Tag Archives: Cool Roofing

Commercial Roof (Cleaning + Washing): Is It Worth It in 2023?

Is Roof Cleaning Worth it? (Blog Cover)

Commercial roof cleaning (aka “washing”) is one of the most essential investments in your building’s long-term safety. Any business owner can tell you just how essential professional repairs are to the life of the rooftop, but so is the cleanliness of the roof. The following post explains why commercial roof cleaning matters and how it could impact your monthly expenses in 2023.

Remember, not all commercial roofing systems are healthy enough to receive a thorough washing. If you suspect your structure has sustained serious structural damage, it might be time to talk with your local contractor about a commercial roof replacement before investing in a cleaning.

Looking at a Building Prior to Commercial Roof Cleaning

Key Takeaway

Even durable commercial roofs benefit from regular cleaning and washing. The cleaning process can extend your roof’s lifespan, enhance building appeal, and prevent minor damages that lead to repairs.

What is Commercial Roof Cleaning?

Roof cleaning is simply the process of removing debris, trash, algae, and other forms of growth from the surface of your roofing system. Depending on the type of roof and material involved, a commercial roof cleaning may entail pressure washing or even chemical treatment. Ultimately, the goal is to leave a clean, vibrant surface after the project.

While some retail products may temporarily relieve some of your commercial system’s many threats, a seasoned professional is more likely to provide the long-term results you desire.

Threats Against Your Roofing System

Years of exposure can leave any roofing system vulnerable to natural hazards. For metal roofing systems, rust slowly eats away at the metal panels, weakening the integrity of the affected areas. Plus, it just looks terrible!

Other roofing systems suffer from dirt, mold, and algae. Not only do these elements create an unsightly smear on your beautiful roof, but they can also speed up the process of long-term degradation. If mold and algae get sucked into the building’s heating and cooling system, your employees could experience some unpleasant side effects. 

Finally, removing all the debris also reduces the potential for ponding water, one of the most dangerous threats to flat roofing systems. While rooftop debris may not be an immediate concern, it represents a significant threat to your roofing system in the long run.

Commercial Roof Cleaning Professional Sprays Algae

Algae present a significant threat to discolor both Flat and sloped commercial roofs. As a result, be aware of your conditions and roofing health.

Key Benefits of Roof Cleaning

Renewed Efficiency

What image comes to mind when you think of TPO, PVC, metal roofing, and other cool roofing systems? If a brilliant white or silver roof springs up, that’s certainly the right picture! Over time, dust, dirt, mold, and algae accumulate on the surface of your roofing system. This darkens the membrane or metal. 

Darker surfaces naturally absorb more light, causing the rooftop to heat up and conduct heat toward the building interior. That’s the typical process of heat gain that so many businesses (and air conditioning systems) struggle with daily.

By washing away the murky grime from the surface of your flat or sloped rooftop, commercial roof cleaning renews the reflectivity and restores efficiency.

Commercial Roof Cleaning Over Metal Panels

Regular commercial roof washing keeps your metal roof reflective while preventing dirt accumulation. Over time, regular cleanings save you money on costly roof repairs.

A Cleaner, Healthier Environment

Sometimes cleanliness is its own reward. In the case of many businesses, however, a moldy rooftop may actually violate local health codes and put the business in jeopardy! No matter what industry you work in, protecting your building from the terrible smell of long-term mold growth makes sense. Those particles can get drawn in through the building’s AC unit and start circulating inside the building.

Talk with your local roofing contractor if your community deals with regular algae or mold growth. You may require a special chemical cleaner to protect your rooftop.

A Close Look at Your Roof Surface

Dirt and other smudges tend to obscure more serious problems beneath. A clean rooftop is much easier to inspect for surface-level degradation, such as…

  • Exposed and/or weakened seams
  • Puncture marks
  • Deep scarring
  • Brittle spots
  • Depressed areas

Identifying these problems early on could prevent all kinds of problems. Finding a weakened seam, for instance, could prevent hundreds of dollars in future water leaks. Preventing a system-wide problem could even save you thousands of dollars and an early roof replacement!

