COMMERCIAL ROOFING – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR INSURANCE POLICY

Flat roof covering works with roofing felt

What commercial building owners and property managers need to know about their insurance policies before sending their maintenance personnel on the roof for repairs!

It is a little known fact that workman’s compensation insurance coverage for roofing contractors is one of the highest premiums available. Many insurance companies will insist that anyone that goes on the roof is to be listed in the “roofer” category and subject to the highest premiums. Even routine maintenance on your roof can raise your insurance premiums if performed by your regular building maintenance personnel.

Professional roofing contractors are covered by their own insurance, so it only makes sense to hire a professional roofing contractor to perform routine maintenance and repairs.

It is common for leaves and debris to accumulate on your commercial flat roof, in your rain gutters, drains and downspouts. The debris restricts the flow of water causing ponding water to accumulate on your roof. In addition, the sun can dry out roofing sealant that is used around roof penetrations such as AC ducts and skylights. A professional roofing company will be able to identify problems before they become costly to repair.

A properly maintained roof can last as much as 30% longer than a roof that is neglected or improperly repaired.

Sully-Jones Roof Maintenance Programs help to reduce roofing costs by maximizing the life of your existing roof, avoid unnecessary costs due to roof leaks, maximize energy efficiencies and maintain your roofs appearance.

Sully-Jones Roofing Company offers comprehensive, low-cost, maintenance programs. We will customize your roof maintenance program to meet the needs of both your roof and your budget.

Roof Maintenance Programs Include:

  • Free inspections and detailed estimates on repairs.
  • Preventative roof maintenance including periodical inspections that include touching up critical areas that have deteriorated from exposure to the sun
  • Clean trash, leaves and debris from the roof, rain gutters and drains
  • Level ponding water areas
  • Re-slope roof where needed
  • Apply roof coating to extend roof life, approve appearance and reduce energy costs
  • Sealing around AC duct joints
  • Filter door re-design and fabrication.
  • Skylight repair and replacement.
  • Tie-ins for tenant and owner improvements.
  • Drain installation.

Contact Sully-Jones for a Free Inspection & Roof Maintenanc

The 8 Most Common Reasons Your Flat Roof Could Fail Prematurely

 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly Truths About Your Commercial Roofing System

The Good – When kept clean of trash and debris, along with proper maintenance, your flat roofing system can last significantly longer than its original warranty.

 The Bad – Because flat and low-slope roof systems serve more purposes than simply protecting the building beneath them, they are more prone to premature deterioration than a sloped roof.

 The Ugly – Below you can read about ten of the most common and sometimes ugly sources of problems that lead to premature commercial roof deterioration.

As a roof ages, some problems are inevitable, but if you know what to look for, you will be able to prevent conditions that can lead to expensive commercial roof repairs or premature roof replacement.

Ponding Water Page Best

#1  COMMERCIAL ROOF LEAKS AND MOISTURE

No matter what type of roof you have, leaks can happen and when they do, they can significantly damage the roof structure, the building and the contents within the building, unless quickly identified and repaired. There are many sources of leaks, especially on commercial flat roofs – not always originating with the roof itself.

Most leaks on BUR flat roof systems originate at flashings (where the roof membrane is terminated or interrupted).

Hot asphalt and torch-applied modified bitumen roofs may experience leaks when a proper moisture barrier is not installed underneath edge metal and wall copings.

When single-ply membrane roofs are installed with poor seams, leaks can occur. The membranes themselves will hold water, however improperly sealed seams can leak. Proper procedure for your professional roofing company is to check every inch of lap with a probe at the end of each day in order to assure there are absolutely no voids.

#2  POOR ROOF INSTALLATION AND UNSATISFACTORY WORKMANSHIP

A faulty installation dramatically increases the likelihood of problems and reduces a roof system’s life expectancy. Problems with adhesion can result when the area isn’t cleaned, dried, and primed properly prior to installation. These are the types of problems that are difficult to see but could lead to future problems, accelerated aging, or premature failure.

Material preparation is important to a quality installation. Torch-applied mod bit system performance can be compromised if crews do not relax the sheets prior to installation, resulting in blistering, wrinkles, fish mouths, and leaks. Always hire a professional roofing company that is experienced at installing the particular type of roof system you are planning to use on your buildings.

#3   REDUCED WIND UPLIFT RESISTANCE, AND BILLOWING

Flashing that is not attached correctly will not only be a source for leaks, open seams and laps will ultimately cause blow-offs, reduced puncture resistance, and code issues, advises C.A.R.E.

Poor gravel embedment and an inadequate number of fasteners in the base sheet during application of both hot bituminous and torch-applied mod bit roof systems can also cause uplifts and blow-offs.

