Archive for July, 2010

TPO Single Ply Membranes – An Economical Choice

July 29, 2010

Thermoplastic Polyolefin, or TPO, is part of a diverse family of rubber-like materials based on polypropylene and EP rubber polymerized together using a state-of-the-art manufacturing technology.  Unlike other popular thermoplastic roofing membranes (PVC), TPO does not contain chlorine or plasticizers.  Without chlorine being added, it can be classified as an environmentally safe “green” product.  It is also 100% recyclable.  In addition, the lack of plasticizers enables sheets to wear longer and not harden or become brittle over time.  Flame retardants, light stabilizers, antioxidants, light absorbers and pigments are blended to create a sheet that is “Title 24” compliant.  The white TPO roofing membrane typically has a reflectivity rating in the high 80% range when installed, and after 3 years still maintains a rating in the low 80% range.

In commercial roofing applications, the TPO membrane is installed using mechanical fasteners and plates placed along the leading edge with the next sheet lapped and then hot air-welded together. Hot air robots make larger jobs very quick with welds that are consistent.  One of the major benefits of TPO is that the welded seams actually become stronger than the sheets themselves, making for an ultra-strong roof.  TPO is suitable either as an overlay or for use in a complete tear-off.  Sheet thicknesses range from 45 mils to 80 mils, with the 60-mil sheet the most popular.  Because TPO roofing material is manufactured in wide sheets, labor requirements are reduced, especially on larger roof installations, which can result in significant cost savings, making TPO an economical choice.

Completely odorless, TPO is good choice for situations where fumes would be a problem and roofs that have limited access.  Manufacturer material and labor warranties for TPO roofing range from 10 to 20 years.

Types Of Flat Roof Systems

July 27, 2010

Flat Roofing

Although they are not as alluring as slate, tile or wood roofing, a flat roof is still extremely significant and may even require more attention.  Flat roof systems work by providing a waterproof covering over a building.  Water is then directed to drains, downspouts, and gutters by the slight pitch of the roof.

The Four Different Types of Flat Roofs

There are four main different types of flat roofing. They are:

  • Built-Up Roofing (BUR)
  • Single Ply Membrane
  • Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF)
  • Roll Asphalt

Built-Up roofing (BUR) is composed of overlapping rolls of saturated or coated felts, literally built up to form layers. These roofs are designed to last 10 to 30 years, depending on the materials used.

Single Ply Membrane roofs come in two main types, thermoset membranes and thermoplastic membranes. Warranties of 10 to 12 years are typical, but as with any roofing system, proper installation is crucial and maintenance by the owner is still required.

Sprayed Polyurethane Foam (SPF) is a seamless roof system consisting of a layer of foam, sealed and protected by a resilient coating. It has been used successfully as a roofing and insulation material for over 30 years.

Roll Asphalt roofing has been used for the longest. This type of roofing typically consist of one layer of asphalt-saturated organic or fiberglass felt, applied with nails and cement, and then covered with a mineral surface. Generally, roll asphalt will last about 10 years.

Looking For More Information About Flat Roofing?

Roofing or re-roofing your home is a great investment. You’ll want to make sure you get a quote from a reliable roofing contractor.

More Severe Storms For Minnesota Homeowners

July 20, 2010

Severe Storms Drop Tornadoes and Hail In Cold Spring, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Mn in the news again.  Strong storms delivered another hit to parts of Minnesota including Cold Spring, Minnesota area on Saturday.

Strong thunderstorms ripped through central Minnesota Saturday afternoon.  It started in Stearns County where 4.25″ sized hail dropped near Cold Spring, MN, that has resulted in widespread damage.  Golf ball sized hail was reported.

The insidious nature of hail damage is that it may pose no immediate threat to the structural integrity of the roof.  However, many insurance companies have a “statute of limitations” of how long a hail claim is viable.  If you have experienced a loss such as hail damage, it is prudent to take care of the problem in a timely manner before it leads to other associated problems.

