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SPF Roofing: The Pros & Cons (With Examples)

There is one thing that we can all agree on: we want more value for our money when it comes to things like roof installation and repairs. There is a new form of roofing system that is becoming more and more prevalent and that is Spray Polyurethane Foam or SPF.

It is a cheaper alternative that is ultimately easier to install. But it can’t all be sunshine and roses, can it? Here is a list of the pros and cons that come with using an SPF roofing system that you should take into consideration before having your SPF roof installed on your commercial building’s roof during the next available climate window.

Pros of using Spray Polyurethane Foam

Ease of Installation

SPF application is easier than ever.

SPF application is easier than ever.

There is no denying that it is much easier to install your roofing system with an SPF application. Having an easier installation can save you a lot of time and money when it comes to your new SPF roof. The application is a foam spray, coating the roof far more quickly and it can generally be applied with no interruption of the daily routine of the facility involved.

Additionally, the shape of the roof in question becomes irrelevant. Whereas oddly shaped roofs might cause issues when it comes to traditional installation methods, it is no cause for concern with an SPF application. This is because the foam can conform to any shape or size of a roof, even the most irregularly shaped ones.

All it takes is a quick cleaning of the shingles, asphalt, metal, concrete, and wood and then you can begin applying the SPF roof directly over the materials. That level of ease simply cannot be matched.

Energy Efficiency

In addition to being the easiest roofing system to install, SPF roofing delivers air, thermal, and moisture barriers that provide the highest R-value per inch. This means that the material provides better overall insulation for the building itself.

During the summer, the polyurethane foam keeps the heat out while keeping the heat in during the winter to ensure that your energy costs are as low as they can be for the facility owners. With a silicone top coating that resists UV light, the foam remains protected and it reduces the heat absorption overall.

Easy maintenance

After an SPF roof is installed, it then takes minimal preventative maintenance and repair to keep it up. If you properly maintain your SPF roof, it can last for a whopping 50 years. Having that level of peace of mind is something that you can’t put a price on.

That does not mean that you should completely ignore your SPF roof after it has been installed, however. You will want to have it inspected on a semi-annual basis; once in the spring and again come fall. You might want to schedule additional inspections should there be severe storms that could cause damage to the roofing system.

The best part is that even when there is an event where the silicone needs to be recoated, there is no necessary tearing off of the existing materials; all you have to do is apply the new coat right on top of the old one. That means the easiest maintenance possible.

Renewable and sustainable

One of the best aspects of SPF roofing is that they create little to nothing in terms of waste. Most of the time, there is a minimal stripping required of the original roof since the SPF roof is installed right over the top. This eliminates the need for any expensive and messy roof tear-offs that can leave a ton of waste.

Not only that, the materials that are used for the SPF roofing systems happen to be environmentally friendly as well. They use things like Zero Ozone Depleting Potential (ODP), Low in the Emission of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCS), free from Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCS), and Ultra-Low Global Warming Potential (GWP).

Waterproof and seamless

One of the biggest issues with your standard roofs is that they have seams as well as penetrations where leaks can become the primary source of issues. With an SPF roof, this eliminates all of those vulnerabilities. The SPF mixture is applied as a liquid; this means that it can fill in any seams, gaps, and cracks that may exist in the roof and substrate already.

When the polyurethane foam is applied, this allows the contractor to also level out the roof so as to decrease the chance of any ponding water. The foam material can actually expand as well as contract with the building depending on the outside temperatures; this reduces any likelihood of splitting and cracks in the roof.

SPF roof installation provides a seamless roof where cracks don't happen.

SPF roof installation provides a seamless roof where cracks don’t happen.

Cons of using Spray Polyurethane Foam

There is a limited installation window

The one caveat about an SPF installation is that it can only be sprayed on when the weather meets specific conditions. If there is ice, frost, visible dampness, or surface moisture on the existing roof, an SPF roofing system cannot be installed.

If an installation is required that does not disrupt the everyday operations of the facility below, that can leave a small window for installation that requires the weather to be just so. This can be an inconvenience, but it is a reality of using an SPF roofing system.

Potential for overspray

This does not mean that you can overspray the roof itself, there is a chance that should the wind pick up, it can carry any overspray onto other surfaces or onto surrounding cars. This doesn’t pose any kind of health concern, but it can be a concern to the properties that surround your building.

This is a rare problem and one that can be avoided if you have the right company installing your roof, but it is a concern no less. Make sure that the commercial roofing services that you invest in involve careful spraying practices so as to mitigate any potential overspray that can cause damage to surrounding areas. This is just a hassle that you do not need and can easily be avoided with the right amount of care and attention.

They Botched Your Commercial Roof, Now What?

Botched roof

 

One of the biggest nightmares that you can have as a business owner is if something goes wrong with the commercial building that you operate out of. It can be even worse when the roof is the main source of the problems at hand.

When you realize that there is an issue with your commercial roof, you take the steps to address those problems by calling in a commercial roofing company to repair the issue or to replace your roof altogether. The process is costly and frustrating, but you are glad that it is over with.

Before long, you notice that there are still issues with your roof. Things like leaks or perhaps shingles peeling or rolling and you don’t know what to do. Did the commercial roofing company install the roof correctly or did they do something wrong during the process?

You call the commercial roofer that did the work for you and mention the issues but they refuse to take any responsibility for the issues at hand and will not be sending anyone out to correct those issues. They persist when you call to challenge this decision.

So, what is your recourse? What can you do when your commercial roof installation has been botched and the roofing company is unwilling to accept any responsibility for it?

What happens when the roofing company has botched your roof installation?

