Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Installing a metal restoration roof coating systems vs. re-roofing [+video]

All metal roof owners eventually face problems such as rust, ultraviolet deterioration, photo-oxidizing, and a variety of weather-related damages. Instead of replacing your wearing metal roof, consider that a quality roof coating can keep your existing metal roof safe and secure for years to come.  

Roof leaks can damage more than just the contents of your building. They can weaken the walls and ceilings - jeopardizing the entire structure - as well as ruin insulation, causing your heating and cooling costs to soar. Instead of chasing and patching leaks or even re-roofing, metal roof restoration likely is a viable alternative well worth looking in to.

Restoration coating systems greatly extend the life of your existing metal roof at a fraction of the cost of replacement. They form a strong, protective barrier to prevent rust from forming on steel surfaces. Even where rust has a strong foothold, special anti-corrosion contents act to inhibit further spread of the oxidation process, and heat stress is reduced with the high reflectivity of the coating material.

The preparation for applying coatings over metal is actually fairly minimal. First, any loose scale, peeling paint, and rust are removed. Then the necessary metal repairs are made to prevent further deterioration. Flashings, curbs and other projections are repaired and reinforced, and finally all dirt and debris are removed and the entire surface is cleaned, often by pressure washing with water. A primer is applied before the application of the complete waterproofing system and final top coat.

Because they reflect up to 80% of the sun's ultra-violet rays, metal roof restoration coatings help reduce roof expansion and contraction, and prevent premature deterioration by providing a sacrificial layer to the elements, which helps to increase the servicable life of your metal roof. During summer months the high reflectivity helps to lower your cooling costs, and during winter months reduces the amount of heat emitted at night, ultimately reducing your heating costs.

Since little or no roof membrane is removed during restoration, interruption of building activity is minimized and the reuse of the existing roof not only saves tear-off and disposal costs, but contributes to the reduction of roofing-related landfill waste, which is estimated to be 25% of all landfill content in the United States.

When your metal roof ultimately becomes a rustly, leaky problem for the occupants of your home or commercial building, consider getting a quote from a professional roofing contractor who specializes in metal roof restoration coatings for a more affordable, more energy efficient, more environmentally friendly, more sustainable, and faster-to-install alternative to re-roofing.

For a free roof inspection or to get a quote on a metal roof restoration coating system, please visit WhiteRoofingSystems.com and click "Find a Contractor" to find a Conklin roofing contractor in your area.

Find a Contractor here

Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | rpatton55@comcast.net | http://www.whiteroofingsystems.com

Friday, February 24, 2012

Is there more than one cool roofing standard?

Some cool roofing standards programs like LEED and Green Globes are voluntary, but others like building codes in Atlanta, Chicago and throughout California mandate minimum standards that all buildings must meet.

It is extremely important for roofing contractors to understand national and local cool roofing standards. Here is a list of the major ones:
  • California Title 24 (the most stringent standards in the nation)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR program
  • U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program
  • The Green Building Initiative's Green Globes program (similar to LEED)
  • American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • Local standards — Municipalities nationwide are identifying the benefits of using energy-saving building codes that go beyond the standard code language. Please check with your local government to determine standards in your particular region.

One of the reasons it is hard to be specific about codes is the lack of any unified standard - there is no national energy code. California is definitely leading the way and setting a good example for the rest, but each state has its own standards. One advantage of that is that each state can determine codes that make the most sense for their specific climate.

Find a Contractor here

Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | rpatton55@comcast.net | http://www.whiteroofingsystems.com

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

White roof coatings help your roof last a long, long time

Reduced energy use isn't the only benefit of white roof coatings like those from Conklin - they also extend the life expectancy of several roof systems simply by avoiding the high roof temperatures associated with exposure to the sun.

Heavily insulated roofs block this heat from penetrating the building as heat, but in summer months convective heat transfer to the surrounding air and radiant heat transfer are inefficient. Consequently, the heat has nowhere to go and roofing membrane temperatures can skyrocket.

