What is Foam Roofing?

Foam roofing is an exceptional roofing material.

What is Foam Roofing?

Foam roofing has been developed to be lightweight, durable and seamless. A one-and-a-half-inch thick layer of closed-cell polyurethane is applied as a waterproofing layer to the roof. Because foam roofing is applied in a seamless layer, it is particularly good at preventing leaks. Repairing a foam roof is also fairly easy and straightforward. This is because spray polyurethane foam roofing is sprayed as a liquid and expands into a foam. With a fully prepped area that has been cleaned, repairs can commence, creating a seamless layer of foam roofing.

How Long Do Foam Roofs Last?

According to national estimates, a foam roof is reputed to last approximately twenty to thirty-five years. Of course, this estimate depends upon proper maintenance, the prevailing weather patterns of the area, and foot traffic. While it is true that foam roofs don’t have an extraordinarily long lifetime, they do have an excellent second life. Foam roofs are very easy to recoat and with another fresh coating of foam roofing material, you can expect another twenty to thirty-five years. As always, it is important to exercise proper roofing maintenance for your commercial and residential roof.

How Much Does it Cost to Foam a Roof?

If you are considering foam roof repair in Pittsburgh, PA, you will want to understand how much it costs. On average, it costs approximately six thousand to seven thousand dollars. To be exact, the range extends from $6,000 to $7,200. Property owners can expect to pay anywhere between two dollars and fifty cents to three dollars per square foot. This amount covers about one-inch of foam thickness.

Can You Walk On a Foam Roof?

If you’re wondering whether or not you can walk on a foam roof, you’re not alone. It’s actually a fairly common question. The natural answer is yes, you can walk on a foam roof, however, it is important to keep foot traffic limited. It is true that property owners will often need to inspect their HVAC units and clean off debris every once in a while. Because this is the case, you will need to use soft tennis shoes or anything with a softer sole if you need to traverse your foam roof. It is also interesting to note that you can walk on your foam roof within five minutes of installation.

How Often Should a Foam Roof Be Coated?

As previously mentioned, foam roofs should receive routine maintenance in order to last longer. According to a leading foam roofing material manufacturer, foam roof systems need to be inspected around twice a year. During such inspections, repairs can be made. Foam roofs should be recoated every five to seven years. Maintenance is important for a commercial or residential property. For residential and commercial blind cleaning in Blue Bell, PA, please use the experts.

What is a Foam Roofing System

Foam roofs are designed to be a reliable roofing system that is safe, seamless, and walkable. Spray polyurethane foam is used to seal the roof against leaks. Foam roofing is remarkable because it easily bonds around vulnerable roof perforations. These roof perforations include pipes, vents, and edges. With foam roofing, the roof surface is built up in certain areas to prevent heavy standing water from developing.

Is Foam Roofing Good

Foam roofing has a number of advantages and disadvantages. In order to understand more about his roofing material, please make sure to review the following bullet points.

  • Great insulation properties. The suspended aluminum particles in the foam reflect UV rays.
  • Waterproof. Foam roofing has unique waterproofing qualities. The closed-cell foam is apparently the only insulating material that does not soak up water.
  • Flexible. Foam is particularly interesting and beneficial because it can be applied to both new and old roofing projects.
  • It provides structural integrity. Something that is truly interesting about polyurethane foam is that it is able to withstand the expansion and contraction that occurs over time. Foam roofing can also withstand very high winds and many natural weather elements. 

What is Spray Polyurethane Foam Roofing

Spray polyurethane foam roofing, also known as SPF, is insulation that also functions as an air barrier. Depending on the type, it can also be considered a bulk water barrier and a moisture vapor retarder. Foam roofing is made by reacting MDI with a polyol blend. The two liquid components are joined under pressure in a spray nozzle where it connects with a surface.

Foam roofing being applied.

Is Foam Roofing Worth It

When it comes to spray foam roofing, there are many roof enthusiasts who can confirm that spray foam roofing is quite reliable and affordable. Many commercial property owners utilize spray foam roofing for their property across the country. To find out whether or not spray foam roofing is right for you, please consult with your local, reliable roofing authority.

When you need foam roofing in Pittsburgh, PA that you can rely on, call Great Lakes Commercial Roofing first at 412-256-8050. Your foam roof repair or replacement is in good hands with our professional experts.

Do Cool Roofs work?

cool roof with some water

What is a cool roof system?

Typically, a cool roof is white, or a light color and reflects the sun’s energy and UV rays. This reduces the temperature of the rooftop temperatures by as much as 60 degrees. Where a black or dark color roof absorbs the sun’s energy and UV rays and can create temperatures as high as 190°F during the summer. Dark roof surfaces contribute to the urban island heat.

What is the coolest roof material?