Unfortunately, the options are a little bit limited if you are dealing with a roofing company that is unwilling to take responsibility for the work they have done. Ideally, you will deal with a roofing company that stands behind the quality of its work and will do all that they can to ensure that your roofing issues are properly remedied in a timely manner.

If you aren’t in that ideal scenario, however, you will have two courses of action to take when dealing with the roofing company that did the work on your commercial roof. One of them is easier than the other and one will likely cost you time and money.

We will get to your first option, but there is one thing that you should do in the aftermath of this situation to see that you are covered.

Check your warranty

Most roofing companies worth their salt will have a written warranty that covers your roof for at least one year. If this is the case, make reference to this warranty when calling the roofing company because they will be legally obligated to comply.

These warranties are very common and, if you notice the issue within the first few months, you should be covered and not have to worry about much in the way of a hassle. But if your roof is not under warranty, there are two options that you will have left to turn to.

Call your insurance company

There is a chance that the roofing company that you used is run as a part of a program by your insurance company. If this is the case, you can and should contact your insurance company if the roofing company is refusing to fix your commercial roof.

If this is the case, your insurance company will have a requirement that the roofing company that performed the work come out to your business and perform the work necessary to fix the issues. This is unlikely to be the case, but if it is it will make what was once a headache go away without much of an issue.

It will also give you the idea that maybe you should not work with that company in the future since they were unwilling to remedy the situation and make everything right. If this isn’t the case, however, you are left with one other option.

Contact a lawyer

In the event that the roofing company is not covered under that insurance program and they are still refusing to perform the repairs necessary to remedy the issue, you will be left with one more course of action and that is to contact an attorney.

This is never an ideal scenario but it is there for a reason. Lawyers are in place to work for and defend the rights of clients that employ them. If the roofing company that you have employed refuses to do right by you and does not care to stand by the quality of their work, then a lawyer will most certainly take on your case and help you fight against what appears to be subpar work.

There are downsides to this. The first is that it will take some time. The law firm will have to mount its case against the roofing company, building up the evidence to help it get the kind of ruling that would benefit you. This can be frustrating, especially when you have to shell out even more money to get the essential repairs done that should have been done in the first place.

The second issue with this is that it costs extra money to fight for your case. Even if it is money that you can afford to spend, it is frustrating to have to shell out that extra cost for something that you feel like should have been done in the first place.

It can be even worse if you don’t have the money all ready to fight for your case. Whether you have to borrow to fight your case or you have to suck it up and pay for extra repairs without challenging the roofing company that did the initial work, it is a kick in the junk to not be able to get the satisfaction that you deserve.

When it comes to your commercial roof, you need to ensure that all the work has been done properly. Make certain that everything is done right and that you have a warranty in place with the company who performs the work, otherwise you could find yourself in a battle that you don’t really want to fight. The whole thing can be a pain in the rear, but there are options to help you.

Asses Your Commercial Roof’s Condition With a Roof Inspection

How to Spot Commercial Roof Shrinkage

Commercial Roof Shrinkage

The roof is the most important part of any building. It quite literally is the last line protection that you have from the elements coming down on your head. When there are issues with your roof, it causes a litany of problems that can range from small to catastrophic.

There will come a time with your roof where there may be damage, deterioration, or it might just be the ravages of time that has done your roof in. Whatever the cause might be, you will need to pay heed to these things and to take care of them as soon as possible.

There may be one problem that you might not have been previously aware of? That problem? It is known as roof shrinkage.

What is roof shrinkage?

Knowing about roof shrinkage is the first step towards dealing with it. It might seem obvious to state it but roof shrinkage doesn’t mean that your roof will literally shrink over the course of time. Roof shrinkage refers to the shrinking of the membrane of your roof. This coats the roofing materials and provides something of a protective layer for the roofing materials.

This membrane protects your roof from extreme temperatures and weather and even from the damage from objects that could potentially puncture your roof. This membrane can shrink over time. When the membrane shrinks, it can lead to things like rips, cracks, ridges, and tears in the materials of your roof.

If shrinkage goes without repair, it can grow substantially worse and there can be substantial damage to the materials of your roof. Never ignore any potential damage that you may notice. It might be a hassle (and a costly one at that) but implementing these repairs can save you a ton of time and money over a long period of time.

What are the causes of roof shrinkage?

Knowing what the causes of roof shrinkage are can be an important part of preventing it or making certain that repairs are implemented in a timely manner. There are a variety of reasons, but these are just a few of the most common things that can lead to roof shrinkage.

Materials

There can be a problem when the membrane is applied to the materials of your roof. For instance, if the oil that is added to the membrane isn’t properly mixed, it might not allow for things like adequate flexibility. What you might not have realized is that larger roofs can be more susceptible to things like roof shrinkage since there is more roof area and a larger amount of materials.

Larger areas of the roof can become affected and suffer from roof shrinkage. This can lead to the degeneration of those materials over time, which can cause leaks and other issues to become an issue. When you notice any kind of damage to your roof, you need to call in the professionals to stop those from becoming a bigger issue.

Bigger issues lead to bigger costs and those will be much more difficult to deal with than they may have if they were nipped in the bud from the start.

Poor application/manufacturing of the membrane

The membrane that protects the roofing materials is known as ethylene propylene diene monomer or EPDM. This is what is commonly used in the protection of the materials that make up your roof and keep the elements off of your head.

Since there are several steps in the overall development and the eventual application of this membrane, any lack of quality control or perhaps an improper application can cause issues that affect the overall durability and the life of that membrane. When the membrane becomes compromised, the materials that make up your roof can become compromised as well, breaking down sooner rather than later.

