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Do Church Roofs Require Special Roofing?

asphalt shingle roofing on top of a church

Keeping a Church Operational

We gather here on Sundays, sometimes on a weeknight, and on special occasions. Other than those times, we don’t give much thought to these structures really. But they too need maintenance and upkeep, the bills paid, the lawncare done, and the structure itself needs maintenance and upkeep, including elements of the building such as the church roofing.

What is special about church roofs?

Church roofing is special because it is protecting a place of worship. It may be seen as just another structure, like the homes and businesses around it, but a church has significance to many. This is where people go to pray, watch a couple join the union of matrimony, or where we go to bid our last good-byes.  The contents inside a church are often of historic value, as well as things of monetary value. Like a home, there are furnishings, flooring, electricity, plumbing, and more.  

When we think of church roofing, we picture the steep, tall roofing with a steeple on the top. Today, though, church services are held in large metal constructed structures with flat low-sloped roofing or in strip center buildings with flat roofing. Still, no matter the type of structure and church roofing is still there for protecting a place of worship.

Why do churches have steep roofs?

There are some different opinions on the reason church roofing is typically made of a steep construction: 

  • One reason references back to the Middle Ages. The church roofing and steeple were built as high as they pointed to heaven. It was believed that it protected those who worshipped inside were protected from the evil spirits that many that afflicted church buildings.
  • Another opinion why church roofing is typically steep is to draw our vision upward, toward the heavens. The lofty church roofing and the high ceilings inside not only direct us to look upward but remind us there is more to life than our own everyday earthly existence.
  • And another opinion of steep church roofing, it gives the structure a more significant presence and makes it easier to locate the structure. Churches were built in a time when other structures were smaller, thus the steep church roofing dwarfed the other structures, making them seem insignificant. This is the building that housed the religious thoughts of eternity and infinity.

 Do church roofs require regular maintenance?

A church structure that was constructed many years ago and still standing today is evidently a well-built, strong structure. But that doesn’t negate its need for routine maintenance and repairs.  Just like our homes, the structural strength of a church depends on the foundation of the structure and the church roofing. 

Climate, time, weather, and water do not pass over church roofing. This structure can be damaged, and the roof weakened by water leaks, wind damage, and more. However, the structure it protects often includes non-standard features, like concealed gutters, parapets, and steeples. 

These features that make a church uniquely beautiful add complexity to maintaining and repairing the church roofing. It takes more than a residential roofing contractor, the person that repairs church roofing should have specific training and skills. 

Most of any potential issues and problems with church roofing can be stopped and repaired before any severe and lasting damage happens. But, like our own home, the roofing should have regular inspections, gutter cleaning, and more to keep it healthy and safe. 

What pitch is a church roof?

Traditional church roofing has a 50/12 pitch, making it one of the most distinguished and recognizable structures. These numbers mean that the roof rises upward 50” for every 12″ inward toward the peak. A roof peach can be measured in two ways: 

  • One: From the rooftop, a 12” level mark is made, and while keeping the measurement balanced and level, between the distance from the starting level point to the roof surface. 
  • Two: Start by measuring from the rafter bottom, measure the pitch in the same process, but in three locations. This is the preferred method of most roofing contractors. 

How are steeples attached to church roofs?

A steeple can be constructed to stand on its own foundation, or it can be integrated into a larger structure, the church building, end wall, or sidewall frame. Many steeples on church roofing are timber-framed steeples and their bearing weight is divided into two posts on the church’s end walls and two posts on the first roof trusses of the interior.

There are different components within the church roofing’s steeple. A steeple on church roofing can be five to six stories high. A top of the church roofing is the steeple, and a top of the steeple is the spire.  Where the steeple is a turret of the church building, the spire is the top of the steeple, rising a tapered top higher. Below the spire, a church may have a lantern or some type of lighting, and below that is the Belfry where a bell is housed. At the steeple’s lowest level is the tower. 

Is there a specific type of roof churches need?

Just as it is for your own home, church roofing is a big decision for the leaders to make. There are many different aspects to consider when looking at the many choices available.  Things that must be considered in the decision are: 

  • Architectural Integrity
  • Aesthetics
  • Energy Efficiency
  • Life Expectancy
  • Maintenance Expenses
  • Proper Installation
  • Weight to Structure
  • Fire Resistant
  • Weather Strong

With the investment that new church roofing can take, more church leaders are going with metal church roofing now, but why? A list of the benefits they see metal roofing providing a longstanding ROI are: 

  • HEAT AND SUN: Where other roofing materials dry out in the Texas summer heat and sun, metal roofing withstands it the best. 
  • WIND RESISTANCE: All across Texas, the weather can include devastating high winds. From hurricanes to tornados to ‘northerners’, roof damage is the most common result.
  • ICE AND SNOW: Ice and snow are two of the worse things that church roofing must withstand. Metal roofing quickly sheds snow loads, but the insulation under the metal roofing or the ice dams cannot be skipped. 
  • LIGHTNING: Research has found that metal roofing isn’t any more likely to attract lightning than other roofing materials. However, the elevation of church roofing is a concern. It is recommended that church roofing have grounding installed along with the metal roofing because of the height that the steeple and spire create. 
  • HAIL: Metal roofing is known for its hail resistance, and here in Texas, that is an important consideration. 
  • FIRE SAFETY: Church roofing needs to be protected from fire as much as other structures, and most metal roofing is rated at Class A, Class B, and Class C. A special underlayment is often included for specific building codes and fire classifications. 

Which metal would be most suitable for a church roof?

Aluminum metal is the most popular choice among church leaders when deciding on the new church roofing material. It is attractive, energy-efficient, lightweight, fire-resistant, rust-resistant, and weather-resistant. 

church with a red roof

In Closing

One final question – do churches use residential roofs? Today, not every church has a steep roof with a steeple, spire, or belfry. Church roofing styles vary from that traditional style to flat, low sloping, or domed roofing. So, it isn’t uncommon today for the leaders to choose the church roofing material based on the initial costs. This includes what is typical of residential roofing like composition shingles, wood shakes, clay, concrete, and slate tiles. However, these roofing materials are not the materials for longevity. 

