comes into play,” said Krauss. “In lieu of a design that incorporates rigid installations, we use LWIC to allow for more flexibility in providing different slopes. Then we can be sure that the roof is water tight.”

LWIC provides multiple benefits for data center installations, including:

  • No tear offs – leaving the existing roof minimizes damage
  • 20 year warranties
  • Less expensive than a rigid product installation
  • Minimal penetrations, minimizing opportunities for leaks
  • Reroofing allows other work to continue – no disruption of existing operations

 

KPOST Company has excellent experience in commercial roofing of data centers, having completed multiple projects including the CyrusOne Data Center, T5 Data Center, SMU Data Center, 3000 Skyline Data Center and Bank of America.

“Our work in the data center industry, especially using LWIC, is a proven game changer.  LWIC allows us to offer a product that is environmentally friendly and economical, while exceeding the watertight building envelope conditions required by our customers,” said Steve Little. “Our understanding of the best materials for the job ensures that the data center can be up and running quickly without the worry of a leaky roof.”

R-Value Changes for Polyiso Create Industry-Wide Impact

It might seem to the average person that the commercial roofing industry has not changed significantly over the last few years, but with the continued focus on green products and environmental impact, the roofing and construction industries have undergone many changes. One very important change is the ASTM C1289-13e1 standard for insulation testing that went into effect on January 1, 2014 providing new testing methods for the determination and calculation of Long-Term Thermal Resistance (LTTR) values for Polyiso roofing products.

Polyiso is a very popular roofing insulating product used in a large number of roofing systems. Recent changes of the LTTR values are based on consensus standards in the United States and Canada using a scientifically supported method to calculate the 15-year, time-weighted average R-value of roof insulation. What this means in plain English is that the insulation R-Value now has a standard, and that standard increases the amount of insulation across the board.

There are many manufacturers of Polyiso and all are required to comply with this new test standard, which is a major departure from the past, where every manufacturer had their own specifications. Those who are members of the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA) have adopted the LTTR method as the exclusive means to measure thermal performance of permeable-faced Polyiso roof insulation and voluntarily submit to testing. The others are expected to comply regardless.

So what does this mean for commercial roofing and building projects in 2014?

“Not only did the R-Value change level the playing field with regard to how manufacturers sell their products, but it also has a significant cost impact,” said Keith Post, KPOST Company CEO. “In the past, the R-Values per manufacturer would vary. Now there is a standard. And that standard increases the amount of insulation required, which in turn increases the cost.”

Commercial Roofing and Construction Industry Impact

“This changes everything. We are talking about a fairly minor number, but it’s big enough to impact every bid,” said Kelly Lea, KPOST Company Vice President of Estimating. “Any job that was not permitted in 2013 must be rebid with the new R-Value standard, which could impact the budget.  As an example, the changing R-Values require thicker insulation which also increases the cost of a project in other ways, such as the need to use longer fasteners.”

Polyiso is in a large number of roofing systems, as it is the most common roofing insulation unless lightweight insulating concrete is installed.  The cost of lightweight insulating concrete is typically 30% less expensive than rigid Polyiso roofing system

According to KPOST Company senior estimator, Aileen Struble, R-Values are incredibly important from a budgeting and cost perspective, particularly in light of the fact that every city and county has its own building codes.

“As contractors, we are engaged in an endless learning process to be certain we are providing the correct product that meets the industry and city standards,” said Aileen. “Cities and counties can adopt building codes as they choose, and not all are up to the latest standard. It takes a lot of research to ensure the bids are in compliance with all the varying regulations and codes.”

According to Aileen, most cities and counties want to capitalize on tax advantages associated with utilizing green products to improve the environment. Therefore, they are becoming stricter about the types of construction products that can be used. Coupled with the recent R-Value change for Polyiso, the need to perform extensive research becomes paramount. Otherwise, the bid could be outdated before you even submit it.

“Roofing insulation already comprises approximately 50% of the overall cost of a roofing system. The R-Value is now at 20, but we know it will go up to 30. We’ve even heard it might increase to 42. Now the cost really starts to skyrocket,” said Keith. “We will have to research alternative coverings that are more durable and reflective in order to keep costs in check.”

How to Combat Cost Increases

Having the resources to stay on top of the industry changes makes a big difference in combating rising costs. For one, it ensures that the bid you receive contains the correct information while recommending the right product.

