Structural Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Your Metal Roof

Structural standing seam metal roofs for flat commercial buildings are practical, reliable, and long-lasting. However, time eventually catches up with metal, and rusted roof decks and leaks may start to compromise the building’s integrity.

Here are some of the most common problems that lead to leaks and larger repair and maintenance budgets:

Roof metal expansion and contraction. This movement loosens screws, pulls at seams, and causes cracks to form around stacks and other penetrations.

Rust and corrosion. Moisture’s effect on steel is well known. Snow, rainfall, and ponding water eventually cause rust and corrosion to form and holes to appear.

Interior drips. Cold temperatures chill inadequately insulated metal, causing warmer moisture vapor inside the building to condense as water or frost on the underside of steel roofing panels. Potentially causing dripping inside.

Solutions to the problems caused by aging metal roofs include sealing and coating, spray-on foam, and complete roof replacement. However, these are either temporary fixes or – in the case of replacement – very expensive.

A great alternative to any of these options is a single-ply membrane metal retrofit system, installed right over your existing metal roof. It includes additional layers of insulation to improve energy efficiency and eliminate interior condensation. It can be installed at a fraction of the cost of a replacement metal roof and is a better long-term solution than sealants, coatings, and foam.

Contact Complete Commercial Roofing today to discuss our single-ply membrane metal retrofit options to see what is right for your roof.

A Closer Look into Cool Roofs

Cool Roofs and Cost Savings for Commercial Building Owners

As a commercial building owner with a flat roof, you know first-hand that your roof is a cost-intensive investment. Once the initial costs of installation have been paid, you have maintenance and cleaning fees, snow removal, and possibly repair costs if those are not covered under your warranty.  An additional factor you may not have considered is the impact of your roof on your yearly energy costs. With the continual rise in energy costs over the past 2 decades, business owners and roofing system manufacturers are increasing their focus on keeping heating and cooling costs down.

One of the most effective ways of keeping your commercial building energy costs down is to choose a “cool roof”. So, what exactly is a cool roof? The Cool Roof Ratings Council (CCRC) is an independent organization that verifies and labels roofing products and certifies them if they meet certain criteria. The simplest and most effective criterion to measure a highest-performance cool roof is the Solar Reflective Index (SRI).

The SRI is expressed as a value from 0 to 100, with a higher number meaning a cooler roof.  The SRI is measured twice – once when the roof is brand new, and again at the 3-year mark after the flat roofing membrane has aged. The SRI measurements are done in the laboratory for each specific manufacturer and type of roofing membrane. These are listed on the Cool Roofs Directory on Coolroofs.org. As a building owner trying to determine the energy performance of their commercial roof, all you need to do is look at the SRI value for the roofing system that you currently have or are considering for your new commercial roof, without having to decipher and interpret a lot of technical roofing and physics terminology.

So how exactly does a Cool Roof for your commercial building save you money throughout the year?

Cool roofs can save money in several ways in addition to energy savings, such as rebates and incentives, HVAC equipment downsizing, and extended roof lifetime.

While cool roofs may save more units of energy in the hottest climate zones, climate zones are not necessarily the best indicator of the relative value of cool roofs. For example, the savings might be more valuable in New York City than in Dallas because electricity is three times more expensive in New York.

Roofs wear out and fail for many reasons, and some are linked to temperature. For example, higher temperatures can speed up material degradation. Cool roofs maintain a lower average temperature, so, in principle, this could slow heat-related degradation.

Some utilities and agencies offer rebates and incentives for cool roofs. To find out if there are any programs in your location, visit the CRRC website or DSIRE website and check with Complete Commercial Roofing.

The Roof Savings Calculator, developed by the US Department of Energy, is a simple and free online tool that allows users to estimate cooling and heating savings for flat roofs with non-black surfaces. To use this tool, you will need to answer a few basic questions about your building. The results will show you how much energy savings you can expect to achieve by choosing a high-performance cool roof.

