Category Archives: Commercial Roofing

How To Cut Metal Roofing (Tips, Ideas, and Best Practices)

How To Cut Metal Roofing

Disclaimer: Always consult with safety and roofing professionals before performing cuts or any dangerous task. Everything in this post is hypothetical and theoretical and should not be used as a how-to manual.

Whether you are a seasoned or new roofing contractor, it’s essential to know how to cut metal roofing. It’s vital for contractors because metal roofing is becoming a prevalent choice for commercial and residential properties. 

You will need to keep up with the demand for metal roofing and know how to work with it effectively. Knowing the best practices for cutting metal roofs is always good, so your project goes as smoothly as possible. 

In the following post, Roofer’s Guild will be going over some tips for cutting metal roofing materials. 

Tools for Cutting Metal Roofs

Now that you know why so many people opt for metal roofs, it’s time to prepare yourself to install this increasingly popular roofing material. There are a few tools that you will want to keep handy if you plan on cutting metal roofing:

  • Tin Snips: Tin snips are your basic metal cutting hand tools. They can work well if you are dealing with a particularly thin sheet of metal roofing or if you need to make small, detailed cuts. 
  • Circular Saw: Circular saws work well when you want to cut multiple sheets of the same length. You will want a circular saw around when you need to make long, straight cuts as well. 
  • Nibbler: A nibbler is used to cut through sheet metal. For roofing, it’s best to use a power nibbler so you can make rounded cuts when needed. 

Measuring your Cuts

Before you start marking your metal roofing panels for cuts, be sure to lay the panels on a flat, stable surface like the ground or a workbench. Make sure the underside of the panels faces up. The underside will be flatter and, therefore, easier to mark. 

Using a tape measure, mark the beginning and endpoint of the intended cut. A permanent marker works best for this. Make sure you mark the start and end points precisely to prevent any gaps between the panels. 

Use a combination square to draw a straight line with a permanent marker between the start and end cut points. 

Safety Precautions

Now that your cuts are measured and marked off, it’s time to start cutting. Wrong. You need special safety gear, especially if you’re planning on using a circular saw. Your safety gear should include:

  • Goggles: Cutting metal with a circular saw creates metal fragments that can fly into your eyes. 
  • Dust Mask: A dust mask will prevent metal shards from making it into your mouth or sinuses. 
  • Gloves: Heavy-duty work gloves are ideal because cutting into metal roofing panels can create sharp, dangerous edges. 
  • Earplugs: Earplugs are only necessary if you plan to use a circular saw as the cutting will produce high-decibel noise.

Cutting with Tin Snips

Tin snips are best when making short, small, or detailed cuts. They work the same as scissors, so if your cut begins at the edge of the panel, there’s really not much to it – just be sure to follow the cut lines you made carefully. 

However, if your cut needs to begin in the middle of the panel, you will need to drill a pilot hole. Using an electric drill with a ½ inch metal-cutting drill bit, bore a small hole at the starting point of your cut. Then, simply use your snips to get into the pilot hole and begin your cut. 

Using a Circular Saw

When cutting metal roofing panels with a circular saw, it’s best to use a steel tooth or carbide tooth blade. 

To begin cutting with a circular saw, line the blade up with your cut line very carefully. Keep one hand on the handle and the other on the saw guard at all times. Move the blade slowly along the cut line, keeping your hands steady as possible. 

Why are People Choosing Metal Roofs?

Barns, silos, and commercial buildings were traditionally familiar metal roofing candidates. However, that isn’t the case anymore. Hundreds of thousands of homes in the US now feature metal roofs, and their popularity is only on the rise with homeowners. Take a look at the features of metal roofing that make it such an attractive choice for homeowners:

  • Longevity: A properly installed metal roof will typically last between 40 and 70 years. Of course, specific materials, installation, and weather conditions will factor in how long any roof will last. By and large, though, metal roofs typically last longer than shingle roofing.
  • Design: Metal roofing has come a long way over the last couple of decades. Metal roofing comes in different colors and can even mimic the look of natural roofing materials. 
  • Flame-Retardant: Metal roofs are safer because they are flame-retardant. They will not spark up and will prevent the spread of flames in case of a house fire.
  • Impact and Wind Resistant: Metal roofing can withstand wind speeds of up to 140 miles per hour. They are also very impact-resistant, which is a huge plus if you live in an area prone to hail storms. 
  • Lightweight: Metal roofing panels are lighter and less expensive to install than natural stone roofing and even shingle roofing. 

Differential Movement: Tips & Definition for Roofers

Differential Movement

Differential movement is a term that you have probably heard if you have spent any time as a roofer. It can cause alarm in some cases, or it can be a regular part of the job. In any case, as a roofer, you should be able to identify and define differential movement as it pertains to the roofing system of a building. 

Differential movement in a roof can cause severe damage. Or it can be a regular part of the roof’s “settling” process. The following post will look at the definition of differential movement, how it can affect the structure, and some tips on how to handle it. 

What is Differential Movement?

Differential movement occurs at points in the roofing system where independent parts are adjoined. Installed parts settle at different rates causing unsettled structural formation. Specifically, other parts of the roof adjust, settle, or move (this phenomenon itself is natural) at different speeds. 

When Does Differential Movement Occur?

Differential movement often occurs when there has been an addition of some kind to a commercial or residential building. For instance, adding a bedroom to a house is often the culprit for residential differential movement. Because new materials are being adjoined to old materials, the settling rate will not match. As you can imagine, signs of differential movement typically appear where old materials interact with new materials.

The flashing of a roof will also be a tell-tale sign of differential movement. Therefore, if you inspect for differential movement, one of the first places you should look at is the roof’s flashing.

What Can Differential Movement do to a Roof?

First of all, you should be aware that other things can cause differential movement. For example, shifts in the soil under a house could have visible effects on the foundation and the roof. Tree roots can also cause differential movement by shifting the foundation of the structure. If one side of a system is sunken lower than the other, this will cause a faster settlement rate on the side that is sunken. 

