Common Questions Regarding Commercial Roofing

Randy Blog, Uncategorized

Part of keeping your commercial property in shape is making sure the roof is in good condition. The following are some questions we frequently hear from property managers about their commercial roofs.

Does My Building Need a New Roof?

There are some signs you should look for to determine the condition of your commercial roof and to assess whether a replacement is needed. Consider the following.

  • The age of the roof
  • The leak history of the roof
  • The extent and cost of repairs performed on the roof
  • The type of work performed in the building and the cost of business interruption due to leaks
  • The roof warranty situation

Which Roofing System Is Right for My Building?

Probably an unpopular answer but . . . It depends.  While single-ply systems are far and away market-leading (approximately 85% of commercial roof installations), one solution does not fit all situations. System options include single-ply (TPO, PVC, EPDM), modified bitumen, built-up roof, metal, and vegetated. You should consult a professional on this topic; however, beware if they are not considering the following in their assessment:

  • The current roof system and its performance history
  • Is the roof a candidate for a recover rather than a full tear-off
  • Does the roof experience heavy traffic
  • Energy performance (insulating value, reflectivity)
  • Aesthetic consideration (color, system)
  • The desired warranty period and life-span expectations of future roof

How Long Does a Roof Install Take?

The square footage of your project will be the primary driver of the time it will take to complete a roof install. However, the system specified, scope of work, and any building access restrictions will also influence the pace and schedule of construction. Weather conditions can also dramatically impact the speed at which a reroofing project can be completed. Any reputable contractor will avoid having a roof open with a high probability of precipitation. At Innovative Roofing Group, we absolutely will not open a roof with a probability of rain higher than 30%.

Can Flat Roofs Drain Water?

If your property has a flat or low-slope roof, and it is designed and constructed properly, it will drain. If you have excessive ponding of water it may foretell an issue of:

  • Poor design, construction, or condition of the deck or insulation
  • Insufficient roof drainage capacity
  • Debris clogging the drains or gutters

 

Contacting the Professionals

To learn more about commercial roofing, contact the professionals at Innovative Roofing Group. Call 404-594-6038 or email us today!

Safety Checklist for Your Roofing Project

Randy Blog, Uncategorized

Any reputable commercial roofing contractor knows that safety is of the utmost importance on the job site. Keeping an eye on the trades you hired when you have a project underway at your facility, is a wise move. Worker and building occupant’s safety depend on you hiring the right contractor. Refer to the following guidelines, informed by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), to ensure that your contractors are taking safety seriously.

 

Required Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Job site conditions will dictate the type of PPE required by workers on your construction project.  This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Safety glasses or face shields when cutting metal and other materials or working with chemical substances
  • Respiratory system suitable to protect workers from airborne hazards
  • Heavy boots or work shoes with toe protection and non-slip soles
  • Gloves that fit snugly and are appropriate for the task at hand
  • A hard hat in good condition where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, falling or flying objects, or electrical shock and burns
  • A properly fitting and inspected Personal Fall Arrest System (PFAS) when working at heights

 

Ladders

Contractors should be inspecting their ladders for visible defects on a periodic basis, as well as after any occurrence that could affect their safe use. Each worker should be trained on how to recognize hazards related to ladders and follow procedures to minimize those hazards. Secure footing for all ladders is important. Ladders must be used only on stable and level surfaces unless they are secured to prevent accidental displacement.  Ladders must not be placed in areas of traffic, such as driveways or doorways unless they are secured.

 

Lifts, Hoists, and Cranes

Forklifts, hoists, and cranes should be operated only by employees ages 18 and older who have had the appropriate training and licensing. All equipment must meet standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and be inspected each day. When equipment is not in operation, it should be parked and locked with lifts down and brakes engaged.

 

Elevated Surfaces

When working on a low slope roof without parapet walls of at least 42” and no present or practical guardrails, an edge warning system is required. The edge warning line should consist of ropes, wires, or chains, and supporting stanchions. It also needs to be erected no less than 6 feet from the roof edge and no less than 10 feet when mechanical equipment is used.  The edge warning system should be flagged at least every 6 feet with high-visibility material.  When workers are required to perform operations outside of the edge warning system, a safety monitor should be deployed and the workers should wear a properly designed Personal Fall Arrest System. On roofs 50 feet or less in width, the use of a safety monitoring system alone is permitted.

 

Hazardous and Noxious Materials

At job sites that require the use of hazardous materials, these substances must be appropriately labeled with a hazard warning and properly handled. Workers must have access to the Safety Data Sheet for each substance at the location. Most roofing materials are not hazardous; however, building occupants can feel impacted by the smell of asphalt products, adhesives, coatings, solvents, or other materials used during a roofing project. In advance, the roofer should perform a visual inspection to identify vents, windows, and air intakes that need to be addressed or monitored to protect building occupants from fumes and odors.