To prevent wind uplift, seams made with cold adhesives must be cured adequately to insure their integrity on cold-applied mod bit roof systems. If the seams are exposed to wind or rain before they are properly cured, moisture can infiltrate the roof system or wind uplift can damage the roof membrane.

Single-ply roofs can also be at risk for blow-off and billowing if not adhered properly to the substrate.

#4   PONDING WATER ON YOUR FLAT ROOF

It is never a good idea to let water accumulate on your roof. Before roof repairs are hastily ordered, the source of the ponding water should be thoroughly investigated. A rule of thumb in the roofing industry is “ponding water should not remain on the roof over 48 hours”. Ponding water can be reduced by either adding additional drains, re-sloping the substrate, or in certain cases the substrate can be leveled by adding cement based leveling material.

#5   PUNCTURES AND THE ADDITION OF PENETRATIONS POST-INSTALLATION

Foot traffic by tradesmen, construction on the roof or installation of equipment after the roof is installed can cause punctures or tears. YOur commercial roof systems’ performance is compromised when new equipment and penetrations are added to an existing roof, unless proper precautions are taken. In addition to leaks, damage caused by foot traffic can cause deterioration of the roof membrane and may void the warranty. It is a good idea to limit traffic and conduct inspections after tradespeople have been on the roof.

#6   TENANT IMPROVEMENTS

Tenant improvements (TI) either authorized or unauthorized by the building owner or manager is a major concern unless a professional roofing contractor is involved. Many contractors keep their costs lower by utilizing unlicensed roofer or one of their laborers to seal around new roof penetrations. This situation generally produces a leaky roof.

#7   IMPROPER REPAIRS ON YOUR COMMERCIAL ROOF

It is critical that the correct materials for roof repairs are used. Using materials that are not intended for application on your specific roof type can result in permanent damage to the roof. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper use and take note of repair products with a shelf life.

#8   LACK OF CLEANING AND ROOF INSPECTION

All roofs and rain gutters should be clear of leaves, trash and debris a minimum of once per year. A roof inspection should be performed at the same time with a report to the owner or property manager to give them the information they need to head off problems. Being wise to problems can prevent their escalation.

SULLY-JONES OFFERS FREE ROOF INSPECTIONS AND AFFORDABLE MAINTENANCE PROGRAMS. PROTECT THE INVESTMENT YOU HAVE IN YOUR ROOF SYSTEMS.

CONTACT SULLY-JONES ROOFING FOR A FREE INSPECTION TODAY!

New Flat Commercial Roofing Systems

What Every Property Manager and Commercial Building Owner Needs to Know When Purchasing a New Flat Roofing System.

Title 24 Roof by Sully-Jones Escondido, CA

Polara Roof at the Civic Center Plaza, Escondido, CA

Are you considering a new roof for your commercial building? How much do you know about flat roofing systems? Read further to make sure that you are armed with the information you need to ask the right questions and insure that you are getting the right system for your commercial roof.

Because commercial flat roofs do not fully slope rainwater away, the way that a pitched roof would, it is critical that the flat roofing system installed be watertight in order to prevent damage to the roof, the building and it’s contents. There are different types of flat roofing systems, each with specific benefits:

TPO, Thermo Plastic Olefin is a vinyl based, single ply roofing membrane in the moderate cost range and are pretty much a maintenance free roofing system.

BUR – Built Up Roof Membrane roofs are built with three or more plies of reinforcing membrane alternated with hot tar then covered with a layer of gravel, granule surfacing or a smooth coating.

KEE – Ketone Ethylene Ester incorporates a unique plasticizer that keeps the material indefinitely flexible.

PVC – Poly Vinyl Chloride is vinyl based single ply roofing membrane that can be fully adhered or mechanically attached.

Polara® – Polyester Reinforced Built-up Roofing System is similar to the asphalt fiberglass roofing system but polyester is much stronger than fiberglass so fewer layers are needed. The result is less weight on the structure and increased overall strength in the roofing system. This system can be installed over high-stress roof structures that cause normal roofing systems to split and tear.

If you are replacing a flat roof, have a roof inspection and identify which type of roof is currently installed. If you are planning a new build, consult with a professional roofing company to identify the right roofing system for the building’s design, intended use, environment and budget.

