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What is the difference between built up roofing and modified bitumen?

modified bitumen roof

What does built up roof mean?

Flat roof structures have several choices in what type of roofing material to use. Which one can depend on the climate and environment where the structure is located, and of course, the owner’s budget has a big part of that decision too.  Many structures around the country choose to go with a built up roof system. 

A built up roof consists of layers called, is also referred to as BUR, is a flat roofing system that consists of layers, or membranes, like reinforcing fabric, tar paper, and other materials in a sequence to ensure adherence to the structure roof. Those multiple layers ‘build up’, hence the name “built up roof”. 

The built up roof system became popular in the 1970s and was called “tar and gravel” roofing. The result of the alternating layers or piles of these different materials, known as bitumen,  created a finished membrane that protected the structure in various types of climates and elements. Bitumen consist of asphalt, coal tar, and cold-applied adhesive. The gravel part of “tar and gravel” built up roof is the last layer applied and may be a crushed stone or gravel. 

How do you install a built up roof?

One thing for sure, a built up roof construction isn’t a DIY kind of job!  The built up roof is simple looking by the untrained, but rest assure, there is a reason you need a professional roofing contractor install your built up roof system. Still, curiosity is there, so we share these basics of installing a built up roof with you: 

The installation process has four steps. 

  • Base sheets are attached to the subsystem with roofing nails.
  • A layer of either an adhesive, asphalt, concrete, or tar is then applied.
  • A layer of cap sheets or gravel are applied next.
  • Then a final layer of asphalt is poured and spread over the surface.

Doesn’t sound that complicated or hard, but there is an exact to this process that is learned with experience.  Knowing how much to apply for each layer and how many layers is key to a successful built up roof installation. Another keynote to understand about a built up roof installation is the asphalt is hot and must be spread over the roof quickly and evenly. 

How much does built up roofing weight?          

The following weight values are only for a general purpose of built up roof systems. For exact dead load weight, your roofing contractor should have that information available from the manufacturer. These are important numbers that roofing contractors must consider because of the engineering calculations for what the structure can withstand is critical.

3 ply Built up Roofing with Smooth-Surface2.33 pounds per square foot
4 ply Built up Roofing Membrane with Gravel-Surface6.3 pounds per square foot
4 ply Built up Roofing Membrane with Smooth-Surface2.58 pounds per square foot

How do you repair a built up roof?         

For an asphalt based built up roof with gravel, repairs can be made using the following steps: 

  • Clean the surface needing repair. This is critical in order for the next steps to adhere and provide the protection you need. This includes removing the gravel which can be done with the flat side of a pry bar to scrape the gravel away, going in one direction, for a six inch diameter around the area to be repaired. 
  • Once the gravel is thoroughly removed, brush the area clean of any dirt and dust. 
  • Prime the surface with a liquid asphalt primer using a brush or roller. Allow the primer to flash off so there isn’t any excess on the surface.
  • Cut 2 patches of fabric larger than the area being repaired. One patch should be at least 4 inches larger all the way around and the second patch 6 inches larger all the way around. 
  • With a trowel, spread the asphalt flashing cement to the area needing repair, keeping it uniform in thickness and spreading 4 to 6 inches out around the area being repaired. 
  • Now place the four inch piece of fabric and imbed it into the cement with the trowel.
  • Using the trowel, apply an additional layer of the asphalt flashing cement over that patch, extending past the 4-inch patch you just installed and spread out past the are the 6″ patch will take to ensure the 4-inch patch is well covered in all directions. 
  • Apply your finishing coat of asphalt mastic over that last patch and then reset the gravel your cleaned off earlier so the repair area is concealed, and you have a uniform appearance with the entire roof. 

A flat roof is typical of most commercial buildings because of the many benefits it offers a large size building. They are often a built up roof that is created by alternating a layers or stacks of bitumen as we have discussed earlier. Another option for a built up roof system is the modified-bitumen roof, which is comprised of asphalt and plastic, or sometimes rubber polymers. This method is a safer application with some benefits that the traditional built up roof system doesn’t offer like flexibility, redundancy, and UV resistance.

flat roof with bitumen

What are the built up roof pros and cons?

For a large commercial or industrial structure, built-up roofing and waterproofing are necessary. A flat built up roof is cost-efficient in construction, and post-construction it provides a larger area for HVAC system and more.  The pros of a built up roof are: 

  • Multiple layers of protection create the needed watertight barrier that will last for years.
  • Inexpensive to build and maintain. 
  • Tolerates the harsh elements of the weather year round.
  • Exceptionally resistant to the UV rays, transferring that to lower cooling and heating expense.
  • A built up roof system provides a high ROI for up to 40 years.

Need help with your built up roof in Houston, TX? Call 281-300-4363 today!

What Does a Commercial Roof Consultant Do?

flat roofing system

What is a commercial roof consultant?

Never mind what is a commercial roof consultant, but why do you need a commercial roof consultant? When you own or manage a commercial property, there are many concerns involved. Not only from a financial perspective, but safety for employees, guests, and visitors as well as the environment. With all the different commercial roofing materials on the market, it can be difficult to know which is the better choice for your building. That is where a commercial roof consultant comes into the picture. 

The roofing industry, commercial or residential, isn’t blind to the lack of ethics this industry is known to have because of a few bad seeds. A commercial roof consultant is professional in the commercial roofing industry that can be trusted. They are a person that commercial building owner or manager can depend on to provide expert advice. 

What does a roof consultant do?

The advice a commercial roof consulting provides covers all facets of commercial roofing. Commercial roof restoration and roof replacement projects have many different components and factors that a commercial roof consultant must be familiar with and able to provide valuable advice. 

Hiring a General Contractor doesn’t mean that every job under their watch will be completed with 100% success, including the roof. Having a commercial roof contractor is a way to be educated and informed on every aspect of the roof, especially in areas that may be unknown. 

