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Standing seam metal roof cost: how much is it and is it worth it?

How much is a standing seam roof in 2021?

How much does a standing seam metal roof cost?

Although the initial cost of materials for a standing seam metal roof construction is higher than for an asphalt shingle or other conventional roofing material, the durability is much greater, lasting two to three times longer than a traditional non-metal roof. Homeowners who invest in metal roofing see an average return of 85.9% across the world. Because of its fire resistance, metal roofing will help you save money on your insurance, particularly in states like Texas and California, which are prone to wildfires. Depending on the type of metal roofing you choose, standing seam metal roofs will last anywhere from 15 to 60 years.

Picture of standing seam roof

Positives of standing seam roof

  • The life expectancy of standing seam metal is 15 to 60 years.
  • Return on Investment of 85.9%
  • Prolonged life expectancy
  • Performance in terms of costs
  • Longevity – resists cracking, shrinking, and eroding.
  • Extreme weather performance, including heavy snow, hail, and fire
  • The appearance is modern.
  • Long-term warranties, typically between 30 and 50 years
  • Pleasant to the environment

Standing Seam Metal Roof Costs

Depending on the slope, pitch, and height of your roof, the estimated cost of installing a standing seam metal roof ranges from $23,000 to $30,000. On a standard sized single story house, plan to pay $8 to $14 per square foot or $800 to $1,400 per square installed. The cost of replacing a roof is dependent on a number of factors.

Standing seam metal roof instillation

How much does a standing seam metal roof cost?

The majority of standing seam metal roofs are field-locked, which necessitates the use of a special seam locking tool and a skilled metal roofing installer. The cost of installation varies depending on where you live and how many specialists are available in your region. You will also need to remove the old roof to add a new metal roof, which will incur a tear-off and disposal fee. In certain cases, you might be able to save money by installing a metal roof over an existing asphalt roof. For quotes, contact local standing seam metal roof installers, but expect to pay at least a few thousand dollars for labor.


Standing Seam Metal Roof Types

Painted Aluminum Standing Seam Roofs

The most cost-effective standing seam roofing material is aluminum. While it dents more easily than steel, it has good corrosion resistance and can be painted in a variety of colors, allowing for a more consistent aesthetic on any form of house, making it a common option for standing seam metal roofing.

Galvalume Steel Standing Seam Roofs

Galvalume steel roofs have a zinc aluminum alloy corrosion-resistant coating that is as durable as steel and as corrosion-resistant as aluminum. It is usually the most expensive form of standing seam roofing material available.

Galvanized Steel Standing Seam Roof

A galvanized steel roof, also known as a G-90 standing seam roof, is a zinc-coated steel roof that is one of the most common standing seam roofing materials. The steel is solid and long-lasting, and the zinc coating keeps it from corroding.

Copper or Zinc Standing Seam Metal Roofs: 

Standing seam metal roofs may also be constructed with copper or zinc roofing materials, but due to the higher costs associated with these metals, they are not as popular unless you have a big budget for your roofing project.

Standing Seam Roof Durability

A standing seam metal roof is the only material capable of shielding a building from wind, rain, hail, fire, insects, or rot. Standing seam roofs have the advantage of having the seams, which are the weakest point of any roof and a possible entry point for moisture, elevated above the level of the roofing panel. Furthermore, since the metal panels extend uninterrupted from the top to the bottom of the roof, there are no horizontal seams and the roof has far less seams overall than most roofing systems.

Can you coat a metal roof?

metal roofing system

What is the best coating for metal roof?        

For a large structure like a commercial or industrial business, metal roofing is commonplace. While metal roofing is durable and long lasting, it needs a metal roof coating. What is the purpose of metal roof coating is a metal roof is durable on its own? 

Metal roof coating and sealer add layers of protection to a metal roof, eliminating the possibility of  leaks and make it rust preventive. Metal roof coating is an innovative way to make a metal roof more energy efficient, a utility bill cost cutter.

You’ll get the best deal from a metal roof coating when its applied as soon as it starts to age. Early bird get the worm and early metal roof coating gets a longer life. When you ignore small things like aging, your roof will develop more problems that could end up costing more money, as much as four times more. 

So, how do you choose the metal roof coating for your commercial building’s metal roof? There are roof conditions like leaking seams, flashing, or rust that will require a specialized roof product prior to the metal roof coating. There isn’t a commercial roof that doesn’t have some physical issue, so you’ll need to take those of your metal roof in consideration before choosing a metal roof coating. 

Fortunately, there is an organization, ASTM (American Society for Testing Materials) that has developed national testing procedures stands of elastomeric metal roof coatings. With this set of standards, commercial structure owners are able to evaluate the different metal roof coatings and compare them to the physical issues of their roof. 

The ASTM standards for testing include the following characteristics: 

  • Elasticity
  • Tensile strength
  • Perm factor
  • Moisture gain by weight
  • Peel adhesion
  • Tear resistance

It is the opinion for this organization that the importance of those characteristics is equal for evaluating a metal roof coating. With this being said, elastomeric metal roof coating is a liquid applied with brushes and rollers, offering a commercial metal roof several benefits that paint can’t: 

  • A Longer Life: Elastomeric flat metal roof coating is a seamless layer over the entire roof, providing a lifelong protection from the elements. A metal roof life is extended by as many as twenty years with this metal roof coating. 
  • Energy Efficiency: Urban heat island is a major concern today and with metal roof coating, the UV ray heat absorption can be minimized. A white metal roof coating reflects the sun and solar heat, keeping the building’s interior cooler, which eases the strain and use of the HVAC cooling system
  • Protection from the Elements: Elastomeric flat metal roof coating is solid application that is durable in high winds because it can’t be lifted and ripped off by the seams. Because it can be applied in various thicknesses, it is another layer of protection to the roof, the building, and the contents. 
  • Easy Maintenance and Repair: Repairing an elastomeric flat metal roof coating is done simply by reapplying the coating over the damaged areas. This eliminates the need to tear off old roofing, making it a more sustainable roofing practice. A bonus is a smaller crew is needed and the job is done quicker than a new roof installation. 

