Infographic created by Custom Exteriors about the lifespan of a commercial roof with and without maintenance comparing TPO MOD BIT EPDM BUR and METAL

Saving Money On Commercial Roof Replacement

A metal roof replacement by Custom Exteriors, and tips on how to save money on a commercial roof replacement

How to save money on a commercial roof replacement

As commercial roofing contractors and commercial real estate owners, we understand the importance of cutting costs when performing routine maintenance or upgrades. Minimizing costs associated with our building maintenance is a critical part of your business operations, whether you like it or not. For many commercial building owners, the demands of managing your business make up a substantial portion of your daily tasks. The last thing on your mind is likely planning for major renovations and long-term regular maintenance. 

However, if you have experienced any of the many consequences of improper roof maintenance or lack of a needed replacement, you know how quickly those costs can escalate. Maintaining your roof is a significant investment that protects your assets, employees, and daily operations. It can also wreak havoc on operations and your budget if you don’t make strategic planning and maintenance a part of your management strategy. 

Every building owner should consider the financial implications of a roof replacement, including the cost, the cost of not replacing, and ongoing maintenance costs. Industry studies indicate that preventative maintenance and timely repairs can extend a roof’s lifespan by up to 50%. Savings like that can significantly improve your bottom line. Yet, when replacement becomes inevitable, knowing how to manage it with minimal financial impact can have huge implications on your business operations. 

At Custom Exteriors, we are committed to helping you maintain a successful business by protecting your property with our exterior services. We want you to experience a roof replacement that causes minimal impacts on operations and limited downtime. Today, we hope to share some tips that can help you make informed decisions, balancing cost-efficiency with the long-term value and safety of your commercial property. 

Explore your insurance coverage

We are Colorado natives and local property owners. We have replaced many roofs on our personal homes and investment properties in our adult lives. Guess how many of those roof replacements were not caused by damage from severe weather? That’s right, zero. It’s no secret that Colorado and the surrounding states are prone to severe weather, including times of large hail, hurricane-force winds, and even tornados. 

So, for many property owners in our area, the challenge isn’t just keeping a roof over their property; it’s dealing with the effects of our severe weather season. Colorado’s harsh weather, mainly hail and wind, means that for local properties, roofs often need replacing before their time. If you notice signs that you may need a roof replacement, the first step is a thorough roof inspection. Some signs that might indicate your roof needs to be inspected include: 

Once you have determined you do, in fact, need to replace your roof, the first step is knowing what your insurance policy covers. Your agent should be able to explain your coverages and limits. However, if your roof is damaged from natural causes, the right insurance coverage could mean the difference between paying a deductible and paying for an entire commercial roof replacement. Commercial policies vary widely, so knowing and understanding your policy is important. 

Filing a Claim: Steps and Documentation

Before filing a claim, it’s important to consider the implications. When you file a claim on any insurance policy, it gets added to CLUE (The Comprehensive Loss and Underwriting Exchange), which is used to determine your rate. With that in mind, depending on your coverage and anticipated rises in premium costs, an insurance claim may not make sense. Every business is unique, so this decision varies depending on your circumstances. 

If you have determined that a claim is beneficial in your circumstances, knowing how to file a claim can help speed up the process and make sure you are compensated adequately to restore your building to its pre-storm condition. Here are some tips: 

  1. Act Quickly: As soon as you notice signs of damage, contact your insurance company. Most insurance companies have a timeline for claim reporting. Waiting too long might make it harder to file a claim down the line. 
  2. Document Everything: Take clear photos and videos of the damage from different angles. If you are working with a professional roofing contractor, they will provide these during their inspections. This visual evidence is key to supporting your claim. 
  3. Keep Records: Have a copy of your insurance policy handy, along with any record of previous roof maintenance or inspections. If you’ve had your roof checked regularly, it shows you’ve taken care of it, which can help your claim.

If your insurance covers the damage, you could save significantly on roof replacement costs. Given the frequency of severe weather in our area, having the right coverage is important. When the weather does its worst, you want to be covered and prepared. With the right coverage, it won’t cost you as much to fix. 

Tax Credits and Incentives

Some roofing projects might qualify for tax credits or incentives. So, when replacing your roof or any other part of your building, choosing energy-efficient materials could earn you money back from the government. Some programs that your business may qualify for include: 

  1. Energy Efficient Commercial Building Deduction (Section 179D): This tax deduction allows building owners to claim a deduction for part of the costs of installing energy-efficient systems, including roofing. The roof must be part of an energy-efficient building envelope that meets specific criteria set by the Department on Energy.  
  2. Colorado Credits and Rebates: The state of Colorado also offers tax credits and rebates for energy-efficient or green roofing installations. If you qualify, this is designed to encourage local property owners to invest in sustainable building practices that also lead to significant energy savings.  
  3. Historic Preservation Tax Credits: If your building is designated as a historic structure, you might be eligible for tax credits related to preservation and rehabilitation efforts, such as roofing.

Consult a tax professional

Tax laws can be complex, and incentives change over time. That’s why it’s important to talk to a tax professional before filing for any of these credits. They can help you understand what specific benefits you can apply for and how to claim them. They will know the ins and outs of each of these programs and likely have information on other options for your unique circumstances. 

This approach can lead to significant savings, making your roofing project more affordable while also contributing to your building’s energy efficiency. 

For property placed in service in 2023 and after, the Energy Efficient Commercial Buildings Deduction can amount to up to $1.00 per square foot. ~Internal Revenue Service

The importance of regular maintenance

Proactive maintenance is the number one way to save money on your roofing costs. A well-maintained roof can last up to 50% longer and save on repair costs. Roofing Contractor did a study on commercial roofing back in 2012. While the prices have no doubt increased, some staggering statistics still hold true today. 

During the course of the study, they found that 80 percent of roofs need to be replaced prematurely. They also found that roof maintenance programs, which are tax-deductible, cost about 1 to 3 percent per year of the expected replacement cost. In return, however, they noted that consistent roof maintenance can save up to 50% over the course of your roof’s life. This maintenance helps take care of small issues before they become something larger and, by default, extends the lifespan of the roof. 

It’s important to note that roofs can leak for weeks or months before there are visible signs. Over several months, water can do a lot of damage and amplify the repairs needed to get your business up and running again. 

Ripped roof membrane found during routine roof maintenance by Custom Exteriors

How maintenance extends roof life

Regular maintenance helps catch small problems before they turn into big, expensive ones. For example, in the photo above, our HAAG-certified roofing inspector noticed this small breech in the roof membrane. Our team was able to make a repair on-site that day, preventing what could have turned into water damage or worse. 

Routine inspections may reveal missing or damaged shingles, damage to membranes, caulking, or flashings. Without this check, those minor issues would turn into leaks, water damage, and more significant problems that might require an entire roof replacement sooner than expected. 

While commercial inspections are complex, the basics are: 

Infographic created by Custom Exteriors about the lifespan of a commercial roof with and without maintenance comparing TPO MOD BIT EPDM BUR and METAL

Regular roof maintenance has significant financial benefits. By addressing small issues before they become big issues, you effectively extend the life of your current roof and lower maintenance costs. You can increase energy efficiency and even lower operational costs. Over time, these savings add up, making the investment in regular maintenance well worth it. 

Timing your replacement during off-peak seasons

It’s no secret that roofers are typically in high demand during the summer months in Colorado. Our severe weather often creates more replacements and repairs than most can handle. This can cause price increases due to labor and material shortages and limit the choices of who can replace your roof. During these peak seasons, reputable roofing companies tend to book solid. This leaves the option of another (possibly less reliable) roofing company or a significant delay in starting your project. 

On the other hand, consider scheduling your roof replacement on the shoulders of severe weather season. If you schedule before the roofing season begins or after the majority of the repairs are completed, you will have a better selection of contractors and possibly pricing. 

When using this plan, remember that roof replacements can take time. If they are covered by insurance, that will extend your timeline. Materials will need to be chosen and delivered, which can take weeks. To make the most of off-peak season advantages, start planning your roof replacement well in advance. Reach out to roofing contractors months before you want the work done. This gives you time to review your estimate and choose the right contractor without feeling rushed. 

Consider roof coatings as an alternative

Sometimes, a full roof replacement might not be necessary. Roof coatings can serve as a cost-effective alternative. They offer a way to extend the life of your existing roof without the hefty price tag of a complete roof replacement. 

Roof coatings are specially designed products that are applied directly to the surface of your existing roof. They are thicker than paint and come in acrylic, silicone, and polyurethane. When used properly, they can repair minor damage, prevent leaks, and improve the overall function of your roofing system at a fraction of the price. 

Roof coatings are a great option to: 

On a typical summer afternoon, a clean white roof that can reflect 80% of sunlight will stay 50 degrees cooler than a grey roof that can only reflect 20% of sunlight.  ~

Final Thoughts: Leveraging savings in Commercial roofing

Managing properties means managing expenses without compromising quality. From understanding how to leverage insurance coverage, especially in Colorado, to investigating tax credits and incentives for energy-efficient roofing options, there are many ways to try to save some money when replacing a commercial roof. 

Of all the subjects discussed, from our experience, the most effective savings is regular maintenance. When you factor in the extended lifespan of a well-maintained roof, with the lack of many major repairs and the possible increase in energy efficiency, bi-annual maintenance should be on every building owner’s radar. Remember, the goal is to achieve a durable, efficient roofing system that meets your needs while matching your budget. With careful planning and the right approach, you can make informed decisions about your biggest assets. 

Metal roof installed by Custom Exteriors

Asphalt Shingle Roofs vs. Metal Roofs: A Comprehensive Comparison

Metal Roofs Vs. Asphalt shingle roofs:
A comprehensive comparison

As a roofing contractor based out of Colorado, we often meet our customers during stressful times. Their home or business has often been damaged by severe weather, and now they are in the middle of negotiations with insurance companies and scheduling contractors for repairs. This doesn’t even consider the decisions that must be made during a roof replacement, including color and design choices. Choosing the right roofing material will affect your property’s long-term comfort, protection, and value. We have seen just about every roofing system around. They all have advantages and disadvantages, so how do you choose the right one? It helps to understand the critical differences between the systems. Let’s look at two widely used options: metal and asphalt shingle roofs. 