Some elements that a commercial roofing consultant will cover with the owner or manager of a commercial structure include:

  • The Total Cost
  • The Materials Used
  • The Installation of the Roof
  • The Equipment Used for Installation

A commercial roof consultant will answer a building owner or manger questions like the following: 

What is the best material to use for flat roofs?

Most commercial structures have a flat or low sloped roof. Flat roofs are known to leak and need constant repairs, so before dropping a big part of the company’s budget, this is a common question. Still, because of the flexibility a flat roof offer, they are still a primary architectural choice.  

So, choosing the flat roof material that is right for a building’s flat roof is important to the lifespan of the roof. No commercial building owner wants to have to replace the roof again any time soon! 

Fortunately, there is a wide choice of roofing material options and a commercial roof consultant will review these with their client. The consultant will advise which ones would be the best based on the size of the building, the budget, and the climate where the building is situated. The following are the most common choices: 

Single Layer Membrane Roof

By far, more commercial roofing consultants recommend this roof membrane the most  because of the advanced technologies they offer. Common names in the industry are elastomeric and plastomeric, single-ply roofing material with several categories, each having a set of benefits for different commercial buildings. Those categories are: 

  • Chlorosulfonated Polyethylene Sheet and Chlorinated polyethylene 
  • EPD (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer)
  • Neoprene (polychloroprene)
  • Polymer-modified bitumens
  • PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)

EPDM is the highly popular single-ply membrane commercial roofing material and is referred to as a “rubber” roof. This material is also popular in residential roofing today. 

BUR – Built-Up Roofing

A traditional commercial roofing material that  solves several problems for flat and low-pitched roofing. Used for over a century and still popular today because of its durability and longevity. 

BUR installation process is the layering and overlapping layers of roofing felt that is impregnated and embedded with asphalt in bitumen.

Installed with a hot mop soaked in coal-tar pitch to blend deeply with bitumen roofing felt. This mixture creates a shiny roofing membrane and strong monolithic membrane. A compressed stone granule is installed after the five layers of felt are installed protect it against the elements and UV rays.

Modified Bitumen Roofing 

Like the BUR roofing, modified bitumen has been around since the 19th century and in the 1960s a replacement technology was developed. Using BUR technology with multiple layers of roofing and cap sheets made of polymer that increase the life span and material’s strength.

This type of roofing can be installed in different manner and a commercial roofing consultant will review the pros and cons of each with the building owner, suggesting which is the better choice for their particular building. Among those different installation processes are: 

  • Cold application
  • Hot application
  • Self-Adhered application
  • Torch application

Among the advice and information that a commercial roofing consultant includes is the benefit of the polymer. With the polymer added into these roofing sheets, the elasticity and flexibility are increased and ideal for cold regions. 

What is the longest lasting roofing material?

In the commercial roofing industry, most commercial roof consultants and roofers will recommend a PVC membrane. The ease of installing it is only overshadowed by its longevity up to 30 years. There are several commercial roofing contractors that only work with this longest-lasting flat roofing material.

How long do rubber roofs last?

Commercial rubber roofing today can last fifty years or longer because it is made differently than in years past.  The sun’s UV and the ultraviolet rays aren’t as harmful to the rubber roof as before and they withstand hail and high winds better too. 

What is the useful life of a commercial roof?

With the aid of a professional commercial roof consultant and experienced commercial roofing, you can get up to 40 years life out of your commercial roof.  This also requires proper maintenance and upkeep by the property owner with any repairs made promptly. 

flat roof with water damage

What is the difference between commercial roof consultant vs roofer?

If your commercial building needs simple repairs from weather issues or normal wear and tear, a professional roofing contractor is the right choice. They can make repairs, apply patches, install flashings, and recoat your roof if needed.  They can also install a full new roof if you already know what you need and want. 

If you’re looking for help in choosing a commercial roofing material that  is less likely to leak as it ages and can provide the best energy efficiency for the tenants, a commercial roof consultant would be the better choice. A commercial roof consultant will usually work with a set of roofing contractors and will guide you in working with the best one. 

If you aren’t sure how to find a commercial roof consultant, using the internet is one of the best tools we have available today. You can also ask the General Contractor you’re working with and other owners of commercial structures. Call 281-300-4363 today for your commercial roof consultant needs in Houston, TX.

What do roof inspectors look for?

shingled roof

Are roof inspections necessary?

Your first question may be, “Why do I need a roof inspection?”, and in this article, we’re going to discuss the different reasons that you may need a roof inspection. One example would be when you buy a house, there are several steps required to get the financing. Your credit history and employment history, then the house you want has to go through some requirements too. From wood destroying insect inspection to engineering inspection, and that includes a roof inspection. The lender wants to make sure you’re not buying a house that needs costly repairs that could hinder you making your payments. 

A roof inspection for insurance may be requested by an insurance company, even if you already live in the house but maybe you’re changing companies or increasing your coverage. That is because the insurance company doesn’t want to insure a house that the roof is in danger of collapsing or that there aren’t any leaks.

Other times a roof inspection may be needed is after a storm or other damaging situation. A professional roofing and the insurance adjuster will need to do a roof inspection and repair costs will be determined by what they find. As a homeowner, you should also have routine schedule for roof inspection and cleaning. This allows you to find any possible issues that need to be addressed by a professional roofing contractor. 

What should I expect from a roof inspection?

Depending on the size of the house, usually within 45 minutes to an hour, a roof contractor will A  look for roof leaks, the age, the wear and tear, any algae, lichen, mildew, or mold on the roof, any windblown debris damage, or other issues and problems that could lead to a roof leak. 

How do you perform a roof inspection?

