What are cool roofs made of?

black roof with ripples

What are the benefits of a cool roof?

With each and every passing day, it seems that having a cool roof is the cool thing to do. Cool roofing systems are the thing to do when building a new commercial structure and when having your commercial building re-roofed. While everyone should take responsibility in practicing sustainability, the burden lies on companies, starting with their building and their manufacturing or packing next, and a cool roof is the first step beginning with the structure. 

Cool roofing materials effectively reflect the sun’s energy and UV rays from the roof surface. The majority color of a cool roof is bright white, but there are other colors coming out on the market today. A cool roof has a high emissivity that allows them to radiate infrared energy. 

A cool roof can reduce the temperature of a roof to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which reduces the heat that is transferred inside the building through the roof. During summer months, this can assist in lowering the energy bills by keeping the attics and ducts cool. This makes for a more comfortable work environment, reduces maintenance expenses, and increase the lifespan of the roof. The biggest benefit of a cool roof is how it helps to minimize urban heat islands. 

Do Cool Roofs work?

A cool roofing systems delivers higher solar reflectance in comparison to standard roofing. A cool roof reduces the air temp, lowers the demand for power during peak hours, which can help ease possible power outages. Plant emissions power is reduced, and a higher thermal emittance. With the reduction in needed power, the emissions, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, sulfur dioxide, and mercury are reduced too.

How much does roof color affect internal temperature?

Light colors will reflect the UV rays of the sun, deflecting the heat which keeps the interior cooler. Dark colors absorb the heat of the UV rays, keeping the higher the temperature on the upper part of the structure. This is where ceiling fans come in handy. A cool roof is designed to diminish heat absorbed in the roof and can lower the temperature of the interior by 50 degrees.

What color roof is the coolest?

Dark colored roofs can make a 95 degree day feel like 150 degrees on the roof, and that heat penetrates to the interior. A dark roof only reflects around 20 degrees of the UV rays. This is why a cool roof is traditionally white, which reflects over 50 percent of the heat generated by UV rays. An additional benefit of the lighter cool roof is the energy savings by taking less work off the HVAC system. 

cool roofing system

Additional Information on a Cool Roof

As a business owner and a commercial building owner, you need to save money everywhere you can, and the wrong roofing type can cost you money. With the wrong type of roofing, the HVAC system works harder and keeps your employees at the boiling point too. A quote by a cool roofing company could explain your cool roofing options available that can help ease the heat and cool your building.

One option for a commercial building owner is to paint the existing roof white. This is an inexpensive way to create a cool roof when the budget isn’t ready for a longer term cool roof situation. The white pain will reflect the sun’s UV rays and the heat that generates. Can you use another color, as long as it is a “light” color? You can, but it won’t reflect the same amount of UV rays and heat. 

So, why go to the expenses and time to have a cool roof? Here, we list 7 cool roofing uses that can help you justify this project:     

  • Moisture Control: Cool roof surface are susceptible to algae and mold growth in moist, warm climates. With proper roof coating applied by an experienced professional, this issue is eliminated. 
  • Easy Installation: Another reason why you need to hire an experienced professional roofing contractor to install and apply your cool roof. They can be able to apply a cool roof to almost any existing roof. 
  • Cost-Efficient: Installing a new roof is expensive and it likely won’t help with energy costs, unless you have a cool roof installed. For a few more dollars, installing a cool roof, you’ll get your investment money back in energy savings. 
  • Energy-Efficient: As a business owner, your company is under fire for emissions control and going green where possible. An energy-efficient cool roof will lower the emissions from your business while reducing the carbon footprint too. 
  • Extended Life Span: By installing a cool roof, it will deflect heat and prolong the roof’s life because it minimizes heat damage. 
  • Urban Heat Reduction: A cool roof reduces the excess urban island heat, a big concern in metropolitan areas. 
  • Improve Comfort and Health: With a cool roof, your building will be cooler, and this will make for happier and healthier employees, and comfortable customers that aren’t in a hurry to leave.

Cool roofing can provide your business with energy efficiency during those hot months. Call 412-256-8050 today for cool roofing information and installation in Pittsburgh, PA.

What is Involved in Roof Restoration?

roof restoration

What is a Roof Restoration?