Many factors, such as durability and lifespan, should be considered when replacing your roof. In this article, we are going to discuss the following factors that will likely affect your final decision:

When choosing between these two popular roofing materials, it’s essential to consider your budget, climate, and long-term goals. This will help you to make an informed decision that best suits your property’s needs. 

The battle of durability

Metal roofs are known for their exceptional longevity, often lasting 40 to 70 years or more! They can brave harsh weather and require minimal maintenance. However, they can be prone to denting if something heavy falls on them or during large hail storms. On the other hand, asphalt shingle roofs are budget-friendly initially but typically only last 20 to 30 years. Additionally, they are more vulnerable to extreme weather conditions and demand regular maintenance

Infographic made by Custom Exteriors to explain the pros and cons of metal roofing

Metal Roofs: Built to last

Metal roofs are known for being quite durable, so they are often considered a long-term investment. When properly installed and maintained, metal roofs can last up to 70 years, if not longer. This impressive lifespan is due to the basic make-up of metal. Metal roofing materials, such as steel, aluminum, and copper, naturally resist wear and tear caused by weather exposure and age. 

One of the standout features of metal roofing is its ability to withstand a wide range of harsh weather conditions. Snow and ice typically slide off a metal roof more efficiently, reducing the risk of ice dams and the associated water damage during cold winters. They also won’t rot, warp, or crack and cannot be damaged by mildew and mold. This resilience means fewer maintenance requirements and lower long-term repair costs.

It’s worth mentioning that while metal roofs are incredibly durable, they can be dented if something heavy, like a tree limb, falls on them or during extreme hail. However, generally speaking, metal roofing is quite difficult to damage. 

Asphalt Shingle Roofs: A dependable option

Asphalt shingle roofs are not as durable as metal roofs. However, with decent long-term maintenance, they offer a respectable life span of 20 to 30 years. It is important to note that the lifespan of an asphalt roof can vary significantly depending on climate, weather exposure, shingle quality, and maintenance. 

Asphalt shingles are a popular choice due to their affordability. While they have many desirable qualities, it’s crucial to consider their limitations. While they can hold up well in mild to moderate weather conditions, they are more susceptible to damage from severe weather events like hurricanes, hailstorms, and high winds. Over time, the asphalt shingles can become brittle and crack due to prolonged exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, potentially leading to leaks. With this in mind, before choosing your roofing material, consider the weather conditions in your area. Homeowners in areas prone to severe weather may benefit from the long-term investment of a metal roofing system. 

Asphalt shingles can deteriorate quickly in regions with extreme temperature fluctuations. In areas prone to heavy snowfall, the weight of accumulated snow and ice can cause damage to the shingles and surrounding roof components

To maintain a long lifespan with your asphalt shingle roof, homeowners must be diligent about regular roof inspections, repairs, and occasional replacements of damaged or missing shingles. This ongoing maintenance, while necessary, can add to the long-term cost of an asphalt shingle roof. 

The installation process

Understanding the installation process of metal and asphalt shingle roofs is crucial to making an informed choice for your home. Both options have aspects of installation that can impact your budget and timeline. 

Commercial roof replacement by Longmont roofing contractor Custom Exteriors

Metal Roofs: More complex with more reward

Metal roof installations typically involve more complexity than asphalt shingle roofs, but the benefits can outweigh the challenges. 

After checking the roof decking for any signs of damage, the installation process begins using an underlayment like ice-and-water shield. Layers are overlapped and laid down wrinkle-free. Metal panels are then often cut to the length of the roof. This avoids seams in the roof, which can be a source of potential leaks. The panels are then stuck to closure strips and attached to the roof. The panels and trim pieces are installed with screws installed in a way designed to ensure the roof remains watertight.  During installation, the panels are overlapped as an additional way to prevent roof leaks. Trim pieces and ridge cap are then attached to the other roof components like your ridge, gable, and eave. Metal roof installations often require professional installation because their installation methods are more complex.

When you replace your roof with a metal roofing system, an experienced roofer will be able to install your new roof efficiently. This means less disruption to your daily life during the installation process. This efficiency can translate to short installation times. However, because of the specialized knowledge required to install your roof, your labor costs can be higher than with an asphalt roof replacement. Additionally, incorrect installation can result in issues like leaks or rust over time. Therefore, when choosing a metal roof, it’s essential to hire a qualified roofing contractor with experience in metal roofing installation. 

While metal roof installation may have a few additional considerations, the longevity and durability of the roof make it a worthwhile investment. 

Asphalt Shingle Roofs: Simple and familiar

Asphalt shingle roof installation is generally more straightforward and familiar to most roofing contractors. The installation process for asphalt shingle roofs is more straightforward and requires fewer specialized tools than metal roofs as well. Most roofing professionals are qualified to install asphalt shingle roofs. The installation of asphalt shingles is typically faster than metal roofs. The process of deck inspections and underlayment is similar. However, asphalt shingles are nailed to the surface of the roof. When installing asphalt shingles, knowledge of required nail patterns and shingle layout is essential. 

Proper installation of roof vents and flashing is essential for preventing leaks in the long term. Ensuring these components are correctly installed may require extra attention. Regardless of your roofing material choice, working with a reputable roofing contractor specializing in your selected roofing material is crucial to ensure a successful and long-lasting installation. 


Cost Considerations

When replacing your roof, understanding the costs associated is a key factor in making an intelligent choice that meets your needs and your budget, not just now, but in the future as well. 

Metal Roofs: A Long-term investment

Asphalt Shingle roofs: Budget-friendly upfront

When thinking about cost, you’ll need to balance your immediate budget constraints with your long-term financial goals. Metal roofs may require a larger initial investment, but their durability and potential energy savings can make them a wise financial choice in the long run. On the other hand, asphalt shingle roofs are more affordable upfront, making them a suitable option if you need to manage your costs in the short term. Weigh your budget and future plans carefully and make an informed decision about your roof replacement. 

The environmental impact

Making eco-friendly choices is increasingly important. The production and shipping of both systems do have a carbon footprint. However, metal roofing materials are often recyclable at the end of their lifespan. In addition to traditional recycling methods, recently, used metal roofing has become a stylish wall covering that is highly in demand. Additionally, because of the reflective properties of metal roofing, it has the potential to reduce the energy costs of the home. 

Asphalt shingles may contain recycled materials and can sometimes be recycled. However, because they don’t serve as well to reflect the sun’s heat, they contribute to the urban heat island effect. Additionally, they are more energy-intensive to manufacture. 

Curb appeal

The appearance of your roof plays a surprisingly significant role in the overall look and curb appeal of your home. So, when choosing between metal and asphalt shingle roofs, it’s essential to consider how each material will look with your home’s style. Some things to consider when choosing the best match for your home are:

When choosing a new roof, the most significant impact is achieved by considering your home’s architectural style, personal preferences, and even the roofs of surrounding homes and buildings. Metal roofs provide a contemporary and customizable look, ideal for those seeking a modern appearance. On the other hand, asphalt shingle roofs offer a timeless and classic charm, making them a reliable choice for homeowners who prefer a more traditional look.

It’s important to remember that your roofing decision should complement the overall design of your home. So, take the time to explore different styles and colors, and consult with your roofing contractor for expert guidance. Ultimately, the goal is to have a roof that not only protects your home but also enhances its curb appeal and character.

Maintenance and repairs

Proper maintenance and timely repairs are essential for prolonging your roof’s lifespan. Metal roofs require minimal maintenance, usually limited to occasional inspections and cleaning. Repairs are generally straightforward, often involving patching or resealing. On the other hand, asphalt shingle roofs demand more frequent inspections and maintenance, which can become time-consuming and costly over time. However, damaged shingles can be replaced individually, reducing repair costs. 

Metal roofs: Minimal Maintenance, straightforward repairs

One of the appealing aspects of metal roofs is their minimal maintenance requirements. Regular inspections to check for loose fasteners, damaged sealant, or debris in valleys are usually sufficient to keep your roof in good shape. Metal roofs are highly resistant to common roofing issues like rot, mildew, and insect damage, reducing the need for extensive maintenance. If your metal roof does require repairs, they are generally straightforward and can often be handled by a professional roofing contractor. Typical repairs include patching mall areas or resealing seams and fasteners. 

However, it’s important to note that finding matching materials for repairs can be challenging if your metal roof is older, as the specific material and color may no longer be available. This could cause an inconsistent look across your roof. 

Asphalt Shingle roofs: Regular maintenance and repairs

Asphalt shingle roofs require more regular maintenance than metal roofs. Routine inspections are essential to identify damaged or missing shingles, issues with flashing, and signs of wear. Timely detection can prevent more extensive damage. One advantage of asphalt shingle roofs is that damaged shingles can often be replaced individually. This helps control costs, especially for minor repairs. While some repairs can be DIY-friendly, it’s good to seek professional assistance for complex repairs. Roof professionals have the experience and expertise to identify and address roofing issues effectively. If homeowners tackle roof maintenance themselves, their first concern should be safety. Consideration should be given to having proper safety equipment and using ladder safety and rooftop safety techniques. Physical limitations can restrict some homeowners from completing roof maintenance. 

Asphalt shingles require ongoing maintenance, including shingle replacement, sealing exposed nails, and addressing issues like curling or blistering shingles. Neglected shingles can lead to leaks and water damage to your home’s interior. Some repairs, such as fixing leaks around flashings or repairing extensive shingle damage, can be more complex and costly. 

Insider information

In the end, the choice between a metal roof and an asphalt shingle roof is a decision that should align with your budget, aesthetic preferences, and long-term goals for your home. Both materials have advantages and disadvantages, and the right choice depends on your unique circumstances. 

Before starting your roofing project, take the time to consult with a trusted roofing professional who can assess your specific needs, provide detailed estimates, and offer expert guidance. Their expertise will help you make an informed decision, ensuring your home remains safe, comfortable, and visually appealing for years. 

Remember that your roof is not just a functional component; it’s a crucial element of your home’s curb appeal and overall value. By considering the insider tips provided and weighing the pros and cons of each roofing material, you’ll be better equipped to make the right choice for your home and enjoy the benefits of a beautiful, durable, and long-lasting roof. Best of luck with your roofing project!

