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The Best Commercial Chimney Cleaning Tools for 2020

Best Commercial Cleaning Chimney Tools

This post will teach you about the best commercial chimney cleaning tools for 2020.

Being a chimney sweep is quite literally a dirty job, but someone has to do it. It is the show Dirty Jobs come to life: hands (and other parts) coated in soot after a job well done. But it takes more than just a steady pair of hands to do a great job.

As chimney cleaning technology continues to improve, so too do the tools that these technicians implement. Tools can range from basic to comprehensive, but there are a number of different pieces of equipment that chimney technicians should have in their tool belt heading into 2020.

Chimney Sweep Brushes

This one seems like kind of a no-brainer, doesn’t it? After all, what is a chimney sweep without his brush? Every chimney sweep has the trusty wire brush that they rely on in order to take on those tough-to-reach nooks and crannies.

Having a top-rated wire brush, like the Master Sweep Wire Chimney Brush, in your arsenal can make you more efficient and effective than ever. It is fitted with a heavy-duty, double-spiral spindle design for maximum effectiveness.

While this is certainly one of the best chimney sweep brushes around, it isn’t all you need. Brushes are meant to handle things like tarred or glazed creosote deposits along a flue, but sometimes, you need to bring out the big guns for the big jobs.

Still, every chimney sweep technician should have this available at a moment’s notice. Besides, it would be weird for a chimney sweep to not have a chimney sweep brush.

Power Sweeping System

There might not be a more effective tool of the chimney sweep trade than a power sweeping system. Trying one of the best options available, like the SnapLok Power Sweeping Flue System, can make your life as a chimney technician all the easier.

This is a rotary cleaning solution that delivers the motorized capability of a traditional power tool with the durability that only solid nylon rods with a button lock system are able to offer.

The power sweeping system has an interlocking wire handle that is built to be incredibly strong while offering adjustability so that you can conquer any kind of flue without having to break your back in order to do so.

Best of all, there are plenty of customizable cleaning head options. This allows you to deliver the right cleaning method that you need to sweep out an encrusted flue. It doesn’t matter if the job calls for a rotary mole brush or something heavy-duty like the Death Star PowerWhip; this type of cleaning system is one of the most powerful and trusted solutions that is currently on the market.

No chimney sweep technician should be without a power sweeping system to get at the toughest and worst grime and soot. Might as well invest in the best chimney sweep rods.

Polypropylene Brush

The traditional chimney sweep brush is made of wire to grind away the dirt, soot, and grime that can build up in a chimney. But a polypropylene brush is just the opposite of that as it is a gentler alternative for cleaning chimneys with a certain type of lining.

When a chimney is lined with a more expensive metal, something like stainless steel, you want to make certain that the brush used will not damage or scratch the steel. Using a soft poly brush ensures that any warranty on the homeowner’s steel liner will not become null and void from needless scuffing and scratching.

An excellent choice is the Rock-Pro Poly Chimney Flue Brush. This brush will handle any stainless steel challenge with grace and aplomb. The polypropylene bristles make it capable of withstanding the acidic effects of coal, gas, and oil flues. These effects can wear down other chimney brushes far faster, meaning you will need to replace your tools before long.

Keeping this brush handy is a great idea, especially in the event that you run across round, metal chimneys that are found most commonly in prefab units.

It is always ideal to have the tools necessary to take both the soft and rough approach. Having options like a chimney sweep technician is what every good technician should have on them.

Smoke Chamber Brush

Unfortunately, the flue lining is not the only area of the chimney that finds itself susceptible to creosote buildup. That is why having the right smoke chamber brush to help break up those deposits of creosote is so important.

A good smoke chamber will not pose any hazards, simply performing the job as it was meant to. The Stiff Smoke Chamber ButtonLok Spin Brush is an excellent example of the range of motion in a smoke chamber brush.

This tool is ideal for getting into tiny corners or into cracks to get that soot that has become a problem for your chimney. Don’t ever battle with those annoying, hard-to-reach corners that you have had nightmares about for years.

Industrial Grade Chimney Sweep Vacuum

One of the measures of a great chimney sweep is not only the ability to do the job but to keep the areas in someone’s home near the chimney as clean as possible. No one wants to hire a chimney sweep that is going to get the rest of the house dirty while trying to properly clean the chimney.

A helpful tool for achieving this is an industrial-grade chimney sweep vacuum. Having one of these can help to prevent messes as they build while also removing pollutants that might be released during the cleaning process. That latter part is especially important when considering the air quality in our homes.

And when working with the integrity of a home’s air quality, having an industrial-grade filter is also a must. Something like the SootMaster 641M is a must for chimney sweeps everywhere. It has a double filtration system that can stifle all the debris that you can throw at it. Plus, it has a flexible hose that results in a greater reach.

The metal hose and 6-gallon canister offer great resistance to hot coals, meaning your vacuum won’t accidentally combust when you are in someone’s home. This is without a doubt the best choice for any savvy sweeper out there.

Being able to contain the mess as you go is something that customers will take note of and will help you to avoid any nasty messes that could leave the customer feeling upset.

Full-Face Respirator

This might sound shocking but being a chimney sweep means being constantly exposed to hazardous chemicals. These carcinogens can be especially hazardous to your breathing over the long term if you don’t do anything to combat it.

Having a full-faced, powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) is about as essential a tool as you need in your bag of tricks. These respirators come with a commercial-grade HEPA filter that provides you with clean air while removing contaminants from the air.

Even better, many of these industrial-grade respirator masks come with comfortable padding as well as an eight-hour battery to ensure that you are not only comfortable but that you don’t have to worry about the battery lasting for the length of a workday.

Powder-Based Creosote Remover

While there are a number of tools that can help you get into those hard-to-reach places, they might not make for the easiest of experiences. That is where having an industrial chemical cleaner can go a long way towards making your life easier than ever.

Having a creosote remover like A.W. Perkins Creosote Remover can help you get into air-tight fireplaces. Newer homes tend to have zero-clearance fireplaces, making them a huge hassle to properly clean. With a powder-based formula like this, you can not only properly clean the fireplace but also improve the overall performance of it by removing any accumulated soot and ash. This will also benefit the overall airflow when it comes to the fireplace.

Chimney Sweep Inspection Camera

One of the toughest aspects of being a chimney sweep is finding all of the areas that might be covered in grime and soot. It’s a dark area, to begin with, and that soot is black in nature. This can mean missed areas becoming a common occurrence.

But with a chimney sweep camera, you can get superior results right away. Using a camera like the Wohler VIS 400 Visual Inspection Modular System, you get a top-of-the-line camera that allows you to adequately inspect all areas of the chimney and fireplace for soot and grime.

With LED illumination, a waterproof camera head, and a crystal-clear screen, you can even utilize this camera as a marketing tool. After all, who wouldn’t want to hire the chimney sweep that has a cool inspection camera to get into all the nooks and crannies of their fireplace and chimney?

