My quest to play the guitar has intensified, as I am now enrolled in formal lessons. This is proving to be the structure that I needed to advance in actually playing something recognizable. I knew the finger placement for the notes and chords, but now I am learning timing and rhythm. More importantly, I am learning the notes, chords and scales and the keys they are associated with. This is the essence of a song — combining the chords and notes from a particular key in progression.

Developing a song has the same elements as developing an adhesive material. Once the base of the adhesive is determined (the principal component), fillers, polymers, plasticizers, tackifiers and other necessary ingredients are chosen that are within the same chemical family. Dorothy Lawrence, the late co-founder of Laurenco, used to tell me this process was similar to the recipe for a stew. You add materials, take away materials, cut materials and increase materials until you achieve the proper formulation.

The technology of adhesives has changed within the past decade. Regulations have altered formulations and solvent content. The removal of asbestos — once a primary filler in adhesives — also had an impact. The results of these new technologies have been positive in the construction industry. Most major roofing and waterproofing systems are now applied with the use of adhesives for membrane and insulation attachment.

The use of adhesives will continue as they are the future of attachment in these industries.

So just as the proper chord progression in a key is harmony to our ears, the proper adhesive formulation is harmony to our roofing and waterproofing projects.