Additional Resources:

Infographic created by Custom Exteriors to show the major points when comparing an asphalt shingle and metal roof
Infographic created by Custom Exteriors to provide a list of things that need to be checked regularly when inspecting your roof
What is an Ice dam infographic made by Custom Exteriors

What Is An Ice Dam?

What is an Ice dam infographic made by Custom Exteriors

Understanding ice dams on roofs:
What they are and how to prevent them

As a seasoned roofing contractor based in Colorado, we have inspected, replaced, and repaired countless roofs, identifying a wide array of issues. However, one frequent and often misunderstood culprit behind a leaky roof is not what you’d typically suspect—it’s ice dams, often caused by poorly maintained and clogged gutters or inadequate roof venting. 

In Colorado, ice dams are a common wintertime roofing issue. Picture a cold winter day, your property cozily heated from inside. As the warmth of the interior rises, it meets the cold underside of the roof. The melting snow from the warmer parts of your roof flows down and refreezes at the colder edge, particularly if your gutters are clogged and not allowing for proper drainage. This cycle creates an actual dam of ice, further preventing proper drainage and potentially causing water to back up under your shingles and into your home. 

Understanding what an ice dam is and recognizing the role of gutter system maintenance is crucial in preventing it. Factors that play a role in ice dams forming are:

What is an Ice Dam? A closer Look

An ice dam, quite simply, is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof. When the snow on your roof melts due to heat escaping from your home or from the sun’s rays, water trickles down towards the edge. Now, the house’s eaves (the part of the roof that overhangs at the bottom) are usually colder because they’re beyond your home’s insulation. So, when that melted snow reaches the colder eaves, it refreezes, creating this ridge or “dam” of ice. 

Why is this a problem? As more snow melts and trickles down, it hits this dam and has nowhere to go. Instead of harmlessly dripping off your roof or flowing into the gutters, the ice dam traps the water. Over time, this backed-up water can seep under the roof shingles. This can potentially lead to leaks inside your house. Ice dams can cause damage without making their presence overly noticeable. 

Image created by Custom Exteriors to explain how ice dams work

So, while those hanging icicles might look pretty, they can sometimes signify a more significant issue. Ice dams can be the culprit behind water damage in many homes during the winter months. The first step in tackling this winter challenge is being informed about what they are and how they form. 

What causes ice dams?

In the heart of winter, when icicles elegantly drape from the edge of your gutter, an unexpected process can take place on your roof. Ice damming. But what are the root causes of ice dams? 

Firstly, consider the warmth of your home during the cold months. This heat tends to rise, meeting the underside of the roof. When it does, it can prompt the snow directly above to melt, even if the outside temperature seems bitterly cold. 

Interestingly, the temperature is not uniform across the entirety of your roof. The higher sections, mainly those closer to the peak, are generally warmer due to the upward-moving heat from the house’s interiors. On the flip side, the roof’s eaves or overhanging parts are often colder. They stretch beyond the home’s main structure and are not influenced by indoor heating. So, as the melted snow from the warmer parts travels down the roof’s slope, it encounters the colder eaves. Here, it refreezes, layer by layer, leading to the ice dam’s creation. 

This same effect can be caused when your gutter system is clogged and does not allow for adequate water drainage. Without a way to drain away from your property, this melted snow will refreeze in place, creating an ice dam at the edge of your roof. This causes the formation of ice dams, which can easily be prevented with some routine exterior maintenance

Lastly, ice dams can also form due to inadequate insulation and venting in your attic space. These can cause more heat to escape the roof, increasing the snow melt. As this melt reaches the cooler section of the roof, it can refreeze, causing an ice dam to build. 

Infographic explaining what causes ice dams on your roof

Do Ice dams cause damage?

When you think of a dam, you might imagine it holding back a large body of water. Similarly, an ice dam holds back melting snow. But unlike the dams we are familiar with, roofs are not designed to hold water. As the ice dam grows, it creates a pool of water behind it. This standing water is the first point of concern. As mentioned, roofs are designed to shed water, not let it stand. The longer water remains pooled, the more time it has to find a way inside. It can start to seep under shingles, trickle down the roof decking, and, ultimately, penetrate the home’s interior. This can lead to a series of issues:

Understanding the potential damage ice dams can cause is the first step toward proactive prevention. Recognizing the potential damage and costly repairs that can be caused by ice dams allows homeowners to take preventative action. In doing so, they are ensuring their homes remain safe and damage-free during the icy grips of winter. 

Preventing ice dams: pro tips for a damage-free winter

You now know the hidden hazards of ice dams, so naturally, the next question is: how can you prevent them? Prevention is always better (and usually cheaper) than the cure, especially regarding home maintenance. So, let’s jump into some expert-backed strategies to prevent ice dams from damaging your home. Keys to controlling ice dams include: 

Preventative measures to prevent ice dams

It’s important to remember that one of the main issues that cause ice dams is the heat escaping from your home and melting the snow on your roof. By boosting the insulation in your attic, you can ensure the heat stays where it belongs – inside your home and not warming the roof. Ideally, aim for an insulation value (or R-value) that’s recommended for your specific region. Energy Star breaks down recommended R-values for areas throughout the United States. 

Another consideration is to improve your attic ventilation. A well-ventilated attic helps maintain a cooler roof. In doing so, it reduces the chances of snow melting and refreezing. A great option to increase ventilation is to consider adding ridge and soffit vents. These will create a natural flow of cold air, keeping the entire roof at a consistent temperature. A reputable roofing contractor can properly calculate the appropriate number of roof vents your system needs. 

Lastly, property owners have seen success in preventing ice dams by installing heat cables along the eaves of their homes. Consider installing heat cables in a zigzag pattern on your roof and in your gutters for particularly troublesome areas. When activated, they create channels for the melted snow to flow off the roof, preventing the formation of ice dams. We find this strategy to be particularly beneficial in areas like the Colorado mountains, where there is the potential for heavy snowfalls and outside temperatures that prevent the snow from quickly melting. 

Maintenance measures that help prevent ice dams

After a heavy snowfall, consider using a roof rake with a long handle to clear the snow off the edges of your roof. This reduces the amount of snow available to allow ice dams to form. However, remember always to exercise caution and safety when doing this. Heavy snow and heights may make this project out of reach for some due to physical limitations. 

Another area that can help prevent ice dams is sealing air leaks in your home. Little gaps and cracks in your home might seem harmless, but they allow warm air to escape, contributing to the snow melting on your roof. So, check around electrical cables, exhaust vents, and places where walls meet the ceiling. Sealing these gaps can be a game changer. 

Additionally, it is essential to ensure your gutters are free of leaves, twigs, and other debris. Clear gutters help melted snow flow off your roof efficiently and prevent it from refreezing. Gutters should be cleaned in the shoulder seasons before the harshest weather months. 

Lastly, whether it is due to physical or time limitations, sometimes it’s just best to consult a professional roofer. If you’ve had recurrent issues with ice dams, are uncertain about your home’s preparedness, or cannot complete the tasks above, consider getting a home energy audit. Professionals can provide tailored advice and solutions specific to your home’s needs. 

avoid Winter challenges to your roof

Winter, with snowfall and cozy moments, can be a magical season. But as with all things, it comes with its own set of challenges – ice dams being a prime example. At Custom Exteriors, we believe that knowledge is power. So, by understanding what causes ice dams, recognizing their potential for damage, and arming yourself with proven preventative strategies, you’re setting the stage for a damage-free winter.  Remember that our homes require care and preparation to weather the colder months. 

If you ever find yourself unsure or overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice. In the age of information, resources are generally just a click away. Many exterior companies provide regular maintenance plans to assist with the tasks required to keep a healthy roof system. So, stay informed, stay prepared, and enjoy a peaceful home this winter. As always, if you have questions, we’re here to help you make the most of every season. Safe and sound.

New asphalt roof with roof vents installed by Custom Exteriors

Why Get A Roof Inspection This Fall?

Three important reasons to get a roof inspection this fall

As the leaves start to change and a crisp chill fills the air, it’s that time of year again – fall. While many of us relish the season for pumpkin spice lattes and cozy sweaters, homeowners should also remember that fall is the time for exterior maintenance tasks before our harsh winter months arrive. This makes it the perfect time for one of your bi-annual roof inspections. Yes, you read that right! A roof inspection should be conducted bi-annually! In the spring and fall, on the shoulder of the severe weather months here in Colorado. 

A roof inspection this fall can save you from costly headaches down the road when your roof experiences heavy melting snow this winter. By identifying those problems early, you may be able to prevent issues such as mold, rot, and even structural damage. In this article, we’ll delve into three important reasons why fall roof inspections should be at the top of your home maintenance checklist. 

Why proactive roof maintenance matters

Bi-annual roof inspections can identify issues

Your roof is your home’s first line of defense against the elements, and it plays an important role in maintaining your home’s structural integrity and comfort. So, neglecting your roof can lead to costly repairs down the line. With this in mind, taking a proactive approach to your home maintenance is key. Here’s why proactive maintenance matters:

What does proactive roof maintenance involve?

Now that we’ve established the importance of proactive maintenance let’s take a closer look at what this process involves:

As part of your regular maintenance, you should schedule bi-annual roof inspections. We recommend these inspections be performed in the spring and the fall. Because Colorado experiences the harshest weather in the summer and winter, spring and fall roof inspections can catch any issues before they worsen. During this inspection, a qualified roofing professional will examine your roof for signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles, loose flashing, and clogged gutters. 

If the inspection shows any problems, addressing them promptly is important. This is because timely repairs can prevent minor issues from becoming major headaches. This often saves you money in the long run. This includes trimming any overhanging tree branches. They can scratch and damage your roof. Because of this, during this inspection, they should be cut back to prevent damage and minimize the risk of falling branches during a storm. 

Another critical part of a roof inspection isn’t part of the roof system; it’s your gutters. It’s important to inspect and clean your gutters regularly to ensure they are free from debris. Clogged gutters can lead to water backup and damage your roof and home’s foundation. While the inspection covers other systems of your home, a roof inspection should include checking the attic for any issues. Your attic plays a significant role in your roof’s health. So, ensure it is adequately insulated and ventilated to prevent moisture buildup. If left unchecked, it can lead to roof damage and mold growth. 

