Membrane Formula Changes – New and Improved or Inconsistent and Unproven

Jun 12, 2020
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In the world we live in today, we want everything we buy to be the latest and greatest.

Whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, car, appliance, or even a kid’s toy, the newest products are what everyone wants and talks about. Even a model of just about any product above a year or two old can be sold for steep discounts in favor of clearing space for upcoming models. However, with most construction products, especially flat commercial roofing products, the opposite is typically true. Why?

Probably the biggest reason, in my opinion, is that unlike most consumer items, construction products are something that you will likely live with for decades. Even something as major as a car is typically replaced every 5 to 10 years. Compare that to a flat roof system, which is typically warranted from 15 to 30 years. As a result, product failure or shortcoming is something that you may have to live with for a long time, especially if it isn’t backed up by a strong warranty. This means that for many people who are experienced in construction, they don’t want to be the guinea pig with something that will last such a long time and comes with such a high price tag.

Another reason that consistency prevails in the construction industry is that oftentimes, manufacturers will release a new product to the industry without fully understanding how it will stand up to the elements. Think about first-generation vinyl siding, first-generation composite decking, or first-generation PVC trim. A lot of lessons were learned about what colors to use, what formulations worked and didn’t work, what products worked or didn’t work in certain situations, etc. Most of the time, the lessons came from unhappy customers with products that simply didn’t hold up in the long run. 

At Chaffee Roofing, we have been involved in replacing a lot of these “latest and greatest” roof systems that simply didn’t perform as expected over time. Some of these include:

  • Black TPO roof systems, where the darker color exceeded the heat limit of what TPO can tolerate.
  • Stainless fasteners that twisted and bent as they were being installed.
  • Toggle bolts that backed out, causing the roof to “bounce.”
  • PVC roof systems that shattered, either partially or completely.
  • New bonding adhesives that failed, causing a complete or partial blow off.
  • Bonded plate systems that didn’t hold the roof system down.
  • Coating systems that simply peeled off the roof system or that held moisture in the roof system, causing rust and rot.
  • Fiberboard insulation that soaked up water like a sponge.

From witnessing these failures and being part of their remediation, we at Chaffee Roofing have taken the perspective that, if we are going to install a product, it needs to be time tested and proven. Buying the latest and greatest is fine in consumer goods that have a limited life, but when it comes to decades of performance, we always insist on installing a proven product. We believe that the only true test of a product is decades of actual outdoor use, living through the wind, snow, rain, ice, heat, cold, damp, humidity, and every other element for a lengthy period of time. There is no greater testament than a solid, proven product that has gone the distance.

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At Chaffee Roofing we love to help our clients. We can advise you on all roofing types, and help you with any roofing project.

Our experts will answer all of your questions.

Call us today for all your roofing needs.

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