01/24/2014

Extend Service Life for a Sustainable Roof

The greenest roof is improving the one you already have

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  • Man working on roof

    Man working on roof

    /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Environment_Impacts2.jpg

    Preventive maintenance will greatly extend your roof’s service life and thermal performance. Avoid temporary patches and focus on repairs that address vulnerabilities and defects. It’s also vital to keep accurate records of any roof work so you can prove your system has been maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

    Man working on roof
  • Roof maintenance

    Roof maintenance

    /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Environment_Impacts1.jpg

    Preventive maintenance will greatly extend your roof’s service life and thermal performance. Avoid temporary patches and focus on repairs that address vulnerabilities and defects. It’s also vital to keep accurate records of any roof work so you can prove your system has been maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

    Roof maintenance
  • Preventive maintenance extends the life of your roof

    Preventive maintenance extends the life of your roof

    /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Environment_Impacts3.jpg

    Preventive maintenance will greatly extend your roof’s service life and thermal performance. Avoid temporary patches and focus on repairs that address vulnerabilities and defects. It’s also vital to keep accurate records of any roof work so you can prove your system has been maintained according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

    Preventive maintenance extends the life of your roof
  • Inspecting roof

    Inspecting roof

    /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Environment_Impacts7.jpg

    Routine inspections are key to detecting potential flaws before they come failures. Keep an eye out for blistering, delamination, ponding water, displaced ballast, corrosion, and raised fasteners.

    Inspecting roof
  • /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Environment_Impacts5.jpg

  • /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Environment_Impacts8.jpg

  • /Portals/1/images/Magazines/2014/0214/B_0214_Environment_Impacts6.jpg

An existing roof doesn’t need solar panels, vegetation, or a certain membrane color to be environmentally friendly. A truly sustainable roof has the best possible performance for the longest period of time.

“Thermal properties and service life are key attributes for a sustainable roof system,” says Jim Kirby, vice president of sustainability for the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing. “These directly affect energy efficiency and longevity. Fewer replacements are better from a material, energy, and waste perspective.”

Poor drainage, deferred maintenance, and infiltration issues can cut your roof’s service life in half and significantly increase your energy bill. Stay on top of repairs and strategic improvements to extend the life of your roof, avoid unnecessary replacements, alleviate grid demand, and conserve resources.

Perform Preventive Maintenance
The best way to extend your roof life is to keep its condition in good shape. “With routine inspections and repairs, you can easily get 20 years or more out of your roof,” says Ted Michelsen, president of Michelsen Technologies, a roof consulting firm. “But if you defer maintenance, your roof’s life could drop to only 10 to 15 years.”

Earn Points for Your Roof

Are you considering green certification? Beyond obvious roof credits like heat island effect, there are many other creative ways to secure points with your roof system while improving energy efficiency and reducing environmental impacts.

Living Building Challenge
Under this certification, the roof is considered a holistic opportunity to improve building performance. These credits fall under renewable energy (rooftop solar panels or wind turbines), net-zero energy (daylighting, thermal performance), and water conservation (rainwater harvesting). It also rewards efforts to address chemicals of concern, material sourcing, embodied carbon footprint, waste management (construction and demolition waste), and beauty (such as a vegetated roof).

LEED
This program offers roofing-related credits for heat island effect, energy performance, renewable energy, construction waste management, and materials reuse. With the right system, you may also be able to make the case for recycled content, stormwater management, VOC limits, daylighting, and thermal comfort.

Green Globes
This rating system offers criteria for energy performance, renewable energy integration, watershed features, low-impact materials and systems, heat island effect, daylighting, minimal consumption of resources (reuse of existing buildings), material durability and disassembly, waste management, thermal comfort, and air and vapor barriers.

RoofPoint
This certification is focused solely on roofs. It places a heavy emphasis on energy management, such as high R-values, thermal practices, durable insulation, hygrothermal properties, roof surface thermal contribution, and air barriers. It also looks at energy systems such as solar and wind turbines, as well as daylighting opportunities. Another key component is durability and maintenance, including drainage and moisture management, traffic protection, wind uplift resistance, and installation quality.

Let’s say your building is expected to last 80 years. With good maintenance, you will have three roof replacements. But if the service life is shortened to 15 years, you will end up reroofing five times during the same period – a 40% increase in replacement costs over the building’s life simply because you’ve been lax about upkeep.

