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Informational

How Snow and Ice Dams Damage Your Roof

How Snow and Ice Impact Your Roof

By Informational No Comments

It is no mystery that certain weather conditions can destroy your roof, and snow and ice are no exception.

When you have a standard dark-colored, mechanically fastened roof with board insulation, warmed air from the inside of your building leaves through its cracks, holes, and seams. When snow melts around those areas, here come the ice dams and one leaky roof.

We all know that heat rises. When the heated air from the inside of your building starts to rise towards its snow-covered roof, that snow is going to begin melting. The snowmelt migrates to other parts of the roof where it starts to freeze again, creating an ice buildup, or ice dam, around the cracks and seams. It then forms a valley for water to sit and collect, and this water will eventually start leaking through the roof, causing further damage.

commercial roof repair flat roofing detroit
How Snow and Ice Dams Damage Your Roof

Consider protecting your investment with spray polyurethane foam (SPF) and/or a silicone roof coating solution. Not only will it insulate your building, it will prevent your current roof, whatever the type, from succumbing to the harsh environment it is exposed to day after winter day. Any existing holes and open seams will be filled, which will create a seamless air barrier to stop the snowmelt. If no warm air can escape, then no snow can be melted. Also, ice dams will not be able form if there are no open seams, and leaks will become a thing of the past.

Stopping air loss through the roof will also stop wear and tear on your HVAC system. All in all, you will be giving your roof a lifetime of snow and water damage, and corrosion protection, which can make your energy bills go down. And imagine saving even more money by avoiding a costly roof tear-off! Keep the warm air inside of your building every winter.

EPDM roofing

EPDM Roofing 101

By Informational No Comments

What is EPDM roofing?

EPDM, or ethylene propylene diene terpolymer, is a synthetic rubber roofing overlay material. It is typically used on flat or low-slope commercial roof systems. It is important to note that this synthetic rubber should not be used in conjunction with other roofing materials containing aluminum, asphalt, and cement. These will cause further damage and eventually the roof will need to be completely replaced.

Before new EPDM roofing installation begins, the current roof must be completely leveled and free of existing coverings and damage. It then needs to be thoroughly cleaned and dried. Your roofing professional will measure your roof to determine how much material will need to be used. The amount of EPDM needed must cover the entire roof as well as provide a bit of overhang. EPDM is then applied in sheets and mechanically fastened at the seams. PVC membrane, modified bitumen, and built-up roofing are other roof types that are similar in this way, as they are also mechanically fastened.

EPDM roofing

Pros of EPDM Roofing

The extreme durability of EPDM is a unique selling point. Not only that, but it is sold in a variety of lengths and widths. When an EPDM roof is expertly installed, maintained, and repaired by a professional, it may protect your commercial building for years and years.

EPDM roofs are also one of the least expensive roof types to install and repair. EPDM comes in either black or white sheets, so you may also be able to reduce your energy bills just by choosing the correct color dependent on the weather in the region your commercial building is located.

Cons of EPDM Roofing

Seeing as that EPDM roofs are mechanically fastened, they are not as airtight. This means that they offer significantly less protection than seamless roof types do.

Mechanically fastened holes and seams will expand and contract under normal weather conditions. The now bigger holes, cracks, and seams let water in and can destroy your roofing substrate. Air also escapes through these cracks, holes, and seams. Your HVAC system must then work harder to compensate for the air loss, which will end up costing you thousands of dollars.

Lastly, EPDM is derived from oil and natural gas. If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, EPDM may not be at the top of your shopping list.

EPDM roofing

In Closing

Given its extreme durability, EPDM may be a good option for your commercial flat or low-slope roof. We highly encourage you to contact a roofing expert to handle the job of installing, maintaining, and repairing your EDPM roof.

industrial insulation spray foam insulation types

A Guide to Spray Foam & Foamed-in-Place Insulation Types

By Informational, Spray Foam No Comments

A Guide to Spray Foam & Foamed-in-Place Insulation Types

What is spray foam insulation?

Spray foam insulation comes in many types. From cementitious, a magnesium oxide cement-based foamed-in-place insulation material with a texture most have to referred to as shaving cream-like, to spray polyurethane foam (SPF), which is what we here at Energy Shield are experts in, to tripolymer, a water-soluble foam that is injected into cavities.

Spray foams are dense, pollution-free insulators with an airtight, lightweight, and seamless application. Some types, like SPF, may also be waterproof. Spray foam is fluid-applied, typically with either a small handheld sprayer or a pressurized sprayer depending on the size of the project. It then expands and hardens on contact with the surface, and cures to form an airtight chemical bond. Everything sprayed or fluid-applied is a better insulator naturally.

Aside from strengthening your building, spray foam is low maintenance, stops other problems from arising, and reduces construction waste. Spray foam will not sink, sag, or settle, and does not wear down the structure. It is also safe for application over fireproofing materials. Over the last 35 years, it has undergone many tests to conform to the standards for non-combustibility, and it keeps passing.

