Saturday, November 18, 2017

Five Common Leak Sources NOT Associated With The Roof

It all starts with seeing a small drip of water or a stained ceiling tile. The little nuisance that a roof leak is to a building owner always is cause for concern to get addressed and repaired before it ever turns into a larger major problem. Many times a real estate building owner will call for a commercial roofing contractor to service a building for roof leaks they see but they are not always necessarily coming from the roof itself. Yes it may come from the ‘roof area’ but there are several other key things that need to be considered and looked into which a majority of the time, can be major causes of roof leaks in the commercial building world.
1. HVAC Units – Air conditioning units are many times found to be the culprit of a roof leak. From a backed up condensate line, to a rusted out drip pan, or a unit that is not properly sealed – HVAC units are common causes of every day roof leaks on commercial real estate buildings. Taking the time to locate a leak from the inside of the building and seeing if it lines up with a mechanical unit on the roof surface is a great step in determining if the HVAC unit is a possible cause. Also look for holes or missing screws on units where rain water can easily gain access into a unit or penetration and make its way into a building.
2. Cracks in Walls and Wall Joints – If a leak of water appears to be coming down from an outside wall of a building, this may be caused from cracks in walls or bad mortar. One of the most common sources of leaks on the wall of a building are found at wall joints especially when the sealant at these areas crack and deteriorate over time. Always keep regular observation on the upkeep of a buildings exterior walls and if cracks/voids start showing in wall areas, they should be addressed right away.
3. Plumbing from Roof Drains – As buildings age, the plumbing and seals of a building often need to be inspected regularly as plumbing seals can deteriorate and wear over time. If a so called ‘roof leak’ is coming from an area with a roof drain or drain pipe located near it, there can be cause for concern that the leak is actually associated with the plumbing of a building. This may take thorough examination by a roofing contractor and plumbing contractor together but once it’s determined to be coming from the roof drain bowl or the roof drain line – a plumbing contractor will have to take it from there. One side note to consider if the leak is at the drain bowl / pipe connection – a metal retrofit roof drain might be an option to fix the issue.
4. Condensation and Moisture – If you ever walk into a cold grocery store or temperature controlled environment, the temperature from cooling equipment can cause major moisture issues which can lead to condensation and moisture drips. Most of this comes down to the design of a buildings air cooling systems via piping or duct work that may be up against the roof deck in the ceiling but it is usually very easy to identify. If stained ceiling tiles or drips of water are coming from areas with duct work or pipes in the ceiling area, the main thing to monitor is if these drips of water are occurring during normal sunny days where no rain has been present. If this happens to be the case, a professional HVAC technician might have major issues to address in the insulation and function of the air cooling system in a building.
5. Foundation Water Entry – There are times when a commercial building owner comes into their building one morning and they find water all over the ground or up against walls. A common source, especially on older buildings is that the water may be coming in via the floor or wall-to-ground areas of a building. If the puddles of water are large or extremely saturated but no staining of ceiling areas or old water marks are found, this foundation issue may be the main problem. It would be wise to wait until a good heavy rain and see if it actually leaks in the rain from the roof at all.

Roof leaks or leaks that may be believed to come from the roof can be a common occurrence in the commercial real estate world but having proper professional contractors who know how to investigate and sort through the different water entry items of a building are a great resource to have.

For professional commercial roofing services and consultation for a real estate building which is facing leaking issues – contact one of the fifteen (15) national commercial roofing offices of Peach State Roofing Inc. Their information can be found on the locations page of our website.

Bidding a Roofing Project with Multiple Manufacturers Specified

Commercial real estate building owners usually find it advantageous to open up their roof bidding process to accept multiple roofing manufacturers. Not only does this allow them to possibly open themselves up to using more qualified and professional roofing contractors in a bidding process but it usually brings a few other things to consider to possibly help them in their commercial roofing needs.
Below are three reasons a building owner may want to consider opening up their bidding to multiple roofing manufacturers.