Commercial business owners often understand that roof restoration is the eventual services a company will need to keep their roof in good condition. Because general weather patterns naturally break down roofs over time, you will want to know what goes into a roof restoration so that you can remain informed when the need roles around for your business at some point in the future. When you need it, you should expect such roofing services in a restoration like:

  • Minor maintenance and repairs on your roof 
  • Cleaning of the overall surface area
  • Repainting 
  • Application of coating meant to enhance the roof 

Roof restoration should not be confused with replacement or repair. Replacement is as it sounds, a full replacement of the roof because it is either too old or has sustained extensive damages. Repairs meanwhile focus on a specific problem on your roof and solve issues on the roof that would become atrocious later on. Restoration, however, does solve minor damages but is more meant to revitalize the roof by implementing the above services. In that way, a roof restoration is designed to lengthen the lifespan of the roof. Great Lakes Commercial Roofing in Pittsburgh, PA can get you a complete commercial roof restoration offered to be done by the expert roofers that make up our professional team. Call 412-256-8050 today to schedule your appointment and restore your commercial roof.

What is the Best Commercial Roofing Material?

In a general sense, the best roofing material is dependent on the kind of business it is implemented on. For roofs that have an incline, metal roofs tend to be the roof of choice that lasts the longest and takes the most from the environment. Accordingly, the superior flat roofs tend to be made from OVC, TPO, and modified bitumen. Other suggestions for both include: 

  • BUR or built-up roofing 
  • EPDM
  • PVC

Each roof respectively has its own advantages to offer the business owner while generally being more accepting of improvements over their residential counterparts. Roof restoration in this regard can be used to keep the roof of any mentioned kind going longer thanks to the materials that it is built out of. Commercial roofs are generally built up of materials that can be easily repaired and maintained in the long run. When restored, the special coating applied at the end of the service reflects sunlight and offers another layer of resistance to other weather patterns. It also applies to the parts of the roof like flashing, nails, and can serve as an easy way to patch minor leaks.

How long should a Commercial Roof Last?

When considering a roof, lifespan tends to be one of the deciding factors in the decision-making process. There is also the factor of how long things like nails, sealants, and other facets of the roof last while keeping your business safe from the elements. As it pertains to the roofs listed above, one can reasonably expect such a timespan as:

  • Metal Roof: 30 to 50 years
  • OVC: 35 years
  • TPO: 22 to 30 years
  • Modified Bitumen: 20 years
  • BUR: 15 to 20 years
  • EPDM: 20 to 30 Years
  • PVC: 20+ years

When it comes to built-up roofing, a roof tends to last up to when its granules stop being effective at which point it begins to break down and needs a restoration of its top layer. However, when it comes to metal or other slanted roofs, the nails and sealants are of particular importance. Sealant lasts a commercial business owner about ten years before needing reapplication of the coating. Both the level of the thickness the coating is applied and the weather of the area tends to play a factor in how long that pertains to. How you can catch a roof degrading in its parts, layers, or anything else is to get an inspection by an experienced roofer. We at Great Lakes Commercial Roofing can help with that.

roof restoration

Does roof coating stop leaks?

Roof coatings are often accredited in being crucial in preventing much of the damages that can occur to commercial roofs. While they are initially built to be sturdy and resistant, the coating often applied in restoration is responsible for stopping minor leaks and other complications that occur. Particularly when it comes to the flashing and nails, a fresh coating will effectively reseal these spots and keep the roof in fantastic condition. This however is not necessarily the cure-all to roof leaks. When properly done, a roof restoration will be effective to covering minor spots that may cause leaks. Whereas a roof restoration will not necessarily cover significant damages and spots to where your roof will leak. The professional roofer in charge of the roof restoration would offer where the damages are and offer services that would go about fixing each spot. When everything is done properly, a roof restoration adds a solid fifteen years to your roof and maintains it especially well with other services like inspections. Call us at Great Lakes Commercial Roofing in Pittsburgh, PA by dialing 412-256-8050 today to schedule your appointment.

What Should Pennsylvania Residents Expect from Commercial Roofers?

Pennsylvania Commercial Roofer Expectations Cover

Living in Pennsylvania, no matter if it is in Pittsburgh or throughout the State, offers its own unique set of experiences and challenges.