Findings of granule loss in gutters during bi-annual roof inspection

The benefits of proactive roof maintenance

Taking good care of your roof goes a long way, and it’s not just about fixing leaks. As a homeowner, your home protects everything that matters. With that in mind, let’s dive into why proactive roof maintenance is crucial. 

First and foremost, there’s a financial aspect. When you proactively maintain your roof, you safeguard your hard-earned money. So, by identifying and addressing problems early on, you can avoid the significant expenses of major roof repairs. In the worst-case scenario, roof damage can result in the need for a complete roof replacement. Keeping this in mind, regular roof maintenance is a smart financial move that keeps your budget intact. 

Next, let’s consider the value of your peace of mind. Your home is your sanctuary. A well-maintained roof ensures that it remains a secure and comfortable space. You want your home to withstand anything Mother Nature brings your way. Rain, snow, wind, hail – your roof acts as a shield during unpredictable weather conditions. So, knowing you’ve done your part to ensure this protection is reassuring. 

Infographic explaining the benefits of regular roof maintenance

roof maintenance: Protecting your investment

Maintaining your roof proactively also aligns with cost-effectiveness. A properly cared-for roof supports optimal insulation and ventilation. This leads to reduced energy consumption. So, this eco-friendly approach lowers your utility bills and minimizes your environmental footprint, contributing to a greener world. 

Furthermore, a well-maintained roof can significantly enhance your home’s resale value. So, when you decide to sell your property, a roof in excellent condition becomes a valuable selling point. It also signals to potential buyers that the home has been well-preserved. This could lead to a higher selling price and smoother transaction. 

In summary, proactive roof maintenance is vital to your home’s longevity, financial well-being, and peace of mind. Don’t wait for problems to arise; take action now to ensure your roof can endure our severe weather months. 

Prepare your roof for winter weather: why winter roof Preparation matters

What is the significance of getting your roof ready for the winter season? Well, winter, especially here in Colorado, can be quite demanding. It can come with heavy snowfall, icy conditions, and fluctuating temperatures. Your roof faces the brunt of these elements, making winter preparation essential. Here’s why: 

1. Snow Load Management:

Colorado is known for its substantial snowfall, and the weight of accumulated snow can exert significant pressure on your roof. So, if your roof is not in great condition, it could struggle to handle this load. A professional inspector will assess your roof’s structural integrity during a fall roof inspection. This should include the condition of the shingles and support structures to ensure they can withstand possible heavy snow. 

2. Ice dam prevention:

Ice dams can wreak havoc on your roof. They form when warmth from your home melts snow on the roof, which then refreezes at the eaves, creating ice buildup. This can damage your shingles, gutters, and potentially lead to interior leaks. So, a comprehensive roof inspection includes an evaluation of your insulation and ventilation to prevent ice dam formation. 

3. Gutter Maintenance:

Clogged gutters obstruct proper water drainage, leading to water backup and potential freezing. This can result in roof damage and even compromise your home’s foundation. So, an extensive roof inspection involves inspecting and cleaning gutters to prevent these issues. 

4. Shingle Health:

Shingles serve as your roof’s primary defense against the elements. With its temperature fluctuations, Colorado’s weather can cause asphalt shingles to expand and contract. This can lead to damage, such as cracks, curling, or missing shingles. So, during a roof inspection, a roofing professional will identify and address any shingle issues to prevent potential leaks. 

5. Flashings and Seals:

Flashing protects vulnerable areas of your roof, and sealing around vents and chimneys can deteriorate over time. This deterioration can result in water infiltration and leaks. Roof inspectors will thoroughly examine these areas and make necessary repairs to maintain the integrity of your roof. 

6. Attic Ventilation:

Adequate attic ventilation is essential to maintaining a consistent temperature on your roof. It helps prevent ice dam formation, moisture buildup, and premature aging of roofing materials. So, your roofing inspector will ensure that your attic ventilation functions effectively. 

Winter roof preparation goes beyond just staying warm and dry. It’s actually about safeguarding your home and investment. A fall roof inspection is your proactive measure to ensure that your roof can endure the challenges of Colorado’s winter. 

Enhancing energy efficiency and sustainability

When it comes to your home, energy efficiency and sustainability are more than just buzzwords; they’re smart choices that impact your comfort and the environment. Let’s start with the perks you’ll notice in your wallet. A well-maintained roof plays a pivotal role in maintaining your home’s temperature. This means less heat escaping in the winter and less heat infiltrating in the summer. When your home maintains a consistent temperature, your heating and cooling systems don’t have to work as hard. The result? Lower energy bills, which is music to any homeowner’s ears. 

Energy-efficient homes consume less energy as well. This translates to few greenhouse gas emissions. So, when your roof is in good shape, your home requires less energy to keep you comfortable. This reduces your carbon footprint and contributes to a greener, more sustainable future for all of us. 

"The design and material of your roof will determine the solar reflectance index of your home. The higher the SRI of your roof, the more energy-efficient your home will be."  ~ Ecowatch

Long-term savings in a comfortable living space

Sustainability isn’t just about the here and now. It’s also an investment in the future. So, when you optimize your roof’s energy efficiency, you’re also extending the life of your roofing materials. This means fewer replacements, less waste, and more money saved over time. It’s a win-win for your wallet and the planet. 

Now imagine a home that stays cozy in the winter and refreshingly cool in the summer. Proper roof insulation and ventilation, part of proactive maintenance, make this a reality. You’ll enjoy a comfortable living environment year-round and save money simultaneously. 

Enhancing energy efficiency and sustainability through proactive roof maintenance isn’t just about saving money or being eco-conscious; it’s about creating a more comfortable, responsible, and cost-effective living environment. So, when you schedule that fall roof inspection, remember you aren’t just caring for your roof. You’re actually taking a step towards a more sustainable future. Your home will be more efficient, your bills will be lower, and you’ll contribute to a healthier planet. It’s a small change that leads to significant rewards. 

Roof damage due to hail discovered by Custom Exteriors HAAG Certified roofing inspector

Identifying Roof Damage

Roof damage due to hail discovered by Custom Exteriors HAAG Certified roofing inspector

how to identify roof damage with a roof inspection

As an exterior remodeling contractor based in Colorado, we have personally experienced the damage the harsh weather can cause. We have helped hundreds of customers across Colorado and even replaced storm-damaged roofs, windows, and siding on our own properties. While our exteriors are designed to withstand the elements, your roof can take a serious beating. Have you experienced a heavy windstorm or hail the size of a golf ball or larger? If so, your roof may be damaged even if there are no signs of damage on your other exterior systems, like your windows or siding. 

We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help homeowners like you with the knowledge you need to take control of their homes. It will allow you to conduct safe, basic roof inspections from the safety of the ground. While not always, typically, there are signs of roof damage that can help you determine whether or not you need a professional roofer to come take a look. 

Join us as we discuss some post-storm tips developed from decades of experience in the roofing industry. From safety precautions to asphalt shingle inspections, we’ll help you understand what to look for and decide your next steps based on the information you gather. Whether you’re a seasoned DIY enthusiast or prefer to leave the heights to the professionals, this guide caters to all levels of expertise.

Remember, the aftermath of a storm can be difficult for homeowners. But with the right information, you can confidently address possible storm damage. Let’s dive in and discover how to protect your investment. 

Hail damage to asphalt shingle discovered during a roof inspection by Custom Exteriors

Safety First: stay inside until the storm has passed


Unfortunately, most of us have experienced the stress of a damaging storm that affected our home or business. Some of the more damaging storms we have worked on have left customers with broken windows, skylights, and water leaking inside their homes. When working in an emergency situation, our first consideration is always the safety of our team and the property owners. Of course, everyone involved wants action taken, such as emergency tarping and clean up; however, waiting until the storm has passed to do so is imperative. While it is stressful to see your home or business impacted by damaging weather, your first consideration should be to keep your family and yourself safe. 

During a roof inspection in the aftermath of a storm, remember this golden rule: Safety comes first, and it comes only once. Keeping this in mind, it should be at the core of every action you’ll take. At the same time, it might be tempting to get on your roof to see what’s what immediately, but have patience. Allow the storm to pass before you even consider the inspection. Why? Because inspecting a roof while battling wind gusts or enduring rain is a risk we strongly advise against.

You can track the path of any local storm on your local Accuweather page

The Roadmap to a smart roof inspection: 4 steps to safety

Once the skies have cleared, it’s time to get a handle on the damage caused by the storms. So, here is your step-by-step path to identify roof damage in the storm’s aftermath.

How to identify roof damage from the ground after a storm

When looking for roof damage after a storm, signs that you may need a professional roof inspection include: 

If you encounter any of these signs, it’s time to call a professional roofing company to do a formal inspection of your property for hail damage. Additionally, if you experienced extremely high winds or hail over an inch in diameter, it’s a good idea to have your roof inspected even if you don’t see damage from the ground level. Unrepaired roof damage can cause problems such as leaks, mold, mildew, ice dams, and more. Most local roofers will provide a no-cost roof inspection. 

What to do if you think you have roof damage

If your post-storm inspection leads you to believe you may have hail damage or you experienced a weather event severe enough to justify an inspection, it’s important to contact a professional roofer. Professional roofing companies have HAAG-Certified Roofing Inspectors on staff who can guide you through the insurance replacement process and identify all the damage that needs to be addressed, ensuring your home is brought back to its pre-storm condition. 

It’s easy to spot a missing shingle, but what about the underlying issues that aren’t immediately visible? Choose a roofing professional who can spot potential problems before they escalate. Water intrusion, structural issues, and hidden damages should fall within their expertise. 

Hail damage identified on the ridge of a roof

precision and prevention: Tailored solutions for your needs

Roof systems demand a level of precision that extends beyond the obvious. The roofing professional you choose should meticulously inspect your roof’s components—vents, chimneys, skylights. This inspection should thoroughly check for any signs of damage. By identifying issues sooner, you are saved from costly repairs. This also helps to prevent further damage to your home’s structural integrity.

Over the years, we can’t count the number of issues that we have seen that could have been prevented with a proactive approach to the damage. Unfortunately, many property owners don’t see signs of immediate damage and just assume their roof is fine. This has resulted in interior damage, mold, mildew, structural issues, and more. It’s a good practice to have your roof inspected after every major weather event involving winds in excess of 70 mph or hail larger than one inch in diameter. We also recommend our customers conduct routine maintenance on all of their exterior systems to catch damage that may otherwise go unnoticed.  

