What is Your Roof Made Of?

At Andrews Roofing, we know that our job is not only to help you build, maintain and restore your roof, but to help you understand the type of roof that you have so that you can preserve it for years to come.

There are many types of roofing materials, some more widely used in commercial roofing than in residential and vice versa.  Among the roofing types, we have selected 7 categories to briefly describe their characteristics.

SHINGLES –  Popular on many residential structures in this area, shingles are cost efficient, durable roofing material made with a base mat of paper, cellulose, wood fiber, or other materials saturated with asphalt to make it waterproof, then a top coating of adhesive asphalt is applied and ceramic granules are then embedded.  Shingles are the most common material used on residential roofs.

Different Shingle Images

TPO – Thermoplastic Polyolefins are blends or alloys of polypropylene plastic or polyprolylene and ethylene propylene rubber (EPR) or ethylene propylene diene terpolymer rubber (EPDM).  These extremely durable membranes come in several thicknesses, making it an appealing option that is common on commercial roofs and also used for residential roofs with little to no slope.

Commercial flat w many penetrations

EPDM – This synthetic rubber roofing membrane has ethylene and propylene astwo primary ingredients,, are derived from oil and natural gas.  EPDM is slowly being replaced by TPO membrane roofs.

EPDM Roof

METAL  – Primarily made of steel or aluminum, metal roofs have proven to stand the test of time.  Copper, zinc and titanium are also used in specialized architectural applications for homes.  Although metal roofing is more expensive than most other roofing materials, it is considered the strongest, most durable roofing material.

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

PVC – an ideal long term solution PVC roofing membrane is made of thick, flexible UV-resistant thermoplastic material; it may also contain polyester or fiberglass, resins, pigments, plasticizers and other chemicals.  PVC is most often used on commercial buildings.

PVC Roof

COMPOSITE OR SYNTHETIC – A substitute for the real thing, synthetic types are created to mimic the look of real tiles, are often more environmentally friendly, sturdy, and energy efficient than their counterparts.  Virtually indistinguishable from real slate and wood, manufacturers such as EcoStar have developed a strong track record for dependability and are the top of their class.

Enviroshake Roof

MODIFIED BITUMEN – These systems can be installed with the common torch method, asphalts, or cold adhesives. A standard modified bitumen roof system is a two-ply system applied in rolls that overlap the edge of the previous roll.  They are typically used on flat surfaces.

Modified Bitumen Roof

SLATE- This natural stone has a unique and beautiful appearance. One of the longest lasting roofing materials on the market, slate can also be expensive to maintain.

Slate roof

 

No matter what type of roof you have, Andrews Roofing provides the experience and knowledge needed to preserve, repair or replace your roof.

 

TPO for Commercial Roofs

TPO, or Thermoplastic Polyolefin, is a synthetic rubber compound that is one of the most popular roofing solutions for commercial buildings today.

There are many notable advantages to installing a TPO system on a commercial building. For one, TPO can be fused to create a highly reliable, long-lasting seam. In addition to its strength, it is a heat-reflective, energy efficient material that was created to withstand the effects of ozone, chemical, and ultraviolet exposure. The materials’ ability to endure these types of effects is what makes it such a cost effective option.

Flat roof with skylights from 2010

TPO comes in several different thicknesses and can be mechanically fastened, fully-adhered, or ballasted, depending on the existing structure. It is most commonly applied in a white color to maximize its efficiency. By reflecting heat and light, TPO guards the roof from absorbing and transmitting outside temperatures to the interior of the building.

Having a qualified roofer is essential when installing TPO. The estimator must assess the current condition of the roof and recommend the best system to install. Even the preparation to the surface of the existing roof is essential for proper installation.

Andrews Roofing has highly qualified, knowledgeable estimators and installation crews with several years of experience with TPO systems. If you are interested in inquiring about a new TPO roof for your commercial building, feel free to contact our office.

Jeri Eley/Operations Coordinator |757-399-3066 | service@andrewsroofing.com

Asphalt Architectural Shingles / Why They Are The Roofing Industry “Work Horse”

Landmark CertainTeed Logo

Most of us know what an asphalt shingle roof is. It is an asphalt steep slope residential and commercial roof covering. You see them on most homes and on many commercial buildings. They have always been popular because they are cost effective, perform well, and they last 20 plus years. Because of these reasons they are right now the steep slope roof work horse. In other words, they are driving the market in Hampton Roads and The Outer Banks of North Carolina.

