Ponding Water On Flat Roofs – What You Need To Know

How ponding water affects commercial roofs and what to do about it Commercial roofing systems are prone to all sorts of issues that arise from weather incidences that are often really hard to see with the naked eye. While low-slope roofs, often associated with commercial properties, are constructed to withstand abuse from the elements, they have one particular downside – they’re often out of sight.  Ponding water on commercial roofs is considered to be one of the most common threats to roof durability and is attributed to a large number of emergency service calls resulting in flat roof repair. While every occurrence of ponding water is not a telltale sign of damage to come, it should be monitored and addressed as soon as possible. This blog post should inform you of the main aspects to be aware of regarding ponding water on flat roof systems.  What Does Ponding Water Mean? Ponding water, often called ‘incidental ponding water’, means that water from events like rainfall has accumulated in puddles on a flat roof system and has not drained away from the building via a drainage system. To a certain extent, every flat roof system is intended to withstand a reasonable amount of ponding water until it eventually evaporates away, leaving the low-slope roof nice and dry. A period of 48 hours of ponding water is considered […]

4 of the Most Common Commercial Flat Roof Repairs to Expect

Commercial flat roofs are industrial structures that need careful installation and maintenance. When excellently done and if properly maintained, commercial flat roofers will tell you that a quality roofing installation will last upward of twenty five years. Unfortunately, commercial flat roofs may not attain the twenty five year lifespan because of weather and calamities. Snow overload, excessive heat, humidity build-up, and condensation are all factors that may affect commercial flat roofs. Humidity build-up, extreme heat, and snow build-up on commercial flat roofs may cause cracks, voids, or holes. Below we take a look at the most common commercial flat roof repairs: Holes are common in commercial roofing. Dropped tools, knives, and sharp objects may cause mechanical damage, leading to holes. The presence of holes in commercial roofs implies the leakage of rainwater, snowwater as well as the direct penetration of sunlight. So, patching holes caused by mechanical damage and sometimes aging is one of the most common flat roof repairs – especially for commercial roofs – whether EPDM, TPO, PVC, or asphalt. Flashing repairs are another category of repair for commercial flat roofs. Flashing details are often the most difficult part of a flat roof installation, which makes them a likely source for roof leaks. Checking to see how walls, rooftop units, roof drains, etc. are installed is a good start to finding your leak […]

3 Preventive Care Steps to Take in Protecting Your Flat Roof

Flat roofs are very common on commercial and industrial roof systems due to their ability to maximize space inside a building. Despite their versatility and functionality, flat roofs are potential victims of bad weather, especially during the winter. A minor defect may not be problematic in good weather, but it could be catastrophic in bad weather. In many cases, flat roofs are out of sight, out of mind. As long as it doesn’t leak, many building owners and facilities managers won’t spend time or money on their flat roof. This allows minor problems, like clogged drains, loose rooftop panels and small surface scratches, to turn into major problems. As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. In the case of industrial flat roofing, this is especially true, as a small amount of money spent on maintenance can prevent a far larger repair cost, restoration cost, or even replacement cost. We advise that you observe the following preventive steps in protecting your flat roof: 1. Complete a general roof inspection. The first step of any maintenance program is completing a general walk around of the roof. Check for roof damage, such as slits, slices and openings. Look for loose rooftop doors / hatches and other areas that may create damage down the road. If something looks problematic, take care […]

Modified Bitumen (Mod-Bit) Roofing, Explained

Modified Bitumen (MB) roofing is an asphalt-based roofing system closely related to the Built-Up Roofing (BUR) design. This roofing material is suitable for buildings with low-scope or flat roofing. MB roofing originated in Europe in the mid-1960s and was adopted widely as a commercial roofing material across the US. Engineered MB roofing material is popular because it performs optimally in harsh conditions, including cold weather. Mod-bit roofing consolidates into typically three to five layers of roofing components, making it one of the most trusted and durable flat roofing systems. The elements making up the modified bitumen roofing system include: What makes mod-bit roofing a suitable roofing option for flat or low-scope roofs? Benefits of Modified Bitumen (Mod-Bit) Roofing MB roofing combines fiberglass and polyester reinforcement to provide stronger tear resistance. The tear-resistance feature makes modified bitumen materials ideal for low-slope roofs. Contact Chaffee Roofing for modified bitumen and other superior roofing solutions.

