Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Regular Roofing Maintenance - How to Inspect a Roof

Any roof inspection should look at the roof, but the roof surface is only one item that should be checked.

The first thing to look at is your files. Do you have all of the paperwork you need? How about a copy of the warranty? Do you have the names and phone numbers of the companies that have been involved with the roof — previous inspectors, roofing contractors, architects, manufacturer technical services? You should have a copy of all the repair orders and the results of the repairs made. Finally, there should be a roof plan, drawn to scale, that not only shows all the equipment on the roof, but also the locations of any leaks and any repairs made.

The walls and glazing should also be checked. Too many times leaks from wall, sealant and window failures are disguised as "roof" leaks. Look for cracks and water stains that may be symptomatic of problems in these areas. The worst offenders are pipes, conduit and other penetrations through the walls. Too often these are left unsealed, especially when they are installed as retrofits.

Once those steps have been taken, you are ready to look at the roof. The best place to start is with an overall look at the roof. Is it covered in debris, like leaves, plants and old air conditioning equipment? This is a sure sign that the roof has been neglected. Look at the surface of the roof. If there is a coating, is it intact? If there is gravel or ballast, are the rocks evenly distributed and covering the whole surface?

The surface of the roof provides protection from ultraviolet radiation from the sun, which causes most roofing materials to age and break down. It's like your skin. If you don't give yourself UV protection, your skin ages prematurely and sometimes with serious results.

You should also check the drainage system. If there are large areas of standing water that never seem to go away, it may be possible to solve the problem simply by removing the gunk from around the drain. Or you may need to snake the roof drain pipes or down spouts. Standing water can lead to premature failure of the roof as the water may leach the chemicals that keep roofs pliable out of the membrane. Worse still, if there is a puncture in an area of standing water, what should have been a minor drip becomes a major disaster as all of that standing water ends up inside the building.

Roof failures rarely start in the large expanses of field membrane. Any roof check should pay special attention to the membrane and metal at changes in plane and at penetrations through the roof. First, make sure the surfacing is intact. Look for punctures, tears and scrapes in the membrane. Check for unsealed laps both in the vertical part of the flashings and also where the flashing terminates on the field of the roof. Make sure the membrane is not drooping. This is a symptom that the flashing was improperly installed — either it wasn't fastened properly at the top, or it was not properly adhered to the wall or curb. If you see diagonal wrinkles in the flashings, you have a situation where the roof deck and the wall are moving independently. These wrinkles will end up as cracks in the flashings and ultimately as leaks.

If you have expansion joints running across your roof, include them in the inspection. Some roofing contractors don't terminate expansion joints correctly and, as a result, the expansion joints crack at the ends. Check the rubber bellows for cuts and open laps and also for "repairs" done with roofing cement or other inappropriate materials.

If penetrations such as pipes and equipment stands are waterproofed with metal or plastic pitch pans or concrete rings, check the sealer to be sure that it is not cracked and that the pan or ring is completely filled with the sealer. Check the bottom of the concrete ring to be sure the seal between the ring and the roof membrane is still sealed. Check alternate flashings such as prefabricated metals or plastic or rubber boots for cracks, holes and failed sealants.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Regular Roofing Maintenance - When to Inspect the Roof

Everyday exposure to sun, rain, air conditioning repair workers, and other wear and tear slowly ages the roof membrane until the service life ends. Every extra year you can eke out of the roof is that much more money that can be saved for other purposes. A roof doesn't need good food or proper exercise. But a roof does need regular check-ups in the form of regular inspections and prompt repairs.

What benefit is there in spending money every year to maintain the roof? Studies have shown that a roof that is not regularly maintained will only last about half of its expected service life. You might say "That's why I have a warranty.", but don't assume that a warranty will help. Almost all manufacturers of roofing materials state specifically in their warranty that the warranty is void if the roof is not maintained. If you can't show that the roof has been maintained, you will not have a case when you try to make a claim on a supposed warranty issue.