If you must install a new roof on your commercial building, the choices can confuse and overwhelming. There are many roofing materials types for commercial buildings, which one is the best all-around choice for cool roof purpose?  Here, we are listing 4 different roofing materials with the pros and cons of each, and which is the best for a cool roof result. 

EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) 

EPDM roofing is commonly referred to as rubber roofing and is a common choice among commercial buildings because it is the least expensive of all options. It is lightweight, making it easy to install and doesn’t require the roof decking to be reinforced. This is a durable material that won’t scratch or scuff and has a life expectancy of a high-quality EPDM roof is 20 years.

EPDM is a black material and perfect for absorbing heat without being easily damaged by the sun’s UV rays. This makes a good product in colder climates, but not a good option for cool roof purposes.  EPDM is not aesthetically pleasing though with an inner tube look when rolled out. If your commercial building is a warm climate where the sun’s UV rays can heat a building up through the roof, this is not the material you need. It is not a cool roof material and can put a lot of strain on an HVAC system.

The drawbacks to EPDM are few but should be considered. It is also easily punctured by hail, tree branches, or a service technician that needs access to HVAC or plumbing pipes and vents found on commercial building roofs. It is easy to repair, but any puncture not noticed will allow water to infiltrate, leaving the possibility for major problems. It is installed with bond seas and if those seams are not placed right and the EPDM material doesn’t adhere well, water can infiltrate underneath the membrane.

TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin)

TPO is a popular option for commercial building owners because is inexpensive to install, even less than the previously mentioned EPDM roofing material. TPO is good for cool roof a white color that reflects the sun and minimizes the heat buildup inside a commercial structure, which is perfect for hot weather climates. It is lightweight and with several options for installation, makes it popular among roofing contractors.

It is resistant to breaking down, corrosion, algae growth, and mildew. With TPO, maintenance is minimized because pressure washing isn’t necessary. The seams are heat-welded, creating a bond that is more dependable between the seams, which is where most commercial building roof leaks begin. 

The drawbacks of TPO roofing start with the quality variances. Each manufacturer has different standards, which is why roofing contractors will always recommend going with a well-known brand name. The thickness of this material can vary also, which can lead to consistency problems, TPO’s top layer is a laminate, which can have weak points that cause cracking, crazing, deterioration, and shrinking. A major consideration for commercial business owners should be that TPO is not fire-resistant.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride)

Two layers are used to create a PVC roofing material with a reinforcement of polyester in between them. These layers have additives that make it flexible and UV-stable and prevent curing. It is durable, lightweight, and is fire resistant and resistant to chemicals and wind. Because it is heat-welded during installation, the sheets are permanently bonded at the seams. 

The biggest drawback is the expense. Over time, PVC shrinks, lifting the corners and pull the seams, which can lead to leaking. PVC is not the best for cold weather climate because it is prone to puncturing and shattering as its ages, which can be hard to repair. PVC has strong similarities to TPO but PVC has an upper hand with stronger resistance to chemicals and punctures.

SPF (spray polyurethane foam)

SPF roof coating starts off in a liquid form and is transformed into a solid as they apply it, expanding as it dries. This is a good roof coating for sustainable cool roof energy savings when applied in multi-layers with an acrylic roof coating. It is durable and strong, and the reflective topcoat makes it the cool roof coating a commercial building owner wants.

Proper maintenance and reapplying coating regularly, an SPF roof will last over 40 years. Because it seals cracks, crannies, and gaps, it makes airtight, cool roof and waterproofing systems. SPF roof coating is a good cool roof material because it provides a commercial building layer of insulation that saves on A/C and heat costs. 

This lightweight material will self-curb around protrusions and is often used to correct ponding water. The downsides to SPF roofing are the chemical reaction it has between two liquid compounds. With careful applications, it makes a good material, but careful calibration is needed while applying it.

What type of roof will last the longest?

By far, concrete, metal/steel, slate, or tile roofing materials last the longest of all materials used. Research finds these to last 50 years or longer. Next in line of lifespan, Built-Up roofing, asphalt shingled roof, or single-ply roofing, each estimated to last up to 30 years, depending on the climate and environment of the commercial structure. They estimate it a foam roof to last 25 years or longer while wooden shakes & shingles have a life expectancy of fifteen to twenty years.

It depends each on the climate and the environment and how they are installed and maintained. Manufacturing can affect longevity as well with each manufacturer having different procedures.

What color roof is the coolest? 

Dark color roof surfaces absorb the UV rays and the heat generated from those rays. For the typical flat or low slope roof on a commercial building, a traditional cool roof is all white, reflects the solar rays by as much as 50 percent or more. The use of colorants or pigments can create a nonwhite cool roof that will reflect the sun’s invisible, near-infrared radiation.

HVAC system on cool roof

Does cool roof paintwork?

 Cool roof paint is applied to roofs for better sun reflection, taking the strain off the HVAC system as it keeps the interior of buildings cooler and reduces the energy costs. Cool roof coating comes in an assortment of colors that are as reflective as the all-white roof coatings. The more reflective a roof it is, the less the harmful UV rays will impact the structure, keeping it cooler in the summer months.

