Roofing Terms to Know

Commercial Roofing Systems

 

Built-UP Roofing


A built-up roof is composed of three elements: felt, bitumen, and surfacing. The felts, which are made of glass, organic or polyester fibers, serve much the same purpose as reinforcing steel in concrete. The felts are necessary as tensile reinforcement to resist the extreme pulling forces in the roofing material. Felts installed in layer fashion also allow more bitumen to be applied to the whole system. Bitumen, either coal-tar of asphalt is the “glue” that holds the felts together. It is also the waterproofing material in the system. The surfacings normally are applied to built-up roofs are smooth, gravel, slag, or a mineral-coated cap sheet. Gravel, slag, may be embedded into the still-fluid flood coat. Gravel and slag serve as an excellent wearing surface to protect the membrane from mechanical damage. On some systems, a mineral coated cap sheet is applied on top of the plies of felt.

 

Modified Bitumen

 

This system was developed in Europe during the sixties and introduced in the U.S.in the early seventies. The term modified refers to the addition of plastic or rubber-based polymeric binders to asphalt to improve its performance and weatherability. Modified bitumen is used in multiple layers in what is essentially a “factory assembled” built-up roof. Several coats or laminations of modified bitumen are reinforced with a woven glass or polyester fabric reinforcing mat, which is often covering with a granule-surface cap sheet, or left smooth for aluminum or white coating to be applied. Modified bitumen roofing exhibits many characteristics of a built-up roof (BUR), yet affords the ease of application of a single-ply system. These membranes are resistant to heavy traffic, punctures and tears.

 

EPDM Single-Ply EPDM

 

This thermoset membrane is compounded from rubber-polymer and is often referred to as rubber roofing. Some of the features that contribute to the popularity of EPDM single ply roofing include long-term weatherability, including excellent resistance to temperature extremes, sunlight, ozone, and moisture, ease, speed, and cleanliness of installation. This lightweight synthetic elastomer material has been used since the early 1970’s. Another feature is adaptability. Varied application techniques such as ballasted, fully adhered, and mechanically fastened, allow EPDM roofing systems to be applied to virtually any roof surface: flat, spherical, curved, or slanted.

 

Thermoplastics PVC/TPO Single Ply

 

Thermoplastic single ply membranes are revolutionizing the commercial and industrial roofing industry. They represent the fastest growing segment of the U.S.roofing market over the past five years. The PVC (polyvinyl chloride) product is a reinforced membrane with tough solvent-or hot-air welded seams. This material has excellent durability and dimensional stability. The TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) product advances the category yet another step by combing the hot-air welding benefit of PVC with the greater flexibility and weatherability benefits of EPDM, the more traditional single ply material. Both PVC and TPO are aesthetically pleasing, lightweight, highly reflective, and are tear resistant. They also offer excellent fire resistance.

 

Roofing Terminology

 

Ballast

A material installed over the top of a roof membrane to help hold it in place. Ballasts are loose laid and can consist of aggregate, or concrete pavers.

Base Flashing (membrane base flashing)

Plies of roof membrane material used to seal a roof at the vertical plane intersections, such as at a roof-wall and roof-curb junctures.

 

Curb

(1) A raised member used to support skylights, HVAC units, exhaust fans, hatches or other pieces of mechanical equipment above the level of the roof surface, should be a minimum of eight inches (8″) in height; (2) A raised roof perimeter that is relatively low in height.

 

Deck

The structural component of the roof of a building which provides the substrate to which the roofing system is applied.

Drip Edge

A steel flashing bent at a 90º angle that is placed along the outer perimeter of steep sloped buildings; used to help direct runoff water away from the building. Drip Edge resembles nosing except that it has an outwardly-angled bottom edge (preferably hemmed).

 

Elastomeric Coating

A coating that can be stretched to twice its dimensions and that will return to original when tension is released.

 

Gravel Stop

A flanged, sheet metal edge flashing with an upward projection installed along the perimeter of a roof to stop the flow of bitumen over the edge.

 

Lap

The part of the roofing material that overlaps a section of adjacent material.

