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What is the Most Durable Roof Coating?

Roofer Applying a Roof Coating.

Most of us, if not everyone, has heard the words, “The stars at night, are big and bright, deep in the heart of Texas.”.  Sometimes though, that “clap, clap, clap” that comes after that could be the sound of hailstones on top of your commercial structure. This is why commercial roof coatings are an important decision! 

What are commercial roof coatings?

Commercial roof coatings are a thick coating formula of high-quality resins. This formula is installed on commercial roofs to provide an extra layer of protection. These high-quality resins maintain the elastic properties of the roofs throughout the various weather events that can happen here in Texas cur the life cycle of the commercial roof. 

Are there different types of commercial roof coatings?

There are three types of commercial roof coatings, each having its own set of benefits depending on the existing type of roofing material. Those three types are: 

  • Acrylic Commercial Roof Coatings

Acrylic commercial roof coatings are water-based and mainly come in three colors: 

  • Gray
  • Tan
  • White

There are other colors available as well. Acrylic commercial roof coatings are suitable for environments of high UV climates, providing a high reflectiveness.  

  • Polyurethane Commercial Roof Coatings

Polyurethane commercial roof coatings are typically a solvent-based product that comes in two key types: 

  • Aromatic
  • Aliphatic

These commercial roof coatings have good mechanical properties and have high abrasion resistance with tensile strength. Ideal for the high possibility of hailstorms here in Texas as well as heavy foot traffic.

  • Silicone Commercial Roof Coatings

Silicone commercial roof coatings are suitable for high-UV environments and have a high reflectiveness of the sun’s rays. An ideal roof coating where there is a high level of rain and is ponding resistant. 

What are the benefits of commercial roof coatings? 

Each of these commercial roof coatings has various benefits. These benefits can include UV protection, which provides additional benefits of easing the strain on the HVAC system. In Texas, that is a key benefit during the hot summer months. 

Commercial roof coatings also protect waterproofing, a strong possibility during the heavy rains that can come all year long. Additionally, commercial roof coatings are a layer of fire resistance. Commercial roof coatings can help decrease the contraction and expansion of the roofing membrane with temperature fluctuations.  

The top benefit of commercial roof coatings is the lifespan extension it gives the original roof. It is less expensive than a complete roof replacement. 

What are the cons of elastomeric commercial roof coatings?

Although commercial roof coatings provide substantial benefits, there are some cons of elastomeric commercial roof coatings: 

  • Overspray: Elastomeric commercial roof coatings are typically sprayed on, which can have overspray depending on the wind conditions. As they fall, acrylic commercial roof coatings dry as they fall in the air. This, fortunately, keeps them from sticking to anything they land on. 

However, rubber, silicone, or urethane commercial roof coatings dry after they land on a surface and can be challenging to remove. If there is a concern with overspray, an experienced commercial roof contractor will be able to roll the coating on instead. 

  • Weather: In addition to the wind conditions causing overspray issues, acrylic commercial roof coatings are water-based and can freeze if applied at a temperature under 40 degrees Fahrenheit.  Installation should be postponed when the environment has a high moisture level, especially in the early morning hours and late evening. 

An experienced commercial roofing contractor will choose a time day and time of year when the moisture is minimal so that it doesn’t get trapped underneath the coating. Trapped moisture can cause commercial roof coatings to blister and bubble as the temperature rises. 

  • Compatibility: Not all roofing substrates are compatible with all commercial roof coatings, like tar & gravel, and elastomeric coatings. Experienced commercial roofing contractors will take precautions in the preparation and apply a primer so that an elastomeric roof covering will bind. 

In Closing

When you make the decision to apply commercial roof coatings, it is important to choose a commercial roofing contractor and crew that is experienced. To get the best results and benefits, it is important that the coatings are applied to with the right equipment so that they adhere properly. Proper adherence is necessary to eliminate the possibility of roof leaks and other possible issues. 

An experienced roofing contractor will know the preparation of the roofing surface beforehand. This included a thorough cleaning and allowed it to completely dry. The contractor will inspect the substrate, making any repairs needed so that there is a uniform appearance and the adhesion is set for the long term. 