A stronger home starts with you

Now armed with this knowledge, you’re ready for the inevitable next storm. Performing a thorough ground inspection after a storm is your key to catching problems early. This translates into fixing them on time and keeping your roof in great shape for years to come. Remember, a bit of effort now can save you from major repairs later. 

Here at Custom Exteriors, we have a team of seasoned professionals who understand the ins and outs of storm damage. Our experts have the experience and skill to identify even the most subtle signs. An untrained eye could miss some of these. Your walk-around inspection set the stage. Now, it’s our turn to perform the professional assessments that follow.

Custom Exteriors doesn’t just offer a one-size-fits-all approach. Your home is unique, and our solutions are tailored to your property’s specific requirements. Our professionals take the time to understand your needs and deliver recommendations that align with your goals. Your home isn’t just a structure; it’s your sanctuary, and we treat it as such.

Customized infographic showing the components of a roof

The Components of a Roof

the components of your roof:
understanding your roof matters

The roof over our heads is easy to take for granted. Out of sight, out of mind, after all. However, peeling back all its layers reveals an engineering marvel that serves many functions. These include protecting, insulating, and enhancing our homes. Your roof is a complex system. Each part plays a crucial role in ensuring our safety and comfort. Additionally, when you know your home’s systems, you make informed decisions about repairs, replacements, and long-term maintenance. 

Your roof is a system. One that is carefully designed to direct water away from the home, insulate against extreme temperatures, and withstand the storms our area is famous for. In this article, your roof and all of its components will be inspected.  We will break down each of those components and unveil how it protects us day in and day out. You will have a newfound respect for what shields the elements from severe weather and more. Additionally, by understanding your roof, you see the following benefits: 

Understanding your roof, your home's protector

Understanding the components of a roof proves invaluable when it comes to roof replacements and repairs. Homeowners, armed with this knowledge, can make informed decisions about roofing materials and products. They can then choose the shingles best suited for their region’s climate and architectural styles. Moreover, knowing how a roof works makes maintenance easier. With this knowledge, property owners can spot missing shingles, rusted or damaged flashing, or clogged gutters. So, by recognizing these issues early on, they address them quickly. This prevents more significant and often more expensive damage.  

Your roof’s reliability and capacity to protect your home are primarily determined by the quality of the installation. So, proper installation is crucial for its dependable performance. But beyond installation, several other factors affect the performance of your roof. These include: 

An in-depth look at roofing system components

Your roofing system is more than just a protective barrier against the elements. Understanding the basic components of your roofing system is also important for effective maintenance. But more than that, it allows homeowners to make informed decisions about repairs or replacements. 

Some things you may wonder about your roofing system are:

What are roof Eaves?

Inforgraphic explaining what a roof eave is

Understanding Eaves: A Vital Component of your roofing system

Eaves are the overhanging edges of the roof. They are visible, extending just beyond the main structure’s wall. They protect the home from direct rainfall and minimize moisture exposure. When you look up outside your house, you’ll notice the eaves as they jut out slightly from the main structure. Sometimes, your eaves will be accompanied by your soffit beneath. 

While their presence adds style and dimension to your home’s exterior, their design also serves a practical and protective function. If you are outside during a rain storm, you will immediately notice the primary function of your home’s eaves. They are designed to guide water away from your home. This seemingly simple task protects walls from water damage and dampness. Over time, this compromises the structural integrity of the property. Your gutter system is attached to the eaves of your property.

Additionally, they play an essential role in protecting your home from soil erosion near your foundation. Eaves ensure water does not run directly down and erode the soil near the foundation. This, in turn, helps prevent foundation problems in the long run.

Lastly, your eaves house your soffit. Your soffit is a vital component of your roofing systems as it helps to regulate the attic temperature and moisture levels. Overall, the eaves seamlessly blend functionality with design. In doing so, they ensure our home remains beautiful and resilient against nature’s elements. 


What are roof Gables?

Infographic explaining what a roof gable is with illustrations and bullet points

Gables: Beauty meets function design

Gables stands out as a recognizable feature in many traditional homes. A gable is a triangle formed by the intersection of two sloping roofs. Gable roofs provide a sense of classic design to any home. But beyond their visual appeal, gables exemplify where form meets function. 

For starters, a gable’s shape is perfect for guiding rainwater away from the house. Their sloped design ensures efficient water runoff. In doing so, gables prevent potential water pooling around your home. In areas like ours, the gable’s design also prevents snow from piling up on the roof. Properties in areas with heavy snowfall have steeper gables to help shed snow more effectively. Because of this design, they reduce the weight burden on the roof and the associated damage it can cause. 

While the primary purpose of the roof gable is to ensure proper water shedding, it has several additional benefits to consider. Gables are also be used to improve ventilation. Because of this, gables also help keep the inside of your house comfortable. The design of a gable accommodates the addition of windows. This provides natural light and additional ventilation to attic spaces or upper rooms. So, while gables give houses a unique look, they also work behind the scenes to keep our homes safe and comfortable. 

What is the roof ridge?

The "peak" of your roof: The ridge

When you look at a house with a sloping roof, it’s easy to see the topmost line where both sides of the roof come together. That’s the ridge. It works similarly to the spine of a book. The ridge is at the center of the roofing system, running from one end to the other. However, the ridge is not just a design feature. It has some genuinely essential functions. First, it directs rainwater. When rain hits the roof, the slope and ridge ensure water flows down and away. This prevents any collection of water on the roof and, in turn, prevents leaks. 

But it’s not just about water. The ridge plays a part in the house’s ventilation. Some ridges have vents. These vents ensure that hot air from inside the house can escape during the summer, keeping the inside cooler. In contrast, during winter, it maintains a balanced temperature inside. This prevents issues like ice buildup as well. The size and shape of the ridge vary depending on the design of the building. 

Because the ridge runs along the top of the roof where the two sides meet, it is covered with a ridge cap. The ridge cap serves to seal and protect the ridge from weather damage. 

What is the roof Valley?

Infographic explaining what a roof valley

The crucial role of roof valleys

The importance of your roof valleys definitely cannot be overstated. A valley is a distinct V-shaped channel that forms where two sloping sections of a roof meet. The valleys on your roof guide rainwater with precision and purpose. Without valleys, water would pool, immediately increasing the potential for leaks and damage. 

As rainwater rolls down your roof, it needs a clear path to follow. The valleys provide that path, therefore ensuring that water flows swiftly away from your home. However, they must be built robustly because they handle such a significant amount of runoff. Because of this, even a slight oversight in their construction or sealing can lead to water entering the house. Therefore, the role that roof valleys play ensures a long life span of your roof and, by extension, the safety of the people inside! 

As an additional measure against leaks and to ensure that water flows smoothly through the roof valley without leaks or accumulation, valley flashing is installed. This helps the valley channel water and debris down the roof and off the building. In the roofing world, the valley is undeniably a testament to the saying that some unsung heroes bear the heaviest loads. 

What is the roof hip?

infographic explaining what is a roof hip

Unraveling they mystery of the roof hip

Among the many features of a roof, the “hip” sounds like a trendy term, but it’s actually a crucial and classic component of many home designs. Imagine looking at a home, and instead of seeing a sharp point at the top (like the peak formed by a gable), the roof slopes down on all four sides, kind of like a pyramid. That slope, where two sides of the roof meet at an external angle, is called the roof hip. 

But the roof hip isn’t just about aesthetics, though it certainly adds a sleek touch to any home. It also actively shields houses from the elements. A roof hip channels water and snow away, preventing them from gathering or causing potential leaks. So, while the name “roof hip” might sound casual, it represents a sophisticated blend of design and function, ensuring homes remain protected through the seasons. 

A hipped roof is more stable than other types of roofs. This is because they have a more complex design, making them better able to withstand strong winds. Overall, hipped roofs offer several benefits, including stability, durability, aesthetics, additional living space, and energy efficiency. Because of this, they are a popular choice. 

What is a gutter?

Infographic explaining what a gutter is and what purpose it serves on your home

the important job of your gutters

Gutters serve as an essential component of a home’s exterior defense system. Positioned at the edges of the roof, these channels play a critical role in managing rainwater. Without them, water flowing off the roof would be uncontrolled, possibly leading to erosion and other issues caused by moisture. 

A well-maintained gutter system ensures that rainwater is efficiently captured and diverted, reducing the risk of damage to your home, its foundation, and the property’s landscape. Debris like leaves, twigs, and nests can easily clog them, making them ineffective. Periodic inspections, especially after storms or during the fall after the leaves have fallen, are essential to ensure they are in good working condition. 

In areas prone to heavy rainfall or snow, gutters become even more vital. They help mitigate potential ice dams in winter by controlling the meltwater and preventing water from pooling on the roof. Also, a functional gutter system is essential to avoid flooding and to ensure the longevity of your home’s basement. 

It’s worth noting that while all gutters have the same primary goal – to control and divert water – several styles and materials are available. Depending on the style of your house and your specific needs, you can choose from various types, ensuring both functionality and a boost in curb appeal to your home’s exterior.

What is a downspout?

infographic explaining what a downspout is and what purpose it serves on your home

Downspouts: The protector of a home's foundation

While perhaps less noticed than gutters, downspouts play an equally pivotal role in a home’s rainwater management system. These vertical pipes seamlessly extend from the gutters to the ground, ensuring a clean, directed path for the water collected on the roof. 

The importance of downspouts lies in their ability to prevent many potential problems. By effectively channeling rainwater away from the home, downspouts safeguard against basement flooding. Some risks associated with flooding include interior water damage, mold, damage to the foundation, and more. In addition to protecting your home and its foundation, your downspouts also protect your landscape by preventing uncontrolled water. 

However, a downspout’s efficiency depends largely on its design, placement, and maintenance. Ideally, the end of a downspout should direct water several feet away from the homes foundation. Extensions can be added to achieve this if the initial design does not provide adequate distance. Sometimes, downspouts may also be connected to underground drain systems to guide water further safely away. 

What is roof flashing?

Roof flashing: The guardian against leaks

Roof flashing might not be a term that every homeowner is familiar with, but it is essential. Flashing is located around the openings of your roof. This means you will see it around skylights, chimneys, and more. It is typically a shiny metal material that entirely surrounds any vulnerable spots in your roofing system. It acts as a watertight barrier, preventing moisture from entering your home. 