Call Complete Commercial Roofing!

Choosing a roofing system and a roofing contractor are both very big decisions to make. Complete Commercial Roofing has been serving all of Indiana for more than 20 years. Allow us to answer your questions and assist you throughout this process. Reach out to us today at 877-227-5552.

The Solar Reflective Index (SRI) & Your Commercial Flat Roof

Do you know why it’s important to know the solar reflective index of your commercial flat roof?

When your commercial roof has reached the end of its life cycle or has been damaged beyond repair, it’s time to decide what type of new roofing system is best suited to your needs. In the past 20 years, with rising energy costs, roofing manufacturers, government agencies, and consumers have started to focus on keeping energy costs down. One of the most effective ways of doing this is to choose a “Cool Roof”, and the easiest way to ensure that you are choosing the highest-performance cool roof is to look at the Solar Reflective Index (SRI).

The SRI is a simple yet comprehensive way of qualifying a cool roof with a single, easy-to-read number value. The SRI is expressed in digits from 0 to 100, with a higher number meaning a cooler roof.  The SRI is measured twice – once when the roof is brand new, and again after 3 years.  It was developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and is the result of many measurements input into a rather complicated mathematical formula.  As a building owner on the market for a new commercial roof, all you need to do is look at the SRI value for the roofing system that you are considering, without having to decipher and interpret a lot of technical roofing and physics terminology.

The Cool Roof Rating Council (CCRC), an independent organization that verifies and labels cool roofing products, has endorsed the Solar Reflective Index as the best method of certifying a cool roof. They do continue to use the older rating method as well, which involves taking two measurements — how well the roof surface can reflect light energy (solar reflectance) and how quickly the surface releases absorbed heat (thermal emissivity).  This 2-value measuring system was fairly effective and gives a general idea of how energy-efficient a “cool roof” will be, but it has several limitations. For example, a roofing system might have high solar reflectance and poorly release absorbed heat. Or it might not reflect the sun very well, but it is great at releasing absorbed heat.  Which is better? What about winds over the roof surface, or insulation in contact with the roofing materials? The old method leaves us scratching our heads.

If you are considering a new Cool Roof for your building and would like to know more about the Solar Reflective Index, including a rating of specific roofing systems by manufacturer, you can visit the Cool Roofs Directory at Coolroofs.org.

The table below gives a general overview of the SRI values of common types of commercial roofing systems.

 

Roofing System SRI 3-yr SRI
Single Ply PVC, white 108 90
TPO, white 98 83
EPDM, standard black -3 -3
Metal, white 77 77
Asphaltic Membrane, white 32 27

 

Reach out to Complete Commercial Roofing, we’d be happy to answer any additional questions you have about this topic. Call 765-457-4848 today!

A Brief Overview of Commercial Roofing Systems

A wide variety of commercial roof systems is available for building owners and managers who are in need of a replacement.

Thermoplastic membranes are the relative new kids on the block, although they have been around for decades, with occasional tweaks in chemical composition. They are lightweight, flexible, and usually white (although available in a variety of colors), which provides high reflectivity and energy savings for building owners.

They’re manufactured with a mesh scrim laminated between two layers of film, and installed on the roof with either adhered or mechanical attachment methods. Membrane sections are joined together on the rooftop by the contractor using hot air welding tools.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride) thermoplastic membranes are naturally flame resistant and will not sustain a flame when the fire source is removed. PVC roofing materials also enable a wide welding temperature window, which means they can be installed in a broad range of weather conditions.

TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin) thermoplastic membranes are the fastest growing segment of roofing systems in the market. They are typically less expensive than PVC, but do not offer the same degree of fire resistance. They also have a narrower welding temperature window on the rooftop.

Another common single-ply system is EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer), essentially rubber. This is a thermoset membrane that can’t be heat-welded, so sections must be joined on the rooftop with adhesives. It’s usually black in color, and heat-absorbent. EPDM roofs are often covered with a layer of gravel ballast to help minimize shrinkage and to protect the roof surface from sun and hail.

