Articles & Resources

How to Install EPDM Roofing

Posted on July 26, 2021

EPDM is a durable, easy-to-maintain product that works well in virtually any climate. EPDM is fairly easy to install but involves a few key preparations for best results. Here are the basics that will ensure the roof will last for decades to come.

Before You Install EPDM Roofing

Every high-quality job begins with proper preparation. When it comes to installing EPDM roofing, it begins with surface preparation, measurements, and sheet preparation.

Surface Preparation

They say the success of any build starts with the foundation. The same is true with EPDM roofing. You want as clean and smooth of a surface as possible.

You need to remove all dirt, grease, debris, and other impurities. Instead of laying on top of existing materials, like asphalt layers, remove them completely.

If the roof doesn’t drain correctly or has water puddles, you should re-level or replace the roof surface. If you’re not a professional, you should certainly consult one.

Measurements & Drip

You will need to cover the roof completely with EPDM membrane plus have excess material overhang the roof edge and adjacent walls. To get everything lined up correctly, you should measure and mark where you will lay each sheet.

Marking everything out will help prevent bubbles, crooked material, and too short of material at the edges.

Once everything is marked out, you can install the drip batten and drip back trim at the edges to direct rainwater to the gutter.

Note on Seamless Installation

One of the best features of EPDM is it can often be installed without seams. Seams are the main cause of leaks and moisture damage, so eliminating the need for them greatly improves its effectiveness.

Many projects only require a single, seamless layer. If your commercial roof is less than 50 feet wide, then you should be able to go seamless. Any bigger, the project gets more difficult and it’s recommended a professional handle the installation.


An essential step in how to install EPDM roofing is the resting period. You need to completely roll out the roofing membrane over the roof.

Let the membrane ‘rest’ to allow the rubber to expand. The time needed depends on the current air temperature. On a warm day, you’ll need about 30 minutes. Keep in mind that shadowed areas may need a little more time.

How to Install EPDM Roofing

Now that all of the prep work is complete, it’s time to install the roofing material.

Adhere the Membrane

It’s best to focus on one section at time, typically half a sheet at a time but that depends on the overall size. The bigger the project, the smaller sections you want to tackle at once.

Start opposite of the roofs edge. Then, how to install EPDM roofing depends on the adhesive you’re using:

·        Water-based adhesive: use a paint roller to spread the adhesive onto the roof on the section you’re working on. Roll (don’t drop) the EPDM forward onto the adhesive.

·        Bonded adhesive: must apply to both the roof surface and membrane. Since the adhesive needs to dry for a period of time before rolling out the membrane, you can work with larger sections at a time.


Brushing is vital to strengthen the bond between the roof surface and material, as well as to eliminate bubbles. You can use a basic large shop broom to brush in the same direction as you installed the membrane.

“Rinse and Repeat”

After you’re done brushing the section, apply the adhesive to the next section. Then brush it out. Repeat until all sections are done.

Be sure to leave some excess material at the roof’s edge.

Finish the Edges

The final step is to finish up the edges. It’s important to get this right to avoid leaks and water damage.

Finishing the roof edges involves several tasks. You must apply bonded adhesive to the edges to strongly secure the membrane.

You must also seal roof corners and any roof penetrations from equipment. For corners, use pressure-sensitive flashing.

Next, screw in the drip edge, wall trim and gutter trim. Be sure to seal all trim using silicone sealant. Also, use self-sealing screws if possible or seal those penetrations as needed.

Lastly, remove excess membrane. Be careful not to cut back too far.

It’s Ready to Last for Decades!

That’s it on how to install EPDM roofing! If installed properly, the roofing should last for decades with minimal maintenance.

Remember, this covers the basics but be sure to follow the manufacturer’s specific installation instructions.

MacArthur Co. carries all of the best brands of EPDM roofing. As an employee-owned company, we excel at customer service and meeting the needs of our customers. Find a location near you today.

How to Run HVAC Flex Duct

Posted on June 11, 2021

Flexible material is easier to work with in tight spaces. However, if ran improperly, HVAC flex duct won’t do its job well. The client will end up with constricted airflow, higher energy bills, and higher moisture. This means your company will end up with unhappy customers and bad reviews.

How to Run HVAC Flex Duct Properly

There has been a lot of controversy over HVAC flex duct because of how often it is improperly installed. Too many installers aren’t following industry standards and therefore undermining energy efficiency goals. There has even been talk over whether flex duct should be banned. The consensus is that no, it definitely should not be banned, but quality control is of the utmost importance.

HVAC flex duct is an excellent product with many benefits to both end-customers and contractors. That’s why it’s imperative for contractors to properly train their installers.

The Air Duct Council released a Flexible Duct Performance & Installation Standards manual. The manual instructs how to run HVAC flex duct to maximize airflow and optimize energy efficiency.

Based on those ADC standards, we will point out the most common mistakes installers make. Hopefully, they will help you review your installation processes and improve your quality checks.

Most Common Mistakes When Running HVAC Flex Duct

When it comes to how to run HVAC Flex duct, it’s all about airflow. Every bend, pressure point, and point of friction affect airflow. And airflow, as we all know, affects energy efficiency. For optimal efficiency, installers must avoid the following mistakes.