As you can imagine, differential movement of any kind can cause some severe problems. However, the manifestations of differential movement may also be somewhat benign. Not all differential movement occurs at such an opposing rate as to cause severe damage. For example, slight differential movement can occur over decades without causing any serious problems. Still, the phenomenon can impact a structure in many ways, including but not limited to:

  • Foundation Cracks: This is one of the more severe side-effects of differential movement and can cause a structure to become unsound. 
  • Interior Wall Cracks: Inexplicable cracks in interior walls may be another sign of differential movement. 
  • Ill-fitting Doors: If you have ever had to shave down a new door because it doesn’t fit in the jamb, the problem may have been caused by differential movement in the structure. 
  • Tilting Chimney: Differential movement in the roof or the foundation may cause chimneys to tilt or sink to one side or another. 
  • Distorted Walls: Severe differential movement may cause the structure’s walls to bulge in sections under extreme stress. 

Differential movement can cause both cosmetic and structural damage. For example, cracks in the wall of a house may be a mild sign of differential movement, but inspect the whole structure o make sure that no adjustments are necessary.

Roofers, in particular, should inspect the flashing first. If you see a gap of 2-6 inches in the flashing between a vertical wall and the roof deck, this is most likely a sign of differential movement that has to be corrected. Sunken areas of the roof near flashing could also signify something that needs to be done sooner than later. 

Tips for Differential Movement

How you deal with differential movement will depend on a lot of factors. First, how severe is the movement? Then, what type of structure is the roof system? And, of course, where the movement is occurring? In general, though, here are some tips for dealing with differential movement as a roofer:

  • Look for Wrinkles: One of the fastest ways to identify differential movement on a roof is by looking at the flashing. If there is a pattern of diagonal wrinkling in the flashing, you are likely dealing with differential movement. 
  • Roof to Wall Expansion Joint: If the roof decking is independent of a vertical wall, a roof-to-wall expansion joint should be installed to correct and prevent differential settlement. The flashing should only be anchored to the roof deck, and there should be a woodblock at the base. 
  • Dealing with Roof Openings: Differential movement often occurs at roof openings (vents, skylights, etc.). To prevent differential movement from happening at these vulnerable points, roofers must form a curb. The curve isolates base flashing and counter-flashing, so that differential movement becomes a non-issue. The curb should be made from metal and should sit at least 8 inches above the finish roofing material.

More Roofing Knowledge

Here at Roofer’s Guild, we pride ourselves on offering roofers the knowledge and resources they need to expand their businesses across the country. But, we know you want more, and that’s why we offer digital marketing services tailored specifically for roofing businesses. 

With our help and expertise, you could dominate your local market and beyond. Our team has the experience needed to create a custom marketing plan for your business. Get more roofing customers for your business with our help today.

8 Common Silicone Roof Coating Problems for 2021

Silicone Roof Coating Problems

Silicone roof coatings are a smart choice for many reasons. For one thing, they have a very high solids content, so they don’t necessarily have to be applied in multiple layers to provide adequate protection. Of course, this will save money and time. For another thing, they can save even more time and money if they don’t need a primer, as is often the case.

These, and other reasons, are why many commercial buildings have silicone coatings protecting their roofs. However, silicone roof coatings are not perfect – no type of roof coating is. It has its inherent flaws. As a contractor, property manager, business owner, or simply a concerned property owner, you should know how silicone roof coatings can fail and the most common problems associated with them. 

That way, you will know what kind of maintenance your roof needs and whether or not a silicone roof coating will be suitable for your building in the first place. In the following post, Roofer’s Guild will examine some of the most common silicone roof coating problems.

1) Not All Roof Materials Adhere to Silicone

Right off the bat, this could be a big problem. Not all existing roof materials will adhere to silicone. A lack of adhesion means you will have to remove the entire surface or opt for materials that will stick to silicone. Investing in adhesive materials can drive up your installation costs. 

2) It’s not the Best for Heavy Foot Traffic

An ideal candidate for silicone roof coating is a roof that will not see much foot traffic. There are a couple of problems that can arise if a silicone roof coating is applied to a roof that gets a lot of foot traffic:

  • Silicone becomes slippery than other roof coatings when it gets wet. Such a condition can present a safety hazard for people on your roof. 
  • Frequent foot traffic can damage silicone before it’s time.

Foot traffic may not be an issue for you if your building’s roof rarely gets visitors. If you frequently need roof-top HVAC maintenance, have people working on skylights, or your roof requires a lot of care, this may be a problem. 

3) Compromised Reflectivity

One of the main advantages of getting a silicone roof coating installed is that it can reflect a lot of UV light, saving you money on cooling costs. However, this is not an infallible advantage. Silicone roof coatings tend to attract dirt and dust more than some other materials. Dirt and other build-ups will compromise its reflectivity and negate energy savings. 

While investing in regular roof cleanings can negate many of these concerns, doing so adds more maintenance to your property.

4) It is Limited to Flat Roofs

A silicone roof coating will not work very well on pitched roofs. We know that very few homeowners are clamoring to install a silicone roof coating for their house, but not all commercial roofs are flat. If you have a pitched commercial roof, silicone will not hold up or perform as well as some other types of roof coating systems. 

5) It Typically Has Shorter Warranties

While some other types of roof coatings typically come with warranties that last up to 25 years, the warranty you are likely to get from a silicone roof coating is significantly shorter. You can usually expect a warranty period of only ten years. While some manufacturers/contractors may offer you 15-year warranties for silicone roof coatings, you can also expect to pay more for them. 

6) It is Prone to Tearing

Silicone roof coatings are inherently prone to tearing. They are not as durable as some other types of roof coatings and should not be installed in areas where hail, foot traffic, and abrasion are common. Hail and debris whipped up by the wind could create a tear in the coating and expose the substrate. When a tear occurs, the entire coating can become compromised. 

