Low Slope Roofing Systems

Upcoming dates (1)

Dec. 3-4, 2024

Madison, WI

Course Overview

If you design, install, commission, maintain or repair low slope roofing systems, this course will provide you with the tools and techniques to do your job correctly and avoid problems. Upon completing this course, you will be able to identify the best solutions to your roofing problems, whether you’re working on new construction, performing maintenance, or re-roofing.

Who Should Attend?

  • Contractors
  • Architects
  • Owners' representatives
  • Materials specifiers
  • Product manufacturers
  • Commissioning authorities
  • Anyone involved in roofing design, construction, maintenance, repair, and re-roofing

Course Outline


Day One

Welcome and Student Introductions

Roof Decks and Wind Design Basics

  • Roof deck types and design
  • Steel roof deck profiles
  • Concrete roof decks
  • Wood roof decks (e.g., plywood, OSB, wood plank, wood boards)
  • Wind load calculations
  • ASCE 7 wind load design
  • FM Global and FM Approval wind design methods

Bituminous Membrane Roof Systems

  • Evolution of bituminous roof systems
  • Water-shedding/shingling effect
  • Redundancy
  • Roof slope limitations and backnailing
  • Built-up roof (BUR) membrane systems:
    • Components
    • Application Methods
    • Membrane configurations
    • Surfacings
  • Polymer-modified bitumen membrane roof systems:
    • Bitumen modifier types and characteristics
    • Components
    • Application Methods
    • Membrane configurations
    • Surfacings
  • Repair and maintenance

Single-ply Membrane Roof Systems

  • Evolution of single-ply membrane roof systems
  • General installation/attachment methods (e.g., adhered, attached, ballasted)
  • Roof slope
  • Membrane types (e.g., EPDM, TPO, PVC, KEE, other membranes)
    • Chemistry
    • Material properties/performance attributes
    • Installation/attachment techniques (e.g., (lap seams, membrane flashings)
  • Surfacings (e.g., aggregate ballast, pavers)
  • Repair and maintenance

Liquid-applied Membrane Systems

  • Evolution of liquid-applied membrane roof systems
  • General installation methods
  • Roof slope
  • Membrane types (e.g., hot-rubberized asphalt, PMMA)
    • Chemistry
    • Material properties/performance attributes
    • Installation/attachment techniques (e.g., (lap seams, membrane flashings)
    • Liquid flashings
  • Surfacings
  • Repair and maintenance

Roof coatings

  • Purpose of roof coatings
  • Coating types (e.g., acrylic, silicone)
    • Chemistry
    • Material properties/performance attributes
  • Application methods

Day Two:

Roof Insulation

  • Purpose of insulation
  • Above-deck insulation vs. below-deck insulation
  • Insulation types:
    • R-values
    • Properties
    • Limitations
  • Insulation attachment
  • Insulation coverboards
  • Energy Code requirements
    • IECC 2024 for insulation above-deck configurations

Codes and Standards

  • History of code and standards
  • Standard organizations (e.g., ASTM, FM, UL)
  • Fire testing and classification ratings
  • International Code Council (ICC)
  • International Building Code, 2021 Edition:
    • Wind
    • Fire
    • Prescriptive requirements
    • Reroofing
  • Other codes applicable to roofing

Moisture Mechanics and Air and Vapor Control

  • Introduction
  • Moisture mechanics of materials
  • Vapor retarder design
  • Air retarder design
  • Avoiding moisture problems
  • Moisture surveys

Roof Details

  • Detail types (e.g., gravel stop, fascia, coping, counterflashing, roof penetrations)
  • Flashing materials (e.g., membranes, liquids, metal)
  • Manufacturers’ standard details
  • NRCA Construction Details
  • SMACNA details (metal configurations)
  • Use of sealants

 Warranties and Maintenance and Repair

  • Building owner responsibilities
  • Types of warranties and guarantees
  • Manufacturer-contractor applicator agreements
  • Examples of warrantee provisions limiting coverage
  • Building owner-responsible maintenance and repair
  • Establishing a roof maintenance program

Open Discussion and Q & A with Speakers


"All presenters had great info on roof systems. Highly recommend... Overall the course was sensational. All presenters were very knowledgeable and had great info presented."
—Heath, Post Roofing and Waterproofing, Dallas, TX (December 2019)

