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Roofing Types – Understanding Your Roof

By Informational

Roofing Types – Understanding Your Roof

Your roof protects you, so you should protect it. Prevent the issues that can cost thousands of dollars, intolerable working conditions, and an uncomfortable building. Roofing systems such as built-up roofing, elastomeric, metal roofs, weathered single-ply membranes, and mineral cap sheets, have many problems. From chalking, cracking, sagging, leaking (#1 problem), splitting, the list goes on…

All these issues can create a perfect storm for your working conditions or your tenants. When a roof starts to sag, the water from the rain or snowmelt will pool in one spot, eventually wearing down the roofing material, and penetrating the surface and next thing you know that water is on your floor. When a roof has cracks in the tar or seams and holes from fasteners, it means air can escape through your roof, forcing your HVAC system to run twice as hard, costing you dumpsters full of money.

So why do we think our roofing solution is the right one for you?  We’ll come right back to that question but first, let’s go over the other roofing solutions out there.

Built-up Roofing
Commonly referred to as “Tar and Gravel” roofs, built-up roofs, or BUR, are made up of alternating layers of reinforcing fabrics and bitumen.  This bitumen can be made up of many different components.  Asphalt, coal tar, and cold-applied adhesives are the most common.  The BUR is applied in layers creating a “membrane”.

So why doesn’t this work?

  • BUR roofing takes a long time to install because of the number of materials it uses.
  • Hazardous fumes are often emitted during installation.
  • High Installation costs.
  • It’s susceptible to wind and moisture damage.
  • It’s extremely heavy and requires roof joists to strengthen the structure.
  • Find the source of the leak is hard and may require completely dismantling the roof.
  • It’s not flexible in cold temperatures.

Elastomeric


Elastomeric coatings for roofs are more effective and affordable.  They also come in 4 different coatings, each having their own pros and cons.  These include; Butyl, Acrylic, Polyurethane, and Silicon.  Each one of these coating is sprayed or rolled on and, once applied, provide excellent mildew and UV light protection due to its reflexive material.  But, like many other roofing materials, it has its downsides.

  • Poor performance in “Ponding”, where water pools on the top of the building causing leaks.
  • Potential to lose mil thickness. This lack of thickness can allow moisture to penetrate the coating and seep onto the roof below.

Metal Roofs


I know what you are thinking, “If all this asphalt and acrylic coatings have these downsides, why not just slap a big piece of metal on that roof and call it a day?”  Well, kind reader, let’s go more in depth.  Metal roofs do come with their own benefits.  They can last upwards of 50 years and are incredibly durable, they will not corrode or crack and are fairly impact resistant. Metal roofing is pretty energy efficient and environmentally friendly, being composed of mainly recycled material.  But, they have their downsides as well.

  • Metal roofs can cost two or three times more than other roofing materials.
  • They are incredibly noisy. So, if you enjoy that neighbor kids garage rock band, prepare to hear that all the time.
  • Constant expansion and contraction may cause the panels to loosen.
  • Accumulating water on poor quality metal can cause serious damage including rust and holes.

Weathered Single-ply membranes


Single ply roofing systems have a waterproofing layer that is laid over the original roof to provide a barrier to the elements.  They are easy to install and have a lower inherent risk compared to more complex systems.  These membranes are long lasting, cost effective, and environmentally friendly.  But remember, this is just a single layer of protection.  Let’s look at the cons.

  • Flashing is a general concern.
  • They are susceptible to low temperatures.
  • Susceptible to punctures at a microscopic level that will lead to leaking.
  • They tend to shrink and crack.
  • If they are installed on polystyrene or asphalt, the plasticizers may leak out and cause more cracking.