Modified bitumen (“mod-bit”) roofs are considered to be single-ply systems. They’re manufactured in factories from roofing asphalt and other materials, such as fiberglass or another synthetic fabric, to give strength to the membrane. Mod-bit roofs can be installed using a variety of methods including hot asphalt, cold process cement, self-adherence, or torch. Torch-down roofing is fading in popularity and even outlawed in some areas because of the risk of fire.

Built-up commercial roofing is so-called because these systems are literally “built” on the rooftop from alternative layers of mopped hot asphalt or coal tar and felt or another synthetic material. Built-up roofs are very durable, but are labor intensive to install. They are often covered with stone ballast to protect the roof surface from the elements.

At Complete Commercial Roofing, we understand all aspects of commercial roofing and can help you sort through the noise to choose the best roof system! Call today.

Commercial Roofing and Hail Damage

Three Indicators that Your Commercial Roof Has Been Damaged by Hail

Hail is a weather problem that causes significant financial loss every year in the US; it’s possible that a single hailstorm can cause a billion dollars’ worth of damage. According to the National Weather Service, even 1-inch hail is capable of producing considerable property damage.

Your commercial building is not exempt from the effects of hail and, after any storm that produces hail, you should inspect it to see if your roof has been damaged. Here are three things to look for:

  • Dimples or “minor” cracks in the roof membrane. The most obvious evidence of hail damage. Although these issues may seem harmless, their appearance means that the membrane’s long-term weatherproofing ability probably has been compromised.
  • Dents on metal equipment and rooftop components. If there’s no clear indication of a hail event on the roof surface, check your rooftop HVAC units, metal roof flashings, gutters and coping cap metal for dents. It’s likely they were caused by hail.
  • Low / soft spots in underlying insulation. This can mean that the hail stones dented and damaged the surface of the insulation beneath the roof membrane – possibly causing a separation between the insulation’s facer and its inner material. In addition to reducing R-value, an indentation of the insulation can cause the overlying roof membrane to not be flush against the surface, decreasing its ability to withstand weathering forces that can worsen or create new cracks.

Roof problems from a hailstorm may not appear immediately, but the roof may be more prone to leaking down the road. Also, the roof’s “life expectancy” has most likely been reduced. Your best course of action after a hail event is to have a commercial roofing professional take a look. The contractor will have the tools and knowledge to evaluate your roof’s condition and recommend the right course of action.

The professionals at Complete Commercial Roofing would welcome the opportunity to be “that” contractor. If you’re in need of a replacement roof, we can recommend options that will help minimize the negative effect of future hailstorms.

 

Considerations When You’re in the Market for a New Commercial Roof

A new commercial roof is a major capital investment and should prompt you to consider a number of cost factors before making your final decision.

Initial installation cost is usually the first thing that comes to mind, but that’s not necessarily the most important factor. If you’re expecting your roof to last 15 years or more, its cost over the entire life may be the most economical number. And that is dependent on several things:

Your new roofing system should be able to meet the unique watertight needs of your facility. A building with large rooftop expanses (a warehouse, for example) has different needs than one with multiple penetrations (like a restaurant). The roof with the penetrations will require more flashing components and has a greater potential for compromise. Make sure the system you choose – and the contractor installing It – will make these areas secure for the long term. If your building is a restaurant or another business that exhausts onto the roof surface, make sure that the membrane can handle it. Some systems are more impervious to grease and chemicals than others and will deliver a longer life in those conditions.

Reflective single-ply roofing systems (primarily PVC and TPO) can help facility managers save up to 40% of their summertime energy bill. Some roofing systems are classified as “cool,” because they are white or light-colored and reflect heat away from the building. This means lower air-conditioning costs. Studies have shown that cool roof systems also help preserve the long-term effectiveness of insulation, which means they will help stabilize your energy bills for the life of your roof.

