By Adam Cabrera.
In a recent Roofing Road Trips® episode, Heidi J. Ellsworth sat down with Eric Younkin, vice president of products and engineered services at MTL Holdings, to talk about the current state and future of the roofing industry from technological advances to the indispensable role of building codes and risk mitigation.
MTL Holdings, comprised of three specialized brands — Metal-Era, Hickman Edge Systems and Citadel Architectural Products — uses robotics in 65% of its manufacturing processes. This not only ensures precision but also enables next-day shipping for most items. Eric highlighted the cost-saving benefits for contractors, noting, "Contractor feedback is 60% labor savings. So, you couple that with us taking on the manufacturing of it, we're hopefully giving them the opportunity to really reinvest their labor."
However, about building codes and risk mitigation Eric says that a common issue like perimeter edge failure which leads to significant roof problems is best avoided by strictly adhering to building codes. “Risk mitigation, controlling the exposure and the amount of failures comes down to proper design and proper installation,” Eric said. “With what we do with all of our products is we minimize the potential and eliminate that or mitigate that risk.”
Take for example a facility in Pearl, Mississippi where MTL Holdings used rigorous testing and code adherence to help prevent disaster. Their decision to test and then recommend a stronger product for the facility’s roof turned out to save the building from considerable damage during a tornado that occurred a couple of months later. Eric said, “I think if we didn't test and we had a lighter gauge product and it didn't meet the requirements of that building, it could have been a lot worse.”
Adam Cabrera is a writer and podcast producer for the Coffee Shops and AskARoofer™. When he isn't writing about roofs he enjoys camping in the Rocky Mountains, going to concerts and playing music.
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