Editor's note: The following is the transcript of a live interview with Sara Jones from ICP Group. You can read the interview below or listen to the podcast.
Megan Ellsworth: Hello everyone, my name is Megan Ellsworth.
Lauren White: And I'm Lauren White.
Megan Ellsworth: This is the AskARoofer Podcast, we are back again. I'm really excited to be chatting with Sara Jonas today. Hi Sara.
Sara Jonas: Hey guys, how are you?
Megan Ellsworth: Doing good. We have lots of exciting things to chat with you about and let's just dive right in and have you introduce yourself.
Sara Jonas: Great. Well, like you said my name is Sara Jonas and I'm the vice president of marketing for ICP Group. Now ICP has all kinds of different brands, but I think today we're here to talk about the APOC brand which is where our roof coatings and roof maintenance products, among other things lie. All things roofing, well for the most part. Always some acceptance. Let's say roofing and water roofing, so that's the brand.
Megan Ellsworth: Awesome.
Sara Jonas: Yeah. Sorry, I got kind of mixed up. ICP has a lot to offer so I had to switch my mind frame to go okay, wait, we're talking about APOC right now. Okay.
Megan Ellsworth: Yes, we love that.
Sara Jonas: Yeah. Well I do too, it makes for interesting days for sure.
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, I bet.
Sara Jonas: One day we're talking driveway sealers and the next day we're talking panes and then we're over talking foam and insulation and today we get to talk roofing.
Lauren White: You guys have it all going on.
Sara Jonas: We really do, we do have a lot in the portfolio for sure.
Lauren White: That's awesome. Well, speaking of APOC we recently with the coffee shops launched CoatingsCoffeeShop in partnership with APOC. So can you tell us what it was like finally putting it out there into the world? It's live, so you can go check it out. So tell us more about that?
Sara Jonas: Yeah. We're very excited about CoatingsCoffeeShop, this came from an idea and a conversation maybe a little over a year ago. Where we were obviously participating in RoofersCoffeeShop and then we were seeing the success and the involvement particularly from the industry in MetalCoffeeShop and we were like, "Why don't we have a CoatingsCoffeeShop? We really should do this." So it actually came together very, very quickly. Super impressed with the team in building this because it went very fast, at least from where I'm sitting. So it came together, we recently launched it at FRSA and there's been a lot of really great feedback, a lot of excitement. We had an opportunity to talk about it at the recent RCMA meeting in Cleveland and again lots of excitement there, lots of opportunity. I think a lot of things going on in the coatings industry that we'll be able to hone in on and focus on on CoatingsCoffeeShop that you don't always get the granularity of those details when you talk just roofing in general because it's such a massive space.
So we're very excited about it, we've been sharing a lot with our stakeholders and look forward to see it grow so that it can be a real resource to contractors either involved in coatings today or looking to get involved in the future.
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, that's great. I'm really excited to talk about all the things that coatings can do for homeowners. So what can a home or building owner get out of CoatingsCoffeeShop? What can they find there?
Sara Jonas: Yeah. Well CoatingsCoffeeShop is really directed to the contractor, right? So it would be a good place to get in touch with a contractor.
Megan Ellsworth: Exactly.
Sara Jonas: But you can see some of the benefits of coatings, which I would say probably the biggest one for a homeowner and in this case we're talking primarily low slope roofing. So think of areas... Not that it's limited to this. But think of areas for a homeowner out in Arizona or maybe it's a multi-home family where you've got a low slope roof and you're looking for energy efficiency. So for us, like I said out in the Southwest that's where we reach more of the homeowners because you see more of that type of construction and it's really hot. So energy efficiency and just comfort of the home are kind of the biggest components. But there's also a spot for... Again, for the building owners it would be the same thing for the energy efficiency. But there's also a lot that can be done with roof coatings in terms of restoration. So when we look at the lifespan of a roof, you will absolutely be required to maintain your roof.
Over time roof maintenance is really, really important and a building owner or a homeowner should be inspecting or having a contractor inspect their roof at least quarterly. To go up there and just make sure that there are no spots where you could potentially have a leak or where you unfortunately already have a leak. Or areas where you have ponding water issues or just I guess improper drainage, all those types of issues and those can be repaired and the whole roof when it gets to a certain point can be restored. So it extends the life of the roof, coatings also protect the membranes that are underneath it. So again, it gives you more longevity for the life of that roof preventing a full tear off and all those materials going in the landfill sooner than maybe they need to. So a lot of different advantages in terms of coatings and restorations and that's one of the components or facets to CoatingsCoffeeShop because you can see all those different benefits and learn about it.
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah.
Lauren White: Okay. So can we dive more into the energy efficiency, because that's such a big topic for home and building owners and just people in general anymore and APOC we were just talking about that. How APOC and coatings offer ways to cut down on energy costs through these reflective coatings that kind of help cool the house and improve the energy efficiency of the house. Can you dive into that a little bit more?
