Author Archives: Voegele Co.

What does a green roof do?

flat white roofing system

What is a green roof made of?

Today, when somebody says they want a green roof installed, they aren’t necessarily referring to the color. A green roof today is an ecosystem, environmental matter that can contribute to the sustainability of the earth while helping the homeowner with utility expenses. 

A green roof is a garden of assorted vegetation that is usually planted on flat or low-sloped rooftops. It has a waterproofing system under it to protect the roof from leaks. There are three categories of green roof construction: 

  • Extensive: A shallow green roof that typically has less than six inches of growing medium. This roofing requires a moderate roof load approval with minimal required watering with limited plant diversity.
  • Intensive: This green roof has a deeper growing medium, as much as several feet deep, and can support more diverse plantings, including small trees. This roofing requires a substantial structural load, more maintenance, and more watering. Accessibility is limited.
  • Semi-intensive: A combination of the first two green roofs, the depth is based on the roof structure and the type of plants.  Annual rainfall and stormwater drainage needs consideration before this green roof construction. 

How do you maintain a green roof?

Above, we provided a thumb-nail idea of what maintenance is needed.  The extensive green roof category is the most popular, partly because it requires little maintenance.  The small amount of maintenance required as follows: 


  • Fertilization – the entire green roof needs to be fertilized immediately upon installation.
  • Watering – An extensive green roof constructed during a dry and warm time of the year, the first two to three weeks it will need regular watering. These steps will help the planting seed into the substrate. 


  • Roof inspection – An extensive green roof should be inspected five times over the year. This inspection should be searching for weeds and unwanted seeding, then remove them manually. Chemical pesticides are not recommended for biodiversity reasons. Inspection should include checking the drainage system, making sure it is clear of debris, and draining properly. 
  • Fertilization – Every nine months, an extensive green roof should be fertilized, or a routine of every April and every September. 

How long does a green roof last?

A green roof will be protecting the membrane and give your roof a longer lifespan, two to three times longer than it would without a green roof without plastic lining underneath.  Since the 1960s, homes and other structures in Europe have had green roofs and are still going strong fifty years later with proper maintenance and upkeep. 

What are the pros and cons of green roofs?

The pros for having a green roof installed far outweigh the cons, which the only one is the initial cost. Over time, that initial cost is returned in energy savings, and if you choose vegetation that can be consumed by occupants of the building, your grocery bill is helped too. There is always the benefit of having a green roof and sustainability and the other list of pros for having a green roof are: 

  • Environmentally Friendly
  • Lower Energy Cost
  • Low Maintenance
  • Long lifespan
  • Natural Stormwater Management 
  • Natural Reduction of Urban Heat Island Effect
  • Improved Air Quality
  • Mechanical Equipment More Efficient
  • Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduced
  • Urban Amenities
  • Supports Wildlife 

Can you walk on a green roof?

With a green roof professional installed, including green roof edge trim for safety, and thorough training of maintenance and upkeep. Then walking on a green roof is okay, minimally, and sparingly, recommended one person at a time no more than twice a week or as needed, taking extra care not to trample the plantings. 

If there is a requirement for service on the green roof, it is best to wait until the foliage is dry, and it isn’t a hot and sunny day. Repetitive foot traffic should be avoided when the green roof is frozen or wet. 

A green roof should not be constructed and installed until other rooftop work is done like the electrical, HVAC, plumbing, skylights, etc.  Other trade contractors need to be advised at the time of scheduling any work that the building has a green roof in place.  With this information, they can plan accordingly and come prepared. 

metal eco roofing

Going With A Green Roof

Before deciding to go forward with constructing and installing a green roof, you want to have the contribution and dedication needed to maintain and upkeep the surface. If a green roof is installed and then neglected, you’ve accomplished nothing more than creating a place for algae, bacteria, mildew, and mold to grow and prosper. 

With proper maintenance and upkeep, a green roof can be a source of beauty and enjoyment, as well as supply fresh vegetables for consumption. It helps you with energy cost, roof repairs, or replacement, and it is a great help to the environment. The money and the time that a green roof requires will come in multitudes over the years in energy savings and roof maintenance, and with your successful green roof, other building owners may join in. For green roofing in Voegele Co., call (412) 227-8488 today.

What is a cool roof system?

flat white roof on a commercial roof

Do Cool Roofs work?

On a hot summer day, at noon, a typical horizontal surface receives approximately 1000 watts of sunlight per square meter. That is a lot of generated heat. Cool roofing systems have been designed and built with materials that reflect more sunlight, therefore, it absorbs less heat than the typical, standard roof. The material options of cool roofing systems could be:

  • highly reflective paint
  • sheet covering
  • highly reflective shingles or tiles

Saving money is one of the biggest cool roof benefits, ask any homeowner that pays the energy bills every month!  What kind of savings do cool roof systems provide though? According to research, experts say you can save anywhere from 10 percent up to 30 percent on your energy expenses. This, of course, can vary based on individual living habits and situations.

Some determining factors for that energy savings include:

  • Climate conditions
  • The capacity and efficiency of your HVAC system
  • The square footage of your home or business
  • The insulation levels
  • The utility rates you’re paying
  • Proper installation
  • The roof slope

How much energy does a cool roof save?

When it comes to cooling your home, builders that install cool roofing systems say that you can save as much as 15% or more on your energy bill while keeping your home up to 50% cooler. Cool roofing systems save money in other areas besides the monthly bills. There are incentives and rebates to be had and with less need for cooling more, you can downsize your HVAC system next time.  The roof of your home will last longer than the traditional roofing system.

In place of having cool roofing systems installed, when it comes to cool coating for a roof for traditional roofing systems, in states like California, Florida, and Texas where the summers are high heat, they can reduce your energy use up to as much as 30%. However, while cool coating the roof helps individual homes, this “paint” type product is not doing the environment any good. This creates a reflective surface that reduces area cloudiness and leads to increased sunny conditions. For a densely populated area, this can speed up global warming.

How long do cool roofs last?

It is very little, in some cases, no maintenance required with cool roofing systems. As far as how long they last, cool roofing systems have a longer lifespan than conventional, traditional roofing styles.

What color roof is the coolest?