Not Extending Flex Duct

When HVAC flex duct is scrunched up, it greatly affects the friction rate. The more scrunched up it is, the worse airflow will be. This is known as “longitudinal compression.” With only 15% longitudinal compression, the friction rate doubles! At 30%, it quadruples!

So, installers must ensure that the flex duct’s inner liner is pulled tight.

Too Sharp of a Bend Radius

Another common mistake is bends that are too sharp. But how sharp is too sharp? The ADC standards provides a helpful rule of thumb:

The bend radius should be no less than the diameter of the duct you are installing.

That means you should be able to fit the same size duct you are using in the bend. An easy way to test this is to take a short portion of the duct and hold it perpendicular inside the bend. If it fits easily, then you’re good to go. If the duct does not easily go around it, the bend is too sharp.

Saggy Ducts

The next most common mistake is sagging ducts. Sagging ducts combine the problems from the last two mistakes, causing friction and impeding airflow.

According to the ADC standards, HVAC flex ducts should sag no more than ½” per linear foot between supports. Since supports should be spaced no more than 4’ apart, there should be no more than a 2” sag. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended spacing, as 4’ is simply a standard maximum.

Cinched Too Tight

This may seem obvious, yet it is still one of the most common mistakes. Too many installers cinch the connectors too tight, literally cutting off airflow. This is especially problematic near a bend.

The connector should be just tight enough to where the HVAC flex duct doesn’t slide back and forth.

Improper Seals

The last most common mistake is bad seals between the inner liner and connector. The inner liner and connector should be sealed with mastic or tape. Then, the insulation and outer jacket should be pulled over the connection and sealed too.

The Best HVAC Flex Duct & Accessories

MacArthur Co. carries all of the top brands for HVAC ductwork. We can meet all of your HVAC duct needs, including flex duct, insulation, connections, accessories, and more. View our HVAC products and find a location near you.

Single Ply Roof Membrane Lifespan

Posted on June 4, 2021

A commercial building roofing system faces a lot of natural forces in it’s lifetime. When you factor in the extremes of temperature, precipitation, and other climate elements a single roofing system can withstand, it is impressive to learn the single ply roofing lifespan averages 10 to 20 years but can exceed 30 years. The lifespan depends on the material and other factors.

We’ll discuss the different lifespans of popular single ply roofing materials. Then, we’ll explain how to maximize the lifespan of your commercial roof.

Layered vs. Single Ply Roofing Membrane Lifespan

The lifespan of a multi-layer roof built up with waterproof material, hot tar, and gravel is 15 to 20 years. While the average lifespan for modified bitumen is longer, these types of layered roofs are heavy, and not the best choice for every building nor every climate.

Lightweight single-ply roofing, on the other hand, works in almost all commercial applications. And, depending on which single-ply material you use, it offers energy-saving benefits in different climates.

Single Ply Roofing Membrane Lifespan by Material

The following are the average lifespan of different single ply roofing materials. However, let it be known that a well-maintained roof with quality material can exceed these estimates.

TPO Roofing Lifespan: 10-20 years

EPDM Roofing Lifespan: 20-25 years

PVC Roofing Lifespan: 20-30 years

Don’t Just Look at Lifespans!

The lifespan of a material is undoubtedly a key feature to consider when selecting a roofing material. However, it’s not the only one. Another critical factor is how each type performs in different climates. This can greatly affect energy efficiency, which can save you significantly in the long run.

TPO Roofing: Typically white or light gray. Ideal for warmer climates.

EPDM Roofing: Typically black (available in lighter coating at a higher cost). Ideal for colder climates.

PVC Roofing: Available in any shade. Suitable for many climates. Highly resistant to chemicals making it ideal for restaurants.

How to Maximize Single Ply Roofing Membrane Lifespan

As with most construction elements, the lifespan of roofing material depends significantly on preparation, material quality, and maintenance.

The following is recommended to maximize the lifespan of your single ply roof membrane:

·        Professional roof survey: It’s important to understand the quality, condition, and structure of the existing roof. A roof survey will identify problems that need to be fixed to maximize the lifespan of your new roofing material.

·        Proper Calculations: Roof system design varies based on local factors, like wind and temperature, and individual building factors. There are calculations for wind lift, thermal load, number of mechanical fixing parts, and more. Falling short on these calculations could shorten your roof’s lifespan.

·        Quality Material: It’s true that you get what you pay for. The most expensive product isn’t necessarily the best, or the cheapest the worst. But you must consider value above the price. A quality material is far likelier to meet and exceed average lifespans.

·        Quality of Components: A roof system will last only as long as its weakest link. Low-quality components can nullify a quality single ply roofing membrane lifespan. That’s why it’s essential to use quality sealers, mechanical fixtures, etc., as applicable.

·        Professional Installation: A lot more goes into single-ply roofing installation than people think. People most often underestimate the prep work required and the extreme importance of proper seaming. It’s best to rely on professionals. Pros may make it look easy, but their training and experience will result in a longer lifespan.

·        Proper Maintenance: Properly maintaining the roof system is one of the best ways to ensure its longevity. It’s strongly advised to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for regular maintenance. Thankfully, it usually only requires minimal, infrequent attention. But that attention can go a long way in improving the lifespan.

Where to Buy Single Ply Roofing Membrane

MacArthur Co. is an employee-owned national building supplier. We offer the best single-ply roofing products on the market. Our most prominent manufacturers include Firestone, Verisco, Carlisle, GAF, Johns Manville, and Burke Industries.