Does roof coating stop leaks?

Yes, using a metal roof coating to stop leaks is a general practice in commercial roofing. It seals up cracks and small holes, stopping any existing roof leaks and preventing any future leaks. Coating the entire roof eliminates the need to inspect the roof and mark every leak.  

Do roof sealers work?

Absolutely and in several different ways they provide a metal roof benefits you wouldn’t want to be without. A basic rundown list of those benefits are: 

  • Waterproofing
  •  UV Protection
  • Added Fire-Resistance 
  • Mold Prevention
  • Minimize Heated Roof
  • Reduce Cooling Costs

How do you seal coat a metal roof?

The roof us thoroughly cleaned and any repairs are done first to assure the sealant adheres. A metal roof sealant comes in 5-gallon buckets and the liquid material is applied by rollers after the metal roofing base coat is applied.  

green metal roof

How do you restore a metal roof?

To successfully restore a metal roof, the preparation and cleaning must be thorough before the restoration begins. Five tips for that preparation are:

  1. Remove rust with acid etching, sand blasting, or a wire brush.
  2. Clean the roof surface with a rust and oxide remover combination product and rinse thoroughly with clear water. The entire roof should be power washed and scrubbed. 
  3. Tighten and secure all the fasteners, secure the substrates, and replace damaged or missing fasteners and washers.
  4. Seal the exposed fastener heads and roofing seams that are 1/8” or wider. 
  5. Brush or power blow prior to applying the sealant to remove dirt, dust, etc. 

A metal roof is one of the most durable roofs a commercial structure can  have in most cases.  With a metal roof coating, it becomes more durable, lasting longer and providing an energy saving layer to a roof that is already energy saving on its own. Want a metal roof coating in Atlanta, GA? Call (678) 365-3138 today.

How much does a metal roof cost in 2021? – A Simple Guide

Metal roofing is becoming more and more popular. One of the biggest questions we get is how much does a metal roof cost and is it worth it?

Most homeowners are aware that a metal roof replacement will cost more than standard architectural shingles, but how much more?

This article will walk you through the different types of metal roofs and the costs of each. There is a large price range even within the subcategory of metal roofing. There are two major types of metal that you’ll see used, which are called exposed fastener and concealed fastener.

Exposed Fastener

This type of metal has attached to the roof deck with screws that typically have a rubber washer or cap head on the screws. This is due to the fact that the fasteners will be exposed to the elements and more prone to rust than the standing seam metal option. The largest benefit of this type of metal is the price. All of the below types of exposed fastener roofing systems can be installed for $4.50-$5.50 per square foot, depending on current market conditions.

AG Panel Metal: This is a very common option used on residential and commercial buildings. With full installation, it will cost around $5 per square foot.

R Panel Metal: This type of metal is more common on commercial buildings and is often used for both the roof and siding on commercial buildings. The cost is very similar to that of AG Panel, coming in around $5 per square foot.

5V Crimp Metal: This option comes at a slightly higher cost at around $5.50 per square foot. You will typically see 5V crimp metal used in more rural areas.

Corrugated Metal: This option comes in again around $4.50 per square foot. Corrugated metal is typically used on sheds and detached garages due to it’s affordability. 

Concealed Fastener

Standing Seam Metal: This is the most expensive metal option, but comes with enhanced visual appeal and extreme longevity. A well installed standing seam metal roof will run between $8-$14 per square foot depending on some of the other factors we discuss below. 

Other Factors

While the panel system you choose is a large factor in determining cost, there are a few other factors that come into play as well.

  1. Type of Metal: There are a number of different choices when it comes to the type of metal used on a metal roof. Steel has been common in the past, but modern aluminum products like Galvalume are now taking over the market. While they last longer, they also come with a higher price tag.
  2. Gauge of Metal: Gauge refers to the thickness of the metal panels. The thicker the metal, the higher the cost. It also increases the longevity of the metal though.
  3. Paint Used on Metal: If you choose to go with a painted metal panel roofing system, you will have a number of options on the type of paint that is applied to the metal. The longer lasting paints will obviously come at a higher price. For more information on types of paint, take a look at this McElroy Metal post.
  4. Complexity of Roof: A simple gabled roof will be far lower in cost than a roof with many valleys, hips, and dormers. The complexity of your roof will play a large role in the cost.

What are metal roof tiles made of?

metal tile roofing system

Which is better metal or tile roof?             

We’ve all seen the metal roof on old barns and now that metal roof styling has made its way to homes, but with more appeal than rusted barn roofing.  Now, we have metal tile roofs!  Is that roofing shingles made of metal? If so, what are metal roof tiles made of?

Metal roof tiles are made from standard 26 gauge steel that has a stucco embossed finish that is stamped at the factory. It comes in rolls from metal roof tile manufacturers and has an acrylic coated galvalume finish. This panelized metal roof tile looks like ceramic tiles but is easier to install in  a vertical position with screw fasteners securing it to the house. One panel of metal tile roof material will cover the same are it takes eighty individual ceramic tiles, making the install faster.  

The first line of defense for your home is the roof. It is the roof that protects your belongings and your family from the elements like the scorching sun, hailstorms, and heavy rains. Which roofing material you choose, whether it is asphalt shingles, metal roof vs tile, will make a big difference in that level of protection and your comfort. 