Tears can occur in many ways, including hailstones, heavy tools hitting the surface, pest infestations, falling debris from trees, and more. 

7) They are More Expensive

One of the most unattractive silicone roof coating problems is that it is typically more expensive to install than other materials. For example, the typical cost to install a silicone roof coating is around $2 to $3.50 per square foot. On the other hand, the average price to install an acrylic roof coating is only about fifty cents to a dollar per square foot. 

Since they need to be cleaned more and are more prone to tears, silicone roof coatings are also more expensive than other coating options. When it comes time to replace your silicone roof coating, you are likely to pay more because the entire surface may have to be removed depending on the replacement materials.

8) Silicone can be Difficult to Install

The fact is that a lot of roofers don’t like to work with silicone because it is messy and difficult to apply correctly. Many contractors that do offer silicone coating installation have undergone special training, which will drive up the cost of installation once again. 

On the other hand, when you have an inexperienced contractor installing a silicone roof coating, you could face more problems. That’s because improperly installed silicone roof coatings can damage your roof. 

Roofing Substrates: The Definitive Guide

Roofing Substrates

You may have heard the term “roofing substrates” in passing. But do you know what it means? It’s not all that complicated. 

What is a Roofing Substrate? 

A roofing substrate is any structure onto which you can install a roof coating or roofing system. It’s sort of like the support system for the roofing that you can see with the naked eye. 

There are many different types of roofing substrates available, depending on what kind of building you have and what type of roofing system you want to be installed on top of it. As such, you may have many questions regarding which type of roofing substrates would be best for you. So in today’s post, Roofer’s Guild will talk about different roofing substrates and explain their pros and cons. 

Types of Roofing Substrates

To understand roofing substrates, you have to start with the basics. A roof isn’t just the planks of wood on top of your house or commercial building. It is made up of many layers. A lot of people don’t realize that their shingles aren’t the core of their roofs. Commercial coatings and shingles are just means of waterproofing or insulating a building. 

Roofers must install waterproofing layers and membranes on top of something (to be secured) because the surface they are attached to is the roofing substrate, sometimes called rigid sarking, roof decking, or underlayment. If everything is as it should be, you should never see your roofing substrate. 

Roofing substrates need to be moisture-resistant (although no fully waterproof), so they are typically made from timber boards, OSB, or plywood. 

While roofing substrates are not necessarily needed to provide waterproofing protection to the building, certain types can offer this and other types of security – such as seismic uplift protection. The primary role of a roofing substrate is to provide a solid frame onto which you can secure the weatherproofing layer of the roof.

There are lots of options when it comes to roofing substrates, though. Depending on where you live, you may be limited to certain types based on local building codes. Here is a list of the most common types of roofing substrates.

Plywood

Plywood is a prevalent material used to build roofing substrates. The benefits of plywood roofing substrate are that it is an affordable material and relatively easy to install. However, while most contractors worth their salt will easily handle plywood substrate installation, they still must exercise caution.

That’s because the downside to plywood substrates is that a 1/8″ gap needs to be allowed, or else the panels will buckle. There are also some inherent weaknesses with plywood. Over time, they can become delaminated, and the boards will begin to pull apart. 

SPF Substrates

SPF stands for Spray-In-Place Foam. It hasn’t been used for very long as a roofing substrate, but it works well with Conklin roofing systems. One of the main benefits of this type of roofing substrate is that roofers can use it to impart a pitch to a flat roof. It also works well as a roof insulator. The downside of this type of roofing substrate is that it needs to be reinforced to avoid degradation from ultraviolet light. Another downside is that it depends on the quality of foam installation laid down beforehand. 

Solid Timber Boards

Solid timber boards are usually made from a naturally durable and water-resistant species of wood. They can also be treated with a preservative. The good thing about stable timber boarding is that it provides remarkable resistance against warping if done correctly. Warping and shrinkage usually occur when plain-edged panels are used instead of jointed panels. 

When plain-edged panels are used, solid timber boards are prone to shrinking and warping. While plain-edge panels are cheaper, jointed panels will provide more protection in the long run. 

Concrete

Concrete can also be used for roofing substrates. They are most commonly used for multi-story buildings. By far, the best thing about concrete for roofing substrates is that they provide outstanding structural integrity. Also, as mentioned earlier, they are ideal for multi-floor buildings. 

One of the downsides of using concrete for your roofing substrate is that you are limited in what type of roof coatings you can use. In general, you should only cover concrete substrates with non-bonded or partially bonded coating systems. 

Metal

There are several metal roofing substrate materials on the market. However, the most common and practical are aluminum and galvanized steel. Metal roofing substrates are commonly used in commercial construction as they provide strength and durability for more significant buildings. Aluminum is especially beneficial to use as a substrate in areas with high humidity due to its inherent moisture resistance. Aluminum is also lightweight (doesn’t put a lot of stress on the building structure) and strong (provides a solid base for most types of roof coatings). 

The downside to metal roofing substrates is that they do not provide a continuous surface. As a result, they typically have to be used to supplement timber substrates. 

Get Help With Roofing Substrates

Whether you are installing a new roofing substrate or needing repairs on your existing one, you must work with a professional. Your building – whether it be your home or your business – is too important to leave in the hands of amateurs. In addition, a compromised roofing substrate can detriment the structural integrity of the entire building. 

That’s why we encourage you to work with a professional roofing company. At Roofer’s Guild, we provide marketing services for professional roofing contractors from around the country. You can find a local contractor on Google search who will install or repair your roofing substrate professionally – no matter what type you need/have. So start searching now.

5 Cool Roof Materials for Commercial Buildings

Cool Roof Materials

When it comes to choosing a cooling system, there are a number of materials available that will make it easier to keep your home cooler for longer without having to spend a ton of money on running an HVAC system, particularly during the hottest months of the summer.