Experienced facility managers know that a roof should be inspected at least twice a year to keep the roof alive as long as possible and to maintain the warranty. But many don't know what to look for, so they either hire someone else to do it or it just doesn't get done. Depending on the depth and complexity of the inspection, the inspector can be the building staff, an architect or engineer who specializes in roof consulting, or a competent roofing contractor. The inspection can entail anything from looking at the roof while walking to repair an A/C unit all the way to a formal inspection with a moisture survey.

When to Inspect the Roof?

You want to have the inspections done once before the season with the most severe weather and once after. In the northern climates, the severe weather is winter where the cold, storms and precipitation contributes more to the demise of the roof. However, where hot weather rules, summer is the severe season - the solar UV radiation is higher, and the roof is subjected to high heat and to thermal shock due to sudden cooling during summer rains. You want to check the roof before the severe season to prepare the roof for its ordeal to come and once after it has weathered the season to repair any problems that happened during.

Periodically, a formal moisture survey should be done in addition to the normal visual survey. There are three major types of moisture survey systems used, none of which actually measures water. All of them measure properties of the roof materials that change when there is water present.

  1. An infrared scan measures the amount of heat retained or lost through the insulation. Wet insulation transmits heat better than dry materials. Thus, the infrared camera will pick up the higher levels of heat radiated by wet materials.
  2. Nuclear isotopic meters work by sending hydrogen ions into the roof system and counting the number that bounce back. Because water has two hydrogen ions in every molecule, the number of ions counted increases significantly when water is present in the roof.
  3. Electrical capacitance and resistance meters measure the ability of roof materials to conduct electricity. They work on the principle that wet materials conduct electricity better than dry ones do.
Each of these testing methods has limitations that need to be discussed with a roofing expert to determine their applicability to a particular roof before they are used. It is worthwhile to have a formal moisture survey done at least once every five years. If a roof is found to be in marginal condition at any time, a survey should be used at that point to help formulate a course of action.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Deferring Maintenance Brings Risks for Commercial Properties

It’s been more than 20 years since APPA published The Decaying American Campus: A Ticking Time Bomb. That report estimated that $60 billion in deferred maintenance existed on U.S. college campuses (which is more than $100 billion in today's dollars). Since then, APPA says there has been significant  progress but much remains to be done.

The problem of deferred maintenance is most often associated with institutional buildings since schools, hospitals and government bodies typically can’t just walk away from buildings, put them on the market to get what they can and leave someone else with the problem of upgrading those properties.

But government institutions aren’t the only organizations at risk. Take a look at this roofing article, where Karen Warseck describes a warehouse owner who put off a roof recover because the property didn’t have a tenant. Well, it has a tenant now and it also needs a new deck along with a new roof because leaks caused the old steel deck to rust through.

Deferred maintenance is insidious. No one decides to ruin a roof deck or let boilers go without maintenance for so long that they have to be replaced years before they should have needed replacement. But with the number of distressed assets in the commercial property market today and the pressure on facility budgets in all sorts of organizations, it’s easy to believe that a lot of needed infrastructure work is being deferred.

We strongly encourage commercial building owners and facility & property managers to ensure that basic routine roof cleaning and maintenance is done annually by a professional roofing contractor to avoid having to completely replace a roof years before it should have been. You will save a lot more money in the long-run (and basic cleaning and maintenance isn't that expensive - under 5 cents per square foot).

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Friday, August 26, 2011

A Conklin white roof is the smartest way to stay in the black

Recoup your costs
A great return on investment is another important reason to choose Conklin’s Single-Ply Coating System. Many satisfied customers discover that a Conklin roof pays for itself during the warranty period in lower air conditioning costs. Federal tax rebates, tax credits and deductions may also offset your investment. In many cases, the government considers recoating a procedure that can be deducted as a maintenance cost. Check with your local utility company, tax advisor, and for additional details.
Look forward to years of trouble-free protection, low maintenance
Conklin Roofing Systems provide leak-free protection and exceptional energy savings for years, often exceeding the warranty period. They maintain maximum reflectivity and energy savings because their surfaces are resistant to dirt and discoloration. Annual or bi-annual cleaning is all that’s needed to keep them white.
Eliminate future roof tear-offs
Years from now, when it’s time to renew the superior protection of your Conklin roof, a simple recoat will do the job. In most cases, multiple recoats can be done for the entire life of your roof, saving you the expense of a new roof. With your recoat, our material warranty may also be extended several years. Your Conklin Roofing Contractor will inspect your roof and advise you of the best way to restore the protective envelope of your building.
Enjoy peace of mind with our Warranty Program
Conklin’s optional warranty program includes a non-pro-rated material warranty.