While it is a matter of personal preference, there are factors between these roofing materials that must be considered. Those factors include your home’s location and the climate of that location, your budget, and your home’s architectural style. If you have narrowed down your choice between metal roofing or tile roofing, here are the pros and cons you need to account for in your decision process: 

  • Durability and Resistance: Concrete tile has a lifespan expectancy of 50 years versus metal roofing’s lifespan up to 45 years. Concrete tiles withstand the tough weather elements. Metal roofing is affected by environmental conditions resulting in rust. Metal roofing will dent versus concrete tile won’t. 
  • Energy Efficiency: Both concrete tile and metal roof energy efficiency with concrete tile outperforming metal with better control over internal temperature.  
  • Design and Style: Ceramic tile and metal roofing have both evolved over the years, but metal roofing has an advantage of a better fit with every architectural style. The design choice can impact a home’s aesthetic appeal and the resale value. The cost of a metal roofing has a 90% return of investment.
  • Maintenance: Metal roofing tends to dull over time where concrete tile maintains its appearance. Metal roofing can be challenging to repair if replacement pieces are needed because of that color change. 
  • Cost: Metal roofing should only be installed by a contractor with experience, skills, and technical expertise in using a metal roof tile cutter. Because of the specialty required of metal roofing, the cost of installation is higher. 

Can I walk on metal roof?

A myth came to be when someone said metal roofing could not be walked on because, in reality, yes, you can walk on a metal roof. You simply need to know how and that will depend on what type of metal roofing. In the case of a metal tile roof, you should only walk on the low spots that are close to the roof decking.

The truth about walking on a metal roof, it will hold up better under than a ceramic tile roof. In fact, even an asphalt shingled roofing can be damaged with too much foot traffic over a period of time. For the 50 year expected lifespan of a metal tile roof, it is safe for foot traffic when following the advice given above. 

Are metal roofs noisy?

The claim that a metal tile roof is going to be noisy is nothing more than a mislead rumor. The metal roofs that we all remember being noisy, on that old barn at grandpa’s farm, is because the metal sheets were installed right on the rafters. There was decking, felt, or any of the other materials used today with metal tile roofing. With a strong sheathing installed between the metal tile roof material and existing roofing surface, then adding insulation in the attic, the noise factor is reduced. 

What is the longest lasting roofing material?

Experts will tell you that a slate roof is the longest lasting material for roofing that you can have. A lifespan expectancy of 150 years or more, it can be the roof to give your home generations of protection. However, because of many drawbacks, expense being one of them, metal tile roofing is the next longest lasting material with a lifespan of 80 years with proper care and maintenance. 

red metal roof tile

And The Most Important Question: 

When it comes to roofing your home, you want it to look good, last forever, and fit the budget,. So, how much is a metal tile roof? The basic level of materials for a metal tile roof can cost as little as $600 with installation costing up to $360 per square foot. With a higher end of metal tile roof materials, the materials can cost up to $1080 per square foot and installation cost of $540 per square foot.

Keep in mind that while metal tile roofing is one of the most expensive roofing materials, you most likely won’t have to replace the roof again for as long as you live in the house, even if that is 80 years. Call (678) 365-3138 today for metal tile roofing installation in Atlanta, GA.

Repair or Replace Roof Shingles?

roof repair or installation on asphalt roof

Learn More About Shingles

It’s important to have your property up to date with roofing materials in good condition. In order to protect your home from problems such as leaks, asphalt shingle roof repair will need to be done in a timely manner in order to avoid problems from worsening into replacements. If you’d like to learn more about asphalt shingle roof repair make sure to contact your local qualified roofing company. Until then, here is some general background information regarding asphalt shingle roof repair that may be useful to you in the future.

Should I call insurance or roofer first?

If you’re in need of asphalt shingle roof repair it may be a good idea to contact your insurance company as they may be able to cover the cost of repairs. In some cases, however, if they don’t pay then this claim can increase your insurance policy premium. Get an idea of what should be done by doing your research or speaking with a roofing company to see what can be done with your roof. 

Does insurance cover blown shingles?

Homeowners’ insurance will typically cover asphalt shingle roof repair if damages were done from inclement weather or in situations beyond your control. With blown shingles, this is such a case however if you let your roof sit for a while and did not fix the issue then any resulting damages like water exposing underlayment to rain result in water damages would not be covered.  

What roof damage is covered by insurance?

Homeowners’ insurance will cover vandalism, fires, “acts of God” such as tornadoes and hurricanes, and other forms of inclement weather. Rain, wind, and hail damages being covered will be dependent on the policy you hold and your roof’s age. Some may have hail exclusions for example and a roof that’s 10 years old and damaged will likely get full replacements covered.  

Should I file a claim for roof damage?

If you’re looking to repair your roof it will typically be a good idea to file a claim before repairing a roof. Your insurance will likely require you to get an approved roofing contractor and get a roof inspection to support your claim. In some cases, your insurance may decide that a roof replacement will be better than a repair.

How do I know if my roof shingles are bad?

In order to tell if an asphalt shingle roof repair or replacement will need to be made from shingles that are in poor condition if to get a roof inspection. By observing your roof you can also get a good idea as to what is going on. You may see missing, balding, or otherwise damaged shingles. Craking, curling, and wavy edges for example are all signs that repairs need to be made as these conditions are irreversible.

Сlose up view of asphalt shingles roof damage that needs repair.

What are the signs that you need a new roof?

  • Cracked, broken, or missing shingles
  • Balding or missing granules.
  • Curled or wavy edges.
  • Visible signs of aging.
  • Algae/dark stains.
  • Moss growing.

How long does an asphalt shingle roof last?

An asphalt shingle roof can last anywhere from 15-25 years dependent on maintenance, weather conditions, and other factors. According to the NAHB, fiber cement shingles can last about 25 years while asphalt shingle/composition roofs last around 20. 

When should asphalt shingles be replaced?

An asphalt shingle roof replacement should occur around 20-25 years. You may be able to avoid the removal of old shingles by adding a second layer of shingles over the first. This will depend on the region where you live as some will have codes that don’t allow for it. As such, if your roof has undergone severe damages or needs repairs in multiple areas of the roof a roof replacement is recommended. 

Will roof leak with one shingle missing?

If that shingle lies above a torn seam your shingle will leak even with just one missing shingle. Even with one missing shingle, you may require asphalt shingle roof repair to avoid a leak. That’s because leaving a single shingle unattended can expose flashing and underlayment, over time (and especially with heavy rain) problems can worsen.

How do you waterproof a shingle roof?