With a spray foam insulation solution, the cold and heat from inside and outside will not expand and contract your roofing substrate and will keep the air-conditioned or heated air you pay for inside of your building. This also means that any wood in its surrounding vicinity will not rot, split, or warp. Oftentimes, certain spray foams are used in conjunction with a roof coating, such as our silicone roof coating solution, to form the primary protective roof covering.

Spray foam is incredibly strong with an R-Value greater than any other insulation type on the market. The R-Value is the measurement of insulation strength, or how much heat the insulation will let flow through it. Depending on the thickness of your wall structure and the foam density, our closed-cell SPF’s R-Values here at Energy Shield are between R-6 and R-6.5 per inch. In comparison, fiberglass batts and blankets have an R-Value of 3.0 to 4.0 per inch. In general, closed-cell spray foam is the superior insulation material for keeping the weather, water, air, and even the bugs and mold out.

Uses

The list of commercial and industrial spray foam applications is long. It is quite versatile and has many different applications, from commercial and industrial buildings (interior and exterior walls) to refrigerated trucks and vans to water storage tanks and duct work. Spray foam can be applied to any commercial or industrial construction material, such as concrete block, concrete, brick, steel, wood, laminates, and even exterior sheathing boards.

It can be used for virtually any insulation need, including digesters, freezers and coolers, conveyor tubes, separation insulation between heated and unheated areas of your building, and even coatings for below-grade pipes, vaults, and manholes.

Spray foam is an excellent option for acoustical insulation projects as well with its impeccable sound-insulating properties. Not only that, but it is mold, pest, and pollutant-resistant, making it a smart insulation choice for your project whether it involves your home, commercial or industrial building, or refrigerated truck or van.

spray foam insulation types

Energy & Cost-Saving Benefits

As cold or hot air enters a building, an equal amount is forced out, leading to air loss. Your HVAC system must work twice as hard to keep the temperature stable. Air loss is exactly how your hard-earned money is wasted. Spray foam insulation stops air loss and prevents leaks, production shutdowns, and equipment damage by creating a seamless barrier as well as filling any existing cracks, gaps, holes, and seams. In return, you get enormous cost savings just from keeping the air inside your building — right where it belongs.

Spray foam is proven to save up to 40% to 60% in annual energy costs. A 50,000 square foot industrial or office building will have energy costs around $67,000 per year. Once you have spray foam insulation installed, you can expect a savings of around $26,800 a year.

Even though spray foam insulation typically costs more than traditional insulation, the cost is mitigated by its benefits. Due to its high R-Values, it can virtually eliminate some of the other costs associated with constructing or maintaining a home or commercial building.

Spray Foam Insulation Densities

Spray foam insulation is available in low, medium, and high density types. At 0.5 pounds per cubic foot, low-density spray foam is an open-cell foam whereas medium and high-density spray foams at 2-3 pounds per cubic foot are both closed-cell foams. In general, the higher the density, the greater the R-Value; and the higher the R-Value, the greater the insulating power.

industrial insulation spray foam insulation types

Open-Cell vs. Closed-Cell Spray Foam Insulation Types

Open-cell spray foam cures into a soft and sponge-like state because its cells are, as the name implies, open and filled with air. Closed-cell spray foam cures into a hard and rigid state because its cells are closed and filled with gas. Typically, closed-cell spray foam costs a bit more than open-cell foam. Closed-cell spray foam has a higher R-Value per inch due to its level of density. At 3” of application, open-cell spray foam becomes an effective air barrier. At only 1” of application, closed-cell spray foam becomes an excellent air barrier and is extremely useful for sealing air leaks as well as adding structural strength.

Open-Cell

  • Low density: 0.5 lb. per cubic foot
  • Up to R-4 per inch
  • Soft & spongy – cells filled with air
  • Water permeable (should be used in conjunction with a vapor retardant)
  • Effective air barrier at 3” of application
  • Attics, ceilings, roofs, soundproofing, walls

Closed-Cell

  • Medium to high density: 2-3 lb. per cubic foot
  • Up to R-7 per inch
  • Hard & rigid – cells filled with gas
  • Moisture-resistant, Class II vapor retarder, FEMA Class 5 flood-resistant
  • Excellent air barrier at 1” of application
  • Basements, ceilings, crawlspaces, roofs, slabs, sound-dampening, walls

In Closing

The type of spray foam that you need will ultimately depend on your project and budget. The installation of spray foam requires permits as well as personal protective equipment, so it is extremely important to contact a professional to take on the job.

commercial roof repair flat roofing detroit

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. Industrial flat 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 flat roofing 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. Industrial metal roofing does come with its 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 flat 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 a Metal Roof

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 of having a metal roof.

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 Informational, 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 Informational, 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 a new and restorative commercial flat roof.

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.