Learn more about Conklin Roofing Systems by contacting a Conklin Contractor for a roof inspection and a quote.

Tired of labor problems and low profit margins? Make more $$ spraying coatings with Conklin Roofing Systems! Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | |

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Conduct Inventory and Analysis of Conditions Before Roof Replacement

How can a building owner or manager budget ahead of time for such a large expenditure like roof replacement? Conducting an inventory and analysis of the roof's present condition is extremely helpful in the early phases of planning. Short of this step, however, managers still can perform some general planning and budgeting.

Managers should use their experience to establish a projected average service life of roofs. Several factors influence a roof's service life — the quality of the design, installation, products, and maintenance, as well as roof use, abuse, and weather.

For example, in a building with 1 million square feet of roofing and a projected performance life of 20 years, a manager might consider budgeting to replace 1/20 of the roof — 5 percent — or 50,000 square feet per year.

If the average cost of roof replacement is $7 per square foot, a manager might budget $350,000 for roof replacement each year. If the expected service life of a roof is 10 years, a manager then would budget $700,000 annually for replacement.

Obviously, this approach involves many assumptions. For example, the entire roof might need replacement at one time if the entire system is the same age and condition. But for general planning, budgeting in this fashion is a start.

This approach is usually more appropriate for a large number of buildings with roofs of different types and ages if the manager has not completed a roof-system inventory.

Every financial model makes several assumptions. Projecting a roof's service life, future maintenance and repair costs, and costs resulting from leak damage, downtime, and lost business is an educated guess, at best. Predicting the inflation rate and the time value of money also can vary greatly, depending on the source of the information.

The roof replacement-maintenance debate encompasses many factors and areas of a facility. But in the end, a manager's ability to cost-justify the project and make a sound decision comes down to being able to analyze accurate information and understand the risks and costs associated with each option.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Roof Replacement: Safety Hazards, Impact on Occupants

Building owners and managers must consider safety hazards and the negative impact that roof condition has on building occupants, who too often are left out of any financial analysis when deciding to replace or maintain a roof.

No one will argue the importance of safety. Old, worn-out, defective roofs are a hazard to those working on them and to building occupants underneath. But unless an accident has occurred, facility professionals tend to not give this factor enough consideration when debating the need for roof replacement.

Though a roof contributes an average of only 5% to a building's construction cost, it is by far the most litigated component of a commercial or institutional building.

Consider a study by the Education Writers Association, which found that 1/4 of America's school buildings were inadequate, obsolete or downright dangerous, and that school budgets generally do not provide enough money to make a dent in the problem. Researchers report a correlation between the poor physical condition of schools and low test scores.

It is not too far-fetched to blame a part of this situation on structural problems, such as roof leaks, because so many districts face problems with large amounts of deferred maintenance. When districts cut capital-improvement budgets, by far the primary target is the roof. Whether a leaky roof is a nuisance or a major safety hazard, its condition says something about the organization.

Avoiding Trouble
Should a manager wait until leaks become intolerable — until the roof has failed — before starting to make the case for roof replacement? The most cost-effective option for roof replacement is the trouble-avoidance option. Avoiding future problems reduces risks and long-term roofing costs.

Roof replacement should take place long before leaks become a regular occurrence. By planning a roof replacement before the system fails, managers can realize significant cost savings in two other ways.