Lap Cement

Asphalt-based roof cement used to adhere overlapping plies of asphalt roll roofing.

 

Parapet Wall

That part of a perimeter wall that extends above the surface of the roof.

Penetration

Any object that pierces the surface of the roof.

Pipe Boot

A prefabricated flashing piece used to flash around circular pipe penetrations

Pitch Pocket (A.K.A. Pitch Pan)

A flanged piece of flashing material placed around irregularly shaped roof penetrations and filled with grout and a pourable sealer to seal around the penetration in order to seal it from against moisture entry. Pitch pockets are a good source of leaks and should be avoided if possible.

Pourable Sealer

A type of sealant that is initially in liquid form commonly used in conjunction with pitch pans to form a water-tight barrier around penetrations that are difficult to flash.

 

Substrate

The surface that the roof is installed upon.

 

Tear-Off

To remove a roof system down to the structural substrate.

Tie-In

The joining of two different roof systems.

 

Vent

An opening or device used to permit air or vapors to exit an enclosed structure.

 

Waterproofing

The treatment of a surface or structure in order to prevent the passage of water under hydrostatic pressure.

Flat Roof Repair From the Commercial Construction Experts

Weathering or lack of maintenance could lead to roof-related problems. Once the damage has been assessed, you can choose to take the situation into your hands with DIY or choose an expert to have your roofing system repaired, professionally.

Flat roofs are characterized by a horizontal or nearly horizontal surface. It is believed to be a cost-efficient roof shape as it allows usage of space (above and below the roof). Even with general maintenance, over the years your roofing might require repair.

Getting to the top of your roofing to check what is wrong with it could turn out to be a dangerous undertaking. It is best to leave the maintenance or repair of your flat roof to a licensed commercial roofing contractor. The process of finding an expert contractor has been simplified with the advent of websites. By looking online, you would save money and potential headaches too. The cost to replace your roofing varies too, depending on the condition the roof is in and the roofing materials. However, experienced contractors are flexible and will negotiate a cost, which suits your budget.

You can find the advantages of choosing a commercial roofing contractor:

  • Approved safe contractors ensure high level of safety
  • Guaranteed high grade workmanship
  • Versatile flat roof repair systems to suit your needs
  • Long lasting flat roof solutions
  • Expert roofing solutions in minimal time

When you choose an expert for commercial flat roof repair, you are assured bespoke services because experts have an extensive experience of requirements, which are specific to commercial flat roofs. In fact, they will take care of all the insulation requirements, and even suggest improvements, which you can incorporate for a smoother operation at minimal costs.

Commercial Roofing – Why Experience Matters in a Roofing Company

Are you looking for a roofing company to repair your roof or install a new one? With the variety of roofing systems available today, the choice of the best commercial roofing option might be overwhelming. It helps to have the right contractor install your commercial roof so you are assured reliability and don’t overshoot your budget too. If you think that the process to find a commercial roofing contractor is long and tedious, think again. All you need is a little knowledge of what you want. An experienced roofing company will help you choose an option, which suits your needs, time and budget too.

So how do you find an experienced roofing company? Firstly, you need to ensure that the roofing company, which you are considering is licensed and insured. Check for liability coverage too, so you will not be liable for any injury or mishap to workmen while they work on your roof. Most importantly, the roofing company must be able to provide you references of companies or individuals they have already worked for. To do so, check the website of the company thoroughly and read about the company and the services they offer.

Also, the company should boast of a strong, well-trained work force. They need to be trained in all kinds of commercial roofing systems. Moreover, commercial roofing endures much more than home roofing. Extensive wiring and ventilation requirements prompt rework of the roofs. Hence, the commercial roofing company should ensure that the material used is stable and sustains the effects of rework and minor calamities too.

You will notice that an experienced commercial roofing company will offer you a contract, which outlines the services and also offers guarantee on the materials and labor. Also, an experienced company will help you choose from asphalt shingles, metal roofing, wood shakes, slate shingles, and tile roofing for your commercial complex. Post roofing your commercial complex, an experienced company will take care of the timely repair and maintenance too. Roof replacement when the time comes, will be a hassle-free and non-intrusive too.