Our Promise To You

You are probably asking yourself, “If there are all these downsides, which one do I pick?”.  Thankfully, we at Energy Shield have the answers.  We have been forerunners in the roofing industry for more than 40 years, we know what we are doing and we are proud of our work and our unique spray foam and silicon roof coatings.  We offer 100% weather protection, 100% leak protection and a 50% reduction in your annual energy costs.  Those are numbers anyone can get behind.  Our spray foam and silicon coatings fill every little crack and seam, reduces UV rays due to its light color and keeps that nice air conditioned air inside, not leaking out.  We worked this system out so well we don’t even have to tear off that old dingy roof, we can just spray it right over the old roof, saving you upwards of $20,000.  Yeah, you read that number right.  We know how stressful a leaking roof in poor condition can be.  That’s why we promise you the only thing dripping at 9am is your coffee pot.

Metal Roofing 101

By Informational No Comments

Benefits of Metal Roofing

Commercial metal roofing is becoming increasingly popular in building improvement – more than doubling its market share over the past decade.  Some of these benefits allow business owners to upgrade their buildings roof with a product of seemingly lasting value.  They have a proven performance of around 50 years and come in many different styles and colors, they are fire resistant, energy efficient, and their low weights helps to preserve structural integrity in a building.  Due to their interlocking panels, they also boast increased wind resistance.  Sounds great doesn’t it?  Let’s look at the downsides.

Downsides of Metal Roofing

Metal roofs are flashed to meet your roof configuration, meaning the installation process can take a lot longer than a standard commercial roof. They also have an increased investment, once that metal roof is on there, its not going anywhere.  The initial cost is also enough to make most people explore other options in roofing.

For some, the sound of rain drops on a roof is just one of those feel good sounds. With a metal roof, its like working inside of a drum while the elements play the loudest drum solo possible. This can be reduced by using sound deadening insulation plywood sheathing, but you already sunk a lot of money into this roof, why should you spend more?  Speaking of rain and the elements, let’s talk hail.  Much like your car, which will dent if a softball hits it, a metal roof can dent if large hailstones fall on it.  Over time, those little dents can become big problems.

Walking on a metal roof can be tricky as well, and there will be occasions where other service professionals will need roof access to install other building necessities.  Depending on the type of metal and the construction supporting it, metal can be very slippery when wet.  Installers must be careful when installing a metal roof, particularly with a granulated stone surface, as they are prone to marring, peeling, chipping, fading, scratching, and chalking.

Metal roofs with exposed fasteners that have not been installed correctly are more prone to leaking.  Rain water can run into these screw holes and cause rust problems, along with expansion and contraction.  Because of the base properties of metal, this expansion and contraction can cause a wavy effect on the roof, often causing those fasteners to come loose.

Installation

Metal roofing should first and foremost only be installed by a specialist with expertise in installing metal roofs.  If installed incorrectly, and like we examined above, a metal roof will develop leaks or just fail prematurely, which can cost you thousands of your hard-earned dollars. That being said, it is typically possible to install a metal roof over an old asphalt roof, eliminating the need for a costly tear off.   Depending on the configuration of the roof, vertical and horizontal sheets and panels are most commonly used in the commercial realm.  These panels can be made up of aluminum, steel, zinc or copper.  They are typically applied with fasteners which can be time consuming, and if not installed correctly, can cause leaking and corrosion for your roof.  Metal roofing is not inherently insulative, so applying separate insulation before installation ads time and cost to your project.

 

In Closing

Metal roofing may be a good idea for your commercial roof with its longevity and ability to preserve structural integrities.  However, we feel it is important to have a backup plan in case any aspect of that roof, which you have spent time and resources on, fails. Energy Shield has had their fair share of experiences with many different types of commercial roofing, so if your roof fails, give us a call.  We will be there, SPF coating in hand and ready to work.

Commercial Roofing Detroit – 3 Reasons you need spray foam

By Spray Foam No Comments

You’re sitting at your desk, life is great.

Something drops right into your hot mug of coffee.

The ceiling tiles fall onto your desk and behind you.

Your commercial roof protects your building and the interior from the exterior elements and weather conditions. It’s one of the most critical parts of your building – keep it safe.