“KPOST provides a consultative approach to our projects, so we are educating and informing along the way,” said Aileen. “Whether it’s the owner, property manager or contractor, we ensure that individual receives the right information while also providing educational materials. In addition, we approach each project from our customer’s perspective, so they receive more than one solution.”

In addition to ensuring the information is correct, there are alternatives to consider when recommending a roofing system.

“We invested in cellular lightweight insulating concrete several years ago because we could see the value it brings to our customers,” said Keith. “In addition to getting the same R-value as other products such as Polyiso, it lets us reuse the roof deck, making it environmentally friendly. Plus, it will provide a 20% savings, ensuring a solid cost savings.”

Whether it’s new construction or a reroofing project, confirming that you have the right information is critical to keeping costs in check and maintaining a budget. Fortunately, there are options to consider when determining the best commercial roofing system for your project. Bottom line – find a knowledgeable, educated contractor who stays on top of the industry changes and varying codes. That will save money, time and headaches on your next commercial roofing project.

Commercial Roofing Contractors Must Rally Around Immigration Reform

There are many industries in the U.S. that, truth be told, are completely reliant on an immigrant workforce. Commercial roofing is just one of those, along all other types of construction, much of the hospitality industry, and a big chunk of domestic services. Not to mention the large number of immigrants who are here working in the technology and engineering sectors. Yet many Americans seem to be convinced that immigration is a dirty word.

“The truth is that most Americans are misinformed about the benefits of a foreign labor pool. There is some misnomer that these people take jobs away. They do not,” said Jayne Williams, KPOST Company CFO and Safety Officer. “The immigrant labor pool is enthusiastic about the jobs provided and performs a great service to many industries, commercial roofing included.”

Commercial roofing and construction industries are facing a labor shortage looming on the horizon. Economists are predicting a 20% decrease in the labor pool for the construction industry, an industry that is showing continued growth with no visible signs of slowing down.

“Even though our labor pool is dwindling, our legislators don’t want to take a holistic approach to immigration reform. They prefer to ‘piece meal’ the process with small tokens like amnesty rather than devise a holistic approach,” said Steve Little, KPOST Company president.

Amnesty Won’t Get It Done

There is a lot of talk about providing amnesty for 11 million illegal immigrants without also providing a pathway to citizenship. This approach is tantamount to a Band-Aid on a large wound. Without making significant changes to improve the citizenship process, people have very little hope of achieving one of the founding principles of this country – the American dream.

“A total overhaul of the immigration and citizenship process are needed so we can attract workers and provide those folks who want to be here that opportunity,” said Williams. “Today’s policies simply do not support foreign labor.”

The idea that preventing laborers from entering the country will provide Americans with more jobs and better opportunities is not true.

“Commercial roofing and construction industries hire a large immigrant workforce. They want the work and are proud to do an excellent job,” said Little. “Most Americans are simply not interested in this work, so without an immigrant workforce, the work does not get done. Bottom line – this slows down our economy and negatively impacts our future.”

Pathway to the Dream

With the White House trying a kinder, gentler approach to achieving immigration reform, it is unclear if anything will actually be accomplished. Perhaps this new style will help Congress move forward, but will there be a good decision made for the long-term?

Many come here seeking opportunities to live their own American dream. Unfortunately they find the gates are not open as they once were. Immigration reform continually turns toward illegal immigrants, but there are a large number of immigrants who are anxiously waiting to become citizens. Their challenge? The process is long, daunting and almost impossible to achieve.

“We are a nation of immigrants. It’s one of the things that makes this country strong. Historically we have welcomed people who wanted to be here to contribute to a better way of life. Frankly, we don’t lose those ideals,” said Williams. “It’s time to return to the ideal that everyone is welcome. It’s time for holistic immigration reform.”

 

KPOST’s Steve Little is President of the MRCA

What does it mean to have influence? The strict definition of influence is the capacity of having an effect on the character, development or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself. Influence is a powerful thing. While applying the concept to an industry such as commercial roofing may not be what leaps to mind when you hear the word, the truth is that industry influence, particularly for the small business, typically happens through associations.

Influence of an industry can occur in many ways, the most obvious being government outreach on a national and sometimes local level. But it can occur in other ways, including:

  • Education, particularly if industry certifications are involved.
  • Industry regulations
  • Sharing best practices

Whether the association is local to your city, state, serves a region or has a national or global focus, there is simply strength in numbers. Many small business owners do not have the budget or ability to hire their own lobbyist or create the materials needed to provide large training programs or collect best practices. That is why lending your voice, your time and your efforts toward associations that are dedicated to your industry make sense.