First, early planning for replacement might allow for overlaying the first roof, which avoids tear-off costs related to the existing roof. This option might not always be available because of potential restrictions, such as code or structural requirements or flashing height limits.
But when overlaying is an option, it can generate significant cost savings. A tear-off of an existing roof can add $2-4 per square foot to the replacement project. This figure easily could double when the project requires interior protection to keep debris from falling into the building.

Second, early planning for replacement can prevent damage to the roof's structural deck. Delays in roof replacement can allow water to damage the deck, and managers too often neglect to consider costs associated with a deteriorating structural deck until replacement is under way. Deck replacement costs can be significant — typically about $46 per square foot. Again, the type of interior protection required can drive up the cost significantly.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The Economic Impact of Roof Leaks

When is roof replacement a better option than continued roof maintenance? Of course, the ideal answer to this question is never, but it is rare that a roof's service life equals the service life of the rest of the building.

The more obvious answer to the question is that roof replacement is a better option when the roof's watertight integrity (its primary function) is compromised. When leaks become intolerable, it is time to replace the roof!

When do leaks become intolerable? Is leak tolerance the best or most cost-effective reason to make a huge capital investment? A central element in the roof-replacement decision for managers is determining when leaks become bad enough to mandate replacement.

The Economics of Leaks
In some cases, a financial model can help determine when roof maintenance has reached the point of diminishing returns, in which case building owners or managers essentially end up throwing good money after bad. As much as preventive maintenance is preached for roof systems, at some point it becomes useless.

It is difficult to justify the capital expense of replacing a roof, especially when that money could go toward buying new equipment and systems that would benefit the organization's bottom line. But roof leaks also can hurt the bottom line. Consider these real-world examples:
  • Interior damage. Roof leaks that damage ceiling tiles, carpet, furniture, and computers are common, but the damage can be much more severe. What if a school lost its gymnasium floor due to damage from roof leaks? The school would have to cancel or move athletic events and replace the floor, at a cost of $500,000 or more.
  • Operations downtime. A roof leak could shut down operations for a day or longer, costing the company tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue.
  • Damaged products. A retail store could lose tens of thousands of dollars worth of products due to one roof leak.
  • Lost business. Roof leaks could force a hotel to close its top floor (the priciest rooms) for weeks, causing significant lost revenue.

Building owners and managers must incorporate all of these factors into any life-cycle cost analysis in trying to justify a roof replacement. Granted, for any manager who has not gone through the cost-justification process, projected costs are only predictions. But to neglect figuring in these costs is misleading and provides a false sense of security.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

New Life For an Old Roof

Conklin has been in the innovation business since 1977, when we formulated the first acrylic roof coatings. Now we’re taking our innovation to new heights by offering a complete waterproofing system for Aged Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO), Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) and Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene (CSPE) roofs that can improve and extend the life of the existing single-ply roof.

As TPO and other approved single-ply membranes become weathered, rooftops can crack, leak, and pick up dirt, diminishing their effectiveness and energy-saving properties. Conklin’s elastomeric coatings provide a new, cost-effective solution for repairing and preserving approved single-Ply membrane, resulting in improved energy savings.

An approved single-ply membrane restored with a Conklin Roofing System will deliver all these benefits for years to come:
  • Stops leaks with superior waterproofing
  • Increases energy efficiency and lowers utility expense with its cool, white, reflective surface
  • Extends the life of your existing roof

  1. Power washing and cleaning with Wac II Roof Cleaner
  2. Priming the surface with Tack Coat
  3. Reinforcing the seams with Spunflex® imbedded in Rapid Roof® III or Equinox Base Coat
  4. Sealing the entire roof with Rapid Roof® III or Equinox Top Coat

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Friday, August 19, 2011

Roofing: Recover or Replace? (Part 5 - Replacing Roofs)

Replacing Roofs
The complete removal and replacement of an existing roofing system, known commonly as a tear-off, is warranted if one or more of the following situations exist:

  • Tear-off is mandated by the building code.
  • The existing roofing system has deteriorated beyond being serviceable as a substrate for a recover system.
  • There is extensive moisture below the membrane.
  • The existing roof system attachment cannot provide the wind up-lift resistance or fire protection required for the new roof assembly.
  • There is significant deterioration to the underlying structural deck.
  • The existing roof assembly contains phenolic foam insulation, which, when wet, may create sulfonic and formic acids that will promote the corrosion of steel.