The thing is, there are a number of different materials that are available that can provide that “cool” roofing experience. Determining which cool roofing material is the best option can go a long way towards making your home more efficient and saving on those HVAC bills going forward.

So, how do you know which “cool” roofing material to choose from? Here is a guide to five of the best “cool” roofing materials out there. Each comes with a description of just what that roofing material is, how it is installed, and how it can have the greatest impact on your current roofing system as well as the impact that it can have.

Coated Roofs

This is a roofing material that is quite literally coated with a paint-like finish. This is done to enhance the roof’s adhesion, longevity, and durability while also taking the steps to reduce bacterial growth that can lead to mold and mildew.

Cool coatings like this are best for roofs that are low-sloped and are on existing buildings. Best of all, coatings can be added to a multitude of surfaces including gravel, asphalt cap sheet, metal, and other single-ply materials.

Coatings are not just white paint; they are pigmented in a huge array of colors in order to implement different cooling technologies. And each of these coatings are also ENERGY STAR-rated to provide energy efficiency like no other.

This is one of the easier cool roofing materials to implement and can provide the right kind of temperature control to substantially cut down on your heating and cooling costs over the long run. Whatever you spend on the installation, you will begin to make that money back on the savings that you see in your monthly bills.

Foam Roofs

This is one of the easiest installations that you can implement when looking for a cool roofing solution. This is a roofing system that is topped with a foam-like material that is meant to coat existing roofing systems.

One of the biggest issues with switching roofing systems is the removal and disposal of the previous roofing system. This is no longer necessary if you have a foam roof. Best of all, this is a tried and true roofing system that has been around for nearly 50 years.

Foam roofing is not only one of the reliable cool roofing systems available, it is long-lasting and affordable as well. The foam is made from two liquid chemicals that come together to form a flexible yet solid and lightweight material that attaches seamlessly for a water-tight fit.

Foam roofing has proven itself to be totally sustainable by requiring little maintenance and creating even less waste. Keeping temperature control in your home is easier with cool roofing as your current roofing system.

If you are looking for a reliable cool roofing system, a foam roof could be the most ideal roofing system to implement over your current system.

Built-Up Roofs

When it comes to built-up roofing, they provide the kind of system that is made up of several layers of various minerals and materials. When put together, these various layers help to prevent those solar rays projected from the sun from penetrating and entering the building itself.

A common BUR layer will include the base sheet, layers of fabric reinforcement, and a protective surface layer on top. Depending on the building type, cooling strategies for a built-up roof can vary quite substantially.

One of the most popular methods includes embedding reflective materials into coal tar or asphalt in order to reflect those damaging UV rays from the sunlight. There is also another technique that involves topping the built-up roof with a mineral-surfaced sheet that consists of reflective mineral granules or other applied coatings.

Built-up roofing provides an additional layer of protection that other cool roofing systems don’t. Still,  they have the same reflective properties that other cool roofing materials do, keeping your home cooler with far less effort from your expensive HVAC systems.

Modified Bitumen Roofs

This type of roofing system is more commonly known as “Mod-Bit”. It is an asphalt-based roofing system that is similar to the aforementioned built-up roofing systems. Modified Bitumen is meant to accommodate both the warm and cold temperatures of most climates.

When the weather changes, the materials of your roof expand and attract accordingly. Modified Bitumen is more elastic than those built-up roofing systems, keeping them from becoming brittle due to all the expansion and contraction that the changing temperatures cause.

Modified Bitumen is installed in one of four different ways: hot-mopped, torch-applied, cold-applied, or with self-adhesives. The key is that, whatever implementation is used, to create that seamless watertight seal that keeps excessive moisture out of our attics and from hurting the roof.

Modified Bitumen also has the “cool” roof properties that will keep your home cooler with far less effort out of your HVAC system. This means savings to be had over the life of your modified bitumen roof, making it absolutely worth the cost of the installation that is required.

Single-Ply Membranes

These are the kind of roofing systems that are used on low-sloped roofs. These also require far more extensive repairs than the other roofing materials mentioned. Single-ply is prefabricated sheeting that is individually applied to the existing rooftop.

Generally speaking, there are two main types of single-ply roofing: EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) and single-ply thermoplastics. These are both some of the most common cool roofing materials that are available on the market today.

Both are a bit thinner but definitely more flexible while still providing those cooling aspects that allow you to keep your room cooler without the costly HVAC systems. And that’s the goal of your cool roofing system: to keep your home cooler with far less effort from your HVAC system.

The Pros & Cons of Rubber Roofing

Pros & Cons of Rubber Roofing

If you have ever heard of rubber roofing before, you have probably heard it talked about for commercial buildings. Rubber roofing, sometimes referred to as EPDM or TPO roofing, is a popular choice for commercial roof installation. It holds several benefits for more extensive facilities that need a cost-effective roofing system that will also perform well in severe weather conditions. 

But for these reasons and others, rubber roofing may be the answer to your residential roofing difficulty as well. The fact is that rubber roofing presents many benefits, and there are only a few drawbacks to it. Whether you require a high-performance roofing system for your home or your business, you should know all the pros & cons of rubber roofing. In the following post, Roofer’s Guild will be going over all the critical points you need to know about this roofing material.

What are the Benefits of Rubber Roofing?

Rubber roofing has been around since the ’60s. The story of how it became a popular option is pretty impressive too. EPDM roofing had its heyday in the ’70s because back then, an oil embargo in the Middle East made high-quality asphalt roofing materials both hard to come by and expensive. 