If your roof has any damage what-so-ever you have a VALID insurance claim and should file with your insurance company.  Insurance companies can not cancel your policy for a disaster related claim.

If you are wondering if your property has been damaged by the recent Minnesota hailstorm, contact a reliable roofing contractor that can help you identify and repair damage to hail damaged roofs.

Watertown, Minnesota Hail Rating Of 5.0

July 20, 2010

The hail that hit Watertown, Minnesota had a hail impact rating of 5.0.

Authorities have confirmed a number of tornado touchdowns across Minnesota, including one in Watertown, Minnesota that has resulted in widespread damage.  The line of storms dropped large hail across central Minnesota with a Hail Impact Rating of 5.0

There were reports of hail from 1 ½ inches and in excess of 4 inches in diameter.  The tornado was rated as a category EF5 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, which measures tornado strength.  The scale ranks tornadoes from 0 to 5, with 0 being the weakest and 5 being the strongest. The rankings are based upon damage caused by the storms, according to the weather service.

Hail damage repairs are likely necessary for property owners in Watertown as a result of this storm.  If your home has sustained hail or storm damage in the Watertown, Minnesota area, contact a qualified roofing contractor today!  A qualified roofer will asses and adequately document that damage exists and be your advocate throughout the entire insurance claim and repair process.


July 17 Tornadoes Batter Watertown, Minnesota

July 19, 2010

July 17 Hail Storm Damage In Minnesota…Again

June 17th, 2010

Tornadoes are among the most devastating and awesome local storms that occur on Earth.  Once again, just 1 month after the devastating June 17 damage to Minnesota homeowners, another 7 tornadoes were reported in Minnesota.  There were reports of hail from 1 ½ inches and in excess of 4 inches in diameter.

The storm moved through Wright County producing a possible tornado near the town of Kingston at approximately 4:15 p.m.  Another tornado touchdown was reported two miles southwest of Watertown, just after 5 p.m.

Threatening wall clouds were spotted from Watertown to Waconia.  There were no immediate reports of injuries but damage is being reported, including numerous homes with roof damage and trees knocked down across parts of the metro.

If your roof has been damaged by a storm whether by wind, hail or rain, contact a reliable storm damage repair expert to provide you with  immediate assistance.  It is crucial that you find a credible contractor that is trained in storm damage insurance negotiation.

Skylight Windows Brings The Outdoors Indoors

July 15, 2010

Skylight Windows

Skylights add value to homes, and helps them sell faster.  A good skylight adds light, spaciousness, and value to a home, but a badly made or poorly placed skylight can drain a house of warmth, introduce unwanted glare and heat, and create a leak risk.  Manufacturers and designers have worked hard to create skylight solutions that reduce the anxiety many builders and homeowners have over punching windows into a roof.

  • Research has shown that 55% of new homeowners rate skylights as desirable or essential.
  • 78% of new homebuyers are asking for more light and more open space.  Skylights can help create the illusion of bigger rooms by bringing the outdoors – indoors.
  • Skylights help create more privacy.  Rather than installing large Bay or Bow windows, skylights help bring the light into a room without enabling your neighbors to peek in.  Skylights can also generate more usable wall space.
  • Energy efficiency. With many of today’s skylight systems you can help reduce energy costs and provide natural sunlight instead of turning on the lights.

There are new products on the market that are less expensive, more practical, and easier to install.  Velux now offers an electronically tintable skylight using electrochromic glass, which allows for remote control of the amount of light and heat that enters a room.  Homeowners can quickly vary the tint to limit the heat gain and reduce glare, adding both to comfort and energy savings.

Window maker Milgard is now offering a skylight that comes framed in heavy-duty, bronze anodized aluminum.  The 750 and 780 series are thermally broken with a polyurethane barrier that separates the interior and exterior aluminum frames.  Users can open them manually, through an electrical wall switch, or by wireless remote.  Various glazing options, including tinted or reflective glass, are available.