Otherwise, a roof that doesn’t have any cool roof coating is subjected to the heat from those UV rays, heating the interior of the building. This causes the HVAC system to work harder and increases energy use.

The benefits a commercial building we have from installing a cool roof system are many. Here are the main ones:

  • Air conditioning needs are reduced, thereby reducing energy bills
  • Non-air-conditioned areas are cooler with a cool roof
  • Roof temperatures are decreased, extending the roof lifespan

A cool roof will do more than just cooling the commercial building. The environment benefits from a cool roof as well, especially in densely populated urban areas.  Which is better, a cool roof vs green roof?  A cool roof will remain cooler during peak temperatures. However, a green roof will have a longer lifespan, thus giving you more ROI for the initially higher costs for installing it. Dial 412-256-8050 today to get started on cool roof installation for your commercial property in Pittsburgh, PA.

What Is a Single Ply Roofing System?

A Single Ply Roofing Roll.

What Is Single Ply Membrane Made of?

If you are in the market for a new commercial roof, you might consider single ply roofing. Single ply roofs are flexible, prefabricated roof membranes that are made up of plastic materials. There are two single ply roofing categories, ​thermosets and thermoplastics. Thermoset single ply roofs are made from synthetic rubber polymers; EPDM roofs are considered thermoset single ply roofs. Thermoplastic single ply roofs are made of plastic materials; PVC and TPO roofing are thermoplastic single ply roofs. There are three types of single ply roofs, which are EPDM, PVC, and TPO roofing. To determine which of single ply roof would work for you and your building, its important to know more about them.

EPDM Roofing

A lot of people ask, “Is EPDM a single ply membrane?” and the answer is yes. EPDM (ethylene propylene diene monomer) roofing is a thermoset single ply roof. Things that commercial property owners like about EPDM roofs is that they are durable, with the ability to resist severe weather conditions and UV rays. They are usually a black membrane, which means they are great for colder climates as they can melt snow and absorb heat and make buildings warmer. So is EPDM roofing any good? It can be if you want to protect your roof against UV rays and severe weather.

PVC Roofing

If you are looking for a flexible single ply roof for your building, then you can’t go wrong with PVC roofing. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) roofs are highly reflective, which means they are able to reflect the sun from the roof, protecting your roof against UV rays, as well as lower the inside temperatures of your building. Its a very resistant surface, with the ability to resist chemicals, grease, and oil; due to resisting these types of substances, PVC roofing is a great option for restaurants.

TPO Roofing

In regards to single ply roofing, TPO (Thermoplastic Polyolefin) roofs are one of the most popular flat roof choices. This is because its easy to install and its cost-effective, so you don’t have to pay a ton for a good quality roof and have to wait a long time for it to be installed. It is also a reflective roofing system, so it saves money on energy bills and it is resistant to chemicals and other pollutants. Another great thing is that is can stand up to harsh weather as the material is puncture-resistant.

Single Ply Roofing Pros and Cons

If you interested in single ply roofing for your building but you are still on the fence, it might help to know what the advantages and disadvantages. Knowing what types of benefits you will get from this roof, as well as the drawbacks of this roof, will help you make a more educated decision about whether you want this roof for your building’s roof.

Single Ply Roofing Pros

  • Long-Lasting: Something that is always asked about single ply roofs is, “How long does single ply roofing last?” they can last up to 30 years with proper maintenance.
  • Cost-Effective: Another question that is asked is, “How much does single ply roofing cost?” Its actually one of the more affordable commercial roofing materials, and it cheaper to install than most roofs.
  • Lightweight: This is actually important because it means the roof membrane isn’t adding extra weight to your building.
  • Reflective: Because of the reflective material, it can protect your roof against UV damage and lower the temperatures of your building’s interior.

Single Ply Roofing Cons

  • Penetrations: Penetrations or roofing accessories like HVAC systems, skylights, or vents can get in the way of installing this type of roof.
  • Seam Leaks: There is a chance that the seams might be vulnerable to leaks. Single ply roofing seams are sealed, but water can still get through.
  • Punctures: Because they are very flexible roofing systems, they can be punctured by various things.
  • UV Rays: Single ply roofs are very reflective but over time, the adhesive to seal the seams can start to deteriorate.

Single Ply Roofing Vs Built Up

Having a flat roof on your commercial building means that you have a ton of options. Single ply roofs are a great choice for flat roofs, but materials like built up roofing are also considered by many. Built up roofs are pretty low-maintenance, they are reflective, waterproof, and seamless. However, they can take a long time to install, they have a high installation cost, and they can add extra weight to buildings. Single ply roofs on the other hand are lightweight, they don’t take a long time to install, and they aren’t expensive. They are also reflective, resistant to chemicals, hail, fire, and other environmental and weather issues. It is totally up to you which roofing system you choose, but its best to talk to a roofer before making a decision.