Find a location near you or contact us today.


How to Get on a Steep Roof Safely

Posted on April 28, 2021

More than one-third of construction fatalities are fall-related. Of that third, nearly 25% are from falling off ladders and roofs. No matter an employee’s skill or experience, fall prevention should always be taken seriously.  Too many contractors and employees blame employee carelessness for falls, yet every fall could be prevented with proper gear and training.

Ladder Safety vs. Roof Safety

One of the biggest mistakes contractors and employees make is assuming the roof is the riskiest place for falls. However, nearly 20% of fatal falls are from ladders, compared to 4% from the roof. One main reason for the discrepancy is more safety measures are taken on the roof than on ladders.

Contractors often spend a lot of time training in roof safety and not enough time training in ladder safety. Employees use ladders in most cases to get on a roof, so it should be treated with the same respect.

Employers should always invest in quality ladders and ladder-safety gear, just as they do with roof gear.

OSHA provides resources for fall prevention to help create and implement a quality fall prevention plan.

How to Get on a Steep Roof

Steep roofs obviously pose an even greater risk than low-slope roofs. Any roof with a 4/12 pitch or more is considered a steep-slope roof. As most in the construction industry know, a 4/12 pitch means the roof rises 4 inches in height for every 12 inches of length.

As you’ll most likely use an extension ladder to get on a steep roof, here is an applicable OSHA Ladder Safety Sheet and main safety tips.

How to Get on a Steep Roof: Ladder Setup

·        Use a ladder that can sustain at least four times the maximum intended load

·        Visually inspect all ladders before use for any defects

·        Allow sufficient room to step off ladder safely at bottom and top (should extend at least 3’ past the roof surface)

·        Survey the area for potential hazards, including power lines

·        Set the ladder at the proper angle (bottom of the ladder should be ¼ of the ladder’s working length away from the wall)

·        Set the base of the ladder securely, so both side rails are evenly supported

·        Secure the ladders dogs or pawls before climbing

·        Secure the ladder at the top and create a barrier around the ladder in high-activity areas

How to Get on a Steep Roof: Safe Ladder Use

·        Maintain a 3-point contact with hands and feet

·        Face the ladder when climbing or descending

·        Keep body in between the side rails

·        Be extra careful when stepping on and off the ladder at both the top and bottom

·        Do not carry tools in your hands. Always use a tool belt or raise tools using a hand line

Don’t Underestimate the Risk

Also, keep in mind that different roofing materials may be slipperier than others. A metal roof, for instance, might be slicker than composite roofing. However, a steep roof always poses a high risk, regardless of the material. It is imperative to provide the proper safety equipment and training. Never underestimate the risk!

Steep Slope Roofing Material

For your next job, be sure to consider Macarthur Co. for all of your supply needs. We are an employee-owned company that provides the best building materials on the market. Our knowledgeable employees can assist with your steep slope roofing needs, from take-offs to rooftop delivery.

Find a MacArthur Co. Location Near You

Installing TPO Roofing

Posted on February 19, 2021

TPO roofing is quickly becoming the system of choice for commercial projects. It’s only single-ply yet provides huge energy savings. Even if you’re not familiar with the term, you’ve probably seen the material when driving by commercial buildings on the freeway. If you’ve seen bright white commercial roofs, you’ve seen TPO roofing.

What is TPO Roofing? 

TPO stands for Thermoplastic Polyolefin. It is a single-ply roofing membrane of synthetics and reinforcing scrim. It is used to cover flat and low-slope roofs, which are most common in the commercial sector.

Benefits of TPO Roofing:

·       Class A Fire-Rated

·       Drastically improves energy efficiency

o   Highly reflective

o   Highly heat & UV resistant

·       Can last up to 30 years

TPO Roofing vs EPDM Roofing

TPO roofing is one of the two main types of single-ply membrane roofing. The other main type is Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer, which is thankfully referred to as EPDM. They differ in four ways:

·       TPO is usually white; whereas EPDM is black

·       They have different chemical makeups

·       They offer different energy efficiencies

·       They are installed differently

Since TPO is reflective, it’s most commonly used in hotter regions. Since EPDM is black, it retains heat and is more common in colder regions.

How to Install TPO Roofing

If you’re worried about how to install TPO roofing, you don’t need to be. The TPO roofing system only consists of two layers: insulation and membrane. And, it only takes a few steps to install.

Step One: Prepare and Clean Substrate

Any existing roofing needs to either be cleaned or removed. You want a nice, clean surface before you begin installation

Step Two: Install Insulation

There are a few options when it comes to insulation for TPO roofing:

·       Polyisocyanurate (Polyiso): Though it is generally the most expensive option, it is the most popular due to it’s higher R-value rating.

·       Expanded Polystyrene (EPS): Offers the highest R-value per dollar and does not retain water over time.

·       Extruded Polystyrene (XPS): mid-range option between Polyiso and EPS in both price and performance with a semipermeable perm rating of 1.

All three options are installed in basically the same way: cut and place. They can usually easily be cut with a razor blade.

Optional Step: Install Roofing Cover Board

Though this step is not required, it is recommended, especially if the roof has a high amount of foot traffic.