Many skylight manufacturers are offering “out of the box” solutions, such as Velux’s VSE electric venting skylight.  It comes with an upgraded, pre-installed mounting bracket that allows roof mounting with nails instead of screws, making it quicker for the installer—and less chance for problems later on.

Tubular skylights represent the fastest-growing segment of the skylight market, providing natural light in tight spaces like hallways, laundry rooms, and bathrooms.  Solatube is now offering their 10- and 14-inch Solatube as an Energy Star-rated product.  The dual-glazed diffuser helps reduce interior heat loss during winter and solar heat gain during the summer months.
Velux, meanwhile, offers the Sun Tunnel in both Flexible and Rigid options.  The Flexible model simplifies installation around attic obstructions, while the Rigid model features easy alignment with dual adjustable elbows. Builders can upsell the product talking about its ability to save energy, while making natural light available without the need for windows.

EPDM Single – Ply Roofing Systems Part 2

July 13, 2010

How Long Do They Last?
As with most roofs, EPDM rubber roofs have varying lifespans that depend on numerous criteria.  These include environmental conditions such as what type of building (factory or church), how much foot traffic the roof gets, how much water remains on the roof after a rain, and how long it take that water to evaporate.  Not to mention geographical location.  Roofs in mild climates will outlast roofs in harsher climates.  Of course, one of the most important factors in a roof’s life expectancy is quality of workmanship.  If the roof is not properly installed, then its lifespan will be shortened.

Properly installed EPDM rubber roofs should last between 12 and 25 years.  Here’s a brief breakdown base on observations over the past 15 years::

  • 45 Mil Ballasted EPDM Rubber properly installed that drains well – 12 years
  • 45 Mil Mechanically Attached roof properly installed that drains well – 12 years
  • 45 Mil Adhered roof properly installed that drains well – 12+ years
  • 60 Mil Ballasted EPDM Rubber properly installed that drains well – 12+ years
  • 60 Mil Mechanically Attached roof properly installed that drains well – 15 years
  • 60 Mil Adhered roof properly installed that drains well – 15+ years
  • 80+ Mil Mechanically Attached roof properly installed that drains well – 20+ years
  • 80+ Mil Adhered roof properly installed that drains well – 20+ years
  • 80+ Mil Fleeceback Adhered roof properly installed that drains well – 25+ years

Available in a Variety of Membrane Thicknesses and Roll Sizes

Single Ply Roofing Systems

JM EPDM Roofing Membranes

Standard Roll Sizes (* Full-width, no-fold membrane)

Product Widths Lengths
45 FR 10′ (3.05 m) 50′, 100′ (15.24 m, 30.48 m)
20′ (6.1 m) 50′, 100′ (15.24 m, 30.48 m)
30′ (9.14 m) 100′ (30.48 m)
40′ (12.19 m) 100′ (30.48 m)
60 FR 10′ (3.05 m) 50′, 100′ (15.24 m, 30.48 m)
15′ (4.57 m)* 100′ (30.48 m)*
20′ (6.1 m) 50′, 100′ (15.24 m, 30.48 m)
30′ (9.14 m) 100′ (30.48 m)
90FR 10′ (3.05 m) 100′ (30.48 m)
45 R 10′ (3.05 m)
60 R 10′ (3.05 m) 100′ (30.48

EPDM Single – Ply Roofing Systems Part 1

July 8, 2010

EPDM Single – Ply Roofing System

EPDM: Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (or Terpolymer which is simply a product consisting of three distinct monomers).  EPDM is classified as a Thermoset material which means it is either fully-cured prior to being installed or that it cures during natural weathering after installation.  EPDM roofs are single-ply membranes meaning there is only one ply of roofing material, not multiple plies laminated together.