Flat Roof With Weakened Seams

Sometimes a roof cleaning reveals underlying problems, saving you from expensive repairs or replacement. For example, roof washing often reveals brittle spots and puncture marks.

Find Your Commercial Roof Cleaner

Commercial roof cleaning is a common requirement for businesses with upcoming repair or restoration projects. For some, however, it’s simply a prudent investment to avoid the unpleasant effects of algae growth, mold smell, or diminished energy efficiency. Timely maintenance can make all the difference!

Finding a commercial roof washing service can be a challenge in some areas. Make sure you evaluate the company’s reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, and other reputation platforms. Also, check out their website for examples of previous commercial roof cleanings.

Cool Roofing Systems: 3 Ways Your Business Can Beat the Heat


3 Methods to Reduce Roof Heating

  1. Restorative Roof Coatings
  2. Roof Replacement (with Cool Materials)
  3. Roof Upgrades (i.e. Reflective Panels)

Roofing contractors often talk about beating the heat during the sizzling summer months. For many businesses, however, overcoming heat gain is a year-round challenge.

If you live in the Deep South or along the balmy coast, your building likely suffers from the expensive cost of air conditioning and energy surges. That means hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars coming out of your operating budget every year.

This is where cool roofing systems come into play. These solutions all fight the threat of heat gain by reducing the surface temperature of your rooftop.

While the industry offers countless entries into the cool roofing category, we’re going to break down some of the most popular. Then, we’ll explain some of the perks and requirements you’ll need to consider as you shop for a money-saving roofing solution.

Solution #1: Restorative Coatings

What better place to enter the cool roofing conversation than at an entry-level price point? Commercial contractors use coatings to treat scarring, damaged seams, and many other forms of rooftop degradation.

By covering the entire surface of the roof with a seamless layer of silicone, polyurethane, or other durable material, these coatings create a strong barrier against water infiltration.

However, one of the most widely sought-after perks of roof restoration is energy efficiency.

Commercial roof coatings dramatically decrease the amount of sunlight absorbed into the surface by coating the rooftop with a more reflective hue (typically white).

Heat gain during daylight hours plummets, as a result, reducing the costs of cooling the building. In the meantime, the rooftop enjoys stronger protection against radiation, rain, and other elemental threats.

Cool Roofing Systems Via Coating

If you haven’t discovered these amazing roof-mending solutions yet, be sure to listen to our latest podcast, where we discuss roof coating vs. replacement in greater detail.

As you discuss coatings with your commercial roofing contractor, there are a few key considerations. The most important is your rooftop’s current condition. 

Roof coatings require a stable, fair-condition surface to adhere to. That means buildings with severe structural issues on the roof must see repairs first. Restoration can deal with minor abrasions, punctures, and so on, but it’s not meant to treat deep cuts and missing chunks of the membrane.

Schedule a roof inspection to ensure your system is healthy enough to receive a coating.

You’ll also need to ensure that your chosen coating matches the demands of your roof and local climate. For instance, a basic acrylic coating doesn’t work well with flat roofing systems in rainy environments (such as coastal Florida).

On the other hand, acrylics function very well on sloped metal roofing systems! Some coatings provide stronger UV ray protection, while others produce more durable surfaces against mechanical damage.

Solution #2: Replacement (or Reroofing)

When a roofing system approaches the end of its expected lifespan, sometimes an entirely new system offers the best solution. Naturally, some materials offer a much stronger defense against heat gain than others.

From our talk on roof coatings, we already know that a reflective surface provides a much more energy-efficient solution than a black top. That’s why most cool roofing systems utilize a white or metallic sheen to deflect sunlight.