View the flat roof repair of the CNN Atrium in Atlanta, Georgia. Roof Solutions LLC has handled commercial roofing projects for government buildings, small businesses, and major corporations such as CNN, TBS, and Wachovia.

Metal Roof Repair From the Best in Commercial Roofing

The roofing industry has been expanding along with the roof repairing business. There are various styles of roofing constructed with various materials. Each type and material can get repaired in a different manner, which needs different repairing style.

In case of repairing leaks, it is normally a challenging task to find it rather than doing the actual repair. If the leak point cannot be pin-pointed, the entire roof may need to be re-done. Hence it is very important to identify the damage as soon as possible and precisely. It is good to inspect the roofs every year and remove any dirt or debris, which accumulated during winds or heavy rains. It is necessary especially to look into J-rails, flashing around vents, pipes, or skylights, seams, roof sealant, rusted or worn-looking areas.

After identifying the damage, if it is an extensive damage, it is good to cover the roof with a tarp initially, till a professional help is obtained. In case of a minor damage, you can just do it yourself by cleaning the area properly, cutting, patching, and employing metal screws and caulk to seal around the patches as well as screws. If the leak is due to a cracked or busted seam, a membrane method of repair can be employed, since it is simple and easy even for large holes and tears rather than a metal patch. But the membrane method is suitable only for small, narrow holes or cracks.

The metal roofing manufacturers employ different installation methods. Hence it is good to approach the manufacturers and get their instructions to remove the damaged panel. Hence the professional repair company you employ must be well aware of such installation methods and also the techniques to repair them properly that it does not lead to any immediate future leaks. There are many necessary materials that are necessary for the repair. It is recommended that you do a checklist and collect all of them before climbing onto the roof for finishing off the repair.

Contact the experts at Roof Solutions LLC for more information on metal roof repair.

Make Your Roofing More Energy Efficient with a Cool Roof

The benefits of cool roofs multiply over time. They can help in saving money in addition to protecting the environment. By installing a cool roof, you are investing in the future and in the environment.

A cool roof can save the money by lowering the electricity bills, since they can provide a cooling effect during the hot summer months. Plants help in absorbing the sun’s rays and add an extra layer of protection between the UV rays and the roof’s membrane, thus helping the inside of the building to stay cool. Hence there will be no need for an air conditioner or at least its usage will be reduced.

Normal roofs can deteriorate over time and eventually you may need to replace them, but green roofs deteriorate much more slowly than the normal roofs, especially owing to the shield from UV rays as well as other elements. Even handling storm water run off will be easy and cost efficient with this roofing technology. Normal roofs need proper drainage systems to minimize the damage caused by rainwater runoff. But a green roof can easily absorb huge amounts of rainwater and cause very minimal damage.

Besides, a cool roof has a positive impact on the environment. Owing to the massive amounts of buildings, metal, concrete, etc, the temperature in cities is very high comparatively. But a green roof can lower this heat and create a comfortable environment. Moreover, a green roof is a better sound-proof and help blocking sounds of traffic and sirens.

Air quality can also be improved, since plants can naturally purify the surrounding air and supply the necessary oxygen. Thus the benefits of energy-efficient roofs are many, financially as well as non-financially. Hence it is best to consider the long term benefits rather than the immediate investment needed, while regarding these roofs. Owing to the high global warming effects, even the governments can provide incentives and tax breaks in the near future.

Contact the experts at Roof Solutions LLC for more information on cool roof systems.

Green Roof Systems Can Save Your Business Money on Heating, Cooling, and Taxes

There are many advancements in building materials that assist in saving money and energy. Though research on this topic was initially launched for energy preservation purposes, it also helps in saving money as well as preserving environment.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has determined that nearly $40 billion is spent to air condition buildings in US, which amounts to one-sixth of the total electricity generated annually. In order to cut down these costs, EPA has come up with different roof materials and plans.

Roofing products should meet two specific conditions namely (1) They must be reflective, referring to the amount of light energy being reflected away instead of absorbing and (2) They must have high emissivity, referring to the quickness of how the absorbed energy is emitted into the atmosphere again.