Roofing cover boards are installed between the insulation and TPO membrane. Their main purpose is to act as a protection barrier, so the insulation underneath is not damaged by membrane adhesives or hot air welds. However, they offer many other benefits as well.

Benefits of Roofing Cover Boards:

·       Provide good substrate for membrane installation

·       Improves durability of roof system

·       More impact resistant

·       Helps limit external fire spread

·       Improves wind uplift resistance

·       Serves as another thermal and vapor barrier

Cover boards can save on demo, too. For re-roof applications, roofing cover boards can be installed right over an existing roof system.

Step Three: Install TPO Membrane

Before rolling out the TPO, you must decide how you are going to attach it to the insulation boards. Option One is to adhere it with an approved bonding agent. Option Two is to mechanically fasten it to the boards.

Once the membrane is rolled out and attached, it’s time to seal it. Using a hot-air gun, hot air weld the seams together, ensuring that you do not burn a hole through it or leave any unsealed gaps.

How to Install TPO Roofing Video

Here is a helpful video created by one of our TPO manufacturers, GAF. It’s a short yet informative video on How to Install TPO Roofing.

Best TPO Roofing Manufacturers

MacArthur Co. partners with industry-leading manufacturers of low slope and commercial roofing products. We not only offer our customers the best TPO brands, but also EPDM, PVC, and other types of single-ply membranes.

Request a Quote for TPO Roofing

Find a Location for TPO Roofing

HVAC Duct Sizing Rule of Thumb

Posted on January 15, 2021

The HVAC duct sizing rule of thumb will help ensure the home’s HVAC system keeps up with weather demands. The size of the HVAC unit alone doesn’t tell you how efficiently it will work, as several other factors play a role.

One important aspect is the size of the ductwork. If you are trying to determine which size is best, don’t worry - we’ve compiled some information to help.  

What Does HVAC Stand For & How Does it Work?

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. The air ducts are the part of the system that channels air through a structure.

Essentially, the HVAC unit fills the supply plenum with air that’s either heated or cooled, as specified by the thermostat. A plenum is an air-distribution box attached directly to the supply outlet of the HVAC equipment. When the fresh air enters a room, it pushes the stale air that’s already present into another set of ducts. The stale air travels through the ducts until it reaches the return plenum.

Why is HVAC Duct Sizing So Important?

The ducts have to be the correct size for the AC unit to work correctly. When ducts are too small, the HVAC unit must work harder to keep the home at the predetermined temperature. Alternatively, if the ducts are too large, it compromises the velocity of the air. This means you won’t have proper air flowing through the vents.

HVAC Duct Sizing Rule of Thumb

To calculate the duct size, you first need to know the size of the HVAC unit you need or have. You likely don’t know that off the top of your head. So, this is where the rule of thumb comes into play.

The rule of thumb is: you need one-ton of capacity for every 500 square feet of floor space. So, if you have a 2,000 square foot house, you need or likely have a 4-ton unit.

Calculating the HVAC Duct Size

Unfortunately, the HVAC duct sizing rule of thumb ends there. At this point, you need to use a rather complicated equation to calculate duct size.

There are a few other things you need to know to calculate the formula effectively. Here are all components:

1.    Determine the home’s square footage.

2.    What size AC unit is it? (calculated using HVAC duct sizing rule of thumb)

3.    Determine airflow velocity.

4.    Account for friction loss.

5.    The static pressure of the AC unit.

After you’ve collected this information, here’s what you do:

1.    Check the unit to determine how many BTUs are produced. You can usually find this information on the unit plate. Divide the number of BTUs by 10,000.

2.    Multiply the number from step #1 by the Cubic Feet per Minute airflow of the unit. Ordinarily, natural draft units produce 100 CFM, an induced unit produces 130 CFM, and condensing units produce 150 CFM.

3.    Divide the number from step #2 by 10. This answer will provide you with the airflow permitted by the home’s HVAC unit.

4.    Now you’ll want to calculate the duct size. Do so by multiplying the length and the width. For example, if the home’s vents measure 4 by 8 inches, the total CFM is 4x8=32.

5.    Take the CFM per vent and divide it by the total amount of CFM for the unit.

6.    Next, calculate the square footage of each room in the home. This number is found by multiplying the room’s length by the width.

7.    The last step is to divide the number of vents by each room’s total square footage.

This calculation can be confusing if you’ve never manually calculated it before. If you’re unsure, you can find duct sizing calculators online that will figure the formula for you, as long as you have all the required information.Or, of course, there are also professional tools and calculators to give a proper estimate.

HVAC Products

MacArthur Co offers a wide array of HVAC products, including sheet and coil stock, ductliner, and all the necessary accessories for making HVAC ductwork. We partner with industry-leading manufacturers to bring you the best products on the market.

Find the nearest MacArthur Co. location or visit our online customer center.

How Will the New 2020 EPA Freon Guidelines Affect Your Business?

Posted on December 8, 2020

As an HVAC contractor, it’s crucial to stay up to date with any new regulations or guidelines being put out by agencies like the EPA. Because new information is continually being researched and analyzed, updated regulations are to be expected on a somewhat regular basis. Therefore, to make sure that your business stays compliant, you need to be checking for updates regularly. In 2020 the EPA provided new guidelines that affects anyone servicing HVAC systems.