EPDM has been in use on roofs in the USA since the 1960’s and is one of the most common types of low-slope roofing materials.  This is because it is relatively inexpensive, simple to install, and fairly clean to work with when compared to conventional built-up roofs.  There aren’t the odors and fumes that accompany built-up roofs which appeals to many property owners and managers.

EPDM is a rubber material whose principal components consist of the compounds ethylene and propylene.  A flexible rubber matrix forms when a small amount of diene is added to the mix.  EPDM is available reinforced or unreinforced with both commonly used; it’s also available in either a cured (vulcanized) or uncured (non-vulcanized) state. Vulcanized EPDM is the most common with non-vulcanized often used for flashing purposes.

EPDM membrane thickness ranges from thirty mils (0.030″) to one-hundred mils (0.100″) with the most common thicknesses being forty-five mils (0.045″) and sixty mils (0.060″).  There are three standard application procedures:
(1) fully-adhered
(2) mechanically-fastened
(3) loose-laid

Fully-adhered EPDM uses water or solvent-based adhesives to adhere the rubber to the substrate.  Mechanically-fastened EPDM is attached by manufacturer-approved mechanical means to the substrate, and loose-laid membranes are secured only at the perimeters and any penetrations.  A ballast of round river rock or concrete pavers is used to hold the materials in place.  River rock is usually installed at a rate of 1000 – 1200 pounds per roof square (100 square feet) and the pavers generally weigh approximately 20 pounds per square foot.  Structural integrity is important with loose-laid roof systems.  The seams of all systems are then sealed using either an adhesive or a splice tape.  Splice tapes have tested with a higher tear-strength.

Single-Ply PVC Roofing Membranes

July 6, 2010

GAF EverGuard PVC thermoplastic single-ply membrane systems have been engineered to provide superior long-term performance and enhanced durability.  Strong, flexible, EverGuard PVC membrane is suitable for use in all types of single-ply systems: Mechanically Attached, Ballast Applied, Fully Adhered.

Compared to typical single-ply EPDM, PVC and TPO membranes, GAF EverGuard PVC roofing membrane provides the benefits of all three materials in a single membrane: low installed cost, heat welded seams, white reflective color and tear/puncture resistance.

A custom prefabricated, reinforced, thermoplastic single-ply roofing system that is ideal for any commercial, industrial, or residential (flat or low-sloped) application.  Industry-leading standard commercial warranty has no exclusions for ponding water or consequential damages.  White membrane is highly energy-efficient, reflecting up to 87 percent of the sun’s energy, reducing the energy needed to air-condition a building & saving building owners money.  Extremely durable & easily installed by authorized contractors without disruption to daily operations, the roofing system is also leak-proof, energy-efficient, chemical & fire resistant, resistant to high winds, and virtually maintenance-free.

Because of GAF-Elk’s stringent standards, only the top 3% of all roofing contractors have qualified as Master Elite contractors! Choosing a GAF-Elk Master Elite contractor is your assurance that you’ll be dealing with a quality, reputable, and dependable professional contractor — not some “fly-by-nighter.”

Roof Replacement After Recent Minnesota Tornado

July 2, 2010

Replacing Your Roof From Hail and Storm Damage

Make Sure You Use Experienced Roofers When Replacing Your Roof From Hail Damage

We have all heard some horror stories about roofers who take advantage of homeowners who have had hail damage and are not familiar with hail damage claims.

One example of this is where a roofer ordered their shingles, had them delivered, and completed the work:  but then the roofer skipped town without paying for the shingles after collecting the money from the homeowner.   Guess who had to pay for the shingles?  You got it…the homeowner!

Remember to be sure to check references before agreeing to anything with a contractor.  There are plenty of reputable companies who will take care of your needs, and it pays to do some homework.

Eliminate the guesswork by hiring a local, licensed, bonded, and insured crew, with a proven track record of quality work.

If you think you have hail damage on your roof after the recent tornado in Minnesota, and you would like a professional team to assist you in the claim process, call a professional roofing contractor today.  We will work with you through the entire process.