You may be able to waterproof asphalt shingles with your own DIY asphalt shingle roof repair or by a professional by obtaining acrylic asphalt sealant and adding a protective layer to the shingles to keep them safe from water damages.

Contact a Professional Roofer About Asphalt Shingle Roof Repair 

If you find that your property may need asphalt shingle roof repair or would like to know what services should be done, contact your local roofer. Only a professional will be able to conduct a roof inspection to properly analyze roof conditions and problems. You’ll then be matched with the right roofing service which will strengthen your roof and protect it from the elements. Speak with a well-established roofing company today for more information and guidance. 

Get assistance with asphalt shingle roof repair in Atlanta, GA by calling (678) 365-3138 with the experts at Colony Roofers today!

How To Deal With Roof Storm Damage in 2021? – A Step by Step Guide

In Georgia, we experience the worst storms in the summer months when remnants of hurricanes pass through. This can result in significant roof storm damage.

However, we also tend to get significant rain into the winter and early spring months. We live in one of the most dense tree environments in the country, so our roofs are constantly dealing with debris falling and nature wearing away at them.

Storm chart of average monthly precipitation in Atlanta, Georgia.

It’s very likely that you’ll experience storm damage to your roof over the years of owning a property. This guide helps you understand what to look for when diagnosing storm damage and what you can do to mitigate the damage.

Main Types of Roof Storm Damage

Following the passing of a storm, you’ll want to do a full walk-around of your property to make sure you document all of the damage before time passes. This will give you the documentation needed down the road if you decide to hire a restoration contractor or file an insurance claim.

During your walk-around, you’ll want to make sure you look out for the following types of storm damage to your roof:

Wind Damage

In Georgia, wind damage is a fairly common occurrence. This is most common on three-tab shingles.

If your shingles look like the picture below, you most likely have three-tab shingles that are more susceptible to wind damage.

Three-tab asphalt shingles on a roof.
Three-tab asphalt shingles

The biggest signs of wind damage to your roof are flipped shingles, creased shingles, and displaced shingles. Obviously, if you find shingles laying in the yard, that is a sign of damage. However, creasing can be far more difficult to spot from the ground, but is just as detrimental to the roof.

The picture below shows exactly what you’re looking for when you’re scouting out wind damage.

Roof storm damage from wind.
Wind creased shingle

This shingle is close up and extremely creased, so it probably seems obvious that the shingle is damaged. However, from the ground it can be very hard to determine if your roof has wind damage. It’s likely best to have a roofing contractor do an inspection for you either via drone or on the roof.

Hail Damage

While not quite as common in Georgia, hail damage comes in waves. Various areas of metro Atlanta and the surrounding areas typically experience hail once or twice per year. Some of the more recent hail storms have happened in the Roswell and Cumming area.

Hail damage is going to be almost impossible to spot from the ground level due to the smaller size hail we experience in Georgia (1-2 inch typically). In the Midwest or Texas, hail can reach softball size, at which point it can create holes in a roof. However, we just don’t see that amount of damage in Georgia.

Despite the smaller size of hail storms in Georgia, it can still damage your roof and cause significant problems. Here is a picture of hail damage found on a roof in Atlanta:

Hail damaged shingle on a roof.
Hail damaged shingle

You can see in this picture where the fibers of the shingle are actually exposed from the impact. This will result in fast deterioration in the shingle and eventual leaking inside.

Again, it is very difficult to spot this damage from the ground because of it can be mistaken for blistering in the shingles, which is caused by heat getting trapped in the asphalt. It is best to have a roofing contractor perform an aerial inspection of the roof to determine if it has sustained hail damage.

Tree and Debris Damage

Georgia is home to a plethora of trees and nature, which is great for us but not so great for our roofs.

Trees constantly drop debris, cast shade, and potentially even fall on our roofs. During your post-storm walk around inspection of your property, if you notice a significant amount of debris laying in the yard or surrounding the property, this is a sign of possible debris damage.

Fallen tree laying the roof of a house.
Tree damage to a roof

This is the most obvious type of roof damage that exists and generally requires urgent mitigation. If your property sustains tree damage, you should call a local roofing contractor that provides emergency tarp service To minimize the interior damage that may follow.

Other Sign of Damage To Look For

There may also be signs inside the property that are signs of roof storm damage. Those signs include:

  • Drywall cracking
  • Water puddles on the ground (obviously!)
  • Water stains on the ceiling
  • Unusually hot or cool temperatures inside
  • Mold or mildew stains

Again, it’s best to have a professional roofing contractor take a look and make sure there is nothing to be concerned about. The National Roofing Contractors Association recommends that homeowners get their roof inspected by a professional twice a year—once in the fall and once in the spring.

DOs and DON’Ts

DON’T Give In To Storm Chasers

This is possibly the most important point in this article. There are contractors all over the country that do nothing but chase storms in order to take advantage of the quick money that can be made from helping you file an insurance claim after a storm.

While not all are dishonest, storm chasers are typically not local companies with a long standing reputation. It is always best to stay away from doing business with door-knockers and storm chasers. Call on a trusted local roofing company to help you, so you know they are there if anything goes wrong with the roof down the road.

“Unfortunately, severe storms can bring out the worst in people, especially unscrupulous roofing contractors who scam consumers needing to repair or replace their storm-damaged roofs,” the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety said after a record-breaking hail storm in 2017. “These fraudsters will often make false promises, insist on full payment before work begins or is completed. Sometimes, they will even create damage where none existed.” 

DO Call a Trusted Local Roofing Contractor

Do your research and make sure the company you are choosing is reputable and trusted by your fellow property owners.

Whether filing an insurance claim, paying out of pocket, or choosing a payment plan option, we’ll walk you through the various options you have and what we would recommend based on our experience with the various insurance carriers.

If you have recent storm damage to your roof, call us today for a free, no obligation inspection. We’ll work with you to come up with a plan forward to restore your property.

How Does Cool Roofing Work?

cool roofing

Keeping your property cool

With all the concerns about environmentally friendly structures and utilities, cool roofing has become a fast growing sector for commercial structures. What is cool roofing? This is roofing that is designed with the ability to minimize the absorption of heat from the sun’s UV rays.  