The contractor will know the proper thickness and ensure complete coverage over the roof.  Thin commercial roof coatings can’t provide the roof and structure the protection that is intended and will allow moisture to seep under, causing it to deteriorate sooner than it should. When it is applied too thick, it can make it uneven, causing other various problems.

How Do I Find the Source of a Flat Roof Leak?

How Do I Find the Source of a Flat Roof Leak?

Commercial structures typically have a flat roof. Leak detection and a survey of the entire roof need to be scheduled regularly and any time a leak is visible by the owner or building maintenance team. Roof inspection should be a routine for any type of structure, commercial or residential, but with flat roofing, it becomes critical. Flat roof leak detection in Coppell, TX can benefit you greatly. Call us at 214-444-8209 if you think this might be a service that can help you.

Are flat roof leaks common?

When properly installed and maintained, flat roofing shouldn’t leak. However, even with proper installation and maintenance, the roof will age and, with exposure to the elements, can develop leaks over time.

This requires prompt flat roof leak detection and survey. The sooner a survey is done for leak detection, the sooner the repairs can be made, which will minimize any damage. With routine inspections and prompt repairs, any commercial roofing material will have a longer lifespan. 

In addition to aging over time, causing roofing materials to degrade, other things can cause a flat roof leak. Detection and surveying of a commercial flat roof may lead you to identify the following issues: 

  • DAMAGED FLAT ROOFING MATERIALS — Any flat roofing material, including BUR, modified bitumen, single-ply, and metal roofing, can develop damage that causes leaks, especially after a significant weather event or an impact. This can lead to water pooling on a flat roof, which may cause blistering or cracking. A top layer of gravel can also make flat roof leak detection and survey challenging. However, a professional commercial roofing contractor will have the experience and methods necessary for successful leak detection. 
  • LOOSE COLLARS AND FLASHING — Any components routed through the roofing membrane create a risk of a flat roof leak. A detection and survey of the roof can pinpoint the exact problem area so proper repairs can be made, such as replacing collars to deflect water away from drains, communication, electrical components, HVAC systems, units, or vent pipes. Flashing on a flat roof can also loosen over time and lead to a risk of leaking. 
  • POOR INSTALLATION — When a roofing material isn’t correctly installed on a flat roof, leak detection and surveying can find areas needing repair or replacement. This should be done by a professional commercial roofing contractor with expertise and experience in this labor-intensive process, especially with a multiple-layer roof like BUR.
  • INSUFFICIENT DRAINAGE AND WATER POOLING — Pooling and standing water are the most common cause of flat roof leaks. Detection and survey of the roof will assess the issues and pinpoint the problem areas and underlying factors for leaks. Pooling or standing water doesn’t always cause an immediate leak, which can make the process of a flat roof leak detection and survey by a professional extremely important.

How much does a flat roof leak detection and survey cost?

The cost for commercial property is $500 on average but could be less or more depending on the square footage. Some commercial roofing contractors offer the inspection for free, but if there is a leak and the detection process is complicated, they will charge for the service. That charge is usually deducted from the cost of repair. 

Is flat roof leak detection and survey service worthwhile?

Flat roof leak detection and survey services are most definitely worthwhile. Even if you don’t notice any signs of a leak but suspect you may have some issues, a flat roof leak inspection and survey can save you a lot of problems and expenses in the future. 

How can you tell if you have a flat roof leak?

There are times when a flat roof has obvious signs of leaks, which may be indicated by the following:

  • Water spotting on the ceiling and walls indicates a flat roof leak, as it is an interior sign of water damage. A professional flat roof leak detection and survey service can pinpoint the exact area of the leak. 
  • Bubbling on interior walls is another obvious indicator of a flat roof leak. This bubbling happens when water leaks from the roof and seeps down and into the walls. 
  • Dirt surrounding a low spot on the roof surface is external evidence of a flat roof leak. Your maintenance team can detect this during their monthly inspection.
  • Mold growth is caused by standing water. If your maintenance team finds unexplained mold growth anywhere throughout your structure, such as above ceiling tiles, a professional flat roof leak detection and survey are needed. 