The membrane is such an important part of protecting and maintaining your roof that you might not have previously even noticed. Making certain that it is installed properly should go a long way towards ensuring that your roof stands up to the wear and tear of time and that the underlying materials remain in tip-top shape for the foreseeable future.

Venting

Proper venting will allow any moisture to properly escape from the aforementioned EPDM. This prevents the membrane from blowing up and eventually causing damage. Not every roofer out there will utilize proper venting (these typically aren’t done for residential buildings) but it can be an essential step towards making sure that your roof, the membrane in particular, does not suffer from excessive moisture.

Design

One factor that might hinder you and ultimately affect the membrane of your roof is the design of your roof. When the roof is designed, it has to be done so in a way that will ultimately compensate for those factors that can lead to shrinkage.

When the roof is designed, it has to be done so in a way that is strong enough to withstand any potential shrinkage of the EPDM. If it is not, that shrinkage will occur and the materials of your roof could become damaged over time. This may be out of your hands, especially if you purchase a home. Input on the design of the roof will then have been completely out of your hands.

If you are purchasing a home, one of the first things that you should do is to consult with a contractor to perform an inspection. A qualified inspector worth their salt will be able to notice any issues with the membrane and work to implement repairs immediately.

The membrane of your roof is essential to the life of the materials that compromise the roof and can either extend or shorten the life of a roof depending on their condition. There are a variety of things that you can do to check the continuity of the membrane of your roof and repairs that you can implement should any damage become noticeable.

Work to protect the membrane of your roof so that your roof can last through many seasons, protecting you from the elements along the way.

Preparing Your Commercial Roof for Snow, Ice & Cold Weather

Snow, Ice on Commercial Roof

The roof of your commercial building is the first line of defense that your business has against the elements. It should go without saying that the weather can have a great impact on that line of defense. Seasonal weather will have an impact on your roof and it could mean that you need to repair or replace that roof before long.

What you might not realize is that even the hotter months of the year can have a substantial impact. The switch from those hot days to the colder months (and the subsequent change in temperature) can have a great impact on the shingles and the structure of your roof.

Knowing how to properly prepare your roof for the winter ahead can make all the difference in the world for ensuring that it can last not only through the coming winter but many more to come. Take these steps to protect your commercial roof and you will see a longer life for your roof.

Know the history of your roof

Before you can take any step towards preparing your roof for the winter ahead, you have to know about the roof itself. Ask yourself the following questions: How old is your roof? What is the maintenance history of your roof? When was the last time it was inspected?

Knowing the answer to these questions is imperative. When you know the answers to these questions, you know where you must begin in preparing your commercial roof for the winter that is to come. There will be obvious signs that your roof needs work – things like ceiling stains are obvious – but issues with your roof may not be readily apparent. A roofing contractor will have the experience to look for things in the seams, flashings, rooftop equipment, structure, and the roof membrane that you would not know how to find on your own.

Schedule an inspection

The first and most important step towards preparing your roof for the winter is by scheduling an inspection with a qualified roofing contractor. As stated previously, looking for things on your own is all fine and well but if you have no experience with what to look for, you will likely miss a lot of vital things that may need attention.

This is why bringing in a professional is key. Make sure to do so before the weather drops and the freezing cold moves in. When you schedule regular inspections for your roof, you increase the chances that you will catch any small issues with your roof before they become larger issues. When those issues become larger, they can not only be more difficult to resolve but far more expensive as well.

Not only that, a roof inspection that is conducted by an authorized roofing contractor is required to maintain the warranty of your roof by most of the manufacturers and will save you a lot of money by detecting the issues early enough.

During the entire roof inspection process, the roofing contractor will look over your roof in a scrutinizing manner. They will look for drainage systems, roof traffic patterns, flashings, base attachments, and they will also perform a further investigation of the possible occurrence of moisture infiltration, containments, any improperly installed or unauthorized roof openings, and faulty roof membrane seams.

Simply put an inspection is paramount to the process of keeping your roof in the optimal condition and to avoid any leaks or damage to the roof. Schedule yours in either the fall or the spring, around the coldest times of the year, to ensure that your roof is up to the task.

Perform the necessary repairs

When the inspection is complete, there may be things that need repairing. It is important that you address these repairs as quickly as possible. This is imperative to stop any possible leaks, clearing your roofs drains and gutters, and fixing and preventing problems.

Since the roof is the most critical aspect of your building and it gets the highest level of exposure to the elements, you need to ensure that those repairs are done in a timely manner. This is because those problems could literally bring the roof down onto you.

Detecting issues that need repairing early and making sure that those repairs are implemented can save you from having to pay for a total replacement and it can extend the life of your roof while also preventing you from having to solve an emergency situation. This can be especially difficult in the colder months of the year.

Perform a cleaning

One thing that you can do in preparation of the inspection is to ensure that the surface of your roof is clean and clear and that the gutters have been properly cleared as well. Things like branches, leaves, trash, and debris should be removed prior to the inspection so that your roofing contractor can perform a proper inspection and not have to deal with working around those kinds of obstacles.

Not only that, that build-up of debris and trash can eventually do damage to those gutters and drains. These can cause build-ups in drains and cause leaks and damage that can eventually lead to bigger issues. Cleaning the debris off of the roof is one of the simpler things that you can do in preparation and you should do it to ensure that there are no further issues.

Evaluate the surroundings

One of the leading causes of damage to commercial roofs is trees that surround the building. There could be tree branches that hang over your roof, leading to broken limbs and leaves that can build up on your roof. The weight of those tree branches could be enough to penetrate the roof membrane and cause significant damage.