The typical recommendation for a home roof inspection is once every twelve months or after a significant weather event. If you’re planning to place your home on the market, you should a roof inspection done. This gives you the opportunity to price your house accordingly if repair or replacement is needed. A professional roof inspection checklist will include the following: 

  • Inspect the Interior: The roof contractor will inspect the interior of your home looking for water intrusion evidence. This will include the attic where aging, leaking, moisture, and mold are visible. They will check for openings found by streaks of light coming through the roof and they will check the insulation too as a recommendation. 
  • Inspect the Exterior: Next, the roofing contractor will walk around your home and on the roof, looking for indications of any damage. This includes missing shingles, damaged or missing flashing, cracked caulk, missing mortar on chimney, etc. 
  • The Estimate: After the roofing contractor has completed their inspection, they will prepare an estimate for repairs or replacement. If this roof inspection was for insurance purpose, a copy will go to the insurance company. If the roof inspection is for a pending real estate sale, a copy is giving to both the owner and the buyer. 

How often should you get your roof inspected?

Once a year is the minimum frequency, but the general recommendation for a roof inspection is twice a year. As the homeowner, you should perform a monthly inspection yourself and hire a professional roofing contractor one at the end of spring and again during the fall before winter arrives. 

Why twice a year? Because the temperature changes can affect your roofing as well as the UV rays and weather. By having a roof inspection done with this frequency, you can stay ahead of potential problems. All roofing materials have different lifespans, some longer than other, and with the many different factors that can affect a roof, routine inspections are highly recommended.

roof with damage

How long do residential roofs last?

Most homeowners aren’t aware of their roof’s condition, which is why a routine roof inspection is recommended. If you don’t realize the condition of your roof, it may be too late when you realize there is a problem. 

A roof inspection is one way to keep abreast of your roof’s lifespan and knowing how old the roof is another key factor in a roof’s lifespan. So, how long should your roof last? 

The typical lifespan of a roof is affected by many different factors: 

  • The roofing material
  • The local climate
  • The maintenance and care
  • The installation
  • Natural disasters
  • Unexpected disasters

Basic roof expectancy for asphalt shingles averages 20 years. Copper, slate, and tile roofing has a life expectancy of 50 years or longer while a wood shake roof will last up to 30 year and fiber cement shingled roof is 25 years. 

Your care and maintenance of your roof, including DIY roof inspections and professional roof inspections, will give you the longest lifespan. Schedule a professional roof inspection at least once a year, twice a year is better, and after any significant weather events like hail and high winds. Call 281-300-4363 today for roof inspection in Houston, TX.

What is stone coated roofing tiles?

stone coated steel roof

What is a stone coated steel roof? 

In the year’s past, when you thought of metal roofing, it would be that old barn in your grandparent’s pasture, all bent and rusted. Then we started seeing metal roofing on commercial structures, before long, they are showing up on homes in the city and urban areas. Yet, they were still just metal roofs, until they started coming in different colors and now, we have stone coated steel roofs, bringing a whole new design factor to the game. 

A stone coated steel roof has combined the strength of metal with shake, shingle, or tile roof appearance and we have a new design feature that custom home builders and commercial structure designers are clamoring after. Instead of the typical asphalt shingle roofing what needs replacing in 20 years or less, this stone coated steel roof is virtually a lifetime roof that will always look great. 

A stone coated steel roof is exactly what it sounds like. The stone coated metal roof details starts with rolled steel sheets in a 24- or 26-gauge and is coated with a rust-prevention coating. Then a coating of stone chips are applied, secured by an acrylic film to the steel roofing material. The results are an aesthetic pleasing, durable roof that is going to be popping up on new and existing commercial and residential properties more in the next few years. 

Are steel roofs better than shingles?             

Both asphalt shingles and stone coated steel roofing offer a variety of looks, the choice should be based on longevity of the material.  An asphalt roof will last maybe 20 years, depending the quality of the shingle you choose. A stone coated steel roof will cost you more up front, but the longevity is forever. 

What are the pros and cons of a metal roof?

Like all roofing materials, stone coated steel roof material has its pros and cons. It is the owner of the commercial structure or residence to determine if the pros of stone coated roof outweighs the expense. We’ll review the cons first and whatever stone coated steel roofing problems you can expect: 

The Cons of a Stone Coated Steel Roof

  • Upfront Expense: A stone coated steel roof is not going to be cheap. Know that now and be prepared for sticker shock. Know your maximum budget ahead of time and keep reading to find out why you should find that extra funding to have this roof material installed. 
  • Noise: Hail and rain can be loud in a metal roofed structure, including a stone coated steel roof. This can be minimized greatly during installation though; ask the roofing contractor you’re working with about installing a roof deck of solid sheathing to provide a barrier that will deaden the loud noise. If you haven’t installed and updated the insulation in your attic yet, while having a stone coated steel roof installed, now is the time to get that insulation to help quieten the loud noise. 

Well, that is it for the cons! Now for the Pros of a Stone Coated Steel Roof

  • Long Lifespan: Steel roofing is known to have a long life span, up to 70 years or longer, when installed properly and maintained over time. Your common asphalt shingle roof may give you 20 years maximum.  Yes, a stone coated steel roof is going to cost more than an asphalt roof, but you’ll never have to worry with replacing the roof again. 
  • Durable: A stone coated steel roof will withstand whatever Mother Nature sends, from hail, strong rains, and high winds, because it is a heavy material, it isn’t going anywhere easily! 
  • Minimal Maintenance: Asphalt roofing material should be inspected on a regular routine to keep any small issues under control and repaired before becoming big problems. A stone coated steel roof is virtually maintenance free. The thick shield it gives your home or commercial structure will keep it safe in all types of weather conditions, eliminating most repair costs that traditional roofing is known to have after hailstorms and windstorms.
  • Versatile Aesthetic Pleasing: Stone coated steel roof is not only functional for the essential purpose of a roof but provides a beautiful style too. A stone coated steel roof comes in a wide range of colors, designs, and textures making it easy to find the right one for your home or commercial structure.
  • Energy Efficient: Rumor would leave you to believe that having a steel roof will make your home or commercial structure hot inside during the summer. This is a rumor and misconception! A stone coated steel roof will reflect the heat and UV rays, lowering your energy expenses. 