This means, they will look good and serve their purpose for the time being, but they will begin to deteriorate and lose their aesthetic appeal. And more importantly, put the church structure at risk for potential damage. 

Why is it called roof flashing?

flashing on a gray tile roof

What is Flashing?

If you have ever had your roof repaired or replaced, you probably know a little bit about roof flashing. Repair of the roof flashing is as important as replacing shingles, but yet, it is the unnoticed component. Maybe you’re thinking to yourself, “Do I really need roof flashing?”, and the answer is yes! And your next question is “Why? What is the purpose of roof flashing?”

First, we’ll tell you why it is called ‘roof flashing’. There isn’t any certain reason that has been found about the terms flash and flashing origin. It is thought to be a Middle English verb that originally was ‘flasshen’, meaning to sprinkle or splash, a lead strip. Sometimes it was referred to as ‘the apron’ when installed around a chimney. 

Today, the reference of roof flashing is the strips of thing metal that is installed on a roof in areas where water can seep in around the roofing materials and roof protrusions. The metal is usually a galvanized steel but can be aluminum, copper, or stainless steel. With the understanding of where and why we have roof flashing, repairs are easy to understand their importance. 

Do I really need roof flashing?

Absolutely! As we’ve mentioned, roof flashing protects several areas of the roof components, like the chimney, skylight, and other protrusions, from water seeping in , causing damage with leaks. Roof flashing keeps the water from getting under shingles and down walls. 

Any area where water runs through a crevice or corner, there needs to be roof flashing. This is why it important to have roof flashing repaired as soon you notice a problem. With roof flashing loose or missing, water can get in around the chimney or down inside walls. Even the gutters that are made to direct water away from your home needs roof flashing, so the water runs into the gutters. 

Is roof flashing required by code?

It will depend on where you live but in most areas, yes, roof flashing is a building code requirement. You would be hard pressed to find a professional roofing contractor that tells you roof flashing is unnecessary. Even if the local building code where you live doesn’t require roof flashing, an experienced roofing contractor will insist it be installed. 

What are the different types of roof flashing?

There are two basic kinds of flashing, one being an external flashing and the second is an internal flashing. The external flashing prevents moisture from penetrating where walls intersects with the roof. The following are the different types of flashing used in most roofing jobs: 

  • Continuous Flashing. Also referred to as apron flashing, is a long single piece of metal that carries water from the shingle to off the house. 
  • Base Flashing. A roof feature like a chimney, requires two pieces of flashing to ensure rain will always meet a flashing surface to direct it off the roof 
  • Counter Flashing. Installed opposite of base flashing, this piece completes the team for base flashing.
  • Step Flashing. A rectangular shaped flashing in a 90 degrees angle is used for wall flashing in layers with multiple other pieces of the same type of flashing. This is to assure that water is flowing away from walls. 
  • Skylight Flashing. This type of flashing comes with new skylight installation, but existing skylights need new flashing with new roofing. 
  • Valley Flashing. Open valleys are where two roof angles come together and is a critical are to protect from leaking. When there is a need for roof flashing repairs in this area, it must be addressed immediately. 
  • Drip Edges. This flashing is installed along the roof edge, allowing water to drip off without causing damage to your home. 
  • Kickout Flashing. This flashing is used to bridge the gap between the step flashing and the gutter runs to direct water away from a wall and into the gutter.

What is the best roof flashing?

When you are selecting flashing for your home, the budget will be the first concern. You should choose a flashing material that is long lasting so that you won’t need to worry with roof flashing repairs. Common choices of roof flashing are:  

  • Aluminum: The most popular of all materials because of the cost factor but still offers quality. 
  • Copper: The most expensive of all roof flashing materials. It is strong and an eye catcher. 
  • Membrane: If you’re looking for a drastic difference, this strong tape type of roof flashing give you that difference and still protect your home against the elements. 

How do you fix roof flashing?

You can always call an experienced roofing contractor for roof flashing repairs. Or you can do you own roof flashing repairs Repair corroded areas and small holes with roofing cement. Holes that are 3/4 inch diameter, place a patch of the same type of flashing material and roofing caulk. If the flashing is against the chimney or a brick wall, use a masonry caulk for sealing the gaps and joints. 

How do you add flashing to an existing roof?

Measure the area that needs flashing and purchase the like-same material as the other flashing. Using roofing cement and galvanized nails, place the flashing where needed. Step flashing along the chimney will need to be layered with the shingles. 

What can I use for roof flashing?

Steel is the most common metal for roof flashing. The roof has a clean appearance, and it is a budget friendly material. If there is room in the budget, go with the aesthetic upgrade of copper flashing. 

roof flashing against a red brick chimney

Sealing It Up – Can roof flashing be painted?

Yes, old can usually be painted with basic house paint. New roof flashing should be primed first, then use a paint for exterior surfaces. Keep in mind, once painted, it will need repainted every 3 to 5 years.

Is roof restoration worth it?

flat roof with a reflective white surface

Keeping Your Roof in Shape

Commercial building owners and property managers have a large and expensive responsibility with the maintenance and upkeep. From electrical and plumbing to interior and structural needs, it can be a busy headache. This is why when it comes to roofing, a roof restoration is often the best choice. 

What is a roof restoration?

Roof restoration is a way to repair any problems and weak areas of a roof, including the fasteners, flashings, and seams, while also building a new roof surface. After a roof restoration, there is a better-protected structure against leaks and a new non-prorated warranty.

So, what makes the difference between a roof restoration vs roof replacement? With a roof replacement, the existing roof is completely removed, and a new roof is installed. You are getting two jobs done, and paying for two jobs, but with roof restoration, you’re getting a roof as good as new for half the cost, maybe less than half! 

Other reasons that going with a roof restoration on a commercial flat roof include: 

  • The Cost — As we just stated, a roof restoration is a money saver, up to half as much, sometimes more. 
  • The Convenience — A roof restoration takes less time than a new roof installation. With shorter time of labor, that is a money saver right from the start. There is less disruption to so that your employees, clients, and visitors aren’t inconvenienced. 
  • Energy Savings — Most flat roofs have a white top coating, and while that may not be an architectural style you like, it is energy-efficient, aka, a money saver. The reflective white roof coating used in roof restoration is a great help in reflecting the sun’s UV rays and keeping the interior cooler, a huge deal in Texas summers. This puts less strain on the HVAC system and helps keep energy cost down. 
  • Like New — With a proper roof restoration, the high-risk areas are reinforced to prevent leaks going forward. 