Some of the most popular cool roofing materials include:

  • TPO
  • PVC
  • White Coated Rubber
  • Spray Foam

The first three materials are single-ply roofing solutions, meaning they use a single layer of membrane to cover the rooftop. TPO and PVC typically come in a reflective white color, while rubber must receive a special coating to effectively deflect sunlight.

As the name implies, spray foam roofing involves spraying a substance (typically polyurethane) across a prepared surface. The foam hardens into a seamless, airtight layer.

Two Options for a New Installation

Now we come to our middle price point solutions. When the time comes to create a new rooftop for your building, your chosen material makes all the difference. A reflective surface is a must for companies residing in a sunlight-intensive environment! However, there’s more than one way to go about the installation.

Many businesses choose a simple tear-off and replacement. The disposal costs for the old materials may be a little pricey, but that’s an unavoidable cost. Or is it?

There’s also the option to reroof your existing system. The process is known as a roof overlay (or recovering) and involves constructing a new system over the existing structure. This delays the cost of tear-off and disposal for decades. 

Some popular overlay choices include coatings, single-ply membranes, and metal paneling.

One important note: Always consult your local building codes and trusted roofing contractor to see whether or not reroofing is allowed in your community. While reroofing allows many companies to save thousands of dollars during installation, it’s not for everyone.

Reroofing also requires professional preparations to ensure proper insulation, material separation, and structural support (among other considerations).

Solution #3: Upgrades

Perhaps you’re looking for something special for your commercial building. Most companies use simple, single-ply roofing to defend against heat gain.

However, there are a couple of cool roofing systems that go beyond membranes to deliver remarkable energy savings. That’s where commercial metal and green roofing come into play!

These two solutions represent two very different aspects of premium roofing, yet they both provide exceptional protection against UV rays and other environmental hazards.

Metal Roofing Solutions

Commercial metal roofing typically utilizes aluminum or coated steel panels to create a highly reflective surface. That may come as a surprise, considering metal’s tendency to heat up quickly in direct sunlight.

However, metal systems provide some of the most impressive energy savings in the industry. They’re also popular for their hardened surfaces, perfect for withstanding heavy rain, wind, and hail.

Green Roofing

Green roofing systems use a unique tactic to fight heat gain. These systems host a wide spectrum of plant life. Through the process of transpiration, plants release water which evaporates in sunlight.

This cools the surrounding air and prevents heat from traveling further down through the roof. Many also contain layers of thermal insulation for added energy efficiency.

While green roofing systems may fall on the more expensive side of the commercial roof pricing spectrum, they can last up to 50 years without requiring significant maintenance.

Given the added weight, most buildings require additional structural support before a green system can be installed.

Talk with a specialist to see if an extensive or intensive green roofing system could be right for your business.

The Bottom Line

Property owners can reduce heat and energy costs by implementing cool roofing strategies like coatings, replacements, or upgrades. The best option for your roof depends on its current condition, location, and regional climate. Advancements in roofing materials have made accessibility to cool roofing far easier.

Make sure to consult with your local roofing contractor before making a final decision on the best cool roofing option for your property in 2023.

Roof Coating vs. Replacement: What’s The Practical Choice?


Key Takeaway

Roof coatings are frequently a superior choice to replacements because of affordability, energy efficiency, and extended longevity.

A roof coating vs. replacement, What’s the more practical choice in 2023?

It’s one of the most frustrating situations to find yourself needing an early roof replacement for your building. The unforeseen expense can send budgets flying out of control! Of course, this sort of project also creates interruptions that many businesses simply can’t afford.

What if you could skip all this hassle?

In the following post, Roofer’s Guild discusses the enormous savings potential of commercial roof coatings. The restoration process offers a more convenient way to handle long-term degradation and extend the life of your current system.

If your business is facing commercial roof replacement soon, be sure to read through the post.