As an alternative, people started turning to rubber roofing and quickly noticed the many benefits it held. EPDM roofing has been around for over half a century, and there is plenty of reasons why:

  • Affordability – EPDM roofing is one of the most inexpensive materials you can select for your property. It can cost as little as $3.25 per square meter, whereas other roofing materials can be as much as $16.50 (TPO) per square meter. 
  • Ease of Installation – Rubber roofing materials are very lightweight and more straightforward to install than many other roofing systems. Rather than being welded together to form a tight seal, most rubber roofing systems are a continuous, single ply. They then adhere to the roofing substrate with industrial roofing adhesive—no need for cutting, shearing, or welding. As a result of the ease of installing rubber roofing systems, the cost lowers, making it even more affordable. 
  • Safety – One of the most significant drawbacks of many other roofing systems is a fire hazard. But rubber roofing is extremely flame retardant. Having rubber roofing on your building is equivalent to placing a fire-resistant shield on top of your building. Not only can it delay the spread of flames during a structure fire, but it can also resist catching flames from a structure fire nearby. 
  • Weather Resistance – Rubber roofing is composed of a cross-linked material. Such material is exceptionally resistant to severe weather by merit of its chemical makeup. It is resilient, so it stands up to hail impact damage very well; it doesn’t catch fire even when struck by lightning, and it provides excellent water-proofing even in the face of torrential downpours. Plus, rubber roofing is inherently a low-profile roofing system, which means it won’t be a hazard in high winds either. 
  • Lowered Insurance – Insurance companies are willing to offer discounts between 5 and 35 percent if you install a roof that protects against impact, hail, and lightning damage. And as explained in the previous point, rubber roofing is resistant to all such damage. Installing a rubber roof could, therefore, save you even more money in annual insurance coverage costs. 
  • Longevity – Seams are typically what make a roofing system weak. When there are many seams, there are many opportunities for water to get between those seams, damage the roof and wreak havoc on the entire building. But with rubber roofing, there are little to no seams created during installation. A lack of seams makes it an incredibly durable roofing option. So how long does a rubber roof last? An adequately installed rubber roofing system (particularly EPDM roofing) can last for 50+ years.

What are the Disadvantages of Rubber Roofing?

There is not much to mention in terms of the drawbacks of this kind of roofing system. And in fact, many of the flaws are avoidable with a few tweaks.

  • Appearance – Rubber roofing looks very plain, industrial, and sometimes, downright ugly. Many people don’t even consider it an option for their homes because it can make a house look. However, some manufacturers are now producing rubber roofing strips that resemble standard shingles. 
  • Heat Absorption – Another typical drawback of rubber roofing systems is that the materials usually come in flat black, which can absorb a lot of heat and drive up your cooling costs. But once again, it’s avoidable. Rubber roofing now comes in lighter, more UV reflective colors to address this shortcoming. Furthermore, rubber roofing materials can easily be coated with acrylic paint to make them more reflective and add another layer of protection to the material. 
  • Load Bearing – Many people ask us, “can you walk on a rubber roof?” The answer is usually maybe. Rubber roofs can take light foot traffic but require fortification if you need to load building and construction materials onto them if you add a balcony, deck, or second story to your building. Many people see this as a disadvantage, but it can be negated by adding additional materials to make them stronger. 

Helping you Make the Right Choice

Whether you are trying to decide which roofing system is right for your property or need quality roofing contractors, we can help. We are Roofer’s Guild, and we are dedicated to connecting consumers to top-quality roofers in their area. Our team of roofers extends across the United States and is growing every day. We are the top collective in the country.

5 Factors to Consider Before Commercial Roof Installation

Commercial Roof Installation Factors (Cover)

Commercial roofing is what separates the professionals from the amateurs. Because the scope of commercial roof installation jobs is usually significantly broader than residential roofing jobs, commercial roofing work tends to be much more rigorous. Also, codes commercial roofers must adhere to are particularly stringent.

However, the more rigorous it is for the contractors, the more complicated it is for the property owners. As the property owner or project manager, you have to consider which contractor to go with, what type of roofing system you will need, and many more while keeping your budget in mind. 

There are no two ways about it; commercial roof installation is a very involved process. But if there’s one thing we know here at Roofer’s Guild, its roofing. That’s why we wanted to compose today’s blog all about what you can expect before, during, and after a commercial roof installation project. 

We will also be taking a look at some of the most popular types of commercial roofing systems and how they can benefit your property.

1) Cost and Timeline Considerations

At the outset of your project, you need to determine your budget and timeline carefully. These will be the most important guiding factors for the project and will inform every decision you make. But how do you calculate commercial roofing costs? That will depend on the roof’s size, the materials used, and whether you are building a new roof or replacing an old one. For example, if you opt for a single-ply membrane roof typical for commercial properties, you can expect to pay $3.40-$7.50 per square foot. And if you are replacing an old roof, add ten cents to four dollars per square foot for preparation/removal.

And because commercial roofing work varies so much, the timeline will also be determined by the roof’s size. But in general, if the weather permits, an average commercial roof should be a 2-3 week job.

2 ) Contractor Selection 

Choosing the right contractor for your commercial roof installation is crucial. It would be best if you went with a local contractor with much experience. Ask for references, ask to see pictures or a portfolio of past work, and make sure they give free estimates. One sign of the right commercial roofing contractor is detailed consultation. When they come to provide an estimate or at a later time set aside expressly for consulting, they should be able to break down the job for you in great detail, including an estimate of how many materials are needed, how many men will be on the job, the type of work that will occur and a general timeline.

And it would help if you insisted on a licensed, insured, and bonded commercial roofing contractor. Also, please don’t take any contractor at their word. Ensure that they show you a current commercial roofing insurance certificate, or you could be left holding the bag.

3) Roofing System Selection 

Your contractor should be able to help with roofing system selection. But before you go into any consultation or entertain any estimates, you should know about some of the most versatile commercial roofing systems available for your property:

Built-Up Roofing 

Built-up roofing systems have been around for a very long time. It’s hard to go wrong with this type of roofing system because it is fool-proof. It is essentially multiple layers of seamless roofing fabric layered on top of each other and topped with gravel to reflect the sun’s rays. The layers are adhered together (and to the roofing substrate) with asphalt. Built-up roofing provides adequate weatherproofing and lasts an average of 15-30 years, with some systems lasting up to 40. 

