Factors to consider before you install a new roof
Before you choose a roofing system for your home, there is a multitude of factors to consider. Your personal tastes, architectural style, and budget will all have a great amount of influence on the type of system that you select. If you need to install new roofing in Ontario, here are four basic things to take into consideration.
The type of material that you choose for your roofing system will have a major impact on its durability, physical appearance, longevity, and cost. Many areas of the country also have building codes regarding roofing material, so you should check with your local authorities before choosing one. Certain neighborhoods may also have strict aesthetic requirements.
As with any home improvement project, your budget will undoubtedly come into play. Asphalt shingles are the least expensive, and slate is the most expensive material. Companies that specialize in roofing in Ontario can help you choose a system that fits your budget, and by browsing their inventories, you will be able to compare your options.
The architectural style of your home will undoubtedly influence the type of roofing system that you choose. The majority of homes use asphalt shingles, but many homeowners are willing to spend extra in order to maintain architectural integrity. The majority of roofing experts recommend installing a system that complements the style of your home.
The color is extremely important when it comes to roofing systems. Darker colored roofs tend to retain heat, while lighter colored roofing in Ontario tends to repel it. Consider the climate that you live in, and choose a roof that keeps your energy bills low.
Factors That Affect Roof Performance
Roof performance varies between the different systems, however the factors affecting the performance of your commercial roof are relatively the same. Your roof is valuable and you need something that will be reliable in the long-run to protect your assets. Chances are you’ll be staying in the same building for an extended period of time, so it’s important that your roof stays with you.
1. Roof Design
The design of your roof plays a large role in overall roof performance. Typically, this factor is overlooked as contractors are asked to scope the work and provide their own kind of design rather than specifying the proper design for the building. Since the contractors are trying to win the bid, they often provide designs with the lowest cost. This can be detrimental to your roofing performance as cheapest does not mean best quality. In order to ensure you are getting the best design, ask for detailed specifications from all parties bidding on your roof, and then choose the design that will protect your assets for the long haul.
2. Roof System Selection
After your roof design is complete, the proper roofing system needs to be selected. There are 6 main types of roofing options available to you: built-up (BUR), modified bitumen, EPDM, PVC, TPO, or KEE. Each system has its own unique set of properties to consider when making your decision. For example, one frequently overlooked item is the system’s resistance to UV rays. While some of the systems can add coatings or stabilizers to improve UV resistance, performance in other categories, such as fire, can decrease.
The contractor you select to install your roof is another key factor in overall performance. Improper installation of your roof will dramatically increase the chance of failures and reduce the life expectancy. Manufacturers have specific assembly instructions for each of their roofing systems that need to be followed carefully to ensure a successful roof. In order to find a contractor who will not cut corners, ask your potential contractors for professional references as well as asking among your peers for their recommended contractors.
Without the proper maintenance, a little deficiency can turn into a major problem for your roofing system. Maintenance should be proactive – don’t wait until there is a leak to have your roof inspected. Schedule routine inspections in order to catch potential failures. Once the inspection is complete, timely and proper repairs to your roof are a must. Much like roofing installation, your repairs should be completed by a contractor who will do it right to minimize overall costs and damage.
With the multiple types of roof warranties on the market, it is important that you read the limitations and exclusions. Too often, a warranty is a piece of paper written to protect the manufacturer rather than the roof and owner/manager.If any of the limitations or exclusions occur, your warranty could be nullified. You want to look at the specifics and then determine if your environment (i.e. experiencing hurricane winds over x mph) is covered and if not, how costly it will be for you to repair. Improper maintenance can also nullify warranties. However, if proper precautions are taken, warranties can provide remedies for leaks, thus prolonging the life of your roof and decreasing long-term costs.
Services & Maintenance: Three Steps To Roof Replacement
STEP ONE: DESIGN
Proper design is the foundation of a successful roofing project. Just like a house built with a poor foundation, an improperly designed roof will fail. Unexpected repairs can be inconvenient and costly.
There is the old adage, “You get what you pay for.” Fms should choose a design professional who has the expertise and knowledge to design a roof system that follows applicable codes and meets the facility’s specific needs and requirements. In addition, design parameters should not be dictated based on relationships with manufacturers or contractors.
Here are a few of those criteria explored in further detail.
Building form and function. Often during the life of a facility the processes taking place inside change from when originally constructed. Changes such as adding dock doors, transitioning from unconditioned to conditioned space, and contaminants being discharged on the roof surface can have a significant impact on the performance of the roof system.