While there has been a slow progression of phasing out HCFCs (hydrochlorofluorocarbons) since 2010, as of January 1, 2020 production and import of R22 refrigerant (also known by its brand name, Freon) is considered illegal in the United States. This is because it is considered an ozone-depleting substance (ODS). Research has shown Ozone depleting substances are responsible for destroying the ozone layer and creating an “ozone hole” over the South Pole. For more specific information, you can check EPA’s brochure on Phasing out HCFC Refrigerants to Protect the Ozone Layer.

HVAC units that were produced after 2010 shouldn’t be using R22 due to the limitations placed on production. These newer units likely use a more environmentally friendly refrigerant called R410A. However, any units that were made before 2010 will most likely use Freon. While it’s illegal to produce R22, it’s still legal to use units that use it and it’s likely that many of the units that you service still use Freon. But how does this directly affect your business?

Because of this ban on the production and import of R22, if you are servicing a system that relies on it, the only availability will be from recycled or stockpiled quantities. Due to supply and demand, it’s likely that R22 will continue to go up in price until it can no longer be found. Unfortunately, no one likes having to spend more than expected and you will have to explain this to clients when you are servicing older units that use R22.

The only other alternative will be to opt to invest in installing a new system which will likely cost them even more. The good side to this is that a newer system will likely be more efficient, and they will never have to have an R22 unit serviced again which may save them money in the long run as R22 supplies will continue to be more limited. This is a choice you’ll want to discuss with clients as their units that need R22 need service.

Summary of what you need to know:

●       Production or import of R22 is now illegal in the United States
●       The only way to source R22 will be through recovered, recycled, or reclaimed supplies
●       Use and service of units that use R22 is still legal
●       The price of R22 supplies will likely continue to rise due as it becomes more limited
●       The phase out of R22 units should be mentioned to clients so they’re prepared to make informed decisions when it comes time to fix or replace a unit

Importance of Water & Ice Protection

Posted on October 23, 2020

As we watch the leaves change color and begin to drop to the ground, we are reminded that the winter months are ahead of us. In the same way we bundle ourselves up, our homes and businesses must also be properly bundled up with water and ice protection.

Let’s take this opportunity to look at just a few reasons roofing underlayment are an integral part of a roofing system.

What is Roofing Underlayment?

Roofing underlayment are materials installed onto your roof’s deck that form a waterproof barrier. The underlayment acts as a base layer to your roof, as it’s placed under all other roofing materials. Its greatest benefit is that it provides protection from harsh weather for your home or business.

There are three main types of roofing underlayment:
●      Rubberized asphalt
●      Felt that’s saturated with asphalt
●      Synthetic

Roofing underlayment features a split release film that creates a watertight seal around penetrations caused by nails when the shingles are laid.

Why You Need Water & Ice Protection

Even the smallest leak or buildup of moisture can cause significant damage. Moisture can cause mold and mildew, especially in attics where the temperature often fluctuates. Moisture can also affect the structural integrity of a building, with warping, rusting, rotting, and more. Suffice to say, blocking moisture is essential to not only the occupants’ health, but the health of the structure.

Wind-Driven Rains

Water and ice protection is very important to protect your home from wind-driven rains. This is especially important for homes located in areas prone to hurricanes, tropical storms, or severe thunderstorms. The wind generated by such strong storms can cause rain to land under the shingles. When water and ice protective membranes are installed, it reduces the risk of this type of rain leaving you with a leaking roof.

It’s important to note that many national insurance programs don’t cover wind-driven rain when it comes to repairs. So, even though you have homeowner’s insurance, you may still be responsible for damages occurring from this type of water damage.

Ice Dams

While hurricanes are a problem in the southern United States, ice dams are an equal concern in the northern regions that experience cold winters. Ice dams form following continuous freezing and melting of snow. This can be caused by the heat escaping your home or from gutters backing up once they’re full of frozen slush.

Essentially, the melted water flows beneath the snow and eventually freezes after it settles around unheated areas, such as eaves and soffits. This process causes damage because water is forced under the shingles and makes way into the attic. Thus, causing interior damages.

Aging Roof

Shingles and other roofing provide some protection for your home’s interior, mainly deflecting the sun, blocking wind, and protecting against falling branches and such. While shingles help redirect water and certainly limit exposure to water, they can’t keep water and moisture entirely out.

As your roof ages, the shingles can become brittle after exposure to the sun and other weather patterns. So, when your shingles begin to fail, your underlayment is the last barrier that can prevent damages until you get a new roof installed.


In the end, water and ice barriers resist cracking, drying, and rotting, which provides long-term waterproofing performance. Hence, it has a low lifecycle cost. So, next time you are having a new roof installed, be sure to opt-in for quality roofing underlayment to give you the water and ice protection your home or building needs!


7 Pros & Cons of Composite Decking

Posted on July 28, 2020

Wood has always been the go-to decking material, but composite decking is now giving wood a run for its money. Wood decks require a lot of maintenance, and some types of popular wood decking are not widely available. Composite decking, on the other hand, requires minimal maintenance and fits a range of budgets. Just as wood decking, there are pros and cons of composite decking, which we will explore in this article.

Pros of Composite Decking

1. It offers some of the best durability

Unlike wood, composite decking does not need to be treated, painted, or stained. You’ll quickly find that if you don’t properly care for wood decking, it will fade, crack, weather, and split after it dries out over time.