These types of tools can come with an investment cost, but they will more than pay for themselves over the life of their use. Not only that, you can become the most efficient and effective chimney sweep in the business before long.

Having the right tools is half the battle and these tools will allow you to win the war against soot.

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How To Stop Water Pooling on Flat Roof

How To Stop Water Pooling on a Rooftop

You came here because you want to know how to stop water pooling on your flat roof.

Having a flat roof can have a lot of benefits to it. But there is one definitive downside to those flat roofs: pooling water. This is because flat roofs do not drain water as effectively as their pitched counterparts. Those pitched roofs have a natural slope where the water can run down, draining off the roof.

Because these roofs don’t drain water that well, they are prone to developing what is known as ponding water. Ponding water is known in the roofing community as water that stands in a puddle on the roof for more than 48 hours at a time.

Ponding water might not be an immediate threat, but if it is allowed to persist over time, that water can begin to wear on the roofing membrane. This leads to a decline in the membrane’s lifespan and can lead to things like leaks which can cause serious problems for the rest of the building.

Thankfully, there are a few different tactics that you can employ to resolve those ponding water issues on your flat roof. And it is important that you address this issue because of the aforementioned leak potential.

Flush Existing Drains

Like the drains that live in your home, drains on commercial roofs can eventually become clogged with debris. In more extreme cases, these serious clogs can actually lead to standing water becoming a mainstay on your roof.

To prevent that buildup of debris, try removing sticks, leaves, and any other rooftop debris from the drainage system of your building. Not only will this allow rain and melting snow to flow away from your building, but it will also prolong the life of your drainage system as well.

On its own, that debris seems harmless. But when it builds and builds, it can lead to a variety of issues with not only your roof but the drainage system as well. Take those preventative measures and you should not only see a longer life for your drainage system but your roof as well.

You can also hire a professional roofing service to come out and perform those preventative cleanings on your drainage systems once or twice per year. That should be adequate to keep your drainage system clean and working optimally.

That little bit of preventative maintenance might cost a little bit of money in the short-term but will save you a whole lot of time, money, and trouble in the long-term.

Fix Low Spots

Despite the fact that they are called flat roofs, commercial flat roofs aren’t always completely flat. This is because there are subtle slopes in the surface of the roof that can come as a result of the installation process, weak spots in the roof, or a particular focus of debris or precipitation.

Additionally, qualified contractors understand how to slope a flat roof for drainage. These slopes are meant to facilitate drainage so that there is not a lot of pooling water on your roof. It helps to remove that extra water off to the edges of the building, where an external drainage system lives, or to designated internal drains that will carry the water away.

One of the flaws of these low spots is that water ponding can occur quite easily. When that happens, the drains can clog with debris and fail to do their job. This leads to a buildup of water that can cause damage to the membrane of the roof and eventually cause leakage.

A professional roofing contractor will be able to fill in those lose areas with a roof plaster in order to better direct that water towards the drains. Again, the goal is to direct as much water as possible to the internal or external drains that your building possesses.

How To Slope a Flat Roof For Drainage

 

Add more drain lines to the building

If the current drainage system has issues with effectively removing water from your flat roof, there are a few things that you can look into in order to help the process along. Though it comes with additional costs, adding additional drains is one of the most effective ways to take care of this issue.

Flat roofs, particularly those in areas with high precipitation, will sometimes need those additional drains to properly clear the water from the roof. Unfortunately, most building owners don’t realize this until they see that water ponding becomes a substantial problem in the wake of a heavy storm.

Most professional roofing contractors worth their salt can install extra drain lines or even widen the existing drains attached to your building in order to direct that excess water away from the rooftop.

Again, this is an extra cost and most building owners will stray away from this option. Still, if there is a more efficient option than this, it isn’t out there.

Install Roof Crickets

When it comes to pooling on your flat roof, you might find that the water ponds in specific areas. These areas typically are near chimneys or around large vents. The best way to battle water ponding in these areas is to install roof crickets in those areas.

Crickets are ridged structures that have been designed to divert melted snow and rainwater around roofing obstructions like the aforementioned chimneys and vents. Because of their positioning or design, those obstructions may have a naturally difficult time draining water on their own.

Adding crickets to these obstructed areas can also help when standing water is typically associated with transitions between the areas of the roof. If you are experiencing ponding water in other areas of the roof, crickets might not be enough. It is important to know how to drain water from a flat roof.

But if most of the standing water revolves around those aforementioned obstruction areas, installing roof crickets can be the remedy that you have been searching for and answer your question as to how to divert water on a flat roof.

How To Drain Water From a Flat Roof

Re-pitch The Rooftop

One issue that your commercial building roof could be having when it comes to keeping away ponding water is that the pitch was not properly designed or installed during the initial process. All roofs need some form of sloping to it, even if it is just subtle.

Without the right amount of sloping, the water that builds during a storm won’t be able to drain and will more often than not lead to additional pooling across your flat commercial roof.

The process of re-pitching the roof might be a costly one, but it might also be the only way that you can solve consistent ponding issues on your commercial roof. It might be worth exploring other options first, but if you need to make the investment, there are far worse things to put your money towards.

Best of all, if you know what you are looking for, you can actually re-pitch the roof before a problem arises. Sure, noticing standing water is an obvious sign, but maybe you live in an area that has a lot of storms and want to take preventative measures.

Replace The Membrane

The membrane of your roof is the protective layer that keeps your roof safe from things like moisture getting into the roof, attic, or other areas of the building. When that moisture builds up in the structure of your building, it can cause substantial structural damage.

When the membrane becomes damaged – and this can happen for a variety of reasons, ponding water chief among them – it might be worth simply getting a new membrane for the roof. This is an option if the cost of replacing the roof is not an option.

There are many membranes out there that are meant to withstand ponding water so it might actually be a blessing in disguise if you have to replace the membrane of your current roof for a more effective, modern version. An inspector will know how much ponding is acceptable on a flat roof.

You can also perform preventative maintenance to ensure that the membrane stands the test of time. Bring in a roofing contractor to perform an inspection once or twice a year to ensure that the membrane is holding up and not worn or damaged in areas.

Damaged Flat Roof Membrane

Compress Insulation

Another problem that can be combated with frequent inspections, compressed insulation can be another leading cause of ponding water on your commercial roof. You can also have serious issues with your roof if that insulation is insufficient.

Compressed insulation is generally caused by heavy roofing equipment that rests on the insulation during the installation process. Also, repeated treading over the roof area can lead to indentations in your roof that can lead to pooling as well.

The message here is that you need to ensure that the proper precautions are taken with the insulation and during any inspection processes. It is all too easy to damage the roof through these processes when some care could save you a lot of time and money.

Keeping your commercial business roof working optimally is one of the most important aspects of owning that building. That roof is the last line of defense you have from the elements and it needs to work properly.