What does roof restoration include?

A roof restoration will involve a thorough cleaning of the existing roof, typically with a high-pressure spray. The removes any algae, dirt, grit, moss, and mold that has covered the roof. Then any damages are repaired, replacing any missing flashing, etc. 

Then a roof restoration coating is applied. This coating is a reflective coating that will prevent leaks and rust, extending the lifespan while saving you money and time. How long does a roof restoration last?  

The typical lifespan of a commercial roof is 20 years when properly maintained. A roof restoration can add another 15 years of life, and defer the expense of a complete replacement to work with the capital budget and your daily budget.

How much should a roof restoration cost?

A commercial roof restoration can cost between $6/per square foot and up to $10/per square foot. When you compare the cost of a new commercial roof of $25/per square foot, the immediate financial benefit is obvious. 

How do you know when to do roof restoration? 

It is important to have monthly roof inspections by your maintenance team. This enables issues to be caught and addressed before a leak starts and causes major costs and problems. In addition to the monthly inspection by your staff, a professional inspection is recommended once a year. Indications that a roof restoration is needed include: 

  • The general appearance of the roof from the ground, with and without using binoculars. Look for any damage, discoloring, or worn conditions. Some buildings with a flat roof will require getting on the roof and walking around looking for things like loose or missing flashing, vents boots, etc. 
  • Cracked components or separations are areas where leaks are invited. A roof restoration will seal those areas up and prevent any leaks.
  • Water stains are better inspected and judged by a professional roofing contractor. They will check the membrane for any barrier or membrane issues, signs of ponding, or puddling of water.  
  • Algae, mildew, and mold are organic substances, most common in moist environments or where there is a lot of trees. In addition to a roof restoration cleaning these off, it will also seal any areas where moisture is building up under the roofing surface that could be a potential leak. 

Products for Roof Restoration

What are the most common and recommended commercial roof restoration coatings and commercial roof restoration products? An experienced commercial roofing contractor that knows how to restore a flat roof will use an elastomeric base coating on the prepped roof surface. This enables them to build up a uniform thickness that is maintained throughout the roof restoration installation process. This base coat material reduces the need for the contractor to apply a primer. 

Next, a topcoat is applied that provides UV reflectiveness and stability, with moisture protection. This roof restoration coating is a bright-white membrane, ideal for reflectivity. However, at the customer’s request, a custom tint can be added. 

The equipment used in these steps may be an airless sprayer, aka spray rig, for applying an elastomeric coating connected to a hydraulic pump that will atomize coating materials. In some cases, the contractor may also use a Tank Spreader, a newer type of equipment in the roof restoration business. Another less expensive and easier to use option, but one that’s just as effective as the airless sprayer, is a Nap Roller. This is typically smaller square footage roof restorations. 

worker providing flat roof restoration

In Closing 

When the budget is tight and the roof needs repair, a roof restoration can be the answer until the budget is healthier. A roof restoration will keep the roof protecting your structure and allow you time to prepare for the expense of replacing the roof.

How to Protect Your Roof from Storm Damage

asphalt shingle roof covered in hailstones

Keep Your Roof Safe

Spring has sprung and summer has come to an end here in Spring, Texas. Now we’re in the midst of winter, and if anything is like it was in February of 2021, we could see unusual cold and snow. That’s why now is the time to check if your home needs any storm damage roof repair before any possible snowfall. 

What is considered storm damage on a roof?

As a homeowner, it is important to know how to tell if a roof has storm damage. Most homeowners do not do a daily roof examination, even though it is the major component providing us protection from the elements. 

A roof is designed to hold up to strong elements like rain, snow, and winds. After a while though, a heavy storm can be too much for a roof, leaving you with storm damage roof repair needs. After a major storm event, it is recommended by experts to get a professional roof inspection because not all storm damage is visible from the ground. 

Here are three important signs that you need a storm damage roof repair service: 

  • Wind Damage

With storms coming in from the coast and storms arriving from the north, there is a lot of wind, and that can do significant storm damage. So here’s a question many homeowners find themselves asking – “How do I know if my roof has wind damage?” Roof repair may include replacing missing shingles or replacing or securing metal roof flashing. 

Damaged, loose, or missing flashing can leave your roof at risk with vulnerable spots that flashing protects.  The damaged shingles where the adhesive seal has been broken can often be visualized by horizontal lines on the shingle or you may see missing granules, both leaving your roof at risk for leaks. 

  • Hail Damage

Hailstorm roof damage is typically caused by hailstones that bruise asphalt shingles, leaving an indention or pock-mark on the shingles. Hail damage often leaves a distinct pattern of small round divots along the edges of the shingles, too. The flashing will show signs of hail damage with round indentations in a repeated pattern of round spots. Hail damage can also knock granules off the shingles, which can be found in the gutter runs. 

  • Falling Debris

Tree branches and entire trees are victims in major storms. When they land on your roof, they can crack the shingles, or even bust through the roof. The cracked shingles are a major storm damage roof repair job; a busted hole in the roof is an entire roof replacement.

Can an ice storm damage a roof?

Definitely, and here are the three most common types of winter storm damage roof repairs are needed:

Water Damage

Freezing rain or ice can cause serious damage to a roof, with a particular problem being ice build-up in the gutter system. This prevents the melted ice and snow from draining and running to the downspouts. If the gutter or downspouts are clogged, the accumulated water gets under the shingles, refreezes, and causes the shingles to break, or the water will seep into the under decking, into the attic, and into the house. It will also seep into the walls. It only takes a few inches of water to cause extensive damage to the interior. It can affect the electrical wiring and mildew, with mold growing from there. 

Snow Damage

This part of Texas normally doesn’t see snow, but early 2021 showed us it’s possible. It only takes a few inches to cause snow storm roof damage and a need for repairs to be done. This can be an especially risky problem with a flat roof where snow can’t melt and slide off the roof. 