It is common knowledge that heat is absorbed more in dark traditional cool roofing, and white is more reflective. Research has found that a dark gray roof raises the solar reflectance by as much as20 percent, but a weathered white color roof raises that reflectance up to 55 percent, which can reduce a home’s cooling energy use by 20 percent.

What color roof is most energy-efficient?

While a new roof is exciting and you can revamp your home’s appearance, you also know that you’re going to have to live with it for the next 20 years or longer. When you’re choosing a new roof style and color, there are many factors to be considered, besides the budget.   Today, energy efficiency is right up there with the initial cost of a new roof. 

So, where do you begin with this new roof choice? The climate. Where do you live? If you live in an area that has hot summers, going with the cool roofing systems that are available today. With the lighter color, you’ll lower the attic temperature by as much as 40 degrees during the summer months. However, if you live in an area that the weather tends to be on the cooler side, a dark color will absorb more heat for you and keep your home warmer while melting ice and snow off the roof faster.

TPO roof installed

Additional Notes of Cool Roofing Systems

Is there a benefit to having a cool roof and waterproofing systems? Yes! If you can go with one of the cool roofing systems, you’re helping your energy bills while keeping your home comfortable year-round.  By adding a waterproofing system, you’re making your roof more resilient to the climate if the area you live in has any amount of rainfall. This may not be a benefit for the dessert, but areas with a higher amount of rainfall could benefit from waterproofing.

Maybe you’re wondering which is better cool roof vs green roof systems? Bother offer advantages and disadvantages, and both offer great options. Cool roofs have proven to be a viable option with materials that reflect the sun’s heat through light-colors. However, a green roof helps stabilize the air above to near ambient temperature. A green roof will give you a garden area where you can reap the benefits of products grown there, a source of food if needed.

When it comes down to the decision, it has to be a personal decision that fits your budget. By making choices that you can afford that will help your own energy savings and the environment are both pluses we can all appreciate. Call (412) 227-8488 today for your cool roof installation in Pittsburgh, PA.

How Much Does a Sheet of Metal Roofing Cost?

metal roofing with a vent

Metal roofing sheets

Metal roofing sheets have developed for the better over recent years. No longer is it the loud roofing material that lacks curb appeal. The material has improved which has given it more benefits.  Some benefits of metal roofing sheets are: 

  • It is lightweight
  • Little to no maintenance
  • Fire resistant
  • Long-life span of 30 to 50 years
  • Energy efficient
  • Environmentally sustainable 

The last benefit list, environmentally sustainable, is the number one draw for commercial structure owners. The surface reflects the UV rays, which can keep a building cooler in areas like Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas. When the building is cooler, it is less strain on the HVAC system. 

Another point in its favorability of being environmentally sustainable is that most of the metal roofing sheets today are made from recycled metals here in North America. This means a commercial building owner will get a tax credit for going green. 

Where to buy metal roofing sheets?

If you’re having a metal roof installed, the metal roofing contractor will bring the metal roofing sheets with them. In fact, most will have their own sheet metal services so they can customize the sheets to fit each customer’s job specifically instead of including a third party in the job. For small DIY jobs around your business, you can purchase metal roofing sheets at the usual big box home improvement stores or from roofing companies that sell to the public. 

How much does a sheet of metal roofing cost?

Metal roofing sheets are a different thickness for a commercial building installation than a residential structure simply because of the area to be covered. For a commercial structure, corrugated steel panels average between about $4.00 to $6.00 per square foot. The metal roofing sheets for metal standing seam roofing costs between about $7.00 to $13.00 per square foot on average. Prices may vary based on the location of the commercial structure and the size of the job, as a bigger job may have a lower per square foot cost.

How wide is metal roofing sheets?

Before a metal roofing contractor can provide you a quote, they need to know the configuration and size of the roof the metal roofing sheets will be installed upon. They then determine how many metal roofing sheets are needed, which will depend on a few different factors: 

  • The type of metal roofing sheets
  • What size are metal roofing sheets are used

Metal roofing sheets come in two widths: 24 inches and 36 inches. The contractor will take into consideration that a two-inch overlap is needed on both sides of each metal roofing sheet for proper installation. 

What is the cheapest metal roofing? 

For choosing a type of metal roofing sheet for a commercial building, metal is a very wide term with as many as 100 types of metals (maybe more) on the periodic table of. A list of the most common type of metals and the average pricing for each is:

  • Aluminum $150-$600
  • Copper $800-$1,500
  • Galvalume coated steel $75 to $200 per square
  • Galvanized steel $150 to $350 per square
  • Stainless steel $400 to $1,200 per square
  • Zinc $600 to $1,000 per square

Each of these metal roofing sheets is a good option, with each having their own pros and cons. The pricing will be dependent on where you’re located, typically aluminum and galvanized steel are the cheapest.

When Making a choice for metal roofing sheets, you should research all types and determine which is best for your structure, the climate and the environment. Choosing the cheapest for install may be the more expensive one over time.

The benefits of aluminum metal roofing sheets are the material offers a high reflectivity naturally, making it an energy-efficient choice. It is a highly pliable and recyclable, sustainable material.  Aluminum is one of the few available metal roofing sheets with insulation with foam cores.

Galvanized steel metal roofing sheets have a steel core and are made rust resistant using a zinc coating. It is a low-maintenance material that increases energy efficiency, and because it is a heavier style of metal, it is more durable upon impact. It is those features of galvanized steel that has makes it a popular choice of material for rain gutters

What are the disadvantages of a metal roof?

Every roofing option will have disadvantages and advantages that should be considered. With metal roofing sheets, most experts will say that the advantages far outweigh any disadvantages.

Two of the most common misconceptions about metal roofing are the ability to withstand hail and they attract lightning.  To answer the first misconception, reputable metal roofing sheets material is a heavier gauge of metal that resists denting. Regarding lighting attraction, this has not proved to be true. The most obvious disadvantages of metal roofing sheets are:

  • The Cost: Installation of metal roofing sheets is an initial expense and more costly than other roofing material options.
  • The Noise: When not installed properly, metal roofing sheets are noisier than other roofing material alternatives.
  • The Snow: Accumulation of snow on metal roofing sheets will slide off and could cause damage and/or injury to anyone or anything below.
metal roofing sheet on building

Does a metal roof lower your insurance?

