Product. Place. Personnel. Those are three legs key to a successful roofing installation. The right product installed in the right place by a trained professional installer.
Recognizing an opportunity in the market to address general installation questions and supporting information around roof coatings systems, individual products types, and accessories, the Roof Coating Manufacturers Association (RCMA) and its members began developing a training program in 2020 to support professionals wanting to learn more about installation of roof coating products.
Soon after RCMA began its program development, the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the forefront the need for programs that can be delivered virtually. The RCMA’s training task force quickly moved to creating a multi-part online training program.
After the primary focus of addressing roof coating basics, technologies, and components, the task force also wanted to support the dedicated professionals in the roofing industry. It set a goal to ensure each course module provided at least one continuing education credit recognized widely in the roofing industry.
With those two main goal posts in mind, the RCMA has worked over the last year to develop the first three modules of the RCMA Training Program. Here they are:
Module 1 – Evaluating and Preparing Surfaces for Roof Coatings
This focuses on the existing roof system or substrate before a roof coating is installed. Starting from the beginning of the process, the module discusses all the various substrates that are suitable for an installation of a roof coating product. Next, the module presents the necessary evaluation steps of the substrate to assess its condition and identify possible areas or concerns that may need to be repaired or replaced prior to installation. After that, the module discusses the methods used to repair, if needed, and fully prepare the substrate for the installation of a roof coating product. Finally, it highlights what can happen to the installed roof coating if the substrate is not properly repaired or prepared before the roof coating is installed.
Module 2 – Roof Coating Technologies
The second module begins with an overview of what a roof coating is and what purpose a roof coating serves once installed. This is followed by reviewing the benefits of roof coatings, from the roof itself to the global environment. Next, the various roof coating chemistries and technologies are discussed. The module concludes with an explanation of common properties of the currently available roof coating products in the marketplace.
Module 3 – Roof Coating Application Best Practices
Module 3 begins with a broad review of the various documentation related to roof coating products, from the product data sheets and safety data sheets to manufacturer’s installation instructions and project specifications. Following the document introduction is reviewing necessary general surface preparation methods and specific condition preparation steps, such as metal panel seams or penetration details. Next, the module explains roof coating application methods and the equipment associated with each method. The module closes with necessary maintenance activities for roof coating products to maximize the life cycle of an installed roof coating product.
Each of these are approved for 1.0 Continuing Education Units (CEU) with the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the International Institute of Building Envelope Consultants (IIBEC) for those professionals that need CEUs for their various licenses and registrations.
While it may appear that some topics are repeated, the context of each module should be kept in mind. For example, while preparation is discussed in both modules 1 and 3, module 1 is a more general overview from the design perspective with the focus on conditions to note during evaluation while module 3 approaches the topic of preparation focus on the installer’s perspective and the techniques necessary to prepare different conditions.
It is with the design and installation perspectives in mind, RCMA will also launch its own recognition designations. Professionals that complete modules 1 and 2 will be recognized by RCMA as a Roof Coatings Design Expert. Those that complete modules 2 and 3 will be recognized as a Roof Coatings Installation Expert. Any professional that completes all three modules will be designated a Roof Coatings Professional. All of these designations will expire after two years from the date of issuance unless the professionals retake the affiliated modules to ensure they are up to date on any changes or new developments in the roof coating industry.
Unlike other training offerings, these designations do not have an in-person skill evaluation because RCMA wanted to keep this information accessible via the internet. Further, RCMA members believe that in-person application training, when paired with knowledge from these modules, is most effective when paired with learning to applied specific products with the available training support offered by its individual members. The general knowledge from RCMA’s Training Program paired with hands-on training with specific products in specific application results in the optimal development towards becoming a trained professional.
With this development completed, RCMA is confident that such a trained individual will be able to evaluate the place where a roof coating product is being considered for installation, select the right product, and install the product successfully. Product. Place. Personnel. With RCMA’s Training Program, RCMA is continuing to support that winning formula.