Even the most meticulously designed roofs have vulnerable spots, including openings, meeting points of different roof sections, or where roof edges meet the walls. These are places where water could enter due to gravity, snow melt, or even just blowing rain. Flashing serves to bridge these gaps with additional waterproofing. 

Roof flashing forms a protective seal, usually made from corrosion-resistant metals like aluminum, copper, or galvanized steel. Doing so ensures that water is directed away from these weak points. When installed correctly, the flashing seamlessly integrates with the rest of the roofing system, creating slopes and channels guiding water. 

What is a soffit?

infographic explaining what a soffit is and what purpose it serves on your home

Soffits: The Underbelly of your roof's overhang

In architectural terms, many might not immediately recognize the name “soffit.” However, it plays a pivotal role in your home’s function and appearance. Situated beneath the overhang of your roof, the soffit is the panel that bridges the gap between a home’s siding and the roofline. Though often overlooked, it serves multiple important purposes. 

First and foremost, the soffit aids in ventilation. For homes with attics, soffits serve to prevent moisture buildup and regulate temperatures by providing additional ventilation. You will often see vents cut into the soffit all the way around your home. These allow fresh air to circulate through the attic, thus reducing the moisture levels and helping maintain a consistent temperature. 

Your soffit also serves as a barrier to keep pests out of your attic and boost your home’s appearance with a smooth, finished appearance. This visual appeal is customizable, as soffits come in various materials and colors. This allows homeowners to choose a style that compliments their home style. 

What is a dormer?

Dormer: Adding style and space

At its core, a dormer is a small structure that projects from a sloped roof, creating additional space within the home. It typically features a window, which adds light to interior spaces and enhances curb appeal from the exterior. When you see a house and notice a window poking out from the roof with its own roof, that’s a dormer.

One of the primary benefits of a dormer is the added space it brings to the upper levels of a home. It can transform an otherwise cramped attic space into a comfortable living area.  It also can have a significant impact on lighting and ventilation.

It is essential to note that adding a dormer is no small task and requires careful planning. Proper installation ensures that the dormer is watertight and integrates seamlessly with the rest of the roof. Regular maintenance is also vital, like checking for leaks or ensuring the window functions correctly. 

The form and function of your roofing components

Your roof is a complex system with many components, each offering its own functional and aesthetic benefits. From the eaves that safeguard our walls from rain to the stylish and spacious additions that dormers provide, every element enhances your home’s energy efficiency, value, and curb appeal. The intricate details of gutters, downspouts, flashing, soffits, and more work to ensure our homes remain dry, insulated, and ventilated. 

As homeowners, understanding and appreciating these elements not only empowers us to make informed decisions but also instills a sense of pride in our homes. As we’ve journeyed through each component, it’s clear that a roof, in all its intricacies, represents a perfect blend of design and function. This ensures our homes remain both beautiful and resilient for years to come. 

Hail damage roof replacement

I Have Hail Damage, What Now?

My roof has Hail damage, now what?

Living in Colorado and Wyoming, we are accustomed to hailstorms. Hail damage to our siding, roof, windows, and exterior belongings is a common experience during our summers. 

Once the storm has passed, we are often left with substantial property damage. This leaves some wondering what to do next. Restoring our homes and businesses to their pre-storm condition can be daunting. 

Fortunately, a qualified roofing contractor can help with this. They will be able to guide you from the time of the storm through the time when your property is repaired completely. This is a stressful time; it’s essential to partner with a qualified contractor to make this process as simple as possible. 

If you have experienced a hailstorm, it’s important to check for any damage that may have occurred. Some things that you should check after a storm are:


After The Storm

It’s important to note that until the storm is over, your personal safety should take priority over your belongings. Large hail stones and the associated weather can be dangerous and even deadly. Until the storm has passed, everyone should stay indoors and away from windows in case of broken glass. 

Once the storm is over and you can safely go outside, your priority should be securing your home. In severe weather events, windows are often broken, siding is blown off, and other risks of interior water intrusion are created. 

A temporary means of securing these items should be your priority to prevent further damage to your property. 

What to Look For

Roof Damage: Check your roof for dents, cracks, or missing shingles. Hail damage to roofs can be difficult, and there are safety risks associated with being on your roof, so this is best left to a professional roofing inspector. 

Gutters & Siding: Check your siding and gutters for dents, dings, or cracks caused by hail. Hail can also cause chipping in your paint. 

Windows: Check your windows for cracks, chips, or broken glass. Hail can cause significant damage to windows. 

Air Conditioning Unit: Look for dents or damage to your air conditioning unit. Hail damage can prevent it from functioning properly. 

Outdoor Furniture & Vehicles: Dents and scratches can be visible on cars and your outdoor furniture. 

Keep Accurate Records

It’s essential to keep records of your findings after the storm. Not only will you be able to provide an initial list of damages incurred to your insurance company, but it will be helpful once your professional hail restoration contractor arrives. You’ll be able to point out all the areas of damage you can locate, ensuring you are restored to your pre-storm condition. 

Also, any costs incurred in securing your property should be documented for reimbursement from your insurance company. These expenses could include the costs of tarps, board-up materials, and other incidental costs associated with securing your property. 

Contact Your Insurance Company

Once the storm has passed and your property has been secured from further damage, you should next contact your insurance company. Your insurance company will need certain information and documentation to process your claim. They may ask for the following:

Find a Professional Hail Restoration Company

A professional hail restoration company will provide a free roof inspection to assess your property’s damage from the hailstorm. It’s important to research local companies that are licensed and insured, have good reputations locally, and are certified and experienced in hail damage inspections. 

If you were impacted by a large hailstorm, you would likely have companies knocking on your door, asking to inspect. It is recommended that you do research on local companies rather than using these door-knocking companies. They may not be local, insured, or qualified. It’s important to choose a qualified contractor to work on your biggest asset!

What to Look For When Choosing a Roofing & Exteriors Contractor

  1. Licensing & Insurance: Licensing and insurance protect you and the contractor. They ensure quality repairs that meet local building codes and prevent any issues should there be any accidents on your property. 
  2. Reviews: What does their online presence say about them? Do you know if they have satisfied previous customers? Google reviews and the local BBB are good places to assess your contractor’s customer satisfaction. 
  3. HAAG Certified Inspectors: Inspectors who have completed the HAAG training have been formally trained to inspect roofs and completely understand what to look for after a storm. 
  4.  Comfort Level: Many property owners choose repair contractors based on price. Keep in mind this is likely an insurance claim. It is against the law for a homeowner to profit from an insurance claim. As such, pricing will be negotiated between the contractor and your insurance company. With proper insurance coverage, your only out-of-pocket costs will be your deductible, regardless of the costs associated with repairs. Because of this, you should choose a qualified, experienced contractor with whom you are comfortable. Factors such as experience, customer satisfaction, and quality of repairs should be your determining factor in choosing a roofing or exterior repair contractor. Be wary of contractors who offer to “pay your deductible.” That is illegal, and the insurance commission does make efforts to catch these contractors. 
hail damage roof inspection
hail damage roof inspection

What Will my Contractor Look For?

A certified roofing inspector should also be able to pinpoint damage to other areas of your home. The post-hailstorm inspection should include a complete assessment of your property. This will include inspecting the roof, siding, windows, paint, A/C unit, gutters, doors, garage doors and all of your exterior personal property. 

Your Repair Estimate

Most qualified roofing contractors can provide a roofing repair estimate for repairs immediately. They have access to software that prices repairs according to insurance standards. 

After the inspection, they will provide you and your insurance company with this estimate. Repair prices will be negotiated based on incurred damage, replacement costs, and material availability. 

As mentioned earlier, the repair costs should not affect your decisions as, with proper insurance coverage, your only associated out-of-pocket costs will be your deductible. This is when researching and choosing a professional and qualified contractor is essential. 

If you need a roof repair or a roof replacement or have sustained damage to your siding, windows, or paint, an exterior repair contractor should be favored over a roof-only contractor. Repairs will be more straightforward and completed faster if one contractor can replace your roof, siding, windows, and any other exterior damage you may have sustained. Along the Front Range, that contractor is Custom Exteriors! Please reach out if you need assistance restoring your home after a hailstorm. 

modified bitumen roofing

Modified Bitumen Roofing Systems

The Complete Guide to Modified Bitumen Roofs: Maintenance, Cleaning, and Repairs

When it comes to protecting your home from the elements, your roof plays an important role. One roofing option that has gained popularity is modified bitumen or mod-bit roofing. Its durability and performance are, without a doubt, the reason the modified bitumen roof has become so popular. Whether you’re a homeowner considering this type of roofing or simply curious about it, we are here to help! This article will discuss the details of a modified bitumen roof. This will include how to maintain it, clean it, and handle basic repairs.

We will review how regular inspections act as the first line of defense for your modified bitumen roof. Doing this allows you to catch and address issues early. Visual checks bi-annually spot wear and tear. They also identify more serious problems like cracks, blisters, or loose seams. This approach ensures you prevent minor concerns from becoming costly repairs. Or, worse than that, an early roof replacement.

Understanding Modified Bitumen Roofs:
Your Property's Defender

Modified bitumen roofing is often referred to as a mod bit roof. It is a roofing material that combines asphalt with other materials to create a durable, weather-resistant roofing system. Because of this, it’s commonly used on flat or low-slope roofs.  It’s a great choice for both residential and commercial buildings. The term “modified” indicates that the asphalt has been improved or modified. That is done to improve its performance.

The roofing material is created by layering asphalt with additives like polyester or fiberglass to increase its strength and flexibility. This layered approach gives the roof durability, allowing it to withstand many weather conditions. These include heavy rain, extreme temperatures, and UV radiation.

Modified bitumen roofing is valued for its long lifespan. In addition, it’s known for weather resistance and ease of repair. Regular maintenance, prompt repairs, and proper drainage are vital. This will ensure your roof’s continued performance and durability.

Maintenance Tips For A Long Roof Lifespan

Maintenance tips for a mod bit roof

Regular inspections are necessary because they identify and address potential issues early on. This approach saves you time and money. For example, this form of maintenance prevents minor problems from turning into major repairs. Things such as removing ponding water and ensuring proper drainage are vital in avoiding water or roof damage. In addition, it is important to inspect flashing and seams.  