With preventative maintenance and a little attentiveness, you can keep your roof working the way it is meant to work. Don’t let ponding water become an issue for your business when you can use these tips to get rid of that pesky water.

Modified Bitumen Roofing System vs TPO (Cost, Value, Longevity)

Modified Bitumen vs TPO

Modified bitumen vs TPO… it is a question on the mind of many commercial building owners.

Generally speaking, there are two kinds of commercial flat roofing systems that are most commonly found in the Northeast. These are modified bitumen and thermoplastic polyolefin or TPO. The former has been around since the 1970s and is one of the more traditional methods of flat commercial roofing.

TPO has been around since the 1990s and both do well in extreme temperatures, both extremely hot as well as bitterly cold. And given the locale (the northeast), this is a perfect set of traits to have to stand up to the huge swings in temperature.

More and more these days, however, TPO commercial roofing is surging in popularity. What you might not have realized is that TPO roofs are installed more than all other flat roof alternatives combined, including a PVC flat roof.

This piece will take a deeper look into both kinds of roof systems and examine each of them. This includes cost, expected life and longevity, and overall value of each of these roofing systems so that you can make the most informed decision possible.

Modified Bitumen Flat Roofs

One of the primary benefits of using a modified bitumen roof is that it comes at a lower cost to install. One of the biggest disadvantages, however, is that many major commercial roofing contractors have stopped installing them, mostly due to the surge in popularity of TPO roofs. Some have gone as far as to start installing TPO over modified bitumen.

As stated previously, modified bitumen began back in the 1970s and came along as a major upgrade over the traditional asphalt roofs of the time. It is termed as “modified” because of the addition of substances like styrene butadiene styrene (SBS) or atactic polypropylene (APP) which were intended to enhance both flexibility and longevity of the roof, especially when compared to those old asphalt roofs.

Over the years, there have been several issues that have arisen when it comes to modified bitumen roofs. The first is that, although an APP-modified bitumen roof is designed to have resistance to things like UV-light damage, cracking, blistering, and oxidation, there has been a lack of standards in the industry which has led to manufacturers skimping on the addition of that APP as a modifier.

What is the downside of that, exactly? This causes the roof to underperform. When the roof underperforms, that can lead to costly repairs. In the worst case, it could mean that your commercial roof needs replacing, adding another costly endeavor to your plate.

The second issue with modified bitumen flat roofs is that, although the gravel that is spread over a modified bitumen roof is intended to offer hazard and UV protection, that granular surface more times than not makes it more difficult to correct drainage issues and detect leaks.

Those drainage issues and leaks can persist far longer than they might with a TPO roof, which means that there can be a buildup of water that can damage the structure of the roof itself. When something like this happens, it can create structural integrity issues that can lead to even more costly repairs to your commercial business than you had ever expected.

The third issue with modified bitumen flat roofs is that any use of an open flame torch during the installation process can be a fire hazard. There have been more than a few instances of buildings burning when a torch used in the installation process was mishandled.

The risk here is definitely substantial and it can be substantial enough that some insurers won’t even cover roofers who apply that modified bitumen while using the open torch method. That is why open torch installations of modified bitumen are becoming a rarer commodity. With that said, the modified bitumen roof cost remains appealing to some.

Roofer Fixing Modified Bitumen Material

 

Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) Flat Roofs

This method is also known as flexible thermoplastic polyolefin (FTPO) roofing. Generally speaking, there are three different kinds of commercial roof installations involving TPO: ballasted, fully adhered, and mechanically fastened.

TPO is considered one of the best values in commercial roofing because it offers a number of different advantages. And when it comes to your commercial roof, getting valuable and longevity are definitely two of the most important aspects involved.

The tear-resistant single-ply membrane is tough, and it resists oil, grease, and chemical spills. Not only that, but TPO roof systems are also fully recyclable and UV-resistant. Best of all, TPO single-ply roofing is often considered to be a “green” option because there are no plasticizers included in the formulation process.

One of the cool aspects regarding the rise of TPO roofs in commercial roofing installations is that many building owners and managers now have the option of selecting from over a dozen different colors. This includes white, which has proven to have energy-saving abilities to it as well.

The great thing about this is that now you can match your new roof to the exterior color of your building. This might not seem like much, but being able to match that color scheme can make your building stand out in the eyes of passersby.

Best of all, some of those initial costs of installing an Energy Star-rated TPO roof can be potentially recovered through lower energy costs over the life of that commercial roof. That makes it easier to take on the initial costs of installing the TPO roof to your commercial building.

Additionally, it is possible to apply TPO roofing systems over top of pre-existing modified bitumen as well as metal roof. This is as long as the current roof is in a sound condition and not substantially worn or damaged. The application of the new roofing system over the top of an existing roofing system then eliminates additional tear-off costs and will reduce the overall disposal expenses. That is a win-win across the board.

TPO is a reheatable and weldable material as well. This means that it is possible to re-weld any seams that require it years later. On top of that, smooth-surfaced TPO roof systems are easier to maintain and clean than those granular-surfaced roofs like a modified bitumen offers. Being able to properly clean and maintain your roof means that the roof will hold up for longer, saving you from having to get a new roof for a long time to come.

The thickness of the standard TPO single-ply membranes can vary a bit. There are some that are around 40 mils but they can be as big as 800 mils. If your roof is in an area where punctures are more likely – due to things like falling large branches or any other sharp objects – you might want to look into a thicker membrane to ensure that your roof does not get punctured by any of those falling objects.

The installation here is key as is the case with any type of commercial roofing system. Whenever a TPO roof fails, this is often the result of damage that is done during the installation process. If it isn’t that, it is because seams were not properly welded during the installation process.

These seam failures can lead to leaks or potential catastrophic failures when extreme winds occur, causing wind uplift. While these are certainly worst-case scenarios, they are things to be aware of when getting a TPO roof installed. When you hire a skilled, experienced roofing contractor to handle the installation process, you generally don’t have to worry about these worst-case scenarios.

The better manufacturers in the TPO roofing system business consistently produce high-quality, longer-lasting TPO membranes that you can have confidence in and get a longer life out of than ever before. Again, proper installation methods from a certified commercial roofing contractor will ensure that the TPO roof is installed properly and likely won’t fail.

TPO Roofing Material

Final Call: Modified Bitumen vs TPO (TPO is King)

Despite being cheaper, there are just too many downsides to using a modified bitumen roof to make it a viable option anymore. TPO is more energy-efficient, more reliable, and more versatile than its counterparts in the roofing industry.

Combined with the ability to customize the color of your roofing surface, there is just no matching TPO as a commercial roofing option. They also last longer than bitumen flat roofs, meaning you save on the costs of a potential installation that would occur sooner rather than later with a bitumen roofing system.

When you run a commercial business, there are a million different things that you need to keep in mind and worry about; your commercial roof should be at the very bottom of that list. When you install a TPO flat roof on your building, you properly protect it from even the most extreme of elements for a long time to come.