KPOST has been blessed with many successes and we believe a large part of that is the interaction we get from our membership in associations, said Steve Little, KPOST President. “We believe in engaging with the associations we join.”

 

Get Involved to Get More

Steve LittleOn October 25th, 2013, Steve Little became the president of the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association (MRCA), a regional association focused on 22 states and dedicated to the needs of the contractor through various programs. Specifically, MRCA focuses on:

  • Technical research of manufacturers’ products
  • Development and education of young contractors
  • SHARP – a specialized training program dedicated to safety

Little is willing to dedicate time and energy to being part of the MRCA leadership because he feels the association has “Midwestern values” that align with KPOST. “With all the benefits an organization can receive from an association such as MRCA, it makes sense to join.”

“Hard work, integrity and helping your fellow man really reflect our values and theirs. It provides our KPOST team members the opportunity to learn best business practices from contractors in our region in a safe, less competitive environment which is more conducive to open dialog.”

 “When we can come together and work to professionalize, improve the processes and build best practices, it builds a stronger industry overall,” said Louise Ristau, Executive Director for MRCA. “There is strength in numbers that affords us the ability to tackle issues that need to be addressed as a group. Having organizations like KPOST dedicated to the causes of an association provide the backbone and growth potential for the MRCA. ”

One such issue is safety, which is a driving force behind the MRCA program title SHARP (Safety and Health Agenda for Roofing Professionals). The program gives members materials to stay in compliance with OSHA standards, while also ensuring high levels of communication via monthly meetings, webinars and content.

“Our SHARP Toolbox talks and monthly documentation support our members in either creating or supplementing their own safety programs. Plus, we add value by translating them into Spanish so they can be widely distributed,” said Ristau. “Steve Little helped organize our Young Contractor Council (YCC) that is helping shape our association for years to come while bridging the gap between the baby boomer generation roofing contractors and today’s Gen X and Millenials up and coming leaders.”

 “Regardless of the association, and we are a member of MRCA, NRCA, NTRCA and TEXO, we are going to be involved in committees and other activities because we believe in that association, what they stand for, and most importantly, in giving back to others,” said Little. “We want to learn from others and share our blessings.”

Talk About Below-Grade Waterproofing – Underwater Hotels Gain Popularity

There is a new trend in high-end hotels – providing an unparalleled underwater experience by building hotel rooms underwater. From the latest hotel in Tanzania to entire disc-style pods anchored to the ocean floor, these hotels offer posh amenities with a view that is unparalleled.  The most recent underwater hotel was created by Deep Ocean Technology, a Polish company that developed a disc that contains 22 bedrooms with sea views. The entire hotel looks like something from the Jetsons, but is well on its way to becoming a reality.

While those of us “landlubbers” are not challenged with the same issues in keeping water out of an underwater hotel room, there is still the issue of considering and maintaining below-grade commercial waterproofing. Many buildings constructed today extend one or more floors below grade level, providing expansion for additional storage and parking, but also presenting challenges if not constructed and then waterproofed correctly.

“Waterproofing services and maintenance are not just for what you see, but for what you don’t see,” said Shawn Morgan, KPOST Director of Waterproofing. “It is taking appropriate steps and going beyond stopping water infiltration into ensuring that the entire building envelope is waterproofed and well maintained.”

Below Grade Waterproofing Protects Structural Integrity

The below grade portion of a building must be built and maintained to ensure longevity of the commercial property. These areas can be inaccessible for repairs, a scary proposition when you think about these areas going unrepaired. There are numerous areas that can be below grade in a commercial building, including:

  • Tunnels and crawlspaces
  • Mechanical/electrical rooms
  • Plazas
  • Vaults
  • Tunnels
  • Special-use features such as fountains or work-out rooms

 

During the design process, it is important to consider structural integrity and durability of the below grade materials, as well as commercial waterproofing to ensure longevity and decrease potential structural damage and wear and tear. The below grade systems construction is often complex, but can be given a back seat because they do not typically have the same aesthetics as those building areas you see.

“When considering the type of waterproofing system, particularly for below grade, it is important to ascertain what is most needed, rather than align with a single manufacturer and make the system fit,” said Morgan.