It can vary between location and type of building. Some commercial building insurance provides replacement costs, some just repair. Some commercial building insurance provides storm damage for metal roofing sheets that are torn off, some do not. It is in the owner’s best interest to verify ahead of needing to know what it covers and what isn’t. 

Some material for metal roofing sheets and/or the installation may be covered under product-specific warranty, which can be affected by whether the roofing contractor installed the roof properly. Which is why always go with a reputable roofing contractor. 

Most commercial building insurance companies will provide enough coverage, but you need to request it. The basic policy that most issue doesn’t consider any additions to a roof, like new signage, HVAC units, etc. When the policy comes around for renewal, review it and make any updates as needed. Or as you make additions to the metal roofing sheets, call and have your policy updated to meet coverage for those additions. 

Any insurance company will not pay for a claim that the damage is a result of negligence. For your own protection, we recommend the following steps: 

  • Inspections: annually or semi-annually
  • Routine maintenance/repairs as needed
  • Log contractor visits on the roof with their purpose stated
  • Address any problems discovered during inspections
  • Know the warranty on existing metal roofing sheets and materials/labor

When choosing metal roofing sheets and a contractor to install them, ask questions, research the material options suggested and ask the contractor if they are experienced in how to customize metal roofing sheets and when that is necessary, and what that will add to the cost of the job. Dial (412) 227-8488 today

What is the Cheapest Metal Roofing?

Metal Roofing Sheets are Important for Metal Roofing

How Much Does a Sheet of Metal Roofing Cost?

Sheet metal roofing is one of the premier styles of roofing available on the commercial roofing market. As far as price, basic metal roof prices for installation vary between $5.50 to $12 dollars per square foot. Depending on the type of metal roof and the specific metal used, the price will fluctuate. A metal roof shingle usually costs anywhere between seven to ten dollars per square foot. Standing seam metal roofs are usually more expensive than other roof types due to installation costs and quality. Standing seam metal roofs can vary between nine to twelve dollars per square foot. 

What is the Cheapest Metal Roofing?

In truth, metal roofs aren’t cheap. This is because they are a quality roofing material, and there are associated labor and material costs. In the long term, however, this initial payment does translate into some remarkable dividends. Commercial metal roofs can last quite a long time. With proper maintenance, a well-installed metal roof can last much longer than fifty years. On average, a metal roof costs approximately $16,500. The bigger the roof, the larger the price tag. This is fundamentally true for commercial metal roofs. Corrugated metal roofs are typically considered the cheapest style of metal roofing. However, you may not want a corrugated metal roof because it does not suit your needs. A conversation with an experienced and respectable commercial roofer will yield the answers you seek for your commercial metal roof installation.

How Much Does a New Metal Roof Cost for a 1500 Square Foot House?

The cost to roof a 1500 square foot house can be averaged to an approximate number. When handling a re-roofing situation for a 1,500 square foot house, homeowners should expect to pay anywhere from $5,500 to $8,000. One of the distinct advantages of outfitting a new property is the ability to customize the window treatments. Motorized blinds installation is an excellent choice for any business.

How Wide Are Metal Roofing Sheets?

This is a great question. Many prospective roofing customers are interested in understanding more about the sizes of their future metal roofing sheets. For a corrugated metal roof, the standard lengths are eight, ten, and twelve feet. Depending on the style of roofing, the size will vary.

What are the Disadvantages of a Metal Roof?

While there are many advantages to a metal roof, there is a fair few disadvantages, which should be mentioned. Please browse through the following list to review some of the disadvantages of metal roofing.

  • More expensive than asphalt shingles. While metal roofs last longer than asphalt shingles, they do come with an initially higher price tag. This price tag translates into roof longevity, but in the short term, it does mean more of an expense.
  • Loud. Inevitably, metal can cause a ‘pinging’ sound when it is not properly insulated. Metal roofs require extra insulation in order to ensure that any sounds are appropriately muffled.
  • Fluctuations in temperature can warp the metal. When selecting a roofer to install your metal roof, choose a roofing company that has many years of experience, and is properly insured. Metal panels can constrict and expand based upon prevailing weather patterns, which is why it’s crucial to secure a good roofing company for your metal roof installation. 
  • Select an appropriate metal for your climate. Some metal roofs have a propensity to rust due to the kind of metal that is used. That’s why it’s critical to have an in-depth conversation with your roofer to discuss your appropriate roofing options. 

How to Cut Metal Roofing Sheets

For corrugated metal roofing and specifically tin, snips are accordingly idea for cutting. Snips are also likely the cheapest way for cutting corrugated tin roofing. Tin roofs are reputedly lightweight and soft by nature. This means that cutting them with snips is a great choice. Electric tools like turbo shears, nibblers and grinders are also used for cutting metal roofing.

How to Fit Metal Roofing Sheets

For many homeowners looking to update their current roofs, metal roofing proves to be an attractive option time after time. The first step to fitting metal roofing sheets is to appropriately and concisely measure the entirety of the roof. This requires simple math that should be calculated several times to ensure a testable answer. You will need to know the slope, which is calculated as rise over run. All old roofing will need to be removed, and the edging will need to be installed. At this point, the metal shingles or panels can be installed.

How to Paint Metal Roofing Sheets

The first step toward painting metal roofs is determining what kind of paint to use. Acrylic latex paint is generally considered to be a good choice for bare metal roofs and to go over old paint. Another option is oil-based alkyd paint, which can be used with a galvanized metal primer. Before embarking on any such endeavor, roof painters should consult a professional in order to determine the best course of action.

Metal Roofing Sheets are Indispensable

How to Install Metal Roofing Sheets

It is important to secure a consultation with a roofer when you are considering installing metal sheets yourself. This is because there is a range of appropriate tools that you should use in order to ensure a good installation versus a poor installation. As previously stipulated, using appropriate math, doing research, and securing a consultation are your best first steps when according to metal roofing installation.

Our company can help you with your metal roofing sheets. Our staff at Voegele Co. are ready to take your phone call at (412) 227-8488. Discover more about what our metal roofing sheets in Pittsburgh, PA can do for your business!

How Long Do Flat Roofs Last?