Single Ply Roofing Installation

A Man Installing a Single Ply Roof.

Single Ply Roofing Contractors

If you are wanting single ply roofing for your Pittsburgh, PA building, then call Great Lakes Commercial Roofing for the best commercial roofing in the area. Just like you wouldn’t call anyone but a plumber to install a tankless water heater, you shouldn’t call anyone but a licensed and reliable roofing contractor to install single ply roofing. We can be those licensed and reliable roofers, so contact us at 412-256-8050 to make an appointment!

What Does Roof Coating Do?

Silicone Roof Coating Rolls Being Installed on Commercial Roof

Several Ways to Update Your Roof

When updating a commercial roof, there are several options to choose from. Many roofers may try to suggest that you need to completely replace your roof, but that is a costly process that may not necessarily be true. If your commercial roof has been well-maintained over the years, then replacing your roof may be a waste of time and money for everyone. Instead, you may want to consider a roof coating. This is usually a type of rubber or acrylic roofing material that coats your roof, providing protection and waterproofing benefits. To learn more about a roof coating in Pittsburgh, PA, contact Great Lakes Commercial Roofing at 412-256-8050.

Roof Coating vs Replacement

There is in fact a difference between a roof coating and a roof replacement. When replacing a roof, contractors will typically need to strip the entire roofing structure down to the decking. They then go through to repair any structural damage, then replace the roofing material. With a roof coating, there are several differences that make a huge impact.

When working with a roof coating, contractors will first determine the condition of the existing roof. If it is in good condition but needs a few minor repairs, they will go through to do that. Once the repairs are completed, a fresh coating is applied over top and the entire process is done.

Types of Roof Coatings

Most building owners want to know which roof coating is best for their building. That is often hard to answer because the best coating will be dependent on your needs and specifically where your building is located. Not all roof coatings are made the same, so you need to be sure that you are picking a coating that will be reliable and lasting on your building. 

  • Acrylic Coatings: Acrylic is by far one of the most inexpensive coating options on the market. It comes in a variety of formulas from a liquid, paint-like consistency to large flexible sheets.
  • Rubberized Coatings: This coating is a type of bitumen roofing that has been modified with polymer additions. With this combination, the polymer-modified coating, or rubberized coating, is more flexible and more durable than other options. 
  • Elastomeric Coatings: Elastomeric coatings have a sort of elastic quality to them that allows the material to expand and shrink comfortably with temperature changes. This option is great for buildings in areas that experience regular weather changes.
  • Bitumen Coatings: What sets bitumen apart from other coatings is the fact that this material uses asphalt or tar as the main waterproofing element. The material is often darker than others but does provide incredible waterproofing protection.

Roof coatings are a great investment that will provide property owners with a great deal of protection and longevity without breaking the bank. While structures like a rubber roof coating might seem easy enough to install yourself, it is highly recommended to rely on professionals. Otherwise, you run the risk of improperly applying the material, which can create more and more problems in the future. Additionally, you might accidentally get the material somewhere it doesn’t belong, like the hood of a car. If that happens, it will be very difficult to remove without damaging the vehicle!

Contractor Spraying Roof Coating on Building

Benefits of Roof Coatings

The number one question property owners want to know is, “Is roof coating any good?” and the answer is yes! There are many advantages to this system that make it one of the better options for commercial property owners.

  • Inexpensive: One of the best advantages of a roof coating is how inexpensive it is. This means you can update your roof without spending an arm and a leg. 
  • Restorative: A roof coating can completely restore your roof while at the same time providing an environmentally friendly action. That’s because you aren’t trashing any old materials, but instead using them to prolong the life of your roof.
  • Easy Application and Maintenance: This system is incredibly easy to install. For most roofers, it can take less than a day, which saves you time, money, and means your daily business will more than likely not be interrupted. 

Investing in a roof coating can seem like a waste, like commercial blind cleaning in Blue Bell, PA, but neither of these services are a waste. Roof coatings help to provide a reliable, durable, and long-lasting roof structure that is as trusted as it is inexpensive.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do roof coatings work?
    • Yes, roof coatings do work. They are designed to reflect light away preventing a build-up of heat inside spaces. Additionally, coatings are designed to be durable and long-lasting under constant exposure to sun, smoke, grease and more and they do hold up very well.
  • How often should I coat my roof?
    • That is dependent on several factors, primarily the quality of the roof coating used. Cheaply made roof coatings will require you to coat your roof more often than one that is made from quality materials. 
  • Does roof coating stop leaks?
    • A roof coating can help prevent future leaks, but it will not stop an existing leak. That needs to be found, repaired, and dried before a coating application takes place. Otherwise, you will just be compounding the issue.
  • What does roof coating do?
    • Roof coatings provide a reflective, waterproof protective layer for flat or low-sloping roofing systems. These coatings are designed to be used in areas of high exposure, so they will not crack, break, or damage under these conditions. 
  • Which is the best roof sealant?
    • In terms of the type of roof sealant, options like EPDM have shown to be some of the best for sealing and protecting roofs. Really anything that is rubberized or rubber-based will provide the protection, durability, and longevity you are looking for.
Completed Roof Coating Application

Learn More About Great Lakes Commercial Roofing Services by Giving Us a Call Today!