  1. More competitive pricing – Just as having 2 or 3 contractors bidding a roofing project brings more competitive pricing to keep contractors “honest” with their pricing, having multiple manufacturers specified for bidding does the same thing. Pricing for roofing contractors all starts with roofing manufacturer material pricing. Whether it is the cost for TPO, EPDM, polyiso, or roofing accessories, pricing is more competitive to the contractors when they know they are bidding against other roof manufacturers.
  2. Different warranties and coverages –  As previously mentioned – commercial roofing manufacturers are competitive and trying to win successful business just like any other industry. At times, different projects may require different approvals or needs from a warranty or project approval stand point. It can be common for roofing manufacturers to work with building owners and contractors to create more favorable warranty conditions or allow different details if that helps the project or owner and them to secure the project. Be careful though here as it is not recommended to sacrifice quality just to get a better price. Always understand fully what differences are present that manufacturers offer from their other roofing competitors.
  3. Customer service and local representatives – Every roofing manufacturer has different levels of customer service and local roofing manufacturer representatives. As with all companies, a real estate owner can experience different levels of service, expertise, and support from the roofing manufacturers. One area of the country might have strong representation with one roofing manufacturer but in other areas of the country, a different roofing manufacturer might be more strongly suited for the building owner. It is common for building owners to find preference for roofing manufacturers and contractors around the country depending on the area.
Overall, finding and allowing for good roofing manufacturers in a real estate building owners bidding process is good for them from many stand points. A key recommendation is to stay with using key/strong roofing manufacturers such as Johns Manville, Carlisle, Firestone, Fibertite, GAF, Versico, etc just to name a few.
For help with being put in touch and partnering with a good list of roofing manufacturers for a commercial roofing project, Peach State Roofing local offices are happy to be contacted to discuss strong recommendations for building owners. By partnering with a good roofing contractor such as Peach State Roofing to deliver a successful warranted roof system, building owners can rest assured that their buildings needs will be well tended to.

Peach State Roofing Inc is a national commercial roofing contractor with 15 full service offices located around the country. Specialties of Peach State Roofing include commercial roofing with TPO, EPDM, PVC, KEE and repair and maintenance services.

EPDM Tid Bits

Specifically known as ethylene propylene diene monomer, EPDM, has been and still is to this day a major commercial roofing product in the real estate industry for keeping buildings dry. It has been a dominate membrane in the single ply market around the country for many years and although TPO and its white reflective surface have taken a good bit of market share from EPDM, this typically black rubber membrane is still for many, a “go-to” roofing product. Many influential markets such as commercial, government, hospitals, and education buildings all have long standing use of EPDM.
Like previously stated, EPDM is traditionally black in color and the simplest way to describe EPDM is that it is a flat sheet of rubber. It can be made as a reinforced membrane or a non-reinforced membrane. For a roofing membrane to be reinforced, it means that fabric/scrim is manufactured inside the layers of rubber. This creates added strength for certain installation areas, especially to prevent tearing of the membrane during installations that are mechanically attached roof systems. If a roof system is fully adhered or ballasted in its securement, PSR typically prefers a non-reinforced membrane as do many roofing manufacturer’s reps.
EPDM is an easy product to handle, maneuver around penetrations and wrap special areas with. Once laid out, it’s seams are adhered together using an EPDM primer and a ‘peel n stick’ / seam tape product. This is a very simple and reliable way to seal the seams and prior to this seam adhesion process, proper cleaning of the membrane area is key. Contractor’s can buy membrane with factory applied seam tape already on rolls now.
The standard thicknesses for EPDM come in 45 mil, 60 mil, and 90 mil membranes. Rolls typically installed are 10 ft wide in nature however for large wide open roofing projects, some contractor’s may elect to go with a 20 ft wide roll of membrane so that less seams are needing to be sealed thus creating faster installation time and less leak sources.
Many contractor’s say that when an EPDM roof system is at its life expectancy, it is not because of the EPDM failing because it is only rubber. The main sign of an EPDM system failing is when the seams and penetrations start coming loose. Occasionally weathering and sun can dry out the rubber membrane causing it to be brittle and tear easily as well.
In recent market trends, EPDM has been installed less and less in the south due to its high ‘heat’ attraction nature with its black surface. In in the north however, EPDM still is in use a great deal. Roofing manufacturer’s have started to make white EPDM to compete with TPO white membranes and they are great systems to consider for some owners.
From a price point, EPDM is more expensive than TPO due to the amounts of accessories and adhesives, primers, and cleaners needed. One price point where EPDM can compete better with TPO is in the application nature for a roofing project itself. A building with an existing EPDM building and ballast river rock on it may elect to go with a “re-ballast” or “re-skin” of the existing ballasted EPDM membrane by simply pushing the rock aside and swapping out the EPDM membrane with new. The main point in considering EPDM is that it opens contractor’s and building owners up to different applications which may fit better than other types.
Overall, EPDM is a terrific product in the commercial roofing industry. It should always be expected to have a solid strong hold for certain buildings across the country and as commercial roofing always makes advances, EPDM will be reliable option for many years to come.