While the best preventative maintenance cannot protect your roof from extreme weather events, it can be protected from things like tree branches that might surround the building.

These are just a few of the things that you can do to prepare your building for the winter ahead. They can’t protect against extreme weather, but they can leave you more prepared to deal with any of the other issues that typically plague roofs.

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Why Commercial Roof Cleaning is Essential to Longevity

Roofer Washing Surface

The roof of our home or commercial building is essential; we all know that. But what you might not realize is that standard and regular maintenance is important to the life of your roof. It might seem like a hassle to perform this maintenance, but it can go a long way towards extending the life of your roof and saving you a ton of money in the long run. Enter; residential and commercial roof cleaning.

One of those maintenance routines that you should be investing in is proper cleaning or roof washing. This might sound like a foreign concept, but cleaning your roof can prevent some of the nastier mishaps from occurring with your roof.

Not only can a “dirty” roof make your home or building unappealing, but it can also cause damage to your roof that can be quite expensive to remedy.

It is more than dirt

Since your roof is exposed to the elements every single day, all day, there is no doubt that debris and dirt will collect on it. And while natural rainfall is usually enough to wash away the appearance of most dirt, there are dark stains as well as green areas that will appear on your roof that are caused by other natural elements like fungus/lichen, algae, and moss. While they might not sound like dangerous substances, they are much trickier than dirt to deal with.

Algae

This is what the black stains on your roof are usually from, also called gloeoscapsa magma or GM. GM algae is a type of bacterium that feeds off of limestone and asphalt roofing in cool, moist and shaded areas of the roof. When there is a minimal amount of light, the GM forms into something of a blue-gree color.

The more shaded areas that you have on your roof, the more likely that these will have algae, which can also be a haven for different types of molds. This would also explain why some roofs are only stained on one side of the roof.

These algae spores can be transported by animals or the wind. They can also quickly spread from rooftop to rooftop in neighborhoods that feature townhomes, single-family homes, or apartment complexes. Mold is nothing to mess with, which is one reason to make sure your roof is clean.

Lichens

Essentially, lichens are a combination of fungus and algae. They have been described as a fungus that will grow symbiotically with algae. They are plant-like organisms that will form a branching growth of root-like tentacles that will penetrate deep into the shingle’s organic, oil base to look for nourishment. These lichens can be very tough to remove from a roof and they can reappear when it is rainy and humid.

Moss

Moss is an actual plant, unlike the aforementioned algae and lichens. Moss generally has a shallow root system and it requires a lot of moisture in order to survive. When areas have less sunlight, they remain damper longer. When there are overhanging branches, they not only provide more shade, but they will also drop debris that will serve a source of food for the moss. And like algae, moss spores can often be transferred by animals or wind and will easily spread throughout a neighborhood.

How can these stains do damage to a roof?

These stains and patches of growth that are caused by fungus, algae and moss can eventually lead to damage to your roof through things like wood rot and shingle deterioration. Both of these can lead to expensive repairs and can even shorten the overall life of your roof. This is why cleaning your roof can be so essential to the life of your roof.

Shingle damage

GM algae, as previously mentioned, is a bacterium that generally feeds off of both limestone and asphalt shingles. This means that the organisms are quite literally eating away at the shingles of your roof. Furthermore, these roofs with algae stains will absorb heat. This can result in extremely high heats in the attic, which can also reduce the lifespan of shingles since they are essentially baking from the inside out.

As bad as those can be, lichen colonies can be very damaging to shingles since they penetrate with their tentacles to create pockmarks where they will grow and eventually wind up ruining the shingles.

And moss can be the worst of all when it comes to roof shingles. Moss can actually cause the edges of the shingles to curl or lift. This is often the first sign that a roof replacement will be needed. Because the moss holds in moisture, it can also freeze during the winter, causing even more damage to the shingles.

Wood rot

Because moss has the ability to not only hold in moisture and then divert water, it makes your roof as susceptible as ever to things like leaks and wood rot. Moss will grow in the slots between the shingles, which is coincidentally the last place that water will evaporate from a roof.

Unlike the others, moss growth can be fairly easy to spot on a roof. The signs of wood rot, however, are not always so obvious to the average homeowner. Wood rot can not only shorten the life of your roof, but it can also cause things like mold growth which can be hazardous to those in the home, including pets.

Another aspect of wood rot is that it can attract unwanted critters in your attic or on your roof. These little critters can cause even more damage when the wood has begun to rot. Animals, like squirrels, have a history of causing attic and roof damage because they chew through the areas of the roof that are damaged as well as the supporting wood systems. The rotted wood makes it easier for these animals to eventually bore through.

So, while it might seem unimportant to keep your roof clean, there are quite a few reasons to do so. It might seem like a hassle in the short-term, but it can save you a ton of money and hassle in the long run.

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How To Choose a Roofing Company

 

Roofer From National Association

Today you are going to learn how to choose a roofing company.

Sooner or later, there will come a time where the roof of your home or business will need repair work or, worse, a total replacement. This can be a frustrating experience for many reasons, least of all that it is a highly expensive situation to find yourself in.

Unfortunately, in a situation like this, you have no choice but to proceed forward with the repairs or replacement that your roof needs. Your roof is essential to your home or commercial business and allowing it to go without repairs can have catastrophic results. Simply put you cannot let those repairs go unattended.

So, when it comes time to find a roofing company to implement those repairs or the replacement of your roof, it is important to find a company that is worth your time and money. Getting the wrong company behind you can lead to more trouble than it’s worth and can be even more expensive than the original repairs.