For more information about roof coating in Pittsburgh, PA, rely on Great Lakes Commercial Roofing. Call us at 412-256-8050 to discuss your options.

Is Spray Foam Roofing Good?

Technician Spraying Foam Insulation using Plural Component Spray Gun

Getting To Know Spray Foam Roofing

When you need a way to protect your commercial roof that will add to it’s longevity consider the implementation of spray foam roofing! With spray foam roofing you’ll have a roofing system that has a variety of benefits that range from roof flexibility to protection against outside conditions like water damages. Your commercial roof is typically expected to last 15-20 years yet with a roof coating you can potentially have your roof last forever with recoats being applied every 10-15 years! As with any commercial roofing project, it’s important to consider spray foam roofing pros and cons before committing to changes. Be sure to create a connection with reliable spray foam roofing contractors to assist you with your spray foam roofing as this type of roofing job typically requires a certificate for installation.

How long does a commercial roof last?

A commercial roof typically lasts 15-20 years. The age range of your commercial roof may depend on such factors as the age of your roof, the region you live in, maintenance, weather and more.

What is spray foam roofing?

Spray foam roofing is a roofing material that is often used for commercial roofs that involve polyurethane foam or other compositions that are sprayed onto a roof as a liquid that then expands to foam which eventually creates a solid layer across an existing roof.

How long does spray foam roofing last?

Spray foam roofing can be expected to last anywhere from 20-35 years yet factors that can influence this range can be climate, traffic, weather, maintenance and exposure to the elements. It’s important to keep up to date with your roof to know when a recoat is necessary as these, in turn, can last 10-15 years.

Does spray foam stop leaks?

Spray foam roofing is advantageous in that it can be used as a repair option for minor leaks. Essentially the foam is applied as a liquid which is able to fill in the gaps, cracks, and seams of the roof. Consider the other benefits of spray foam roofing that can be advantageous for your roof.

Technician Spraying Polyurethane Roof Warming Foam Coating of Roof

The Benefits of Spray Foam Roofing

Spray foam roofing can be very advantageous to your commercial roof. The advantageous can range from its watertight application and waterproofing abilities to protecting against basic wear that comes with age and weather upon your roofing system. Spray foam roofing is a sustainable and renewable roofing resource that won’t have to have the original roof stripped which will eliminate waste and costs associated with it. It has many environmental advantages such as low emission of volatile organic compounds, zero ozone depleting potential, ultra-global warming potential and is also free from chlorofluorocarbons. Other benefits with spray foam roofing are:

  • Eliminate Troublesome Ponding Water
  • Eliminate Flashing Leaks
  • Lightweight and are Excellent Roof Insulation
  • Chemically Stable Roof Insulation
  • Highest “R” Value
  • Long Lasting
  • Flexible
  • Watertight
  • Minimizes Thermal Shock
  • Renewable and Sustainable
  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Little Disruption to Building Owner
  • Easy to Maintain

Disadvantages of Spray Foam Roofing

Spray foam roofing doesn’t have many disadvantages yet there are certain preliminary conditions that need to met before you schedule an appoint when you’re getting ready to add it to your roofing system. Firstly, it’s important to know that not all commercial roofing contractors will offer this roofing service as it’s a system that requires precision and technical prowess. As a matter of fact, an exam must be passed in order to meet the criteria of a spray foam roofing application. If applied incorrectly a spray foam roofing can be detrimental to the roof and its underlying substrates so be sure applications are done correctly the first time with a qualified roofing expert. Another disadvantage is that this roofing material must be applied during certain weather conditions as they can’t be applied on any surface that has moisture or dampness on it as seen with, rain, ice or frost. If you have any other questions regarding this or other roofing conditions for spray foam roofing then be sure to get in touch with your local roofing contractor.

How do you repair a flat foam roof?

Spray foam roofing will require some maintenance in order to prevent any problems from aggravating the roofing system. With any roofing system, you won’t just be able to install it and call it quits like with a simple window blind installation. Maintenance is recommended as there are outside elements that are unpreventable that can influence your roofing system. Spray foam roofing should be inspected at least twice a year and especially in cases of inclement weather such as with stormes, hurricanes, hail, and tornados. Minor issues such as punctures, cracks, and gouges can be simply be repaired with elastomeric roof sealant that’s compatible with your specific spray foam roofing system. With any other roofing damages be sure to have your roof inspected with a local roofing company in order to assess if other courses of action should be taken to ensure your commercial roof’s longevity and durability!