As you can see, if you don’t put forth the effort to care for a wood deck, it will not look its best and even become a safety hazard. Alternatively, composite decks maintain a beautiful and consistent appearance for years to come. The only thing you need to do is occasional mild cleaning.

2. It comes in many colors and is non-slip

Composite decking is available in many colors and textures. You can even combine different colors to create multi-colored decks. If you like dramatic looks, consider combining dark and light tones. You will find most come in various shades of Earth tones such as gray, tan, and brown.

The other great thing is that if you live in a climate where you get a lot of rain or snow, composite decking can come with a non-slip texture. This is also perfect for those installing it near swimming pools or even in humid locations.

3. It’s impermeable to water

The manufacturing process used to make this decking helps the boards become impermeable to water. This feature also helps the material fight off mildew and mold better than real wood. Of course, there are still rules you should follow when installing it, but it’s easy to clean when mildew or mold does appear.

4. It can be installed using hidden fasteners

Wooden decks are put together using screws or nails that can create places of weaknesses on the boards. Not only will they require repairs at some point, but they can also be an eyesore if they’re not spaced properly. When you choose composite decking, it can be installed using hidden fasteners. It not only reduces the risk of weak places, but it also makes for a cleaner look.

Cons of Composite Decking

1. It is more expensive

Most people consider price the biggest con when it comes to composite decking. It can cost as much as 50% to 100% more than treated lumber. However, this number will vary depending on your location and what kind of wood you’re comparing it to. It’s also worth factoring in cost savings from not having to do regular, extensive maintenance.

2. The boards can get hot

If you live in a warmer climate, you may notice that the boards get hot. While you can choose a lighter color to help with this a little, it will still absorb at least some heat.

3. The color you choose is permanent

Composite decking features permanent colors to reduce maintenance. It is not designed to be painted or stained. It is possible to stain or paint a composite deck, but it requires a careful, labor intensive process.

The Best Manufacturers of Composite Decking

If you decide composite decking is right for you, here are a few of the best brands you can buy:

●     Trex
●     The AZEK Company
●     TimberTech
●     Green Bay Decking

In the end, composite decking is a great alternative to pressure-treated lumber. Not only is it aesthetically appealing, but it will last for many years to come! Best of all, it requires minimal maintenance so you can sit back and enjoy the outdoors.

Macarthur Co. is an employee-owned company that values quality products and services. For more construction tips and news, visit

How to Spot Hail Damage on Your Roof

Posted on July 10, 2020

Each year in the US, hail causes significant damage and accounts for billions of dollars of insurance claims. When hail strikes, it not only damages your car and other personal property, but it takes a toll on your home as well - specifically your roof. Though these types of storms can be destructive, the amounts of damage vary greatly.

The following information will help you distinguish between hail damage and storm damage, discuss the signs of hail damage to your roof, and when you should call a contractor for repairs.

Hail vs. Storm Damage

Storm damage can come in many forms but is most commonly caused by wind and hail. When you have wind damage, you are likely to notice that shingles on your roof are missing or torn.

On the other hand, hail can leave behind damage that’s harder to see with an untrained eye. This is especially true when smaller sized pieces cause the roof damage and there are no visible leaks. Yet, as with anything else, there are tell-tell signs to look for.

How to Spot Hail Damage on Your Roof

The roof damage you incur after a hailstorm will depend on what type of shingles you have. This is because hail damage will look different on composition and asphalt shingles than it looks on wood shingles. So, it’s important to know the differences in damages to each shingle type so you can properly tell if you actually have hail damage on your roof.

Here’s a breakdown of these damages:

Composition and Asphalt Shingle Hail Damage

●      Damage that’s random and has no noticeable pattern
●      Black marks from where the hail hit (known as a ‘scar’)
●      The loss of granules which may expose the shingle mat portion of the shingle
●      Mat and/or asphalt that seems shiny
●      Places where hail hit that are soft to touch, such as a bruise on an apple

Wood Shingle Hail Damage

●      Damage that’s random and has no noticeable pattern
●      Splits in shingles that have an orange/brown appearance
●      Splits in shingles that have sharp edges or corners
●      Splits in shingles that have little or no deterioration near the edges
●      Dents or other impact marks along the splits

Other Areas To Check

●      Gutters - Check for dents and dings on both downspouts and gutters. Another sign to watch for is gutters that are overflowing or clogged.
●      Siding and Decks - Hail will also cause damage to other areas of your home. So, if you’re wary about checking your own roof you can check siding and decks for damage. 

When to Call a Contractor for Hail Damage

After a storm strikes, the first thing you should do is inspect your home. If you find any of the damages we discussed above, it’s a great idea to call a local licensed contractor. The truth is, hail damage gets worse over time. So, while the signs may not be obvious right away, the damage to your roof will continue to worsen, and eventually, it will begin to leak.

Always remember it’s better to make hail damage repairs as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more money it will cost you in the long run!

MacArthur Co. is an employee-owned company that offers more construction tips and news on our news page.

Preparing Your Jobsite for Severe Weather

Posted on June 19, 2020

Severe weather poses a risk to employee safety, as well as potentially disrupting or destroying construction progress. Although we cannot control the weather or predict it correctly every time, we can have a contingency plan in place. If a jobsite location is prone to severe weather, you must evaluate the site-specific risks and create an action plan accordingly.