High roof surface temperatures can shorten the life of the roofing system
Rubber and other synthetic polymers - and especially asphalt - is susceptible to damage after prolonged exposure to elevated temperatures. Roof temperatures can rise above ambient air temperatures by as much as 90°F, accelerating the rate of degradation of the roofing materials - especially when the roof surface rises to 140°F and above. Significant damage can begin to occur at these elevated temperatures, causing both short-term and long-term performance issues.Service life is cut in half for every 18°F increase in temperature (weighted and averaged over time).

Most people appreciate that white roof coatings result in savings on cooling costs, but enhanced roof longevity - especially in northern states - can be another major benefit that results in at least as much savings. Without white coatings, roof temperatures can soar in the summer months because they typically have a lot of insulation to help keep in the heat during the winter months.

Additional Cost Savings
Since ripping out the insulation every summer is of course impractical, white coatings are one of the best means available to counteract the deleterious effects of high heat levels and enhance the prospects for a long-lasting roofing system.

Find a Contractor here

Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | rpatton55@comcast.net | http://www.whiteroofingsystems.com

Monday, February 20, 2012

Roof coatings provide a faster Return on Investment (ROI)

Roof coatings like those from Conklin contribute to the bottom-line by producing a Return on Investment (ROI) in just a few years.

A cool roofing installer can apply roof coatings without delay and doesn't need to tear-off your existing roof system. Coatings extend the life of the roof for most buildings and roof systems - regardless of age or the amount of insulation already in place.

Even on a well-insulated roofing system, coatings can extend the roof performance life and provide additional energy savings. A roof coating is complementary to insulation, ultimately lowering roof temperatures and extending the life.

Now is the time look at roof coatings in a new light. They can create the immediate savings you are searching for, and they can contribute to a more energy-efficient, sustainable nation and future economic prosperity.

Find a Contractor here

Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | rpatton55@comcast.net | http://www.whiteroofingsystems.com

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Are foam roofing systems sustainable?

Oak Ridge National Laboratories describes 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 meet every criteria of this definition. SPF roofing systems greatly reduce tear-off's in many re-roofing projects, which also decreases the amount of materials entering the waste stream. In fact, SPF systems manufactured today do not contain any ozone-depleting chemicals, and the energy-saving characteristics can save considerable amounts of fossil fuel and CO2 production, which positively affects global warming.

SPF roof systems arrive on the jobsite in 55-gallon drums that create the foam plastic, which expands 30x its original volume on-site. This saves greatly on the fuel used for transportation. SPF roofing systems also add durability in severe weather events, such as hurricanes, and last more than 30 years with proper installation and maintenance. The R-value is approximately six per inch.

SPF roofing systems are applied above the roof deck and are typically are coated with light-colored, reflective coatings. These systems eliminate thermal bridging by providing a continuous layer of insulation over existing thermal bridges in the roof deck and/or assembly.

Find a Contractor here

Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | rpatton55@comcast.net | http://www.whiteroofingsystems.com

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Are cool roofs beneficial in cold climates?

Roof systems like those from Conklin that reflect the sun’s rays can save energy and money in warm climates year-round and during hot summer months in more seasonal climates, but is cool roofing beneficial in climates where over the course of the year heating energy loads dominate cooling? In other words, are cool roofs beneficial in cold climates?

The perfect roof system
The ideal roof would be 100% reflective in the summer and 100% absorbent in the winter, but unfortunately a roof can’t change its reflective and emissive properties, so the general energy efficiency of a cool roof must be assessed by comparing the energy saved during the hot summer months to the energy consumed, or the “heating penalty,” during the heating season.

What skeptics say
Skeptics of the energy benefits of cool roofs claim cold climates where heating degree-days vastly outnumber cooling degree-days, the heating penalty would be severe enough to render a cool roof counterproductive. Heating and cooling degree-days are measures of the number of degrees the average daily temperature falls below or above 65 degrees.The main purpose of heating and cooling degree-days is to serve as an index of heating and cooling energy loads over defined time periods, but they also help determine whether certain building strategies are appropriate for a particular geography.

Calculators developed separately by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, allow users to enter the thermal properties of the proposed roof, amount of insulation, cost of energy and efficiency of the building’s HVAC systems, among other things. The calculators are not meant to be precise indicators of specific building performance - rather, they help give a general indication of how certain roofing materials with specific thermal properties will perform in various parts of the country. In many cases, even in the cold climates the calculators still yield a yearly net savings for using cool roofs.