If you’re interested in spray foam roofing in Pittsburgh, PA call 412-256-8050 with Great Lakes Commercial Roofing!

Commercial Building Efficiency and Why It’s Important

It’s exciting to see the strides being made to improve buildings in a way that will help reduce costs while also benefiting the betterment of the environment! Building efficiency has a variety of categories that can improve energy usage and increase sustainability. If you’re in the process of a new construction or renovating an existing one, it’s important to consider the factors surrounding building efficiency improvements so both your business and environment can continue a symbiosis of green culture and practices.

What is building energy efficiency?

Building energy efficiency involves constructing new or renovating existing buildings in a way that significantly reduces the energy needed for various systems such as lighting, heating and cooling, water heating and other systems independently from the energy used or the equipment chosen for the building.

Why is sustainability important in construction?

Building Energy Efficiency Rating Guide Green Building Construction

Building energy efficiency ratings act as guidelines for green construction!

Sustainability in construction means that resources are being used efficiently or in a way that considers the environmental impact and implications of the resources or process of construction used in a building. When constructing a building, there are already stakeholders of the client, firm and local government that can have a hand in a given project. However, it must be emphasized that the community and people in it can directly be affected by the decisions made and should be considered as additional stakeholders into the equation. Toxic waste could be generated from buildings as well as non-renewable energy sources which can produce a considerable amount of waste. It’s important to realize that it is very possible, and often cost-effective, to offset the harm we can potentially create in building by replacing them with beneficial paths that give more both immediately and in the long run.

How can buildings be more sustainable?

Buildings can be more sustainable in a variety of different methods, the possibilities are numerous! One can implement green commercial building materials, construction methods, techniques or even comply to building efficiency ratings!

Building Efficiency Ratings

There are certain building efficiency organizations available that provide guidelines for producing green or energy efficient buildings. They provide ratings in accordance to how far a building can go to achieve green methods. Here a few well known ones:

  • LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is an organization that offers rating levels that range from Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum.
  • The Living Building Challenge: uses seven performance categories known as Petals, which branch off into 20 Imperatives. Petals in turn hold categories of Place, Water, Energy, Health, Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty.
  • WELL, also known as The WELL Building Standard, is a third-party certified by Green Business Certification INC or GBCI.

How can you improve buildings?

Increase Building Efficiency & Lower Costs with Foam Roofing

Foam roofs increase building efficiency by providing cooling affects to the roof, thereby reducing energy costs!

Here are a few areas that can be improved for building efficiency, some even offer a few examples that can be taken into consideration.

  • Site Selection: have the building be placed in an area with already existing infrastructure to save on resources and money.
  • Design: have the building meet LEED or other building efficiency organisational standards.
  • Electronics, Computers, and Office Equipment: there are many Smart options out there as well as appliance brands such as Energy Star which offer energy efficient standards.
  • Lighting
  • Appliances
  • Landscaping
  • Renewable Energy Sources: grid tied solar photovoltaic panels can power lighting, appliances, hot water and heating and cooling systems. A small wind grid can be connected to your power provider or even off grid which can lower your electric bill by 50-90%. Micro hydropower can transform the energy of flowing water to rotational energy and finally electricity.
  • High Efficiency Water Heaters
  • Heating & Cooling Systems
  • Ventilation: natural ventilation is the lowest cost option for energy efficient cooling of a building. Energy recovery ventilation in turn minimizes energy costs while providing controlled ventilation.
  • Wall Assembly: s continuous layer of insulation (CI) around a building increases the R-value of the structure and rids itself of condensation. Structural insulated panels can save 50% of energy costs.
  • Roof: metal roofs, cool roof coatings or even a Foam Roof (among other various options) can provide UV protection and resistance to leaks all while have life expectancy of at least 50 years!
  • Water Efficient Plumbing: pex pipes don’t collect sediment build up and are more durable than copper pipes yet last just as long.

What are the advantages of green building?

Building Energy Efficiency Increases Work Productivity!

Building efficiency not only reduces cost, it increases work productivity due to the heath benefits it provides to workers!

  • Health & Work Performance: Improvements in air quality can increase performance by 8%, employees in a green and well ventilated building show 101% increase in cognitive abilities and offices with windows can allow for an average of 46 minutes more of sleep.
  • Reduced Costs:
    • Per business level: utility bills are significantly lowered, there are lower construction costs and higher property values for building developers.
    • Global level: energy spending can be reduced from €280-€410 billion ($313.6-$459.2)
  • Increased Property Value: owners of green buildings have a 7% increase of asset value over traditional counterparts.
  • Environmental: reduces greenhouse gases, energy and water consumption.