Exposure of the interior finishes to water damage during the construction process is a major concern and will influence the selection and design of the roof replacement system. One approach that will facilitate the safe installation of a new roof over an occupied space is to install a temporary roof. In northern and moderate-temperature climates, this temporary roof can remain in place and serve as a vapor retarder in the new roof system.

A typical building will accommodate several roofs throughout its existence. Educated decisions pertaining to maintenance, repairs, recovers or replacements can only be made when there is a thorough understanding of the roofing materials and their relationships within a system and to the building. Please consult a professional roofing contractor when making this decision.

We hope you have enjoyed this five-part series on making the decision to recover or replace your roof. If you have any questions, please call (309) 303-3128 or email

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Roofing: Recover or Replace? (Part 4 - Recovering Roofs)

Recovering Roofs
The installation of a new roofing system over an existing roof (if viable) is an alternative approach to roof replacement. The major advantage to this approach known as recovering is the cost savings associated with not having to remove and dispose of the existing roof membrane. This can be acheived with a variety of materials including cool roof coatings like those from Conklin. Another advantage is the reduction of materials sent to landfills because labor, disposal and trucking costs are high and are climbing faster than material costs.

There is also an opportunity to improve the thermal performance of the roof system because most recovers include the installation of a thin section of insulation or other material to separate the new roof membrane from the existing roof membrane. A final advantage that recover has over replacement is that the existing membrane stays in place, protecting the interior from water damage while the new roof is being installed.

As with repairs, an issue that must be addressed prior to any recover is determining whether moisture is present under the existing system. Trapping water within an existing roof assembly is a problem that often occurs with improperly executed recover projects.

If moisture is present under the existing system, additional investigation is warranted. If the subsurface moisture is extensive — 30 to 35 percent or more of the entire roof area — it may be more practical and cost effective to remove the entire roof system and replace it rather than attempting a recover.

There are many devices and methods used to detect and quantify subsurface moisture. These include nuclear backscatter, infrared imaging and capacitance meters. There are advantages and disadvantages of each system, and these should be explored.

Another factor influencing whether or not a recover project is feasible is establishing how many roof systems or layers are currently in place, which requires making inspection openings. Most modern building codes allow a maximum of two non-ballasted roof systems on a structure, mostly due to the weight associated with the roofing materials. Other code-related issues are wind up-lift and fire resistance, which the building’s insurance carrier may also influence through specific requirements. The length of the warranty required for the new roof also needs to be considered, because many roofing manufacturers will limit the duration for the warranty available on recover projects.

Tomorrow we wrap-up this series with a discussion on replacing roofs. Please check back and feel free to leave us a comment.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Roofing: Recover or Replace? (Part 3 - Investigating Moisture)

Investigating Moisture
Repair or replacement of specific roofing elements can be justified when the causes of damage to a roof membrane are from impact, an isolated incident of poor installation, or some other non-systemic cause. In those cases, once the roof is repaired the expected service life of the system will be restored.

One procedure that should be included as part of any roof repair is an investigation for the presence of moisture below the roofing membrane. Even though the membrane may appear to be in good condition on the surface, the presence of subsurface moisture from other sources may create problems that can only be addressed by the removal of an apparently good membrane.

If extensive subsurface moisture is present below the existing membrane, all the wet areas of the roof system should be replaced since wet insulation, wood blocking and gypsum will deteriorate and may lead to further problems, such as mold growth.

In any case, the source or sources of moisture must be found and confirmed; otherwise, the conditions may return soon after the membrane is replaced. The continued presence of moisture attributable to an adjacent wall or condensation from the interior of the building may eventually cause structural damage to the roof deck. The cost of investigating for subsurface moisture is justified when compared to the difference between the cost of a new roof system and the cost of a new roof system plus structural repairs.