I am talking about architectural or “dimensional ” asphalt shingles. The price gap has closed much between them and 3 – tab shingles , which are a lesser product in every way so architectural shingles are really coming on strong. In fact , we don’t do nearly as many 3 – tab shingle roofs as we used to. The architectural shingle looks better, performs better, lasts longer, is heavier, and has a much higher wind warranty.

We prefer CertainTeed Landmark architectural shingles. They have a limited life time warranty.See photo. Andrews Roofing is a Certainteed “Select Shingle Master” contactor which is their highest designation. Because we install these shingles as per CertainTeed specifications and building code, they come with a 130 mile per hour wind warranty from CertainTeed! They honor it too. In Hurricane Irene in 2011, we lost 2 shingles off a house in Rodanthe , North Carolina and CT paid us to fix it. We had installed the roof 2 years earlier. I have the CertainTeed Landmark architectural shingle on my home and I own a roofing company!

landmark certainteed colors

Please contact me with questions or comments.
Thanks, Robert Andrews

About EPDM Rubber Roofing

EPDM rubber Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer rubber is better known as EPDM rubber, and for many years it has been a leading type of single-ply roofing membrane. It is also used in many other applications. The appropriate use for EPDM rubber is on flat or low-slope roofs.

Most rubber roofs are black, but it does come in white to reflect the sun. White EPDM rubber membrane roofing costs a little more than black. This roof system can be mechanically attached or fully adhered and comes in reinforced and non-reinforced. There is also a less common ballasted roof system. Reinforced is used for mechanically attached, and non-reinforced is used for fully-adhered systems. Ask your roofer which one makes the most sense for your roof.

The EPDM rubber sheets come in rolls from five feet up to 50 feet wide. The sheets wider than 10 feet are for fully-adhering only, in most cases. Because covering a roof requires more than one sheet, there are seams in a rubber roof. These seams are primed and an inseam tape is installed to make them water tight. A roofer must be skilled and take extra care in properly seaming the sheets and installing rubber roof flashings.

EPDM rubber 23

Rubber roofs should last from 15 to 30 years, and manufacturers like Firestone and Carlisle guarantee them, labor and material or just the membrane. Your roofer should provide a workmanship warranty too. These membranes range in thickness from 45 to 60 to 80 and 90 mils. A mil is one one-thousandth of an inch. The most common thicknesses are 45 and 60 mil.

Contact me with questions anytime at Andrews Roofing, 757-286-7400, or at robert@andrewsroofing.com.

Flat / Low Slope Roof Overlay Replacement as an Option (Retro – Fit)

There are many ways to handle your roof replacement. A lot of commercial and residential flat roof owners know that you can install a new roof over top of an old one. Many old built-up roofs are still out there, and most even have rocks on them. These roofs can be expensive to tear off and dispose of, so for years roofers have been overlaying with “recovery” insulation board and single – ply roof systems such as TPO membrane, E.P.D.M., modified bitumen membrane, and P.V.C. membrane. These roof systems will last about 20 years and then you tear both roof layers off and start over.

Single-Ply roof systems are also roofed over. Building codes only allow for two layers of roofing and we agree with this code. Also, the insulation and roof deck on your existing roof must be dry and in such a certain condition to be roofed over. Some roofs cannot be left in place and roofed over for several reasons, so consult with a roofing professional to see if it is an option.

Special specifications are made by the industry when roofing over, so be sure you can trust and rely on your roofer to do the job correctly. Generally, it is better to tear off the old roof, but in many cases a roof over is a very acceptable option. In fact, based on my experience, the vast majority of one layer flat roofs get a retro-fit treatment.

Call or email me if you want to talk about it. Thanks for reading.

Robert Andrews, II
President/Estimator
Phone: 757-286-7400
Email: robert@andrewsroofing.com

Roof Coatings

Sometimes you can coat your roof instead of having to actually remove it and replace it with a new one. It can be much more cost effective, and in some cases, it can be better for your home, business or church roof.

Asphalt shingle roofs can’t be coated, but just about all other types of roofs are “coatable.” Of course, your roof must be in a “coatable” condition. We coat mainly metal and single – ply membrane flat or low slope roofs and it works very well on these surfaces. Examples of single – ply roofs are smooth modified bitumen membrane, TPO membrane , P.V.C. membrane, and E.P.D.M.

