Latest CARE Blog Posts

Welcome to the CARE blog!

Educate, Empower, Guide is our motto, and with that goal in mind we speak to thousands of roofing professionals every year. We take our job and their job very seriously, and because of that safety is an ever-present subject in our classes. As we start the new CARE website, what better way than to share yet another initiative from OSHA, whose goal is the safety of all workers!

Questions or Comments? Please email

CARE’s Q&A with a Roofing Expert: Chris Mooney

Welcome to our monthly "CARE’s Q&A with Roofing Expert" series.

Our guest is Chris Mooney, Executive Director of Sales Development at GAF. He is a great contributor to GAF and the roofing industry.

  1. For someone just starting in the roofing industry, what is your best tip?
    Figure out that there are two ways to succeed, 1 is to be a volume roofer, 2 is a value roofer. In residential, value is the best/fastest way to succeed. Figure out how to differentiate, add value, sell value, and price yourself above the market.

  2. What was your greatest challenge, and how did you conquer it?
    Most challenging project ever was the launch of the Master Elite program. Overcame it with long hours, eye on innovation, listening for new ideas, and focused on the success of others.

  3. Your go-to tool is...
    Go to tool is Outlook!

  4. What do you like better, sunrises or sunsets?
    Sunrise over the ocean.

  5. What’s on your music playlist these days?
    Two things: Books on tape for my 3 year old: “The Polar Express” and “Power Questions” by Andrew Sobel.

How can a homeowner identify a good salesperson?

When homeowners have a home improvement project such as installing a new roof, they must first decide what companies to bring in to evaluate the job. But will the assigned salesperson/estimator be a good one? Will this person respect their wishes and meet their expectations? In this article you'll find a few key things to look for in a salesperson. These are things that that will help any homeowner identify who will be awarded the work.

1. Are they on time?
Being on time is one of the best signs of a good salesperson. This means they not only respect you as a potential client but also respect their profession and themselves.

2. Are they aware of your perspective?
Do they pass your initial “peek” test? A good salesperson knows that potential clients are looking at them the moment their vehicle arrives. Are they paying attention to your first impression? A salesperson that tries to see him or herself from your point of view is someone that respects both your space and expectations. Their attire should be professional, and their vehicles should provide a positive image of their work.

3. Do they have charisma?
Is this person someone that you can connect with? Or do they come off as someone who is trying to push a product? Will this be someone that you can easily remember? Did this person have Charisma? A good salesperson will leave you with a lasting impression; one of personal character and professional conduct that will help you remember them, long after they left.

4. Passion
Has this person showed you their passion for their product and their trade? Do they believe in their product? Do they express their passion in a way that makes you trust in them, their product, and their company?

5. Product knowledge
Test your salesperson after you have done your research. Do they really know their product? Are they a trained professional who can explain their product and its installation? Are they certified by a reputable manufacturer? What is involved in order to get that certification? Are they trained by that manufacturer? What warranty is being offered? Can the salesperson explain the warranty in a way that you understand? All these are key questions that your salesperson should be able to answer easily and thoroughly.

6. Respect
Make sure that the salesperson has an awareness that they are in your home—and that most of their actions are preceded by a request for permission. This is a great sign that they have respect for you and your space.

7. Communication
A good salesperson will explain their product in language that you can understand. They won't rely on jargon. Also. a good salesperson will ask you detailed questions in order to identify your needs. They should identify what products are best for your home based on the answers that you provide.

8. Honesty
Honesty is paramount. You should expect that any salesperson will try to sell you their products; after all, that is why they are there. But there is a big difference between selling and pushing. Only honesty, passion, and good business practices can show you that this person is the right person to work in your home! Check references and past customer experiences to make sure that you are hiring a good contractor.

9. The Pitch
Does the salesperson really know their pitch, or does it seem like they're just improvising? A great salesperson has a prepared pitch that they “stick” to. This is a great sign that their company has its act together! This doesn't mean that they should behave like a robot; it's more that the salesperson truly knows their process, and can guide you through it in a way that makes you feel comfortable.

10. Closing is for amateurs
Be wary of anyone who tries to rush the close. Any salesperson is expected to try to sell to you and to hopefully close the job, but only once you're ready. They need to educate you in every aspect of their product, how their product is installed; what goes where and what does what, and why. Remember: this is your home. Whatever they are selling will become part of your home. Roofing most of all protects your family from the elements. If the salesperson fulfills a need by providing a good product and service, and if they can educate you on how and why you need their product, then the closing is done naturally throughout the visit. Signing a contract is simply a consequence positive outcome of their work.

To find a GAF factory-certified contractor in your area, go to and enter your zip code in the “Find GAF Factory-Certified Roofing Contractors” box on the home page.

CARE’s Q&A with a Roofing Expert: Tim Botkin

Welcome to our monthly "CARE’s Q&A with Roofing Expert" series.

Our guest is Tim Botkin, Commercial Maintenance Program Director at GAF. He is a great contributor to the GAF and roofing industry.