Article written by: Jaret Sweatt

Why NOT to get a ‘Single-Source’ Warranty

Every now and then contractors try to offer a ‘Single Source’ warranty. In other words, they offer a warranty where they are solely the full supplier and backer of the roofing system installed. Rather than following a roofing industry standard of having a “third party” roofing manufacturer’s warranty, some contractors promote only a document with their name on it as a level of protection and security for building owners. Although this may seem great to a building owner, many are regretful of having a roofing warranty which is only covered by the contractor. Roofing contractors who offer their own warranties often pitch to owners that their warranties and repair process’ are simpler, quicker, or better quality on a few accords. One key note for commercial building owners to remember is that warranties are there to protect the building owners but also the roof warranty providers to a certain level as well. Contractors who offer “single source” warranties typically offer the same time lengths of 10, 15, and 20+ year warranties as that of roofing manufacturer’s (“third party” warranties). There are not a lot of reputable contractors who offer these ‘sales pitch’ type warranties but below are three reasons why to stay away from a contractor who DOES NOT provide you with a true commercial roofing manufacturer’s warranty.
  1. Proven and Long-Term Tested Installation Details – When a contractor is installing a new roofing system to meet warranty requirements of a specified roofing manufacturer, they are held to a much higher status than a contractor who is providing their own warranty. Being that the roofing manufacturer is a “third party” and will be the responsible party holding the warranty, they are going to ensure that the details of the roofing system installed are made in the highest degree with proven long term installation standards. It can be common place for contractors who do not provide a manufacturer’s warranty to simply ‘cut corners’ to make the roofing work or be a lower price. At the end of the day, those types of contractors pick and choose what they do and do not install rather than being held to high quality proven methods.
  2. Quality Inspection and Performance Reviews – When a roof is either in progress or going through its final inspection process, a good quality roof inspection process is key. After all, this is what is testing the roof to make sure it will up-hold to long term performance. When working with a roofing contractor who is providing a manufacturer’s warranty in lieu of just a contractor’s warranty (even if it is a contractor’s 20 year warranty), a “third party” roofing manufacturer’s field inspector is going to come out to every job and complete a thorough inspection of all of the details installed, often do probe testing of seams in a roof, and evaluate the newly installed roof system to make sure it will hold up against “Mother Nature” for the course of the long term roof warranty. Often times, contractors who provide only their own warranties, skip the roof inspection process’ or become very slack on them just to get past the project and move on to the next one.
  3. Larger Contractor Coverage – Sometimes there are problems that come up between owners and contractors and for a building owner to know they are backed by a larger parent company other than the original contractor of choice can give the said owner peace of mind. There are instances where contractors who give only their own warranties go out of business, get bought out, etc and their warranties become void to the building owners. Also, building owners may experience bad treatment by their roofing contractor and may want a new contractor to serve them. If the owner is tied down to a contractor who provided ONLY their own warranty and NOT a roofing manufacturer’s warranty, they only will be stuck dealing with ONLY the original contractor who they may not prefer anymore. At least in the instance of conflict, a building owner has access to a variety of quality approved roofing contractors if they have a roofing manufacturer’s warranty to go with their new roof system.
The common expression used among building owner and contractors when it comes to warning owners of “single source” roof warranties by the contractor is that you never want the contractor to play “judge, jury, and executioner” when it comes to making and upholding the decisions and performance of the roof system. By partnering up with a quality commercial roofing contractor who is providing a manufacturer’s roof warranty on any roofing project, building owners can receive the proper “third party” benefits to ensure quality, performance, and service for the life time of their roofing systems.

Some leading manufacturer’s to ask your roofing contractor about for warranties: Johns Manville, Carlisle, Firestone, GAF, Sarnafil, Fibertite, Versico, GenFlex, etc.