"I am new to the roofing industry and this solidified a lot of my knowledge and added in a lot of areas - it got me excited about being in the roofing industry."
—Eric, CentiMark Corporation, King of Prussia, PA (December 2019)

"My knowledge gained in this course will allow me to better diagnose and repair many issues I may not have been able to figure out otherwise."
—Richard, USAF, Hurlbert Field, Florida (November 2018)

"I was exposed to many different roof types, building, and material codes...As somebody new to the industry, this is a great introduction course."
—Shane, CentiMark Corp., Canonsburg, Pennsylvania (November 2018) 

"I really liked the variety of speakers, from consultants in design to contractors that deal with construction, to maintenance consulting -- very comprehensive."
—Colleen, Inspec, Inc., Chicago, Illinois (November 2017)

"I learned a lot about the industry, codes, and competing material that will help me during the day-to-day activities of my job."
—Kayla, Duro-Last, Inc., Saginaw, Michigan (November 2017)


Dane Bradford

Dane received a Business Management degree from Montana State University in 1981 and has been active in the roofing industry since 1985. He has served on the faculty of the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) education department, teaching roofing technology programs, as well as programs for the Air Force Institute of Technology. Dane participated in the NRCA Manual Update Committee during the writing of the 4th edition of the NRCA Roofing and Waterproofing Manual. Dane is a former president of the Montana Roofing Contractors Association and served as president of NRCA.

Helene Pierce

Helene has spent over 40 years in the roofing industry and has been very active in many of the industry’s organizations.  She received the ASTM Award of Merit and title of Fellow from ASTM Committee D08 on Roofing, Waterproofing and Bituminous Materials, the James Q. McCawley award from the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association, and the title of Fellow of the Institute from the Roof Consultants Institute.  In 2019, Helene received the J.A. Piper award from the National Roofing Contractors Association, the industry’s highest recognition for service to the NRCA and the industry. She served on the Board of Directors for ASTM from 1999-2002 and then on ASTM’s Executive Board as Chairman of the Finance and Audit Committee in 2003.

Among the many groups in which she has been active are the Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA); ASTM International; the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI); the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA); the Polyisocyanurate Insulation Manufacturers Association (PIMA); the International Institute of Building Enclosure Consultants (IIBEC); IIBEC Foundation Board of Directors; Single Ply Roofing Institute; Roofing Industry Educational Institute (RIEI); and the Cool Roofs Rating Council (CRRC).  Helene has also authored and presented numerous papers for the roofing industry and is a frequent contributor to industry publications. 

Mark Graham

Mark Graham is an experienced project engineer with expertise in the investigation, design, and repair of roof and waterproofing systems. With National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), he is responsible for developing and maintaining his association’s technical documents including the NRCA Roofing and Waterproofing Manual. Graham is also a contributing editor to Professional Roofing Magazine, as well as an active member of ASTM’s Roofing and Waterproofing, Thermal Insulation, Fire Standards, and Performance of Buildings Committees. Other memberships include ASHRAE, International Code Council and NFPA.

David Tilsen

David J. Tilsen is the President of Tilsen Roofing Company, Inc., which provides contracting services on commercial, industrial, and institutional low-slope and residential steep slope roofs, while specializing in built-up, single ply, modified bitumen, metal, asphalt and wood shingle roofing and offers roof maintenance and roof management programs. Tilsen is a past vice president of the NRCA and a past president of the Wisconsin Roofing Contractors Association and the Midwest Roofing Contractors Association. He currently serves on the NRCA Technical Operations Committee.

Matthew Dupuis

Matt Dupuis is a licensed Professional Engineer with more than 15 years of experience. His area of specialization lies within moisture movement, temperature modeling, solar reflectivity, research and failure analysis. He has worked in the United States and internationally. His experience includes waterproofing and steep roof assemblies, as well as developing and teaching BIM courses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Civil Engineering Department. He has contributed to numerous publications and articles, in addition to presenting topics on roof temperatures and hygrothermal modeling at various roofing symposia, as well as the International Roofing Expo, MRCA, SPRI, and RCI.

Upcoming dates (1)

Program Director

Mark Malkin

Contact Us