Duro-Last Roofing

Archive for the ‘Longevity’ Category

Protect Your Roof Like An Investment

Friday, March 16th, 2012

Rain. Snow. Wind. Sun. Salt. It’s a wonder that some things last as long as they do with all the weather variances we face. The roof is the important building component when it comes to weather protection and is the one thing that significantly protects the investment of the owner, by protecting the structure. Maintenance-free roofing systems do not exist, because all types of roofs require a certain amount of attention.

If you haven’t already done so, now is the perfect time to start an annual maintenance program. The importance is obvious – to extend the service life of the existing roof system. You want to catch problems early or even before they occur. Comprehensive repairs not only make the roof last longer, but also provide cost savings to the facility’s owner.

Perimeter

Walk the perimeter of the building to ensure that any unsecured objects, such as trash cans, signs, tree limbs, and loose building materials cannot become airborne projectiles during high winds. Trees should have all dead or broken branches removed and should be trimmed away from the building to prevent possible fires or damage to the roof.

Edges

Roof edge details should be checked to ensure that they are tight fitting and properly sealed. Corners of the building are the most susceptible to wind and rain damage. Immediately fix anything that lacks integrity.

Drainage

All debris and loose materials should be removed from the roof. Leaf grates, if part of the roofing system, should be cleaned and secured in a manner that keeps them in place. Make sure there is no blockage of any kind in drainage areas. Look for cracks or leaking on all areas of the roof and repair as needed.

Rooftop

Check all sealants on penetrations and terminations. All roof mounted equipment (HVAC units, satellite dishes, antennas, duct work, etc.) should be secured in a manner which will not allow movement. If it can be moved by hand it will become displaced in a storm or with wind. All service panel doors should be inspected to ensure that they are properly fastened. Any missing fasteners should be replaced.

A thorough maintenance program will address problems at their initial stage, minimizing or eliminating damage to interior furnishings, equipment, building materials and finishes. In this way, building owners avoid expenditures and preserve their investment, from top to bottom.

What To Do With That Old Metal Roof?

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Metal roofing dates back to about 1000 B.C. when a temple in Jerusalem was built with a copper roof. Later on in human history, metal roofs caught on in certain parts of the world, like the Virgin Islands, and were effective for several reasons. They were strong enough to resist earthquakes, dramatic heat, and tropical hurricane winds. They also had an appealing look to them, which as we know, is very important in the design of structures.

Most people don’t know that there are really two types of standing seam metal roofs: architectural and structural. Architectural are those you can see from the ground. They are aesthetic in design and intended to look good on the building.

Architectural Standing Seam Roof

Structural standing seam roofs are flat/low-sloped roof decks that are intended to be more functional than aesthetic.

Structural Standing Seam Roof, Before and After Duro-Shield Metal Retrofit Installation

Modern metal roofs are among some of the most practical and long lasting available. They offer great security and protection to the building, and they are usually a reliable and worry free long-term choice. However time catches up with everything and rusted roof decks and leaks may start to compromise the building’s integrity.

With over 60 billion square feet of metal roofing in place in the United States and two billion more installed each year, that adds up to a lot of leaks – and a lot of money spent fighting them. When the integrity of the structural metal roof deteriorates, membrane retrofit solutions can provide a better option than replacing the metal roof or continuing to repair it. Membrane retrofits are a cost-effective, single-ply roofing solution that can usually be installed directly over existing metal roofs.

 

Duro-Shield Metal Retrofit Roofing System

We offer the Duro-Shield Metal Retrofit Roofing System to protect the building against rain, temperature changes, interior drips, ice build-up, as well as rust and corrosion. Our prefabricated membrane is custom designed to fit the metal roof exactly, and is assembled in our factory, eliminating 80-85% of rooftop installation labor. This solution keeps Mother Nature outside, while your inventory, equipment, and workers stay safe and dry inside.

Preparing for Hurricanes

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Hurricane season officially began on June 1, and although those storms directly affect only a portion of the United States, building and roof preparation lessons can be applied to any areas of the country where severe weather can pop up.

The roof is the most important building component when it comes to weather protection and the most vulnerable during a hurricane event. Proper precautions are recommended to limit damage. If you’re not able to conduct these preparations yourself, don’t hesitate to call in a commercial roofing professional or other construction expert in your area.

Here are a few important things to consider:

Exterior of the Building

Walk the perimeter of building to ensure that any unsecured objects cannot become airborne projectiles. This includes trash cans, signs, trees limbs, and loose building materials. Trees should have all dead or broken branches removed and should be trimmed away from the building to prevent possible fires.

Windows/Doors

Windows and doors should be inspected for leaks, insect damage and proper sealant. If windows and doors are not equipped with hurricane shutters, these can easily be fabricated from plywood. It’s a good idea to have the plywood pre-cut for fast installation in the event of an upcoming storm.