Types of Severe Weather and its Effects

Many forms of severe weather can affect the project and even be dangerous for the workers on the jobsite. Machinery on the jobsite can be damaged when snow or ice gets inside the heavy equipment and block the air flow, which leads to the freezing of the components. Freezing weather also affects diesel engines as the oil moves slower due to cold, and this increases the load on the machine. Winterizing the equipment is necessary to continue the work in the extreme cold.

Flooding, hurricanes and high winds are other forms of severe weather which can hit unexpectedly and can topple walls and equipment. You need to be prepared to relocate your heavy equipment quickly. Although extremely hot weather might not have much impact on the machinery or the different structures, it can pose a serious risk to workers. Heat illness and decreased productivity are common among those working in extreme heat, especially if they are also working with heavy equipment that puts off its own heat.

Checklist for preparing against severe weather

·        Emergency supplies like braces, tie-downs, bottled water, flashlights, and first aid kits need to be fully stocked on the jobsite. Having a pump and other water/debris removal equipment at the site can be handy in case of floods. An emergency power generator system is also essential to avoid major delays in projects.

·        Have an action plan in place, and review it with your employees at the beginning of every project. You should also revisit the plan at the beginning of every season to cover the main risks they might face in the coming months.

·        Consider taking pictures of your jobsite at the end of each day, especially if bad weather is in the forecast. These photos can be used as proof of work completion to submit in an insurance investigation in case of damage.

·        Store project documents in a safe or sealed container that cannot be easily damaged by fire, water, or extreme conditions.

·        Prepare for quick relocation of expensive heavy equipment in areas prone to frequent hurricanes and severe weather.

·        Designate a “safe house” or “safe area” on the jobsite for the workers in case of lightning storms, hurricanes, etc. As soon as workers hear thunder or notice heavy winds, they should stop all activities, remove all metal objects that are on them, and seek shelter in this area.

·        After the storm, make sure designated employees assess damages, clean up the site, and determines if it is safe to resume the construction.

A storm preparedness plan can go a long way in mitigating the risks to employees and the project. Knowing what to do ahead of time can mean the difference between destruction and minor damage. Employees need to know what to do before they are under pressure to act. Preparing your jobsite for severe weather should be taken seriously.

MacArthur Co. provides quality building products to contractors, suppliers, and more. Established in 1913, we are an employee-owned company that prides ourselves on quality service that matches our quality products. With over 50 locations across the U.S., find a branch near you.

11 Safe Practices to Prevent Distracted Driving in Construction

Posted on April 8, 2020

Distracted driving is dangerous under any circumstance. But distracted drivers in the construction industry pose an even greater risk because they are usually driving trucks, towing trailers, and hauling heavy loads. Construction businesses are trying to do their part to keep roadways safe by implementing distracted driving policies.

In this article, we will discuss the driving safety practices that the construction industry is working to enforce on an individual employee basis.

What Counts as Distracted Driving?

Many mistakenly think distracted driving is using a cell phone while driving, but that is not the case. Using a cell phone is a distraction, but only one of many. Drivers need to understand there are visual, manual, and cognitive distractions.

·        Visual Distractions cause you to take your eyes off the road.

·        Manual Distractions cause you to take your hands off the wheel.

·        Cognitive Distractions cause you to take your mind off driving.

The most common visual, manual, and cognitive driving distractions are:

·        Texting

·        Talking on a cell phone, even while using a hands-free device

·        Using cell phone features, such as inputting GPS coordinates, checking email, etc.

·        Adjusting dashboard controls, such as audio and climate controls

·        Adjusting vehicle components, such as mirrors, seats, lighting, etc.

·        Eating, drinking, and smoking

·        Reaching for an item inside the vehicle

·        Passengers

·        Rubbernecking

·        Daydreaming or emotional distress

Texting is a triple threat, as it requires you to take your eyes, hands, and mind off the road. Talking on a cell phone is almost as dangerous as texting, even if using a hands-free device. According to NHTSA Traffic Safety Facts, texting and talking on the phone while driving accounts for 14% of all distracted driving fatalities.

How to Prevent Distracted Driving Disasters

The National Safety Council originally deemed April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to promote the national #JustDrive campaign. In light of the coronavirus epidemic, NSC is postponing Distracted Driving Awareness Month to a to-be-announced date later in the year. However, the following safety tips should be practiced every day.

11 Safety tips to prevent distracted driving:

1. Remember your safety and the safety of others is most important. Remind yourself that It Can Wait until you are parked.

2. Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb While Driving” setting before you start driving.

3. Adjust your seat, the radio, and other components before you start driving.

4. Input GPS coordinates and review the route before you start driving.

5. Refrain from eating, drinking, or smoking while driving.

6. If stressed or upset, pull over to compose yourself before getting back on the road.

7. Never listen to music through headphones or earbuds while driving. Keep audio volume to a minimum.

8. Stay aware of your tools, trailer, and load at all times. Wrap a piece of tape around your steering wheel, or place another subtle reminder to check your load.

9. Never text or talk on the phone while driving. Remember, they are the most dangerous driving distractions even with hands-free devices.

10. Ask passengers to comply with your rules and company’s distracted driving policy. Ask them to buckle up, not distract you, and help you do any tasks that would otherwise distract you, such as navigating and adjusting dashboard controls.