This is especially true for commercial business owners. This is because their roofing systems need to stand up to a specific set of circumstances and need to remain durable yet flexible. Most of all, it needs to be able to do that when the weather turns and the climate gets cold, cold, cold.

Perhaps your business finds itself in need of a completely new roofing system. This can be due to damage to the old system – rips, tears, holes, leaks, and a plethora of other things – or it can just be that the current roofing system is well past its age and needs to be swapped out with a new one.

Knowing what to expect when getting a new commercial roof in Pennsylvania is important so that you can get the proper roofing system for your needs. A new roof is too large of an investment to go wrong choosing the type and this guide will be what you need to know what to expect when searching for a new roof.

Roof Size

Obviously, the first thing that you need to know is exactly how much square footage you are dealing with. If you have a larger roof, it makes sense that the installation costs will be much higher than they may have been for a smaller roofing system.

Keep this in mind if you think that replacing the roof entirely is something that needs to be done. Your budget will have to adjust for the size (and cost) of the larger roof, so it may wind up being in your best interests to go with a repair or perhaps a reinforced membrane that can go over the top.

It is also important to know the size of the roof because this is not something you can tackle a little at a time. You have to do the entirety of the roof or none of it at all. This is because not giving the entire roof the same treatment can lead to parts of the roof being more vulnerable than others to different types of wear and tear.

Roof Layout

While the size is certainly important, the layout is just as important. This is because your roof may have a number of different ridges and surfaces that need addressing. Even if you have a flat roof, there are definitely things that need to be made apparent when looking into changing out your roofing system.

If your roof is more complex – containing more ridges, vents, and other surfaces, it will take a lot more time and effort on the part of the roofing contractor to get the job done. Keep that in mind as well when determining the costs involved.

Most quality contractors will come out to your commercial property, assess the roof, and give you a quote as to what the entire process will cost. This will give you a better idea of the sort of financial undertaking that you will have facing you when replacing your current roofing system.

Roofing Materials

This is arguably the biggest determining factor in what it will cost to have your roof replaced. Depending on what you go with, the costs can be relatively low per square foot or they can be quite expensive. It all depends on the level of durability that you are looking to get out of your particular system.

Flexibility in roofing material is important as well. Flexibility is more important in an area with colder climates like East Pittsburgh because those materials will constantly expand and contract as the weather shifts. This can lead to additional wear and tear on the roofing system that can lead to earlier repairs or replacement.

Asphalt shingles are the most commonly used roofing material that there is for commercial roofing. This is because the installation is relatively cheap and easy and they are able to provide reliable, sturdy, durable coverage to your roof.

Depending on the kind of asphalt roof that you go with, the seams that are in the roofing system can be completely waterproof, keeping your roof from dealing with those nasty leaks that can really become a problem for both the roof and the rest of your building.

For flat roofing, there is a modified bitumen roofing system that provides seamless installation. This keeps the water out across the entirety of the roof and limits the chances of things like puncture due to foot traffic.

Depending on the kind of bitumen roof that you get, some are even capable of offering UV resistance. This means that the sun’s rays won’t penetrate the roof, heating up your building in the process. When this is the case, it means that your building is better able to regulate its temperature without help from the HVAC system. That can run up your energy costs substantially.

Lastly, there is the option for clay tile but it is very expensive to install as in $16,000-$25,000 for 1,500 square footage. Clay is meant to last an extremely long time but the upfront investment is substantial, so keep that in mind.

As always, ask for a quote before agreeing to anything. This will give you a better idea of not only what each kind of material would cost but which roofing professionals would be the best option for finding a new roof at a cost-effective price.

Roof Pitch

Generally speaking, if you have a steeply pitched roof, the costs will be greater for the project. With a flat or low steeped roof, you’re not having to put more time into it. A steeply pitched roof is more difficult to walk if it is walkable at all and comes with a far greater cost.

There is also a higher risk when installing shingles on a steep roof because the costs will be substantially higher than a traditional low steep or flat roof. Ultimately, there are a number of factors that need to be weighed when it comes to getting your roof done and there are things that you may not have even considered along the way.

Roofing Layers

Multiple layers on a roofing structure means that multiple redundancies are in place. What does this mean, exactly? It means that should one of the layers become compromised – ripped, punctured, peeled, cracked, etc.  – that there are other layers to pick up the slack.