Perimeter of the Building

Roof edge details should be checked to ensure that they are tight fitting and properly sealed. Corners of the building are the most susceptible to wind damage and additional precautions may be necessary in these areas.

Drainage

All debris and loose materials should be removed from the roof. Leaf grates, if part of the roofing system, should be cleaned and secured in a manner that keeps them in place during high winds.

HVAC/Rooftop equipment/Other penetrations

Check all sealants on penetrations and terminations. All roof mounted equipment (HVAC units, satellite dishes, antennas, duct work, etc.) should be secured in a manner which will not allow it to be moved easily. If it can be moved by hand it could become displaced in a storm. All service panel doors should be inspected to ensure that they are properly fastened. Any missing fasteners should be replaced.

LEAVE!

If civil authorities tell you to evacuate, do it! Buildings and building components that are damaged or destroyed during a severe storm can be replaced. You can’t.

Three Ways To Make A Roof Last Longer

Monday, June 7th, 2010

Occasionally, we come across articles that we feel will be beneficial to our readers. John D’Annunzio has written a series of articles for FacilitiesNet discussing factors that determine roof longevity. Below is a brief description and link to each article.

Part 1: Proper Design Improves Roof Longevity

This first article discusses key components to proper design that include wind uplift calculations, drainage design, thermal factors, perimeter edge design, and existing building conditions. It also discusses the selection of materials and systems that are compatible with existing building conditions. Proper design should always focus on providing a long-term roofing system.

Part 2: Focus On Roofing Materials And Workmanship To Improve Longevity

The second installment explains that not all roof materials are the same and not all materials are suitable for all buildings. Applied materials should be new, free of all excess moisture, and manufactured in compliance with ASTM standards. Proper material storage at the project site is also required.

In addition, the roof is one of the only major building components that is partially or fully constructed on-site. A large percentage of premature roof failures occur due to improper workmanship.

Part 3: How Weather And Maintenance Impact Roof Longevity

Finally, the third article describes how applications of roofing materials in conditions not suitable to the material’s constraints (too hot, too cold, in wet weather) will contribute to premature failure.

No matter the roof type, all roofs require a certain level of attention. Roofs are exposed to the elements 24 hours a day, every day of the year. One of the most important reasons to implement an annual roof maintenance program is to extend the service life of the existing roof system.

Selecting A Commercial Roofing System

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Building owners, roofing contractors, and specifiers have many options when deciding which commercial roofing system is best for a specific project. When selecting a roofing system, there are many issues to investigate. A thorough investigation will assure you that your investment is the best long-term roofing decision.

1. History/Longevity:

How long has the roof product been on the market under one owner? Proven longevity is critical when selecting a roofing system or manufacturer.

2. Cost:

Up-front cost is often perceived as the key factor in choosing a roofing system. However, the life cycle cost is the more important financial aspect that needs to be investigated. Considerations should include: tear-off, maintenance expenses, energy savings, additional warranty cost, and fast, non-disruptive installations.

3. Installing Contractors:

The long-term success of any roofing system ultimately falls on the installing roofing contractor and their application quality. Building owners and specifiers need to investigate the roofing contractor thoroughly. Roofing contractors should be trained and authorized by the manufacturer to ensure that quality is kept at the highest level.

4. Warranty:

Roofing system warranties can occasionally be confusing. Many times, manufacturers don’t have a published warranty and in some situations, the manufacturer or roofing product has been on the market less than 10 years, with warranties ranging from 10-20 years.

Features you may want to consider for a commercial warranty are:

  • Exclusions for consequential damages
  • Additional cost for the warranty
  • Exclusions for ponding water
  • Whether it’s a “repair or replace” warranty
  • Whether the warranty is transferable

5. Type of Building Design:

The roofing system should be flexible and able to be designed to meet the needs of virtually any type of structure. Determine if the roofing system can be designed for:

  • Dead level, low-sloped, or steep-sloped roofs
  • Buildings that cannot handle additional weight
  • All types of decks
  • Retrofit applications
  • Small roofs to large facilities
  • The strictest wind or fire code requirements
  • Metal buildings

6. Prefabrication:

Prefabrication is very important when choosing a roofing system as it allows the manufacturer to construct a portion of the roof in ideal factory conditions. Many commercial roofs are completely “manufactured” by an installer on top of a building where heat, humidity, cold, wind, and poor labor decisions will affect the roof’s long-term performance.

7. A Complete System Supplier:

With respect to commercial roofing systems, it is important to select one that has single-source accountability. It is important to have complete system warranty coverage, not just a warranty for the materials supplied by the manufacturer.