A “hidden” cost of a new roof installation is whether it causes disruption to your normal building activities. Today’s lightweight, single-ply roofing systems can typically be installed quickly and safely, without loud machinery, kettles, hazardous materials, unpleasant fumes, hot tar, or mess. They often can be installed over an existing roof without a tear-off that might interfere with building traffic or operations.

It’s important to understand all the costs of your new roofing investment. At Complete Commercial Roofing, we can help you understand the financial pros and cons of different commercial roofing systems. We look forward to working with you.

Gutters, Downspouts, and Drains

Drainage on Your Commercial Roof

Ensuring that your commercial roof’s drainage system is working as designed is critical to maintaining watertight integrity. A gallon of water weighs about eight pounds and having a pool of undrained water on your rooftop adds stress to the surface and building structure and can significantly shorten the life of your roofing system.

“Flat” commercial roofs are typically not 100% flat – at least they shouldn’t be, because water needs gravity to flow. In fact, a flat – low-slope – commercial roof is usually defined as having a slope or pitch of no more than 3 inches of height for every 12 inches of length. The slope of most flat roofs are actually less than that, but sufficient to allow for good water flow.

A properly designed roof will typically have one of the following 3 types of drainage systems, or a combination: interior drains, scuppers, and gutters.

  • Interior drains are placed within the roof area with the surrounding roof deck sloped to enable water to flow freely toward the drains. The drains are connected to pipes that run through the interior of the building before emptying at ground level or directly into the sewer system that serves the building.
  • Scuppers are openings in the parapet wall of a roof that water is directed to because of sloping that’s intentionally built into the roof surface. Water runs through the scupper and usually into a device called a collector box that’s mounted on the exterior building wall. The boxes then typically drain into attached downspouts that send the water to ground level and away from the building.
  • Gutters on commercial facilities are also commonly used. They are normally wider than those used on residential installations – 6 inches vs. 5 inches – because a commercial roof’s larger surface area produces more water volume and runoff. Commercial gutter systems should also have downspouts attached to direct water away from the building.

If your commercial roof is not draining properly, the pros at Complete Commercial Roofing would welcome the opportunity to evaluate the situation and resolve the issues. Contact us today!

 

 

Some Facts About Your Commercial Roofing System

Commercial Roofing System

Roofing is often thought to be a commodity, with one type of roofing product to be pretty much like another. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. There are vast differences between shingle roofs and flat commercial roofing systems for example, and significant variations between the diversity of commercial roofing products that are available. Continue reading for some specific – and possibly new-to-you – details about commercial roofing systems.

Shingled roofs have a clear slope to them, for aesthetics and to enable good drainage. In fact, “flat” commercial roofs, although not typically visible, are sloped as well. When the building was originally constructed, it was engineered to slope toward the outside edges with gutters and downspouts or toward the interior of the roof where drains are located. These channel water through the building and empty at or below ground level. Commercial roofs can settle over time. In that case a new roof installation might include v-shaped structural additions called crickets, that are then covered by the new roof membrane and direct water so that it doesn’t collect on the rooftop.

Another way that commercial roofing systems are different from shingled roofs is that they require a special contractor skill set for installation and maintenance. It’s not uncommon for homeowners to replace damaged or missing shingles on their own. But commercial systems vary widely in their technology and installation and repairs are best left to commercial roofing professionals who understand attachment methods and termination, material compatibility, drainage, insulation, and other factors.

Your commercial roof could add value to your bottom line. The trend in roofing systems these days is toward highly reflective thermoplastic membranes. These systems help minimize the penetration of heat into your building, potentially reducing the energy (and cost) needed to cool a building by as much as 40%. Cool roofing systems have also been shown to help prolong the life of rooftop HVAC units and preserve the R-value of rooftop insulation.

At Complete Commercial Roofing, we clearly understand the differences between roofing products as well as how to help you get the most out of your commercial roof, whether it’s a new installation or modifications to your current system. We would welcome the opportunity to work with you on your next roofing project.