By research, it has been found that light colors are effective in reduction of peak demand for cool energy in buildings. Normally, the roof system is the heavily exposed part of a building to sun and it tends to absorb energy, serving as a large heat sink. Hence based on the color of the roof and its reflective nature, the temperature rise within the roofing system can be altered. When the roof is enveloped by a white reflective material similar to a single ply membrane, plenum air space temperature lowers to 90ºF unlike 120ºF in the case of dark-colored roofs.

The building owners will be able to save between 20 and 70% of the cooling energy used in the building. These reflective roof coatings can also slow down the aging process of the underlying roof materials, thus contributing to savings in roof replacements. Reflective roofs along with insulation can lower the energy consumption drastically. In addition, if it is a low-slope roof, it is more beneficial.

Owing to less heat being absorbed by the roof, energy consumption as well as thermal shock is minimized. Since less heat is absorbed and even the absorbed heat is emitted back, the energy or fuel necessary to air condition the building is reduced.

Another type of roof that helps in saving money and energy is a green roof, which comprises a vegetative layer grown on the rooftop. Such a roof is able to offer shade and avoid heat through evapotranspiration, leading to reduction of temperatures of roof surface as well as surrounding air. These roofs act as insulators, thus reducing the demand for energy necessary to cool and heat the building. Therefore, based on the nature of roof materials, money can be saved.

Learn how environmentally-friendly green roof systems can earn your business tax credits and save you thousands of dollars in energy bills each year! Roof Solutions LLC commercial roofing services provide quality roof construction and repair that can help your business save money.

Commercial Flat Roof Repair – Resources and Materials

Materials commonly used in flat roof installation and repair:

Built-Up Roof

Otherwise referred to as tar or tar and gravel roof, this roof comprises of 3-5 layers of asphalt laminated with coal hot tar, hot asphalt or pitch. Gravel is finally added for protection from UV rays. This is now becoming less popular owing to its short life, abundant heat gain, non-energy efficient, requirement of continuous maintenance and aesthetically unpleasant nature.

Modified Bitumen

This is just modified asphalt to enhance the plastic and rubber-like properties. The commonly employed modifiers include Atactic Polypropylene and Styrene Butadiene Styrene. When this roof is properly installed, this can last up to around 15 years.

Metal Roof Installation

Metal roofs are installed normally with underlying asphalt saturated as well as coated roof. Underlayment is inadequate mostly in low slope roofs. It is better to apply an underlayment of asphalt, then modified bitumen product and finally a metal product. This roof is also less commonly installed owing to its expensive nature, limited material warranty, etc.

Single Ply Membrane

It is a myth that all single ply membranes are similar. The single ply membranes include different membranes and their performance varies. The main requirements of the single ply membrane nature that must be satisfied are being waterproof, non-flammable, compliant with building codes, easy to work with as well as repair, pliable at different temperatures and weldable. Most widely employed membranes are CPE, EPDM, Hypalon, TPO, PVC, CPA, etc.

TPO has been used only for the past ten years and hence its performance cannot be determined yet. EPDM, otherwise called rubber, is a black single ply. Many EPDM installations have failed owing to improper installation, material failure and harsh climates. CPA and PVC are similar in properties and performance, the only difference existing in the chemical composition and viability of material.

Learn more about flat roof repair from the industry experts. Roof Solutions LLC commercial roofing contractors provide quality roof construction and repair that can help your business save money.

Energy Star Tax Credits for Roofing Projects

If you own a business, “Can I save money on taxes with an energy efficient roof?” is great question to ask. The answer is a definite YES! State, local, and national government continuously striving for new and innovative measures for energy consumption owing to the scarce availability of natural resources necessary in the generation of energy. Though these are being researched, unless it is beneficial to an individual, he/she is unlikely to undertake and follow the government’s measures. This has led the governments to announce a tax credit for energy efficient roofs.