Coating a metal roof is usually more cost effective than replacing it because metal roofs are a premium roof system and, in some cases, are old with historic architectural designs that you may want to preserve. You can simply prep it and use a fibrated coating such as aluminum coating or asphalt coating to stop minor leaks and maintain the roof.  This application can also dress it up a bit for aesthetic reasons.  If you really want something nice, we can apply an acrylic / elastomeric coating system, which may or may not include fabric, and even get you a real warranty! This is like roof “membrane in a can.” They do come in colors, of course, and most localities do not require a building permit for coatings, which keeps costs down.

We can apply the same types of coatings to single – ply roofs. We make sure there is no moisture in the flat roof or standing on the surface (ponding water) in a case where a coating would be feasible.

Believe it or not, one can even use some coatings as, “stand alone roof systems,” where the coating is applied right over the plywood roof sheathing.  One advantage, under these circumstances, is that coatings do not blow off and they are extremely light weight, making it alright to overlay an old roof.

High end premium coatings come with 10 and 15 year water tight warranties from the manufacturer and are renewable in most cases. The manufacturer would come out, inspect the roof when it is near the end of its warranty period, tell you what to do to maintain the roof coating system, and renew it for another 10 years even!

If you are interested in coating your roof, ask a roofing professional if it will work for you.

Thanks for reading. Call or email with anytime with any questions because I have not included everything here. I’m really not that good of a writer so … just the facts!

Robert Andrews, II
Andrews Roofing Company, Inc.
757-286-7400
robert@andrewsroofing.com
www.andrewsroofing.com

Standing Seam Metal Roofs

Well, these aren’t for every building or every building owner, but they
are one of the most high quality roof systems you can install. Also,
they are becoming more popular partly because of the rising cost of
petroleum causing fiberglass asphalt shingle roof prices to climb over
the last several years. A standing seam metal roof can seriously
enhance the structural integrity and look of your home or business.
It comes in steel, aluminum, copper, and stainless steel, to name a
few.

All of these are at least a 50 year roof and are to be considered
a lifetime roof system. Why? Because they are made of metal, for one
thing. Metal of course is rigid and strong so it does not damage
easily and can give you a very high wind rating. In most cases it is
screwed down with hidden fasteners so the elements never get to these
screws and cause corrosion. You can use as many screws as you want to
make it very wind worthy.

The technicians are metal roof mechanics and sheet metal mechanics who are highly specialized so they know how to custom fabricate and install every roof as per the particular building design. They are among the most technical workers in all of construction, and aren’t scared of heights either.

Coil metal or flat sheets are run through a roof panel machine for different lengths, widths, and profiles custom to the shape and measurements of the building. Then they are installed. Some standing seam metal roofs [copper mostly] are hand crafted without a machine  for historic buildings. These roofs don’t leak if put on right.  Not just anyone can do it either, so please be sure you pick a roofing contractor who has the men, equipment in their sheet metal shop, and knowledge for the job. Most roofers don’t even do standing seam metal roofs. It is too complicated. See the roofs they have done and see their equipment too.

Although standing seam metal roofs are put on many commercial and residential buildings, as the main roof system they are also used to accent other types of roofs like shingles, tile, shakes, and slate roofs. Many times, bay windows, return roofs and bird walk roofs have metal on them. Some shopping centers have them on the front canopy to draw the eye of tenants and customers. Beach houses and cottages use them for wind resistance and high end aesthetics. High rise buildings and church steeples have them because their owners never want to replace their roofs after original construction. They are too high! There are many 16 ounce copper roofs way up in the air that are rarely seen or touched in Hampton Roads.  Downtown Portsmouth and Norfolk, Suffolk, and Williamsburg are full of them. The old tin roofs we remove are usually 100 plus years of age and today’s metal is better.

The main thing is that if you put a metal roof on your home or business, it will perform very well and will be the last one you ever install, no matter how old you are.

Robert Andrews ll                                                                                                                 robert@andrewsroofing.com

Synthetic Slate Roofs

I’m telling you, I really like this stuff.
We prefer the EcoStar brand, Majestic Slate. It looks like slate, is less expensive and weighs less. We have tried several brands over the years and stopped looking after the first time we did one of these. It is high quality and looks great. We have never seen it leak.