Keeping the roof surface clean prevents debris buildup. Debris buildup leads to moisture and even structural damage over time. So, regularly inspecting gutters and downspouts ensures that rainwater is effectively channeled away from the roof. Doing so reduces the risk of leaks and water damage.

Caring for your modified bitumen roof:
A Guide by Custom Exteriors

Maintenance on your modified bitumen roof is easier than it sounds. In fact, it’s a smart way to ensure your roof stays strong. By doing basic maintenance, you protect your home for years to come.

Just like you go for a check-up at the doctor’s, your roof needs regular check-ups too. Think of it as a way to catch any problems before they become big issues. To keep things simple, check your roof at least twice a year. The best times are once in the spring and once in the fall. This timing is great because it’s right after the rougher weather has passed. Hail and snow storms sometimes cause trouble for your roof. So, these check-ups help you catch any issues early.

What to look for when inspecting your mod bit roof

During your regular roof inspections, you should keep an eye out for a few important things:

Maintaining a modified bitumen roof involves regular inspections and cleaning. In addition to this, you should address any repairs as soon as possible. Hail and snow storms can wreak havoc on your roofing system. The first step in maintaining your mod-bit roofing system is these regular inspections. These regularly scheduled inspections should include the following:

  1. Surface Damage: Check for any cracks, blisters, punctures, or tears on the surface of the roof
  2. Flashing: Inspect the flashing around the roof’s edges and penetrations.
  3.  Drainage: Ensure the roof drainage system functions correctly and no pools are forming on the roof’s surface. 
  4.  Roofing Seams: Inspect the seams of the system for any signs of separation. 
  5.  Granule Loss: Loss of granules is a sign of damage and wear. 
Mod bit roof maintenance contractor

Cleaning Your Modified Bitumen Roof

Regular cleaning is the second important step in maintaining your modified bitumen roof. Remove debris, such as leaves or branches, from the roof’s surface. Use a broom or brush to sweep the roof’s surface to remove any loose dirt, dust, or debris. At this point, your roof should be clear of all large and small debris. Once the roof is clear, apply a cleaning solution for mod bit roofing systems. You can purchase this solution from your local home improvement store or roofing supplier. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application. 

When cleaning the surface of your roof, use a soft-bristled brush or sponge to scrub the surface gently. Never use a pressure washer, as it can damage the roofing material. Once you have cleaned the surface, rinse the roof’s surface with a hose. Make sure to remove all of the cleaning solution from the roof. 

Lastly, inspect the surface for any damage or signs of wear and tear once the roof is clean and dry. Any issues should be addressed immediately to prevent further damage. It is important to note that mod bit roofing systems need regular maintenance to keep them in good condition. Even if you are doing regularly scheduled maintenance, you should have your roof inspected by a professional every few years. This helps to ensure it is in good shape and any issues are being addressed. 

Repairing Your Modified Bitumen Roofing System

Commercial roofing contractor completing flat roof replacement in Greeley

Repairs should be made after your mod-bit roof has been cleaned and inspected. Completing these as soon as possible to prevent further damage. If you are uncomfortable inspecting or repairing your roof, consider hiring a professional roofing contractor to do the work for you. A professional can help ensure that your roof is properly maintained. They also ensure issues are addressed promptly. Following these steps can help your mod-bit roof stay in good condition. And, in turn, lasts for many years. 

A professional roofing contractor will assist in inspecting the condition of roofing seams, granule loss, and state of roof flashings. Additionally, they should ensure your roof has proper drainage. They will also be able to address any issues promptly with roofing expertise, thus providing a proper repair. 

Consider the Age of Your Modified Bitumen Roof

With proper installation and maintenance, your modified bitumen roofing system should last 10 to 20 years. This obviously depends on your unique conditions. It’s essential to keep in mind the age of your roof. Even with proper installation and maintenance, your modified bitumen roof will likely be at the end of its life as you get closer to that 20-year mark. A professional roofing contractor like Custom Exteriors can assist in determining if you are a candidate for mod-bit roof repairs or if it is time to replace your roofing system. 

PVC roof system contractor

Everything You Need to Know About a PVC Roofing System

What is a PVC Roofing System?

What is PVC Roofing?

PVC roofing is a type of roofing material made from Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). It is a thermoplastic material that is durable, lightweight, and resistant to weathering, fire, and chemicals. While it is most often used for commercial and industrial buildings, it can also be found in residential applications. 

PVC roofing comes in many forms, including sheets, membranes, and panels, and is available in various colors and textures. It is typically installed using hot air welding, which fuses the seams and creates a weather-tight seal. It is easy to maintain and can last for many years with proper roof maintenance

One of the main advantages of PVC roofing is its energy efficiency. PVC roof systems reflect a significant amount of heat and light, thus reducing cooling costs and making the building more comfortable in hot weather. Additionally, PVC roofing systems are often made from recycled materials and can be recycled at the end of their useful life, making them an environmentally friendly option. 

How is PVC Roofing Made?

PVC roofing systems are manufactured using a process called extrusion. Here are the basic steps involved:

  1. Mixing: First, raw materials are mixed together in a large mixer. The materials include PVC resin, plasticizers, stabilizers, and other additives. 
  2. Extrusion: the mixed materials are then fed into an extruder, which heats and melts them into a uniform liquid. The liquid is then forced through a die that shapes it into a continuous sheet of PVC roofing material. 
  3. Cooling: As the PVC sheet emerges from the die, it passes through a series of cooling rollers that gradually bring it down to room temperature. This helps ensure it maintains its desired shape and properties. 
  4. Cutting and finishing: Once the PVC sheet has been cooled, it is cut into the desired length and shape. 

Overall, the process of manufacturing PVC roofing systems is automated and can be done on a large scale. Because of this, it is a cost-effective and efficient choice for many roofing applications. 

Types of PVC Roofing

There are multiple types of PVC roofing systems available. Some of the most common types of PVC roofing systems include single-py PVC roofing, mechanically attached PVC roofing, fully adhered PVC roofing, and ballasted PVC roofing. 

The single-ply PVC roofing is the most common type. It involves installing a single layer of PVC roofing membrane over the roof deck. The membrane is typically reinforced with polyester or fiberglass to improve its strength and durability. Mechanically attached PVC roofing systems attached the PVC to the roof deck using fasteners. It is faster and easier than hot air welding but can be less watertight and may require more maintenance over time. Fully adhered PVC roofing bonds the PVC membrane to the roof deck. It provides the most robust and watertight seal but is more expensive and time-consuming to install. Lastly, ballasted PVC uses gravel or pavers to hold the membrane. It is less costly and provides excellent insulation, but it can be more challenging to repair if damage occurs. 

The best type of PVC roofing for your property will depend on factors such as the size and slope of the roof, the weather conditions in your area, and the desired level of insulation and energy efficiency. Your local roofing expert can help discuss these options to ensure the proper fit for your property. 

Benefits of PVC Roofing Systems

PVC roofing system

PVC roofing systems offer several benefits over other roofing systems. Some of the main advantages include the following: 

  1. Durability: PVC roofing systems are highly durable. They can withstand harsh weather conditions, including wind, rain, snow, and hail. This can benefit areas prone to severe weather, such as Colorado and Wyoming. It is also resistant to fire and chemicals, making it a good choice for industrial and commercial applications. 
  2. Energy Efficiency: PVC roofing systems are highly reflective. This can provide good insulation and help reduce both heating and cooling costs. 
  3.  Easy Maintenance: PVC roofing systems are easy to maintain and require minimal upkeep. It is resistant to mold, mildew, and algae growth, thus keeping the roof clean and debris-free. 
  4.  Long Lifespan: PVC roofing systems can last up to 30 years or more with proper installation and maintenance. 
  5.  Environmentally Friendly: PVC roofing systems are often made from recycled material and can be recycled at the end of their useful life. Because of this, it helps lower the building’s carbon footprint. 

PVC Roofing Systems for Your Flat Roof

PVC roofing systems can be a good choice for many applications, but whether or not it is the best choice will depend on various factors, such as the climate and weather conditions, the size and slope of the roof, and the building’s intended use. A qualified flat roofing contractor will be able to walk you through the options best suited for your facility. 

While PVC roofing provides many benefits, such as energy efficiency, durability, low maintenance, and a long lifespan, some factors must be considered to determine if a PVC roofing system is right for you. For example, PVC roofing systems can be more expensive than other roofing materials and may not be suitable for roofs with steep slopes or complex shapes. Choosing a reputable manufacturer and installer is also essential to ensure the PVC roofing system is installed correctly and will perform as expected over its lifespan. 

If your roof has a pitch of lower than 2:12, it is considered a low slope. Because of this downward slope, water does not drain off the roof’s surface as it would in a high-pitch design. Asphalt shingles are not designed to handle standing water, so that a PVC roofing system may be a good fit for your low-slope roof design. 

With decades of experience, Custom Exteriors has provided Colorado property owners with high-quality flat roof solutions. You can count on us to help you design a functional flat roofing system that will protect your building for years to come!

EPDM Roofing system

Everything You Need to Know About an EPDM Roofing System

EPDM roof being inspected by Custom Exteriors

Everything you need to know about your EPDM Roof

If you have an EPDM (Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer) roof, you know what a resilient and dependable choice it is for a commercial roof replacement. As a commercial roofing contractor, we have seen firsthand how the right (or wrong) roofing can significantly impact a building’s integrity, energy efficiency, and overall maintenance costs. EPDM stands out as a popular option because it is both durable and cost-effective. In this guide, we will provide you with a clear and comprehensive understanding of EPDM roofing. 

EPDM roofing is known for its remarkable ability to withstand extreme weather conditions, making it a great choice in Colorado, which is prone to severe weather. Its long lifespan and minimal maintenance requirements also make it attractive to building owners and property managers looking to maximize their investment.

In the following sections, we’ll explore everything from the basics of EPDM roofing and its advantages to installation processes, maintenance tips, and cost considerations. So, whether you are looking to replace an old roof or are constructing a new building, our goal is to equip you with the knowledge to choose a roofing system that meets your needs and your budget. With EPDM roofing, many have found a reliable solution that stands the test of time while also being gentle on the budget.

