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: Insulation. This feature provides thermal resistance or the “R” value for temperature stability. It also provides a solid surface for the new roof system to be installed over.  Modified Base Sheets. Base sheets are critical foundations for flat roofs; cap sheets offer redundancy when other layers develop a support problem. This is the first ply installed. Modified Bitumen Mid Ply Sheets. These are factory-fabricated sheet membranes composed of co-polymers reinforced with fiberglass or polyester. These are typically installed on plys 2-4 Modified Cap Sheet. The top sheet that is typically installed with granules. This sheet provides weathering resistance or UV protection. This is the top ply installed, and what most people see what they look at a modified roof. What makes mod-bit roofing a suitable roofing […]

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 […]

How Heat Welding Works On TPO/PVC Membrane

Single-ply roofing materials have become one of the most popular roofing for many reasons: flexibility, durability, lightweight, ease of installation, ease of maintenance, and energy efficiency. The single-ply roof membranes are classified as thermoplastic materials. One of the most important benefits of thermoplastic materials is the ability to heat weld seams together into permanent seams. So, let’s dive right in on how heat welding works on TPO/PVC membranes. In heat welding on TPO/PVC membrane, heat sealing joins thermoplastic films that typically range from 36 mills to 80 mills, depending on the membrane and manufacturer. On TPO/PVC roof systems, heat welding is completed using hot-air welding. This is typically done using a handheld tool or an automatic computerized machine.  The automatic computerized machine, which is commonly known as a “robot” or “dog”, is used on field seams and areas that are more wide open. This machine is larger, so it can’t fit in tight spaces, such as under rooftop units or around congested spaces.  The handheld welder is used on areas that are too small to fit the larger automatic welder, for example, on rooftop units, vent pipes, and congested spaces. They can also be used on “Start / Stop” locations, which is where the automatic welder begins and finishes its welding process. Key Factors of Heat Welding on TPO/PVC Membrane While solvent welding is a […]

Choosing The Longest Lasting Commercial Roofing For Harsh Winters

Winters are harsh on commercial roofing. All of that rain, sleet, snow, ice, and wind will do damage. Often business owners think their roof is strong until a night of wind and rain brings leaks and damp patches. The weight of heavy snowfall or a week of ice will cause its own problems. A harsh winter will expose weaknesses, often with devastating results. At Chaffee Roofing, we know the benefits of a long-lasting commercial roof. The type of roofing to come through the winter and withstand the toughest conditions is what you need. Let’s take a closer look at the best roofing for your building. TPO is one of the best roofing solutions for harsh winter problems. We supply EPDM, TPO, and PVC membrane roofing materials for commercial installs. All three products have their benefits, depending on the style of the roof. TPO is one of the best for harsh winters. It has many benefits, and for commercial roofs going through harsh winters, TPO covers all eventualities. Not shattering is one of the major benefits of any roof in a harsh winter. Instant, low temperatures can cause a roof to shatter, often overnight. This will not happen with TPO, and you can rest assured when the coldest nights come that your TPO roof will stay secure. Shrinking is another problem with cold and freezing conditions. […]

Heat – Welded PVC And TPO Seams Do Away With Seam Weaknesses

A flat roof is only as strong as its weakest seam. Many types of seams are not strong enough under pressure and will fail. Age, foul weather, and even poor application by badly trained roofing mechanics can cause a seam to open. Once the seam opens, the membrane separates, and the next rainfall will do the damage. At Chaffee Roofing, we know that properly installed heat-welded membranes fix the problem of seam weakness. Our years of experience tell us how both PVC and TPO give peace of mind when it comes to solid roofs.  Let’s take a closer look at how not to have roof seam weakness become an issue. It’s all in the welding Both PVC and TPO membrane seams are heated-welded together. The rolls of membrane slot into place and our highly-trained Chaffee Roofing technicians go into action. We use robotic welders on large, open plan roofing installations. The onboard computer automatically sets the correct temperature for the material. Hot air welding, using temperatures up to 800 degrees, seal together the seams of the membranes.  The computer also sets the correct pressure to apply and the most suitable speed when welding together the PVC seams. The bonding process creates the strongest seal possible in roofing systems. How about the tighter roof areas? While the robotic welder is ideal for the larger roof areas, […]

Types Of Commercial Roofing That Are Installed Over Your Old Roofing

Does your old commercial roof need replacing? Are you considering installing a new roof over the old one? Are you worried about choosing the right roof for your building?  We see projects where removing and disposing of the old roof is as big a job as installing the new one. The solution can lie in installing the new roofing over the existing one. There are types of commercial roofing systems that allow you to do this without any trouble. When done correctly, the finished roof is as strong and reliable as any new installation. Let’s take a closer look at the types of commercial roofing to install over your old roofing. TPO will install easily over the old roof TPO is one of those materials which fits easily over an old commercial roof.  The heat-welded seams do not leak, and the TPO does not shrink under the summer sun.  A significant advantage of TPO is puncture resistance. If you have a lot of foot traffic on your roof, then TPO is for your building. A team of qualified roofing technicians will install your new roof and leave you with a much-improved structure. Shingles can be difficult We often get calls from clients looking to replace a shingle roof. A major expense can be the removal and disposal of the old shingles. Yes, it is possible […]