Tomorrow we will discuss recovering roofs. Please check back then to continue following this five-part series.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Roofing: Recover or Replace? (Part 2 - Repairing Roofs)

Repairing Roofs

Repairing an existing roof membrane or replacing sections or parts of a roofing system become difficult to justify if the deterioration leading to the need for a repair is due to long-term exposure to the elements or the advanced age of the roof.

If the deterioration is extensive, the application of a maintenance coating will rarely solve the problem. Replacing deteriorated base flashings or pitch pockets may eliminate a specific source of water intrusion, but the extensive replacement of isolated components will rarely be cost effective. Also, the interface of the new repair elements with the old deteriorated roof membrane is difficult to perform with a consistent level of quality.

If the source of water infiltration is identified incorrectly, the roof may be repaired pointlessly several times in an attempt to find the location of the leak. As the roof leaks continue, more interior finishes will be damaged, and the cost for repairs will escalate.

If the roof is leaking because the existing system is aged, it will be just a matter of time before the entire system will need to be replaced. In those cases, the cost of the temporary solutions may not be justifiable; the money would be better spent recovering or replacing the roof.

Tomorrow we will discuss investigating moisture. Please check back to continue following this 5-part blog series.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Roofing: Recover or Replace? (Part 1)

Building owners and facility managers often experience unscheduled capital expenditures due to roofing repairs. Many of these repairs can be avoided by developing and following a scheduled maintenance program for the life of a roofing system. But even with stringent adherence to a thorough maintenance program, the decision to repair, recover or replace a roofing system will have to be made at some time within or towards the end of the expected service life of the roof.

Many issues, such as the type of system currently in place, cost estimates, construction schedule, occupant requirements, and long- and short-term use of the building all have to be addressed as part of this decision, and the appropriate decision must be addressed on a building-by-building basis.

The first step (before beginning the decision process) is to estimate the remaining service life of the roof. This estimate is derived from factors that include water infiltration, moisture trapped in the underlying insulation, aggregate movement across the roof, bituminous membrane slippage or embrittlement of single-ply membranes.

professional roofing contractor can investigate the existing system and answer these questions, as well as comment on any related code or technical issues. The roofing contractor may also eliminate any false or misleading assumptions, such as incorrectly attributing water infiltration to the roof system when the water is actually entering the building through the adjacent exterior walls.

Each day this week we will dive into a different aspect of this decision process, including repairing roofs, investigating moisture, recovering roofs, and replacing roofs. Please check back for updates, or connect with us on Facebook and/or Twitter to be alterted to new blog posts.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Cool Roofing at The Ohio State University?

The sheer size and power of The Ohio State University is certainly something to brag about. However, one thing people are not bragging about is the amount of money spent on the energy used to maintain temperatures throughout campus buildings.
As everyone scrambles to find ways to reach carbon neutrality, they may be forgetting to simply look up. By using the U.S. Department of Energy Roof Calculator, converting the University’s roofing to “cool roofing” would not only save $60,000 annually, but also over 1.5 million pounds of carbon each year.

What exactly is cool roofing? It is a type of roofing that increases the amount of sunlight reflected, allowing the roof and building to stay cooler. It comes in various colors but the most iconic, popular and effective is white.

Costing the same or less as normal roofing and having similar life spans, there is no reason not to use this roofing technology. By reflecting more sunlight, the campus roofing saves money, energy and carbon by lowering air conditioning bills.

The University could install a cool roofing system like those from Conklin on Kottman Hall (which desperately needs a new roof) as a trial run and case study. Once the savings are realized, the University could then make a commitment to use cool roofing when replacing future roofs. There is no better place on campus to be a leader in sustainability than Kottman Hall, as it is the home of the School of Environment and Natural Resources.

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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Selecting a SPF Roofing Contractor

Specifying SPF Roofing Systems: Part 8

Selecting a SPF Roofing Contractor
Below are a few tips on selecting the right spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing contractor for you and your home or building.

