How The Loss Of Plasticizer Chemicals Affects Your Roof

Plasticizer chemicals are added to PVC roofing during manufacturing. PVC is a rigid roofing material, and without plasticizers, it would not be flexible. Unfortunately, over time, plasticizers can leak from the PVC roof.  Weathering, lack of maintenance, and low-quality materials are the usual suspects of plasticizer leakage.  In our previous post, we dealt with spotting the signs of plasticizer migration. Now we will deal with the loss of plasticizers and how it can affect your roof. We see many roofs suffering from the after-effects of losing the plasticizers, which keep it flexible.  Let’s take a closer look at how the loss of plasticizers affects your roof. Contraction causes the roof to lift at the edges Once the plasticizers start to leak from the PVC, you will see some very telltale signs of damage.  The material will contract and lift throughout the roof system. Any areas where there is a transition from vertical to horizontal, such as perimeter walls and rooftop units, pulling away from the wall will likely occur. This will also occur along the edge of the roof system, where the edge metal can pull back. If not fixed immediately, the roof will deteriorate very quickly. Shattering is a major issue Shattering is what you do not want to happen to your roof.  The roof material will lose its structure as the plasticizers leak […]

Common Signs Of Plasticizer Migration

If you have a PVC roof system, you need to know the common signs of plasticizer migration.   A plasticizer is added to PVC during manufacturing to make the polymer flexible. Without the plasticizer, the PVC would be a solid material and impossible to work into place. When the plasticizer leaks from a PVC roof, it will cause cracks, splits, and welded sections to break apart. Combining plasticizer migration with foul weather means disaster for your roof. Early spotting of the common signs of plasticizer migration helps protect your roof. Let’s take a look at some of the telltale indicators. Lifting at the edges is a bad sign Take a look at your PVC roof.  If you can see the roofing material lifting in places, especially at the edges, then you have a problem. The plasticizer, which makes PVC a flexible membrane, will react with residue from an older installation, causing it to leak. The migration weakens the bond causing it to crack or split and causes the PVC to lift around the edges. Regular inspections will help you spot this problem before it causes trouble. Check for brittleness Brittleness is another offshoot of plasticizer migration, which causes significant damage. When the plasticizer leaks from the PVC, the material becomes brittle in places. Get up on your roof, or call your roofing contractor, and inspect for […]

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 […]

The Many Benefits Of PVC Roofing Membranes

PVC roofing has many benefits. At Chaffee Roofing, we supply commercial clients with roofs of all shapes and sizes. We know the difficulties clients face with flat roofs, but more importantly, we know the solutions. Our experience comes from more than 100 years in business.   PVC roofing membrane is a single-ply membrane ideal for many flat roofs. We only supply the best products and recommend PVC to many of our clients. Let’s take a look at the many benefits of PVC roofing. PVC shows excellent durability When investing in a new roof, you want to get value for your money. The durability of PVC repays your investment over the long years of its working life. The heat-welded seams create a robust roofing membrane. Such seams do not split under pressure from high winds, or even in hurricane conditions. Durability is a critical reason why so many people choose PVC roofing membranes. PVC membrane saves on utility bills Any investment which can save you on utility bills has to be a benefit to your company. The high solar reflective quality of PVC will keep your building cool during the hot months of the year. The sun’s rays will bounce off the roof, and you will not need to run the AC as much.  In the wintertime, PVC will help insulate the building, keeping the heat in […]

When You Shouldn’t Choose PVC Roofing

At Chaffee Roofing we know a lot of clients with PVC roofing.  Depending on what your unique requirements are, PVC can be a great choice. However, many times, alternative products like TPO are a better solution for a lower cost. Recently we received a call from a potential client looking to install a new roof. The client was deciding between PVC or TPO roofing. When deciding between the two, it can be a difficult choice since both are white, heat welded products. “When shouldn’t I choose PVC roofing?” he asked. For some roofs PVC is a good option, where on others an alternative would be the better option. We got to thinking, and to help any client looking for answers, we put together a few pointers. It is not easy to repair PVC PVC formulations differ from manufacturer to manufacturer. This means that some PVC membranes are not compatible with other PVC membranes,  and therefore will not weld together. In some cases, if a manufacturer goes out of business or makes significant formula changes, the membrane you install today may not be available down the road.  Also, unlike TPO and EPDM, PVC is not compatible with a lot of peel and stick or self adhered patching products. As a result, a white EPDM or TPO self adhered patch will typically not adhere properly to a […]