8. Company Support:

Contractors especially should investigate this issue to make sure the company supplying and warranting the roofing system is a complete service provider. These support services should be provided to all contractors:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Engineering
  • Quality Assurance
  • Manufacturing

9. Rooftop Environment:

  • Is there a lot of foot traffic on the roof?
  • Are there numerous penetrations on the roof?
  • Any rooftop emissions?
  • Are there extreme variations in the expansion and contraction of the building?

Each of these issues needs to be addressed when choosing a roofing system to purchase or install. Make sure that the roofing system you choose for your commercial application has the sales, marketing, quality assurance, engineering staff, and reputation to meet your needs.

Roof Dilemma: Maintain or Replace?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

Is roof replacement a better option than maintaining it when the roof’s watertight integrity – its primary function – fails? In other words, at what point do roof leaks become intolerable, and it’s time to replace the roof?

Think about how roof leaks can affect the bottom line:

  • Interior damage: To ceiling tiles, carpet, computers, gymnasium floors that could cost $500,000 to replace.
  • Production downtime: Shutting a line down for a day could cost thousands of dollars in lost productivity.
  • Lost business: Roof leaks at a four-star hotel can make the priciest rooms unavailable for guests.

Delaying roof replacement can add costs to a new roof project once the decision to replace it is made. Ineffective and inconsistent patching and other maintenance can allow water to penetrate the membrane and cause irreparable damage to roof system components, including insulation and the roof deck itself. Here are some potential added-cost considerations:

  • Tear off – add $1-2 per square foot.
  • Roof deck replacement – add $2.50-6.00.
  • Asbestos removal (possible for some older facilities) – add 10% or more.

The roof contributes – on average – 5% to the construction cost of a building, but is the most litigated component of a commercial building.

Building owners/managers should use their experience to establish a projected average service life of roofs. Several factors will influence a roof’s service life: design quality, installation integrity, products, maintenance, roof use, and weather.

Here’s an example: If you manage a million square feet of roofing that has a projected life expectancy of 20-30 years, you might consider budgeting to replace 1/20 or 5% (50,000 square feet) per year. If the average installation cost is $5 per square foot, look to budget $250,000 each year.

So when you are deciding between maintaining or replacing, look at your annual maintenance costs and if they are exceeding what your annual new roof budget is, it may be time to replace.

maintainreplace

Roof Maintenance

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009

Routine maintenance inspections of your roofing system should take place twice a year, once in the spring and again in the fall. The fall inspection of your roofing system is important to ensure that it is ready for the inclement weather of the winter months. The following are some areas that should be reviewed during the fall inspection.

  • Sealants
    • All edge terminations, pitch pans, stacks, and curbs should be inspected for proper adhesion and visible signs of cracking or wear.
  • Drainage
    • Drains must be kept free of debris such as bottles, sticks, and leaves. A proper-sized leaf grate will help prevent clogs. Commercial grade push brooms can be used to sweep leaves and other debris away from drainage paths: these materials should be removed from the roof. Additional inspections of the drains may be needed in areas with heavy foliage to keep the drains cleared throughout the year.
  • Parapet Walls
    • Parapets should be inspected for deteriorated coping, cracked or missing mortar joints, and any signs of deterioration. Always remember to practice safe inspection routines near any roof edge. Keep in mind that some roofing systems can be slippery due to frost, morning dew, rain, snow, etc.
  • Tie-Ins
    • Roof tie-ins should be inspected for proper adhesion between the roofing systems. The sealants used for completing the tie-in should be examined for cracks, splits, or gaps which could allow water infiltration.
  • HVAC
    • Rooftop units should be inspected for missing or unfastened panels and properly functioning condensate lines. These situations can produce moisture that is commonly and mistakenly believed to come from roof leaks, which can lead to unnecessary costs and aggravation.
  • Debris/Snow and Ice Removal
    • All debris that could lead to damage to the roofing system such as nails, screws, broken bottles, etc. should be removed from the roofing system. If at any time a shovel is needed for removing debris or snow, it is recommended that a plastic scoop shovel be utilized to minimize the risk of damage to the roof. A metal shovel or plastic with a metal edge, has sharp edges that can snag on plates/fasteners, seams, etc, and create a hole in roofing membranes. If removing ice from the roof, it is recommended that you use an ice melting product (such as salt) rather than chopping or trying to break up the ice, which could possibly damage the roof.

Frequently Asked Questions about PVC Roofing Systems. Part 3

Thursday, October 22nd, 2009

Q: What makes PVC systems more cost-effective in the long run?

A: Life Cycle Cost analyses have proven that PVC roofing systems are among the least costly over time for two major reasons: long service life and energy efficiency. The longer a roof lasts without major problems, the less costly it is on an annual basis. Energy savings of up to 40 percent every year due to the reflective properties of white PVC roofs can add up to tens of thousands of dollars during a 20- or 30-year life-span. Custom prefabricated PVC roofing systems also contribute to cost-effectiveness because they generate less waste, require less time and labor to install, and reduce the potential for rooftop human error, because up to 85 percent of membrane seaming can be completed in a controlled factory environment.