Contact suppliers for a list of contractors in your area. Should the manufacturer only provide you with a couple of names, keep them handy. There is probably a good reason for the limited recommendations. Also, if more than one manufacturer recommends the same contractor, it’s usually a good sign.

Contact related trade groups such as the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) or National Roofing Contractors Association for contractors in your area. Ask contractors if they participate in educational programs such as SPFA’s Accreditation Program.
Obtain recommendations from friends and associates, but be sure to compare apples to apples - hiring a great commercial roofer for a small residential project may be a mistake.

Interview the contractor to determine if the company has the qualities and experience you desire. Some questions to ask your prospective contractor include:
- What type of roofing system do you install?
- What type of roofing system do you prefer?
- How long have you installed the systems?
- What is your specialty?
- What is your preference for my particular roof?
- What regions do you cover?
- Do you have offices or personnel in those regions?
- How many crews do you have?
- Have you ever declared bankruptcy; if so, what were the conditions?
- Who will perform the work?
- How are they trained?
- What certifications, approvals, licenses, or awards does the company have?
- How does your company address site safety and regulatory compliance?
- What associations does your company belong to?
- What is the average length of the roof project of my type?
- How soon can you schedule the work?
- What warranties are available?
- Do you provide maintenance services (including inspections)?
- How do you handle complaints or call-backs?
- How do you verify quality?

Check references. Most contractors will provide a list of references on projects similar to yours. Be sure to check out enough to get a good understanding of the contractor’s relative performance and customer service. A few helpful questions to ask include:
- Were you happy with the overall project?
- Was the contractor reliable, informative, helpful, on time, etc?
- Were there any misunderstandings?
- Did the project start and end according to estimates?
- Do you consider the roof a good investment?
- How old is the roof?
- Were there any complaints or problems; if so, did the contractor address your concerns satisfactorily?

The information you collect can assist not only in finding the right contractor, but in evaluating pricing differences. With a little effort, you should be able to find a contractor you can trust to do a great job.

We hope you have enjoyed this 8-part series on spray polyurethane foam (SPF). If you have any follow-up questions, contact one of our contractor......

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The ideal climate for SPF roof systems

Specifying SPF Roofing Systems: Part 7

What is the ideal climate for installation of SPF systems?
Although spray polyurethane foam (SPF) like that from Conklin is installed very successfully in all 50 states throughout the United States, the perfect climate would be warm and dry with little wind.

In northern climates, cold substrate temperatures restrict the use of the materials in winter months. In hot, humid climates, high winds and humidity have to be considered. In hot, dry climates, special formulas are used to handle the extreme hot weather. It is the contractor’s responsibility to know under what conditions they can spray and when to stop.

SPF roofing systems can provide long-lasting and durable roofing solutions while contributing to a lower environmental impact. However, to be assured of a quality application, a building owner or owner representative should do their homework to understand the roofing system and hire a responsible contractor.

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Tired of labor problems and low profit margins? Make more $$ spraying coatings with Conklin Roofing Systems!
Patton Services
| (309) 303-3128 | |


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Additional advantages of SPF roofing systems

Specifying SPF Roofing Systems: Part 6

Additional advantages of SPF roofing systems
Reduced construction debris is a huge advantage. Oak Ridge National Laboratories reported, “The need for multiple roofs makes roofing one of the largest contributors of solid waste.” According to a 1999 survey by the National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA), more than 68.5% of the $11.3-billion low-slope re-roofing market includes tear-off and replacement of the existing roof membrane.

Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing systems like those from Conklin have excellent adhesion to a variety of substrates, including BUR, modified bitumen, concrete, wood, asphalt shingles, clay tile, and metal. Since SPF adds little weight and can be applied in various thicknesses to add slope and fill in low areas, SPF roofing systems are often used as a recover system over existing roofs without tear-off. Therefore, the application of SPF roofing systems over existing roof coverings greatly reduces the amount of construction debris in landfills.