Often, a homeowner will use a snow shovel to remove the snow from their roof and end up damaging the shingles. Or worse, they apply calcium chloride or rock salt to the roof to melt the snow, which can inadvertently damage the shingles. This type of snow removal will usually void any warranty for the shingles and may get any insurance claim denied. 

Wind Damage

It isn’t uncommon for those high Texas winds to cause a need for storm roof damage repairs, usually because of loose shingles that are blown off with those blustery cold winter winds. Then, if there is any hail within those winds, it compounds the need for roof repair or replacement. 

Does insurance cover roof damage from a storm?

A basic homeowners insurance policy will typically help cover some storm roof damage roof repairs, including hail, lightning, and winds. What isn’t covered is any damage caused by earthquakes or floods. It is important to read and review your policy to learn and remind you what is covered and what isn’t. If you’re unclear, calling your agent to explain is recommended. 

worker using a cherry picker to pull a tree off a roof

In Closing – What do I do if a storm damages my roof?

There are a few important steps you need to take starting with finding out the who and how to get emergency roof repair after storm damage. The following is a roof storm damage checklist to follow if you find yourself in the position of storm damage roof repair or replacement needs: 

  • Assess the damage. Walk around your home and look at the roof, identifying any damaged areas using binoculars. Do not attempt to climb on the roof! Get an estimate of the square foot damaged area and make notes with specific details of the damage. Document all damage with notes and pictures. Are there missing shingles? Exposed plywood or roofing felt? Note the color of the shingles too. 
  • Make temporary fixes:  If you have severely damaged areas above your living space, you need to take steps to prevent any further water. Do this by placing a bucket under leaks and make sure to remove any valuables from the area. If there are holes in the roof, fasten a plastic tarp over the hole, securing it with nailed-down 2×4 boards. 
  • Contact the insurance company: Notify your insurance company and file a claim. Follow any instructions they provide. 
  • Contact a contractor: Your insurance company provides a list of contractors or find contractors on your own. Make sure they are certified, licensed, and have local, recent references. Follow through with reference checking, asking specially if they had storm damage roof repair done. 

By doing all these things, you have a far better chance of your roof surviving even the worst storms that blow through. Meanwhile, if you do need storm damage roof repair, you can be sure you get it taken care of ASAP.

The Life Expectancy of Commercial Roofs

Worker on a metal commercial roof

How do I know if my flat roof needs replacing?

Commercial roof repairs are a concern for the owners of any commercial structure. The roof is a large component of the building that protects their clients, employees, and their livelihood. From equipment and machinery to materials, products, and more, unattended roof damage can be a costly problem. 

If you own a commercial structure that has roofing issues, you may wonder, “Do I need a commercial roof specialist?” Or will any roofing contractor work?  The answer is yes. Choose a roofing contractor that specializes in both commercial roof repairs and installations. But why? 

Common Commercial Roofing Issues

That’s because a commercial roofing contractor will have a different skill set than a residential roofing contractor. They will have knowledge of the different roofing materials used on commercial structures and be more aware of the challenges and pitfalls of commercial roof repairs, installations, and maintenance. 

Major problems with a commercial structure roof can mean more than an inconvenience. It can result in a long downtime if the building has to be closed for repairs. In some cases, it can be the end of the business. That is why roof inspections and maintenance are important.

Inspections are an opportunity to find small issues and have commercial roof repair completed before they become big and expensive problems. This means you should be aware of what to look for that commercial roof repair is needed.

Leaking

Okay, it’s obvious if your showroom or any area of your building has rain pouring in, you need a commercial roof repair or replacement. However, roof leaks aren’t always noticeable – at first.  Water is the enemy of any structure; it is damaging when left unattended. So, it is important to know what secondary leaks look like and where they may appear. 

If you notice water spots on the ceiling, or you’re seeing or smelling mold, have your commercial roof professionally inspected. There is a good chance, especially if there is attic space, that the is water leaking through the roof. It could also be a plumbing leak, so if the commercial roofing doesn’t find anything, you’ll need a professional plumbing inspection. 

Blistering

Because a commercial structure in Texas is subjected to a hot sun most of the year, it is common for commercial roofing materials to blister. This allows an area for the rain to get trapped under the membrane, and when left unrepaired, it will eventually begin to create a leak. 

Shingle Damage

Like a residential structure, any shingles on your commercial structure will age, have normal wear and tear. They also will crack, curl, loosen, split, and the growth of algae and moss will begin. It is important for any roof inspection catch these things and have commercial roof repair and cleaning performed so that it doesn’t damage the roof any further, or the roof decking below. 

Roof Membrane Damage

For a commercial structure, this is the most common problem and commercial roof repairs can stop from having a major commercial roof replacement installed. Routine inspections to look for the smallest damage will keep the roof healthy longer. Blisters, cracks, splits in a commercial roofing membrane can quickly lead to big problems.

How often do you replace a commercial roof?

The climate, elements, and weather are important factors in determining the frequency of commercial roof replacement. The type of material used for the roofing is another factor, as is the quality of the material installation. Expect an average life span between 20 years and 30 years when routine inspections, proper maintenance, and professional commercial roof repairs have all been performed. 

What is the average life expectancy of a metal roof?

When it comes to commercial roofing materials, there are several choices available today. The most common commercial roofing materials are: 

  • EPDM
  • PVC
  • TPO
  • Metal

Metal roofing has become one of the most preferred choices here in Texas, partly due to its durability. That durability means a longer lifespan when it is properly maintained, and commercial roof repairs are done when needed. A lifespan for metal roofing can be up to 45 years or longer. 

How long do flat roofs last?

A flat roof with bare maintenance and upkeep or poor installation will last up to 10 years.  A commercial flat roof that is properly installed by an experienced commercial roofing contractor and has routine inspections, maintenance, and commercial roof repairs done as needed can give you up to 50 years, with the average being between 20 and 25 years. 

What is the best commercial roofing material?

It is important to analyze and research different roofing materials for your commercial structure before having a roof installation done. This isn’t a cheap investment, so you want to choose one that will give you the best care and last the longest.  Here are four of the most popular choices in Texas: 

  • PVC Roofing

PVC roofing is considered one of the best flat roofing materials on the market today, even though it is one of the more expensive choices. The benefits are many, like the reinforced membrane that makes a flat roofing impact resistant. This lessens the need for commercial roof repairs!  It is a low-maintenance roofing material, a plus to any commercial structure owner. 