Q: Environmental groups seem to think that PVC is one of the most hazardous products ever created – dangerous to human health and the environment. How do you answer that?

A: During the last 35 years, there have been literally dozens of scientific studies and more than 26 full-scale LCAs relating to the safety and environmental impact of vinyl production, use and disposal. Study after study by a wide range of scientific, governmental, academic, and industry groups has confirmed that vinyl production in the United States today is very safe, and that finished vinyl products, including PVC roofing membranes, are inert, posing no risk to human health and with very little impact on the environment. In fact, many PVC products – including reflective PVC roofing systems – often make a decidedly positive contribution toward sustainability. According to Dr. Patrick Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace in 1971 and current chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies:

“It’s completely unacceptable for activists to call PVC ‘toxic’ when PVC’s effects on health and the environment have been investigated at every stage from manufacture through use and on to final disposal – in all cases vinyl has been shown to be safe and environmentally sound.”

Frequently Asked Questions about PVC Roofing Systems: Part 2

Tuesday, September 29th, 2009

Q: How are PVC roofing systems sustainable?

A: More than 26 Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs) confirm that PVC roofing membranes are an outstanding sustainable choice for many reasons:

  1. Energy efficiency.
  2. Mitigation of urban heat islands that cause elevated levels of air pollution.
  3. Waste reduction throughout their life cycle: production, shipment, installation, post-consumer disposal.
  • Only 43 percent of PVC membrane composition is derived from nonrenewable fossil fuel feedstocks, compared with other single-ply and built-up systems that contain a much higher percentage.
  • PCV requires less energy to produce than competitive products.
  • They typically last for 20 to 30 years, reducing the rate of waste flow into landfills.
  • There is virtually no scrap in PVC roof manufacturing or installation.
  • PVC roofs can often be installed directly over old roofs.
  • Many PVC roof manufacturers have post-use recycling programs.
  • PVC roofing membranes are inherently recyclable, and are the only roofing material that can be recycled back into roofing products.
  1. Extremely low contribution to greenhouse gases and hazardous emissions, due to closed-loop manufacturing.
  2. There are at least 10 categories in which white PVC roofing systems can help earn points under the LEED® rating systems.

Q: Why do PVC roofing systems last so long?

A: Among the reasons that PVC roofing systems typically last between 20 and 30 years with very little maintenance are the following:

  1. Reflective properties extend the useful life of the roof substrate materials by reducing the rate of deterioration by as much as 75 percent.
  2. Waterproof characteristics that prevent PVC from rotting, rusting or corroding.
  3. Custom prefabricated systems from some manufacturers that help ensure optimal installation and long-term performance.
  4. Heat-welding properties that create seams that are stronger than the membrane itself while eliminating the need for chemicals, torches or other hazardous installation methods.
  5. Inherent flame resistance strengthened by the addition of flame retardant additives, which facilitates Underwriters Laboratories Class A ratings and Factory Mutual Class 1 ratings.
  6. High resistance to chemicals, grease, and other harmful substances that is common on rooftops.
  7. Simple repair procedures normally accomplished by heat-welded patches or seams.

The True Price Of High Performance

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Oxymoron, n: a combination of contradictory words (such as sustainability costs more)

Contrary to popular wisdom, when it comes to the building and construction industry, profitability and sustainability go hand-in-hand. In fact, if a new building component doesn’t contribute to business profitability, it is not sustainable.

Sustainability, or high performance design, is often equated with “green design.” However, high performance design is about making financially smart building choices, not just being “green.” Consumers typically will not pay for something that is green unless there’s a financial benefit as well. Sustainability is good business sense first – green comes with it.

High performance building projects address issues related to the design, construction, maintenance, rehabilitation and eventual demolition of a building with an emphasis throughout the building’s lifecycle on using resources efficiently and preserving the global environment.

The profitability of high performance design must be considered for the entire life-cycle of a building, not simply the initial cost of construction. Typically, a roofing system with a low initial cost is a teaser that fails to consider all of the costs associated with the roof over its useful life. A long-lasting, high-performance system delivers a lower cost of ownership spread out over a longer period of time, requiring fewer repeated expenses related to maintenance, repair, and replacement. Plus, benefits such as energy savings can reduce life-cycle costs even further.

Recently, a contractor called to say that he was going to change his approach to selling roofing after a building owner said that the Duro-Last roof was the least expensive roof he had ever bought. It seems that the building owner was a banker who calculated that the Duro-Last roof was costing him 30% less per year in maintenance, repairs and frequent replacements than the modified bitumen roofs that he had always used before.

A smart investment because it costs less over its life span, a high performance roofing system is the ideal choice for sustainable facilities.