The Hazards of Roof Debris and the Benefits of Maintenance

Randy Blog, Uncategorized

Your roof protects your building and all that is in it. Most facility managers would agree that maintaining their roof would be a wise investment of time and resource, however, few actually do it.  Flying debris and seasonal debris buildup present some of the biggest threats to the performance of a commercial roof. This debris includes leaves, twigs, and even trash that carries in the wind. Without proper maintenance and debris removal, you are likely to encounter serious roofing problems.

Debris Creates a Home for Pests and Organic Growth

Most critters and pests love the twigs and leaves that gather on your rooftop. Squirrels, for instance, love to take branches and piles of leaves to create their nests. The problem with this is that squirrels, birds, and other animals can cause significant damage to your roof. Additionally, a mixture of wet leaves and blowing dust can quickly turn into rooftop compost, the ideal place for seeds to grow. Plants that germinate can easily become effective obstacles to intended drainage paths. Furthermore, the root system of plants, shrubs, and trees can quickly destroy a roofing system.

Debris Can Lead to Water Ponding or Leakage

Where you have debris buildup, you are likely to encounter roof drain and gutter and downspout blockages. When this happens, water can pond on the roof which can present many risks. Ponding can contribute to premature membrane failure and, attract dirt and algae. Excessive ponding can create a live load on a building’s structural components that exceed the design criteria leading to damage or even collapse of the roof deck. Clogged gutters and downspouts can lead to gutter leaks, roof leaks, façade leaks, rotted building elements, and mold growth.

Do not skip out on roof maintenance. It is particularly crucial at this time of the year, after the leaves have dropped from the trees. During a routine seasonal maintenance visit intended primarily for debris removal, a non-invasive roof inspection can be performed which can help to identify deterioration or damage to the roofing system before it becomes a disruptive problem. Innovative Roofing Group provides solutions for all of your roofing needs. Call 404-594-6038 or email us today to set up a consultation!

Employee Spotlight: Meet Chris!

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Innovative Roofing Group would not be where we are today without our talented and dedicated staff. We want our customers to know a little bit more about the hardworking team that makes our work possible!

Chris Balch takes on the title of Office Manager at Innovative Roofing Group. Her position requires her to be involved in many different business tasks, providing leadership and assistance to personnel to improve efficiency. We asked her a few questions about commercial roofing and herself. We hope this will help our customers get to know her, and the industry, a little better.

Tell us a little more about your work at IRG.

I work closely with the company Controller to provide accounting assistance. I also work side by side with the Safety Manager to help implement procedures and training. I am also involved in company communications and strategic development. We have a great team of experienced personnel and we work closely to develop lasting relationships with our clients. Together, we provide quality work, responsiveness and we deliver it all with kindness. I am proud to be a part of this organization.

What do you like most about your job?

The people I work with. The individuals that I work with are exceptional people, each with different personalities but all with lots of experience. I strive to build and retain good relationships with other department managers and all other employees.

For people considering roofing services for their commercial property, do you have any advice?

My advice is to first find qualified contractors. Find ones that can provide solid references and completed jobs that represent their workmanship. The most trustworthy contractors are the ones who will assist you in making the right decisions. I always say the difference between our account representatives and most other salesman, is that we try to help you buy, rather than trying to sell to you.

What is your favorite memory of working at Innovative Roofing Group?

One of my favorite memories was the day that we moved into our new facility this year. We all worked hard as a team to coordinate the move. And because we were able to all work together on that day, it was a success.

What do you like to do in your spare time or on your days off?

Most people would consider my spare time to be more work, but I enjoy helping people. I work as a handyman or rather a “handy Ma’am” on my days off and when I have “spare time”. I complete repairs in homes, mostly for the elderly or people who need assistance but otherwise can’t afford to pay expensive labor prices.

When I am not working or helping others, I enjoy hiking with my two dogs, Ono and Rascal (pictured). We spend a lot of time hiking the beautiful parks of Georgia. My goal is to hike all of them by the end of next summer.

Stop by our office at 1149 Logan Circle NW to say hi to Chris and meet the rest of our amazing staff! For more information about Innovative Roofing Group and the services we offer, call 404-594-6038 or send us an email today!

Get Your Building Ready for Tough Weather

Randy Blog, Uncategorized

You may have made it to October without any storm damage to your building, but you are not in the clear just yet. Hurricane season in the Southeast of the US spans from the beginning of June to the end of November. Being well prepared for the storm season or an extreme weather event includes a lot of preventative measures. Inspecting your property, planning for worst-case scenarios, and tending to last-minute details all play an important role in protecting your building and its contents.

Get Everything in Shape 

People who take care of their bodies are often able to better deal with illness than those who neglect their health. Likewise, a well-maintained building may withstand storm damage better than one with untrimmed trees, loose masonry, clogged drains and gutters, broken shingles, and deteriorated flashing.

Start with a visual inspection of your building. If possible, hire an expert to perform a roof inspection and to identify concerns and propose remedies. A roofing specialist can often identify small issues that may turn into big problems in the event of extreme weather.

Prepare for Problems 

A catastrophic weather event can devastate an unprepared business by damaging property and assets, disrupting business operations, and limiting team member availability. To protect your business, regularly review property and casualty insurance coverage limits being sure to factor in new equipment or renovations. It’s also wise to make a thoughtful decision regarding your need flood insurance and business interruption insurance.

You’ll want to review back-up procedures for computer files and security for important papers. Maintaining an accurate inventory count will speed your claims process in the event of damage. Finally, by periodically covering emergency procedures with your workforce and posting building evacuation instructions for all to see, your building’s occupants will be better prepared in the event of a weather event.

Tend to the Details

If storm warnings occur, get outside to remove or secure loose tree branches, planters, benches, or items attached to the building. Make certain roof drains and gutters are clear. Depending on your location and weather predictions, consider boarding up windows or taking other protective measures. Not only can this help prevent interior damage, but a broken window may also change indoor air pressure that can affect the roof.

Keep your commercial building in top shape, review insurance coverage and emergency procedures, and take care of final details if a storm heads your way. For a pre-storm roof inspection or roofing repairs after an extreme weather event, contact Innovative Roofing Group by calling 404-594-6038 or emailing us today for fast and experienced advice and repairs.

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.

 

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

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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.