A Flat Black Roof

Flat Roofing For Commercial Properties

Flat roofing differs from the traditional room as you might guess. While a traditional roof has a pitch or slope to it, the flat roof is level – almost. But because it is a must for a flat roof drain to be possible, it must have a very slight incline of about 10°, so slight the naked eye won’t see the slope.

Flat roofing style isn’t anything new, they were used in ancient times in arid climates like Arabia, Egypt, Persia, or like countries, and used as a second living space. They may have another purpose in other countries, and they are made from different materials based on the location.

For instance, in an area that doesn’t have much rain or and the temperatures never drop to freezing, flat roofing will be made from concrete or masonry. In parts of the country where the rain is heavy and roofs may leak and the temperatures do drop to freezing, the flat style roof wouldn’t withstand that weather.

In this article, we are going to discuss flat roofing and flat roof types in some depth, answer questions that are commonly asked and the next time you plan construction of a new building, you’ll have more knowledge to know what is better for you, a flat roof or a sloped roof.  

What is the best material for a flat roof?

There are three flat roofing materials, commonly back with a 10 to 20-year warranty, sometimes, depending on the area and climate, they may be warrantied for 25 years.

The Built-Up Roof (BUR)

This is the more traditional material for flat roofing, the hot-tar-and-gravel style, also known as BUR. Three or more stacks of waterproof material are used to build these roofs, alternating layers between hot tar and smooth river stone. At one time, tar paper was used instead, and as materials improved, fiberglass membrane became more popular.

The gravel acts as a fire retardant and if there is a second floor, it makes the view more attractive from decks and windows overlooking it. Of the three materials that we’ll discuss here today, this flat roofing material is the least expensive.

The first downside to this type of flat roofing material is the smell while it is being installed. And if there is a leak, it can be challenging to find. Gutters and the downspouts are clogged easily by the gravel when rain runs off.

This flat roofing material consists of a single-ply rolled roof comparable to ice-and-water shield, but it is impregnated with a surface of mineral-based wear. When this type of material is being installed, a torch-down system is used to heat the adhesive as it is unrolled. There is a peel-and-stick type available today that is easier to install and a safer process.

The Modified Bitumen

Unlike the torch-down system that required installed by a professional, the peel-and-stick flat roofing material can be done by the building owner, saving you money. This material is a light-colored mineral that reflects heat and will cut back on your energy bills. Pricing of this material is middle of the road.

A downside to this type of roofing material is the torch-down application system creates a fire hazard, and as such, it is recommended to be applied to buildings that are not occupied. This material is not as resistant to scuffs and tears as the net flat roofing material we’re going to discuss.

The Rubber Membrane

This flat roofing material is a true rubber material, ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM for short), is comparable to that of an inner tube. It is a durable material that resists sunlight damage and can be anchored mechanically using ballasted with stone, fasteners, or glue.

This flat roofing material is also building owner-friendly to install and is light-weight yet high resistants again scuffs and tears. Leaks are easily detected and easily patched.

The downside to this roofing material is it absorbs heat and can increase energy bills in a warm climate. It is the more expensive option and is vulnerable to damage like punctures.

What’s the best covering for a flat roof?

The options are many yet limited when it comes to covering flat roofing. What does this contracting statement mean? The traditional roofing material like asphalt shingles, concrete tiles, or corrugated metal is not an option. This leaves you with EPDM rubber, PVC, or TPO materials, each having pros and cons. From the most popular flat roofing materials, here is their expected lifespan:

  • EPDM – Ten to Fifteen Years
  • PVC – Fifteen to Thirty Years
  • TPO – Seven to Twenty Years

Where asphalt, concrete, or clay roofing materials are installed with each row overlapping the next, working cohesively with the roof pitch so that rainwater and snow shed. Because the pitch with flat roofing is minimal, rainwater could work itself under those materials and eventually would rot the substrate with the possibility of leaks increased.

When choosing a material for flat roofing covering, there cannot be any seams, with the biggest threat being water. Water will find its way into and through anything unless the seams are adequately sealed with a roofing membrane. When covering a flat roof, it is important to choose a material that water cannot penetrate.

How do you protect a flat roof?

The flat roofing on your building is protecting your business and all inside it, most likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make. Therefore, you want to keep it in good condition and well-maintained. Here we offer you five tips for protecting it:

First, you must realize that your flat roof is completely flat. There is an ever-so-slight slope, usually of 10 degrees, that allows water to run off the roof. If your roof starts to have ponding and puddling, this indicates low spots and this can quickly turn into leaks.

By choosing the best material for your flat roofing, and the type of flat roof construction it was built with, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about that happening. Some of the best materials recommended industry-wide are:

  • EPDM, PVC, or TPO – All are single-ply membrane
  • BUR – Also known as Built-up roofing
  • A Spray coating
  • Ballast – The flat roofing material of crushed stone that is placed on single-ply roofing
  • Metal

Have Your Flat Roof Inspected – Experts of flat roofing styles recommend that it should be inspected twice a year, but no less than once a year. The earlier a leak or other problem is found, the earlier it can be fixed and avoid any expensive repairs to the roof and your business.

Keep Your Flat Roofing Surface Clean – When you have your flat roof inspected semi-annually, have it cleaned of any debris, litter, and organic materials. This step is one of the best protection you can give it because it keeps plant growth from occurring and will show any signs of blunt impact or punctures that have damaged it.

Avoid Walking On Your Flat Roof – Keeping physical contact to an absolute minimum and be sure that any vendor or worker that is on the roof has taken care not to disturb the roof which can cause a leak. This includes the use of tools when the HVAC system is repaired, or cables or wiring stretched across it.  Friction is not a friend to flat roofing.

Consider The Best Coating For Your Climate – If the climate you’re in is a hot one and your building is exposed to a lot of sun, choose a light-colored flat roofing material versus a dark-colored roofing material for energy dollar savings. A spray-on coating is more reflective and better waterproof. Your choice of flat roofing material will determine the lifespan of your roof.

Can you stand on flat roof?

Using a flat roof can offer temptation to utilize the space for a balcony or terrace – after all, they do it in movies, right? But, in the real world, flat roofing is typically not constructed to withstand the weight of people walking on it. Even though it may not collapse right then and there, over time, it will become weak and then become hazardous.