You can save a ton on costs of installation over the years when your heating and cooling bills are far less than they have ever been before. You can have confidence in your commercial roof to stand the test of time and to handle the elements with ease, allowing you to focus on the most important aspects of your business like generating revenue to keep that business going.

TPO is the reigning king of roofing materials and will likely hold that spot for a long time to come.

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Roofing Tar vs Silicone (2020 Analysis & Comparison)

Roofing Tar vs Silicone Blog Banner

Roofing tar vs. Silicone. Which is superior?

Perhaps you find yourself in the process of having your roof repaired or replaced. If you are, there are a few questions that you might be asking. One of these is “what is the best roof sealant for leaks.”

Since there are a number of different materials to choose from, like slate, asphalt, silicone, aluminum, clay tiles, and more, it is important to have the right type of material. Generally speaking, it likely comes down to tar asphalt or silicone.

These materials have their distinct advantages but knowing which is the best one for you takes a little bit of research and a much more thorough look. Here are the two roofing materials side by side and what they can do for your roof.

Installation Process

Generally speaking, installing either roofing material can be a relatively straightforward process. For tar, you can install using a roller, but you have to ensure that the temperature is in the right range for it to effectively stick to the roof.

The last thing that you want is for the tar to not adhere properly. This could cause issues with peeling as well as potential water damage issues later on. Be certain that the temperature is right, and you will have no issues getting the tar to stick to the roof.

Perhaps the only downside to the installation of a tar roof is the fumes. When the sun hits the mixture, it creates toxic fumes that can leave you feeling dizzy and cause respiratory issues. Always, always wear a mask when installing a tar roof to protect against the side effects. No one wants to get dizzy and fall off the roof while installing it.

With silicone shingles, the process is a little more time-consuming but generally easy as well. There are no adverse side effects as far as fumes go, making it a safer option for installation.

Ideally, you should have a roofing professional come out to perform the repair or installation of your roof. It can be dangerous to take on the job if you are not experienced as those who lack experience often forego or forget the important safety procedures that should be taken during the process.

The overall installation advantage goes to tar roofing simply because you can roll it out relatively easy. Yes, there are toxic fumes involved, but as long as you wear a mask you should be okay during the entirety of the process.

Solar Energy

Silicone shingles reflect UV rays away from your home or business. This helps to keep the structure cooler without having to increase the amount of energy that you use through air conditioning or other cooling devices. Until you see a sky-high utility bill, you won’t understand just how much money that can save you.

Tar, meanwhile, has similar properties. It protects the structure from those harmful UV rays and helps to keep the building cooler even when the temperature is at its hottest. This is crucial during the hotter summer months when energy bills can soar.

Properly handling UV rays is one of the most important aspects of a roof. If it isn’t doing its job, your home could turn into an oven during the hotter months. This means cranking up the air conditioning and seeing your home energy costs skyrocket.

As both deal with the same problem in very similar ways – keeping those UV rays at bay and reflecting solar energy to keep the building cooler – either works fine for this specific concern.

Eco-Friendliness 

When it comes to roofing tar, they are very effective at keeping your home or business cooler during those warmer months; up to twice as much as most traditional energy-star certified roofing materials. This means that you can save substantially on your energy bills. Not only that, you could see benefits from green organizations like NAHB, LEED, or others.

The one drawback here is that the fumes can be quite dangerous to be around, though the effects on the environment aren’t quite as bad. If you do the installation yourself, be sure to wear a breath mask to avoid those toxic fumes that could be dangerous for your health.

Silicone is also great for saving money on energy costs. Even better, silicone offers protection against things like staining, dirt, and mildew. This gives them a distinct advantage in that they will look newer over time than a tar roof might.

The benefits are slight, but the advantage here goes to the silicone option. Both save you from expensive energy bills and are fairly easy to install, but Silicone protects against ugly staining while tar roofing material has toxic qualities during the installation process. Any time you can save yourself work on your roof, cleaning or repairs, that is a victory for you and one that you should take.

Aesthetic Appeal

With roofing tar, you are oftentimes limited to black or white. There are companies that specialize in offering a variety of different colors, but don’t be surprised if the majority of roofing companies in your area stick with tradition.

Still, if you can find the color that best suits your design scheme, it can match perfectly. Not only that, tar provides a smooth, seamless aesthetic without grooves or breaks.

As for silicone roofing material, they routinely come in a variety of colors and designs that allow you to get as specific as you want to when it comes to the color of your roof. Also, as previously mentioned, silicone is resistant to staining and dirt, which can cause unsightly spots to appear over time, making your roof look dirty and worn down.

Because of the versatility and choice in color as well as the ability to protect from things that may stain your roof, the advantage here goes to silicone. While getting different colors of roofing tar is not impossible, it is not as common as the selection for silicone roofing.

Durability & Longevity

Above all else, this is the most important feature of a roof. Because of the cost involved in replacing or installing a roof, it is not something that you want to have to do again in your lifetime. That is why using a roofing material that is meant to last is so imperative.

Tar roofs are very durable. This is because they remove the seams and cracks that we generally see in roofs and create a smooth surface. This is incredibly important when it comes to dealing with high winds or keeping snow/water buildup from forming on the roof.

The latter is particularly important. The majority of roofs experience some level of damage that can lead to leaks or water damage in other areas of the home. With a tar roof, you limit the possibility of that happening drastically. And as we all know, water damage is a real wild card that can play havoc on your home or business.

Silicone roofing material is also very durable. In addition to being resistant to the damage that can be caused by sunlight/UV rays, it also protects against things like rain, snow, and extreme changes in temperature.

The latter is very important in a roof, especially considering that the vast majority of us live in areas where the weather swings drastically depending on the time of the year. If you don’t have the kind of roof that can stand up to a snowstorm, you could find yourself in a pile of trouble before long.

These two are about even when it comes to durability. This is because both are meant to stand up to extreme temperatures, high winds, ran, and snow. They both protect against water accumulation and help to prevent those problematic leaks from occurring.

Perhaps the only real difference here is that a lot of silicone roofs come with a 50-year warranty, which should pretty much last you for life. Having that kind of security and peace of mind can go a long way towards picking the right roofing material for your repair or replacement.

Final Call: Roofing Tar or Silicone?

Even though this piece will give a slight advantage to silicone, the reality of the situation is that you really can’t go wrong with either material. This is because choosing a roofing material comes down to what your own individualized, personal needs are.

Silicone might have a better overall aesthetic value as well as the ability to stand up to staining and mildew, but using a tar roof won’t result in much of a difference. The same goes for being energy efficient – both are great at cutting down on your overall utility bills – and their overall durability.

If you are experiencing a repair or replacement to your roof and don’t know which material might be the best for you, make sure that you consult a roofing professional. You will be able to discuss your overall goals for the roofing projects, be able to better understand your local climate, and be made aware of any weather conditions that could affect your roof.