So what happens, why do flat roofs leak?

commercial flat roofing commercial roofing

Diag. 1 – The sun hits your dark-colored roof, and causes the roof the heat up. In the summer months, the cool air inside is reacting with the hot air entering through the seams and cracks, this causes moisture to build up. That moisture can eat through your roofing sub straight, and your ceiling.

Your commercial roof is exposed to very harsh elemental conditions. Heat, cold, water, snow, the sun, hail, and a myriad of other weather conditions. The number one reason roofs fail is the roofing material, followed by age. Other factors like weather conditions, and roof color, also have a large impact on the condition and longevity of your flat roof.

Some commercial roofing is placed on in sheets, and then mechanically fastened (staples, nails). Those mechanically fastened sheets now are attached to the roof with a hole. Wood and metal will contract and expand depending on the weather conditions. Over time the holes punched into your roofing sub-straight (base/surface) will widen (because they expand and contract with the weather).

This also happens at the seams. These small holes and seams that are getting bigger year after year are made worse by penetrating water and escaping air, it’s a compounding issue.

Water can destroy anything. It will make metal rust and corrode, and cause wood to warp, and decompose. If that water gets into your sub straight, it will slowly, but surely, eat away at your roofing surface, until it doesn’t. Which means, the water is on the floor now, not the roof.

Air is a significant expander and contributes to the expansion and contraction of your sub straight at those seams. It’s also the number 1 reason why your energy bills are so high – Have a read here on energy consumption and roof types.

Commercial roofing types that have seams and are mechanically fastened include some EPDM, PVC Membrane, TPO, Modified Bitumen, and Built-Up Roofing.

Commercial roofing types that have no seams are spray-on and include Spray Foam and Silicone. These are seamless, and airtight and offer the best protection.

How spray foam is the best option for new and restorative commercial roofing.

commercial flat roofing spray foam commercial roofing

The spray foam coats the entire roof, seamlessly, and can cover your current roof. And your conditioned air inside stays conditioned.

1. It’s Seamless & Nail-Free.

Yes, it’s seamless meaning there are seams to open and get wider. This prevents the entry of water under the material. As we mentioned before, most common commercial flat roofing types have seams, and a hole is punched into the roof to attach it. Being that spray foam is seamless, spray-applied, and will never need to be nailed down – it means there is 0 chance of elemental exposure to your roofing sub straight. The spray application also means that the flashing (think baseboard for your roof) is applied with the roofing surface. It’s one continual coating.

2. It’s air-tight.

Yes, it’s air-tight. Meaning that the air that contributes to larger holes, cracks, and seams is eliminated. Air can’t escape (except where engineered), and air can’t penetrate. This stops air from contributing to high energy bills, and widening gaps, and holes in your roof.

3. It’s an insulator.

Spray foam is a dense, pollution-free, polyurethane insulator. It has an R-Factor (measurement of insulation strength) that is greater than any other insulator. So you know what that means? Exactly, the heat and cold from inside and outside will not expand and contract your roofing sub straight. When it hardens, it also adds strength to your commercial flat roof and is nearly weightless.

4. It can be applied over your failing roof.

This is the best part. Spray-Foam can be fluid applied over your existing commercial roof, regardless of the material. It will immediately stop penetrating water and those pesky weather conditions, and insulate and protect your building for a lifetime.

Spray foam commercial flat roofing solutions offer the best protection and for the longest time. There is a caveat – finding the right contractor to install it. It needs to be applied evenly, and consistently across the entire roof – always find a professional to install your spray foam.

 

commercial roofing repair

Commercial Flat Roofing – 4 Reasons Spray Foam is King

By Spray Foam No Comments

You’re sitting at your desk, life is great.

Something drops right into your hot mug of coffee.

The ceiling tiles fall onto your desk and behind you.