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Tired of labor problems and low profit margins? Make more $$ spraying coatings with Conklin Roofing Systems! Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | |


Monday, August 8, 2011

Are SPF roofing systems sustainable?

Specifying SPF Roofing Systems: Part 5

Are SPF roofing systems sustainable?
At the 1996 Sustainable Low-Slope Roofing Seminar, Oak Ridge National Laboratories described sustainable or green roofing systems as “roofing systems that have a long life, low maintenance, save energy, add durability to buildings, control moisture in buildings, and contribute very little to the waste stream.”

Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing systems from Conklin comply with every criteria of this definition. SPF roofing systems greatly reduce tear-offs in many re-roofing projects, which also decreases the amount of materials entering the waste stream. In addition, the SPF systems used today do not contain any ozone-depleting chemicals, and the energy-saving characteristics can save considerable amounts of fossil fuel and CO2 production, which affects global warming.

SPF roofing systems arrive on the jobsite in 55-gallon drums that create the foam plastic, which expands 30-times its original volume on-site. This saves greatly on fuel used for transportation. And SPF roofing systems add durability in severe weather events, such as hurricanes, and last more than 30 years with proper installation and maintenance.

The energy-saving characteristics of SPF roofing have been widely reported by institutions such as Texas A&M and companies like Ford Motor Co., but deserve some explanation. SPF roofing systems are applied above the roof deck. These systems eliminate thermal bridging by providing a continuous layer of insulation over existing thermal bridges in the roof deck and/or assembly. SPF has a very high aged R-value of approximately six per inch, and SPF roofing systems typically are coated with light-colored, reflective coatings.

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Tired of labor problems and low profit margins? Make more $$ spraying coatings with Conklin Roofing Systems! Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | |


Friday, August 5, 2011

Limitations of SPF roofing systems

Specifying SPF Roofing Systems: Part 4

What are the limitations of SPF roofing systems?
A relatively small crew can install large spray polyurethane foam (SPF) roofing systems like those from Conklin, but it requires a high degree of technical knowledge and experience. Many courses are available from suppliers and from the Spray Polyurethane Foam Alliance (SPFA) to shorten the learning curve.

When incorrectly installed, SPF roofing systems often exhibit interlaminar blistering of the SPF layers. Foam blisters most often occur by trying to stretch the application window, improper substrate preparation, or equipment problems.

SPF roofing systems, like most roofing systems, must be installed under suitable environmental conditions. The SPF applicator should not proceed with substrate temperature below the manufacturer’s recommendations or humidity within 5 degrees of dewpoint. In addition, SPF and the protective coating should not be applied when there is ice, frost, surface moisture, or visible dampness present on the surface to be covered. Barriers may be required if wind conditions can affect the foam quality or create overspray problems.

Since applicator knowledge and experience is important to the successful installation of a SPF roof, it is important to thoroughly investigate past performance when selecting a SPF contractor. Fortunately, the United States has high-quality foam contractors in every
geographic region.

SPF is spray-applied and is very lightweight. While the overspray outside of the zone of application typically does not pose a health hazard, it can stick to many surfaces from great distances away. Building owners and contractors should have an overspray protection plan in place before starting a project.

Some coatings can emit strong odors while curing. Curing may occur very quickly or over many hours. When installing a SPF roofing system, air-handling units should be turned off and covered if occupants are in the building. They should remain covered until the SPF is sprayed and the coating can cure.

SPF roofing systems vary widely in cost depending on the foam thickness required, the type and thickness of the coating or covering, the degree of substrate preparation, availability of contractors in a specific region, and other factors. As with other roofing systems, there are high-end and low-end SPF roofing systems. Michelsen Technologies performed a life-cycle analysis for SPF roofing systems in five climate areas of the United States. The study concluded that the average SPF roofing system in those areas cost between 15- and 50-percent less to install and maintain than conventional membrane systems over a 30-year time frame. The study reported costs based on 6-year, 10-year, and 15-year recoat schedules.

Find a Contractor

Tired of labor problems and low profit margins? Make more $$ spraying coatings with Conklin Roofing Systems! Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | |