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.

Roofing That Benefits You


White Metal Roof

Metal Can Last On Your Roof For Over 70 Years.

When you are choosing a roof, it is so important for you to know what your options are, the different styles, and what each one dopes that will be able to benefit for. For example, a cool roof will be able to keep your roof cooler than many others and in large industrial buildings with things like Ajax boiler, it can be hard to save energy anywhere. This roof will help lower your electric bill by reflecting the sun away from the roof. You also want to consider the cost of the materials as well to avoid a huge bill at the end that you aren’t prepared for.

What Are Your Options?

Cool Roofing – As mentioned above, these roofs are a great way to reflect the light off of your roof and keep it protected from harsh UV rays.

TPO – A TPO roof is another solid option because it seals out all of the water, dirt, and anything else that could potentially try to ruin or damage a roofing system.

Built-Up – Built-up roofs are an excellent choice because they are solid and are usually made of things like rock or something similar. These roots can absorb water and take weather from heavy rain to crazy winds.

Metal – Metal is ideal for commercial roofs because it lasts for so long and the protection it provides is unbeatable.

If you want more options for your commercial roof in Pittsburgh, PA, contact Voegele Co. at (412) 227-8488.

Restore Commercial Roofs With Roof Coatings

Roofer Applying Roof Coating To Commercial Roof

Commercial Roof Restoration Can Be Roof Coatings, Roof Cleaning, or Repairs

If your commercial roof is looking worse for wear, you may think that the only option is replacing it. A roof replacement involves fully removing your current roof and replacing it with a new one. This is a costly and time-consuming process. Many roofers instead recommend that commercial properties get a roof restoration. A roof restoration simply adds to what is already on your roof to make it stronger and last longer. This can involve cleaning, repairing, or coating a roof. Roof coatings help extend the life of commercial roofs the longest (by more than 10 years) and sometimes even outlast the warranty of the originally installed roof. We use Karnak products when performing commercial roof restorations as they are completely seamless and waterproof. For commercial roof coatings and restorations in Pittsburgh, PA, contact Voegele Co. at (412) 227-8488.

Signs Your Commercial Roof Needs Restoration

  • If your roof is constantly leaking whenever it rains, roof coatings stop that since they are completely seamless and waterproof.
  • During heavy storms, commercial roofs and gutters have to work overtime to rid the excess water. This higher water pressure in the gutter system wears it down faster, requiring repairs. Waterproof coatings prevent the improper drainage from happening anymore.
  • Most commercial roofs are flat, so the sun has full access to all areas of it, resulting in severe sun damage. A roof coating restores a commercial roof by reflecting the sunlight away, helping to lower temperatures inside the building as well as preventing sun damage.

What Is a Green Roof And How Does It Work?


green roof

Green Roofing Is Great For The Environmement.

A green roof is a way to protect your roof and also take care of our environment. A green roof is installed and acts as a barrier for things like water and heat, by covering the roof in plant or vegetation of some kind. This can be done by a professional and will be able to give you great long lasting results. It works by limiting water runoff and also uses the plants’ natural ability to produce oxygen and clean the air. If you have questions about how a green roof works, call Voegele Co. at (412) 227-8488 and we will answer any questions you may have about green roof systems in Pittsburgh, PA.


What Are The Advantages Of a Green Roof?

Having a green roof comes with a lot of advantages. They are able to help with stormwater runoff and management by soaking it into the roof without causing problems. It also is great at providing shade, thus reducing energy bills and creates a habitat for wildlife as well. The roof not only looks pretty, but it also provides oxygen and cleans the air.

Are Green Roofs Good For The Environment?

Green roofs are great for the environment and if more people had them, the benefits would be astounding. They help to reduce heat by absorbing it and creating a cooling effect that will benefit everyone around them. They also help to create oxygen the same way that trees do and will put cleaner air back into the air. In urban environments, green roofs have great importance because they help to avoid stormwater runoff and will be able to absorb it back into the roof and grow from that like a recycling effect.

By knowing more about the benefits of getting a green roof, it can spark a conversation among people that may create more, to want to put a green roof on their home or business. These roofs can help make big changes especially in large heavily populated and polluted areas like large cities. Call us for any questions or concerns you may have at (412) 227-8488 and see if a green roof in Pittsburgh, PA is right for you.

The Benefits of a Metal Roof

Metal Roof

A Metal Roof Is an Excellent Choice for Commercial Roofing.

As a commercial roofing material, metal has been in use for decades. Durable and long-lived, metal roofing resists a great many environmental hazards, and additionally requires little maintenance. Better still, recent advances in technology allow for much more functional, attractive metal roofing types. If the time has come to consider a new roof for your commercial structure, keep the benefits of a metal roof in mind.

Superb Durability

Durability provides one of the main reasons why many people choose metal roofing. Durable metal roofs can withstand certain damages, like impacts from hail, that would destroy other roofs. Certain varieties of metal also resist chemical exposure and other hazards associated with commercial and industrial roofing.

Excellent Lifespan

The longevity of metal represents another of its premier benefits. Whereas standard materials, such as single ply membranes, last for around 20 years, metal can persist for 50 or more. This provides a great deal of added value to a metal roof installation, and makes it one of the more cost-effective choices available.

Environmentally Friendly

Metal roofing is typically manufactured from some percentage of recycled material, and is itself recyclable at the end of a long life. This reduces the amount of roofing waste in landfills, a considerable environmental perk. Metal’s reflectivity almost makes it a natural cool roof. Increased energy efficiency and fewer AC emissions serve as further perks.

At Voegele Co., we are your local, expert commercial roofing contractors. If you need a metal roof in Pittsburgh, PA, we’re the team to call. Get in touch with us today at (412) 227-8488.