Modified Bitumen

Modified bitumen roof systems are installed similarly to built-up roofs because they are layered. Modified bitumen is a type of asphalt that is incredibly flexible and strong. The combination of flexibility (which gives the entire roofing system the ability to expand and contract as temperatures fluctuate without cracking) and strength (modified bitumen is strong enough to withstand regular foot traffic and inclement weather) make it one of the most common types of commercial roofing systems.

Single Ply 

Single ply roofing membranes usually come in rolls and apply with an adhesive or seam welding. Single-ply roofing membranes are known for superior rain protection because they are virtually seamless. They are also relatively simple to install and don’t put a lot of added pressure on the existing structure.

4) Business Operations

Operations are where project length comes into play. If your business is already running, you need to ask yourself how long you can afford to shut down operations during installation. In some cases, you won’t have to close your doors, but severe and comprehensive safety precautions are necessary to keep your workforce and patrons safe during construction. 

5) Warranties

Before the project begins, find out what type of labor warranties your contractor offers. You should also find out what kind of material warranties are available from the manufacturer, either by contacting them directly or asking your contractor. Be sure to get all warranty information in writing and keep them safe for your records. 

Commercial Roof Installation Professionals

The best way to implement all the tips we have mentioned in this post is by selecting one of the contractors from our directory. We work with no one but the best, most reputable, and accomplished commercial roofers nationwide. Our contractors will help steer your project in the right direction and be there to answer questions every step of the way. Let us help your commercial roof installation go off without a hitch.

Commercial Roof Insulation (Tips, Tricks, & Ideas) for 2020

Commercial Roof Insulation Blog Cover

The roof of your commercial building is essential, as obvious as that might sound. It keeps the elements off your head, sure, but it also keeps your product, equipment, and employees safe and protected. Without the roof, you would be in serious trouble and so would your business.

But the insulation on your roof plays an even more integral part. In this guide, you will not only learn the importance of that commercial roof insulation, but the role it plays, the types there are, and more. Consider this your commercial roof insulation guide, providing you with all that you need to know on the subject.

What is Commercial Roof Insulation?

Before we can begin, it is important to know what commercial roof insulation is and what it does. Putting it simply, commercial roof insulation is a layer of material that is installed under the membrane of the roof itself.

This layer is meant to create a thermal barrier between the inside of the building and the elements that it has to deal with outside. Commercial roof insulation plays a very critical role when it comes to reducing heating and cooling costs for not only your commercial building but in residential properties as well.

Ultimately, the goal is to limit the amount of thermal transfer between outdoor and indoor temperatures. Commercial roof insulation can be more of a substantial concern when it comes to areas that have extreme climate fluctuation. This can be either in hot or cold scenarios as both can have a substantial impact on your roof.

The more that you invest in the maintenance of your building temperature, the more that you need to think about installing the right kind of commercial roof insulation. Finding the right R-value the first time around is essential to the life of the commercial roof insulation and it can provide substantial energy savings in the process.

Without the proper commercial roof insulation, your building could struggle to regulate its temperature in an efficient manner. When this happens, your HVAC will go into overdrive to make certain the building stays at the proper temperature. That means far more costly HVAC bills, leaving you frustrated and paying far more than you need to.

Different Types of Commercial Roof Insulation

There are quite a few commercial roof insulation materials out there. They will range in material type, installation methods, R-value, and who manufactures them. Generally speaking, a skilled contractor should be able to recommend the best type of commercial roof insulation for the project that you have tasked them with.

Here is a brief overview of the different types of roofing insulation types out there:

  • Polyisocyanurate (Polyiso)
  • Extruded Polystyrene (XPS)
  • Expanded Polystyrene (EPS)
  • Mineral Wool
  • Spray Foam
  • Fiberglass

Each has its own unique set of benefits and detriments and it is important that you know what values to look for out of commercial roof insulation before making your decision. Again, a contractor worth their salt will work with you to decide which insulation best suits your needs before the installation process.

Performance Aspects of Commercial Roof Insulation

Since the roof insulation materials are installed right below the roofing membrane, the installation of the insulation all depends on the current roofing system being implemented and what the manufacturer recommends.

Insulation can be composed of a variety of materials and can range from things like rigid boards to liquid applied foam as well as insulating concrete. Simply put there is a litany of materials out there and each offers its own distinct benefits, so understanding the differences beforehand can be very important.

Here are a few key considerations when evaluating your insulation choices:

Insulation R-Value (Thermal Resistance)

R-Value is the measurement of just how well a layer of insulation is able to resist the flow of heat. The R-value of commercial roof insulation will take into account all the layers in the complete roof system. The insulation layer, meanwhile, will contribute the most R-value to your building. When comparing R-values, the higher the R-value – the more effective the material. Keep in mind that a material’s R-value will degrade over time as the material ages.

The thing to remember is that you may not always want to invest in a high R-value roof system. It is essential to consider what kind of R-value is appropriate for the environment and building as not every building is created the same.

R-value generally follows the law of diminishing returns; after certain thinness, you will no longer be getting the same level of benefit from any additional layers of insulation. Additionally, too much insulation could lead to increased stress on a roof membrane through the effects of things like a thermal shock.

Impact Resistance and Insulation Durability

Durability is one of the most crucial parts of commercial roofing and outdoor materials on the whole. Mother nature can throw some very harsh conditions our way. The goal here is that you want all of your roof elements to be able to withstand and protect your commercial building.

Your roof membrane should be able to serve as the watertight layer and all-important first line of defense in impact resistance when protecting your building. Next up is the insulation layer itself. Insulation plays a role in the impact resistance of the roofing system. It must also be able to withstand the impact conditions that can occur on in the rooftop environment.

Impact resistance for commercial roof insulation is still something of ongoing development within the industry. This is due to a result of more recent performance standards. Proper insulation selection and system design are absolutely essential to a roof system’s impact performance on debris, hail, and any other objects that may fall on your roof.