What do you need to look for and how do you choose a roofing company to get those essential repairs or replacement is done to your roof? Here are some factors at play:

Cost…kind of

This is a bit of a double-edged sword. On one side of the equation, no one wants to pay more for anything than they need to. The cheapest option is often the one that is chosen, but it should not necessarily be that way. There is the old saying “you get what you pay for” and that is often the case when opting for the cheapest price.

On the same hand, don’t automatically go for the most expensive option, either. There are a ton of different roofing companies out there that will overcharge because they feel like customers do not know what they are being billed for.

Doing a little bit of research and getting multiple quotes is a smart thing to do. This way, you can get an idea of what the mean cost is for the job and be comfortable knowing what price range is the most realistic. Going for one end of the spectrum or the other will lead you to unrealistic prices and less-than-stellar work.

Read the reviews

One of the most important aspects of just about any business is the level of trustworthiness that customers have in them. Simply put customers will not work with a specific company unless they trust in the work that the company will do and their reputation within the industry.

This is why reviews all around the internet are so essential. Any good roofing company will likely have reviews on their own website, which is fine and well. But those companies are unlikely to display anything that sounds critical, so you won’t get the full picture of that company.

Peruse a number of different review sites like Yelp, Google Reviews, and others. You will get a much wider array of reviews from customers that have previously used that service and find out any of their experiences, from bad to good. If the bad reviews are fewer and further between, you know that you have a good chance of getting good work out of them. But if they are more frequent, then you should probably stay far away from that company.

Take the time to do your homework and look into these review sites. Doing so could save you a lot of trouble and, most importantly, a lot of money down the road.

Make sure the contractor takes safety seriously

Though you may not be working on the roof directly, it is important that the contractor that you hire has safety in their regard. Because any time an accident occurs on your property, you are potentially liable for those accidents and that is something you don’t need to become entangled in.

Any roofing contractor worth their salt will have a safety or training program. There is even a national training organization that is called the Center for Advancement of Roofing Excellence (CARE) that has trained over 200,000 professionals.

While this isn’t the top reason you should hire or stay away from a roofing contractor, it is certainly something worth keeping in mind when choosing the contractor that suits you best.

Check for insurance and proper licensing

This is one of the most essential aspects of a quality roofing contractor. The biggest red flag that you can find with a potential roofing contractor is that they are not properly licensed. This is because they likely cut corners providing cheaper and less quality work. Sure, they will be cheaper than other options, but you will wind up paying dearly down the line.

This ties hand in hand with the cost option above. Opting for the cheapest contractor that you can find will more than likely lead you to contractors that don’t have the proper licensing. Knowing that the contractor has insurance for all of their employees will give you the peace of mind of knowing that, should an accident happen, everything is properly insured and you will not be liable.

This might seem like an afterthought when thinking about your roof, but it is something that could end up saving you a lot of money, in the long run, should someone get hurt or injured while working on your roof.

Consult the Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings

There is one thing about reviews being left on review sites and there is another when it comes to the Better Business Bureau. This is particularly important in the wake of a storm. When storms hit, there are those contractors out there that will sweep in and look for people who have been hit by the storm. They will offer up services at rock-bottom prices, provide shoddy work, and then leave before the customer has even realized how bad the work is.

To combat this, be sure to check up on a business using the BBB ratings. These storm chasing companies will not appear anywhere in the BBB ratings and you will learn quickly that they are not to be trusted. Contractors worth their salt will be accredited with the BBB so that you know it can be absolutely trusted.

The Better Business Bureau has been around for many years as a trustworthy source for accredited businesses. It has given confidence to customers and instills trust in businesses so that consumers do not have to worry about the quality of work that they are receiving. Being able to trust in the business that you plan to hire can make the difference in the work that is done to your roof and can leave you feeling like you have the peace of mind that you deserve.

Know your choice of materials

One thing that most people in need of contractor services do not realize is that the customer has a choice when it comes to the different shingle options available to them.  If a contractor does not offer you options when it comes to the different shingle options, they are likely not looking out for the best interest of you and your roof.

Think about it: the color and style of the shingles that you choose to have installed on your roof can have an effect on the resale value of your home. If the insurance company okays payment on the new roof, this could be a perfect time to make a change to the roofing materials and upgrade to a more unique style that suits your individual tastes.

Before the job begins, talk to potential contractors about the material choices and see what they say. If they do not offer you a choice, you know that you can eliminate them from your selection process and move on looking into other options.

Ultimately, there are a number of things that you should take into consideration when choosing a contractor to work on or install your roof. Because of the heavy cost involved in the process, this is not something that should be taken lightly and you should do the requisite amount of homework before proceeding.

Doing so will likely save you a great deal of trouble and probably even more money along the way. If you cheap out, you will likely get subpar work done that you will have to pay for down the line anyway. Making certain that a business is insured and license will also protect you from any liabilities that could occur during a job.

It might seem like a bit of a hassle to have to put this much effort into simply choosing a roofing contractor, but it will be worth it to you in the end. You will have your roof fixed or installed and you know that you will have had it done correctly. You will never have to worry about the quality of work done to your roof when you do the research necessary.

Choosing a roofing contractor might not be easy, but it is something that you will likely have to deal with at some point in the future. Choose wisely when you do.

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How Long Should My Commercial Roof Last?

The roof is one of the most overlooked yet essential portions of the building that you run your business out of. When it is working as it should, it is out of sight, out of mind. But when there are issues, you can’ t help but notice it and nothing else.