What is EPDM roofing?

EPDM roofing is made from a synthetic rubber called Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer. These roofing systems are a popular choice for low-slope/flat roofs. EPDM roofing systems are highly durable and can last up to 50 years or more with proper maintenance. Because of their makeup, they are very resistant to UV radiation, weathering, ozone, and other environmental factors that can cause damage to other roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles

EPDM roofing systems are relatively easy to install and require minimal maintenance, making them an extremely cost-practical choice for your flat roof system. It can be used on various roofs, including flat and low slopes, and is available in multiple thicknesses and colors to suit different design requirements. 

Because EPDM roofing systems are highly reflective, they can help keep buildings cooler in hot weather and reduce energy costs. This type of roofing system is also a recyclable material and does not release harmful chemicals into the environment during installation or use. 

How is EPDM made?

EPDM manufacturing process

EPDM rubber is manufactured by blending it with other materials such as carbon black, oil, and curing agents to create a compound. EPDM rubber is a high-density, durable material resistant to ozone, UV radiation, and weathering. 

The compound is then shaped into sheets, passing the material through a series of rollers to create a uniform thickness. The sheets are then cured and vulcanized to make them more durable and resistant to tearing. 

After this process is completed, the final EPDM roofing material will be available in different thicknesses, widths, and lengths to suit various roofing applications. 

The Pros and Cons of EPDM roofing

EPDM roofing is a standout option for commercial buildings. Its benefits make it a common choice for commercial roof replacements in our area. However, like any roofing system, it has its own set of limitations that might impact its performance on your property. 

Advantages of EPDM roofing

  1. Durability: EPDM roofs are built to last, often serving well for over 20 years with proper care. This durability stems from the material’s resistance to weather, including harsh sunlight, heavy rain, and even snow, ensuring your building stays protected year-round. 
  2. Cost Effectiveness: EPDM is more affordable than other roofing materials in terms of initial costs and long-term maintenance. Its ease of installation further reduces labor costs, making it an economically wise choice for large commercial roofs.
  3. Flexibility: EPDM is known to be flexible in cold weather, which makes it appealing to Colorado property owners. Unlike some materials that can become brittle and crack in low temperatures, EPDM remains flexible, reducing the risk of damage during colder months. 
  4. Energy Efficiency: EPDM has high heat-reflective properties, especially with lighter-colored membranes. This can lead to lower cooling costs in the warmer months, contributing to a more energy-efficient building overall. 

disadvantages and considerations

  1. Sensitivity to Punctures: Though durable to weather, EPDM can be punctured by sharp objects. Regular inspections and immediate repair of any damage are crucial to prevent leaks.  
  2. Potential for Shrinkage: While not common in properly installed EPDM roofs, shrinkage can occur, potentially affecting the roof’s integrity. Choosing a reputable contractor for installation and performing regular maintenance can mitigate this risk. 
  3. Aesthetic Limitations: EPDM typically comes in black or white, which may not suit all architectural styles. Because its appearance is simple and functional, those looking for more color or texture options might find EPDM’s choices limiting.  
  4. Comparative Analysis with Other Materials: While EPDM excels in many areas, there are scenarios where other materials may offer benefits that better align with your property’s needs. For example, TPO and PVC roofing, other types of single-ply membranes, offer different advantages in terms of reflectivity and chemical resistance.  

It’s important to consider your property’s specific needs and the climate and environmental factors it faces. EPDM roofing is a durable, cost-effective option for commercial properties looking for a long lifespan with low maintenance needs. However, as with any significant decision, weighing these factors carefully will help you choose the best system for your commercial roof replacement. 

Types of EPDM Roofs

EPDM installation type comparison infographic created by Custom Exteriors

Fully Adhered EPDM Roofs

In this EPDM roof system, the EPDM membrane is adhered to the roof substrate using a specially formulated adhesive. It provides a strong bond between the EPDM and the substrate, making it ideal for roofs with complex shapes or curved surfaces. Fully adhered EPDM roofs can be more expensive to install than Mechanically Fastened or Ballasted EPDM roofs.

Again the roof deck must be cleaned and have existing roofing material removed. After this, a specially formulated adhesive is applied to the roof substrate using a trowel or sprayer. The EPDM membrane is then rolled out onto the roof deck and carefully positioned to overlap the adhesive layer. The membrane is then smoothed out to ensure good contact with the adhesive. 

Once the EPDM membrane is attached to the deck, the seams are sealed using adhesive or specialized tape, preventing water intrusion. Lastly, flashing around all roof penetrations prevents water from entering the building. 

Ballasted EPDM Roofs

Ballasted EPDM roofs use a ballast layer to hold the EPDM membrane in place. This is the most economical and straightforward method of installation. It is ideal for roofs with low slopes or no slope conditions. 

Unfortunately, if damage occurs, ballasted EPDM roofs can be more challenging to repair. The ballast layer must be removed prior to repair, which can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. 

Once the roof deck is thoroughly cleaned, a layer of insulation is installed on top of the roof deck. The EPDM membrane is rolled onto the deck and cut to size. After it has been positioned, a ballast layer is applied on top of the EPDM membrane to hold it in place. This ballast can be gravel or pavers and typically ranges from 1.5 to 3 inches thick. Like the other systems, seams must be sealed, and penetrations flashed to prevent water intrusion. The ballast can also protect against hail damage and other effects of extreme weather. 

Mechanically Fastened EPDM Roofs

This type of EPDM roof system is installed by mechanically fastening the EPDM membrane to the roof deck using special fasteners and plates. This application is handy in locations with high wind or uplift conditions, providing a secure attachment. 

The roof deck must first be cleaned and any existing roofing materials removed. A layer of insulation is then installed on top of the roof deck. This provides thermal resistance but also improves energy efficiency. The EPDM membrane is then rolled onto the roof deck and cut to size. Mechanical fasteners are placed along the edges of the membrane and in the field at specific intervals to ensure the membrane is securely attached. 

Once the EPDM membrane is attached, the seams are sealed by your adhesive or specialized tape to prevent water from penetrating the roof system. Lastly, flashing is installed around roof penetrations, including vents, pipes, and skylights.  

EPDM Roofing maintenance 101: Protecting your investment

If our experience has taught us one thing in commercial roofing, it is the fact that maintaining and repairing your EPDM roof is directly related to its lifespan and the protection it provides for your property. Regular upkeep not only extends the life of your roof but also helps prevent minor issues from becoming major, costly problems. 

Owners and property managers who take a reactive approach to roof maintenance spend an average of .25¢ per square foot per year on maintenance-related issues. On the other hand, those who take a proactive approach spend an average of only .14¢.

Regular maintenance

The average replacement cost of an EPDM roof ranges between $4.00 and $15.00 per square foot, so a commercial roof replacement can be expensive. However, there are some important reminders about exterior maintenance that you may not be aware of. 

Whether you choose a structured maintenance plan or do your own commercial roof maintenance, in order to keep your EPDM roof in top condition, the following maintenance tasks should be conducted bi-annually. 

EPDM maintenance tasks

  1. Inspections: Conduct thorough inspections of your EPDM roof at least twice a year and after major weather events such as hail or high winds. Look for signs of wear, such as cracks, punctures, or areas where the membrane might have pulled away from the edges of the roof. While we recommend bi-annual inspections, additional inspections completed after severe weather will help to catch any possible damage caused by the storm quickly. By addressing minor issues immediately, you prevent some major issues that can be caused by roof leaks, such as mold and interior damage. 
  2. Cleaning: Keep the roof surface clean from debris, dirt, and leaves. A clean roof allows for proper drainage and prevents water from pooling (a common cause of roof damage over time.) Use a soft-bristles brush and a gentle cleaning solution if needed to avoid damaging the membrane. Remember, an EPDM roof is less resistant to some chemicals than other roofing systems. Avoid using harsh cleaning agents or damaging tools when cleaning. 
  3. Drainage: Ensure that your roof’s drainage system is working correctly. Whether your building utilizes roof drains or a traditional gutter system, regularly clean out gutters, downspouts, and drains to prevent blockages. Proper drainage reduces the risk of water accumulation that can lead to leaks and other water-related damage. 
  4. Immediate Repairs: During your inspections, address small issues, such as minor punctures or seams starting to come apart, immediately. Small, proactive repairs can prevent larger issues and help maintain the roof’s integrity. 

By quickly addressing any issues found during inspections, you can significantly extend the life of your EPDM roofing system. In doing so, you ensure it continues to provide reliable protection for your commercial property. Regular, attentive care allows you to maximize the investment you made in your roof and avoid unexpected issues that could disrupt your business. The most common signs you need to call in a commercial roof are: 

Choose an EPDM Roofing Systems For Your Flat Roof

If you are replacing the roof on your commercial building and considering EPDM, choosing the right system is crucial. This choice will impact not just the roof’s performance but also the overall maintenance needs of your building. Your choice can also significantly impact the building’s energy efficiency and costs over time. 

Understanding your buildings requirements

Just as important as the roofing system, it is important to choose a commercial roofing contractor with experience in installing the specific system you are considering. They will be able to provide you with the pros and cons of the system you are considering, making your decision easier. Check their references and reviews. 

Choosing the right EPDM roofing system involves carefully considering your building’s needs, the specific advantages and drawbacks of each system, and selecting a qualified contractor. By taking these steps, you ensure that your building is equipped with a roofing system that not only meets your immediate needs but also serves as a long-term asset. 

EPDM Roof system

In summary, EPDM roofing system offers a range of benefits. They are highly durable and can last up to 50 years with proper installation and maintenance. EPDM roofs are highly flexible and can adapt to changes in temperature and weather conditions without cracking or deteriorating. Because of this, they are not prone to water leakage. 

EPDM roofing systems are highly reflective, making them exceptionally energy efficient. They are made from a recyclable synthetic rubber material, so they are also an environmentally friendly choice. 

The installation process for mechanically fastened, fully adhered, and ballasted roofing systems are relatively straightforward. Because of this, property owners can save both time and money! Additionally, once installed, they require minimal long-term maintenance. Occasional inspections and repairs are required to keep them in good condition. 

To learn more about EPDM roofing systems, the ERA provides more detailed information. To discuss roof replacement using an EPDM roofing system, contact us today!