Roof construction can have serious environmental impacts as well. Excess replacements consume raw materials that could be conserved otherwise, thereby increasing your carbon footprint. Each premature demolition also adds thousands of pounds of bulky, potentially hazardous waste to landfills. Reports vary by region, but construction and demolition materials can account for up to 36% of solid municipal waste, finds the EPA. And not all roofing materials can be salvaged through recycling programs.

Durable roofs keep their integrity through routine repairs. These yearly maintenance costs pale in comparison to the price of a replacement – a matter of investing pennies vs. wasting dollars.

“Annual maintenance costs are about 1% of the cost of new roof,” Michelsen estimates. “You could be spending 10 cents per square foot on yearly upkeep rather than $10 per square foot for a replacement.”

Regardless of system type, any maintainable roof should have proper drainage, good access, control of rooftop traffic, and a design that enables repairs, says Michelsen. It should also have supporting documentation whenever possible, such as original design specs, a complete leak and repair history, and the warranty.

A proactive maintenance plan includes ongoing inspections to evaluate the roof’s condition. The purpose of these assessments is to uncover failure conditions and repair them before they become a reality, Michelsen explains. You should also evaluate existing repairs to ensure the fix hasn’t lost its viability. A good rule of thumb is to inspect twice a year, such as before and after winter, as well as after major storms.

You should also look for damage whenever there’s been work done on rooftop equipment, he adds. Contractors may inadvertently cause damage by leaving debris, such as leftover screws and nails. Poor detailing from installation or repair work may also compromise the assembly, and even heavy foot traffic can result in wear and tear.

Other issues to look for include holes, flashing defects, animal activity, and organic debris such as leaves and sticks. If your roof is on a newly acquired property, make sure to evaluate existing repair work. If your maintenance history is incomplete, be on the lookout for temporary patches or evidence of former repairs.

You may also encounter damages that are specific to your roof type:

BUR – Blisters are common in these systems and can’t be ignored as they only worsen over time. Displaced or damaged surfacing may also occur.

Modified Bitumen – These roofs also suffer from blisters. This issue is often seen in pre-2004 roofs, says Michelsen, because manufacturers at the time weren’t recommending high enough temperatures to achieve a good bond. If they lack proper surfacing or the surface layer has been worn away, the membranes could become exposed.

Single Plies – Look for open seams, displaced ballast materials, splits, or cuts. You may also find surface damage caused by UV degradation. Raised fasteners are another issue. Causing the membrane to be worn away by foot traffic or working their way loose, they can penetrate through the membrane.

Metal Roofs – These systems are subject to seams popping open as well as backing out fasteners. For those with a galvanized finish, corrosion can be a big problem, cautions Michelsen. The condensate from copper coils rapidly strips off the finish, leaving the steel exposed and prone to rusting quickly. Adequate piping is needed to carry away air conditioner condensate.

Ballasted Roofs – Ballast holds the roof down and protects against wind movement, but it’s not uncommon for it to shift over time. It’s important to have ballast in its proper place so the roof maintains even loads, Michelsen notes. Otherwise the system is at risk of collapsing if the ballast drifts to one spot and the load weight exceeds structural capacity.


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Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.


Visit our website today to learn about the design flexibility of a Morton building and the endless possibilities of partnering with our designBUILD team.


Wood construction is both cost and energy efficient. Check out Morton Buildings and our designBUILD team online today to discover all the benefits of post-frame construction.


When choosing a metal-clad building for your next construction project, consider Morton Buildings, Inc., and their designBUILD team, we’ll make your dream a reality.

We Can Help You Reduce Energy by 30%

Our mission is to help our customers manage their buildings' energy costs, improve reliability, and enhance performance while having a positive impact on the environment.
CLICK HERE to find out how.

 

Add highly responsive multi-zone comfort to any building project, in any climate. Our CITY MULTI H2i R2- and Y-Series VRF systems give you flexibility to fit the needs of any building. Enjoy 100% heating capacity at 0°F outdoor ambient, and 85% heating capacity at -13°F outdoor ambient.  For more information, log on to www.mitsubishipro.com

 


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.


Tennant Company is a recognized leader in designing, manufacturing and marketing solutions that help create a cleaner, safer, healthier world. With thousands of satisfied customers already using award winning ec-H2O technology, why not see what you're missing? Test ec-H2O on your soils in your facility. Get a free demo.

 

Replace core drilling with Connectrac In-Carpet and On-Floor Wireways, the proven connectivity solution in open interior spaces of all kinds. These elegant low-profile wireways are great for AV / telecom connectivity wherever it’s needed.

Bluebeam® Revu® simplifies digital facilities document management from design review to leveraging as-builts, maintenance manuals and O&Ms submittals.


 
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