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How Old is My Commercial Roof? (Father Time is Undefeated)

How Old is My Commercial Roof

The roof of your commercial building is the last line of defense between you and the elements coming down on your head. Ensuring that it remains working optimally is one of the most important aspects of maintaining your commercial business.

There will be one question that you need to be able to answer and a surprising amount of commercial business owners can’t: how old is my roof? Knowing the answer to this question will give you a better idea of just how much you need to do to keep it up with preventative maintenance or give you an idea of what kind of repairs might need to be done.

But how can you determine the age of your commercial roof if you don’t already know the answer to that question? There are a few ways that you can determine the age of your commercial roof and work to keep it healthy and lasting for a long time.

Consult With The Former Building Owner

If it slipped your mind to ask the previous owners during the sale of the building, it might not be too late to ask them. If the previous owner had possession of that building for a long time, there’s a chance they could have replaced the roof at some point in time.

While it can be positive to find out the age of the roof through the previous owners, it isn’t the most accurate way to determine the age of the roof. Even if you don’t know the age of the roof, asking the prior owners might not be the best method to go with.

Locate The Building Permit

Depending on the county that your commercial building resides in, the county may require a building permit for any roof installation. If the commercial building that you purchased happens to be in one of those counties, you can contact the county building department in order to find out when the roofing permit may have been awarded.

If this is the case, this would likely be your most accurate source of information. There are few other methods that can provide the kind of entirely accurate information that a roofing permit can.

Request a Receipt Copy from The Roofing Contractor

If you cannot request a copy of the roofing permit from the county, the next course of action could be to contact the roofing installation company and request a receipt of workmanship. This can be problematic if you do not know which company performed the installation of the roof, but asking the prior owners could solve that problem if you happen to remember who the owner was.

Most roofing companies will keep records of all of the work that they perform, so this could be the easiest option if the county where your commercial building resides does not keep permits for roofing installations. Make sure that the paperwork that you receive is a receipt for the work done, not simply a proposal for the work as that can be different from the work that is actually performed.

Like the roofing permit copy, this can be one of the most accurate sources to find out when the replacement and installation of the roof took place. You want to be as accurate as possible in finding out this information because it will give you the most accurate idea of the age of your roof so that you can prepare for any potential repairs or a replacement.

Have a Roofing Contractor Provide an Estimate

This is probably the last-ditch option since it actually costs something to perform, but if you are struggling to find the right paperwork to provide proof of when the roof was installed, this is always an option. A trusted roofing expert is highly trained when it comes to spotting the signs of age in a roof and can give you a pretty reliable estimate about the age of your roof.

Not only that, they make for a great resource as far as estimating when your roof may need to be replaced, what repairs you can implement to prolong the life of your roof, as well as implementing any preventative maintenance that can keep your roof going for far longer.

Both home inspectors and roofers are qualified to evaluate the condition of your roof and to provide an estimate for all of the costs that could be involved. This is a more reliable method than relying on the memory of the previous owners, but not quite as cost-effective as getting a receipt of work or a copy of the permit provided by the county.

Is it Time for a New Roof?

There will be times, of course, where you don’t even need to know the age of the roof to determine that you need a replacement. There are many signs that will help you know when it is time to replace the roof, regardless of the age of the roof.

Here are just a few of the signs that your roof could need replacing:

Roof Valleys: One sign that your roof could need replacing is if the shingles in the valley of your roof are missing or falling apart. These valleys provide water release and they can cause very serious water damage if the roof is not properly maintained. If your roof has heavy damage in the area of the valleys, those valleys should be replaced as soon as possible in order to prevent any further damage. If the damage is too extensive, you might have to replace the roof altogether.

Curled shingles: One of the things about the shingles is that, when they begin to curl, they no longer work effectively in protecting the structure of the building. There are a lot of things that can cause the shingles to curl like high winds, age, or excessive heat from constant sun exposure, among other things. If you notice that there are several areas of your roof where there is curling to the shingles, it might be time to replace the roof altogether.

Missing shingles: This is perhaps worse than curled shingles because at least the latter is providing some level of resistance from the elements. When a shingle is missing from your roof, that is proof that the adhesive has failed. Over the normal lifespan of a roof shingle, this is commonplace and is a sign that it is time to replace the roof altogether.

If there are shingles that flew off during a particularly bad storm, it might be more of an indication that those areas need to be repaired instead of having to perform a complete replacement to the roof. It is obviously ideal to avoid a complete replacement as that can be a costly endeavor that no one wants to have to deal with.

Discoloration: While discoloration isn’t always a cause for concern, it can mean that there is wearing or damage being done to your roof over its lifespan. Darkening across the roof can indicate water damage that has been done in areas where the shingles have become weak or damaged. If you see excessive discoloration across your roof, calling in an inspector to take a look can be the best move that you make.

Water damage: One of the most glaring examples that your roof might need replacing is when there is water damage that permeates into the roof itself and has an impact on the structure of the building. If you notice this, it could mean that there are serious issues at hand with your commercial building.

It is imperative to note that under no circumstances should you ignore water damage that you notice go unattended. Any water damage that is left unattended, even if the source is small, can lead to serious issues within the structure of your commercial building. Unless you want to implement further repairs or have to experience serious water damage, get these issues taken care of as soon as you happen to notice them. It will keep you from having to experience the hassle that can come when there is water damage to your commercial building’s roof.

Making Smart Decisions About Commercial Roofing

As mentioned previously, knowing the age of your roof is important for predicting the timeline for when your roof will need to be replaced. But knowing the age of the roof is not the only important thing. Using preventative maintenance can go a long way towards preserving the life of the roof and saving you from having to perform a complete roof replacement.

Having a professional roofing contractor come out to perform an inspection even bi-annually can be the best investment that you can make towards preserving your roof. Those inspectors can not only find any areas of concern, but they can also tell you reasonably how long they think that your roof will last, what issues might need attention and when, and they can also implement the necessary repairs to keep your roof not only working longer but help prevent that complete overhaul.

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What is a Drone Roofing Inspection?

A drone roof inspection is a process of capturing images of a roof from an ariel perspective using a drone and a connected high-resolution camera device. The practice increases the accuracy of measurements and other critical roofing information that would otherwise require some guesswork.

Drones are something that started seemingly as a fad but have maintained popularity over the years. As a matter of fact, there have been a variety of different uses discovered for drones, making a wider array of tasks far easier than ever before.

Drones have become a featured tool in the insurance, solar, and roofing industry in recent years. This is because the latest advances in drone technology have fundamentally changed the way that inspectors measure and inspect roofs.

This is because drones are infinitely safer than a person having to get up on a roof and they are actually far more accurate than manual roof inspection and measurement. They also are capable of delivering a far richer data set to users that allows for a more streamlined workflow. Not to mention the fact that this can all be accomplished up to three times faster than using traditional roof inspection methods.

Drone inspections improve the consistency and accuracy of rooftop measurements

Drones now play an integral role in roof inspections.