  • Metal Roofing

Standing seam metal roofing is the ideal material for a commercial structure that has a 2-inch slope or greater. Metal roofing requires the expertise of a commercial roofing contractor that is experienced in metal roofing due to some required installation specifics. Not all commercial roofing contractors work with metal roofing.  

Once properly installed and maintained, it can last up to 45 years or longer. It is a durable roofing material for Texas with immunity to cracking. If not installed correctly and inspections not performed to look for issues, it is susceptible to leaking at the edges and seams. 

  • TPO

TPO is a popular roof type for commercial roofing because of its durability and inexpensiveness. With up to a 20-year lifespan, this white-coated roofing material is great for energy saving in the hot Texas sun and has minimal maintenance requirements. 

  • Modified Bitumen Roof

This is the most budget-friendly of all commercial roofing materials. Ideal for a building with a good asphalt roofing base, modified bitumen is ideal for commercial roof covering. However, it has a shorter lifespan for a commercial roofing structure, lasting a maximum of 15 years. 

What is the average cost of replacing a commercial roof?

The size of the commercial structure and the material chosen will be the two biggest factors in the cost of replacing the roof.  For a 20,000 square foot roof, you can expect to pay up to $7.50 per square foot for a single-ply roofing membrane. This includes labor and materials. 

How long does it take to reroof a building?

Again, the size of the structure and the material used will factor into the time it takes. The weather is also a big factor in roofing a commercial structure.  In general, the roof of an average-sized commercial roof can take between two weeks and three weeks.  The type of material chosen may need specific temperature ranges like cold sealed single-ply roofs 

flat roof with a gravel surface

In Closing  

A question that any commercial building owner will be concerned with next to cost is the tax benefits. Are commercial roof repairs tax deductible? This is something that should be clarified and confirmed by your CPA, but typically, the full cost of a commercial roof replacement can be deducted in the same year of installation. You may also choose to go with a depreciation instead over 39 years.  Again, your CPA is the best to advise on this matter. To learn more about other aspects of commercial roofing reach out to our team by calling at 832-704-2817.

What is a cool roof system?

Close-up of vents on a white flat roof.

Is a cool roof right for you?

In the south, the summers can get blisteringly hot. This is why more commercial structures are turning to a cool roof system when they need a new roof. But what is a cool roof made of that makes it so desirable for commercial structures? 

A cool roof controls a building’s temperature. With enough buildings, you could cool an entire neighborhood. Using innovative technology, a cool roof reflects the heat from the sun’s UVR rays, stopping any absorption into the building. With this combination, the interior of the building becomes more comfortable, the HVAC system is used less, and that lowers energy costs overall. 

Do cool roofs work?

Yes – a cool roof installation will provide a commercial building solar reflectance and thermal emittance. The difference between conventional roofing and a cool roof is that over 60% of the solar energy, aka the sun’s hot rays – are sent away from the building. This is because of the solar reflectance this roofing offers. 

The thermal emittance in a cool roof is what gives the roof the ability to release any absorbed heat and keep it out of the building. Combining these two things provides an SRI (Solar Reflectance Index) that measures how well a cool roof is working. 

A cool roof will reduce the urban heat island, aka local air temperature, and lower the peak demand for electricity. That minimizes, and in some cases eliminates power outages, while also reducing emissions from power plants like carbon dioxide, mercury, nitrous oxide, and sulfur dioxide.

What are the benefits of a cool roof?

There are several types of cool roofs on the market, but today, we’re going to focus on three of the most common:

  1. Acrylic – A water-based coating for sloped commercial roofs. 
  2. Silicone – A resin-based coating for flat commercial roofs. 
  3. Urethane – A high impact coating for commercial roofs. 

Any of these three will provide a commercial structure owner the following cool roof benefits: 

  • Lowers the energy cost by 20%
  • Keeps the building cooler with less air running
  • Reduces damage from thermal shock 
  • Reduces air pollution & greenhouse emissions
  • Complies with programs & standards set forth by the government
  • Flexes with temperature ranges
  • Bonds to existing roof surfaces directly
  • Forms a seamless membrane to provide roof leak protection 
  • Resists deterioration from the UV rays 
  • Expands the lifespan of the roof

Probably the two most popular things for commercial structure owners is the reduction in costs for cooling the building. This helps a company’s bottom line and, by extending the lifespan of the existing roof, it also saves money by not having to replace a roof too soon. 

How much is a cool roof?

The cost of cool roofs varies from state to state, and even from city to city. The size of the building, and any specific circumstances, can affect the cost of the cool roof coating installed. Overall, the price for a low-slope cool roof can be as much as $1.50 per square foot, with a single-ply cool roof membrane costing up to $3.00 per square foot.

How much energy does a cool roof save?

When it comes to the cost of installing a cool roof, there isn’t much of a difference from the cost of a non-cool roof. That is, unless you’re converting your current roof to a cool roof. Once your cool roof is installed, you can expect to save up to twenty cents per square foot each year. That doesn’t sound like much until you do the math for a 200,000 square foot commercial structure, which is $4000.00 saved in a twelve-month period.

What is the difference between a cool roof vs green roof? 

Both a cool roof and a green roof help commercial buildings in areas that are highly populated to stay cool. With parking lots, rooftops, and streets causing the heat island effect, these two types of roofs elevate that effect, lowering the temperature by as much as seventy degrees. A cool roof reflects the heat from the sun back into the atmosphere, keeping the building cool. However, a green roof absorbs that heat, allowing it into the building. 

Shot from above of a flat roof covered in vents.

Topping Off This Piece – Which roof is best for a hot climate?

Roofing experts steer their clients looking for a cool roof installation to an EPDM material. Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer is a synthetic rubber material that is commonly installed on commercial structures. 

This durable and strong thermoplastic is weather-resistant, UV resistant, and stands up to general wear and tear when routine maintenance is followed per the manufacturer’s or installer’s recommendations. 