  1. For someone just starting in the roofing industry, what is your best tip?
    The best tip I would offer anyone starting out in any industry would be to “ always do the right thing” no matter how much it may hurt, you will come out on top in the long run.

  2. What was your greatest challenge, and how did you conquer it?
    I’ve had several challenging projects but one that comes to mind would be a project in San Bernardino CA where we had to remove the existing roof, remove and replace the metal decking and install a new 25 year roof system over 720,000 square feet in 30 days. Having trained a great team and everyone being focused on the task at hand made for a very successful and profitable project.

  3. Your go-to tool is...
    My vehicle ….. because it takes me to see my customers. You can always call or email but nothing works better than a face to face visit so you can stay in front of your customers.

  4. What do you like better, sunrises or sunsets?
    Sunrises because it’s the start to a great day.

  5. What’s on your music playlist these days?
    Everything from David Allen Cole “You Never Even Called Me By My Name” (The perfect CW song) to ZZ Top to Kid Rock to Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels.

CARE’s Q&A with a Roofing Expert: Helene Hardy Pierce

Welcome to the inaugural, monthly "CARE’s Q&A with Roofing Expert" series.

Our first guest is Helene Hardy Pierce, FRCI, the Vice President of Technical Service, Codes & Industry Relations at GAF. She is a great contributor to the GAF and roofing industry.

  1. For someone just starting in the roofing industry, what is your best tip?
    Ask lots of questions, listen, treat people with respect, and do what you say you are going to do!

  2. What was your greatest challenge, and how did you conquer it?
    Being accepted in an industry that does not have a lot of women – “accepted” in terms of others realizing I might have something to contribute. I don’t know that I’ve ‘conquered it’, but following the advice of “asking lots of questions, listening, respecting others and their opinions, and trying to do what I say I am going to do” has been a great roadmap to being able to contribute to our industry.

  3. Your go-to tool is...
    That’s easy…reading! There is so much available to learn from and with information today literally at your fingertips, being able to find answers may take a little digging, but there is a wealth of information that you can find to help you…you just have to take a bit of a skeptic’s eye to what you’re reading and season it with your own experience and knowledge.

  4. What do you like better, sunrises or sunsets?
    Sunsets... always looking for the “red sky at night” to make looking forward to the next day that much better!

  5. What’s on your music playlist these days?
    The soundtrack from “Rock of Ages” – great 1980’s rock music!

How to Deal with Insurance Deductibles During Hail Storms
By John Arellano,
South West Region Manager
Certified Contractor Program

It’s finally spring! Seldom do I look forward to leaving winter behind as I did this year. Spring is synonymous with things such as blooming flowers, warm days, cook-outs, and visiting friends after being cooped up all winter. But down here in Texas, spring is also synonymous with hail. This can be proven by the recent hail storms that blew across the Southwest, leaving a trail of damage in their wake. These storms impacted Texas, Louisiana, and Kansas, and surely have a lot of us roofers preparing for what appears to be the beginning of a busy year. In Texas alone, the Insurance Council of Texas estimated that the storms damaged 24,000 vehicles and 12,000 homes, causing about $300 million in damage.

As roofing professionals prepare to service these customers, they should be aware of a few things. Insurance carriers have been busy increasing deductibles and decreasing coverage (that, of course, is this writer’s opinion, but you be the judge). Dollar-based deductibles of $500 or $1,000 used to be the norm. Try finding a policy that provides those deductibles for a roof in Texas these days. You are more likely to find that a percentage-based deductible of 1, 2, or 5% is the new norm. A percentage-based deductible generally applies to the roof in the event of a wind or hail event and establishes the deductible as a percentage of the home's insured value. So, a home insured for $250k with a 5% wind or hail deductible would have the homeowner paying $12,500 before the insurance carrier kicks in their share. Are you thinking what I’m thinking: "Hey, that’s what the roof costs!"

In preparation for these now common high deductibles, I recommend you find yourself a financing partner. Most homeowners don't have $12,500 sitting in their savings account. You are going to need to combat this issue by offering financing to your customers consistently. Financing does a few things for you:

  1. It helps you secure the job, potentially on the spot, for a higher sales price.
  2. It helps your customers buy upgraded shingles, gutters, or anything else you offer.
  3. It helps you differentiate your professionalism from the dozens of other roofers that will surely be knocking on the homeowner's door.
So how do you find a finance partner? Talk to your local bank or credit union, set yourself up to accept credit cards, and look for national home improvement lending partners. Years ago, GAF partnered with Wells Fargo Home Projects as our lending partner vendor. Well over half of all the applications submitted have been approved – and the best part? You get paid the day after the job is completed! Speak to your GAF Territory Manager for more information about this valuable resource. For Master Elites and Certified Contractors, visit the Certified Contractor Zone and fill out an application or directly contact Wells Fargo Retail Services at 1-800-694-0259.

Los Angeles Becomes the First Major City to Require “Cool Roofing”

It is well known fact that energy costs are a growing concern, and that building owners as well as local governments are actively looking for ways to make structures more efficient and environmentally friendly.