For high-quality construction with an unwavering focus on worker, job site, and building occupant safety, consider Innovative Roofing Group, serving clients in Atlanta and surrounding areas. Call us at 404-594-6038 to learn more about our comprehensive roofing and sheet metal services.

System Options for Low-Slope Re-Roofing

Randy Blog, Uncategorized

When confronting a commercial roof replacement project, selecting the most appropriate roofing system can seem complicated and confusing. There are so many material and assembly options available for low-slope roof applications, making choosing difficult. Therefore, it is important that you receive guidance from a qualified professional that can educate you on the pros and cons of each type of roof, suitable for your building. Today’s most commonly specified assemblies for low-slope re-roofing are Single-ply and Modified Bitumen systems.

 

Single-ply

Single-ply membrane systems represent approximately 85% of the low-slope commercial roofing market. A Single-ply roof system is one in which the principal roof covering is a single layer of flexible membrane, often a thermoset rubber (EPDM) or thermoplastic (TPO, PVC). Single-ply membranes can be installed in a variety of attachment configurations, most commonly ballasted, mechanically attached, or fully adhered. Thermoset sheet seams are glued together to create a continuous waterproofing membrane. They offer excellent weatherability and impact resistance, good extreme weather flexibility, and low installation, maintenance, and life-cycle costs. As Thermoset systems age they may experience reduced thickness and shrinkage, which can contribute to failed seams and membrane tearing under stress.

Thermoplastic sheet seams are welded together using heat to create a continuous waterproofing barrier. They offer extreme heat and UV resistance, excellent tear strength, good puncture resistance, are recyclable, and offer no surface food source for mold or algae growth. As Thermoplastic systems age, small cracks can develop on the membrane surface and they can sometimes grow more brittle.

Because of the fact that Single-ply systems offer only one thin layer of waterproofing protection, they are susceptible to damage from debris and rooftop traffic.  Thankfully, the root causes of system performance issues can usually be easy to identify and inexpensive to fix.

 

Modified Bitumen

Modified Bitumen (MB) systems represent approximately 12% of the low-slope commercial roofing market.  A MB assembly consists of composite sheets composed of bitumen modified with SBS or APP polymers to enhance performance and reinforced with Polyester or Fiberglass mats. Most Modified Bitumen roof assemblies are configured with one or multiple base sheets and a cap sheets.  The cap sheets can be surfaced with films, foils, or mineral granules that provide UV protection and wear resistance.  The systems are installed with cold process adhesives, hot asphalt, or by heating and melting the membrane with a torch.  MB systems can be applied in hot and cold temperatures and perform well over their life in all climate zones. They are highly durable and exhibit exceptional tear and puncture resistance.

Modified Bitumen membranes provide excellent weatherability but over time the cap sheet’s surfacing is likely to deteriorate from exposure to the elements or excessive traffic. Resurfacing of MB systems can be done at a relatively low-cost, and is a good roof asset maintenance strategy. While more costly to install than Single-ply systems, Modified Bitumen assemblies are very commonly specified in institutional, healthcare, owner-occupied, and other high-value properties.

 

At Innovative Roofing Group, we spend a considerable amount of time asking questions of our customers about how they utilize their buildings and to fully understand the budget realities. We also closely investigate the current roof composition and condition. Finally, we incorporate local building code requirements when developing a system recommendation.  For each application, we try to provide our customers with options to consider. Contact us today by calling 404-594-6038 to find out how we can help you.

3 Things You Should Expect From a Commercial Roofing Service Contractor

Randy Blog, Uncategorized

The roof over your business is exposed to the elements every day. While it’s one of the most essential parts of your building, it’s also one of the most vulnerable. You need to care for it! In order to have confidence that your commercial roofing services contractor is qualified, safe, and honorable look for the following things.

 

1. Proper Qualifications

When you hire a commercial roofing service contractor, make sure the company has all the proper qualifications. They should be able to provide evidence of that their certifications, licenses and insurance are in good standing. Also, upon request, the contractor should be proud to share information on their safety record and worker’s compensation experience modification factor (mod rating). A mod rating greater than 1.00 means the contractor experienced worse than expected losses during the most recent rating period. Finally, membership in a market’s local roofing association (like RSMCA in Georgia) and the leading national industry associations (NRCA and IIBEC) demonstrate a contractor’s commitment to the industry and continuing education.

 

2. Honesty

Having multiple conversations with a contractor before hiring them is a good way to determine whether or not they are being honest. You should request a detailed, written scope of work from the contractor, even for a small maintenance or repair project. And, until you trust their pricing and service levels, you’d be wise to solicit multiple quotations. Often, you can find contractor reviews and testimonials online which can offer some insight into a contractor’s integrity and reliability.