In the United States, a 30% tax credit of the total cost of roof materials is provided by the government. This has a limit of $1500 and this does not include the installation or the labor costs. Hence this is suitable for repairs in the later stages. This rule has been recently passed in 2009.

President Obama has included these tax credits for environmentally-friendly buildings as a part of the economic stimulus plan to reward homeowners who undertake energy saving home repairs and retrofits in the form of tax incentives. These projects are generally referred to as “Federal Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives.”

In order to take advantage of such incentives, solar reflective metal or asphalt roofing must be installed. If the total cost falls below $5000 threshold throughout 2010, an energy efficient roof can save you a significant sum when the tax season arrives next year.

However, this law is effective between 2009 and 2010 alone. Therefore, it is necessary to take the necessary measures as soon as possible within the end of 2010 and claim the tax credit.

Other than the tax credit, there are also other financial advantages of making the switch to energy-efficient roofing, such as lower heating and cooling bills for Energy Star qualified contractors. These roofs are reflective and high emissive in nature stating that the energy necessary for air conditioning the buildings can be saved thus resulting in money savings as well as preservation of environment. An energy-efficient roof is a smart idea for your business.

Thermal Imaging and Roof Moisture Damage Detection

How Thermal Imaging Detects Roofing Damage

Thermal imaging uses infrared technology to detect the presence of moisture. The principle used in this involves calculation of temperature differentials across the entire roof and detecting the differences as guide to presence of moisture. This technique does not cause any harm to the roof and is entirely non-destructive in nature. Thermographic images are formed which can quickly project the areas of saturation.

Problems Easily Spotted by Thermal Imaging

Use of thermal imaging to detect roofing leakage is pretty new although this process has been in use in medical care, astronomy and research. There are a variety of problems that can be easily identified with this technology. The presence of moisture, however slight, inside the roof fabric can be detected. If there are holes in the roof then this can be detected along with the presence of air. Leakage of heat that hampers insulation can be identified too. This is extremely helpful in partial repair of the roof as patches can be used on precise areas of leakage. This not only leads to saving on roofing repair bills but also on energy consumption bills. It is also possible to verify if a leak has been repaired successfully with a comparison of images before and after repair.

Advantages of Thermal Imaging in Roof Repairs

  • It helps to detect flat roof leak for homes, office buildings, industrial plants and factories.
  • Makes it easy to identify accurately the portions of a roof that have been damaged due to leakage
  • Works on large areas of the roof at a time
  • It is totally safe and accurate in diagnosing the extent of roof damage
  • Saves good roofing and helps to avoid unnecessary replacement of good parts
  • Helps to plan a budget that is based on facts and not estimates
  • It even helps to identify the cause of the damage which is very necessary for future prevention

Learn more about helpful new roofing repair technologies like thermal imaging, self-cooling roof systems, and energy-saving designs.

Commercial Roof Repair Tax Breaks

Did you know that the Federal government is offering great tax breaks for any improvements in your home or commercial building which leads to energy savings? These tax breaks can be applied to any roof-related changes such as installation of green roofs or other technology to reduce energy costs.

Replace Roofs For Sustainability

As roofs age, they begin to deteriorate and eventually need to be replaced. The weather may play havoc with roofing of all types also and lack of maintenance can further damage them. During financially hard times, replacements costs are the last thing you need. However you will be glad to know that you maybe eligible for tax deductions when you choose to replace your roof. For example, those made out of metal and asphalt shingles are eligible for tax credits of up to $ 1500. Also, those which bear the Energy Start label are eligible for a number of tax breaks.

Tax Breaks To Save the Environment

A high performance roof which contributes to energy savings is a powerful asset. When installed properly (under the guidance of an experienced roofing contractor), the building’s energy consumption will be reduced by almost 40%. These savings are generated immediately and last for decades, which is good for your home, business and the environment also.

An experienced roofing contractor can help you with a green roof which can help you enjoy tax breaks so you don’t feel the financial strain of replacing your roof, and benefit with energy savings and a service to match.

Learn more about smart commercial roofing solutions can save your business thousands of dollars a year. Roof Solutions LLC is the Southeast’s leader in installation and maintenance of commercial green roof systems.