Helpful Tips for Building Owners

  • A coating (i.e., roof restoration) is generally much cheaper than a complete replacement.
  • Coatings provide a lucrative means of saving electricity in your building.
  • The added protection also extends the life of your roof and reduces maintenance requirements.

What are Commercial Roof Coatings?

While relatively new to the industry, commercial roof coatings have slowly become a favorite solution among businesses throughout the United States. Available in both brush-applied and sprayed forms, they cover the rooftop’s surface to create a seamless layer of protection against the elements.

Rooftop coatings were designed to address a rising tide of premature roof failures, especially among flat systems. While they had a rocky start with mixed results, commercial roof coatings matured and became a dependable solution.

Now thousands of business owners and building managers depend on these restorative coatings to preserve their rooftops.

Why Choose a Roof Coating?

Let’s say a building relies on a fairly dependable but aging TPO rooftop. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light, wind, and ponding water leaves the membrane cracked and scarred. You know what happens next! Leaks slowly develop in the seams and damaged areas, and moisture seeps into the building below. The building owner and/or manager face a serious dilemma:

Should the roof be repaired or replaced?

Repairs cost less but generally leave the building vulnerable to problems a few years later. Then again, an early replacement is an even less attractive option. Who wants to spend tens of thousands of dollars to replace a roof long before its projected end of life? This leads us to a middle-ground solution that takes a more aggressive path than repairs but costs far less than replacement.

Benefits of Roof Coatings

One of the most underrated benefits of coatings is their rejuvenating properties for your roofing system. The fluid carefully slips into cracks and marred areas of the rooftop surface, sealing them against further moisture invasion.

While there are limits to the number of damage coatings can mend, they do a fantastic job of fixing minor degradation on the rooftop! You don’t have to wait until long-term damage puts your roof on the brink. A solid, seamless coating also benefits newer rooftops.

Restoration Falls on the Repair Side of the Repair vs Replacement Spectrum

If your current system was installed with many seams, a thick new top layer would preserve those seams against leaks.

Coatings and Energy Efficiency

Cool roofing refers to any roofing system or solution that reduces the surface temperature of a building’s rooftop, preventing heat gain during peak sunlight hours. By incorporating highly reflective commercial roof coatings, business owners can transform a heat-sponging flat roof solution (such as EPDM) into a highly energy-efficient system. What does that mean for companies in the real world?

A cool roof coating saves hundreds, maybe thousands of dollars in air conditioning costs each year. 

Whether you depend on a black-top roof or a fading lighter color, commercial roof coatings offer a fantastic defense against preventable heat gain. For those looking to reap the maximum energy benefits from the restoration process, both polyurethane and urethane-modified acrylics offer impressive benefits for your roof’s solar reflectance rating!

Chemical Resistance for Your Rooftop

Corrosion claims countless rooftops every year. Rainwater naturally causes rust in some metal systems, gradually eating away at their lifespan. Not only does the right coating cover this unsightly corrosion, but it also protects the rooftop from further decay. Industry specialists almost always recommend protective coatings for new commercial metal roofs. 

Not every chemical threat comes from a natural source. Industrial companies sometimes vent byproducts harmful to their roofing system. Many turn to flexible, elastomeric coatings to shield their expansive rooftops from the synthetic corrosion and warping that would otherwise damage each system.

As an added bonus, some commercial roof coatings (such as polyurethane) provide additional protection against mechanical trauma from foot traffic and scraping hardware.

Equipment Edges Protected by Commercial Roof Coatings

Coatings offer great protection for areas traditionally vulnerable to leaks. As a result, leak protection is a major consideration when it comes to roof coating vs. replacement.

Find Your Commercial Coating Expert

Whether you choose coating or replacement, hiring the best roofing contractor is critical. Take your time finding the best roofing company in your area, especially one specializing in commercial roof coatings.

Check their reviews on Google Business Profile, Yelp, and other trusted reputation platforms. Furthermore, check out their company website for any images from previous commercial roof coatings.