Sara Jonas: Yeah. I mean from a scientific standpoint I'm sure you could get a lot more detail but it's really pretty simple. If you go step on an asphalt road and it's this hot sunny day, it's going to be hot. Right? It's going to feel hot on your feet because that black surface is absorbing the heat from the sun. Right? If you coat that road with a white coating, it's actually going to reflect that. So the surface temperature is going to be much cooler than it would be if it were blacktop. Now, put that on a roof and that's literally what it means. Well there are obviously a lot of advantage just to your average monthly energy bill, there are a lot of studies out there. I think there's one that we've cited from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, that'll say kind of the average savings is about 20% of your annual cooling costs in those types of climates.
Lauren White: Oh, wow.
Sara Jonas: So now that's an average, but that's what they're touting so a lot of benefits there. When you get into the commercial space and you're a building owner, there are some tax advantages as well. So even the new Inflation Reduction Act, and I'm not an accountant here. But even in that new act, I believe it's 179D that you're going to want to look at for the details. But there are some increased benefits to the owners for all kinds of different energy efficient practices, but reflective roofing or cool roofing is one of those components. So there are a lot of advantages, all cost reduction related or some a little bit more sustainability wise when we talk about again extending the life of the roof so that you don't have to tear it off too soon. Right? But yeah, I mean the reflective pieces it's pretty simple to explain because it's something that we see every day if you live anywhere that gets sun.
Lauren White: It makes sense.
Megan Ellsworth: Which is a lot of places.
Sara Jonas: It's a lot of places. Yes, it's a lot of places.
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah. You were mentioning Arizona and how you have a lot of people that use APOC coatings in the Southwest. No wonder because A, they get so much sun and so much heat. But a lot of those adobe-style houses have flat roofs where the coatings can really come in handy, especially when you're trying to restore and not just completely tear off and replace. So that's something that a homeowner and a building owner should really be looking at is trying to restore. How does APOC... You guys have a roof restoration system for people? What does that system look like?
Sara Jonas: Well, it really depends.
Megan Ellsworth: Okay.
Sara Jonas: So the system would be based on the state of the roof, right? So it's almost like a consultative or prescriptive program, but we have all kinds of... Yeah. So I mean, it just depends on what that roof needs and depending on the substrate that's currently sitting on that roof. Depending on the state of the roof, depending on are there a bunch of fasteners in this roof? Or how many penetrations do you have? What does it look like? What was done in the past that would all determine what's needed for the restoration and in this instance, for sure... Really for all of these instances. A homeowner and building owner needs to be working with a contractor who is... In our opinion, it should be a certified applicator. Somebody who's gone through the training program, somebody who really knows how to walk the roof and look for all those problem areas. But also who can say, "This roof is a good candidate for restoration." Or, "This roof is not a good candidate for restoration."
Because there are instances where it should not be restored or parts of it should not be restored, it needs to be replaced and a good contractor will be able to walk you through that. Training is a really, really important part of this industry, so if I'm a homeowner or a building owner that's a question that I'm going to be asking and then we of course have people on our team. Johnny Walker is a name that comes up very often, where Johnny is available to help those contractors in some sticky situations which happens more often than not. Where another expert opinion I guess might be needed or warranted and we can go up on the roof or send one of our technical sales team members up on a roof to figure out is this a good candidate or what would be required for the restoration? So to answer your original question, it completely varies on the roof. But we have all kinds of products available for those restorations and then we'll also walk away when it's not a good fit.
Megan Ellsworth: That's awesome. That's what I love to see in a really great company is... That's how you can tell they're a great company is if they say, "Hey. This is actually maybe not a great fit for what you need and I'm going to refer you to someone that can do a better job." Or whatever, and for all you home and building owners out there listening. You can find all the products that Sara is talking about for restoration on CoatingsCoffeeShop and then you can also find a contractor that is certified and has great reviews on AskARoofer. So there you go.
Sara Jonas: Yeah, [inaudible].
Lauren White: So some of the other offerings that you provide is driveway seals under your Black Jack® brand name. Can you tell us more about what that is and how they work for commercial parking lots and driveways?
Sara Jonas: Yeah, sure. Yeah. Our Black Jack®, Drive-Maxx™ driveway sealers are available kind of all over the place, so I don't want to list out anybody in particular. But really you can find them all over the country and they are products that a homeowner can use to install or apply on their driveway. If they have an asphalt driveway oftentimes those will start to discolor, they'll start to crack, they'll start to kind of dry out and to protect that asphalt and keep it from getting further damage and then really some of it is just curb appeal. Just a lot of people really like a very sharp, crisp, black driveway. Then you can get these products and you coat your driveway with them and it's really pretty easy to apply with a squeegee. We have a variety of different grades with some different performance criteria or characteristics rather, and they can be used in commercial too like you said. But yeah, I mentioned we have quite a breadth of products and these are some of the products that we have out there available as well.