 What is the best gauge for a metal roof?

For residential stone coated steel roof, the 29 gauge is most recommended.  It is the heavy to withstand weather but not so heavy that special engineering is required for structural support. If your home is located in an area where hailstorms are prevalent, a 24 gauge is recommended. 

For commercial structure , 12 gauge and 14 gauge are excellent options with the 14 gauge the lighter and more economical choice. Again, if located in a hailstorm prone area, the 14 gauge would be the better choice because of the thickness.

Then there is the question of which is best when it comes to stone coated steel roofing vs standing seam roofing? After reading and researching, it is hard to deny that a stone coated steel roof will outlast the conventional asphalt roofing material for any residential structure. Any type of metal roofing offers a longevity which makes it the dominant choice for many homeowners and commercial structure owners today. 

When aesthetics are the priority,  stone coated steel roof material will beat the standing seam metal roof every time. There are other disadvantages to standing seam metal roofing too that makes the stone coated steel roof the first choice for most home and commercial structure owners: 

  • Oil canning – ripples and waves before, during, and  after installation. 
  • Contraction and expansion – constant change in the temperature can cause the fasteners of standing seam metal roof to come loose. 
  • Color matching – any replacement panels to standing seam will be difficult to match the color.
  • Corrosion – improper installation will result in ponding water, leading to corrosion and rust. 
Stone coated steel roofing system

 Can you walk on stone coated steel roof?

Walking on stone coated steel roof has a high-level rating!  Yes, you can walk on a stone coated steel roof and the walkability score is increased based on the installation method using the right stone coated steel tools. Discuss the different installation methods with your roofing contractor that will provide that increase in walkability. 

When you consider all things in this article, the pros outweigh the drawbacks for installing a stone coated steel roof. The number one benefit for any homeowner or commercial structure owner is knowing that this will be the last roof you’ll ever have to budget! Call 281-300-4363 today for your stone coated steel roofing needs.

Do I need soffit and fascia?

soffit & fascia along roof

Soffit & Fascia

Yes, if you want your roof to be attached to the house, the soffits and fascia on a house are an important part of that component. After this brief explanation in the next two paragraphs, keep reading for more information about soffit & fascia, and what do soffits and fascias do. 

Without the fascia part of soffit & fascia, the roof wouldn’t be connected at the rafters and it there would be open space from the outside into the attic. Does your home have a gutter system? Without fascia boards, there wouldn’t be any way to fasten the gutters to the house. 

Okay, so that makes sense, but what about the soffit part of soffit & fascia? Without the soffit, there would be a missing part of the architectural elements across the eaves. However, the more important function of the soffit is  providing the rafters protection from the elements by keeping moisture away. Without the soffit, which is connected to fascia, the ends of the rafters would absorb moisture. Moisture leads to mildew and mold, and that leads to wood rot and destruction. So, yes, your house needs soffit & fascia! 

What goes on first fascia or soffit?

If you’re upgrading your home’s exterior with new siding, the soffit & fascia should be upgraded at the same time to match. As to when it comes to soffits and fascia installation, is the soffit and fascia or siding first? The soffit is the determining factor of the corner post positioning inside and outside the structure. Most contractors will install the J-channel first, then soffit, and the fascia last.

Does roof replacement include fascia?

Usually, yes, because the fascia is important to the roof’s health as a protecting component to the elements. As the roof ages and weathers, so do the fascia as it protects the siding or wooden boards. The fascia is that finishing edge that runs vertically and connects the roof to the rafters and trusses. It caps off the horizontal rafter boards and is where gutters are attached. 

Can you save money on a roofing job by declining the fascia to be replaced during a roofing job? Yes, it is your house, and if the fascia is present and the roofer can complete the roofing job without replacing the soffit & fascia, there is no logical reason to replace the fascia. However, it could be costing you money with a cool and heating bill if it is in poor condition. 

Do I need to vent my soffits?

A soffit vent is installed to the eaves’ underside and permits fresh air from the outside to be pulled into the attic.  Attic ventilation is important for several reasons regardless if your home is located in the colder northern states or the deep, humid southern states. Here is a list of why attic ventilation is important:

  • When the outside temperature is hot because of the sun shining on the roof, the attic temperature increases, this heat exposure can warp the roof decking and sheathing and age the shingles prematurely. 
  • Without proper ventilation in the attic and inadequate, uneven insulation in the attic floor, that heat from the rooftop radiates into the living areas of your house. This makes cooling and heating work harder to keep the living area comfortable.
  • When the temperature drops below freezing during the winter, the warm air you’ve paid to heat your home escapes into the attic and under the roof deck, warming it. As the decking warms up, accumulated ice or snow begins to melt from the bottom, creating trickles of water that run off the roof. 

When that trickling water reaches the outer roof edge where it’s cold, it refreezes into ice. This creates an ice dam along the eaves, which block any more trickling water, and with nowhere to go, it backs up under the shingles. 

Soffit and roof ventilation keep all this from happening. They are the roof’s defense against ice dams. 

  • As your roof heats up from the living area or the sun, the coolness in the attic condenses into a liquid as it meets the colder surfaces, creating moisture. Over time, moisture deteriorates the roof system, the house’s structural elements and can ruin the insulation. When the attic is warm, mildew, and mold and then flourish and spread, putting more strain on the cooling system, increasing your utility bills. 