Cool roofing is made with either white or light colored reflective products that are similar to a thick paint. This coating provides the existing roof and structure protection against chemicals,  ultra-violet rays, and limited  water protection.  So, is cool roofing good? Yes, there several benefits of having cool roofing installed on a commercial structure, and more owners are realizing those benefits every year. Some of the benefits of cool roofing are: 

  • Save on utility bills with reduced air conditioning use.
  • Minimal maintenance required with cool roofing
  • Cool roofing extends the lifespan of the roof. 
  • Indoor comfort is improved with better temperature inside.
  • Reduced contribution to heat island effect.
  • Reduced contribution to air pollution.
  • Reduce waste in landfills.

What does a cool roof do?

The roof on a commercial structure is typically a flat, horizontal surface that receives as much as 1000 watts of sunlight on a summer day at noon. A dark roof absorbs that sunlight and transfers the heat into the structure, making the air conditioning work harder, using more electricity. A cool roofing application does the opposite. 

How does cool roofing work?

Cool roofing reflects the sun’s heat back into the atmosphere, away from the building, keeping it cool. There are two properties involved in this process that are measured using 0 to 1 with the higher the number, the better the job it does: 

  • Thermal emittance – the ability to radiate heat
  • Solar reflectance – solar energy the roof reflects

What is the coolest roofing material?

To be a facilities manager of a commercial structure,  you sometimes have to take crash courses in certain things, like cool roofing. Take a moment to review the following types of roofing for commercial structure now so that you can be the informed one when the time comes. 

First, you should realize there are two roof types: low slope and steep slope. Commercial structures are generally large square footage, and a low slope is the common roof type. The have the slight slope to aid in draining. The roofing materials commonly used on commercial structures are: 

Single Ply Membrane:  These is a mixture of the alphabet when discussing roofing membrane types. EPDM and PVC are the more commonly used roofing materials in this category.  Considerations for this type of roofing: 

  • Different substances are used with the different membrane types to get the  desired physical properties.
  • Applied as one layer. 
  • A flexible and UV-resistant product. 
  • Normally not compatible with other materials used on roofing systems.

Modified Bitumen: Usually an asphalt and polymer modifier combination that includes foil laminate or granules or additional protection. Considerations for this type of roofing:

  • Multiple layers that includes base sheets, modified bitumen, and surfacing.
  • A durable and flexible product. 
  • Requires welding, creating a fire risk.
  • VOC-free versions.
  • Cool and reflective colors available
     

BUR: This built up roofing has either asphalt or tar alternating layers with a reinforcing fabric. A  durable roof coating because the multiple layers and can hold up to foot traffic. Considerations for this type of roofing:

  • Multiple plies create a puncture-resistant roof coating.
  • Applies in a continuous layer. 
  • Applied in a heated form and requires dry and warm weather.
  • Creates a strong odor of fumes during installation. 
  • Not a cool roofing material, the asphalt absorbs heat. 

Metal Panel System: this architectural metal panel roofing system is strong and available in several colors. Solar panels can be easily fitted into the roof system.  Considerations for this type of roofing:

  • Long lifespan. 
  • Available in several colors.
  • Allows thermal movement as metal contracts and expands.  
  • Watertight and wind resistant.

Spray Polyurethane: This foam roofing system protect the roof from any damage, a durable material that is perfect for retrofitting an existing roof. Considerations for this type of roofing:

  • Combines spray foam insulation and a protective coating. 
  • Puncture resistant.  
  • Cracks and gaps are filled in during application to existing roof. 
  • Cannot be installed during cold or wet weather. 

What color roof is most energy efficient?

Like residential structures, cool roofing colors for a commercial structure are the lighter in colors. These reflect the UV rays instead of absorbing the heat into the structure. 

flat white roof

Are cool roof shingles worth it?

When comparing cool roofing vs traditional roofing, for homeowners where the summers are hotter and longer, the tax credit they can claim, along with the annual savings definitely makes cool roofing shingles worth the extra cost. For homes where the winters are colder and longer, cool roofing shingles may not be worth the expense, even with the tax credits.

Commercial or Residential – A common Question: How do I cool my roof?, and  there are several options available.

  • Install a roof garden 
  • Paint the terrace a light color
  • Add shade with a canopy, trees, umbrellas
  • Have heat-resistant flooring installed
  • Have solar panels installed

Call (678) 365-3138 today for your cool roofing in Atlanta, GA.

How You Can Reduce Local Water Pollution

You have more of an impact on local water pollution than you might think. Residences generally exist in a watershed, so any runoff from your home will eventually drain into the local waterways. 

A creek running through a wooded area, with grass and shrubs growing along the banks.

A watershed is a land area that drains into a specific natural waterway, such as a stream, river, or lake. Watersheds come in all sizes, and smaller watersheds may, themselves, drain into larger ones. Streams, for example, usually flow into rivers or lakes. 

Some water soaks into the ground, but a lot of local water pollution comes from runoff. Runoff occurs when rain or other precipitation flows off a roof, driveway, or road and into a storm drain. Storm drains typically lead to natural bodies of water. 

Excess water from lawns or fields likewise enters storm drains. Runoff carries whatever substances it comes into contact with, including pollutants, into the storm drains and, eventually, to the natural waterways. 

Nutrient pollution is a significant problem related to runoff. It occurs when excessive amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and other nutrients usually used for fertilizer enter local waterways through runoff points. 

Nutrient pollution leads to eutrophication, which is the over-growing of algae. This issue alters aquatic ecosystems and lowers water quality. 

What can the owners of homes, businesses, and fields do to prevent nutrient pollution and other local water quality problems? 

Beware of Pesticide Use

Pesticides can contaminate water in two major ways. Chemicals that you apply to a lawn, garden, or farm field can drain into waterways via a runoff system. They can also soak into the ground, enter the water table, and find their way into streams or the water supply. 

These chemicals are toxic to bugs and weeds, but they are also poisonous to humans and animals. 

What can homeowners do? One option is to use organic, non-toxic pesticides. Another is to use alternative pest control practices, such as hand weeding, planting flowers or trees that do not attract pests or else attract beneficial insects and predators (as a natural pest control option), or using agriculture methods such as contour farming and crop rotation.  

Prevent Soil Erosion

Soil erosion isn’t only bad for farming and landscaping; it also changes waterways. 

Eroded soil washes into storm drains as sediment. When this sediment runs into waterways, it can choke aquatic life, increase water temperature, and introduce any pollutants and bacteria that it contains. 

There are a few ways to prevent soil erosion. A well-kept lawn with plenty of perennial plants or trees can hold the soil in place. You can put mulch, wood chips, or landscaping stones in unplanted areas to combat erosion and assist efficient runoff. 

Keep Your Vehicle in Good Condition

You also need to look beyond your lawn. Cars that leak fluids, for example, contribute to water pollution. The oil or antifreeze gets washed down storm drains and into waterways, where they prove toxic to aquatic life. 

To prevent this type of pollution, you can regularly check your car for leaks and place drip pans to collect them where they do occur. 

Also, you should never pour fluids, including oil and antifreeze, into storm drains or on the ground. Most areas have recycling centers that accept used oil and antifreeze, as well as car batteries and other potentially toxic fluids. 

Collect Runoff

Rainwater won’t stay on your roof or driveway. Instead, it will run off into storm drains. On the way, it collects pollutants and sediment and carries them into the waterways. To prevent this issue and to avoid erosion and other potential pollution, you can try collecting the runoff from your roof. 

Consider installing a rain barrel and making sure your roof has a proper gutter system to deliver water to the barrel. A gutter update may be affordable and convenient when you undergo a roof replacement

A professional roofing contractor will be able to handle this project to meet your specifications. 

You should also make any necessary repairs to your roof to ensure proper drainage into rain barrels or onto permeable garden areas where the runoff can soak into the soil instead of entering storm drains. 

Be Careful During Construction

The main water pollution problem related to construction has to do with sediment rather than toxic chemicals. This is known as sediment pollution, and large construction can be a major contributor. Dirt, sand, and other types of deposits get disturbed or moved during building projects. They can easily wash into waterways in large amounts.

Construction companies can ensure that there are buffers of vegetation that can catch sediment and separate it from runoff water. They can also remove dirt and sand from the site so that it does not wash into the drainage system. Commercial roofers and other contractors can manage the waste created by their projects so that it does not contribute additional sediment into the watershed.

Clean Up After Your Pets or Livestock

Pet and livestock waste can affect water quality in two major ways. First, it can contribute to nutrient pollution by increasing the growth of algae. 

Additionally, pet waste can transfer various pathogens that might be harmful to humans and other animals. Bacteria or diseases could enter the water system and water supply via runoff or soaking into the ground. 

The easiest way to avoid this issue is to pick up pet waste and dispose of it in the trash can. You can maintain grass or plant buffers that remove livestock waste from runoff water before it enters the drainage system. 

Dispose of Waste Properly

The garbage you generate in your household or business can easily find its way into waterways. The same applies to liquids that you flush or pour down your drain. 

You can dispose of oils, fats, and food-based liquids in the trash, rather than pouring them down the drain. You can also take household chemicals to a recycling center rather than dispose of them via your drain or toilet. 

You may also consider using organic waste, such as vegetable peels, as compost instead of throwing it in the trash. Recycling plastics and metals is an excellent way to keep them from entering a landfill, where they could leech into the groundwater. 

Maintain Your Septic Tank

If improperly maintained, your septic tank can be a significant contributor to nutrient pollution via its drain field (the system of perforated pipes that deliver the waste to the surrounding soil for breakdown by bacteria). 

To maintain your septic tank, you need to have it serviced every two to five years. Also, you can avoid using your sewage system to dispose of household waste unnecessarily. 

Carefully Manage Private Streams and Ponds

Private streams and ponds are part of the watershed, and they will eventually end up flowing into larger waterways. Any water pollution issues, such as nutrient pollution, that affect your private ponds will eventually spread to larger bodies of water. 

The use of vegetation around your property’s water feature to create a riparian zone can stop nutrient pollution and sediment buildup. Such vegetation can also catch sediment as it drains out of your waterways and into other parts of the watershed. 

Be Aware of Your Local Ecosystem

Your local ecosystem may have specific vulnerabilities, unique animal or plant populations, or particular drainage patterns. You can take these things into account when making a plan for managing your contribution to water pollution. 

Sustainable Home Architecture Options

Sustainable housing provides benefits in terms of the environment, energy consumption, and utility costs.

House window with worn down cedar shake roof shingles

Green homes offer advantages to the community because it causes fewer carbon emissions, thereby reducing air pollution. Also, these houses do not cause undue strain on the local power grid because they operate efficiently. 

In addition to reducing energy costs for the homeowner, sustainable homes often present extra perks such as improved indoor air quality, a higher level of comfort, and, in some cases, increased property value. 

Individual homeowners can enjoy these benefits, but the same positives can also help landlords lower operations costs and make a rental property more attractive to people seeking an environmentally friendly place to live. 

Here is a closer look at the options for sustainable residential architecture.

Cargotecture

Cargotecture is the use of shipping containers as dwellings. These 20- and 40-foot boxes have long been a temporary housing option in oil fields and the armed forces. Over the past few decades, architects have started taking advantage of containers’ structural reliability and customizability to make more-permanent homes. 

What are the pros and cons of cargotecture?

Pros

  • They use recycled cargo containers, so they do not need as many building materials and are more environmentally friendly. 
  • Because the structure is already in place, building a cargo home is quick compared to a traditional house. 
  • They are incredibly sturdy and safe. 
  • Many designs are modular, which means you can add or subtract elements easily. 

Cons

  • Cargo container homes may not meet local building and zoning requirements. 
  • You need to take extra steps to connect to utility systems. 
  • You may be limited in terms of size and layout. 