 

3. Professionalism and Experience

I am a firm believer in the old maxim, “the best predictor of future behavior, is past behavior”. So, to protect yourself from bad actors, do some research on your roofing services contractor by requesting references. A quality contractor will be pleased to share recent customer references. And, if you get anything less than glowing feedback on their safety, workmanship, and professionalism, run the other way.

 

Getting in Touch With a Contractor

To get in touch with an honest, professional, and experienced contractor with proper qualifications, contact Innovative Roofing today at 404-594-6038 or email Randy at service@innovativeroofing.net.

 

3 Ways Your Roof Can Keep You Cool This Summer

If you are like most commercial building owners and tenants, you are always on the lookout for ways to save on operating costs. With summer soon to be upon us, absent course correction, the cost to cool your commercial property will again rise.  There are, however, cost effective actions that can be taken, on the roof, to improve your commercial building’s energy efficiency during the cooling season.

 

Reflective Roofing and Coatings

A reflective, or “cool”, roof can do wonders for commercial building occupant comfort and can significantly reduce the costs to cool the building. By reflecting the sun’s rays with a reflective roof surface, your building will absorb less heat and be less costly to cool. Installing a highly reflective roof when a roof replacement is needed is an obvious and typically followed specification decision. But, did you know that a traditional roof in good condition can often be cost effectively upgraded through the application of a reflective coating system? There are a wide range of highly reflective roof restoration coating systems suitable to be installed on nearly every roof surface. These restoration coatings will often pay for themselves through energy savings over time. Simply reach out to a roof restoration specialist for guidance.

 

Regular Cleanings

Good for you, if you already have a “cool” reflective roof installed on your commercial building. But, if you aren’t regularly maintaining that roof, you likely aren’t gaining full value from it because If not cleaned, cool roofs, will lose a huge percentage of their reflectivity over time. That translates to meaningful loss in energy efficiency for buildings and higher energy costs for building owners. Thankfully the remedy is easy and inexpensive . . . simply have your roof cleaned regularly by a reputable commercial roofing contractor.

 

More Insulation

A short time ago, the roof on your commercial building was designed solely to provide waterproofing protection from above. With the emergence of the International Energy Efficiency Code (IECC), today’s commercial roofs are expected to insulate your building as well. The added insulation in a modern commercial roof can contribute to dramatically lower building operating costs by reducing the building’s heating/cooling requirements. Adding insulation when replacing or recovering your commercial roof will help to keep the building cool in the heat of summer by allowing less conditioned air to escape.

 

Contact the Professionals

If you’re looking for some ways to improve cooling costs for your building as summer approaches, contact the professionals at Innovative Roofing today at 404-594-6038 or email us at service@innovativeroofing.net.

Innovative Roofing Group has Moved!

Randy Uncategorized

Effective Monday, May 6, we will be working from our new offices.  Our telephone, fax and emails remain unchanged but please update your records to reflect our new mailing address.

Come and visit!

Why is my Commercial Roof Leaking?

Randy Blog
commercial roof leaking

If you own or manage a commercial property, staying on top of maintenance and repairs is a must. This is particularly true of your roof as it is frustrating, disruptive and costly when your roof springs a leak!  Finding the exact source of a roof leak can be difficult but a full and proper diagnosis is a necessary first step to a successful repair. If dealing with a leak, you should start by looking for the following:

Debris 

Wind, rain, and the changing seasons will deposit tree branches, leaves and other debris on your roof. If left unaddressed, the debris can clog rooftop drains, gutters, and downspouts which can cause excessive water ponding and unintended drainage paths for water, both of which can cause a leak.  Finally, that same debris, when dropping on your roof or dragged across it by wind, can cause damage and punctures to your roof membrane and flashings.

Deteriorated, Damaged or Poorly Installed Flashings and Penetration Details

Failing flashings and details are a likely source of roof leaks. Issues can be caused by poor workmanship, damage or simply deterioration from age/weathering. The consequences of shoddy workmanship during a roof installation are most often experienced in the premature failure of the roof’s details. Material failures are also most common at roof perimeters and penetrations.  Tiny cracks, fissures or holes in the flashing, or deteriorated sealant around the roof’s penetrations, can contribute to major roof leaks.

Poor Design

Many low slope roofs suffer the consequences of poor design.  The two design issues that most frequently contribute to leaks are an inadequate slope to drainage and insufficient drainage capacity. Inadequate slope to drainage is evidenced by significant ponding water on a roof’s surface. Ponding water is defined by the roofing industry as the excessive accumulation of water at low-lying areas on a roof that remains 48 hours following a rain event. One inch of ponding water will add a load of 5 pounds per square foot to your roof deck and if the commercial building is not designed to handle the additional weight, severe ponding conditions can lead to building structural damage and can be a threat to occupant safety.  The roof membrane and flashings covered by ponding water can also deteriorate prematurely.  Insufficient drainage capacity, including interior drains, scuppers, conductor heads, gutters, and downspouts, can cause water to leak into the building around drains and at exterior walls.