Not All Waterproofing Systems are Created Equal

There are a number of waterproofing systems, so understanding the benefits of each is important. KPOST is approved with all commercial waterproofing manufacturers, preferring to present the best solution available.

“We like to tailor the solution to the exact need, rather than attempt to retro-fit a product,” said Morgan. “This is particularly important with below grade waterproofing systems since many are almost impossible to access after the building is complete.”

Morgan understands all aspects of the waterproofing business which allows him to understand and recommend the best system for the job. His experience in sales, installation and consulting ensures that KPOST will recommend the ideal solution.

“There may be five different waterproofing systems that work for a particular special use feature, say a fountain. I make the recommendation based on experience and understanding of what is best for the project and the customer,” said Morgan. “By keeping a strong working relationship with all waterproofing manufacturers, I’m able to stay on top of the latest developments and feel confident we can make the right decision for every waterproofing project.”

While below grade commercial waterproofing may  not have the same challenges as underwater hotel rooms, the importance of ensuring the construction is managed right in the beginning is just as important. In both cases, you simply don’t want there to be a leak!

 

Pay It Forward – Supporting Community Engrains Positive Corporate Culture

Because non-profits and charitable donations do such great work in our communities, many of us are happy to support their causes. The majority of these organizations rely on private sector donations and grants to keep their businesses afloat. In particular, the holiday season is a critical time for these organizations to gather donations and support. According to the 2012 Blackbaud Index of Charitable Giving, the last three months of the year account for 34% of overall giving, which is more than one-third of the total, making this time of year important for charitable organizations.

Corporations certainly play a large role in ensuring these charitable groups carry on. According to the National Philanthropic Trust, corporate giving in 2011 totaled $14.55 billion. With recent economic struggles and the generically competitive nature of doing business, why would corporations invest in this type of giving?

Other than the obvious feel good mentality, there is proof from various studies that corporate philanthropy has a positive impact on the culture of an organization. Which begs another question – is it the giving that has the impact or the culture that impacts the idea of corporate giving?

According to KPOST’s CFO and Chief Safety Officer Jayne Williams it’s the latter.

“At KPOST, we believe that you should always pay it forward. We have been so blessed and want to share our good fortune with others.”

Culture of Giving

KPOST executives and team members believe in giving and do so year round. This philosophy is in alignment with their corporate culture, which includes developing award-winning employee safety programs , supporting the community, and providing excellence in all they do.

Specifically with community support, the teams at KPOST make it a point to be involved year round, not just during the holiday season. This type of investment not only allows the KPOST team to give back, but also infuses the culture throughout the organization.

“Our employees see us supporting them and others in the community on a regular basis. It’s who we are at heart, and it’s important that everyone who works with us understand that and believe in it,” said Williams. “We expect every employee to be an active participant in giving back to their community.”

KPOST supports many different organizations in multiple ways. Following is a sample of the type of charitable action they take:

Charitable Cause

KPOST is Involved

Conley Design – Packing Party for Troops
Aileen Struble, Senior Estimator serves on the Board. KPOST provides employees to help pack gift boxes for hundreds of Troops.

 

Petey Parker Teddy Bear giveaway
We collect throughout the year for Petey Parker.  Petey and her husband, Jim Fite, dress up as Mr. and Mrs. Claus and deliver a stuffed animal to every patient in several hospitals.   So far we have collected almost 150 bears this year.

 

Toys for Tots
We collect from our employees Toys for Tots every Christmas.

 

Savage Race to benefit ACT
It was the Savage Race where KPOST partnered with National Roofing Partners to collect monies for ACT, an autism charity.  We had 5 employees brave freezing weather to run and even swim in ice water.

 

Bring Your Dog To Work Day
Collect money and items for Operation Kindness.  The last one raised almost $2,000 and 100 lbs. of food and toys.

 

NRCA Community Service Day
Every year KPOST employees participate in the work day at the annual convention of National Roofing Contractors Association.  We perform landscaping, painting, roofing, and other projects on 2 or 3 houses in the host city.

 

Various Charities
Every year we volunteer to provide labor and materials for roofing of local charities.

 

The KPOST culture invests in community development and corporate philanthropy because the leadership team believes in giving back. The benefits go beyond community support. The employees invest in giving back as well, ensuring that KPOST Company continues to have a strong set of values, high ethics and excellent teams, ensuring they are a highly desired sub-contractor in the commercial roofing industry.