Special to Ontario Construction Report
A training program launched February 2004 in Ontario is filling a gap for those interested in learning about a wide range of roofing applications. “Before this, there was really nowhere in all of North America where you could go to learn roofing using your own hands in a generic, non-biased way,” said George Wilson RRO (Registered Roof Observer) and a member of the RCI Inc. (formerly Roof Consultants Institute) Ontario chapter.
Wilson and his partner, Peter Zahradnik, RSW (Registered Specification Writer) have joined forces to form the Roofing Technology, Maintenance, and Inspection training course. Now, the four-day course, taught in Brampton, Ontario, is drawing people from near and far.
“We are now attracting participants from other provinces and from the U.S. as well,” Wilson said. “We have them from all the different sectors – property managers, estimators, sales representatives from various manufacturers, foremen, roofers, project managers, architects, engineers, roof consultants, inspectors, and owners’ representatives. There’s simply nothing else like it.
“This course will teach you about all the roofing systems without advocating one over another and give you hands-on experience installing them, followed by performing proper repairs.
Wilson, who worked 30 years for Ontario Hydro, says his former employers encouraged this program’s start-up, recognizing the industry-wide training gap.
After retiring from Hydro, Wilson started Cindott Inc. His partner Peter Zahradnik, launched his own company, Building Envelope Technologies, Inc. The two had worked together at Ontario Hydro, training staff to make roof repairs and monitor roofing contractors on-site. So they pooled their resources and came up with this specialized Roofing Training Course.
They set up a center where the design and construction of each major roofing system is taught in detail, and participants perform hands-on applications, following standard construction technical specifications. Trainees then inspect one another’s systems, carry out cut tests, and make repairs using today’s newest techniques.
It’s not often that staff in a consultant or inspectors role can have the opportunity to weld TPO and PVC, glue EPDM, torch, cold adhere and peel and stick 2-ply modified bitumen membranes.
“We believe this is the best way to learn roofing,” Wilson said. “After this course, the attendee knows what works and what doesn’t. If their role is designing roofing, this course will make them a better designer. If their role is installing or inspecting roofing, it will make them a much better installer and inspector.”
Included in the course, is a 144-page course manual, a summary of the evolution to single ply membranes, roofing safety, roofing materials (coal tar, asphalt, four-ply BUR, two-ply Mod Bit, EPDM, TPO and PVC), vapor retarders, insulation, fasteners, and corner details, vents, drains, flashings, and leak detection and repair.
A limited number of trainees per course are accepted and the course is delivered six times a year from November through March.
Attendance at the noon Monday through noon Friday course qualifies a participant for 29.5 continuing educational hours (CEHs) for RCI registration renewal.