Which makes it no surprise that in the future, cities — small as well as large — will implement regulation for the use of energy efficient products, and that will certainly include roofing.

According to Professional Roofing (PR) magazine, the city of Los Angeles has passed an update to their building code addressing the use of cool roofing on all new and refurbished homes, becoming the first major city to do so. PR states, “LA…requires all new and refurbished homes to have a cool roof”. The city hopes that implementing this upgrade “will help reduce the effects of global warming, according to and”.

In the same article, PR quotes a study from UC suggesting that local temperatures will “rise between 3.7 degrees Fahrenheit and 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit…with the number of ‘extreme heat’ days above 95F tripling in downtown Los Angeles”. Tripling! With dark roofs reaching temperatures nearing 200 degrees Fahrenheit, it is safe to assume that such roofs have influence in the surrounding environments.

GAF has invested in energy efficient roofing technologies for a long time. EverGuard TPO, Topcoat, and Timberline Cool Series Lifetime Shingles are just a few examples of energy efficient products within GAF’s portfolio.

You can read the whole article at and for more information on energy efficient product go to


The CARE team has completed the first Walpole "2 Day TPO" event this week, with great success.
The event had 37 students on the first day and even after a 12" snow storm, 20 returned for the second day. Attendees were a mix of commercial and residential contractors, with the majority being residential. Their interest in TPO as a complement to their business was great, and leads us to believe that this is a need that we are just starting to meet in this region. The commercial contractors were impressed with GAF's quality standards and with what we can offer as collaboration and support; at least one that has been using a competitor, will start using more GAF. The have also learned details about our shingles that have impressed them. We are constantly looking for new and better venues to hold these type of very needed events. For now at Walpole, we have two more sessions schedule for 2014, however if you have a request, please let us know.

“What started out as an ordinary, sunny fall day in Wayne quickly progressed into a fun-filled morning of competitive spirit and learning as members of the Wayne Marketing group were treated to a CARE training seminar on the proper installation of both low-slope and steep-slope roofing products. We all know that CARE does a great job educating our contractors on proper, safe installation of our GAF roofing products. CARE was also great at getting the Marketing team engaged in learning not only about a variety of steep-slope and low-slope products, but also about addressing specific installation questions that our contractors have.

Paulo Vieiradias and Erasmo Fuentes didn’t just tell us, however. They had Marketing take a walk in the contractor’s shoes and do the installation themselves. This experience helped Marketing understand contractor issues and concerns, and will guide them in their product development and communication efforts.”

Leslie Franklin

Welcome to OSHA's Fall Prevention Campaign

FALLS ARE THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH IN CONSTRUCTION. In 2010, there were 264 fall fatalities (255 falls to lower level) out of 774 total fatalities in construction. These deaths are preventable.

Falls can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps:

  • Plan
  • Provide
  • Train
This website is part of OSHA's nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about the hazards of falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs. The educational resources page gives workers and employers information about falls and how to prevent them. There are also training tools for employers to use and posters to display at their worksites. Many of the new resources target vulnerable workers with limited English proficiency.

We invite you to join in this effort by helping to reach workers and employers in your community with the resources you find on this site. OSHA will continue to add information and tools to this page throughout the year.

OSHA has partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) - Construction Sector on this nationwide outreach campaign to raise awareness among workers and employers about common fall hazards in construction, and how falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved.

Here's how:

PLAN ahead to get the job done safely
When working from heights, such as ladders, scaffolds, and roofs, employers must plan projects to ensure that the job is done safely. Begin by deciding how the job will be done, what tasks will be involved, and what safety equipment may be needed to complete each task.

When estimating the cost of a job, employers should include safety equipment, and plan to have all the necessary equipment and tools available at the construction site. For example, in a roofing job, think about all of the different fall hazards, such as holes or skylights and leading edges, then plan and select fall protection suitable to that work, such as personal fall arrest systems (PFAS).

PROVIDE the right equipment
Workers who are six feet or more above lower levels are at risk for serious injury or death if they should fall. To protect these workers, employers must provide fall protection and the right equipment for the job, including the right kinds of ladders, scaffolds, and safety gear.

Different ladders and scaffolds are appropriate for different jobs. Always provide workers with the kind they need to get the job done safely. For roof work, there are many ways to prevent falls. If workers use personal fall arrest systems (PFAS), provide a harness for each worker who needs to tie off to the anchor. Make sure the PFAS fits, and regularly inspect all fall protection equipment to ensure it's still in good condition and safe to use.

TRAIN everyone to use the equipment safely
Falls can be prevented when workers understand proper set-up and safe use of equipment, so they need training on the specific equipment they will use to complete the job. Employers must train workers in hazard recognition and in the care and safe use ladders, scaffolds, fall protection systems, and other equipment they'll be using on the job.

OSHA has provided numerous materials and resources that employers can use during toolbox talks to train workers on safe practices to avoid falls in construction. Falls from ladders, scaffolds and roofs can be prevented and lives can be saved through three simple steps: Plan, Provide and Train.

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