Roofing: An Important Component of Your Sustainable Commercial Construction Project

The concept of “sustainability” in commercial construction boils down to a few basic elements. These include using renewable and recyclable building materials during construction along with reducing energy consumption and waste during the building’s life cycle. The ultimate goal is to reduce its impact on the environment. Today’s commercial roofing systems can help achieve these objectives in several ways. Here’s a brief look at a few.

Waste reduction. The manufacture of roofing materials can generate a lot of waste. However, today’s roof production processes are efficient, and recycle manufacturing scrap back into the final product. This reduces the amount of waste sent to a landfill, as well as the amount of fuel needed to transport it. In addition, some commercial roofing materials can be recycled at the end of their lifespan on the building. Some manufacturers have recycling programs in place that take old roofing systems and convert them into other building materials.

Efficient energy use. Reflectivity provided by white roofing membranes has been making a positive environmental impact for many years, by decreasing the amount of solar heat transferred into a commercial building and reducing the power load on rooftop HVAC units. In addition, because modern single-ply roofing systems are lightweight, they require less fuel to transport to the job site.

Mitigating urban heat islands (UHIs). In the summertime, cities tend to become much warmer than the surrounding countryside, creating what are known as urban heat islands. This effect helps produce smog and greenhouse gases, both of which aggravate respiratory health problems. Reflective “cool” commercial roofs help reduce the urban heat island effect.

Enabling alternative roof system installations. Vegetative and solar roofing systems are relatively new, but becoming more common in the commercial space. It’s important to realize that these technologies require a reliable commercial roofing system underneath to provide long-term, watertight protection with minimal maintenance, because access to the roof surface once the solar or veggie system is installed will be difficult. If you’re considering such a rooftop installation, it’s a good financial choice to replace an aging roof underneath now, rather than later.

When it comes to choosing your roofing contractor, look for one who follows good environmental practices. This can include using fuel-efficient vehicles, keeping the worksite free of waste, and minimizing the generation of scrap during installation.

Complete Commercial Roofing is ready to help you meet your commercial building sustainability goals.  We look forward to working with you – Call 765-457-4848.

With winter officially here in the northern part of the US, you should understand how snow and ice can impact your roof and the potential problems they can bring.

A typical commercial roof not only includes the surface membrane and the deck it’s attached or adhered to, but layers of other materials such as insulation, thermal barriers and cover boards. The roof assembly itself can be “connected” to the building by beams, trusses, purlins or other support components. In short, it’s a multifaceted assembly that, although not fragile, can be displaced by the weight of accumulated show and ice.

In the wintertime, it’s common for the news to carry stories of building collapses because of the volume of snow and ice that’s collected on the rooftop. And it really should be no surprise, given these numbers:

According to FEMA, in its Snow Load Safety Guide, a cubic foot of light dry snow weighs about 3 pounds and a cubic foot of wet heavy snow weighs about 21 pounds. Just an inch-thick layer of ice, which is much denser and heavier than even wet heavy snow, weighs nearly five pounds per square foot. A cubic foot of ice can weigh almost 60 pounds. On the rooftop, a relatively small 10-foot by 10-foot area covered by 3 inches of ice can weigh 1,500 pounds. This scenario isn’t out of the question, as temperature changes that allow snow to melt then refreeze can turn small amounts of snow into perilous volumes of ice.

You may see signs of too much weight on your roof inside your building in the form of doors or windows that are wedged shut, or cracks that appear in walls or ceilings.

Obviously, as snow accumulates on your rooftop over the winter, you should keep an eye on the depth, and whether freeze-and-thaw cycles have created ice problems. If you have a maintenance crew, have them remove it – safely! – with tools that won’t damage the roof surface. Have them pay particular attention to drainage systems so that they are clear to handle snow melt.

At Complete Commercial Roofing, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your wintertime roofing needs with you. Please contact us at your convenience at 877-227-5552.

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