With the human element involved, there is difficulty in maintaining both accuracy and consistency when it comes to manual rooftop measurements. There are issues like inaccessible edges, inconsistent endpoint selection, and twisted tape measures among other things that can go wrong.

So, instead of dealing with those human inaccuracies of old, machine learning is stepping in to pick up the slack. Using the latest in drone mapping technology, inspectors are now able to take far more accurate measurements of things like roof features, square footage, surface area, pitch, and slope all in a matter of a few minutes. On top of that, rigorous testing has shown that these measurements are consistently over 99% accurate.

When using drone technology to produce measurements, there is no more worrying about producing inaccurate data or having to go back to a job site because there was missed information. Drone measurements use a set protocol when it comes to endpoints, so the measurements are far more complete and consistent from start to finish.

Drone inspections are far more cost-effective and safer to produce

It almost goes without saying, but being up on a roof produces a whole litany of dangers to the inspector. Falls are one of the leading causes of death when it comes to industrial job sites. But with drones, you can reduce and almost eliminate the need for things like ladder assists and the traditional boots-on-the-roof method of data collection.

There have been numerous studies that have shown that using drones drastically reduced the amount of time that inspectors spent on the roof – by about three hours or so – meaning that it is three additional hours that the employees are out of harm’s way.

This improved level of safety means that construction companies spend far less on things like worker’s compensation or injury-related costs. These can really add up when you consider the danger that comes with putting boots on the roof.

Rich, lighting fast data, and ROI

One of the biggest things that any business will look into is their ROI or return-on-investment when it comes to purchasing expensive equipment. Ultimately, the business is looking to determine whether or not they will get back what they put into the equipment.

With drones, that ROI is a given. This is because drones are not only far faster and safer, they can gather information far more quickly, turning that information into actionable data in a far shorter amount of time. As a matter of fact, end-to-end drone solutions have shown to be at least three times faster than your traditional data gathering methods.

As mentioned previously, the ROI for drones definitely encompasses savings in both time as well as human resources, but it also delivers a far more effective set of data compared to manually measured data. Drones help to cut down on the amount of ineffective or inefficient data that gets gathered during inspections.

Drone mapping delivers every data point that you could possibly need, starting with slopes, roof planes, and areas. Additionally, it uses a detailed point cloud to capture the entirety of any roof in the highest-resolution detail. This produces a powerful set of data when it comes to commercial and residential roofers. Not only that, the data is shareable in a wide variety of formats making it easier than ever to access and use that data.

Drone inspections promote safety for contractors and inspectors.

The downside-free roofing inspection method

There is almost no reason to not purchase drones for your company. There is some initial cost, obviously, but the amount of money that your company will save in time and employee safety will vastly outweigh whatever initial costs there are in purchasing the drones.

Combined with the fact that you will be collecting far more efficient data in a far quicker method, there is no downside when it comes to drones. Your inspectors can find every little detail that they are looking for in real-time or capturing it and transferring lightning-fast data to be analyzed at a moment’s notice.

Drones have turned what was once a very dangerous profession into a more secure, safe, and reliable profession. No more questionable data collection, no more inefficient methods of gathering that data, and no more potential dangers during the inspection process.

If you are a roofing company, solar company, insurance company, or any other business that sees employees routinely climb up onto the roof of customers, investing in drone technology is an absolute must for the health and safety of your employees and the efficiency of your business.

You will quickly begin to reap the benefits of using a drone for inspections and be thankful that you implemented this technology into your data collection methods. As times and technology continue to develop, it should come as no surprise when more and more companies begin to implement drone technology into their inspections.

Drones are proving to be a highly versatile and effective tool in a wide variety of different industries. In just a few short years, it has completely changed the way that contractors perform roof inspections and collect data.

There’s a Loud Banging Noise on My Roof: Now What?

The wintertime has varying effects on all of us. Not only is the weather much more frigid, but it also gets darker outside far earlier in the day and stays darker long into the morning. This can have something of a jarring effect on those of us who do not particularly care for this time of year.

Another thing that you might encounter is that you suddenly hear loud banging noises on your metal roof. This can be pretty alarming to hear for the first time or two, but it is not a cause for panic. The noise might make you think that there is some kind of lurking intruder or that a tree has fallen on your roof, this is actually the effect that low temperatures can have on the roofing materials.

The banging you hear is the shrinking of the material that is occurring due to the shrinking of the material and it isn’t always a serious structural issue at hand. It does, however, require a bit more information to fully grasp.

Why does the roof make noise?

Let’s take a step back for a moment. Before you can truly understand what is happening with your roof, the concept of thermal expansion and contraction is something that you should have a handle on. The materials used to construct your building are all differently affected by the temperature of the environment that they inhabit.

During the winter, when temperatures have declined sharply, these changes can become much more noticeable. Colder temperatures can shrink any exposed materials. These materials are bound to one another as well as any interior materials by fasteners (this can include things like nails and screws).

Different materials will contract and expand at different rates; this can mean that all of the materials that encompass your roof are contracting and expanding at different rates as a response to the sudden shifts in temperature. This is what can cause these banging noises and is nothing to necessarily be alarmed about.

Metal roofing

Inside conditions vs outside conditions

Though the exterior of your roof is constantly exposed to the shifting temperatures of winter, the inside of your house is generally kept warm and is not exposed to shifting temperatures. The heat that is inside of your house is constantly moving upward toward the cold outer portion of the roof.

What this means is that the roof itself is shrinking due to the cold while the rest of the house is not. This can cause a buildup of pressure and distortion as well. When that pressure builds up, the joints and other areas where connections are made end up moving slightly; this creates those banging noises that might startle you during those cold nights.

It is important to not be alarmed. If you live in a colder region where there are typically large drops in temperature between daytime and nighttime during the winter, this is something that cannot be avoided and is not something to worry about.

What you might not have realized is that the same expansion and contraction is taking place is a far quieter fashion when water pipes are cooled or heated with each use. This contraction and expansion also take place with window and door frames even in the summer when the temperature cools from daytime to nighttime.

Another fact that you might not have even considered is that builders are well aware of the effects of thermal expansion and contraction and take that into consideration when they are building. For this reason, they try to choose compatible materials that are adjacent to each other and then tightly securing those connections in order to resist any excessive movement.

It is worth noting that you should probably make a point of clearing off your roof if several inches or more of snow have piled up. This snow provides additional weight to the roof and runs a greater risk of providing water damage to any areas that it stays in.

Insulation won’t make a difference

While there are certainly some instances where adding more insulation to your roof can help to quell those banging sounds that are being made as the roof and other components shift and contract, it ultimately cannot stop that expansion and contraction. This is because the roof is exposed to the elements and outside temperatures.

Adding any more attic ventilation could help to minimize the contraction and expansion through reducing the attic’s daytime temperature, but it likely will not end the banging entirely. Adding a little bit more of insulation to the attic could help to muffle those sounds if you truly are bothered or concerned by the metal banging of your roof during the winter.