Get Professional Services

If your building’s flat roof is five to six years old, you should have a professional flat roof leak detection and survey service, even if you haven’t noticed any leaks. It is better to find out there is a leak before it becomes a major issue so repairs can be done before extensive damage happens. If you suspect you need leak detection in Coppell, TX, or any nearby cities, just contact us. Call 214-444-8209 today. 

Can Slate Roofs Be Patched?

close-up of slate roofing tiles

Can Slate Roofs Be Patched?

In the Coppell, Texas area, homes have a variety of roofing types. From the basic asphalt shingles to slate shingles, depending on the age and the architecture. With more upscale homes being built, a popular choice is a slat roof. Repairing this roofing material is a concern for many homeowners, but once they have a slate roof installed, they find the repairs are minimal and seldom, and the results of the roof are pleasantly surprising and extremely pleasing. 

What is the biggest problem with slate roofs?

Depending on the architectural style and the budget, a slate roof may not be the right choice. Some notable disadvantages of slate roofing include: 

1. A Heavy Weight

One of the most significant issues with slate roofing tiles is the weight. Slate has a significant extra weight compared to other roofing materials, weighing up to 800 pounds per square foot. If a home doesn’t have existing slate roofing, it is important to have an engineering inspection to determine if the structure can hold the weight. 

2. The Installation 

After a slate roof has been installed, the maintenance is minimal, the installation is difficult and takes longer than other roofing materials. Where an asphalt roofing job takes approximately 8 hours or less, slate roof installation can take as long as 3 months or longer depending on the size of the house. This time can be longer if structural reinforcement is required before the slate tiles are installed. 

3. Slate Roof Repairs and Replacements

Another downside is the difficulty in slate roof repairs and replacing broken tiles. Slate roof repair or replacement tiles is possible, but it is challenging to get an exact color and texture with slate tiles, and because the color, sizes, and thickness are all-natural, chances are exact replacement tiles are few and far between. 

4. Easily Broken

A slate roof will be a durable roofing material when it comes to extreme weather conditions and fire. However, walking on a slate roof is not recommended because it can be broken when stepped on wrong. When a slate roof repair is needed, hiring an experienced professional is recommended. They will know how to walk on the roof and make the repairs correctly and successfully.

5. Inexperienced Installers 

When it comes to installing or having slate roof repairs done, it can be challenging to find an experienced professional roofing contractor who works with slate roofing. 

6. Expensive

A slate roof is as much as 5 times more expensive per square foot than other roofing materials. The material itself is more expensive, and because fewer professional roofing contractors are experienced with slate, they can often have higher rates.  If the home needs additional structural support added, that increases the cost as well. 

How are slate roof repairs done?

The most common method for slate roof repair is referred to as the “nail and bib method”.  The broken, damaged slate tile is removed with a slate ripper, a specialized tool that not all roofing contractors have. 

Then the replacement slate is put into place and using a nail, it is anchored between the two, overlying slate tiles. Next, the roofing contractor will slide a square of flashing under the two slate tiles and overlay the above slate, nailing it into place. 

Can a slate tile be repaired and left in place? 

A roofing contractor with experience in slate roof repair can advise you if a crack is small enough to repair and leave the slate tile in place. In most cases though, the roofing contractor will advise replacing any broken or cracked slate tiles. 

Can a slipped slate roof tile be fixed?

If you have slate tiles that have slipped out of position, you may be able to do a slate roof repair yourself by reattaching it with a tingle and mailing it into place as described above. Remember to use extreme caution walking on the tiles and be aware that loose slate tiles are often caused by weakened nails or the slate tiles breaking down or disintegrating. Just as with any slate roof repair, it is always recommended to hire a professional roofing contractor who has experience in slate roofing. 

Are slate roof repairs worthwhile? 

Because a slate roof is expensive to have installed, most homeowners will want to get the longest lifespan possible, which can be up to 100 years or longer. So, if your slate roof is fairly new, any slate roof repair will be worth the cost!  However, if your home and the slate roof are close to 100 years old, you may consider getting estimates on other types of roofing materials. 