Any roof is precarious, but a flat roof isn’t as precarious as a pitched one. However, walking on it can damage the felt and the membrane. If you must walk on your roof, or a have a contractor that will be walking on your flat roof, request they lay boards over the area they’ll be walking and walk across those instead of directly on the roof.

If you intend to use your flat roofing area for recreation or you’re considering planting a roof garden, you need to have a structural engineer inspection done to assure it is up to the weight. Otherwise, consider it to be off-limits for anyone other than a professional.

Nice flat roof system

Do flat roofs always leak?

Too often, a building owner will steer away from a flat roofing system because of rumors about problems with leaking. And while they can’t shed water as easily as a pitched roof, if they are constructed correctly, they don’t have any more possibility of leaking. Keep in mind, that while they appear flat, they are in fact, have a slight pitch.

If a flat roof does leak, the culprit is usually poor construction, aka human error. When a building owner is budget-conscious, and the roofing contractor is trying to stay within their budget, they will often cut corners.

When you’re constructing something precarious already like a flat roofing system, cutting corners is the last thing you need to do. And even the tiniest mistake by the contractor can lead to a leak eventually. A well-constructed flat roof can last up to 30 years with the right material covering it. Voegele Co. is your source for quality flat roofing systems. Need flat roofing in Pittsburgh, PA? Call us today at (412) 227-8488!

The Energy Efficiency Guide for Existing Commercial Buildings

Energy Efficient Building Plans With Solar Panel

How Can You Make an Energy Efficient Building?

An energy efficient building has a remarkable number of advantages. Reduced maintenance and utility costs are only two of these benefits. With regard to retrofitting an existing commercial building and making it more energy efficient, the road is long, but the profits are numerous. One of the ways that a property manager can increase the energy efficiency of their building is through hot water boiler repair. A thorough inspection of all water heaters and boilers on a commercial property will yield promising results for the future.

Energy Efficient Construction Techniques

Smart design for new construction goes a long way. Designers, architects, and builders should be well-versed in the various strategies involved in erecting a building that has a low impact. It is important to note that every single detail can be reinvestigated to determine whether further energy efficiency can be found. For instance, daylighting is an ingenious way to make sure that as much natural light as possible is utilized. Strong emphasis on glass is the usual way this process is achieved. Another pathway for architects is an insulated concrete form, which utilizes blocks of expanded polystyrene foam that are cut to specifically fit a certain architectural scenario. Precision allows for these blocks to easily snap together and provide an impenetrable seal. This decreases HVAC costs and assists in the event of a fire. 

Energy Efficient Windows for Commercial Buildings

Many energy efficient types of windows are available on the market today. These glass technologies include Low-E glass and insulating glass units, also known as IGUs. Energy efficient windows were not normally used for commercial construction until the 1980s. According to a 2003 study, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that of the 2.7 million commercial buildings built in the US before 1980, 53 percent still had single-pane windows. Only seven percent of these properties had installed new windows in the time frame of 1980 to 2003. Installing energy efficient windows for thirty to sixty-year-old buildings is important for any long-term savings goals for commercial property owners.

What is the Most Energy Efficient Building Material?

Thankfully, there are many different energy efficient building materials on the market for commercial building owners. One of these is recycled steel. Two out of three tons of new steel are typically recycled from old steel. Steel is now the most recycled material on the face of the earth. Commercial building owners should know that steel emits fewer unsafe CO2 emissions than most building materials and uses less energy, making it the ideal green choice. Spray foam insulation is also an excellent alternative to fiberglass and cellulose insulation because it traps more conditioned air within your home, allowing less leakage. With less energy being used inside the parameters of the commercial building, property owners will spend less money in the long-term.

How to Make a Commercial Building More Energy Efficient

With many commercial building owners looking to the future, determining ways to make commercial buildings more affordable and energy efficient is prominent on the agenda. In terms of lighting, energy efficient bulbs and daylight controllers switch on only when the daylight streaming in is inefficient. Infrared sensors switch off lights in spaces that are infrequently used, such as toilets, corridors, and stairwells. With regard to IT equipment, it is important to note that computers utilize a lot of energy. In the settings menu, set computers into their most efficient setting, and switch them off when not in use. Commercial premises consume more electricity than they need to. The CO2 impact of electricity consumption is 2.5 times greater than natural gas. Switching off lights at night, lowering temperatures in the winter, and more can decrease this impact.

Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Tax Deduction

The Energy-Efficient Commercial Building Deduction, also known as section 179D of the tax code has been incredibly valuable to architects and builders. Section 179D was originally passed by Congress as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This was in direct response to increased energy usage and independence concerns. This part of the tax code enables qualifying building owners and businesses to receive an up to $1.80 per square foot tax deduction for their energy-efficient buildings placed into service during all open tax years. Any accrued tax deductions from these buildings can be carried back two tax years or can be carried forward for up to twenty tax years.

Contractor Installing New Thermostat in Energy Efficient Building

Energy Efficient Buildings

Cool Roofing is one of the energy efficient alternatives to traditional roofing. Commercial buildings are on the cusp of many different ways to save energy and money while enhancing comfort and achievement. Globally-speaking, buildings, and construction are responsible for sixty percent of electricity use, twelve percent of water use, forty percent of waste, and forty percent of material resource use. With this knowledge, property owners can further grasp what kind of impact a commercial building renovation can provide.

Energy Efficiency in Commercial Buildings

There are many affordable updates for commercial buildings. Please peruse the following list to determine several of these benefits.

  • Lighting. One of the prominent ways commercial building owners can increase their energy efficiency is through retrofitting their existing light structures. At an estimated cost of $38 billion dollars a year, lighting is the largest source of electricity consumption in the United States. 
  • Windows. Retrofitting the windows that receive the most sunlight in a commercial building can substantially impact energy usage for a building. Replacing single-pane windows with double pane windows can decrease the amount of sunlight and temperature flow that exists in this singular barrier to the outside.
  • Insulation. If the building is highly insulated, the energy usage for the HVAC system will lower dramatically.