Understanding The Biggest Weakness Of PVC Roofing

  Last week, a customer of ours with a large commercial building gave us a call. Their roof was nearing the end of its working life, and like most of our clients, they were calling for advice on installing a new roof. The most durable roof lasts at least 20 years, and must keep the building warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Our client is thinking of PVC and  would like to know of any weaknesses in the roofing material. We got to thinking about PVC and the biggest weakness of using it for your roof. Shrinking over time For many of our clients, this is the biggest weakness of PVC.  Unfortunately, almost every PVC roof will shrink over time. The seams pull away from the walls and flashing details. Once the membrane splits open, leaks will occur through the gaps and damage the structure below. Repairing can be difficult and is often not very successful. Shattering during cold weather If you live in a cold-weather district, this can be the biggest weakness of PVC roofing. We are not talking about the occasional snowfall, but rather long days  with very low temperatures.  When the weather reaches low temperatures, the PVC will shatter. Think about dropping a pane of glass and how that looks; it can be the same with PVC. The cracks […]

How Drainage Affects The Lifespan Of PVC Roofing Membranes

PVC is excellent for flat roofs. It has strong seams, is very chemical resistant and the light colors help keep your building cool. One critical element for a PVC roof is drainage.  Drainage increases the lifespan of PVC roofing membranes. Rainwater is the enemy. It lodges on uneven surfaces, puts pressure on the structure below and wears down the membrane prematurely. Freezing water will also do a lot of damage during a cold winter. At Chaffee Roofing, we get plenty of inquiries about PVC roofing. Clients want to increase the lifespan of their PVC roof and how to go about it. ‘How’s your drainage?’ is one of our first questions. Let’s take a closer look at drainage and how it affects the lifespan of PVC roofing membranes. The problem of bad drainage When water lodges on a PVC roof, problems begin. You need to get rain in addition to melting snow and ice off a PVC roof. The alternative is only bad news. Inadequate drainage puts pressure on seams and the structure below. Surface water freezes during the colder months and PVC cracks and shatters in such conditions, drastically reducing the lifespan of the roof. At Chaffee Roofing our qualified and very experienced team plan your PVC project from start to finish, with drainage being a top priority. We will work with you, getting the installation […]

PVC Versus TPO – What is the Difference?

PVC Versus TPO TPO and PVC have a lot in common. Both are heat weldable roof systems that are typically white in color and have been around for a while. Their specifications are also similar and both roof systems come with warranties varying from 15 – 30 years in length. In addition, most manufacturers can make TPO and PVC in a variety of colors, sometimes even custom colors. So what’s the difference? Polyvinyl Chloride, PVC, is known for being one of the original single-ply roof systems and is typically a rigid product. It was first introduced to the United States in the 1970s and initially had a bad track record. Think of a PVC pipe or PVC trim on a house: that is PVC in its natural state. However, in order to make PVC flexible, plasticizers are added to the membrane. Problems can occur from the addition of these plasticizers when they leach out of the membrane in a process called “plasticizer migration.” This causes the PVC membrane to shrink, shatter and crack over time. In fact, some of the first generation PVC roof systems, which were not reinforced, would completely shatter like glass.  Today, modern PVC roof systems manufactured by reputable companies have greatly reduced the problem of plasticizer migration. In many cases, this problem has been reduced from entire roofs failing to just […]

Unique Roofing Benefits Only Offered By PVC

Chaffee Roofing clients ask a lot of questions about PVC for commercial roofs. What’s so good about PVC roofing? Does PVC have any benefits over its competitors? Are there any unique properties to PVC roofing? We are always helping you, the client, to make the right choice for your roofing project.  Regardless of size, location and prevailing weather conditions, we find PVC can be a great solution to many roofing needs. With this in mind, we put together a post, to highlight the unique roofing benefits of PVC. Four unique benefits of PVC for your commercial roof would be: Durability Resistance to chemical spills and food grease Excellent at keeping water out Long life expectancy Let’s take a closer look at each point. Durability You want a roofing material which will survive the job at hand. A roof which deteriorates under a hot summer sun or one which lifts during high winds of the fall is not the answer. The roof is out of sight, doing a vital job of protecting your building. You do not want to worry about it every change of season. By investing in a PVC, you are investing in the future. It is a durable roofing membrane which will stand up to the toughest of conditions. Resistance to chemical spills and food grease Chemicals and food grease can burn through […]