Knowing how long you can expect your commercial roof to last can help you make preparations for repairs or a replacement instead of having it sprung on you at a moment’s notice. Roofing replacement or repair can cost quite a bit of money and is something that can be catastrophic without properly saving and planning.

Commercial Aluminum Roof

What is the expected life of a commercial roof?

This obviously cannot be answered as there are a number of factors that can play into the life of a commercial roof. It depends on when the roof was installed, how it has been maintained, what materials were used, the weather in your location, and other factors.

Generally speaking, however, a commercial roof can be expected to last anywhere from 10 to 40 years. Here are some of the materials that are typically used in the construction of a commercial roof.

Roofing Materials

While this isn’t the end-all, be-all list of materials used, these are the most common commercial roofing materials that are used and their expected life span:

  • Ethylene propylene diene terpolymer. This is known as EPDM and can have a lifespan in the range of 22 to 35 years.
  • Thermoplastic polyolefin. This is known as TPO with a general life expectancy of 22 to 30 years.
  • Metal roofs have a general life span of 30 to 45 years.
  • Polyvinyl chloride. This is known as PVC and carries a life expectancy of 20 to 30 years.
  • Asphalt roofs have a life expectancy of 20 to 40 years.

The materials are just one aspect, though. There are other factors that play heavily into the life expectancy of a commercial roof.

Common Factors that can affect the lifespan of a commercial roof

When installing a commercial roof, these are just a few of the factors that are worth taking into consideration as they can each play a large factor in the life of that roof. Again, these are based on expected life spans and are by no means a science. You could have all of these factors and your roof could be fine for 40 years.

Slop – When you have a flat roof, it is far more likely that water will pool on the surface; this is just gravity at work (or not at work, in this case). When the water doesn’t flow down the roof and onto the ground, it will find the lowest point that it can and stay there until it evaporates. Low spots are more often than not where the damage starts and leaking is often the first sign of damage.

Installation – The installation process is perhaps the most important step. This is because any flaws that occur during the installation process can ultimately shorten the life span of any roof. It is essential that when you need a new roof installed that you choose a contractor that is reputable, well-qualified, and experienced. Don’t automatically look for the cheapest option; it can be worth it to shell out a few more bucks to ensure that you get the kind of work done that is necessary.

Ventilation – The attic space that lies just underneath the roof itself needs proper ventilation. This ventilation is key because it helps to prevent the build-up of moisture and heat. This is especially important during the summer months when the hotter temperatures in the attic space, as well as up on the roof, will essentially bake the roofing materials. That built-up moisture can ultimately lead to mold and rot which can cause a whole other list of problems for your building.

Maintenance – Though it may seem like a huge hassle, having routine maintenance and inspections performed on your roof can prevent those small problems from becoming far larger ones. It can be easy to neglect your roof, especially when there are issues. It is imperative that you do not, under any circumstances, ignore those problems. They can wind up leading to huge issues that can make your commercial building unsafe to be inside of.

Weather – This is one of those factors that you kind of can’t help. Depending on the area that you live in, your building might be susceptible to higher winds, hail, heavy rains, or heavy snows. This kind of exposure to the elements can wear on a roof over a long period of time and really cut down on the expected life of a commercial roof.

When there are issues regarding the condition of your commercial roof, it is important to have a dependable roofer available. When there are issues with the roof, it can lead to huge problems as well as structural damage to the rest of your building. This is why it is important that you never, ever ignore problems that might be occurring with your roof.

The life of your commercial roof is dependent on all of the factors outlined above, each one having their own individual impacts when it comes to the life of your commercial roof. Even though you can’t help things like weather and time, there are definitely preventative measures that can be taken to ensure that your commercial roof enjoys a long-lasting life.

You can even take preventative measures yourself by simply checking your roof every once in a while to see if there are any leaks or damaged areas that might need attention. The roof can feel like a hassle, especially when you know that there may be something wrong, but make sure that you take those steps to inspect the overall health of your roof. It is something you will be thankful that you did overtime when your roof hits those huge life span milestones instead of having to be replaced entirely.

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Can You Replace a Roof in The Winter?

Roof in The Winter

There is never a good time for your roof to experience issues. Winter is one of those times that you definitely do not want to experience an issue due to the cold and snow that can permeate your area during that time of the year.

So, what do you do if you notice that your roof is missing some shingles or experiencing leaks that are dripping down into your house? Can you replace a roof during the winter? The answer is that, yes, you can replace your roof during the winter. The key is to use the proper techniques from the very beginning to the very end. This way, you ensure that your roof is performing at peak condition regardless of the season.

Is there a good temperature range for installing a roof?

While it is possible to install or replace a roof during the winter months, that doesn’t mean that a roofer will be able to do the work at twenty-below.  So, if the weather is at the lower end of the spectrum, you will have to wait it out a bit before you can get a full-on replacement. Emergency repairs can be conducted, but these should be stopgaps only.

Ideally, installing an asphalt shingle roof should be done between 40 degrees and 85 degrees (Fahrenheit, of course). Even the highest-quality asphalt shingles can crack when they are hammered and installing them in the wrong temperature can promote breakage. When it’s under 40 degrees, this can be a major issue.

Also worth taking into consideration is that wintertime is a great time to get a pretty good deal on a new roof, but the contractor will need to wait until the weather is in that sweet spot before they can schedule the installation date.

Biggest issues with installing a roof in the winter

Breakage in your asphalt shingles was discussed above, but there are definitely other reasons why it is imperative to wait for the optimal temperature before installing or replacing a roof. This is primarily because of the adhesive that is used in the installation process.

