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Company History

National Roof Coaters began its humble beginnings in St. Albans, WV in 1968 offering commercial metal roof restoration services to pre-engineered metal building owners in West Virginia and several adjoining states.  At the time of inception there were no known service companies specializing in the restoration of commercial metal roofing.  Although metal roof systems were beginning to gain acceptance as a viable option to conventional flat roof systems they constituted only a small market segment.

As the 1st “metal roofing only” restoration service company, and just starting to grasp the nuts & bolts complexity of the industry, it soon became apparent to the National Roof Coaters staff that restoration services for aged, weathered and rusting metal roofs was a niche business with a significant potential.

During and after World War II the awkward looking Quonset hut, used throughout the military, was the first mass produced metal building with a curved sheet metal roof.  The Quonset hut established a baseline for which future generations of metal buildings & metal roofing would flourish.

Post war, the military’s appetite for Quonsets, diminished.  However, there ease of construction, low cost, utility and functionality were not long forgotten.  The post war economic boom was the “necessity” that perpetuated the next wave of inexpensive, quickly constructed metal buildings to satisfy the massive growth of U.S. factories.

The post war exponential growth of the manufacturing industry was just the cure that the well organized and efficient sheet-metal industry needed to continue its ascension as an acceptable alternative to conventional buildings.

After a lull in economic growth the remnants of these plain, non-aesthetic looking structures required a makeover to jump start the industry into the mainstream of acceptance.  Enter the pre-engineered metal building “PEMB” concept in the 1960’s.  Improving technology, the advent of larger “clear-span” structures, and the availability of  ribbed structural panels of varying colors coupled with the onset of the computing revolution (that ushered in the digital world of design engineering) all made for the birth of an industry that still thrives & flourishes today.

As the pre-engineered metal building and metal roofing market evolved and changed, National Roof Coaters maintained its presence and position alongside industry leaders in a disciplined and methodical approach.  For over the last (45) years National Roof worked with such prominent companies as Butler Manufacturing, Varco Pruden, Star, Kirby, A & S, American. Et.al. and their representatives on such subjects as innovative leak detection, extended warranties, novel repair procedures and other benefits for customers. These activities assisted National Roof Coaters in adapting to the changing needs and desires of the marketplace to meet and exceed customer expectations.

In the 1970’s “Galvalume” metal building and roofing products hit the market and revolutionized the industry.  This Aluminum – Zinc coated steel material was touted for its endurance and long lasting design.  Over the years it has proven to be an excellent product for roll-formed metal roof panels with extended longevity characteristics.  Galvalume metal roof panels have a life expectancy of 3 to 4 times that of conventional built-up roofing or single ply roofing membranes.  Studies continue to report this data.

Although Galvalume metal roof panels have a proven track record for longevity it is the truly the integrity of weather-tight details of ancillary roofing component: flashing, trim, closures, fasteners and other interfaces that most always dictates the life of these type roof systems (i.e. truncated or extended).  National Roof Coaters enjoys a well deserved reputation with its client base for its performance in preservation and preventive maintenance procedures that extend roof system life.

It was reported in 1995 that approximately 5,000,000,000 square feet or Galvalume metal roofing had been installed since its introduction in the early 1970’s. [footnote: “Selecting the Right Finish for Metal Roofing – by Derek A. Hodgin, PE, RRO, RRC]

It is estimated that more than 100,000,000,000 square feet of metal roofing systems have been installed to date, and that it is the most specified type roofing material in the commercial market as of this writing.

National Roof Coaters CEO – C. Gary Christian

Growing up in coal field country in Boone County West Virginia was no easy task during the 1950’s and 1960’s. The work was dangerous and compensation disproportionate to the risk.  Employment outside of coal mining was limited.  For some, like Mr. Christians father, he was fortune enough to operate a small business.  Mr. Christian was able to watch his father perform his duties in the functioning of an equipment repair enterprise to provide for his family.  Observing the operation of a small business first hand was both intriguing and inspirational to the young Mr. Christian.

From an early age Mr. Christian was an independent thinker.  This character in concert with watching his dad restore broken machinery led the younger Mr. Christian into a number of creative business opportunities.

With an introduction to entrepreneurship Mr. Christian chose to enter the United States Navy where he would serve, perform operations in a naval vessel engine room and travel the world.

The Navy provided an environment that reinforced the ethics and values of hard work that his parents displayed.  And the regimented structure, discipline and organizational demands within the enlisted ranks would later become valuable resources that Mr. Christian would draw from in his personal growth and success as a business entrepreneur.

Following his honorable service, Mr. Christian went to work at National Roof Coaters in St. Albans, WV.  He worked for National Roof for approximately ten years, learning all facets of business operations while expanding his roles and responsibilities within the organization.  In the late 1980’s, Mr. Christian set out on his own, into the world of commercial metal roof restoration, with limited resources, but a passion for business entrepreneurship, an intransigent initiative and a cogent vision to provide an enhanced service to an underrepresented contingent of metal building owners.

Shortly thereafter Mr. Christian created a start-up metal building & roofing restoration company, and over a span of a dozen years developed the organization into one of the premier metal roof restoration companies in the country.  Subsequently, Mr. Christian received several State of West Virginia sanctioned awards, honoring him for his entrepreneurial success.  The well-deserved awards & recognition were a culmination and combination of events exemplified by his: passion to deliver a premium service, initiative to change the status quo, dedication to customers and employees alike, attention to detail, personal work ethic and leadership by example.  These qualities and characteristics have always been prominent throughout his business journey.

In the mid 1990’s, Mr. Christian returned to some well-known roots and purchased National Roof Coaters, the same company where he began his pursuit in the professional business world several decades earlier.