11. Take the Just Drive Pledge.


From our work family to yours, MacArthur Co. wishes you safe travels!

COVID-19 Resources for Roofing Contractors

Posted on March 20, 2020

Running a business is tricky on its own, and now we're all facing new challenges as we try to navigate through the pandemic. NRCA has provided a wealth of resources to help you through these uncharted waters. You can find them at

Construction Job Site Safety Tips

Posted on March 16, 2020

Thank you to for putting together this list - 6 Construction Job Site Safety Tips. 

Job Site Safety Tips

  1. Plan ahead to make sure all the appropriate equipment, tools, and safety gear is available and staged prior to starting the day. For example, proper planning and staging will ensure employees have the 8’ ladder they need instead of trying to make do with a 6’ ladder by standing on the top step!
  2. Provide training for any equipment that will be used for both new and current employees. Don’t assume new employees who may have “years of experience” can operate equipment safely. You cannot be certain as to the level of training (if any!) they received from a previous employer. As for current employees, it is never a bad idea to review procedures on how to operate equipment safely.
  3. Promote and enforce good housekeeping practices. The saying, “A clean workplace is a safe workplace,” is not too far from the truth. A housekeeping issue is often a contributing cause of a job site accident, such as a trip and fall.
  4. Enforce and reinforce safety – but there needs to be balance. Top management and foremen need to enforce the rules when they observe or become aware of an unsafe act or condition. At the same time, they need to reinforce positive behaviors. When you see the crew taking the time to work safely, you should take the time to recognize their effort!
  5. Empower employees to be part of the safety program by encouraging them to report safety concerns to foremen, supervisors or upper management. If a hazard or concern is reported, management must act on it – don’t ignore it! If you ignore it or blow it off, you will kill your safety program. Take advantage of the time during new employee orientations, formal safety meetings, or tool box talks to remind employees that they should say something if they see something. Many accidents can be avoided if someone just speaks up.
  6. Do not become complacent. Job sites present new safety challenges every day. Both management and employees need to maintain constant vigilance of their surroundings.

Visit their website for the full article.

7 Common Workplace Safety Hazards

Posted on March 11, 2020

Worker safety on the job site is always a priority, but sometimes it is hard to know what that looks like. The National Safety Council has compiled a list of 7 common workplace safety hazards they encounter when conducting safety audits. What kind of hazards do they see?  Working at heights, chemicals, housekeeping, electrical, forklifts, lockout/tagout, and confined spaces. Because safety is everyone’s job, here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Height – have employees been provided with fall protection equipment and training on how to properly use it?
  • Housekeeping – is there clutter blocking exits or spills left for others to clean up?
  • Electrical – are extension cords used appropriately?

Go to the site below for the full article.

National Burn Awareness Week

Posted on February 5, 2020

When working outside, Mother Nature can wreak havoc on our bodies. This week is Burn Awareness Week, so please take a moment and review these tips: Look closely at local forecasts; put on several layers of loose clothing; wear hats that completely cover the ears, warm boots, & mittens; drink plenty of warm fluids but avoid alcohol and caffeine; take frequent breaks indoors from the cold, especially when the temp nears or dips below -5. Click the link below for more tips and info.

Metal Roof Edges

Posted on August 6, 2019

From our Partners at Carlisle Construction Materials

Importance of Metal Roof Edges and their design, testing, and performance

·         Metal Edging not only provides a sleek look but is critical to protecting the entire roof system

·         Roof edge failure possibilities: Fasteners are uneven, the metal thickness is too light, and inside corners have no miters.

·         The cost of perimeter edge metal is typically only 1% of the total building cost

·         It carries the most risk for roof failure

·         Solutions: ES-1 test standard developed by Single Ply Roofing Industry (SPRI) and ANSI

·         Consideration of design are building height, location, local wind speed data, building occupancy factor, and special terrain characteristics,

·         Several wind calculators can be found online at sites such as

·         ANSI/SPRI ES-1 standard will help protect the complete roofing system



Recycled Insulation with Johns Manville

Posted on July 29, 2019

Recycled or reused material is being more of a standard in the world today. Johns Manville is following that and is finding new ways to use recycled material in their insulation. To learn more about how they are using recycled material follow this link ( ). If you are interested in getting Johns Manville for your job, contact your local MacArthur Co. branch.

Investing in Your Home's Exterior

Posted on June 11, 2019

Your home is your number one asset. Why wouldn’t you want to upgrade the two most important aspects of it, your roofing and siding? Look at this article from DaVinci Roofscapes to see how upgrading your exterior will not only add curb appeal but can also save you money down the road.  Check out the MacArthur Co. products page to find your upgrade.
#siding #exterior #roofing #DaVinciRoofscapes

Shingle Installation Mistakes That Cause Major Problems

Posted on June 6, 2019

Are you installing a new roof on your home?  Check out this article from Atlas Roofing to avoid some of the most common installation mistakes:

Instabid Software

Posted on March 7, 2019

Looking for ways to save time? Check out this new tool from CertainTeed Roofing, which helps contractors save money and improve efficiency. We've had numerous contractors utilize this tool and they say they can't imagine business without it anymore. 

Every MacArthur Company location strives to meet the unique needs of their customers.