Closing the Roof Off

A slate roof can give a home of any size an elegant appearance. It can also look out of place if other homes in the area have the basic asphalt shingled roof. If you’re considering a slate roof installation, take the time to get several quotes and have a real estate expert give you advice and opinion on whether a slate roof would be too much for the neighborhood. 

What Do Professionals Use to Clean Roofs?

A Roofer Washing a Roof

Roof Cleaning

Everything is big in Texas as they say, which includes a business’ image. So, when you own a business here, you want your appearance to be the image your clients recognize. And that is why commercial roof washing is so important here in the DFW area, especially if your business structure is a single story! But even for a sky-rise structure, commercial roof washing is important, not for the visual aspect, but for other reasons. Find out more about how Alpha Exteriors and Construction can help with your commercial roofing needs, give us a call at 214-444-8209.

Why is commercial roof washing important? 

The roof of your business is the first line of defense against mother nature and the climate, and here in Texas, that climate changes by the minute some days! With that in mind though, it is important to realize the exposure and stress that the roof endures every day. With a regularly inspected and maintained commercial roof, washing is one of the most important things you can have done for several reasons: 

1: Performance Improvement

To get the most out of the energy efficiency and lifespan of a commercial roof, washing it on a regular basis will keep the surface temperature lower, a big plus during Texas summers. This keeps the building interior cooler too, and this all helps ease the workload on the HVAC system too, which helps keep the utility bills down.  

2: Moisture Removed

Moisture is the number one enemy of the roof and regular commercial roof washing will keep the roof clean of debris like fallen leaves, limbs, and other materials that stick to the roof and hold moisture in.  This minimizes and even eliminates the possibility of roof membrane blistering, ponding, and splitting, which lessens the chance of roof leaks.  

3: Fire Hazards Minimized

A commercial structure that stores or manufactures combustible materials is an automatic fire hazard.  With regular commercial roof washing, the roof surface is clean and this minimizes the potential of being a fuel source.

4: Roof Damage Revealed

The usual inspection prior to a commercial roof washing allows you to discover any possible roof issues that can become an expensive, massive roof repair or replacement. 

5: Keeping Building Code Current

For any structure that contains a food-related business, commercial roof washing will help keep the structure within the building code standards. 

7: A Clean Roof Equals A Great Appearance 

First impressions are the cornerstone for any business and with a commercial roof washing, your business will have a ‘ready to do business’ appearance for your clients and potential clients, as well as vendors and visitors. 

What do professionals use for commercial roof washing?

After they have swept the roofing surface free of any loose debris and dirt, most professional commercial roof washing services use a combination of sodium hypochlorite, aka chlorine bleach, sodium hydroxide, and TSP (trisodium phosphate). This combination is sprayed on after wetting the roof with clear water, and then using a push brush, they’ll cover the entire surface.  Once that has been completed, they will rinse the roof with clear water. 

Another method used that is chemical-free and the first choice for many commercial structure owners is done with the same process as described above.  This process typically costs more because the chemical-free products aren’t as strong, so the process takes longer to remove all the algae, lichen, and moss. 

Is power washing a commercial roof safe and worth it?

Any experienced commercial roof-washing contractor knows when to use power-washing methods and when not to use that method. While power washing is the fastest way to blast the algae, lichen, and moss off of a roof, when it isn’t done correctly, it can cause more damage than it is worthwhile. 

Should a rinse be done after a commercial roof washing?

As we described in the process typically used for commercial roof washing, yes, a rinse is included.  After the wash and rinse steps, the contractor will do another inspection of the roof to check for any possible damage they caused as well as any pre-existing damage exposed after the wash. 

What is the difference between pressure wash and power wash?

The key difference between the two is temperature. Power washing is done with highly pressurized steam and pressure washing is using the power of the water. If not done correctly, either can damage a roofing surface.

Looking Your Best

As a business, you want your services and products to look their best. That should carry on to the outward appearance of your business structure too, including the roof. A commercial roof washing, along with the roof inspection, can go a long way in making that first impression as well as follow-up impressions of your potential and existing clients and visitors. This includes when those surprise building code inspections and insurance inspections occur, especially if you operate a franchise of a corporate business.

Roof Cleaning

What Is a Cool Roof System?