When the temperature gets too cold, those self-adhesive shingles can have a hard time sticking to the roof. When the temperature is in the right range, the adhesive has no trouble bonding with the roof. The ability for the shingles to bond to the roof is what gives it stability and durability; in temperatures that are too low, it can’t bond properly.

Even choosing another type of roofing material doesn’t mean that you are in the clear. Using fiberglass shingles can be really dicey as they are very susceptible to fracturing during the winter months while shakes can break apart when the temperatures hit freezing levels (32 degrees).

Knowing how to install a roof during the winter

You might be asking yourself “if there are all these issues during the winter, how can you actually install a roof?” The good news is that there are a number of things that you can do to properly install a roof with no questions or concerns.

The first is to keep your roofing shingles warm before they are installed. You can keep them in a heated warm garage or a warehouse before delivering them to the job site. You can also keep them out of the cold at the job site until you are ready to use them, limiting the time that they are exposed to the elements.

You also need to ensure that you are using a proper technique when sealing the shingles. The vast majority of roofing shingles come designed with a thermally-activated asphalt sealant. These bond the shingles to the roof itself using the warmth of sunlight. What you might not realize is that it can take as much as a couple of weeks before the shingles are completely stuck.

In wintertime, the approach can and should change quite a bit. When the temperatures are colder, a professional roofer might want to try to hand-seal the shingles using an approved asphalt roofing cement or another type of adhesive that is provided by the manufacturer of the shingles.

Make sure to seal every tab with just a dab or two of asphalt roofing cement and make sure that those dabs are near the edge of the shingle, but not exposed. Making sure that a lot of care is used here is imperative to a successful installation. It’s not quite as seamless as it can be during the warmer months, but it is definitely a process that can be done.

Think about winter maintenance

Even if you don’t need a total replacement to your roof, you might still find yourself in need of roofing maintenance. If you decide to head up to your roof to provide a self-inspection, do so with extreme caution. Winter can mean a lot of slippery surfaces and a fall could be devastating.

Not only that, walking on shingles when it is cold could lead to breakage in the shingles themselves, especially if the shingles are located on a surface that is uneven or if the shingles themselves are slightly curved. Walking on your roof can also break the sealant bond that seals the shingles to the roof, so make sure that you can hand-seal those shingles that might be peeling away.

While there are definitely difficulties to installing or replacing a roof in the wintertime, it is not an impossibility and can actually get you quite a good deal on a roof. If you do need to have your roof replaced during the colder months of the years, make sure that your contractor follows proper techniques and that they are prepared to install the roof in a way that will result in a job well done.

Because of the patience that it takes to install a roof in the winter, there are a lot of things that can go wrong if done improperly. Try to save that installation for the warmer months if possible, otherwise, take your time and do your research.

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Commercial Roof Insurance Claim Process (Step by Step)

Whether you own your own home or a commercial business building, there is one universal truth: roof damage really sucks. When a storm hits your area, high winds or falling debris, like hail, can cause serious damage to the roof of a building.

This is a costly and frustrating process and there is nothing more frustrating about damage to your roof like having to go through the process of dealing with insurance. Anyone who has ever done it can attest to the fact that filing an insurance claim is one of the biggest pains there is and it can lead to a lot of stress.

Maybe this is your first time having to deal with a damaged roof and you don’t really know what to expect when dealing with the insurance companies. This guide will give you a pretty good idea of what to expect and how to best navigate the entire situation.

Insurance Claims Service

How to work with your insurance company on a damage claim

Suffering through the storm might feel like more than enough to deal with but buckle up because the insurance claims process is coming. Your roof needs repairs and unless you have bottomless pockets, you are hoping that insurance will pick up a good chunk of the tab.

Assess the damage

This is the first step in the process. Ideally, you will have taken preventative maintenance with your roof to mitigate any damage caused by high winds, hail, or heavy storms. This is an important part of the investigation that insurance will run: if they think you didn’t do all that you could to prevent the damage, they might not cover anything.

Figuring out what you need to be covered and paid for is important. It is important not to undercut yourself while not drastically overvaluing your claim, either. This can be tricky, but you need to be as accurate as you possibly can be when making this assessment.

File your claim

When you file your claim, you will get a claim number in response as well as a representative that will be in charge of investigating the damage. That adjuster will look into whether or not you have acted in good faith and tried to protect your property rather than allowing more liability to be incurred.

If you have taken the aforementioned preventative maintenance and it is determined by the adjuster that the damage has not occurred due to negligence on your part, you will have to go through the adjustment process.

Go over your insurance policy

Being informed is one of the most important aspects after filing your insurance claim. Knowing what is exactly covered and what is not under your policy can make the process go much more smoothly and will allow you to know your ground as well as your entitlements.

Take the time to review things like incidental clauses, deductibles, coverage, and depreciation primarily. These will be the most important facets covered in the claims process and will do you the most good when it comes time for the adjustment.

Working with your adjustor and what to expect

Once you know exactly what your policy entitles you to and what is covered, next comes filing and dealing with the adjuster. When you file, the key is to take photographs. This will not only expedite the process but if you have before and after photos, it will show clear damage and clear prior condition. This will only aid in your insurance claim.

Make sure that you keep all the necessary receipts and documentation from any temporary or emergency repairs that you may need to be implemented. Never assume you are on the hook for those and do all you can to prove their necessity to the insurance company.

The key to this entire process is clear, concise information. Don’t give the insurance company any wiggle room to get out from a claim; hit them with information and photographs from every single direction. Insurance companies will question everything; when you have the documentation to back up your claim, you don’t leave them with an out.

