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How the IWS Liquid Membrane Can Provide a Cost Saving Solution with Reduced Labor

Updated: Sep 26, 2019

Construction contracting companies are finding it very difficult to staff their jobs and retain trades workers. The Associated General Contractors of America recently released a survey revealing that nearly 80% of construction businesses are having trouble finding qualified skilled labor. While there has been steady growth in the building industry, this growth could be even faster if there were enough qualified candidates to fill open positions.

When the most recent recession hit, many skilled workers were unable to find jobs and left the industry, many have never returned. Also, many workers of younger generations are no longer considering construction as a career. With many High schools phasing out shop classes and parents increasingly steering young adults toward white-collar careers, there simply isn’t anyone to take the place of retiring trades workers.

The Roofing and Waterproofing trade is no exception to the latest trends. To compound the situation, according to the United States Department of Labor Statistics employment of roofers is projected to grow 11% from 2016 to 2026, faster than the average for all occupations. Replacement and repair of roofs, as well as the installation of new roofs, will create a greater demand for roofers. Due to the Labor Shortages in Roofing and Waterproofing contractors must find materials and application practices that meet the reality of reduced labor. One of the answers to these problems lies in implementing the latest technology, materials and processes.

IWS liquid rubber roofing membranes are redefining how roofing membranes are applied. This unique blend of modified rubber and emulsified asphalt provides a superior waterproofing membrane, while remaining flexible and maintaining tenacious adhesion to nearly any type of construction substrate. Spray applied, the membrane can be installed at an incredible rate of 10,000 square feet per day with a crew of only 2-5. That puts typical sheet membrane products such as PVC, TPO, and EPDM to shame where crews of 12-14 people are putting out about 2,000-3,000 sq. ft per day.

In many cases this system can eliminate the need for complete tear-off and roof removal. The average cost of roof removal is 30% to 40% of roofing system cost with traditional methods. In some cases, roof removal cannot be completed during normal production times adding premium costs for off shift labor (Nights and Weekends). In occupied areas of production facilities – interior protection (IP) is required which alone is $3 to $5 per sq. ft. this can total 50% of the project cost for full roof replacement, meaning up to 50% of the total project cost is being spent on waste that ends up in a landfill.


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