Cool Roof System

Cool Roof Installation

Texas, hot summers, and cool roofs.  In our minds, those words do not go together, but thanks to technology, they can with a cool roof installation in Coppell, TX. What is a cool roof?   Before we answer that question, let’s talk about a conventional roof installation. 

During a sunny hot Texas summer, a conventional asphalt roof can reach 150°F or higher. A conventional roof absorbs the heat from the UV rays and holds it, where it radiates into the attic and the occupied area. 

With a cool roof installation, the UV rays are reflected out into the atmosphere. This reduces the heat by 50°F and the heat from radiating into the attic and the occupied area. So, does cool roof installation work? Yes, by shedding heat with a high thermal emittance. Want to learn more about cool roofing? Give Alpha Exteriors and Construction a call at 214-444-8209.

What are cool roof requirements?

There are two ways to meet the requirements of a cool roof installation:

  • Meet or exceed the minimum solar reflectance and thermal emittance values. 
  • Meet or exceed the minimum SRI requirement. 

When a cool roof installation meets these requirements, it can reflect more sunlight than a conventional asphalt roof, meaning it is absorbing less solar energy. With the temperature lower on the roof, it makes the attic and interior of the home cooler, using less air conditioning. 

How much energy does a cool roof save?

A cool roof installation provides an average energy savings between 7% to 15%  in cooling costs. This reduces the inside temperature and the amount the air conditioning system works. This, in turn, saves money, as much as 25% of the typical energy bill. 

Are there other benefits of a cool roof installation?

In addition to lowering the need for air conditioning, which lowers the cost of power, and makes the interior of a home cooler, other benefits include: 

  • Peak Energy and Grid Stability

Cool roof installation creates solar reflective walls which reduces the use of the air conditioning even at the hottest time of the day. This reduces the stress on the energy grid and minimizes power shortages, blackouts, or brownouts. 

  • Combat Climate Change

Cool roof installation directly reduces greenhouse gas emissions by lowering the demand for air conditioning. This results in fewer carbon dioxide emissions from the power plants. Cool roofing reflects the UV energy back to the atmosphere which mitigates global warming and can save as much as $600 billion from CO2 emissions reduction.

  • Urban Heat Island Mitigated

In the city, the temperatures during the day are up to 7°F warmer and up to 5°F warmer at night compared to the surrounding rural area. This is caused by heat-absorbing materials like paved streets and sidewalks, and roofing materials. This is referred to as the urban heat island effect, and with a cool roof installation, the solar radiation is immediately reflected back into the atmosphere, dropping the temperature on the urban island, and making homes more comfortable. 

Are there negative aspects of a cool roof?

In addition to the higher cost of a cool roof installation, the other negative is the possible increase in global warming. This happens because the cool roofing surfaces create a chain reaction in increasing the amount of sun the roof would traditionally receive. 

How much more expensive is a cool roof installation?

While it isn’t possible to provide an exact quote on a cool roof installation when compared to the cost of a conventional asphalt roof installation, it is pennies on the dollar higher. The ROI is in the monthly savings with the utilities. 

How long do cool roofs last?

The average residential asphalt roofing can have a lifespan between 15 years and 30 years, dependent on the quality and type of asphalt shingle used. Because the materials used in cool roof installations have a higher durability rate, they can last up to 50 years when properly installed. 

What is the difference between a cool roof and a green roof?

Both serve the purpose of lowering monthly utility expenses and keeping the interior comfortable and cooler. However, a cool roof installation is less expensive on the household budget than green roofing for one major reason:  Cost.  

Once a cool roof installation is completed, the upfront cost and routine maintenance of keeping the roof clean are the only expenses. 

With green roofing, the first expense is a required engineering structural inspection. This is needed to ensure the structure can withstand the additional weight. The installation process is another expense, followed by the maintenance and upkeep of the greenery planted. 

Cool Roofing Material

Dollar For Dollar

When it comes down to the dollar being spent, is a cool roof installation worth the higher cost?  Yes, when installed correctly and maintained as recommended, yes, the ROI comes from the lower utility costs, making it worthwhile. The additional bonus is the reduction in carbon footprint on the environment.  We are the cool roofing experts to call. Reach out to us at 214-444-8209.