Insulation Fire Resistance

Fire-resistant roofing materials can also play an absolutely crucial role in preventing fires and limiting the damage that they can cause. Proper fire testing and certification is important if you want your roof to be protective, safe, and long-lasting. When selecting a fire-resistant roof system, it’s usually recommended that the system in question has a UL Class A fire-resistance rating or FM Class 1 rating.

Fire resistance is something that often flies under the radar when considering the right roofing insulation. But it is always better to err on the side of caution when it comes to the safety and protection of your commercial roof insulation.

Don’t cut corners when it comes to your fire resistance rating because it can be what saves your building in the event of a fire. When your building suffers severe damage, you don’t want to be wondering if you should have taken the more pricy but also more reliable option.

Ask your contractor to explain the fire resistance ratings, what they mean, how they apply to your current roofing system, and whether they think it is a proper fit for your current roofing system.

Protecting Your Commercial Roof Insulation

No matter how effective the insulating material, it is absolutely crucial to keep it dry. If additional moisture is able to make its way to your roof insulation, the material can become saturated and will no longer do the job it is meant to.

This saturated material holds in water and is then made to be far less effective. Wet insulation that is holding water can also transfer that additional moisture across your roof system. This can result in leaks elsewhere in your building. These leaks can be a serious issue as excess moisture can lead to things like structural damage, portions of the roof being rendered damaged and ineffective, and so much more.

Commercial roof insulation that has water damage will also provide a lower R-value and can affect the uplift performance of a roof system. This is particularly dangerous in any high-wind area as those winds can cause profound damage to the roof, the structure, and otherwise.

When the design requires, making use of a vapor barrier to limit moisture drive into the system from the building interior. From the exterior, the use of a durable, high-performance membrane can help protect your investment and keep insulation dry, maximizing its useful life.

It cannot be overstated how important it is to keep that excess and unwanted moisture out from under your roofing system and away from the insulation. Water that is able to get under your current membrane can be bad enough, but when it soaks the insulation, it can create an unsafe environment.

Conclusion

While it should go without saying that your commercial roof insulation is one of the most integral parts of any commercial roof, it should be emphasized just how important it is. Take the steps to have regular maintenance performed so that any problem areas can be revealed before they near catastrophic levels.

Talk about your options with your roofing contractor and see what he has to say about the matter. A contractor worth their salt will be able to guide you towards the proper commercial roof insulation that will help to properly protect and insulate your building for a long time to come.

4 Common TPO Roofing Problems to Consider in 2021

TPO Roofing Problems Blog Cover

There are many different kinds of roofing systems out there but one of the more common is known as TPO or a single-ply membrane. There is another kind of single-ply membrane in commercial roofing known as Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM), but we will focus on Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) for now.

TPO is a membrane that is currently one of the fastest-growing commercial roofing systems out there. They are made up of a single layer of synthetics as well as reinforcing scrim that can be used when covering flat roofs.

This makes for a highly efficient and effective roofing system for commercial roofing buildings that tend to lean towards flat roofing. As good as these roofing systems are, there are four common TPO roofing problems to be aware of.

Why TPO Roofing?

There are a plethora of benefits to implementing a TPO roofing system onto your current commercial roof. It has great strength, durability, and flexibility. That means being able to stand up to a build-up of dirt, resistance to tears, and mold growth as well.

Perhaps its best trait is that it is energy efficient. TPO membrane is meant to reflect and resist those UV rays that can heat up a building, making it easier and more efficient to keep the building cooler. This, in turn, means that the building doesn’t need to use the HVAC system to compensate.

1) Easily Punctured Membrane

Of all the TPO roofing problems there are, this is the one that is probably the most problematic. While this roofing system can be walked on and it is both flexible and lightweight, the membrane itself can be easily punctured.

With commercial roofs, one of the more common TPO roofing problems is that there is a high volume of foot traffic when compared to other types of buildings or roofing structures. The single-ply membrane roofing doesn’t have a hard-top layer that is meant to protect the layer of synthetic rubber from things like gravel, dropped tools, or loose screws.

Common TPO roofing problems like this see those materials pushed into the rubber membrane, breaking or tearing it by creating holes in the rubber and insulation. This leaves the roofing system more vulnerable to leaks further on down the line.

With a proper primer, you can take this one off the list of TPO roofing problems by giving it an extra layer of insulation and protection that it did not have previously.

2) Expired Warranty

Here’s a key tip: when you have a new roofing system installed, purchase the warranty. This is because most manufacturer warranties will require the contractor to perform those repairs for the first couple of years after the initial install.

Warranties can also be anywhere from 15 to 30 years. Common TPO roofing problems can be solved by having a warranty on your side. Stay on top of it, because when your warranty expires, you could find yourself susceptible to higher maintenance and repair bills, especially if your facility has been encountering problems.

It cannot be emphasized enough that having a warranty is a great way to keep TPO roofing problems in check. Things happen, leaks occur, damage can be done, and having a quick, reliable fix on your side is far easier than having to find a repair service on your own and eat the costs out of your own pocket.

Keeping yourself protected is maybe a little more costly than you may have thought but it is a great way to keep yourself protected from persistent problems or future repair bills. That alone makes it worth the cost alone.

3) UV Rays Degrading the Adhesives

Wear and tear is certainly one of the most common TPO roofing problems. Actually, scratch that. It is one of the most common problems with any roofing system out there. This is because it is exposed to the elements 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

That also means constant exposure to the sun. Those harmful UV rays can perform significant damage to a roofing system over time. It can happen in a lot of different ways but the most common of TPO roofing problems is when those UV rays degrade the adhesives that are used to attach the membrane to the substrate.

Not only that, but those adhesives are also what seal the seams of the membranes together to create the waterproof seal that keeps your roof safe in even some of the harshest of weather conditions. Without that seal, your roof is vulnerable.