TOP 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK WHEN GETTING BIDS ON A FLAT ROOF

  1. Ask for the Manufacturers Warranty. Unfortunately, some unscrupulous contractors bidding on projects regularly include a 15-year warranty in their contract but deliver a 10 or 12-year material. Ask that the contractor supply you with the warranty documentation supplied by the manufacturer of the materials you have in your contract then check to make sure that the brand name is matched to the material quoted on the contract.
  2. Ask the contractor if they are “Manufacturer’s Certified Installers” of the materials they are specifying. You would be stunned to find out how few of the roofing contractors bidding on the job are certified to install the specified materials. If the roofing contractor warranties their workmanship, ask them to provide it in writing and include wording that the roofing system and all flashings are installed to the manufacturers specifications.  Manufacturers want to know that their materials are installed correctly so they offer certification programs. Certification means that the contractor meets the standards set by the manufacturer, has had his work inspected regularly and that the manufacturer of the materials validates that this contractor knows how to perform all of the detail work as specified by the manufacturer. If the materials are not installed per the manufacturer’s specifications, the warranty will likely be void. By hiring a professional roofing company that is certified by the major roofing materials manufacturers, you can be assured that your roof is installed correctly and is protected by the manufacturers warranty.
  3. Ask the roofing contractor if they provide a warranty on their workmanship. Some, but definitely not all, offer warranties on workmanship. You want to hire a roofing company that stands behind their work. Some roofing contractors, like Sully-Jones Roofing, will even offer an extended warranty when you sign up for a regular roof maintenance program. We highly recommend that you have a roof maintenance program in place for your new roof. Studies have shown that roof life is substantially extended when properly maintained.
  4. Ask what the roofing contractor’s policies are if a leak or defect is found. If you find problems in workmanship or experience leaking, the roofing contractor should respond within 24 hours. You may want to add verbiage that specifies that if you do not get a response within 24 hours that you can contact another contractor to make the repairs to correct deficiencies in workmanship or to stop leaking, reimbursable by the installing company.
  5. Ask about Title 24 requirements. Many, but not all, commercial roofs must meet Title 24 Cool Roof requirements.

Today, TPO is one of the most popular roofing systems for reducing energy costs, especially in warm climates. White or light colored thermoplastic roof membranes offers superior solar reflectivity and provides exceptional tensile strength with a high level of puncture resistance. Since it offers both energy efficiency and low maintenance benefits, white TPO is one of the most durable and cost-effective solutions for both new commercial roofs and commercial re-roofing projects.

BUR roofs can be coated with a reflective coating to block the sun’s UV rays. This is an asphalt base coating that has a light pigment in it to block the sun’s UV rays from wearing out the material. This coating should be applied at a rate of 75 s/f per gallon. Ask the contractor at what rate he will apply the coating. Check to see that the contractor has delivered enough coating to apply to the system properly. If it is not applied at the specified thickness, the coating will not last for the life of the roof.

Sully-Jones Roofing is known as San Diego’s Flat Roof Expert. We are proud of our reputation for honesty, integrity and service. Clients include Southern California’s leading commercial, HOA and portent property owners and managers. See a list of our happy clients.

 Contact Us for a FREE Inspection and Estimate.

Benefits of a White TPO Cool Roof

TPO Roofing System

If you have been considering a cool roof for your Commercial Building Roofs you have probably come across the term “TPO” which is the acronym for Thermoplastic Polyolefin. Introduced in the early 1990’s, TPO offered solutions for property owners and facility managers that were experiencing increased energy costs. In 2001, TPO represented just 10% of the commercial roofing market. Today, TPO is one of the most popular roofing systems for reducing energy costs, especially in warm climates. White or light colored thermoplastic roof membranes provide exceptional tensile strength with a high level of puncture resistance and offer superior solar reflectivity. Since it offers both energy efficiency and low maintenance benefits, white TPO is one of the most durable and cost-effective solutions for both new commercial roofs and commercial re-roofing projects.

Go Green

It just makes sense that when your commercial roof is cooler, the interior of your building remains cooler. A white TPO roof reflects the sun’s harsh rays instead of absorbing them, as is the case with a tar or other dark roof. You will spend less money maintaining consistent temperatures inside your buildings during hot months. White TPO meets and often exceeds the U.S. Environmental Agency’s ENERGY STAR specifications and California’s Title 24 requirements. A TPO roof is also 100% recyclable and can help you meet LEED point objectives.

 Size Matters

Wide-width TPO membrane provides a cleaner and smoother roof surface than many other types of commercial roofing systems. The smooth surface makes it more efficient at resisting dirt and debris build-up and the wider membranes can reduce installation time. TPO roofing systems can be mechanically attached or fully adhered. Heat welding a TPO roofing system will create an impermeable surface for better seam strength, leak barrier and wind uplift resistance.

 Stick With Thick

TPO Thermoplastic membrane is available in a variety of thicknesses ranging from 45mil. to 80mil. Your upfront costs will be a little higher for a thicker membrane but can save you money in the long run with less damage repair and improved energy savings. A thicker TPO membrane layer provides a strong, dense shield that blocks nearly all UV rays and is more resistant to damage.