Energy Efficient Products for Commercial Buildings

A significant portion of the energy used in most commercial buildings is wasted because energy is being used to power machines that are not in use. Purchasing ENERGY STAR-certified office equipment helps ensure that when equipment is plugged in and running, it wastes as little energy as possible. 

An energy efficient building is a benefit to the community. Our friendly staff at Voegele Co. are ready to take your phone call at (412) 227-8488. Receive more information about your energy efficient building in Pittsburgh, PA!

Do Roof Coatings Work?

A roofer coating a metal roof on a summer's day.

How Much Does Roof Coating Cost?

Roof coating is an excellent investment in the life of a roof. The cost to seal a roof ultimately depends on the amount of roof that needs to be covered and the labor costs, which vary from state to state. It is a fair expectation for businesses to expect to pay anywhere from a quarter to a dollar per square foot for professional installation. These amounts translate to roughly $375 to $1,500 for a typical 1,500 square-foot roof. Clear coating shingles and tiles are on the lower side of the price spectrum, and the cost to seal a flat roof is on the higher end of the same spectrum.

What is the Best Elastomeric Roof Coating?

To begin with, there are four different types of roof coating, each serving a slightly different need. Consult the following list for alternative roof coatings.

  • Acrylic. Acrylic roof coating is best utilized and applied on over-sloped roofs. Butyl typically tends to be less popular than acrylic because it is more environmentally friendly and long-lasting.
  • Butyl. This type of roof coating serves its best application for flat roof repair and low-sloping roofs. Single ply roofs and built-up PVC are excellent examples of roofs that benefit from butyl roof coatings.
  • Polyurethane. It is conclusive; polyurethane is the best coating for EPDM rubber roofs. This coating does not require high PH rinses and the coating can be used on other single ply roofs.
  • Silicone. For polyurethane foam roofs, this coating is optimal. It is very efficient for repairing weather and is also good for recoating roofs (particularly those with a silicone coating.)
A blue painter's brush is applied to a roof.

Does Roof Coating Stop Leaks?

For serious roof repairs, a roof coating would only be a bandage instead of major surgery. Roofs with significant roof leaks should be appropriately diagnosed and treated by a professional roofing company. In order to truly address small leaks in a roof, the roof should be properly cleaned, repaired, and dried before an approved roof coating is applied. Coatings may be able to seal pinhole leaks, but should not be counted upon to do so. Roof treatments should be accurately managed and applied.

What Does Roof Coating Do?

Roof coating is a perfectly acceptable covering for a commercial flat roof. In fact, roof coatings are known to be a monolithic, fully adhered roofing membrane that is applied in liquid form. Many roof coatings are elastomeric, which means that they have elastic properties that allow them to stretch and return to their original shape without damage. When properly applied, roof coatings can be seamless, solving many roof problems. Many roofing contractors advise for property owners to invest in regular roof maintenance and repairs in addition to a necessary roof coating.

What is the Best Roof Paint?

In all fairness, there are a number of different roof coatings on the market. Selecting one will depend on the kind of roof one owns and the desired longevity of the coating. Commercial roof coatings come in a wide variety of formulations. These formulations include liquid copolymer rubber based formulas, acrylic low odor formulations, and more. In fact, a silicone liquid rubber roof coating exists for commercial buildings that are at risk for prolonged UV exposure and heat.

Roof Coating to Stop Leaks

Selecting a professional roofing company to assist with prevailing roof problems is an investment that will pay off handsome dividends. While roof coatings provide an incredible amount of benefits for commercial property owners, completely sealing roof leaks is a task best left to the professionals. Business owners typically should invest in roof maintenance once a year, with potential problems diagnosed and repaired as necessary. A new roof coating can be administered based upon need and urgency.

Roof Coating to Reduce Heat

Reflective heat coatings reduce heat transfer. Reflective roof coatings extend the life of the roof, decreasing thermal shock, and assist with mitigating leaks. While roof coatings alone will not correct leaks, they are designed to be part of the fundamental roofing process. Roof coatings also diminish thermal shock, which is the name of the phenomenon of thermal expansion and contraction of the roof membrane during temperature changes. A reflective roof coating will also diminish the heat load on the roofing assembly, decreasing the overall temperature.

While commercial business owners are considering ways to improve the efficiency of their building, a consideration in a carbon filtration system provides long term benefits. Water filtration ensures that everyone on a property will receive high-quality water from a purified supply.

Roof Coating for TPO

TPO roofs are acknowledged to be one of the hardest, most stubborn roofing substrates to adhere to. Most roof coating manufacturers need a primer for an etching rinse to be applied before even beginning to administer a base coat. Acrylic roof coatings offer the best solution in the roofing industry for restoring a TPO roof. This is because acrylic can tenaciously adhere to the TPO membrane. Additionally, there is no need to capture caustic contaminated water from primers and etching rinses, which is usually required by municipalities. This provides safer work conditions and is better for the environment.

Elastomeric Roof Coating vs. Silicone

It is important to note that the composition of the roof coating and the composition of the roof have many different chemical properties that will either bind horribly or balance terrifically. Silicone coatings utilize non-water solvents. This means that silicone roof coatings will cure in wetter areas more effectively. However, this property also renders them as highly flammable until they have completely dried. While silicone roof coatings are effective against water, they can get dirty and lose reflectivity up to 45% very quickly. Because silicone is slippery, be prepared to invest in only silicone roof repairs in the future.

We’d love to help your business by providing reliable roof coating in Pittsburgh, PA. Give our office a call today at (412) 227-8488!

How Do I Know If My Roof Has Storm Damage?

Broken roofing material after a hail storm with hail in between.

Get Storm Damage Roof Repair

When a storm passes your neighborhood you can get by unscathed or be susceptible to the impacts that surround the eye of the storm. Storm damage roof repair can come in many shapes and forms and it’s up to you to conduct maintenance as they come or to have them progress to more severe issues. Remember, when problems with your home arise, elongating the issue can aggravate other home systems which will ultimately increase repairs in the long run. In order to avoid unnecessary repairs than try to tackle the problem at it’s beginning stages! With professional roof inspections, you’ll be sure to get relevant recommendations as far as roof repair in Pittsburgh, PA!

