The company started with three brothers-Antonio, Luigi and Romano Zanchetta-who were roofing contractors. They were also aspiring entrepreneurs with a vision to improve the roofing industry through innovative technology.

Family values are alive and well with Polyglass. Old-fashioned values, an integral work ethic and a hard-working family are the foundation of this progressive roofing manufacturer. The company started with three brothers-Antonio, Luigi and Romano Zanchetta-who were roofing contractors. They were also aspiring entrepreneurs with a vision to improve the roofing industry through innovative technology.

In 1957, in the Lombardy region of Italy, Romano quit farming and left to search for a more rewarding life in Switzerland, where for nearly five years he gained roofing experience. Romano then decided to return to his homeland to start his own roofing business with two other fellow Italians and his brother Luigi. Based in Lombardy, their new roofing company named "Eurozoni" grew rapidly and expanded its services to all areas of Italy. By 1966, Romano and Luigi had 30 employees and established a roofing contracting company in the Belluno area called Super Asfalti Zanchetta.

Although business was good, Romano had a desire to perform even better. His knowledge of roofing and his passionate work ethic contributed to the success of the business. During this period, Montedison, an Italian chemical company, produced polypropylene and was looking for an alternate usage for the APP waste from the production process. Romano conducted several tests, trying to modify bitumen with the APP by-product. In 1967, he discovered the right compound to produce the roofing membranes he had visualized. Romano's formulation was a huge milestone for his roofing company.

By 1968, despite limited resources, the two brothers built the first production plant where the entire production process was operated manually. A year later, Romano, Luigi and their oldest brother, Antonio, established a manufacturing company called Polyglass. After the birth of Polyglass, Antonio managed Super Asfalti Zanchetta. In 1972, the entire business was transferred to a new industrial park in Ponte di Piave, Italy, where the company is currently based. This new venture, accompanied by modernized equipment, allowed Polyglass to efficiently produce membranes through industrial production. Around 1976-77, they decided to suspend the activity of roofing application (with Super Asfalti Zanchetta) and focused exclusively on the production of membranes.

In 1977, Polyglass began exporting to the American market and started business relationships with roofing contractors and distributors, thereby creating joint ventures. This lucrative expansion rapidly increased in the 1980s with a second plant built in Fernley, Nev. By 1992, Polyglass had introduced its brand in the market, and just five years after the establishment of the Nevada plant, another plant was commissioned in Hazleton, Pa. Polyglass now employs approximately 200 people worldwide, with headquarters in Italy, and sales in central and northern Europe, the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe, the Arabian Gulf, Southeast Asia, North America, Africa, Oceania and the United States.

"Polyglass has become a prominent name in the roofing industry," says Natalino Zanchetta, executive vice president of Polyglass USA. "We offer quality products with strong warranties. People want a roof system they can trust and have trusted for years."

Later in the 90s, the transition between the first and the second generation of Zanchettas continued its run. In 1996, one of the founders of Polyglass, Luigi Zanchetta, died suddenly at the age of 66. Luigi's son, Giovanni, took charge of the sales department in the Italy office. In 1991, Natalino Zanchetta, son of Romano, moved to the United States to manage Polyglass USA, bringing with him strong laboratory experience. He is currently the vice president of the U.S. operation in Fernley.

In 1997, after 17 years working at Polyglass Spa in Italy, Natalino's sister, Gianna Zanchetta, moved to the United States to manage marketing. Today, she works seamlessly with her Italian counterparts promoting Polyglass and its products worldwide. In 2002, after completion of his degree in business and economics, Natalino's and Gianna's brother Lucio, moved to the United States to assist with business growth at the Fernley office. The three siblings now make up the backbone of Polyglass' U.S. operations.

The new century started with the consolidation and re-organization of Polyglass in the roofing market. A distribution company in Romania, "Polyglass Romania," was opened in 2000. A new extension in Ponte di Piave and a new manufacturing plant "Polyglass Sud" opened in southern Italy in 2002.

With these technologically advanced sites, Polyglass introduced the first self-adhered membrane Elastoflex SA based on ADESO® technology. "Membranes are created through machinery that is custom-designed and built by Polyglass," says Natalino. "The Hazleton plant manufactures membranes using an ‘MVACC' system that incorporates numerous U.S. and Italian patents."

Polyglass continues to offer membranes that are manufactured using glass fiber or polyester reinforcement, with a "true" APP, SBS and TPO modified bitumen compound on the top surface and an aggressive self-adhesive compound on the bottom surface. The self-adhering properties of the built-up membranes provide an alternative to traditional adhesives and propane torch techniques. Polyglass' products allow roofing contractors to safely use the membranes on high traffic facilities such as hospitals, churches, schools and much more.

In 2004, Polyglass began heavily promoting ADESO technology in self-adhesive roofing products featuring split-release backing film and mineral granulated surface. "The technology has brought new advantages to the roofing industry," says Gianna. "The membranes are reliable, while Polyglass' unique patented lapping systems, SealLap® and FastLap®, have been highly embraced by the industry."

Polyglass' does indeed have a rich history and now, a new generation of family members in addition to exceptional employees. The long-lasting traditions of Polyglass have become an integral part of its business to introduce innovative roofing products to bring solutions in the residential and commercial markets.

Sidebar: Products

Polyglass offers products for both residential and commercial applications. All Polyglass products are supported with strong warranties.

POLYSTICK MU BASIK is a homogeneous, rubberized asphalt waterproofing membrane, glass fiber reinforced with polyolefinic film on the upper surface providing non-skid characteristics, manufactured using ADESO® technology, for use as underlayment for metal roofing. It is specially formulated to withstand temperatures up to 260 degrees F. This product works exceptionally well on slopes 3:12 or higher, and can be left exposed to the elements for up to 90 days before the application of the roofing system.

POLYSTICK TU PLUS is a skid-resistant tile roofing underlayment that is formulated to withstand heat up to 260 degrees F. It is manufactured using ADESO technology, a "true" APP compound, glass fiber reinforced, with a high strength polyester fabric on the upper surface and aggressive self-adhesive compound on the bottom. TU Plus is designed specially for use under tile roofs.

POLYKOOL is a cool roof modified bitumen roofing membrane. This patent-pending self-adhesive roofing membrane is manufactured using ADESO technology and offers high reflectivity and emissivity properties with the use of a premium white surface. POLYKOOL meets the solar reflectivity requirements of Energy Star's program for roofing products.

POLYALL® SA membrane is a foil-faced elastomeric roofing product manufactured using ADESO technology, consisting of bitumen modified with polypropylene on the top surface and an aggressive self-adhesive compound on the bottom surface. POLYALL SA's top surface is protected by stove-enameled aluminum foil, 80 microns thick, and indented with a pattern of squares. The embossing pattern of the squares allows for the free expansion of the metal, resulting in high resistance to thermal differences.

ELASTOFLEX® SA V Base Vent self-adhesive membranes are manufactured using ADESO. The membrane's "spot attachment" offers a route for the escape of latent moisture or pressure that can accumulate between the material and the substrate. The spot-welded areas of the venting membrane act as shock absorbers, which compensate for the movement of the substrate. By eliminating mechanical fasteners and avoiding penetration of the roof, the separation of the roofing membrane and the underlying insulation, impedes "thermal bridging," a frequent problem in temperature-controlled buildings such as cold-storage facilities.