 Hire a Commercial Roofing Expert

Improper welding is a common cause of Thermoplastic polyolefin membrane failure so it is essential that you choose a professional commercial roofing contractor with experience installing TPO roofing systems. Qualified contractors will hold certifications from the major TPO manufacturers, letting you know that these are contractors you can trust for quality installation. Great commercial roofing contractors will also provide warranties on their workmanship. Sully-Jones Roofing is San Diego’s Flat Roof Expert and is experienced in installing all major brands of TPO roofing systems. Sully-Jones  is San Diego’s flat roofing expert.  Contact us to find out if TPO is the right commercial roofing system for your properties.

Commercial Roof Repair and Maintenance San Diego, CA

Should Property Managers Perform Their Own Commercial Roof Maintenance?

Your roof is your commercial building’s first line of defense from nature’s elements such as wind, rain, fire, hail, and the sun’s damaging rays. Every day, your roof is exposed to weather and other elements that may contribute to its decay and deterioration, increasing the risk of damage to the roof itself and if left unattended, to your commercial building and the contents within it.

 The International Building Code (IBC), which sets safety standards for commercial buildings, requires that roofs “serve to protect the building.” Having a roof that “protects the building” starts with design, materials selection, and installation at the time a facility is built or remodeled—events that occur infrequently and may be outside the scope of most businesses’ ongoing activity. But it also includes a regular program of inspection, maintenance, and repair—activities that should be part of your operational planning in order to prolong the useful life of your roof and make sure it does its job in protecting your business from weather damage. *Source: Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety

Savvy property owners and property managers understand the need to protect the investment they have in their roofing systems with a regular maintenance program. A Roof Maintenance Program not only adds years to the life of your roof, it will also uncover problems before roof leaks can damage insulation, create mold, damage the structure itself or the contents within the building.

Considering Doing Your Own Commercial Roof Maintenance?

Is Roof Maintenance something that your business can do in-house or do you need to hire a professional roofing company? Below are some things to consider before establishing a proactive commercial roof maintenance program.

Annual or Semi-Annual Roof Maintenance Should Include:

  • Inspection of the entire roof membrane and roof components.
  • Cleaning of leaves, trash and debris from the roof, rain, gutters and drains.
  • Disposal of rooftop debris including nails, fasteners, bottles etc.
  • Inspections and recommended repairs for:
    • Cracked or broken skylight lens or frames
    • Unauthorized roof penetrations
    • Damaged or missing rain gutters, collector boxes or downspouts
    • Sheet metal joints on air conditioning ducts that are not sealed
    • Oil/grease overspills from exhaust hood fans
    • Missing vent caps
    • Damage caused by cable, satellite, cell site, plumbing, HVAC contractors, tenants, maintenance personnel, installers, repairmen, etc.
    • Storm damage since last inspection
    • Plugged roof drain lines
    • Damaged or unsafe roof access hatches or ladders

Check Your Insurance Policy

Insurance policies vary so before you send your maintenance personnel up to your roof, be sure that your insurance policy will cover them in case of injury or inadvertent damage to the roof.

Expertise & Equipment Needed to Address Problems

While building maintenance personnel may have the skills to make temporary repairs, they do not always have the expertise, equipment or materials to make significant repairs to the roofing system itself. It is inadvisable to make major repairs to your roofing system without first consulting a qualified contractor or roofing company. You will also want to make sure that you have the proper safety equipment while making the repairs. Sending an untrained employee to patch a roof during a rainstorm can be dangerous and may end up voiding a manufacturer’s warranty.

Problems with an aging roof can include punctured, cracked, wrinkled membranes that are losing their waterproof integrity. Roofs cements, coatings and trowel grade products can provide quick fixes but a professional roofing contractor will be able to advise you on the best long-term solution. For example, inexperienced maintenance personnel could easily make the mistake of using asphalt-based patching materials on a PVC thermoplastic membrane, which will cause further damage to the roof.

Start-Up Costs to Do Your Own Roof Management

  • Inspection and Repair Training
  • Specialized Equipment for Repairs
  • Repair Materials
  • Emergency Plan

Professional Roof Maintenance Services – San Diego

In almost every case, you will provide better protection for the investment you have in your commercial roof by leaving roof maintenance to the professionals. Professional commercial roofing contractors can identify and address potential problems before they start costing you significant dollars. They can advise you on the most cost effective method for making repairs. Because roofing professionals have the expertise, equipment and materials, they can often perform the repairs at a cost that is lower than you could achieve in-house. And a good roofing contractor will guarantee their work.

Commercial Property Managers and owners in San Diego, CA count on Sully-Jones Roofing to maintain their commercial, multi-unit housing and retail building roofing systems.

Contact Sully-Jones Roofing and ask about our comprehensive Roof Maintenance Program.