Signs You Need Storm Damage Roof Repair

  • Damage to siding
  • Torn, curled or cracked shingles
  • Leaks or water stains on the ceiling or walls
  • Sagging gutters or downspouts
  • Angles of the roof are scuffed or gone
  • Dings and dents on roofing materials
  • Bald spots with missing granules
  • Rot, mold or mildew present
  • Dark spots on roof
  • Ice dams

How do you know if your roof is damaged?

There are many ways that storms can damage your roofs. Problems can range from severe winds, hail, leaking roofs, torn shingles, fallen trees and more. As damages can range in severity, some issues may be visibly seen with impacts that will affect your daily life until storm damage roof repairs have gone underway. Other damages may spring up at later times through eventual aggravated circumstances. That’s why it’s important to conduct general roof inspections either on your own or with professional experts.

What causes roof damage?

Roof damages don’t often arise out of the blue, most cases of roof damages arise once a roof’s life expectancy is closer to being realized. Another reason could be poor installations as these can cause premature roofing issues and aggravate roofing materials. Issues can also appear from outside influences, particularly storm damage to roof.

What is storm damage to roof?

If you were wondering can storm cause damage to roofing materials the answer is yes. There are various impacts that nature can impart onto your home systems. Not just on your roofs but onto your siding and windows as well which could call for minor repairs like with new blinds for broken windows. This is due to the fact that even storms without physical impacts can wreck certain roofing materials. Take for instance winds, thunderstorms have a straight-line burst of wind with winds being able to reach speeds of 50-60mph! When they reach that kind of speed some damages that you can expect to see are falling trees, powerlines coming down and debris blowing around. Winds can cause branches to impact roofing material causing scratches, penetrations or loosening roofing materials. As for hail, even sizes less then an inch thick can damage less protective roofing materials like asphalt roofing.

Is roof repair covered by insurance?

If you’re curious as to how storm damage and insurance claims can go hand in hand, look into your policy terms. Inclement weather is often considered as outside and unpreventable circumstances that can be covered. Once you make your claim, make sure to take storm damage pictures to support your claim. Some insurances may even require that you hire a roofing contractor to conduct inspections and in most cases, they include this option for your convenience. Keep in mind that certain factors like the region you live in or your roof’s age can be precedents that will determine your eligibility.

Roofing worker nails down shingles on roof.

How do you fix a leaking roof?

If you need to take protective measures to protect your roof until professional repairs come around then consider these steps. First, check the exterior of your roofing materials to determine where water stains and broken areas are. If you see loose shingles you could try going to your local hardware store and purchase flashing made from galvanized sheet metal and simply lift the damaged shingles and insert flashing underneath. However, if the area of the roof in questions is more expansive you could also get 6 mil polyethylene plastic sheeting. Simply unfurl the material on the damaged areas and over eaves to the peak. In order to keep them stabilized on the roof, wrap the ends of the sheet around a 2 by 4 and sandwich that with another. Nail the two 2 by 4s together with 2 or 3 ¼ common nails. Voila! You now have a temporary roof cover. Finally, if you see cracks or holes you may be able to fill in these holes with a caulking gun or roof sealant. Keep in mind that this may only work for holes less than a ¼ inch thick. If you have misaligned shingles using sealants caulking can also assist you in keeping them down as well.

If you need storm damage roof repair in Pittsburgh, PA call (412) 227-8488 with Voegele Co.!

Caring for Your Commercial Roof

Examining the Rooftop of a Large Building

Skylights and Other Roof Protrusions Have a Higher Chance of Developing Leaks. Check These Areas Too.

If you’ve been tasked with caring for your company’s commercial roof, you already know what a challenging responsibility it can be. You have to answer all the big questions, such as

  • “How much does roof maintenance cost?”
  • “How often should we have the roof inspected?”
  • “When should we think about replacement?”

Sometimes there is no clear answer until your roof is in the middle of repairs. For most companies however, there’s ample opportunity to get ahead of the curve and create a maintenance plan. With some foresight, you could greatly extend the life of one of your company’s most valuable building assets.

Today, we’ll show you how to make a maintenance plan for your commercial roofing systems. We’ll also break down your options when your roof starts showing signs of its age. After reading, you should be able to develop your own game plan for the future! Let’s jump in.

Maintaining Your Commercial Roofing

Ripped, Displaced Shingles on the Rooftop

After a Storm, Search for Damaged Shingles, Tile, Etc. on the Rooftop. Be Sure to Take Notes!

When it comes to basic roof repairs, you can expect costs to run in the hundreds (towards $600) for an average sized flat roof. Sloped roofs will run even higher, as will larger repair projects. A flat roof inspection may cost a couple hundred dollars. Finally, the cost of replacing a 10,000 sq. foot single-ply commercial roof, can run from $35,000 to $75,000.

We are we throwing all these numbers at you? Common sense says that the best way to get the most value from your roof is to use it as long as possible. Too many businesses however, lose their roof years before its expected end of life. While some lose their roof to extreme weather, a large number forfeit their roof due to lack of timely maintenance. That doesn’t have to be your company’s story, however. By developing a tailored commercial roof maintenance checklist, you’ll limit your repair costs, cut down on the number of emergencies, and delay your eventual roof replacement.


Developing a Checklist – Flat Roof Ed.

First, start with an interior examination of your roof. That may sound like any oxymoron, some of the most serious rooftop degradation is easiest to detect by spotting symptoms underneath. Check out the ceiling and the crawlspace above for signs of leaks. These could be mold growth, mildew smell, active dripping, or another symptom.

Next, you’ll need to mount the roof and check for pooling water, aggregated dirt, and miscellaneous debris. The roof should be cleaned off periodically to slow the rate of corrosion. There are commercial roof wash companies that would be happy to do the work for you. If you notice pooling water, this is a sign of faulty roof design or a sagging spot underneath.

Your third step is to examine the roofing material for cracks, holes, tears and other blemishes. Also take a carefully look at any rooftop seams and make sure they are still sealed. All of these small problems can lead to more significant problems later on. Make sure your drainage areas are unclogged and working effectively.

Here’s a smart idea from PHP Design: develop a “Great/Fair/Poor” rating system to classify individual areas on your roof. This is a handy way to keep track of potential problems and make a clear record of rooftop health. Areas with “great” and “fair” ratings can fare without commercial roof repair (for now). Sections in “poor” condition require immediate action from a professional.