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, that's really cool. I did not even know that, that was a thing until we were writing the questions. Yeah.
Sara Jonas: Yeah, isn't that funny? So it's really funny, where I'm at I'm in Northeast Ohio and in my neighborhood I don't have any asphalt driveways. So when ICP first acquired Gardner-Gibson® which is where that brand came over from, we were doing some research and I'm like, "There are no asphalt driveways around here." And then I started actually paying attention. They're literally all over where I'm at, it's just not at my particular house. But I will say we ended up applying some at our office not too far from here in the driveway and just kind of playing around with the product and they're just super easy to apply, and for people who do have asphalt driveways this is a really common application. This is something that people do a lot sometimes annually, you don't have to do it annually. But I think like I said there's a curb appeal piece to it too where people just really like that just coated driveway look. So yeah, it's a thing.
Megan Ellsworth: I love that.
Sara Jonas: Yes, this is what I'm told.
Megan Ellsworth: That's funny because I feel like when I started working in the roofing industry, all of a sudden I started noticing roofs and now I'm going to start noticing asphalt driveways.
Sara Jonas: Right? Oh, yeah. I remember I would be on a flight and you're coming into whatever city and all you're doing is looking at the rooftops going, "Okay, that's that. That's that." It's so funny, yeah.
Lauren White: Who has solar, yeah.
Sara Jonas: That's right, yeah. You're going to notice the asphalt driveways now and you will absolutely be able to tell the difference between those that were maintained. Where the cracks are filled and they were coated recently and the ones that are not and there are big chunks of the driveway missing and it's completely discolored. It's starting to look more like a rock driveway than an asphalt driveway. So-
Lauren White: Yeah, and one of those is my driveway.
Sara Jonas: There you go. But yeah, that's another area of our business. It's pretty cool.
Megan Ellsworth: That's pretty cool.
Lauren White: It is very cool.
Megan Ellsworth: Yeah, wow.
Sara Jonas: Yeah.
Megan Ellsworth: It's also interesting to note that when you become a homeowner, or even if you're just renting or if you own a building. It's just another layer of things that you're signing up for, so it's nice to know that APOC has your back and has a product for that.
Sara Jonas: Absolutely, yes.
Megan Ellsworth: So besides CoatingsCoffeeShop and AskARoofer where should home and building owners go now that they're interested in coatings or asphalt driveway sealers?
Sara Jonas: Well, I mean apoc.com.
Megan Ellsworth: Perfect.
Sara Jonas: Yeah. We have all kinds of information for contractors, for owners on our website. We absolutely want them to come check us out. We also post a lot of content and some case studies on social media, so APOC Roofing and Waterproofing. Obviously CoatingsCoffeeShop, but there's also the RCMA where you can go to get some basic information about roof coatings and if you're really, really into it they do have a training program more geared toward contractors. But I would say the very first module of this online course is very general coatings information, so if you were so inclined you could take that course as well.
Megan Ellsworth: Whoa, crazy.
Sara Jonas: Yeah. But I mean some people are really... They might not be the one installing it. But they want to know the right questions to ask and that would be a good way to get familiar enough to where you're asking the right questions.
Lauren White: Definitely.
Megan Ellsworth: That is such a good point.
Lauren White: Yeah. So is there anything else? I mean we've touched on a few things. But is there anything else that home and building owners should know about coatings or asphalt driveway sealers?
Sara Jonas: Yeah. Well more on the coating side I would just go back to the idea that coatings are a great solution for extending the life of the roof, for protecting the membrane below the coating, for energy efficiency. But those roofs need to be maintained, they need to be inspected. So partnering with a quality contractor who can either offer you a maintenance program or who can come out after you've checked out your roof and have spotted some things that are of concern. Those are really, really important components. I also think making sure that you've got certified applicators is really, really important. Training is very important because again, you want to make sure that the contractor knows when the project is a great candidate for a restoration or a coating and when it's not because coatings are not miracle products. They don't do everything, no product out there is a miracle product. So really understanding the limitations of the different products that you install no matter what, whether it's coating or a full membrane or insulation or paint or whatever it is.
That's really, really important because that's how you can be assured that you're going to have a quality outcome. So that's something that's really important to us. I have heard it said so many times again by Johnny Walker that you've got to know when it's a great candidate for a restoration and this is aside from just coating, a full restoration and when it's not. So again, for an owner partnering with a quality contractor is really important.
Megan Ellsworth: Well said. Well Sara, this has been so fun. Thank you so much for chatting with us, I've learned so much about driveway sealers, coatings, all the things. I hope everyone out there listening has also learned and continues to learn by going to coatingscoffeeshop.com and askaroofer.com. So thank you so much.
Sara Jonas: Thank you guys, it's been fun.
Megan Ellsworth: Yes. It's been a blast and this has been the AskARoofer Podcast. Thank you everyone for listening and we'll catch you next time.
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