Five Important Safety Items for a Roofing Job Site

In today’s world and any construction site, contractors can never be too safe. Not only is it important for the workers themselves to be safe so that they may return home each day, but safety is also important for the general public and those on the job sites being worked on. As society as a whole pays more attention to safety for purposes of liability, insurance, and corporate responsibility – quality roofing contractors are taking steps to ensure proper measures are taken to create safe job sites and working environments.
Below are five common steps that commercial roofing contractors can take and all of which Peach State Roofing has taken around its nationally located offices to create safe working job sites.
  1. OSHA Training Cards – Peach State Roofing has taken the step to have most all of its site superintendents and project managers trained in an OSHA 10 hour training class. By having key site management trained in proper safety classes, job sites can be expected to have safer working conditions for the workers and the building occupants below. Peach State Roofing requires those trained in the OSHA 10 hour training classes to carry their certification cards with them to any roofing job sites.
  2. Safety Flagging – OSHA requires safety flagging to be set up on job site roofs 6 feet from the perimeter of the building. As a roofing contractor, this should be the first thing done when loading up and starting a job site. Typically red flagging is used and contractors should stay away from only using caution tape as this is not approved flagging. Flagging off of the roof perimeter, dumpster areas, staging/loading areas, and any other needed locations which may encounter work should always be taken and can prevent dangerous situations.
  3. Tie Off Plates – In addition to red safety flagging, OSHA approved tie off plates should be used if needed. On many new construction or re-roofing projects – certified tie off plates can be anchored directly into the buildings decking system with approved fasteners to allow for harness tie off locations around the building. If an employee is ever working out side of the safety flagging, they should use 100% full tie off requirements.
  4. Fire Extinguishers – Fires can be extremely dangerous if they ever occur on a roof due to the limited nature of access and worker evacuation. Commercial roofing systems use a variety of flammable materials such as weathered membrane cleaner and bonding adhesive. The slightest spark during construction or the use of heat generating tools can cause serious fire threats on a job site. Having properly sized fire extinguishers located at numerous areas around the roofing job site are a serious requirement.
  5. Proper Safety Attire – It is no question that roofers face conditions that can have wear and tear on the body or cause serious damage to themselves. For these cases, having workers wear basic safety approved attire can help prevent injuries on the job site. Some proper safety attire on commercial roofing job sites typically include things like steel-toed work boots, safety yellow vests or shirts, safety glasses, hard hats, and work gloves. Of course specific job site conditions can warrant other types of safety measures but the basics should always be covered.
All in all, it is not hard to implement standards to create a safe work environment for both field workers, management, and occupants of a job site. With a little dedication, on going safety training, and paying attention to detail – commercial roofing contractors can provide quality services with safe work habit practices.

Recycling Metal from Roofing Projects

It has been common practice for Peach State Roofing Inc over the course of many years to participate and promote recycling among all of its 15 nationally located branches when it comes to metal products and existing materials from construction sites.

Many times during the course of a re-roofing project, the existing sheet metal from the building site needs to be removed in order to install a new properly functioning roofing system. The most common types of metal removed from an existing building during the re-roofing process are copings, gravel stop fascias, gutters, downspouts, and counter flashings. Of course there are many other details on buildings upon tearing out the existing conditions that reveal metal which must be disposed of. In the case of all of the previously listed metal details, Peach State Roofing for years has elected to transport the metal back to our local offices where there are storage bins for different types of recyclable metals. In addition to metal that comes back from project sites with existing metal conditions, Peach State Roofing recycles excess/scrap metal which is created in our metal fabrication shops in the process of cutting sheet metal to make the numerous roofing edge metal details. Each one of Peach State Roofing's national offices has a metal fabrication shop of its own.

Besides the positive gestures of the recycling itself, recycling roofing edge metals from re-roofing sites has allowed Peach State Roofing to cut down on the amount of dumpsters used on job sites thus saving money in its jobs which allows for more competitive pricing to end building owner customers. Management not only looks at this recycling initiative from the financial aspect but also a good awareness tool to our employees themselves. For many years, Peach State Roofing management has taken many approaches in teaching and educating employees in good construction practices.
Over the course of years, Peach State Roofing has estimated that it has recycled thousands of pounds of scrap metal from construction sites all over the entire United States. As stated earlier, each Peach State Roofing office successfully participates in this green initiative program.

Besides this simple construction practice of recycling metal, other recycling practices have been used on a job-by-job basis depending on owner preferences around the country over the years. To name just a few other recycling construction practices Peach State Roofing has participated in on certain jobs, PSR has recycled EPDM membrane, polyiso roof insulation, plastic buckets and packaging, cardboard boxes and packaging, metal pails and storage bins, wood, and some chemicals on a case by case basis. Although not every re-roofing job allows for recycling principles to fully take place, it has been a proud business point for Peach State Roofing to have participated in some of the roofing industries best recycling practices. As technology and the roofing industry will always be changing, Peach State Roofing looks forward to being a leader among roofing contractors in providing some of the best construction practices in the industry.

Company Info: Peach State Roofing Inc is a nationally recognized commercial roofing contractor headquartered out of Lawrenceville, Georgia. With 15 offices locations, Peach State Roofing specializes in the installation of TPO, EPDM, and PVC roof membrane systems. Major manufacturer's supported by Peach State Roofing are Carlisle, Johns Manville, Firestone, Versico, GAF, Fibertite, Sarnafil, and many more. For a local office near you, please reference the 'Locations' page of our website!