Maintenance – Other Commercial Roof Types

Sloped roofing systems are a little bit more difficult to care for, but you can make it very manageable. You should start your maintenance by inspecting the ceiling crawlspace on the top floor. This is the easiest place to spot leaks. Make sure there aren’t any signs of mold, mildew, dripping water, etc.

You’ll want to routinely rinse of the rooftop every few months to clear away dirt and debris. No matter which type of system you have, be it a commercial metal roof or tile, you’ll need to keep an eye open for degraded material. Cracked tile, curled shingles, corroded metal panels: these are “now” problems, not “later” problems.

One last note, keep an eye on areas with flashing. When flashing is in good condition, it safely directs rain water away from vulnerable gaps in the roofing. When the flashing deteriorates, it actually does the opposite: funneling water into the building.


How Often Should You Have Your Roof Inspected?

Assuming you don’t have any noticeable problems beforehand, it’s prudent to schedule an inspection for your flat roof every one to two years. Metal roofing systems can go without inspection for a three years or so, but even these durable roofs should be examined every now and then. Professionals simply know how to spot problems in ways other people wouldn’t think of.

Weighing Commercial Roof Replacement

Replacing a Degraded Tile

Even Relatively Small Damage Can Allow Water Into Your Business’ Ceiling Area.

Supposing your roof is starting to show visible signs of age, don’t let your first thought jump to replacement. There are several ways to extend the life of your roof. Commercial roof coatings, for instance, can mend minor degradation (deep tears, small holes, etc.) while creating an additional layer of protection against sunlight and rain water.

If you still have a several years left on your roof’s expected lifetime, there’s a chance a professional can fix the damage without breaking the bank. Replacement should only be completed as a last resort, when damage is clearly too extensive for the roof to go on.

Schedule Your Commercial Roof Repair!

Our team at Voegele Co. would love to do our part and help you extend the life of your roof! We provide a variety of commercial roof repair, restoration, and replacement services for local businesses. Consult with one of our friendly roofing experts today at (412) 227-8488.


What are benefits of a green roof?

For years, green roofs have been used around the world to not only provide a unique, old-world look but also deliver unbeatable benefits that are both natural and money-saving. Today, green roofing is used throughout the U.S. to provide energy efficiency and reinforced protection to both residential and commercial roofing systems. But how do you make your own green roof without spending a fortune?

What are Green Roof Systems?

Green Roof on Home

Green Roof Systems Provide Definite Benefits That Can’t be Found With Any Other Roofing System.

Green roofs are low-sloped or flat roofs that have been covered by plant life. But, aside from being nice to look at, why are green roofs good? These roofing systems provide unmatched protection for your structure while also lowering energy costs and maximizing your roof life. Since green roofs are covered by a layer of plant life, they have a natural barrier from hazards like UV rays, impact dangers, and even heavy rain and wind. The plants protect your roof materials from experiencing the wear and tear that most roofs accrue which allows your roof to last longer with fewer repairs.

How are Green Roofs Energy Efficient?

The first question most ask when considering a roofing system such as this is, ‘Do green roofs leak?’. Green roofing systems use a strong underlayment and base layer like PVC or TPO to prevent water and debris seepage over time. These materials help to prevent leaks and separation throughout your system. These durable roof materials are known to be Energy Star rated for efficiency and provide up to a 30 percent decrease on your annual energy costs. Along with highly insulated and reflective base materials, green roofing boasts a plethora of greenery that creates a cooler surrounding atmosphere through the natural photosynthesis process. Because of this, the air around your building will be cooler, creating less work for your HVAC system. In fact, when used in connection with an energy efficient HVAC system, these roofs can save you up to 35 percent in annual energy costs.

The Setup

Along with proper irrigation, anchoring, and sealing, you will want to consider what types of plant life you want your green roof to showcase. While there are multiple looks and plants that can be utilized for green roofing, the best plants for green roof systems are those with shallow root systems and slow growth patterns. This is because green roof plants are often in ideal conditions for spirited growth, but with no real location to grow towards. In the end, this could cause problems with your roof material and base lining.

Ideal plants for your green roofing system will depend on the depth of the planting medium and the size of the area. Typically, shorter, less substantial plants work best, especially those that expand outward. Some good plants to use on your green roof are:

Area Coverage:

These low-lying plants are ideal to cover a lot of area without a lot of height or maintenance requirements.

  • Wooly Thyme: A great area covering flowering plant that can survive the strenuous environment of a rooftop garden
  • Sea Thrift: This fast-growing ground cover boasts pink blossom balls.
  • Festuca Grass: All of these species are great for green roofs and have a soft texture
  • Herbs: Most herbs provide a natural bush-like plant that is perfect for a shallow living space like green roofing.
  • Mexican Feather Grass: This soft-textured grass provide a light flow to your green roof.

Medium Growth:

Medium-sized plants are perfect for supplying spots of color and highlighted areas.

  • Succulents: All types of succulents work well on green roofs and provide hearty, low maintenance beauty year-round.
  • Wildflowers: These flowers can grow almost anywhere and emit multiple colors and heights without overly-saturating root systems.

How to Build a Green Roof

When building a green roofing system, a proper waterproof lining must be in place, along with a root guard sheet. These two materials will protect against runoff irrigation as well as root spurts that can damage your material and structure. Once your waterproof base in place, you will want to consider your irrigation method.

Most use a system of small tubing to carry small amounts of water throughout. It’s crucial to have the correct drainage system in place to circumvent leaks or ponding that can be detrimental to your roofing material. A professional roofing team can help make sure that your green roof turns out as expected without the risk of flooding or other damage.

With all of the green roof benefits you can incur, it’s difficult to find a reason not to install your own. However, it’s a good idea to use a professional roofing team like the Voegele Co. experts for your Pittsburgh, PA green roof installation to ensure that your roof is built properly. Many homeowners love the idea but are unaware of how to build a green roof system and end up with thousands of dollars in roof and home damage from illy-irrigated systems. Don’t let this happen to you. Call the Voegele Co. pros at (412) 227-8488 today to help create the green roof of your dreams.