Modern cargotecture usually involves stacking and joining multiple shipping containers together. This trend allows owners to get the size and layout of a traditional home while also enjoying the advantages of building with containers. 

Cargotecture has made its way into the commercial property market. For example, in Amsterdam, a student housing development called Keetwonnen consists of a stack of modified containers that serve as apartments. 

Prefabricated Homes

Prefabricated homes are houses that get built in a factory setting and shipped to the buyer’s location. There are different types of prefabricated homes. 

  • Modular homes consist of different segments. Each component can join with others to create a complete house. When assembling, you can add or subtract these components as needed. 
  • Shipping container homes are houses made with 20- or 40-foot shipping containers. Some of these houses are modular and include two or more containers joined together.
  • Kit homes have parts assembled in a factory. The pieces make up a kit, which gets shipped to the construction site and put together. With these homes, you do not have to worry about wasting excess materials. 
  • Panel homes consist of exterior and frame components. These panels come from a factory, but all interior work occurs onsite. 

There are distinct advantages and disadvantages to prefabricated homes. 

Pros

  • Prefab homes limit waste because builders follow a pre-set pattern in a controlled environment. This is good for the environment and your wallet. 
  • Construction time is quicker than for a traditional home. 
  • Because of the factory setting, limited waste, and quick onsite construction, prefab homes are cheaper than traditional peers. 
  • Prefabs are usually energy-efficient because the components get joined together in an airtight way. 

Cons

  • Though these homes are cheaper, you have to pay to transport them to the building site. Also, you may have to pay extra to have utilities hooked up to your home.
  • Design options are limited to the products offered by a builder. 
  • The cost of a prefab home does not include the land, which you need to purchase separately. 

Tiny Homes

Tiny homes are extremely small houses. Almost all are less than 500 square feet, and some are significantly smaller than that. Because of their modest size, these homes are cheaper to build, and utility costs are very low. 

The common denominator for all tiny homes is their diminutive stature. These houses come in many different styles. Some resemble traditional dwellings or log cabins, while others are portable and stand on wheels. 

Pros

  • A tiny home can generate 14 times less carbon than a typical home. These houses produce minimal pollution. 
  • Tiny houses are cheaper than traditional homes and can make house ownership a reality for people who would otherwise have to rent. 
  • Tiny homes are often portable, so you are not confined to one place. 

Cons

  • The interior area is extremely limited. Tiny homes present challenges for families and those in need of space for storage. 
  • You need to purchase or rent the land. Though tiny homes are cheap, you need to have a place to put them. This cost is in addition to the price of the house itself.  
  • You may need to take extra steps, such as pouring a foundation or hooking the home up to utilities. 

Earthships

Earthships are off-the-grid homes that maximize environmental friendliness and minimize reliance on outside services. The structures use passive solar heating and ventilation instead of automated climate control systems, and they include systems that make activities such as recycling and composting extremely easy. 

Earthships also often have self-contained sewage treatment and water collection systems. 

Pros

  • Passive solar heating, self-contained sewage treatment, and other features limit the cost of utilities. 
  • The simple design of these structures can make them cheap to build and maintain. 
  • Because they use recycled, repurposed, or sustainable materials, Earthships are very eco-friendly. 

Cons

  • You may need to pay architects and engineers to design customized systems to meet your needs. Earthships may not be the cheapest option on the market. 
  • You may need to install backup systems to kick in when passive systems are not providing the ideal temperature. 
  • These homes are difficult to resell, so they do not offer the same type of investment opportunity as traditional homes. 

Passivhaus

Passivhaus (German for “passive house”) is a building designed to use as little energy as possible. Institutions in different parts of the world create different standards for passive houses, with the most important being the Passivhaus standards from Germany.  

A passive house could, for example, use a metal roof to reflect sunlight and reduce passive heating. 

In most cases, a Passivhaus uses window treatments, blinds, ventilation, skylights, and other design features to regulate interior climates without using minimal outside energy. You could gain some of the benefits of a passive house by replacing your roof or windows.  

Pros

  • Passivhaus designs minimize utility costs. 
  • Since you do not need much energy to heat or cool the home, passive houses are very environmentally-friendly.
  • The standard includes a comfort requirement. A true Passivhaus will remain comfortable year-round. 

Cons

  • Including design elements that allow for passive heating and cooling can be expensive. 
  • A Passivhaus design may not account for very cold or hot days. 
  • A Passivhaus may not be possible in certain parts of the world or specific locations depending on climate and shade or sunlight on any given property. 

Green Roofs and Living Walls

Green roofs and living walls consist of standard building elements covered with plant life. Green roofs are exterior features, and while green walls can be outside, they are usually interior features. 

These installations can reduce energy costs, provide natural air purification, increase humidity in dry environments, and brighten interior spaces. Some architects may also include these elements for aesthetic reasons. 

Prominent examples of green roofs include the Chicago City Hall and Vancouver Convention Centre, and green walls are prevalent in some parts of the world, such as Taipei, Taiwan. However, these features are also possible at a smaller scale in residential homes. 

A green roof requires a sturdy roof structure. You will need to have a roofing professional inspect your home to ensure that it can withstand the weight of soil and plants. You’ll need to make repairs if necessary. 

You can create a green roof relatively easily by installing rows of growing trays and planting hardy species like sedum. 

A green wall can be as simple as building a structure to hold plant life and placing it next to an interior wall. You can use creeping plants, such as ivy so that the installation requires less soil.

Compact Design

Compact designs are often better in terms of energy efficiency because it is cheaper to heat, cool, and light smaller areas. Smaller homes often require less maintenance because there are fewer installations to fix and less area to clean. 

These designs are green because they limit energy consumption, but they are also green because they require less material when built. You can make modular homes more compact or build walls or barriers in existing homes to divide existing rooms rather than adding new ones. 

Sustainable Housing Materials

In many cases, the best and most practical sustainable home option is simply to make a traditional home using sustainable materials. You will need to discuss the use of specific materials with a contractor or roofer before starting construction. 