This means that should any of the roofing layers fail, the roof will still do its job. It is recommended that you replace that damaged or destroyed layer of roofing membrane, but it won’t require immediate or emergency attention that can lead to greater costs.

But keep in mind: the more layers there are on your roof, the higher the costs will be. This can be exacerbated if there are old layers of the roof that need to be removed in order to install the new roofing. This means higher labor costs as well as dumping fees for disposing of the old layer of roofing system.

The number of layers will likely be determined by the material that you are using and the life of the previous roof. If your area is prone to more inclement weather, it would be wise to go with something a bit stronger and longer-lasting in nature.


Labor costs can depend on a few different things. Your area will likely have several different options when it comes to roofing contractors. Keep in mind that the skill and availability of that roofer will likely dictate the cost.

Don’t immediately cheap out on labor. The old saying goes “you get what you pay for” and the cheapest possible labor can lead to subpar work that will only need to be corrected later on down the line. Keep that in line when looking at your roofing budgets.

Final Thoughts about Local Commercial Roofing

It should go without saying that your roof is essential to your commercial business. If anything goes wrong, it can not only mean a substantial cost to you to have it repaired but it can lead to service or production interruptions that can have an impact on the bottom line as well.

In Pennsylvania, where the summers are very hot and the winters very cold, it is important to make certain that your roof can stand up to the wear and tear that the changing of the seasons brings on. This is in addition to high winds and storms that may strike the area.

Your roof will go through a lot in a more inclement location like Pennsylvania. Make certain that you get the roofing system that you need to keep the weather at bay and keep you from having to replace your roof in short order.

Great Lakes Commercial Roofing has you covered. Your investment will keep your roof protected and your business humming without having to worry about what kind of damage could lay ahead. That is an important peace of mind to have.

Signs Your Commercial Roof Needs Repair

Signs Your Commercial Roof Needs Repair

When your Pittsburgh commercial building roof begins to fail, it can be either plainly obvious or so subtle that you may not initially notice it. A lack of awareness can lead to further damage to your roofing system like leaks; these leaks can spread into the rest of your building and cause further damage.

It would be more beneficial to identify these issues quickly so that you can have proper roof repairs implemented. But not being able to see those signs doesn’t change the fact that damage can be done.

So, what are some signs to look for when your Pittsburgh commercial business roof is beginning to fail and needs repairs? After all, in Pittsburgh, the weather can be quite temperamental and lead to damages of all sorts like leaks and wind damage.

Roof Bubbles

If you happen to notice bubbles or blisters on your roof during a routine inspection, it could be a sign that the roof was improperly applied. Generally speaking, these bubbles or blisters can start out subtle and become more noticeable over time.

Bubbles are usually the result of moisture that gets trapped under the roofing materials. The water eventually evaporates and the result is the formation of those bubbles or blisters across your roof.

What’s really bad about having blisters or bubbles is that they can easily allow water to eventually seep through the roof. This can cause heavy damage to the building itself, leading to more costly repairs down the line. Keep an eye out on those bubbles; quick action can mean resolving the problem without having to implement substantial repairs or, worse, a complete replacement.

Sagging Areas

Flat roofs are meant to be level and even because the roof is built to handle a certain amount of weight, both per square foot and all across the entirety of the roof. If you do notice that areas of your roof are sagging, you should call in a professional service immediately.

In Pittsburgh, the sagging of your roof can be due to a number of different factors. Accumulated moisture is probably the biggest cause, especially when snow is involved (and in Pittsburgh, it can be involved). You can help prevent sagging by clearing your roof whenever there is a buildup of moisture or snow.

There can also be an additional weight that is put on if new roofing materials are laid down over the top of the old ones. While that might seem like an easier method of installation, you should always keep in mind that the roof is constructed to handle a certain amount of weight and that roofing system will only be adding more weight to the mix.

Moisture Infiltration

This is perhaps one of the most foolproof ways to confirm that your roof is having issues. You will see signs that the interior of your building has been dealing with something like a leak because there will be water soaking into areas of the building, primarily the roof.

Some of the most common signs are things like water stains on the ceiling or perhaps water dripping down the walls in a hall or corridor. These are the most obvious of issues and may not always be there.