Is it OK to pressure wash soffits and fascia? 

Just like the siding and roofing on your home get dirty, the soffit & fascia do too. The soffit can be cleaned using a soft pressure wash with a low-pressure nozzle. As the homeowner, you can do this yourself, but hiring a professional experienced with soffit & fascia cleaning would eliminate possible catastrophe, or if there are any issues, it would be on them, not you repair or replace anything damaged on your home. 

vented soffit

How do you clean soffits and fascia?

If you do intend to do the job yourself, a few pieces of advice and pointers:

  • The water pressure cannot be at a hard blasting strength. 
  • Use a proper height ladder, securing it to the house and clime with care.
  • Caution on slippery surfaces like the ladder rungs.
  • Watch for falling debris.

As we mentioned in this piece, the soffit & fascia may seem to be nothing more than decorative finishing touches, but both serve a valuable purpose to your home. Your home will stand, and the roof will remain with the soffit & fascia, but the attic would be open to all the creatures and critters that could climb on the roof. Call 281-300-4363 today for your soffit and fascia needs in Houston, TX.

Which is Better: Aluminum or Steel Metal Roofing?

metal roofing system

Is Metal Roofing Good?

If it is time for a new roof on your home, give metal roofing some consideration. A quality metal roof installation will give you a longer lifespan of roofing, which improves the ROI. Why is metal roofing good? Metal roofing has often been referred to as the forever roofing material, but there are other pros to this roofing material: 

  • Durable and Long-Lasting: Compare asphalt shingled roofing to metal roofing, metal is more durable and will have a longer lifespan. In fact, you’ll never reroof your home again in your lifetime! Metal roofing like aluminum shingles or standing seam has a proven lifespan up to 60 years or longer. Copper or zinc metal roofing can last more than 100 years.  When it comes to withstanding the elements, ice, rain, snow, or sun can’t beat metal roofing down like it does asphalt shingles. 
  • Fungus and Mold Proof: Metal roofing is 100% resistant to fungus, mildew, and mold. These thing will make your roof unattractive and they also eat asphalt shingles, shortening the lifespan. 
  • Raccoons, Rodents, Pests, and other Critters: If your home is in a heavily-wooded area, pests, raccoons, rodents, and other critters can get to your roof from tree branches. With metal roofing, they won’t do any chewing to get through to the attic! Critters and pests are known to break and chew at asphalt shingles, destroy plywood decking, making their way into homes, then eating wires and more in the attic.
  • Fire Resistant: Metal roofing is fire resistant, a bonus in the eyes of insurance companies. A high-end metal roofing can withstand fire, hailstones, and high winds, something asphalt shingles can’t offer.  
  • Sustainability: The metal used for metal roofing is often from recycled metal and when it does reach its end of life, it is 100% recyclable. Not only is metal roofing durable, but it is one of the best sustainable materials we have available. 
  • Good Temperature Control: When metal roofing is installed by an experienced roofing contractor that knows how to install metal roofing, during the hot summer, metal roofing will keep your home cooler than asphalt singles, and warmer in the cold winter.  An insulated metal roofing will resist ice dams forming, which will melt and with asphalt roofing, can often start a leak. 

Is it cheaper to get a metal roof or shingles?

To have metal roofing installed, a corrugated metal panels can cost up to 20% less than asphalt shingles per square foot. Keep in mind though, there are more accessories required to install metal roofing than asphalt shingles. With the flashing, ridge caps, and screws, metal roofing will cost you little bit more than an asphalt shingled roof. What you have to keep in mind is the lifespan of both materials. With asphalt shingles, you’ll be getting a new roof again in 20 years or less. With metal roofing, you’ll probably never get a new roof again. 

Which metal roof is best?

There are five types of metal roofing materials:  

  • Copper
  • Aluminum
  • Zinc
  • Steel
  • Tin

Each of these have their advantages, at the end of the day though, it is the homeowner’s choice as to which is best for them, and that is usually driven by cost. Copper metal roofing is always an aesthetically appealing material, but expensive. If going green is your biggest concern, then zinc is the greenest with a low melting point, but it is an expensive choice too. 

Aluminum metal roofing is great for homes in coastal regions and isn’t as expensive as those two metal roofing materials. Steel is the most used roofing material and is less expensive. Tin is now replaced with galvanized steel and is inexpensive. 

When deciding which roofing material to use, your budget will speak the loudest. Then you need to discuss the options with an experienced roofing contractor that can give you advice and suggestions. 

Which is better steel or aluminum roofing?

When comparing aluminum vs steel roofing, both perform well when it comes to metal roofing material. Aluminum metal roofing will cost up to 20 percent more than steel metal roofing, but steel is susceptible to damage when near seawater, and aluminum is extremely corrosion resistant. The warranty offered on the two will different, but in a coastal area, there usually isn’t a warranty on the finish for either.  Galvalume has proven to be three times more effective in rust resistance than galvanized steel material.

metal roof and screws

What are the disadvantages of a metal roof?

There are a few disadvantage to metal roofing, although most homeowners with metal roofing find the benefits far outweigh these: 

  • Affordability. A metal roofing will cost up to three times more than asphalt roofing. 
  • Noisiness. If metal roofing isn’t installed correctly by a professional contractor, it can be noisy during a hailstorm and heavy rain.
  • Contracts and expands. Metal roofing will contract and expand with the temperature changes. 
  • Color matching. Should you need to replace any panels on metal roofing over 80 plus years of lifespan, it can be difficult to get an exact matching color because of the fading over time.

So, is a metal roof worth it? Yes – in the opinion of roofing contractors, home builders, and homeowners that have gone with metal roofing, you’ll find that most would recommend a metal roofing over traditional asphalt. Get your metal roof today. Give us a call at 281-300-4363!