Roof contaminants. Fms should identify chemicals, oils, or animal fats discharged on the roof. Depending on the type and quantity, contaminants can have a significant, negative impact on the performance of certain roof membranes, resulting in premature failure. By identifying potential contaminants before a roof system is designed, fms can evaluate alternative strategies such as: incorporating containment basins, using different roof membranes, modifying ventilation systems, or increasing maintenance to reduce the impact on the roof.
Codes and insurance requirements. Federal, state, and local building codes as well as insurance requirements have a significant impact on roof design. Storm water runoff, reuse or recycling of materials, air quality issues, energy efficiency (e.g., R-values), and wind uplift rating requirements are several design elements that may be impacted by code and insurance requirements. [See accompanying sidebar for more on building codes.
Slope and drainage. Water is the number one enemy of roof systems. Fms should ensure—and building code requires—a roof is designed with positive slope and the necessary drainage devices and emergency overflow.
Finally, when beginning the design phase of the project fms should consider incorporating preliminary design options as part of the process. The use of preliminary designs allows fms to compare various design elements to available budgets, so they can make informed decisions.
STEP TWO: CONSTRUCTION
Embarking on the construction phase of a roofing project with well designed plans, including clear and detailed specifications, puts fms in the position to execute a cost-effective and successful project. Just as critical, fms need to ensure their design professional effectively communicates with the contractor and other project participants.
For the contractor, finding qualified labor, effective project supervision, working safely, and incorporating a quality control process to ensure the roof is installed as specified are the primary factors that will determine the success of the project once construction begins. Because these factors are critical to the project, fms should be aware of and understand how these factors may impact the project.
STEP THREE: MAINTENANCE
Once a roof system has been successfully designed and constructed, fms will want to protect their investment by considering maintenance as a cost-effective strategy in maximizing the service life of the roof. There is significant industry information that supports implementing a roof maintenance program to extend roof life and reduce life cycle costs.1
The best time to develop a preventive maintenance program is during the design phase. The type of roof system impacts the maintenance program that will be considered. A simplified approach includes inspecting roofs twice per year and after major weather events. Cleaning debris from drains and identifying and fixing minor problems (e.g., punctures, caulking failures) before they require major investment to repair or replace help ensure long-term performance.
What’s the Importance of a Good Roof?
Your roof stands between the interior of your home and the exterior world. If it’s in good shape, your roof serves as a barrier against snow, hail, rain, ice, branches, and debris. If your roof is in poor shape, your home can get leaks, develop mold and mildew, and experience other problems. Even a small leak in the roof line can cause large-scale water problems across major home systems.
A good roof enhances your home’s curb appeal, one factor in home value. If your roof is full of moss and algae, sags, or appears decrepit, it sends a signal that your home hasn’t been kept up. If the roof is in good shape, a potential buyer can assume the rest of the house has been tended to with care. That can translate into higher prices when you sell your home.
Even if you aren’t selling your home, a good roof adds value. When you have a structurally sound roof, proper ventilation, and sufficient attic insulation, your home will experience fewer air leaks. You’ll be more comfortable with the air conditioner at a higher temperature, and you’ll see lower heating and cooling bills. If you care about comfort in the home, want to save money, and want to protect home value, then you need a good roof.
Factors to Consider in Roof Repair, Recover and Replace Decision
Managers can not turn to a book that tells them when to repair, recover or replace a roof, so they need to consider several essential factors in making this important decision:
The roof’s potential design service life. Knowing the type of roof system and application method, the general quality of the installation, climatic conditions, and the roof’s service requirements can help determine the potential design service life.
The potential deterioration curve. By knowing the potential design service life, present age, and condition, a manager can determine approximately where the roof is along the deterioration timeline.
The nature of leaks. Crews can repair isolated leaks in the field, along perimeter edges and penetrations if they can identify them before they cause significant damage. But if the leaks are systemic or difficult to prevent, repairing the leaks might only be a temporary fix.
Risk. Roof condition is only one aspect of the prioritization process. Managers also need to consider the way the decision to repair, recover or replace the roof will impact building occupants, facility operations, and long-term roof performance. In many cases, risk and the potential cost associated with that risk can be the driving factors for repairing, recovering or replacing a roof.
Life-cycle costs. Managers can use a life-cycle model to make a decision on whether to repair, recover or replace a roof. To ensure the results are as beneficial as possible, managers must be sure to base their assumptions on objective, sound information.