Cool roofs counteract the winter heating penalty
There are at least five reasons why the heating penalty in the winter time isn’t nearly as severe as it could be and why the summer cooling savings, to some degree, are able to counteract the winter heating penalty in cold climates:
  1. During the winter, the solar angle is lower so reflectivity and absorption aren’t as important. Reflectivity and absorption are more critical during the summer when the sun is higher in the sky and solar radiation is hitting the roof directly.
  2. The days during winter months are shorter so less total energy is hitting the roof to be absorbed or reflected over the same period of time as during the summer.
  3. The ratio of cloudy to sunny days increases during the winter, so again, not as much solar energy is striking the roof.
  4. Snow piled up on the roof during parts of the winter reflects the sun’s energy. Therefore, it doesn’t matter how reflective or absorbent the roof is.
  5. In many cases, resources cheaper than electricity, such as natural gas or oil, are used to heat buildings in the winter.

Cool roofs in seasonal climates can be beneficial for other reasons
Cool roofs can have more impact on energy costs than energy use. Cool roofs cut energy use during peak demand times during summer when rates are highest and help reduce the demand charge that a facility pays all year on the basis of its greatest energy use. In fact, some northern utility companies offer rebates and incentives for cool roofs to help cut down on the peak demand load. The idea is to help ensure that there will be enough energy to go around, avoiding brownouts.

"The only building that won’t benefit from a cool roof energy-wise is one that’s not air-conditioned,” says Hashem Akbari, staff scientist and group leader for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Heat Island Group.

Akbari’s group also researches measures cities can adopt to mitigate the urban heat island effect, another area in which cool roofs are invaluable, even in seasonal climates. The urban heat island effect is a phenomenon wherein dark building materials, dark pavement and lack of vegetation create a 6 to 8 degree difference between downtown areas of major metropolitan cities and outlying suburban areas. The elevated temperature means that cities as a whole and buildings specifically consume more cooling energy. Additionally, as the air temperature increases, air quality decreases, putting people at further risk for smog-related health problems.

Because of the lower roof surface temperature on roofs with a high emissivity and high reflectivity, urban heat islands can be reduced with widespread use of cool roofs. This is true even in cities with seasonal climates. A study performed by Akbari and his team in Toronto shows that if heat-island-reducing measures, including cool roofs, were adopted widely, the city could save more than $10 million a year on energy costs.

On a national level, widespread adoption of cool roofs - independent of other mitigation measures - could save close to $750M in energy costs in major urban areas, LBNL estimates.

“It’s a collective thing for building owners,” says Greg Crawford, executive director of the Cool Metal Roofing Coalition. “If several buildings begin installing reflective roofs, it will lower the temperature of the urban area and reduce the natural load on building systems.”

Find a Contractor here

Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | rpatton55@comcast.net | http://www.whiteroofingsystems.com

Friday, February 10, 2012

Preventive new roof construction

Perhaps the least visible portion of a building - the roof - can account for up to 50% of a building's total surface area and can represent up to 25% of the total value of the structure.

By proactively investing resources in properly constructing (and maintaining) a solid roof, you can extend the life of a 15-25 year roof system by heading off leaks and other adverse conditions, which translates into significant long-term cost savings. Preventive investment in the life of your roof happens not just through maintenance, but during the construction process of a new building.

Like any area of construction, the roof requires unique expertise to maximize its effectiveness. Having an expert involved during your building's design all the way through construction can ensure the roof is designed, engineered, fabricated, and assembled to provide watertight protection.

The best time to get a roof expert involved in the construction of a building is during the design phase, while the architects are still working on its detailed plans. A pre-design meeting between the owner/developer, the architect and a roofing expert can help identify any issues architects need to address - especially issues that may be unique to a particular climate.

For example, an architect designing a building in southern Florida needs to plan for stronger attachment of all roof components due to calculated uplift pressure requirements outlined in hurricane-related building codes. In northern climates, considerations must be made for snow weight and removal, ice dams, and the expansion and contraction associated with building materials in extreme climates.