Is modified bitumen roof good?

flat black bitumen roof

Expert roofing for your commercial building

Modified Bitumen, an asphalt-based roof coating, is a cousin to BUR (Built-up-Roof). Both are designed for flat or low slope roof buildings in Europe. They have been used in Canada and the United States since the mid-1970s. The two are applied differently; both have benefits that make them desirable to building owners with various modified bitumen types of application. 

BUR is mopped on a roof in a hot form, and Modified Bitumen can be “mopped” on in a hot form or installed with a cold process adhesive.  In recent years, using polymers in a particular combination that is applied to the underside, rolls or sheets of modified Bitumen are created for installation now. 

A release paper is removed from the sheets of modified Bitumen as the contractor rolls it out, and it adheres to the roof substrate. The usual associated risks are eliminated using this method that often takes place when hot asphalt and torches are used. It is a VOC way to install a modified bitumen roof, making it more environmentally friendly. 

What does modified bitumen mean?

Modified Bitumen is a popular choice of roofing material for flat or low-sloped commercial structure roofing is modified Bitumen, torch down, it becomes a durable, weather-resistant roof covering that is sold in rolls. Heated with a torch, the seams of modified Bitumen are sealed, or you can choose a cold-applied installation method or self-adhering method. The roofing contractor will mechanically attach to the roof deck using cap nails or disc plating to ensure the roofing is protected from uplifts by a strong wind. 

What is modified bitumen made of?

Modified Bitumen is asphalt roofing revolutionized. Modified Bitumen is made from asphalt and an assortment of rubber modifiers and diluents that are connected in a variety of ways. The more common way that contractors install modified Bitumen with a heat application where the seams are melted together by heat to create a seal.

Modified Bitumen is made with multiple layers and yet is still judged as a single ply because of the base sheet or underlayment. Proper drainage and insulation I still needed with this roofing process and will typically have a ten to fifteen-year warranty by the manufacturer. 

What is the difference between built-up roofing and modified Bitumen?

A BUR roofing system offers the following qualities: 

  • Provides multi-layer protection that creates a watertight barrier
  • Relatively inexpensive in a standard specification use
  • Weather-resistant year-round
  • Resistant to heat conduction between a building’s exterior and interior, reducing energy costs
  • ROI from a long lifespan up to 40 years
  • Ideal for most flat or low-slope commercial roofs
  • More layers applied during install, the better the roofing system

A Modified Bitumen roofing system offers the following qualities:

  • Extremely tear-resistant due to the reinforcement layer of fiberglass or polyester
  • Ideal for flat or low-slope commercial roofing that has a high amount of foot traffic
  • Instinctive durability, weather-resistant that minimizes repairs
  • Energy-efficient with a top layer that can be upgraded to cool roof features
  • Can be upgraded to solar reflectance and thermal emission, even absorb heat that is reflected from sunlight, which lowers cooling bills
  • Flexible material that is impact resistant 
  • Contacts and expands with temperature without losing its shape

How long should a modified bitumen roof last?

Modified Bitumen roofing system is one of the industry’s most robust commercial roofing systems. Because it is temperature and weather-resistant, and it is flexible and versatile. No other commercial roofing can have polymer material sheets added to it to increase its durability. A modified bitumen roof that is professionally installed and has regular inspection and maintenance can provide a lifespan of twenty years or longer. 

slightly aged roof made of bitumen

How is modified bitumen roofing installed?

There are two forms of installing modified bitumen roofing: The oldest method is modified bitumen torch down, and the other is a peel-and-stick installation. Because there is an inherent danger of fire, the torch-down method should only be done by an experienced and qualified roofer. The following are essential steps for installing a modified bitumen roof: 

  1. Clear debris and dirt from the roof.
  2. Lay heavy roofing felt over decking, insulation, or old roof, using cap nails to secure the felt along the bottom and top and up the middle.
  3. Install drip edge flashing, using a primer for adhesion. 
  4. Roll out a sheet of modified bitumen roofing material, leaving a few inches of overhang on the sides. 
  5.  Ensure the modified bitumen material is perfectly flat then roll up halfway with care. 
  6. Wear eye protection, heavy gloves, and long sleeves and ignite the propane torch.
  7. Run the propane tip along the crease of the roofing felt and roofing roll. 
  8. When bubbles are formed, using your foot, gently roll the modified bitumen roofing forward.
  9. Place the next modified bitumen roofing sheet so that it overlaps the first one and repeat this process. 

Let’s briefly discuss the differences between modified Bitumen vs tpo. Modified Bitumen has been used in the United States since the mid-70s and is the more common and traditional roofing material for commercial buildings. TPO is a new kid on the block in comparison and has only been in the industry since the 1990s. Both are excellent for temperature changes. TPO roofing is picking up in popularity and is giving Modified Bitumen a run for the money in some areas. Dial 281-300-4363 today for your roofing needs!

What Is the Best Way to Waterproof a Flat Roof?

A Roofer Applies Flat Roof Coating.

What is the best way to waterproof a flat roof?

A significant portion of commercial buildings have flat roofs. While flat roofs are technically not completely flat—there’s a slight slope—they do have problems with drainage. In many cases, depending on the type of roofing material, water can collect in certain spots over the roof, and this water is hard to clear off. Eventually, however, ponding will lead to leaks. Because of this problem, building managers need to find a way to waterproof flat roofs. One of the surest ways to waterproof a flat roof is to add a flat roof coating. Roof coatings form a seamless barrier over the roof that prevents water from ponding and seals up any small leaks that are already present. If you want to waterproof your roof with flat roof coatings in Houston, TX, you can always rely on the team at Andy Nichols Roofing for fast, effective service. You can find out more or schedule a service by calling 281-300-4363.

What is the best coating for a flat roof?

