At MRCA this year, a contractor asked, “why might vultures be on a roofing system pecking at it?” The popping and cracking sound from natural movement on any given roofing system could be a signal for supper time to turkey vultures, or any type of bird for that matter. One Massachusetts school found 60 turkey vultures perched on its rooftop, which resulted in $10,000 worth of damages and many questions. We don’t know exactly what brought these vultures to this Massachusetts roof, but speculations can be made as to why they were pecking.
Going green has been a popular trend throughout the construction world in school systems, healthcare facilities and even the automobile industry. However, a more recent overarching movement that has made its way over from Europe is green or planted roofs. Besides the sustainability and environmental advantages of this roofing system, its design aids in water retention efforts, especially in older cities, by preventing runoff from infiltrating a sewer system at a dangerous rate and increasing overflow.
With so many roofing solutions on the market promising the same results, it can be hard to make a well-informed decision regarding your specific roofing needs. Products like Ketone Ethylene Ester (KEE) and Ethylene Propylene Diene Terpolymer (EPDM), although viable options, have very different durability standards, installation processes and life cycles. It’s important to keep the following distinctions in mind when considering a KEE or EPDM product for your next roofing project.
For anyone that wants to extend the life of their commercial roofing system, the first step is to establish an inspection plan. By performing regular roof inspections, you can detect problems early, allowing you to minimize repairs and prevent premature failure.
However, before you establish your inspection plan, there are two key factors you need to keep in mind, your environment & climate and the status of your roof.
Winter is coming which means you will want to do a few basic maintenance tasks in order to keep your commercial roof safe and leak-free during the cold weather months. The cycle of going through very hot summers and cold winters is especially hard on a commercial roofing system. As a result, it is recommended that roofing systems are inspected twice a year, generally in the fall and again in the spring.
When it comes to roofing sales, there are many challenges one must overcome to be successful. Generally, people do not trust roofers and they unfortunately trust salespeople even less. This means that you as a roofing contractor already have two strikes against you when approaching a prospect. The third strike typically follows soon after as people tend to sell by showing customers exactly what they have and then hoping something will stick.
High wind events are inevitable occurrences. However, it is common for people to underestimate the true impact of these events unless they have experienced one first hand. The reality is wind events cause a significant amount of damage to both property and life every year. As a result, politicians on both sides of the aisle continue to push for improved and defined construction standards tailored specifically to protecting the lives of the public when a wind event occurs.
Both roofing systems and the structures they protect need to be resilient against numerous situations, including natural weather events like hurricanes. Hurricane Katrina brought disaster to the Gulf Coast, disaster that could have been minimized through the implementation of stronger building codes. Had stronger building codes been in place prior to the arrival of Hurricane Katrina, it is estimated that wind damage would have been reduced by 80%.
In a recent article, we discussed how KEE (Ketone Ester Ethylene) roofing membranes can increase a building’s performance. Not only do KEE membranes increase a building’s stability, but the energy efficiencies and overall lifetime costs are also improved. I encountered a case from this past winter that addresses how utilizing a KEE membrane in extreme weather situations impacts performance.
I admit that I am a bit biased when it comes to mechanically fastened versus adhered roofing systems. When I started with Seaman Corporation 32 years ago, mechanically fastened assemblies were favored in the industry. In contrast, over the past 15 years there has been an increase in specifying and installing adhered membrane roofing systems. This is not necessarily a negative, however, it is somewhat unexpected when you consider the history, understand the dynamics of the roof system’s actual performance, and compare it to the way performance is tested.