I recently heard that Lance Armstrong stated that no one can win the Tour de France without doping. Now, we all know that Lance is trying to repair his severely flawed image after years of denying that he did what he did. He went from Superman to an accomplished liar in a single bound. Still, his remarks are laughable because someone will win the race, and we can only expect that the avalanche of negative press that has rained on this sport over doping will ensure that this year’s winner will be clean.

A similar scenario played out in the roofing industry in the 1990s. The BUR manufacturers began offering coal tar systems with fiberglass felts as reinforcement in lieu of the time-tested organic felts. This combination had been tried in the 50s, but history repeats itself. The results were similar — the systems failed within 10 years and fiberglass felts with coal tar exited the market.

I was recently reminded that some of these systems are still out there and now they need repair. We have found a way to extend the life of coal tar with fiberglass felt systems that typically failed within 7 to 10 years of application. I wrote extensively about this problem in the late 90s and won my clients some money along the way. The great thing about this is that the same people that said these systems were not problems in the 90s are now saying they can’t be fixed. So I am back in the ring to take another swing.

We are managing the repair of an old coal tar roof on a Midwestern automotive plant that will be closed in the next two years — two icons from the 20th Century (coal tar roofing and Midwestern automotive plants) that are facing their demise in the 21st Century. The plant had received bids in excess of $20 million to replace the roof. The repairs — which include deck replacement — are being completed for under $2 million.

If you are having a similar issue, drop me a line and tell me about it.