What You Need to Know About Flat Roof Designs

Flat roofs are among the most common and versatile types of roofs globally. While they are not the most glamorous and enchanting option, they have unique advantages. It’s important to note that flat roofs require special attention, care, and handling. Flat roofs differ from their contemporary counterparts in more than outward appearance. Costs, materials, and versatility benefits are distinct capabilities of flat roofs. So, if you’re a commercial building owner or a private real estate developer, you will most likely have to deal with flat roofs firsthand.Here’s what you need to know about flat roof designs: 1. Cost The cost of a flat roof system can vary dramatically. If you need to complete a full tear off, you also need to install code-compliant insulation, which can add dramatically to the cost. There are also big cost differences between the products available (TPO, EPDM, PVC) and how they are installed (Fastened, adhered, etc). Make sure you do your homework and know what you are getting before approving a proposal. 2. Maintenance On a flat roof system, maintenance is very important. Clogged roof drains and minor defects can create big problems down the road. It is very important to walk your roof at least once a year, clearing vegetation and checking for defects. An annual maintenance program can go a long way in making sure your roof […]

History of Asbestos in Flat Roofing

Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous silicate substance. Scientists discovered asbestos material in debris dating back to the Stone Age Period, around 700,000 years ago. Asbestos’ hair-like fibers were being used as wicks in lamps and candles dating back to 4000 BC. Between 2000-3000 BC, emboldened Pharaoh’s bodies were covered with asbestos cloth to prevent deterioration. In Finland, clay pots dating back to 2000 BC had asbestos fiber believed to have made the pots durable and fire-resistant. Asbestos was adopted as a choice roofing material at the start of the 19th century. However, it is believed that scientists began experimenting by adding asbestos to asphalt and cement in the late 1700s. With a growing adoption by people and businesses, asbestos cement rose to popularity during World War II to design inexpensive, durable military housing. A variety of developments leading to the industrial revolution led to the asbestos imitation of more expensive materials such as shingles, stone, and wood sliding. This transformation catapulted asbestos as an alternative renovation material in the building industry and semi-skilled professions like plumbing and roofing. Adoption of Asbestos in Flat Roofing Early roofing materials had many issues related to durability, safety, and availability. Wood shakes were highly flammable, posing a safety threat to home and business owners. And so were the bare asphalt shingles. Concrete tile roofing materials were cumbersome and […]

Bonding Adhesive and Its Smell

When roofing contractors use bonding adhesives on a commercial building with a flat or low-sloped roof, you can usually smell it as soon as the can opens! To adhere materials to a roof, like EPDM membranes, synthetic rubber, tar paper, insulation boards, felt, and various other materials, roofing contractors use a variety of different adhesives. However, many standard roof bonding adhesive methods require cold application methods. Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t the heat-applied adhesives that smell the most. it’s the cold-applied adhesives. These cold application methods are usually brushed, rolled, or sprayed onto the roof.  Oftentimes these products let out a foul odor, which lasts until the product has dried and set. The unpleasant smells caused by the application of roofing bonding adhesive can lower the indoor air quality of every building in the vicinity. Roof bonding adhesive fumes can be so concentrated that they linger in the air for a long time. This is especially true on buildings where rooftop units are pulling air into the building from the roof. Odors and foul smells can disrupt the building’s occupants. So, how can the vapors, fumes, and unpleasant smells generated by roof bonding adhesives be mitigated? Here are three tips. Related: 4 Reasons To Avoid Built-Up Roof Systems Planning and Logistics Roofing contractors can work early morning or off-hours to maintain indoor air quality […]

4 Reasons to Avoid Built-Up Roof Systems

A built-up roof system, also known as BURS, is a multi-tiered roofing system for flat roofs. Built-up roof systems provide roof protection against the elements with multiple layers of protective systems. A built-up roof system is also known as a tar and gravel roof. The number of layers in the system will depend on the owner’s preferences and usage of the building. Typically, it is installed in 3-5 layers. The more layers, or plies, the stronger the BUR system and the longer it will last. The first layer of a built-up roof system is typically a base felt paper. This prevents the BUR system from being adhered directly to the structural decking, making removal down the road difficult to impossible. Then, alternating layers of asphalt/tar are applied between additional layers of felt paper. Install felt sheet, mop on a layer of asphalt, repeat. The top layer of a built-up roof system usually consists of gravel. In a built-up roof system, gravel acts as UV protection, which will prevent the asphalt roof system from cracking and breaking apart over time. In some cases, coatings are applied instead of P-stone. This serves the same purpose, UV protection. However, in some cases, they also serve as a heat-reflective top layer that reflects sunlight and heat away from a building to help keep it cool and lower energy bills. […]

Low VOC Products in Flat Roofing

Low VOC products have near-zero levels of Volatile Organic Compounds. You will find VOC products in the coatings and adhesives used during the installation or repair of flat roofs. A VOC keeps the compound pliable for longer, which is useful when installing a flat roof on a large building.  Advances in research and technology have brought many low VOC products to the marketplace. Research shows they work as well as the traditional high VOC products. The gasses emitted from VOC products can cause illness. Smells or odors may enter the building when completing repairs or installation—a major inconvenience.  At Chaffee Roofing, we offer low VOC alternatives for working on your flat roof. The use of low VOC products complies with government regulations and is better for the environment.  Some of the low VOC products used in flat roofing are: A silicone coating for waterproofing the flat roof Low VOC primers and adhesives that do the work Elastomeric coatings for all-round protection Let’s take a closer look at each point. A silicone coating for waterproofing the flat roof Water damage can be a big problem with flat roofs. You can take precautions, though, and waterproofing is the first line of defense. A silicone roof coating is applied by using a brush, spray, or roller. It goes on smoothly and is low in VOC, making silicone coating […]