When there are punctures, tears, or other damage to your roof, those UV rays can come into contact with the adhesive layer and can cause a lot more damage when those adhesives become deteriorated. That is why it is important to ensure that the membrane sheets are overlapping during installation. This will block the adhesives from exposure to the UV rays and prevent those TPO roofing problems from occurring, at least not on a consistent basis.

4) Longevity

Perhaps the most common of TPO roofing problems is that they tend to not last as long as some other roofing systems. TPO roofing is definitely strong and durable but it is still something of a young technology in the roofing industry.

That means that the formula that is used to produce this TPO material is still far from perfect as the manufacturers attempt to find a balance between affordability and durability. This means that, along the way, some of these roofing systems have had common TPO roofing problems like material failures and seam cracks.

There are improvements that have been made along the way, but it may be sometime before the formula perfected. Still, TPO roofing systems are not only affordable, but they tend to be durable more often than not.

All of these TPO roofing problems are fairly common and that means that they are relatively easy to solve as well. Keeping this in mind, it is easier to keep them working optimally and avoid having to deal with major issues or damages to your roofing system.

What The Devastating Nashville Tornadoes Mean for Roofing Repairs

Nashville Tornado Damage

Bricks crumbling around huge, gaping holes. Roofs torn from homes and businesses. Cars flipped over and broken glass littering the area. Nothing but seemingly unreal destruction all around.

The recent Nashville tornadoes have had a tremendous impact on the area. The area was struck with tornadoes as part of a powerful storm system that hit the area last week. Twenty-five people were killed, hundreds more displaced, and nearly 50,000 residents of the city have lost power due to the intensity of the storm.

The National Weather Service had estimated that the swath of devastation from this tornado – with an EF-3 rating – stretched on for roughly 50 or so miles. Businesses, homes, schools, and popular city attractions were either severely damaged or outright destroyed.

That EF-3 rating had maximum winds that were estimated to be around 165 mph which put it just one mile shy of the EF-4 category threshold. The highest possible rating is an EF-5, a rarely seen threshold, luckily.

In Cookeville, another nearby suburb of Nashville, another tornado hit with winds exceeding 175 mph (281.63 km/h) leaving official damage estimates unable to be determined in short order.

Extensive Damage in Nearby Cities / Towns

Perhaps the hardest-hit area is that of Five Points. Known for its thriving dive bars, chic shops, and delicious restaurants, there are signs and trees that were ripped from the ground, businesses smashed beyond recognition, and roofs simply peeled from walls.

Around 40 buildings in Nashville proper alone were flatted and the damage was so severe that officials didn’t know how to quantify the damage done even a few days later. Figuring out the cost of such repairs would be impossible in the short term.

This widespread damage and destruction has meant a need for the Nashville community to come together. Those lucky enough to walk away now look to pick up the pieces of their lives, repairing or replacing damaged homes and businesses along the way. It will be a long process, but Nashville is already working hard to move forward from the tornado that brought with it such chaos.

The Roofing Community

In a stroke of irony, the roofing community was also affected as the Nashville tornado inflicted damage to multiple roofing companies and their home base of operations. It just went to show that no one went unaffected by the devastating storm, but it also helped to galvanize the community in the wake of the Nashville tornado.

Branches of the Mr. Roof company, which is owned by the Ohio-based Crane Renovation Group, worked diligently to respond to customers from their nearby branches. Not only that, but some branches also responded to the Nashville tornado by sending three pallets of tarps from Atlanta in order to help with the cleanup and repair effort.

The Crane Renovation Group said that they were thankful that the tornado struck after their Hermitage, TN branch had closed for the evening. The building, which has been in use since 2010, sustained heavy damage from the Nashville tornado and is considered to be a damaged zone. The fact that no employees were in the building is a silver lining in the face of destruction.

In addition, the company has offered to match any donations towards the Nashville tornado relief effort by its employees. It is this kind of drive and compassion that has galvanized a community that has been drastically impacted by the devastating storm.

What Does This Mean for Roofing Repairs?

Because of the widespread impact of the Nashville tornado, it means that cleanup and repair efforts will likely be delayed. As mentioned previously, some local roofing companies had damage done to their buildings, leaving them in a less-than-optimal position to offer assistance for others.

These roofing companies will need to make quick repairs to their own buildings in the wake of the Nashville tornado wherever possible. When this happens, they will then be able to further assist those who face damage to their roofing, either in the commercial or residential field.

Those damages, meanwhile, run the gamut. Some experienced minor damages at worst, things that can either wait or can be repaired through do-it-yourself methods. Those are the fortunate group from the Nashville tornado.

There are also those who have experienced nothing short of devastation. Homes and businesses lost due to the destructive power of the tornado. Help from the roofing industry may not do a lot as the damage is quite extensive for some.

Industry Adjustments for Roofers

The roofing industry will no doubt have its hands full for the next several months throughout Nashville. Getting businesses and homes back into optimal shape will take time as the sheer amount of devastation is so vast that it left many shocked.

If the early response from roofing companies in the wake of the Nashville tornado are any indication, the repair process will be a tough and long road, but it will be paved with hard work and good intentions. Those are the foundations toward the arduous process of bringing Nashville back to what it was prior to the tornado.

And while the lives lost can never be replaced, the roofing industry will do what it can to bring a sense of security and peace back into the Nashville community. The Nashville tornado wreaked havoc and widespread destruction in its wake, but the community maintains its hope.

Pitching In

As mentioned, the roofing community will have its hands full in the wake of the Nashville tornado. As much as the roofing companies can do, it will take a good deal of time to get to everyone, and they will need help along the way.

Members of the Nashville community will no doubt contribute in whatever ways that they can, restoring schools, businesses, and homes to working order once again in an attempt to move forward from the devastation of the storm.

The move towards normalcy, towards rebuilding all that has been lost, will be one that takes time in the wake of the Nashville tornado. The Nashville community is already galvanizing in the face of the devastation, providing hope going forward.

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