Sometimes it can be far more subtle things. If you notice that there is a musty, damp smell coming from the roof, that can be indicating sign that things are wrong with your roof. When you do notice these signs, it is important that you not ignore them.

Acting quickly when you notice a leak in your roof can help you get the repairs that you need to be done to extend the life of your roof and protect the rest of the building as well. Ignoring leaks can have a potentially catastrophic result, so do not ignore leaks should you notice them.

Seaming Gaps

The vast majority of roofing systems will require seams that connect the waterproof materials together over the roof’s decking. There will be times that water will be able to make its way through the seaming and manage to soak into the roof.

This means that you may have to assess the seaming of your roof to make sure that there are no gaps that could be compromised. If you do notice any gaps or aren’t sure if those gaps exist, it might be in the best interest of your roof to call in a professional.

These gaps are what give the roof its waterproof integrity and if they are compromised at any point, so too are the waterproof qualities of your roof. When this happens, your roof is much more susceptible to water damage. This means potentially costly repairs down the line that could have been avoided otherwise.

Clogged Drains

This is one sign of roof damage this is often overlooked. If you happen to notice that the volume of water coming from the exterior downspouts is not what you might expect based on the amount of water landing on your roof, this could be a sign.

Check out the roof and look for any signs that your drain is clogged or that water has been collecting on the roof. If you leave ponds of water on the roof, it will eventually lead to the deterioration of the insulation layer.

When that pooling happens, it means that the water will eventually soak into the roof itself and cause substantial damage, potentially to other areas of your commercial building. It cannot be understated: do not let water damage to accumulate on your roof because it can do substantial damage to the rest of your building.

General maintenance and bi-annual inspections can help keep those drains working optimally, keeping your roof free and clear of water buildup that can lead to serious damage.

Failed Flashings

Flashings are one of the most important components of your roof. This is because they are used to create a sealing between the areas that join your roof with other structures like a chimney or vent. Those flashings can also be used where two different roofing materials meet and the angle does not allow for the overlapping of those materials to be used as a seal.

If the flashings on your commercial roof have been poorly attached, are deteriorating, or missing entirely, it could be a clear indication that there is something wrong with your roof. Depending on the issue, it could potentially wait for a little while, but it is recommended that you don’t let it sit for too long.

Should your flashings be damaged or missing, it can lead to water infiltration. Don’t hesitate to call a professional roofing service if you do notice these things as infiltration of water can lead to substantial damage to both the roofing system and the rest of the building.

Aging Roof

While there is definitely a litany of other signs to be aware of when it comes to the health of your commercial roof, sometimes it just comes down to the simple fact that your roof is on its final legs and has seen more than its fair share of wear and tear.

It can be difficult to know precisely when your roof is too old, but if it is 25 years old or more, it’s probably a good idea to think about replacing the roofing system entirely. Even under optimal conditions, a roof will have sustained substantial wear and tear throughout the years, meaning it only has so much life left in it.

It is a good idea when purchasing a commercial building that you have the roof inspected. Even if the previous owner says that the roof is in optimal condition, an inspection will verify that assessment and ensure that your roof is working optimally.

Final Assessment

Being able to see damage to your roof is a difficult thing to do from the ground. It is never advised that you get up on your own roof as too many things can go wrong for those without the proper level of experience.

The best course of action is to call in a professional inspector to take a look at your roof at least twice a year. This will keep you on top of leaks, cracks, breaks, damaged seams, and all the other things that lead to roof damage.

Preventative maintenance is a good rule of thumb in just about any scenario but it is especially recommended when it comes to a pricey investment like a roof. If you don’t pay attention to it, the damage could occur and be allowed to persist for far too long.

Instead, invest in a couple of inspections per year so that you can stay up to date on repairs when they need to take place. This might cost a little in the short term, but it will likely save you a ton in the long run because it will keep those costly repairs at bay.

When it comes to your commercial roofing system, especially in an inclement climate like Pittsburgh, a little care can go a long way.

Call Great Lakes Commercial Roofing at 412-256-8050 for a free estimate

What are metal roof materials?

green metal roof on a stucco house

Durable roofing for your property

Metal roofing for commercial buildings isn’t anything new, they’ve been a standard part of the construction for years, but why? What gauge is commercial metal roofing need to be that it is strong enough for a commercial structure? Well, 29 gauge is the recommended gauge for commercial metal roofing. Does that number seem small to you, so it would logically mean it is thinner?