Our men had to get on job training by the EcoStar inspector to certify us as a Gold Star Applicator, which makes us able to get a 50 year workmanship and material EcoStar Gold Star warranty. They send an inspector to pass the job after completion. Their specs are tight. No wonder they don’t leak! Also, it comes with up to a 100 m.p.h. wind warranty. We must shuffle and flex all tiles before installation to avoid color issues. It makes for a slow process, but the results are very pleasing.  We use stainless steel 1-1/2″ ring shank nails. It is the best and comes in 11 colors, which can actually be mixed to your liking.

These tiles are made 80% of recycled rubber and plastic. We use all EcoStar products when installing one so that warranty issues are clear and we provide a 10 year workmanship warranty too. Go to our gallery here on our site or go to ecostarLLC.COM to see some nice looking roofs. Lesser warranties are also available. Metal or copper valleys and flashings, special underlayments, and ice shield are used so they last as long as the roof.

THANKS to all! Good day.

Robert Andrews II                                                                                                             robert@andrewsroofing.com

 

The Best Warranty: Single-ply Membrane Roof Warranty

The best warranty in the construction industry is a single-ply membrane roof warranty (TPO or thermopolyolefin  , E.P.D.M., P.V.C., Modified Bitumen).

Firestone Building Products is leading in this area with their “edge to edge” roof warranty which covers all the roofing accessory products installed (membrane, roof insulation such as poly – iso board, fasteners, flashings, metal drip edge or coping or gravel stop, etc. These are on commercial flat or low slope roofs with positive drainage.

Of course one can get just a material or a membrane only warranty, ( residential or commercial) accompanied by the roofing contractor’s labor warranty, but I am speaking of a workmanship (labor) and material warranty by a multi-billion dollar company. Firestone even inspects the roof to be sure it is installed as per their specifications. A contractor must be certified by them to obtain one of these warranties which means you are sure you have picked a good roofer.  Any roofer can get a material warranty.  Only the best are Firestone certified.

These warranties are non pro-rated, have a no dollar limit, and are available in duration of 5, 10, 15. 20, 25 and 30 year increments. Yes, they can guaranty a roof against leaks and other defects for 30 years! They do this because they know their roof system will perform and last.

You know what non pro-rated means. No dollar limit means that 29 years from now, on a 30 year roof, inflation doesn’t matter. If a repair costs 20 times more than it does now, they still have to provide material and labor to do it. And most of the time these warranty repairs are made in just a few days because we make them for Firestone and Genflex Roofing Systems and they pay us to do so.

I would say that these roof system warranties may even be the best in any industry and not just in roofing or construction. Can you get one like it on a car or a microwave oven? Nope. I don’t think so.

Robert Andrews ll , President Andrews Roofing                                                              robert@andrewsroofing.com

Installing a Walkable Vinyl Membrane Roof System

Do you have a flat or low slope roof you would like to cook out on? People used to build wood decks on top of built-up roofs, E.P.D.M. (rubber) roofs, TPO membrane roofs, modified bitumen roofs, and even shingle roofs. These methods do work but are expensive and are difficult to deal with in cases where leaks pop up after installation.

To find and repair a leak, one must remove parts of the wood deck. This takes time and money. Also, puddles, moisture, and ponding water under the deck on top of the roof can cause fungus and vegetation growth which can damage the roof and deck. Never trap moisture!

An alternative to this old method is to install a walkable vinyl membrane roof system. The brand I recommend and have used for many years is Dec-k-ing. It serves as a waterproofing system, a roof, and a roof top patio. It is designed to handle regular abuse of people and pet traffic, furniture, grills, etc. It looks good too – coming in a variety of colors with a slip resistant textured surface.

Because of hot air welded seams, I have never seen one leak. If a vinyl membrane roof is damaged or cut, it is easy to repair by installing a patch which blends in pretty nicely for aesthetics. It can be installed on plywood or concrete smooth surfaces. This Dec-k-ing traffic roof membrane system should last 20 years. After that, a new membrane can be fully adhered right on top of it – no new disposal of old roofing will be necessary.

Make sure you hire a qualified roofer to install it. The technicians must be very skilled and able to not only put on a roof, but to install a vinyl floor as well. It must go down on a properly prepared surface so that characteristics of the substrate don’t telegraph through it, giving it a rough appearance. Substrate must have a slope to run water off. A one in twelve inch fall is fine. It comes in 40 and 60 mil thicknesses and is considered a fully adhered  single – ply membrane roof system.

Visit globaldecking.com for more info.
I like this stuff. I really do.

Robert Andrews II, President/Andrews Roofing                                                              robert@andrewsroofing.com