It is wise to have your commercial structure’s roof inspected and let a roofing contractor with experience provide you with options that are best for your structure. The type of environment you’re located in can make a difference, like a lot of trees or a lot of other structures. To learn more or set up a consultation for a cool roof system, contact Hellenic Roofing & Construction at 832-704-2817.

How long does a 30 year roof really last?

shingle roofing system

How long do shingles last on your roof?

The condition of the shingle roofing is important for a home safety, structurally and occupant-wise. The most common type of shingle roofing is asphalt, and today there are different levels of quality in asphalt shingles. It is important as a homeowner to know when your shingle roofing needs to be replaced, because it isn’t always the 20 or 30 year that the packaging states. 

When it comes to shingle roofing, there is an assortment of options to choose from. They can be budget minded, or you can choose one that matches your home’s design and style. There are shingles that can be made to match other homes in your location, as some HOAs or city ordinances require.  It is the type of shingle roofing  you choose and the material of those shingle roofing s that will have an impact on their lifespan.

For example, asphalt shingle roofing s have a shorter lifespan than cedar or wood shake with the asphalt lasting on average 20 years and cedar shakes, or shingles can last 30 years or longer, depending on the weather and other contributions like tree overhanging, etc. Fiber cement shingle roofing s and other composition shingle roofing s can last up to 30 years.

What do shingles do for a roof?

The average person thinks that shingle roofing s have a cosmetic only purpose, but that isn’t their main function. Yes, even though there is a variety of designs and materials in shingle roofing s, their practical purpose is to provide a watertight, wind-resistant seal for protecting your roof. You could actually cover your roof in almost anything that served the same purpose. It doesn’t have to be “pretty”, just purposeful. 

When Should roof shingles be replaced?

Industry experts recommend having a bi-annual professional inspection. This will give the technician a chance to spot any small issues before they become a major leak problem.  This will also give them the opportunity to keep you updated on the aging and condition of your roof, allowing you time to budget a new roof. 

The underlying structure of a roof should last as long as the house itself does. However, if the roofing is done with subpar materials and shoddy workmanship, it can affect the lifespan of the roof. A general replacement schedule that roofing contractors use is: 

  • Composition Shingle Roofing: 12 to 20 years
  • Asphalt Shingle Roofing: 15 to 30 years
  • Wood Shingle Roofing: 20 to 25 years
  • Rubber Roofing: 30 to 50 years
  • Metal Roofing: 50 to 75 years

These time frames can  vary with the climate exposure, heat, humidity, and severe weather conditions. The better quality of shingle roofing material, the longer the roof will last and routine maintenance and upkeep can help the roof lifespan. 

How do you know when shingles are going bad?

With homeownership, being proactive is better than reactive. There are several signs that you should be aware it may be time for new shingle roofing to be scheduled: 

#1: Loose or missing shingles

This can happen from storm damage and high winds, or your roof may simply be getting old. Regardless how it happened, when they are loose have fallen off, they aren’t doing your roof any good. 

#2: Blistering, cracked, curling, dried out

Shingle roofing s in this kind of condition needs to be replaced, and if there are several, the entire roof should be replaced. 

#3: Sagging

A sagging roof could be from a deterioration or improperly installed. It could have too much weight on it like snow or a leak has filled the ceiling with water. At this point, it has become a safety matter now and a new shingle roofing  job is needed immediately. 

#4: Dark and dirty

Dark and dirty areas of a roof are usually where asphalt granules have fell off from age or weather. Dark spots are also common with algae, lichen, and moss, which is eating away at your shingle roofing s. You can have it professionally cleaned, but if the dark areas are still there, plan on a new roof soon. 

#5: Granules in the Gutters

As shingle roofing s come loose, they fill the gutters and downspouts. When you’re seeing more in the gutters than you have been, it is time for new roofing. The less shingles, the less effective they are at protecting your roof.

#6: Exposed or loose nails

If the nails are exposed, loose, or have popped out, the holes are making your roof susceptible to penetrating water that will cause leaks and other  moisture damage. 

#7: Interior damage

If there has been any roof leaking that you haven’t noticed, you’ll find out by looking in the attic. Any water stains on the attic ceiling, moisture on the insulation, mildew, or mold is a strong indication your shingle roofing s are not doing their job. 

#8: Damaged or missing flashing

Damaged or missing flashing is an area where water can penetrate around the chimney, roof intersections or other projections on the roof. You may be able to have the flashing replaced or it may be too late.

#9: Age

When an asphalt shingled roof reaches its 20th anniversary, it is time to start budgeting for a new roof, you have maybe 5 more years left. 

#10: Energy bills have increased

This can be poor shingle roofing s, insufficient attic insulation, or insufficient attic ventilation. 

red shingles

Is it OK to put shingles on top of shingles?

Maybe, maybe not.  Hire an experienced roofing contractor that knows how to put shingle roofing on and they can tell you if your existing roofing is suitable to be re-roofed. The existing roof and decking need to be good condition, or your just adding problems to the situation. Yes, it an save money on a new shingle roofing installation to simply roof over it, but if you want longevity, then have the contractor tear off the existing before installing the new. 

If you’re considering placing your home on the market, and you’re not sure which is the better choice, shingle roofing vs metal roofing, go with the asphalt shingle roofing . Asphalt shingle roofing s get a higher resale value with a ROI of almost 66%. Metal roofing gets just over 61% ROI. Call 832-704-2817 today for your shingle installation in Spring, TX.

Is roof flashing necessary?

roof flashing

What is roof flashing importance? 

Yes, roof flashing is necessary if you don’t want leaks in your roof. Ok, so what is roof flashing and what does flashing on a roof look like?  Roof flashing is typically a thin metal material, galvanized steel is this most common material,  that is installed with roofing to keep water flowing away and off the roof in critical areas.  Those critical areas are where roof planes meet and create a valley or meet an upright surface like a dormer or wall.  Roof flashing is also installed around chimneys, skylights, and vents. 

Shelters have been constructed by human for thousands of years to protect their families and those shelters have always had roofs. The main purpose of a roof is to protect your family and home from the elements like the rain, snow, and sun. Roofs today are constructed of better materials today and can last up to 100 years or longer depending on the material. 