Roof Proposals – What to Keep an Eye Out For

Making sense of roofing proposals from different contractors offering varying solutions can be very daunting. Just understanding the myriad of solutions can be difficult enough without adding in products, terminology, etc. What makes it extraordinarily difficult, in my opinion, is when proposals are vague. In flat commercial roofing, there are a few key points to keep an eye out for in a quality proposal. They are: Tear Off or Go Over: If there are two or more roofs, or if the underlying insulation is wet, a tear off is generally required. If one roof is in place and only a few areas are wet, then the wet areas can be replaced on a limited basis. However, in flat commercial roofing, there is a big cost difference between removing the existing roof system and going over it. Therefore, it is very important to know what solution your contractor is proposing. Insulation Thickness and “R” value: Typically, in a go-over application, a minimum of 1” polyisocyanurate insulation or ½” HD polyisocyanurate insulation is used as a separation between the old roof system and the new roof system. However, if a full tear off is being completed, building code typically requires that the insulation be brought back to code. In 2020, this could mean installing 4.5” to 5.2” of insulation, depending on what building code calls for in […]

Roofing Materials Compared For Lifespan And Durability

Lifespan and durability are not the same for all roofing materials.  Without getting service from a roofing material, what is the point of your investment? When looking for a replacement roof, or choosing a new one, take time to investigate these two qualities. The short time spent looking at your alternatives may save you a lot of money in the future. There are many roofing materials available, so making the right choice may not be easy. When you know what you are looking for, then the decision becomes a simple one. To help make that decision take a look at your alternatives. TPO is one choice TPO has proven to be good on flat roofs. It is easy to apply and a cheaper alternative to other roofing materials. The lifespan of TPO is around 20 to 30 years, depending on the thickness of the membrane and how it is installed. A significant factor in the life of TPO is the quality of the material, which can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Always insist on top-quality TPO from a reputable manufacturer like Carlisle, Firestone, or GAF. Additionally, spend the extra money on the thicker 60 mil or even 80 mil TPO. The extra thickness will add years to the lifespan of the roof. TPO is durable and does not corrode. TPO is typically heat welded where […]

TPO versus EPDM: which system is better?

One of the most common questions we get is: Which roof system is better, black “Rubber” EPDM or white “Thermoplastic” TPO? Both are similar in price, both come with 15-30 year warranties, both are made by reputable manufacturers, and both are widely installed throughout New England.  So that begs the question, is one roofing material actually better than the other? Key Differences In my view, neither roof system is definitively better than the other. However, they do have key differences that may have an impact depending on your building. These differences include: Heat and UV Resistance: When it comes to heat and UV resistance, EPDM is the superior product. As a general rule, EPDM can reach temperatures of around 180 to 200 degrees, whereas TPO can only reach temperatures of around 140 degrees. This can make a difference in buildings that have a high heat output or a lot of dark, high heat surfaces surrounding the building. Grease and Oil Resistance: TPO is far better with food byproducts, such as grease and oil. Grease guards should always be used, and neither system is warranted against grease, but TPO will hold up much better than EPDM in the event of a leakage or fluid backup.  Puncture Resistance: In my view, both products have similar puncture resistance. However, many of the manufacturers are starting to provide puncture […]

Variety Of TPO Manufacturers Leads To Varying Results

Thermoplastic-polyolefin, otherwise known as TPO, is an excellent roofing material. There are a lot of manufacturers bringing TPO to the market, but few supply the top quality. At Chaffee Roofing, we are all too aware of the differences in quality TPO available. By having only the best suppliers, we guarantee that our customers get superior materials.  We also visit a lot of TPO manufacturers to keep up-to-date with changes in the product. Recently, we looked at samples of TPO, to see where the differences lie. What problems come from poor quality TPO We love TPO and use it daily, knowing that our customers are getting a quality roofing product.  Poor quality TPO can lead to such problems as seam failures, where the seams lift or split where they meet. Another issue we see is the TPO cracking under pressure from hot or icy conditions.  Similarly, poor quality TPO can look “chalky,” which is when the top layer of TPO basically breaks down and starts to wash away. Less reputable manufacturers may bring out a new version of TPO without testing it thoroughly. In these cases, you as the customer could be the guinea pig. In contrast, quality, well-made TPO tends to be pretty consistent. While small changes may be made here and there, the product itself remains pretty consistent. Different formulas lead to varying qualities […]