When it comes to flat roof coatings, what type of coating you choose will often depend on your particular roof and roofing material. But, many building managers find that silicone roof coatings are often one of the most reliable choices for coatings. You may ask, “Is silicone roof coating worth it?” Silicone coatings are long-lasting and a fresh coating won’t need to be reapplied for 10 to 15 years. These coatings don’t have the problem of chalking or wearing away like other coatings do, and will remain intact throughout their lifespan. One of the main reasons people add roof coatings to their roofs is for waterproofing purposes. Silicone coatings are very effective as a waterproofing solution, especially when it comes to preventing ponding, or water collecting on the roof. These coatings are not water-based, so they do not absorb moisture.

How do you apply flat roof coating?

Flat roof coatings are actually fairly easy to apply and one of the least disruptive of roofing services. You won’t, for instance, have to disrupt business operations for the application. The process for flat roof application includes:

  • The roof is washed and cleaned. All debris needs to be cleared and the roof surface pressure washed.
  • Make any repairs that are needed. While coatings can seal over small leaks, it’s best to make minor repairs because coating over a damaged area can affect the coating’s lifespan.
  • Make sure you have clear, sunny, and moderately dry weather in the forecast for about two days, as the coating process takes about two days to complete.
  • The coating is applied. It’s preferable to put on at least two coats.

How often should you coat a flat roof?

How often you have flat roof coatings applied will normally depend on the type of coating used. Some coatings like silicone can last as long as 15 years before a new coating needs to be applied. Even as durable as these coatings might be, coatings are susceptible to wear and tear, and most professionals recommend that you reapply the coating about every five years. 

Flat roof coating for ponding water

One of the most common problems building managers face with flat roofs is ponding, where water collects in various areas on the roof because of poor drainage. Ponding is also one of the chief reasons people get flat roof coatings, in particular, silicone coatings because silicone does not absorb water. But, before you have a roof coating applied to your flat roof, you will want to have the roof inspected because ponding sometimes occurs when water damages the roof’s substrate. This damage will need to be repaired before the coating is applied, otherwise, the coating could actually cause more problems if moisture gets trapped under the coating. 

Does roof coating stop leaks?

Flat roof coatings are valued because they help prevent leaks. They form a seamless barrier over the roof that helps manage the roof’s drainage. If you have leaks, especially major leaks, before you have the coating applied, you will want to get those leaks repaired. The coatings are good for sealing up small leaks, but not larger ones. Once coatings are applied, however, you’ll have fewer worries with leaks.

Flat roof coating colors

Typically, flat roof coatings are white or lighter colors like yellow or tan. The lighter colors are normally preferred because they are much more energy efficient. However, depending on the manufacturer, you can get roof coatings in darker colors including blue, black, brown, or even red.

A Contractor Applies a Roof Coating.

Flat roof coating contractors near me

If you want to protect your flat roof from leaks and problems with ponding and want to install flat roof coatings in Houston, TX, rely on the experienced professionals at Andy Nichols Roofing. We offer a complete range of roofing solutions to meet any of your roofing needs. Find out more about how we can help you or schedule a service appointment by calling 281-300-4363.

What Qualifies as an Impact Resistant Roof?

Hail Damage Marked on a Roof.

What qualifies as an impact resistant roof?

In the Houston, TX area, you might consider installing impact resistant shingles. These are shingles that are specifically designed to withstand the impacts of hail and high winds, including hurricane-force winds. But, what are impact resistant shingles?

Why is one shingle considered impact resistant and another not? Technically, all shingles have some impact resistance, but specifically, to qualify as an impact resistant shingle it must receive a Class 4 rating from the Underwriters Laboratories (UL), an independent not-for-profit testing laboratory. To get that classification, the shingle must be able to withstand the impact of a 2-inch steel ball dropped at 20 feet. This test imitates the force of hail hitting a roof. These shingles also withstand hurricane-force winds.

The UL impact-resistance classifications include:

  • Class 1: Withstands an impact from a 1 ¼-inch steel ball dropped at 12 feet.
  • Class 2: Withstands an impact from a 1 ½-inch steel ball dropped at 15 feet.
  • Class 3: Withstands an impact from a 1 ¾-inch steel ball dropped at 17 feet.
  • Class 4: Withstands an impact from a 2-inch steel ball dropped at 20 feet.

If you are considering replacing your roof and want impact resistant shingles in Houston, TX, turn to the roofing experts at Andy Nichols Roofing. We offer a full range of premium roofing solutions. For more information or to get an estimate, give us a call at 281-300-4363.

How do I know if I have impact resistant shingles?

It can actually be difficult to tell if you have impact resistant shingles. That’s because these shingles look like standard shingles, though they may be a little thicker than other shingles. Sometimes manufacturers will put the impact resistance rating on the underside of the shingle but more often than not it will be on the packaging if you have new shingles. This Underwriters Laboratory rating must be Class 4. Because it’s difficult to tell if you have this type of shingle, you may want to have a trained roof inspector like those at Andy Nichols Roofing come and check your shingles.

Are architectural shingles impact resistant?

Architectural shingles are often preferred over standard 3-tab shingles primarily for their aesthetic appeal. They are also somewhat thicker than 3-tab shingles and will hold up pretty well in severe weather or hold up against fallen branches or other debris. Because they are thicker, your roof’s underlayment will be at less of a risk for damage. This does not necessarily make architectural shingles impact resistant. No matter what kind of shingles you have, even if they are premium architectural shingles, the only shingles that are impact resistant are those that receive a Class 4 rating from the Underwriters Laboratory. Check the underside of the shingle or the packaging to find out the rating.

Are impact resistant shingles worth the money?