What are the best sustainable materials?

  • Bamboo is very sustainable because it grows quickly. It is strong, durable, and flexible, and ideal for use in flooring, walls, and interior trim. 
  • Timber can be sustainably harvested and used both on the interior and exterior. Reclaimed or recycled timber can work for non-load-bearing interior elements. 
  • Adobe, cob, and mudbrick are historic building materials that are still useful today, though they typically need reinforcement to serve as exterior walls for dwellings. 
  • Recycled metals can serve as structural components of a home. Recycled steel, for example, can work as beams in a home. 

Solving the Problem of the Urban Heat Island Effect on an Individual Level

The Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect causes the air temperature to be higher in city centers than in surrounding rural areas. In some cases, the temperature difference can be extreme. As an example: a city of one million people can have a temperature that is as much as 5.4 degrees warmer than the surrounding rural zones. 

An urban residential sector, with the sun just setting on the horizon, and the streets glowing with green and yellow lights as darkness falls.

Several different factors contribute to this problem, but asphalt is a significant heat source in urban areas. Asphalt surfaces, on roads and roofs, absorb warmth and create a radiating effect that releases it back into the surrounding areas, increasing the ambient temperature. 

Urban and suburban areas continue to grow, necessitating more roads and roofs. This expanding heat island leads to more energy consumption as people try to cool their homes and buildings. The reliance on air conditioning can strain the energy grid and increase carbon output, which causes global warming.  

As cities and suburbs develop, UHI problems grow as well. However, home and business owners can take steps to overcome this human-made issue. 

1. Light-Colored Building Materials

One of the primary causes of the urban heat island is the absorption of heat by dark asphalt surfaces. Lighter-colored materials do not absorb heat in the same manner. Instead, they reflect sunlight. Therefore, lighter surfaces do not create the same radiating effect as darker surfaces. 

Studies have shown that white-colored materials absorb the least heat, and lighter-colored non-white materials follow close behind. Cement and bricks have a higher thermal mass. They do absorb heat but release it very slowly. Therefore, they remain relatively cool compared to other materials, such as dark-colored asphalt. 

Roofs with vinyl or ceramic shingles or metal roofs also have reflective properties. A professional roofing contractor can tell you which of these options will work the best in your climate. 

2. Green Roofs

A green roof contains plant life. Some famous buildings, including Chicago City Hall, have foliage instead of shingles. These installations are also possible on smaller commercial and residential buildings. 

Because they provide shade and do not absorb heat, green roofs are much cooler than conventional ones. According to the EPA, green roofs can be as much as 30 to 40 degrees cooler than traditional roofs. 

Small commercial and residential buildings can have green roofs made from hardy plants growing in trays in two to four inches of soil. Though these roofs do not require much maintenance, you need to ensure that your structure is strong enough to support the extra weight. 

A roofing contractor can inspect the roof and make repairs if necessary. They can also put down a layer of protection against moisture buildup. 

3. Cool Roofs

A cool roof has reflective properties that keep it from absorbing heat. These roofs can be beneficial when it comes to combating the urban heat island effects. They can also help lower energy costs within a building. 

There are different types of cool roofs. Some rely on reflective shingles to avoid heat absorption. Others use metal because of its reflective properties. Some roofers rely on reflective paint or spray-on membranes that reduce solar heat gain. 

According to the US Department of Energy, cool roofs can help combat the UHI effect by avoiding the solar heat gain associated with traditional asphalt shingles. The DoE also suggests that the lower temperature on the roof itself can increase its lifespan. 

While roof replacement is an option for upgrading to a cool roof, there are also options for applying a coating or glaze to the existing structure to enhance its reflective properties. 

4. Plants

Trees, plants, and other vegetation can help combat the urban heat island effect. Trees can provide shade and keep the sun from reaching the asphalt on roads and rooftops. Additionally, this shade can decrease cooling costs for your home. 

Home and business owners can plant shade-producing trees that lower the chances of solar heat gain on their roofs and driveways, but they should not ignore other types of foliage. 

The process of transpiration can also reduce heat. Transpiration is when plants release water vapor back into the atmosphere through their leaves. This phenomenon is common in rural areas covered by vegetation, but less common in cities with fewer plants. 

Property owners can increase the amount of foliage on their land and increase the amount of transpiration that takes place. 

5. Green Pavement

According to the EPA, regular pavement can reach temperatures of up to 150 degrees during the summer. When you understand that pavement covers 30% to 45% of the land in many cities, you can see why the temperature difference between urban and rural areas can be significant. 

Green pavement products are still in the early stages of development. Some studies have shown the effectiveness of reflective concrete, concrete with reflective paint or glaze, or unique porous pavement. 

Though sometimes less practical, replacing pavement with gravel or grass is possible in some situations. Property owners can remove unused paved areas and replace them with vegetation or grass.

6. Energy-Efficient Appliances

Energy-efficient appliances can lower the strain on the electrical grid during hot weather. Air conditioners are the obvious candidates for efficiency upgrades, but you can also consider refrigerators and lighting fixtures. 

The EPA’s Energy Star program lists appliances that meet the strictest efficiency standards. 

Purchasing Energy Star appliances can reduce power consumption and utility costs. They can also help reduce the UHI effect. 

Air conditioners make air cooler inside, but they increase heat output outside. Depending on their power source, the energy needed to run an air conditioning unit also generates heat. The higher the efficiency, the less heat an appliance produces directly and indirectly.     

7. Reducing Air Pollution

Air pollution and urban heat island effects go hand in hand. Smog, particles, and other forms of pollution can intensify the heat and lower overall air quality. 

Energy consumption and auto emissions are significant culprits when it comes to urban pollution. Driving a more fuel-efficient car, relying on public transportation, or walking and biking when possible can help reduce your contribution to your area’s pollution. 

Energy-efficient appliances, such as those with Energy Star certification, can reduce the carbon footprint of your home overall by lowering the amount of energy needed to operate your home.