However, even the best constructed modern roof today has weak points that can be vulnerable to leaking. That is where roof flashing becomes important. Roof flashing is critical is securing joints in areas of the roof that are inclined to get a lot of water. Areas between the  roof slopes that are called valleys or around penetrations like the chimney, dormers, skylights, and vents. 

What are the different types of roof flashing?

In the early days of roofing, roof flashing was a labor intensive, time-consuming part of the roof. Birch bark and other materials were used to create roof flashing or ways to were used to redirect the water flow from chimneys and other areas prone to leaks. 

One method that was used is applying mortar flaunching, a large buildup of the substance, piled sloped around the chimney so the water would flow away from the chimney. Using shingles at an angle were another method used for roof flashing. 

Today, modern roofing uses a common roof flashing material of  flexible, thin strips of galvanized steel and there are different forms of roof flashing:

  • Continuous flashing: This is the apron flashing that is one long continuous piece of roof flashing installed between a sloped roof and a vertical wall. 
  • Drip edges: Typically installed all along the roof eaves under the roofing felt to keep water dripping off the roof.
  • Step flashing: A ninety degree bent  rectangular piece installed in an overlap fashion at vertical walls to keep water from getting behind the walls. 
  • Valley flashing: This W-shaped metal flashing is installed  on top of the roofing felt where 2 roofing angles meet creating a valley.
  • Vent pipe flashing: This cone-shaped fitted metal flashing is installed into the shingles to cover areas around the vent  pipes.
  • Base flashing: This flashing is installed around the base of chimneys to ensure rain is directed downwards like apron flashing. 
  • Counter-flashing: Placed opposite of or above base flashing creating a team of roof flashing. 
  • Cap flashing: This L shaped roof flashing lies flat to the roof, windows, and other fittings to keep water running in the opposite direction and keep it from pooling in any cracks that may be around the fitting.
  • Chimney flashing: Applied around chimneys, preventing water from pooling in the gaps between the chimney and roof. 
  • Saddle flashing: This roof flashing is installed around jutting beams or railing attachments.
  • Skylights: This roof flashing is used for skylights that doesn’t have built-in flashing and is needed to keep from water from seeping in around the skylight and into the home. 
  • Kick-out flashing: This roof flashing links the gap between step flashing and the gutter system to direct water away off the roof, away from the wall and to the gutter.

Does flashing go over or under shingles?

It depends on the type of roof flashing and the purpose it is to serve. When installed where a wall  begins, the roof flashing is installed on top of the shingles. Base roof flashing, however, should be installed under the shingles around the chimney and then secured to the roof. In some areas, like step roof flashing, it is alternated in layers of flashing, shingle, flashing, shingle, etc. 

Do roofers replace flashing?

Yes, and using a professional roofing contractor for roof flashing installation is recommended. When a new roof or re-roofing is being installed, the roofing contractor will replace the old flashing with new flashing. 

flashing on a metal roof

When Roof Flashing Is Corroded

Corroded roof flashing should be replaced with new roof flashing. In some cases however, roof flashing can be repaired and left in place. How do you fix roof flashing? For corroded spots and small holes, using sandpaper or a wire brush, rough over the area to be patched, then clean it off with a clean, dry rag.  

Next fill the area with roofing cement and spreading it over and around the area is sufficient. For ay area larger than a 3/4 inch diameter, place a piece  of metal flashing over the area, held down with roofing cement over the patch. 

If you’re not comfortable climbing a ladder or working at high levels, calling a roofing contractor is recommended.  Having your roof inspected by a professional once a year, things like bent, damaged, loose, or missing flashing can be addressed while the contractor is on the roof. Call 832-704-2817 today for roof flashing in Spring, TX.

What is Polyurea coating used for?

metal roof in need of coating

How do you apply Polyurea coating?

To understand what Polyurea coating is used for, we should explain what it is first. Apparently it is a “coating” but made of what?  Well, it is a coating material made from two substances, amine resin ad isocyanate that create a chemical reaction.  

It is more commonly know by the name Line-X, an aliphatic polyurea that is sprayed on in a thinner application compared to elastomer coatings. When it comes to comparing polyurea and coatings, polyurea coating may be thinner that some, but it is still as reliable and sturdy as industrial paint or powder coating. 

The first thing any contractor should know is to apply a polyurea coating with a trained crew. The manufacturer offers training at their site, providing answers on the product with hands-on training.  Once your crew is trained, the basics to applying a Polyurea coating is: 

  • Preparation: Remove all contaminants like laitance and sealers from the  surface. This step  is critical if the application is going to be successful in penetrating and adhering to the surface.  Mechanical application is recommended for a through layer of the paste that can penetrate the concrete pores.
  • Repairs: Make all repairs of cracks and joints using a polyurea-based material that has superior flexibility and fast curing speed.  To extend the material, use a sand or pea gravel as a filler for large cracks, holes, and spalls. 
  • Primer:  Using the manufacturer’s recommendation of primer, squeegee on the number of coats in the thicknesses stated. A colorless primer coat or a tinted coating an be used. 
  • Bed Layer:  Allow the primer two to four hours to dry, depending on the temperature, but you should be able to walk on it as a test its ready. If this is for a garage floor or a flooring with metallic or Medici flooring systems, you’ll need two coats and now is the time to apply the second coat primer. 
  • Topcoat: With the second coat dry and cured, vacuum the flooring to remove any loose material then apply the top coat using a flat blade squeegee.

Can polyurea be applied over epoxy?

An  existing garage floor with a two-part coating like epoxy, polyaspartic, polyurea, or polyurethane, should be adaptable to applying a polyurea coating without any issues or problems.  Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and follow the recommended steps for accurate process. 

Is polyurea better than epoxy?