Are you debating whether or not to get impact resistant shingles? You’ll have to weigh their advantages and disadvantages over regular shingles when looking at impact resistant shingles vs regular shingles:

Advantages of impact resistant shingles

  • Highly durable. These shingles will hold out against some of the toughest hail strikes with little to no damage. At worst, you’ll find these shingles will lose a few granules in a harsh hail storm.
  • Long-lasting. Most regular shingles with good maintenance will last about 20 years. Impact resistant shingles can last longer than 30 years.

Disadvantages of impact resistant shingles

  • Regular shingles cost less. You’ll pay much less to have regular shingles installed, even premium shingles like architectural shingles. But, you may end up paying more in repairs or even buying a new roof prematurely if a severe hail storm or wind storm hits.
  • Initial installation of impact shingles may be prohibitive. These shingles can cost as much as 20%-30% more than regular shingles but will last longer and you’ll need fewer repairs.

How long do impact resistant shingles last?

Although most standard shingle roofs get 30-year warranties, it’s unlikely they’ll last that long. Most standard shingle roofs will last about 20 or maybe 25 years with good maintenance and under ideal conditions. Impact resistant shingles, on the other hand, can last as long as 30 years or more, even in areas where hail is common.

Impact Resistant Shingles

Impact resistant shingles insurance discount

Besides being durable and long-lasting, impact resistant shingles can benefit homeowners in other ways. By upgrading to these shingles, you may be able to get a discount on your homeowner’s insurance. Depending on your location and insurance company, insurers will provide discounts of between 5%-30%. You can check with your insurance company to see if your home qualifies for any discounts. If you are interested in installing impact resistant shingles in Houston, TX, reach out to the roofing professionals at Andy Nichols Roofing. We offer a full range of residential roofing options and can help you decide what’s best for your home. Find out how we can help or get an estimate by calling 281-300-4363.

How To Repair a Commercial Roof

flat black roof in top condition after repair

Does My Roof Need to Be Repaired?

Commercial roof repair services are an important part of owning and managing commercial property. Most business and investment property owners know that getting the right work done at the right price is critical to maintaining profitability. Waiting too long or neglecting repairs can blow up in your face. Most of the time you’ll end up spending more for a larger repair project that could have been avoided. There are things you can do now to maintain your roof with easy repairs that will avoid an emergency or serious repairs down the road. Here, we take a look at commercial roof repair and what you need to know.

Roof repair for commercial building owners doesn’t need to be overly complicated. When you get your roof installed or buy an existing property, you should consult a professional about required maintenance. Most roofers will know what it takes to keep your roof in great shape and make it last years without serious issues.

There are signs, though, that you can look for to spot whether you need roof repair. Here are some telltale indicators:

  • High energy bills – If you’re getting higher than normal energy bills it means your property is having to work harder to maintain a constant temperature. That may mean leaks or openings in your roof.
  • Moisture or Mold – If you are experiencing leaks around your building or down through your ceiling, then get roof repair as soon as possible. The same goes for any mold infestation. They can potentially shut down your business.
  • Sagging Roof – This goes along with the moisture issue, but if too much water is allowed to buildup in your roof, then it can cause it to sage.
  • Poor Flashing – Flashing that’s not tightly fitted around your roof can lead to water leaks and other troubles.

This is by no means an exhaustive list. Flat roofs are vital to the performance of a commercial property. If you see anything out of the ordinary with your roof or your facility, then it’s worth your while to call for professional help. That goes for commercial flat roof repair or if you have a commercial building with roof deck access.

Does My Roof Need to Be Replaced?

Roof replacement is something every commercial property owner is going to have to deal with at some point. Most modern commercial roofing solutions are designed to last for decades. However, if you’ve got an older roof or incur serious damage from a storm or fire, then you’re going to need a roof replacement. The right commercial roof repair partner will be able to give you an honest assessment of your roof and tell whether replacement or repair is the best option.

Due to developments in the commercial roofing industry, some businesses are opting to replace their roofs to take advantage of some of the energy efficiency and other benefits of modern roofs. If you’re interested in what’s out there, you may be able to find something that is a great long-term investment in your property.

What Is the Best Commercial Roofing Material?

Well, this depends on how much money you want to spend, what your long-term outlook on ownership is, what climate you live in, and a host of other factors. A reputable commercial roof repair company will walk you through TPO, EPDM, PVC, and other roofing options. You’ll get to know the pros and cons of each so you can make an informed decision.

flat black roof and repair materials

Professional Roof Repair for Commercial Building

The commercial roof repair process will vary depending on what type of roof you’re dealing with. Repairs are going to be different for a sloped roof on a multi-family apartment complex versus a flat roof on a retail outlet. Here’s a basic rundown of what to expect with any commercial roofing repair.

  • The Inspection – When a roofing technician arrives at your property, they’ll inspect your roof to get an idea of what condition it’s in. You may be experiencing one problem, but other underlying conditions may simply be causing it to manifest. The tech will take a look at your commercial roof beams, your membrane, flashing, and other roofing components to find any leaks or damage.
  • The Consultation – Once they have a handle on what repairs need to happen, they’ll work with you on the best timeline and budget for a solution. Most commercial roof repair services understand that different businesses have different priorities, so it’s likely they’ll be flexible and work in your parameters.
  • Executing Repairs – Leaks and other problems are likely to occur in lower areas of your roof where water naturally flows. Once the problem areas are identified, you may have a blister in your roofing material. That will need to be sliced open to remove any water from inside and then resealed and nailed back in place with galvanized roofing nails. If it’s your flashing that’s causing the issue, then they’ll reseal or replace the flashing to get your roof back in great shape.

Commercial roof repair is beyond most property owners because it often takes special tools and training to get right. A good roofing service can help you with repairs that make sense for your property and your business without causing too much disruption. Dial 281-300-4363 today for quality commercial roof repair services from the experts at Andy Nichols Roofing.