 

Your roof protects your building and the interior from the exterior elements and weather conditions. It’s one of the most critical parts of your building – keep it safe.

So what happens, why do commercial flat roofing solutions fail and leak?

 

commercial flat roofing

Diag. 1 – The sun hits your dark-colored roof, and causes the roof the heat up. In the summer months, the cool air inside is reacting with the hot air entering through the seams and cracks, this causes moisture to build up. That moisture can eat through your roofing sub straight, and your ceiling.

Your Roof is exposed to very harsh elemental conditions. Heat, cold, water, snow, the sun, hail, and a myriad of other weather conditions. The number one reason roofs fail is the roofing material, followed by age. Other factors like weather conditions, and roof color, also have a large impact on the condition and longevity of your flat roof.

 

Some roofing is placed on in sheets, and then mechanically fastened (staples, nails). Those mechanically fastened sheets now are attached to the roof with a hole. Wood and metal will contract and expand depending on the weather conditions. Over time the holes punched into your roofing sub-straight (base/surface) will widen (because they expand and contract with the weather).

This also happens at the seams. These small holes and seams that are getting bigger year after year are made worse by penetrating water and escaping air, it’s a compounding issue.

 

Water can destroy anything. It will make metal rust and corrode, and cause wood to warp, and decompose. If that water gets into your sub straight, it will slowly, but surely, eat away at your roofing surface, until it doesn’t. Which means, the water is on the floor now, not the roof.

 

Air is a significant expander and contributes to the expansion and contraction of your sub straight at those seams. It’s also the number 1 reason why your energy bills are so high – Have a read here on energy consumption and roof types.

 

Roof types that have seams and are mechanically fastened include some EPDM, PVC Membrane, TPO, Modified Bitumen, and Built-Up Roofing.

 

Roof types that have no seams are spray-on and include Spray Foam and Silicone. These are seamless, and airtight and offer the best protection.

 

How spray foam is the best option for new and restorative commercial flat roofing.

commercial flat roofing spray foam

The spray foam coats the entire roof, seamlessly, and can cover your current roof. And your conditioned air inside stays conditioned.

1. It’s Seamless & Nail-Free.

Yes, it’s seamless meaning there are seams to open and get wider. This prevents the entry of water under the material. As we mentioned before, most common commercial flat roofing types have seams, and a hole is punched into the roof to attach it. Being that spray foam is seamless, spray-applied, and will never need to be nailed down – it means there is 0 chance of elemental exposure to your roofing sub straight. The spray application also means that the flashing (think baseboard for your roof) is applied with the roofing surface. It’s one continual coating.

 

2. It’s air-tight.

Yes, it’s air-tight. Meaning that the air that contributes to larger holes, cracks, and seams is eliminated. Air can’t escape (except where engineered), and air can’t penetrate. This stops air from contributing to high energy bills, and widening gaps, and holes in your roof.

 

3. It’s an insulator.

Spray foam is a dense, pollution-free, polyurethane insulator. It has an R-Factor (measurement of insulation strength) that is greater than any other insulator. So you know what that means? Exactly, the heat and cold from inside and outside will not expand and contract your roofing sub straight. When it hardens, it also adds strength to your commercial flat roof and is nearly weightless.

 

4. It can be applied over your failing roof.

This is the best part. Spray-Foam can be fluid applied over your existing roof, regardless of the material. It will immediately stop penetrating water and those pesky weather conditions, and insulate and protect your building for a lifetime.

Spray foam is one of the best commercial flat roofing solutions available because it’s seamless, fluid applied, an insulator, it’s airtight and it can be applied over your current failing roof. Comparison Open vs. Closed Cell Foam

Spray foam commercial flat roofing solutions offer the best protection and for the longest time. There is a caveat – finding the right contractor to install it. It needs to be applied evenly, and consistently across the entire roof – always find a professional to install your spray foam.

Check out our quick infographic on how you save energy and extend the life-time of your commercial flat roof.