To increase building efficiency in Pittsburgh, PA call 412-256-8050 with Great Lakes Commercial Roofing! We offer swift and cost-effective roofing for your commercial or residential property!

How Roof Coatings Can Make Your Office More Efficient

A Commercial Roofing System in Need of a Flat Roof Coating

If Moisture and UV Radiation Have Degraded Your Roof, a Flat Roof Coating Could Help.

The fast majority of office buildings in the United States employ a flat roofing system, and for good reason. This durable roof structure allows businesses to save space and simplifies the process of making repairs (to a point). However, flat roofing systems also come with inherent challenges that can cost your company thousands of dollars if not addressed in a timely manner. This oh-so-important program of continued maintenance and repair can be difficult to manage, which is where a flat roof coating comes into use…

What are Roof Coatings?

Simply put, roof coatings form a small protective layer over your existing rooftop. The installation process is about as complex as spreading a couple coats of paint on your roof. Once spread over your roof, these coatings also work to mend small tears and punctures in the roofing material. On average, commercial-grade GAF flat roof coatings (or whatever brand you select) will last for approximately ten years. 

Which Roof Coating is Best?

There are a wide variety of coating products available on the market, but most commercial consumers prefer an elastomeric roof coating. Sometimes called a cool roof coating, elastic coatings provide a number of cost-saving benefits for your commercial roofing system. There’s the restorative properties we mentioned that can repair minor degradation in your rooftop. More importantly, these roof coatings prevent additional damage from occurring, such as:

  • Impact damage from debris and hail
  • Moisture degradation from leaks
  • Natural corrosion from sunlight, water, and rusting
  • Weakened material strength from UV radiation

Equipment for Flat Roof Coating

The Right Coating Material Can Greatly Improve Your Roof’s Weather Defenses.

The rubberized nature of elastomeric coatings enable your roof to absorb much of the impact force of hail without taking any serious damage. If you’re looking for maximum impact absorption, an EPDM rubber roof coating might be ideal for your business. Just make sure to ask your local roofer if your current roofing system will require a special primer before having your flat roof coating installed.

When it comes to stronger waterproofing protection, silicone coatings act as a flat roof sealant for your building. If you’ve ever suffered a roof leak at home or at the office, you know how frustrating the resulting damage and expenses can be. Ponding (pooling) water is one of the biggest difficulties that flat roofs have to contend with. When you install a silicone coating however, you’ll notice a marked improvement in protection against leaks. Unlike many other coating materials, silicone doesn’t chalk after prolonged UV radiation exposure.

Which Roof Coatings Provide the Best Energy Efficiency?

Generally, the most reflective coatings will generate the best energy savings. This light reflection also protects your rooftop from ultraviolet radiation, which naturally degrades almost all forms of roofing. If you’re wondering which roof coatings do this best, you’ll have a few options to choose from:

  • Acrylics
  • Urethane-Modified Acrylic
  • Polyurethane
  • Silicone

Acrylics provide excellent sunlight reflection and UV ray protection for a very affordable cost. While basic acrylic products don’t always perform well in circumstances with pooling water, they can be modified for stronger water-resistance. That’s where urethane-modified acrylics come in handy, as they feature stronger water and impact protection.

Polyurethane flat roof coatings are best known for their durability. They form a strong protective barrier against hail and other forms of impact trauma. Unlike other forms of coatings, polyurethanes endure foot traffic very well. White polyurethane products supply the best energy efficiency with increased sunlight reflection.

We’ve already talked about the benefits of silicone, so we’ll skip to a couple of frequently asked questions that relate to energy efficiency.

Does a White Roof Reflect Heat?

Yes! In the majority of cases, white roofing will reflect a higher percentage of sunlight. As a result, less heat penetrates the rooftop to impact the conditioned air in the building interior. By extension, rooms cool in shorter times, HVAC units can turn off sooner, and less energy is spent cooling the building. Of course, a fully functional cooling and heating system will also conserve energy and save you money. Don’t use a roof coating as an excuse to put off your American Standard gas furnace repair (or whatever hardware maintenance your building needs).

Can Elastomeric Roof Coatings Be Tinted?

Installing a Metal Flat Roof Coating

Even Metal Roofs Can Benefit From a Restorative Flat Roof Coating. Ask Us How!

Yes! In fact, many businesses like to have their roof coating tinted to another color besides white (for style purposes). This is great for rooftops whose color has faded from prolonged UV ray exposure. If you choose to have your flat roof coating tinted, it’s generally recommended to stick with a lighter color and retain your energy-saving benefits.

Schedule Your Flat Roof Coating Today!

If your company’s rooftop is in need of a restorative coating, talk with one of our courteous roofers at Great Lakes Commercial Roofing! We’d be happy to provide you with more information about selecting a coating product and how long installation may take for your roof. Give us a call today at 412-256-8050.

The Dangers of Ponding Water

Flat Roofing System With Damaged Material

Ponding Water Can Degrade Your Roofing Material and Lead to Early Replacement.