When it comes to flooring in your home, the garage floor is usually overlooked, especially when it comes to applying a coating. Now after living there a few years you’re ready to sell and noticed that the garage floor looks pretty bad. Perhaps a new coating will improve it and help get the asking price for your house. Question you have now, should you go with an epoxy coating or a polyurea coating? Let’s look at the specs of both: 

  • EPOXY COATING: Epoxy is not a paint product, but rather, a shield material for flooring, acting as a barrier. Epoxy coatings comes in different thickness that bond with concrete, is durable and moisture-resistant. There are some drawbacks as with any product, one being over time, it drastically fades if exposed to the sun. Epoxy coating isn’t as flexible as some like their garage floor coating, so it may need frequent repairs and will need regular maintenance to take care of any abrasions, and it isn’t good in freezing temperatures.  Epoxy coating is vulnerable to blistering and bubbling, which weakens the material. 
  • POLYUREA COATING: Polyurea coating is the result of chemical reaction and creates a beautiful, waterproof coating that is flexible and impact-resistant. It withstand fluctuating temperatures, doesn’t crack, peel, or fade. Polyurea coating is a twenty time stronger material that cures fast. Because it does cure quickly, it is recommended to be installed by a professional contractor with manufacturer training. 

Can polyurea be painted?

In general, spraying a 100% acrylic latex house paint will work well with a polyurea coating. It is recommended to do apply the paint within 24 hours of applying the polyurea coating.

How long does polyurea last?

A Polyurea coating that has been applied by a trained contractor will last up to ten years depending on the environment. With ability to stand up to 5,000 psi, polyurea coating is a durable coating that can be customized  and cures within seconds of application.

roof without polyurea coating

How do you remove polyurea coating?

Polyurea coating is not applied with the intention of removing it, but if the need arises, there are three methods, not all have the same quality results: 

  • Mechanical Removal: This may be chipping, cutting, or grinding, and is the most common used method. 
  • Ultra-High Blasting Water Pressure: Using this method will cut polyurea coating away and expose the underneath.
  • Sponge-Jet Blasting: This method uses composite abrasives that is propelled with pressurized air. 

With all the information we’ve provided in this piece, let’s discuss what polyurea coating pros and cons are:  

The Pros:

  • High tolerance to heat 
  • UV-resistant
  • Abrasion, chemical, and scratch
  • High-gloss finish.
  • Impact resistant
  • Waterproof resistant
  • Flexible, doesn’t crack or peel
  • Fast curing

The Cons:

  • Cost

With so many benefits, a polyurea roof coating can help your property today. Want to get started on your roof coating in Spring, TX? Call 832-704-2817 today.

Types of Metal Roofing

sloped metal roof

What are the disadvantages of a metal roof?

The days of finding metal roofing only on barns and commercial structures is gone. More and more homeowners are finding the benefits of a metal roof to something they can get on board with too, despite the few disadvantages of metal roofing may have. 

There are many different materials to use when roofing your home today, but the one gaining in popularity is metal roofing. With the multiple choices in types of metal, including aluminum, copper, galvanized steel, tin, or zinc, and the selection of colors and designs, why not? 

The benefits of metal are appealing, starting with the longevity and minimal maintenance, but the energy efficiency is what catches most homeowner’s attention, not to mention the discount on their homeowner’s insurance. Still though, like anything, there are some disadvantages with metal roofing too: 

  • Cost:  Metal roofing can coast up to three time more than asphalt shingles or other roofing material. However, if you’re planning on living in your home for years, it will give you a high ROI because it will probably be the last roof you’ll need. 
  •  Noisy: Metal roofing can be loud and noisy, especially in a hailstorm or heavy rain. However, installed with insulation, that concern is eliminated. 
  • Contraction and Expansion: When metal roofing is attached in large panels, they contract and expand with the temperature. When they are installed with fasteners properly, they can come lose. 
  • Color matching:  When metal roofing has been installed for a while and a repair is needed, getting an exact color match is difficult.
  • Presentation. With metal roofing when  water accumulates on the roof, it can create serious problems. This is typically because of a low quality metal or poor workmanship with the installation. This is one of the biggest reasons you want to find a contractor that is experienced on how to install a metal roof and offers a warranty. 

Should you put a metal roof over shingles?

You have a shingle roof on your home now and it is time to replace it. You want to go with metal roofing because of all the benefits that would offer. Do the old shingles need to be removed? No, it is not necessary to tear off the old shingles off before having the metal  roofing installed. Metal roofing is a lightweight material and will not any significant weight to the structure. 

Things that you should consider before making that decision with your roofing contractor:

  • Local building codes
  • Product warranty
  • Contractor guarantee

Which metal roof is best?

When the words, ‘metal roofing’ are spoken, you probably think about an old barn roof or ugly steel roofing. Today, there are several metal roofing types to choose from that will match any architectural style. We’re going to review the different types of metal available for roofing, but your location and the environment can be a deciding factor which one is best for you. 

Copper Metal Roofing 

It has been around forever and is found in all corners of the world, copper is referred to as the grandfather of all metal roofing. It has a long-life span, up to 200 years or longer, it is 100% recyclable, and because it is soft, it is quiet. However, as an extremely soft metal, it may not be the right metal roofing for an area prone for hailstorms. 

Aluminum Metal Roofing 

Aluminum metal roofing is equivalent to a Dune Buggy when it comes to roofing. Seal off any essentials, install a roll cate, and you’re ready to go. Aluminum metal roofing corrosive resistant and durable, like a dune buggy, perfect for coastal residence. It is expensive to have installed and with a high strength-to-weight ratio can make it a thin material for some areas. 

Zinc Metal Roofing 

 Zinc metal is amazing and as it patinas, it heals any scratches. A lifespan of more than 100 years, this natural property is popular among commercial structures. It is easy to form and manipulate in different chapes, although for residential use, it isn’t one of the most appealing metals. 

Steel Metal Roofing

Steel is an alloy that is used in any building aspect you can imagine. Steel metal roofing is a common material for commercial properties now and is spreading into the residential areas. It is easily available, and the low cost and recyclability makes it a popular choice.

metal roof on a big building

Can I walk on a metal roof?

As the homeowner, unless you have experience in walking on a roof, it is recommended that this be left to a professional contractor. Contractors have OSHA safety requirements to follow and if they have any accident, or damage your roof, it is on their insurance, not yours. 

Does a metal roof lower your insurance? In most cases, yes, metal roofing will lower your insurance due to the fire resistance it offers.  Each policy is different, each company offers different discounts.  It is worth calling your agent for a quote before committing to new metal roofing. Call 832-704-2817 today for your metal roofing in Spring, TX.