Work with contractors

Once the adjuster has determined that your claim is a valid one, they will start assessing the overall extent of the damage done to your roof. Generally speaking, the insurance companies will work with professional roofing companies to work on insurance claims. This is because they know exactly what adjusters need and will likely have the supporting documents as well as photos ready to go.

You can contact a reputable company to conduct your own inspection if you have any doubts; they will know what to look for and how to present it to the insurance company. Make sure that you always have as much information as you possibly can.

The settlement

If you are working with a solid and reputable insurance company, the adjuster should be pretty transparent about how they arrived at the settlement number that they arrived at and why certain claims expenses, if any, were denied.

You are well within your rights to negotiate so long as you do so respectfully and fairly. If you can’t reach any kind of settlement with the insurance adjuster, you can appeal the decision that the insurance examiner came to.

After all, has been settled, the adjuster will then approve work to start. Here, you would want your roofing company’s representative to meet with the adjuster and yourself to make the overall adjustment process as smooth as it can be.

The final step

Make sure that you ask your adjuster as early as you can in the discussions about how the payments are to be disbursed; generally, it is two payments that are issued insurance payments. From here, it is a matter of getting your roofing contractor to work and getting all the repairs made.

This process can be a frustrating one if you aren’t prepared, but when you arm yourself with all the information that you can, you make the entire situation a lot less of a hassle overall.

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Roofing Diagnosis 101: Metal Roof Leaks Around Screws

When it comes to roofs, there are few products that can match the strength, durability, and performance that a metal roof can offer. But like just about anything else, metal roofs are not indestructible and they definitely can spring leaks.

Knowing where and how to identify leaks in a metal roof is the first step towards implementing the repairs that you will need to get your roof back into working order. Here are just a few things to look for if your metal roof is beginning to leak.

Metal Roof Interior

Metal roofing screws

 

More often than not, if you have a leak in your metal roof, a metal roofing screw is the culprit. When installed properly, metal roofing screws will seal out the water by compressing a rubber washer down at the base of the screw head. When the screw is then driven down into the metal roofing panel, the rubber washer will form a gasket of sorts between the roofing panel and the screw head itself.

While this sounds like a simple process, there are definitely things that can go wrong and we will go over a number of those later in this piece. The key is to know that when you have a leak, you should go for the site of the metal roofing screws before checking out anything else.

Here are a few of the ways that a metal roofing screw can lead to a leak in your metal roof.

Under driven screws

This can happen when you don’t have enough torque on the screw as it goes into the metal roof itself. What causes the leaking is that the rubber washer does not properly seat against the metal roofing panel. When this happens, the rubber part of the screw is never compressed and there is no gasket seal that is formed.

This can typically be remedied by tightening down the roofing screws with additional torque. This might not resolve the issue every single time, but it likely will solve the issue the majority of the time. This is one of the easier fixes that you can implement when your metal roof springs a leak, particularly around the metal screws.

Overdriven screws

This is the other end of the spectrum. In an effort to ensure that the tight seal between the screw head and the metal roofing panel has been met, the screw can be overdriven into the metal roofing panel. This can lead to damage to the roofing panel itself, which presents other problems that may need to be addressed.

The added torque generally breaks the rubber washer and makes it spin out to the side, preventing the sealing necessary that keeps the water from leaking down into the hole. In some cases, you can simply take some of the torque off of the screw; in others, the screw may be stripped and there could be pressure damage to the metal roofing panel itself.

Metal Roof Leaks Around Screws

Screw is driven in at the wrong angle

Again, the key to a successful screwing of the metal screw is getting that seal. When you screw down at the wrong angle, there is nothing for the rubber washer to sit flat against. This will result in the seal not taking effect and leaks persisting around the area.

When something like this happens, you can generally unscrew your driven screw and use the proper torque to re-screw it in. You know you have done it properly when the rubber seal sits flush against the metal roofing panel and keeps the water from leaking through.

This is a pretty easy fix as, in most cases, the screw will not have done any damage to either itself or the metal roofing panel. Simply unscrew the current installation and make sure that you screw it in again so that it sits flush with the panel.

Screws that might have missed the wood framing or strut below

When something like this happens, the screw has nothing to seal against and leaks can be hard to find because many times the screw is right there, but without actually touching it you wouldn’t know that it didn’t actually seal or hit anything.

Always double-check to ensure that the screw has seated properly and grabbed onto the strut or wood framing below. You can save yourself a ton of trouble by double-checking your work each time and won’t have to revisit a leak area caused by inefficient screwing.

Faulty screws

While it isn’t the most common of causes that there is, you could find yourself having leaks after a proper installation simply because the rubber washer might not be safe or complete. It is also important to check on the screws after each season because hot summers followed by frigid winters are likely to be unkind to those rubber washers.

Over time, and with temperature changes, can degrade those rubber washers and make them lose their seals. When something like this happens, it can be difficult to find a difference between where the screws are leaking and where they are not.

Screw

How to prevent leaks created by metal roofing screws

As stated previously, it is essential that you double-check your work before walking away from the roof. Screwing in a screw with too much or too little torque can be a common cause, as can a screw that is placed at an improper angle.

When you double-check your work, you ensure that there are no screws that will slip by you and you should not have to deal with leaks. But should there be leaks in your metal roof, you have a pretty good idea that the metal roofing screws are the culprit. Take a look around, inspect those screws, and make adjustments where you need to.

Leaks in your metal roof don’t have to be a catastrophe. Taking proper care and using common sense can save you a lot of headache and hassle and leave your roof standing up to the test of time and those pesky leaks.

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