As the design of the building and associated roof system progresses, the roof consultant should review architectural drawings and specifications related to waterproofing and roofing. The goal here not only to ensure that the architectural team designs and specifies a roofing system that will adequately protect the building, but also to ensure that the drawings and specifications are detailed and accurate enough for the general contractor to obtain accurate bids from roofing sub-contractors. Accurate and detailed drawings at this stage can prevent the necessity of time-consuming architectural drawing changes and costly rebids or bid-change orders later in the building process.

The roof expert will be looking at the design drawings and specifications for items such as membrane components & flashing, detailed method of attachment, product compatibility, sequencing of installation, and overall layout

Product Submittals
One common mistake is specification of the wrong type of fasteners. For example, projects in coastal Florida may propose using galvanized screws to secure flashing; however, the salt air will rust galvanized screws so a roofing consultant would call out his or her recommendation to use stainless steel. It's a very small detail, but one that can have tremendous impact on the life of a roof and the necessity of future repairs.

After a roofing contractor has been selected, full specifications for the system and all the components he/she intends to use must be submitted. The roof consultant should review these submittals to ensure that they coincide with the original specifications, and to be sure all details are appropriate for the system and the climate.

Pre-Installation Conference
Many of the various subcontractors involved in a building project will require roof access at some point to complete their portions of the building. Many may actually need to penetrate the roof to install pipes, vents, conduits, or machinery. To coordinate these efforts and ensure that they don't cause damage to the roof, a pre-installation conference should be a top priority. At this meeting, the roof consultant will sit down with the architect, general contractor, roof manufacturer, and any subcontractors whose work may impact the roof to coordinate schedules and plans. This conference can also help determine where extra roof protection pads may be needed.

Quality Assurance Inspections
After all plans, submittals, and products are approved and the actual work begins, quality-assurance inspections should be conducted at various points throughout the installation. The number of inspections varies from as few as 2 to as many as 8-12, depending on the project (4 is a good guideline: 1 at the beginning to be sure everything is off to a good start, 1 in the middle as a progress check, 1 toward the end, and a punch-list inspection at the very end).Common problems encountered in these inspections include everything from waterproofing seam failures to damaged flashing and debris left on the roof. The ultimate goal is a secure building envelope and a watertight roof that is in accordance with required codes and specifications.

Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | rpatton55@comcast.net | http://www.whiteroofingsystems.com

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Roof asset management - preventive maintenance

All roof systems have a limited lifespan and will eventually require replacement, retrofit, repair, or restoration.

Developing a preventive maintenance plan with your roofing contractor can further extend the life of a roof and save you money by correcting problems before they become major leaks that could cause real structural damage.

Over time, a Roof Asset Management Program can optimize roof performance, save you money, and allow for roof replacement or repairs to be performed on a planned basis - not in reaction to a crisis.

If your roof is new and has been inspected by a roof consultant throughout construction, the final inspection report should provide enough information to establish a maintenance plan and inspection timetable.

For existing roofs, a roof consultant or qualified roofing contractor should thoroughly inspect the roof and provide a written report of findings with a photo survey of roof conditions for your future reference. Based on those findings, work with the roof consultant or roofing contractor to develop projected life-cycle budget cost estimates and establish plans for upcoming maintenance, replacement, or repair.

A good roof-management program should include annual inspections to look for damages - including membrane deterioration, water blisters, ponding water areas, coping impact damage, rusting metal, spray foam oxidation, membrane splits, etc.

If your roof shows signs of deterioration, moisture testing may be recommended:
  • Moisture probes are used to check distressed areas for the presence of moisture by probing through the roof surface and taking readings from the moisture meter.
  • Infrared scans are infrared snapshots of a roof area taken to detect the possible presence of moisture by recording temperature differentials.
  • Nuclear scans utilize a roof grid survey to detect subsurface moisture.
  • Roof core samples are an investigative hole is cut through the roof and insulation to document conditions in suspect areas (the hole is patched upon completion).
The goal of both new construction and re-roofing review and ongoing roof-management programs is to protect the interest you (the building owner or manager), to extend the life of your roof, and to prevent costly leaks and damage.