Ponding water is a problem that thousands of businesses face every year. It’s a treat that may lead to expensive roof repairs and even early roof replacement. As a business owner, defending your roof is an essential part of getting the most out of your investment. To help you, here is a quick guide on ponding water and how to prevent it!

What is Ponding Water?

Many, if not the majority of companies in the U.S. rely on a flat roofing system for protection. This style of roofing provides alluring space saving features and fast installation. However, flat roofing is particularly vulnerable to ponding water. As rain falls on flat roofing systems, those with poor drainage have a tendency to gather standing water. Unless this water is manually drained from the rooftop, it could stay there for days.

Just as putting off water line repair leads to major plumbing problems, ignoring water ponding on your roof can lead to dangerous consequences for your building. These consequences include:

  • Damaged Paint
  • Pests in the Stagnate Water
  • Corroded Roofing Material
  • Internal Leaks Beneath Your Roof

How to Fix Water Ponding on the Roof

So how do you prevent water from pooling on your rooftop in the future? First off, you need to ensure that your roof can drain properly. In easy circumstances, this may simple mean installing a drain pipe or two to allow rain to flow down from the roof. You might however, need a professional to adjust the gradient of your rooftop so that rain water doesn’t get stuck anymore.

Next, you might also consider installing a protective coating over your roof system. This is especially helpful for aging rooftops with a few cracks here and there, as the right coating will mend cracks and guard the roofing material from future corrosion. There are countless restorative coatings available on the market now; just make sure you choose one that’s waterproof!

Schedule Your Flat Roof Coating Today!

Our roofing professionals would love to help you protect your roofing investment! With one of our Great Lakes Commercial Roofing flat roof coatings, you will enjoy up to ten additional years of functionality from your roofing system. Call us today at 412-256-8050 and ask for an estimate on your restorative coating.

How Often Do You Need To Get a Roof Inspection?

How Often Do You Need To Get a Roof Inspection?

Find Out When You Need a Roof Inspection.

Our commercial roofing systems are one of the best important parts of our building. Not only do they protect us against outside elements, they also keep our buildings warm or cool depending on the season. Because of how important they are, it’s essential to keep them in the best condition. The best way to achieve this is with a professional roof inspection by a certified commercial roofer. We recommend that our clients get a roof inspection twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall. However, if a big storm has passed through Pittsburgh, we suggest that an inspection is completed to make sure the roof doesn’t have any damages. Find out what our commercial roof inspections entail!

What a Commercial Roof Inspection Entails

  • Building Envelope Inspection: We always think its a good idea to evaluate the building’s envelope. This is to ensure that the building as a whole doesn’t have any defects, as this could be a sign that there are damages to the roof.
  • Roof Interior Inspection: This is to see if there are any structural issues with the roof and roof deck.
  • Rooftop Inspection: This is where we can see if there are any defects to your roof. An infrared roof leak inspection is one of the many techniques we use during an inspection.
  • Roof Exterior Inspection: We will inspect areas like your roof flashing and joints to determine if they are in good shape.

If commercial roof inspections in Pittsburgh, PA are something that you need! Call Great Lakes Commercial Roofing at 412-256-8050! We can also provide roof repair and roof installation using Conklin roofing products.

Roof Restoration vs Replacement

roof restoration

Choose a Roof Restoration On Your Roof.

In many cases, people believe that when something pretty serious is going on with their roof, that they should just replace the entire thing and deal with the cost. The idea that repairs will keep needing to be done if anything else is done like a restoration is actually a myth or just a fear. When you choose a company that does a restoration right the first time, a roof restoration is a much better option than having a roof replacement. Companies may try to convince you that you need a replacement, to take your money, but you should always ask around and make sure a roofing company has your best interest at heart. A restoration is not only cheaper for you, but it also will be quicker to finish and take less material. A replacement can be very expensive because in many cases the old roof has to be taken off and then a new one will need to be put on after.

Is Roof Restoration Worth It?

A roof restoration is absolutely worth it. With good workmanship from a solid company, a restored roof can last you around 15 years. If you need a roof to last longer than that and you can spend the money to get a new one, we urge you to take that into consideration, but if you don’t 15 years is a long time. This will also buy you many years to save for a brand new roof when that time comes down the road.

A Green, Energy Efficient Solution

A great way to save money and the environment is to get a roof restoration done. This will use less material and create less waste that ends up in landfills. Overall the material you use for the restoration may or may not be energy efficient depending on what you choose, but the lower usage of material is definitely better for the environment than a replacement.

Call Us Today

Overall the choice is up to you when you need a roof restoration or replacement, but if you have the option, a restoration is a great choice that will keep your roof looking and working great for potentially up to 15 years longer and for much less of the price tag. If you have questions about getting a roof restoration in Pittsburgh, PA, call us at 412-256-8050.