Mr. Christian would subsequently go on to start up several other successful enterprises involving new construction, metal roll forming and fabrication, manufactured portable, insulated, metal buildings and a real estate development entity.

Mr. Christian’s businesses would shortly thereafter out grow the manufacturing, warehousing and office space available.  In 2004, he developed an industrial business park in Kenna, WV for relocation of his businesses where they would have space to expand and innovate.

In 2010, Mr. Christian and his LifeTite Metal Products division opened a new 50,000 s.f . manufacturing facility in Belington, WV to complement the (2) 30,000 s.f. manufacturing facilities in Kenna, WV.  Belington incorporates state of the art roll-forming equipment to produce high quality Ag panels, Architectural standing seam metal panels and commercial, galvalume metal “R” panels for the National Roof Coaters and Amnat International: educational, institutional, manufacturing, industrial and warehousing customer base.

Today all of Mr. Christian’s corporate divisions are integrally related.  They complement and interact with each other to the customers benefit.  These specialized services and products offered by National Roof Coaters and affiliates (i.e. LiteTite Metal Products, Amnat International and MetalWood Building Concepts) promote efficiency, mobility, ability and speed without compromising quality or competitive cost.

During Mr. Christian’s business sojourn he has met with many industry leaders in foreign countries, negotiated high profile contracts, deployed construction teams throughout the United States and internationally to execute metal roofing projects, and has been on the leading edge for introducing alternative & cost effective metal roof services, novel repair process methodologies, and innovative tooling to facilitate project activities.

Throughout Mr. Christian’s tenure in the pre-engineered metal building maintenance business he has been a steadfast and unwavering leader in his commitment to promote the benefits of cost effective roof audits, preventive maintenance, remedial metal roof repairs and the warranty service that follows.  There comes a point in time in the life of all roof systems where restoration or replacement is the only alternative to achieving a watertight building envelope.  However, the routine auditing of a metal roof system and implementation of prudent preventive maintenance is the best service a building owner should aggressively pursue to mitigate premature capital expenditures and maximize roof system longevity.

Supporting data for metal roofing as reported in Metal Construction News

Low slope metal roofs have been a preferred roof covering for commercial, institutional and industrial buildings for years because of their ability to protect against the elements, to allow water to drain away from the roof surface, and to keep building contents and occupants dry and comfortable.  Recently, building owners and architects have come to recognize and appreciate still other attributes of low slope metal roofs – their long service life, low life cycle cost, sustainability, recyclability, low maintenance requirements, light weight and resistance to wind.

Low slope structural roofing, generally used on roof pitches ranging from ¼:12 to 3:12, consists of interlocking panels, commonly called standing seam roofing, that run vertically along the roof surface. These panels generally come with a painted mill finish or a clear acrylic finish. Some metal roofing used on low slope applications requires machine seaming during installation to ensure a watertight seal. A seaming apparatus is simply rolled along the panels to crimp the panel seams together.  A standing seam design assures adequate draining from rain and snow, effectively eliminating ponding, leaks and related problems typically associated with built-up roofs.

In retrofit projects, a sub-framing system is attached to the existing flat roof surface to provide a minimum ¼:12 roof pitch.  Moreover, low slope metal roofs are not prone to the degradation experienced by organic materials, enabling these roofs to better resist the elements. This, in turn, results in a longer life span and a very low annual operating cost.

Study Substantiates Low Life Cycle Cost

As a result of the durability and reliability of these systems, low slope metal roof manufacturers offer 20- to 40-year warranties on their products. Their long life and low maintenance requirements also put metal roofs on a very attractive life cycle cost track.  This was confirmed in a 2005 study of low slope roofing conducted by Ducker International. Respondents to the study said they expected the life cycle cost of a metal roof, including outlays for maintenance, to be about 30 cents a square foot per year, far less than their expectations for built-up and single-ply roofs, at 37 cents and 57 cents, respectively.

Metal roofs also have a significantly longer expected service life than either built-up roofing or single-ply roofs. Study participants said they expect metal roofs to last 40 years – 17 years longer than built-up and 20 years longer than single-ply systems.  Not only can low slope metal roofing contribute to the bottom line, it can also contribute to LEED credits, which are awarded to buildings that use high recycled content and other “green” construction materials. A typical low slope metal roof has at least 25% recycled content, and at the end of its long useful life is 100% recyclable. In addition, “cool metal roofing” can significantly reduce a building’s long term energy use. With heat deflecting metal coatings, energy costs can be reduced up to 40% or more, according to a study conducted by Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Metal Roofs Place Fewer Demands on Structure

Typically, low slope metal roof systems vary in weight from 40 to 135 pounds per 100 square feet, making them among the lightest roofing products and the easiest to install. A lightweight roofing system also places fewer demands on a building’s structural support system, an important consideration in earthquake-prone areas.  Unlike non-metal systems which require an underlying substrate or deck, low slope metal roofs can be applied directly over bar joists or purlins. And, because of their interlocking or active fastening systems, metal roof panels are designed to meet the requirements of ASTM E1592, UL 580, UL1897 and other severe wind and uplift tests.

Metal roofing products come in a variety of materials as well as many colors, textures and profiles. To ensure longer life, almost all low slope roof materials are protected from the elements by high performance, highly durable metallic coatings.  While the idea of protecting a building with metal originated centuries ago, the concept is still valid today. Whether the goal is many years of low-cost, low maintenance, problem-free performance, or an environmentally responsible approach to roofing, low slope metal roofs make sense.

Article from:

Applications of Metal Construction - Uses of Metal in Commercial Buildings