Find a Contractor here

Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | rpatton55@comcast.net | http://www.whiteroofingsystems.com

Monday, February 6, 2012

How to prevent premature roof failures

When a roof wears out, it can tell a lot about why exactly it is failing. Each type of failure - blisters, splits, punctures, etc. typically result from a very specific cause.

One example is poor roof system design, which can lead to splits and debris that cause punctures. Understanding what causes the most common types of roof problems can help you, the building owner or facility managers prevent the errors that all too often shorten the life of the roofs.

It all begins with the design of your roof and material choice.
The roof membrane you choose should reflect the characteristics of your building. If there is going to be a lot of foot traffic, you should choose a roof system that is resistant to the associated damage. If the roof is wide open where there can be significant thermal movement, a more stretchable material such as an EPDM membrane might be a better choice than a system that has limited elongation.

Details must be carefully thought out prior to installing your roof system.
For example, a transition from a gravel stop to a parapet wall is a poor design that must be compensated for in the roof design. A metal transition piece can help alleviate problems that occur as a result of differential movement and different directional movement between the gravel-stop portion and the parapet portion. Also, correcting slope-to-drain problems should be determined early (in the design stage).

The roof must also be properly installed, using dry materials and installed according to the design details and/or manufacturer’s requirements.
Expansion joints have to terminate in a way that the end of the joint will still compensate for building movement. This means that there should be no material crossing the joint — not gravel stops, copings, membrane, and certainly not roofing cement — that cannot flex or move with the natural movement of your building. All seams should be properly adhered.

Finally, the roof must also be properly maintained.
Access to your building's roof should be limited to only those who need to be up there. Keep smokers, lunches and sunbathers off the roof. Not only will cigarettes burn holes in the membrane, but the foot traffic will damage the surface and cause your roof to fail prematurely. Someone in the building should monitor the activity of sign installers and window washers to be sure that they are not damaging the roof when they are up there to work. HVAC installations should be flashed not by the mechanical contractor, but by a competent roofing contractor to be sure that the penetrations are properly sealed.

The roof itself should be examined twice a year, including having the drains cleared and all roof debris removed. Any small problem like a puncture or sealant failure should be addressed at this time to be sure they do not cause problems that lead to failures. The life of a roof is finite, but it doesn’t have to be short-lived. Some common sense when designing the roof, attention to detail when installing it, and proper care will maximize the life of your roof.

Find a Contractor here

Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | rpatton55@comcast.net | http://www.whiteroofingsystems.com

Thursday, February 2, 2012

When re-covering a roof, liquid-applied membranes are an excellent choice

There are two installation options when it comes to liquid-applied membranes: squeegee and spray application (which is generally used with coated-polyurethane-foam systems).

Liquid applied systems are highly useful as re-covers for weight-sensitive applications, such as pre-engineered steel buildings. Coated-polyurethane-foam systems are excellent for adding insulating value to a re-cover roof and fixing slope-to-drain problems, and for those in more arid regions, they also have the benefit of being sensitive to humidity during installation.

PLEASE NOTE: If a silicone roof coating is used, the roof system is not sensitive to grease and oil emissions, as silicone is fairly inert.
Squeegee-applied roof systems are mostly used to prolong the life of an existing smooth-surface roof. They are an effective, low-cost alternative to re-roofing but are not necessarily a permanent replacement. Newer, liquid-applied roofing systems can last as long as 10 years, but the roof has to be in fairly stable and dry condition when the new liquid membrane is applied.

There are several options available when undertaking a re-roofing project. Sorting them out before bidding is the best way to assure the most appropriate roof system is chosen for the building. A properly trained and knowledgeable roofing contractor can help differentiate the options.

If you are not currently working with a particular roofing contractor or feel uncomfortable having the same company both designing and installing your roof, an architect or engineer who specializes in roof consulting can sort out the best options and provide construction documents that allow you to bid out the work to the best contractors, knowing the roof system is optimized to fit your building.

Find a Contractor here

Patton Services | (309) 303-3128 | rpatton55@comcast.net | http://www.whiteroofingsystems.com