As stated, it generally speaking is not a matter of concern if you hear your metal roof banging during the winter months. This is something that has been taken into consideration by the builders and is typically not a sign of something more serious like structural damage.

If the banging becomes more frequent or louder in nature, it might be worth calling in a contractor to perform an inspection. It might feel like overkill, but it is better to be safe than sorry. This way, the contractor can inspect your roof for the overall condition and ensure that what you are hearing has nothing to do with structural damage or any potential issues with the roof itself.

Your metal roof acts as any other material would in the colder months. That constant expanding and contracting that the materials do under the changing temperatures are nothing more than a cause for annoyance at best.

Though you may wish for the banging to go away, it is part of having a metal roof in colder regions of the country. There is not much to be done to alleviate this issue and it is something that you generally just have to take with the colder months of the year.

So, don’t freak out the next time your roof starts to bang. It’s just doing what nature makes it do.

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How Long Should a Rubber Roof Last?

If you are a contractor or are familiar with the roofing game, you may have heard of EPDM. This is Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer which is more commonly known as rubber roofing. Most contractors will recommend that owners of a commercial property invest in these rubber roofs.

Rubber membrane roofs have advanced durability, life expectancy and cost per square foot that makes it one of the best replacement options for any kind of damaged roofing material. And while it certainly has disadvantages of its own, there are more than enough reasons that EPDM roofs are one of the most common options for commercial properties.

How long will a rubber roof last?

Let’s cut to the chase and discuss one of the most commonly asked questions when it comes to a rubber commercial roof: how long do they last? With the right upkeep and weather conditions, your standard rubber commercial roof will last anywhere from 40 to 50 years.

This, of course, includes proper and preventative maintenance as well. There is not a single roof out there that will last half a century on its own with no preventative maintenance done. And while that may sound like a hassle, that preventative maintenance entails simple inspections and patchwork that is done should there be any damage done to the roof.

If your area experiences extreme weather each year, this life expectancy can probably be knocked down by a few years, but rubber roofs are generally very durable and meant to last a long, long time without a ton of maintenance needed.

What are the perks of a rubber roof?

As mentioned, rubber roofs are becoming the go-to choice for commercial rooftops. This is for a few different reasons that we will outline here.

Rubber roofing is more durable and cost-effective.

A good installation is all you need

One of the good things about installing a rubber roof is that if it installed properly, that installation will make your roof seamless. When there are no seams in your roofing, that means that it is more moisture resistant and will be virtually leak-free.

With other roofs, there is the risk that shingles or individual panels could peel and raise up, exposing the roof underneath to additional risk of leaking. But with the seamless install of a rubber roof, you don’t have to worry about those pesky leaks anymore.

Rubber roofs have the same properties as PVC, TPO, and other roofing materials that are more expensive to have installed. Again, this all comes down to the installation. If it is done in a subpar way, you won’t get the full range of capabilities that the rubber roof can offer.

Lightweight

Your standard rubber roof weighs just about two pounds per square foot. This makes it lighter than something like modified bitumen, but it remains more durable. Being lighter in weight also means that it puts less stress on the roof over time. This can do wonders for the health of your commercial roof over the life of the building.

Its lighter weight also means that it is easier to transport and install. With heavier materials, it can be a hassle to get them up and down ladders or stairs, but the rubber material is much easier to transport and makes the overall installation a bit easier as well.

Durability

As mentioned previously, rubber roofs are very durable, on a level with PVC and TPO. EPDM is actually durable enough that it can support things like rooftop gardens as well. Because the material is seamless in nature, it is able to lock out moisture and prevent the growth of any fungi or other roof-harming forms of life.

With a proper installation and yearly preventative maintenance – inspections to check for any cracks in the façade that could allow for moisture to enter – your rubber commercial roof should last at least 40 years if not more.

If installed properly, a rubber roof can last 40-50 years.

Properly installing your rubber roof

The first course of action for installing a rubber roof should be to call in a commercial roofing contractor. A contractor or roofer will have a litany of experience when it comes to installing these roofs and the chance that something goes wrong will drop drastically.

If you insist on doing the work yourself, however, there are steps to follow to ensure that the job is done correctly, and your rubber roof is installed properly.

The first step is to make sure the roof is prepared. This means that you need to clean the roof. Any debris or dust that remains could potentially weaken the adhesive of the membrane. The whole point of the EPDM membrane is that it needs to be able to stick to the surface of the roof.

The next step is to inspect areas of your roof where there is a gutter. In these spaces, you may need to install a batten to extend your roof towards the gutter. This will direct rainwater drips to the gutter instead of behind the gutter; this prevents damage to the supporting wall and fasteners that are underneath the gutter itself.

Make certain that you prepare the areas of your wall that would accept flashing – this redirects moisture from the wall towards the rubber membrane – and remove any excess brick mortar using something like a mortar chisel. This will ensure that the flashings attach properly.

Lastly, prepare and install the rubber layer. Again, it is key that the rubber membrane bond with the roof because this is how it seals and becomes seamless. Apply the rubber to the roof evenly and make sure to unfold the rubber after you have finished applying the adhesive. This ensures that it won’t dry out without attaching to the membrane itself. When you are done applying, cut away the excess rubber so that the fit is complete.

Rubber roofing is becoming more common due to greater durability as well as lesser costs to install. If you own a commercial building, you may want to consider having a rubber roof installed to prolong the life of the roof for a long time to come.

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4 Tips to Drain Your Commercial Flat Roof

Many ask the question; how do you drain your flat roof?

The roof of your commercial business building is one of the more underrated aspects of your business as a whole, but what it represents is so much more. Sure, it can be viewed by some as just being the roof of a building, but that building represents you as a business. And the roof is what separates you and your clients and customers from the elements.

One of the most common issues with flat commercial roofs is the accumulation of water. Water building up anywhere on the roof of a home or commercial building can lead to damage to the roof. This is because water does not drain effectively, pools up, and then causes damage to both the roof and underlying structure.

This can be especially devastating when there is damage to the façade of the roof. This means that water gets into areas it is not meant to be in (think leaks) and then permeates throughout the rest of the roof. This can lead to additional water damage as well as potential structural damage that can be dangerous for the building and those inhabiting it.

Thankfully, there are a few different ways that you can ensure that the water is draining from your flat commercial roof, keeping it free and safe from potential water damage.

Scupper Drain

Gutters

One of the most commonly used solutions, gutters are also very cost-effective solutions for drainage for flat roofs. As the water rolls off the edge of the roof, gutters catch that rainwater and then divert it down into a downspout, which dispenses the water a safe distance away from the foundation of the building.

Ultimately, this prevents rainwater from rolling off of the roof in an uncontrolled manner and running down the side of the building. That kind of uncontrolled dripping can do damage to things like windows, siding, and even the foundation of the building itself.