If you aren’t familiar with how metal measures, it is like sandpaper.  The smaller the number, the thicker metal is and with sandpaper, the smaller the number, the rougher the grit. If you’re more of a logical thinker that bigger is thicker, just remember to turn it around for metal and sandpaper! If you were to put metal roofing on your home, you would be wise to go with a 26-gauge metal. If your business or home is located in an area prone to hailstorms and high winds, roofing experts would recommend with a commercial metal roofing, go with a 24-gauge metal.

Is a metal roof loud when it rains?

Not any more than an asphalt roof! Surprised? Yes, at one time, commercial metal roofing was as noisy as the metal roofing on your grandpa’s barn. Today, though, commercial metal roofing isn’t installed over the building’s roofing surface. That leads to the question, so How do you install metal roofing then?

Today, when commercial metal roofing is installed, strong sheathing goes on first, and if there is an existing roofing surface, they install the sheathing first. This reduces the noise from hail, rain, windblown debris, and other things that would typically make a loud noise on any residential or commercial metal roofing. In fact, it can sometimes be even quieter than other roofing materials, especially asphalt roofing.

Another myth about metal roofs is the lack of energy efficiency and sturdiness. So, yes, if you have been in an old metal barn during the winter, it is cold, especially if the wind is blowing hard and strong. Today’s commercial metal roofing isn’t like that, and that is mainly because of how it is installed – the sheathing.  The sheathing that is installed first does a lot for making a commercial metal roofing quiet and making it energy efficient and strong.

What do you use to seal a metal roof?

If it is a brand-new commercial metal roofing is installed, or you’re having an old one restored, you need to know that it has suitable water penetration protection. Metal roofing comes in panels and an experienced, professional roofing contractor will attach those individual panels to each other by snapping them together using rubber grommets, fasten them to the roof decking.

If this is a new commercial metal roofing, they use butyl seam tape or other types of metal sealer on the joints and seams where the metal panels meet. It is also applied over any fasteners that well that butyl caps to ensure good sealant.

With a commercial metal roofing restoration project, the fasteners, joints, nails, and seams are prone to dilapidate with rust which allows water to penetrate, as such, thorough re-sealing with new metal roof sealer is needed. Experienced commercial metal roofing contractors will use butyl tape, butyl caps, or some other approved metal roofing sealant on these detailed areas.

After installation of the metal roof sealers is complete, and any rust has been primed or removed, a base coating is applied, sometimes with customized reinforced polyester fabric is placed in areas that need extra strength. Then a topcoat is applied, leaving a fully restored commercial metal roofing that is UV protected and is waterproof. 

What is the best color of metal roof for energy savings?

Commercial metal roofing can be fifty to sixty degrees cooler when you go with a light color like beige, blue, light bronze or light green, peach, or white. The hotter the climate, the lighter the color is recommended by roofing contractors.

metal roof on a warehouse

What are the disadvantages of a metal roof?

We’ve talked about the good that commercial metal roofing offers, but like anything, there are disadvantages too.

  • Affordability – commercial metal roofing can cost 2 to 3 times more than other materials you may be considering.
  • Noisier – while commercial metal roofing of today is quieter than years before, it can still be noisier than other roofing materials during hard, heavy rain, hailstorms, etc.
  • Movement – commercial metal roofing contracts and expands with the temperature, which can cause it to loosen from the fasteners and begin leaking if regular inspection and maintenance aren’t done.
  • Color Matching – if replacement panels are ever needed during a repair, the color will be inconsistent due to the original panels being exposed to the elements that fade the color some.

If metal roofing sounds like something you want on your commercial building but you’re not sure where to get started, the Internet will give you listings of roofing contractors. Type in the search bar, “Commercial metal roofing near me” or “Commercial metal roofing contractors near me”, and you’ll probably get 100s to choose from.

Get written quotes from 2 to 3 different ones and compare them to each other.  Remember, cheaper is not necessarily the best, even if your budget is tight.  It could end up costing you twice as much later. For your commercial metal roofing in Pittsburgh, PA, call Great Lakes Commercial Roofing at 412-256-8050 today.

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!