Old Age

Low slope roofs, if properly designed, installed and maintained will last well more than 20 years. But, father time is still undefeated. Your leaks could simply be the result of the predictable aging of your roof.

Effective property management requires the active management of your commercial roof assets. You should regularly have a roofing professional get up on the roof to remove debris, check flashings and details, and to look for signs of excessive ponding.  Overlooking any of these conditions may results in disruptive and expensive leaks, endanger tenant satisfaction and safety, and may void your roofing warranty. Be quick to contact Innovative Roofing Group by calling 404-594-6038 or sending an email to service@innovativeroofing.net if you have a commercial roof leak or maintenance need.

3 Good Reasons to Restore your Commercial Roof

Randy Blog
Restore your commercial roof

Commercial roof tear-off and replacement projects are expensive and disruptive.  Restoration of your roof, while not always an option, can be a cost-effective way to extend its life.  Due to advancements in fluid applied coating technology, nearly all roofing systems of a suitable condition can be restored.  This includes single-ply, metal, modified bitumen and built-up roofs. But why might you want to restore your commercial roof, rather than replace it?

1. Save Money

As already mentioned, roof replacements can be expensive. Restoration of your existing roof with an elastomeric coating system can save you lots of money, sometimes as much half of a roof replacement contract value. This is due to several factors including material, labor and disposal costs. When you restore your commercial roof it can also be a wise roof asset maintenance and management decision by helping to eliminate annoying, potentially damaging, and costly repairs. Finally, the installation of a highly reflective, “cool” roof coating system can reduce building energy usage, and therefore energy bills, and may qualify you for tax credits.

2. Extend the Roof’s Lifetime

A quality installation of an elastomeric restoration coating system can dramatically extend the service life of a commercial roof. The leading roof coating manufacturers will warrant restoration installs for ten years or more. Critical to a restoration project’s success is the completion of a thorough roof condition assessment by a qualified individual to determine the roof’s suitability for restoration, prior to the development of the scope of work.

3. Less Risk and Disruption

Commercial roof tear-offs are costly. They are also dirty, smelly, noisy and fraught with risk (flooding, worker and occupant safety, among them). The installation of a roof restoration system directly to the existing roof assembly eliminates most of these potential issues and risks and allows building activities to continue uninterrupted.

Restore your commercial roof

Is Restoration an Option for your Commercial Roof?

There are good reasons to know if restoring the roof on your commercial building is an option, as an alternative to replacement or simply as a strategy to extend its useful life.  For more information on restoration or to schedule time for an inspection and assessment of your commercial roof contact the team at Innovative Roofing Group today by calling 404-594-6038 or sending an email to sales@innovativeroofing.net.

How to Find a Qualified Commercial Roofing Company

Randy Blog

When it’s time to get a new roof for your building, you may not know how to find a reputable commercial roofing company to do the job right. This means safely, on time and on budget, and with minimal aggravation and disruption to building operations. There is too much at stake to outsource your contractor selection to Google. Here are a few tips to help you find a commercial roofing company that you can trust.

Know Thy Stuff
Some roofing companies specialize in certain market segments (retail, industrial, institutional, etc) and others are qualified to install certain roofing materials (single-ply, modified bitumen, built-up roofing, etc). You should look for a contractor who has plenty of experience working with your type of project. You may also want to consider how long the company has been in business. As is often said, “the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior”.

References on Request
If you talk to a contractor who is unable or unwilling to provide references, you should consider it a red flag. Companies should have satisfied customers who are happy to share their experiences with potential clients. When reaching out to references, ask questions about the contractor’s safety performance, project management, communication, cleanliness, billing process and whatever else is important to you. Reviews and testimonials are often readily accessible online, as well.

Proof Please
Can you imagine hiring a roofing company that does not have adequate insurance or is in poor standing with OSHA, the EPA or local building code officials? You should most definitely verify that the contractor carries sufficient insurance. You may also want to inquire about the company’s safety performance. Contractors are required by OSHA to maintain safety logs. So, you may want to ask for details about their accident and injury experience. Don’t make the mistake of hiring a contractor that doesn’t put safety first.

Get It in Writing
Warranties offer you another level of protection. Your contractor should be willing to offer you a workmanship warranty and they should be able to deliver a roofing material manufacturer’s warranty at the conclusion of the project. It’s also wise to have a contract or agreement drafted that includes the project’s scope of work and terms and conditions. Having these things spelled out in black and white can save you from headaches down the road.

When you start your search for a great commercial roofing company, you should talk to the experts at Innovative Roofing Group for all your roofing needs. Call us at 404-594-6038 or email us today!