There are, however, disadvantages to using gutters as the primary drainage system on a flat roof. The first is that gutters need to have consistent cleaning in order to effectively do their job. When debris – like leaves – build up in the gutter, that blocks the flow of water. When the debris is not cleaned out, the water builds up and then overflows, running down the side of the building.

Gutters are also very susceptible to damage from things like ice, severe weather, and a build-up of heavy debris. These are factors to keep in mind when looking towards drainage solutions for your flat commercial roof.

Scuppers

This is perhaps one of the most effective solutions when it comes to drainage for a commercial flat roof. Using this system, there are large square openings that are made along the edge of the roof that will shoot the water safely away from the side of the building. There can also be downspouts that are installed directly below the openings that are used to catch the water and then drain it away from the building in a controller manner similar to the gutters.

Flat roof scuppers also have a number of benefits. In addition to being cost-effective, they are much easier to maintain meaning you won’t have to constantly clean them like you would gutters. Those wide, large scuppers will rarely get clogged by debris and a well-designed scupper can even enhance the overall aesthetic of the building, making it look a little bit nicer than traditional gutters would.

Like anything else, however, they do have downsides. If you install the aforementioned downspouts, there is the risk of them getting clogged and they will require regular checks for any build-up of debris. Not only that, they can be quite ineffective for heavier snowmelt and rain.

Also, scuppers tend to be less effective on a flat roof that has no pitch to guide the water to the edges of the building; the scuppers have to be somewhat cleverly designed in order to have the best overall effectiveness.

Interior Drains

These are very similar in the way that the drain in your sink or shower might work. These drains would be placed in the areas of the roof where the water is most likely to build up. The interior drains would then lead the water through a system of pipes that would be installed below the roof and travel through the pipes until they are dispensed into a gutter or a downspout that is located on the side of the building.

There are some very notable benefits that come with using an interior drainage system. The first is that the walls and foundation of the building are protected from water damage. The second is that the pipe system is protected from damage by the roof and walls which can also reduce the chances of freezing or cracking. Lastly, this type of system is highly customizable so you can get the exact type of system that you want.

There are downsides, however. It should go without saying that this is the most expensive option due to the nature of the install and customization. Additionally, any damage that does occur has to be repaired by a professional roofing technician.

Edge drains

This one works just as it sounds: they sit at the edge of the roof and collect the water there. It operates very similarly to a public shower. These are very similar to scupper drains in that the goal here is to prevent the water from running down the side of the building and causing any additional damage.

Edge drains are a simplistic way to divert that water from running down the side of the building, pointing the water to a predetermined destination so that it can drain safely away from the building without causing any damage.

Whatever the solution, drains are necessary for the life of your roof. That build-up of water can lead to substantial issues over time if left unchecked, so be certain to get your drainage system in place and ensure that it is working correctly.

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Can You Apply Roofing Tar in The Rain?

When you own a commercial business, your building becomes not only your home base but one of the most important aspects of your business. It is where you reside as a business and, much like a residential home, it is meant to keep the elements outside so that you can go about your day-to-day activities.

There will likely come a time, however, where damage has occurred to your roof that needs a quick or immediate fix. This is normal; roofs will wear down over time, especially in areas with consistently bad weather. Heavy winds, rain, and snow will, of course, wear down a roof far quicker than being in a more weather-stable area.

For many commercial businesses, that can mean having to tar or re-tar the roof of your building. Roofing tar is used because it is both waterproof and durable, meaning that your roof will stand the test of time far longer than using a different roofing material.

But there are things that you need to know about roofing tar so that you understand what you are getting into when you go to tar your roof. Being uneducated on the topic can put you in a spot where you apply the tar during a less than fitting time. Here’s what you need to know.

Tarring a roof

Can you tar in the rain?

This is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no answer. The short answer is that, yes, you can tar our roof in the rain. If you use a rubberized tar that specifically can be applied in the rain and the surface area is clean just before applying it, the tar could adhere to the roof.

The longer answer is that you should try to avoid applying the tar in the rain if at all possible. Because most roofing tar is an oily, dark mixture that is made from petroleum byproducts and coal tar, it is already slick in nature. If there is rain and you are not using a rubberized tar, there is a very good chance that the tar will not adhere to the surface that it is being applied to.

Ideally, you will have a few consecutive days of sunshine without snow or rain before you tar the roof so that the tar has time to cure. An ideal temperature is also around the 70 degrees Fahrenheit mark, though you can apply the roofing tar at lower temperatures. In hotter temperatures, the roofing tar could start to drip, which can create a nightmare of a mess to clean up.

Rain on Tar

What are the pros and cons of roofing tar?

If you have a flat roof, roofing tar is a fantastic choice. This is because roofing tar is highly resistant to ultraviolet rays from the sun that can be damaging over a long period of time. Roofing tar is also ideal for protecting your roof during the colder months of the year when snow and water can collect on rooftops.

That waterproof ability is particularly important. Roofs that are not well-protected from water and snow can experience damage to the roof’s surface as well as leaks that can permeate the building. When leaks occur and are left unchecked, they can cause mold, rot, and damage to wooden portions of the structure. This can lead to an unsafe structure, which would mean that no one could be in the building until repairs are implemented.

The downside to tar is that it is an unsustainable product. While it is being applied and cured, it gives off noxious fumes which can be particularly hazardous to one’s health if the proper precautions are not taken from a safety standpoint.

It is highly recommended that you do not tar your roof yourself unless you have the proper experience. Roofing contractors will have the proper breathing masks that will keep them safe during the application process. This is why contractors will more often than not perform the tarring while the residents of the building are away.

Applying the tar

In the event that you must tar your roof yourself, there are things to be aware of so that the job is not only done correctly but safely as well.

Before making the attempt to tar your own roof, make sure to check for any structural damage on the surface of the roof. Once you have verified that there are no discernable problem areas, you can bring all of your materials with you and get ready to begin. Leaving the tar in direct sunlight for an hour or so is a good idea; the sunlight will thin the tar, making it easier to apply.

The next step is to ensure that the rooftop is clear and free of debris. The last thing that you want to do is begin the process and tar over debris. This is not only unsightly, but it provides the risk that your roofing tar will not seal properly, which defeats the purpose of tarring a roof in the first place.

When beginning the process, start at the opposite and of the roof and make sure to apply the roofing tar in smooth and short strokes. Continue this process until you have reached the side of the building you entered.

Depending on just how much of the roof you are tarring, there are multiple methods that you can implement. You can use a large roller to cover larger surface areas or the entire roof should that be your prerogative.

If you are using roofing tar to patch areas that have cracks, keep in mind that this is not a permanent solution. If you see any areas that are damaged in this nature, the smart idea is to get in touch with a roofer or contractor so that they can take the necessary steps towards a more permanent solution.

Roofing tar is a cost-effective and reliable way to keep your roof protected, but there are definitely caveats to be aware of before applying it. When it is done well, your roof will be prepared for the elements for a long time.

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