Contemporary buildings are more than just bricks and mortar. Today’s designers and builders can choose from a wide range of energy-efficient materials to create buildings that combine interior comfort with low energy consumption costs and low environmental impact. This also applies to roofs.
The roofs receive solar energy every minute, which is why you must also consider purchasing an energy efficient roof. In this regard, you must consider the following aspects: materials, colors, insulation and ventilation.
The most energy efficient roofing materials installed by Colorado Springs roofing companies are natural materials such as ceramic tiles and wood shingles, but we can also add metal shingles and we are going to explain why. But let`s take them one at a time.
Ceramic tiles are made of natural ingredients, being a mix of earth, water and fire. This type of roof provides natural insulation, which means that it maintains indoor temperature constant, in any season, reducing both heating and cooling costs.
Wood shingles and shakes
Wood is another natural material excellent when it comes to thermal insulation properties. A wooden roof can keep the heat in during the cold season and also acts as a barrier against the sun, preventing the house from getting too hot in the summer. It also has great humidity and moisture control properties that contribute to the overall energy efficiency.
Metal roofing is energy efficient especially in warm and sunny climates, due to its natural reflective properties. A metal roof reflects the sun rays, so it does not absorb the heat – which can significantly reduce the cooling costs.
Most commercial roofs are flat and designed by respecting the type of structure, thermal insulation – waterproofing technology and the operating conditions depending on each roof. These factors determine the life span of the roof.
Currently, the best material for a commercial roof is considered the EPDM membrane.
EPDM rubber products for construction were developed in the late 1950s. The climate in the Middle East required a roofing material able to withstand it. The material had to be very flexible and remain stable even in temperatures variations between -45 and + 120 °C. EPDM rubber proved to be a very suitable product for this market.
Ethylene Propylene Dien Monomer is a synthetic rubber, very resistant to UV, ozone and other atmospheric influences. In addition, it is known for its great, permanent flexibility. The material has proved its efficiency for more than 50 years, and is used by commercial roofing Colorado Springs CO flat roofing specialists as a waterproofing material for flat roofs and other architectural or non-architectural applications.
The characteristics of natural rubber could not be adapted or manipulated. However, with a synthetic rubber product, scientists can select, adapt and modify the basic products to determine the molecular structure, thus allowing them to design the construction of polymers. The result allows EPDM synthetic rubber to adapt precisely to its specific uses and requirements.
The snow must definitely be removed from commercial roofs! When snow accumulates in large quantities on the roof, it can cause different problems, even to the resistance structure. Icicles formed on gutters and water infiltration is other inconveniences that you may experience if you do not clean the snow on time from your roof.
In the case of commercial buildings with flat roofs, it is recommended to turn to professional roof cleaning services, because the task requires a very large volume of work, and snow and ice can make the surface slippery and dangerous to stand on.
Besides hiring specialized Colorado Springs commercial roofing contractors to remove the snow from your commercial roof, you must also make sure that your roof is properly insulated. A flat roof does not have a typical attic, so the heat rising from indoors can warm it up quickly, melting the snow, which is likely to refreeze and become ice.
Flat roofs are more susceptible to water leaks throughout the winter, precisely because of snow accumulations that melt slowly and maintain moisture on the roof for a long time. Additionally, it favors ice build-up in the drainage system, clogging it.
Additionally, when it snows heavily, do not underestimate the pressure put by snow on the structure of the roof!
Snow and ice are natural occurrences in winter, things that we look forward to and many of us love, too. However, winter weather brings much less happiness for roofs – both snow and ice can press hard on roofing surfaces and on gutters and freezing temperatures can also be harmful. Identifying snow damage in time and damage prevention measures are essential for preserving the health of your roof, so here are some tips for you:
- Prevention – the only way to prevent winter roof damage is to prepare and to fortify the roof before the first frost. Clean the roof and the gutters from any debris, such as dust, twigs, fallen leaves, feathers and other debris, then inspect the structures for any damage that needs attention. Whatever issue you find, fix it or get it fixed right away by recommended Colorado Springs roofing companies to ensure that your roof is at its very best when snow and ice come;
- Free your roof – both snow and ice dams are very heavy and harmful for roofs, therefore they should be removed from your roof. You can use a roof rake to get snow off the roof, but ice dams are best removed manually, with gentle movements to prevent hurting your roof;
- Insulate your attic – proper insulation underneath the roof can prevent the formation of ice dams and will also improve the energy-efficiency of your entire home by preventing energy exchange.
The Better Business Bureau is a non-profit organization that has been evaluating businesses based on various criteria and making their findings public to promote trust since 1912.
The organization uses a rating system from the highest A+ to the lowest F, the letters representing the degree of confidence that one can have in the products and services of the evaluated companies. Colorado Springs roofing company specialists tell us that the ratings provided by the BBB are based on 16 factors – here are some:
- the complaint history of the business;
- the type of the business;
- the time that the business has spent actively in the business;
- the transparency of the business’ practices;
- any failure to honor commitments to the BBB;
- the licensing procedures that the business has undergone;
- any issues related to advertising.
Each rating element is associated with a certain number of points given or taken based on the specific characteristics of the assessed business. The total score that a business can achieve is 100 points, then the letter rating is awarded based on the score optioned in points. The highest rating is awarded to companies that have earned 97-100 points, while the lowest F rating is given to businesses that earn 0-59.99 points.
Incorrectly installed holiday decorations are among the most common culprits for roof damage – the pins and clips that are not suitable for being used on roofs can puncture the roofing surface and decorations that are not suitable for being used on roofs pose a fire hazard.
However, the holidays cannot be complete without lights, so here is how to hand your lights safely and correctly on your commercial roof:
- Use light strings intended for being used outdoors – these products are safe to be kept outdoors even when it is snowing and you don’t need to worry about leaving them turned on for longer periods;
- Use clips and tape intended for being used on roofs – commercial roofing Colorado Springs CO technicians emphasize that you should replace traditional nails and metal clips with plastic clips or tape designed to be used on roofs. These special fasteners do not damage the surface that they are attached to, so they are safe to use;
- Attach your lights to the edge of the roof – do not install lights on the roof surface, clipping or taping them to roof edge or to the edge of the gutter ensures much more safety for the lights as well as to the structure that the lights strings are fastened to.
The shingles on your roof make up only the outermost, visible layer of the topmost structure on your building – as a matter of fact, any roof consists of much more than the roof covering materials. Here are some of the other major roofing components:
- The roofing underlayment – this is a layer of roofing felt immediately under the shingles. The underlayment serves the purpose of repelling moisture and of protection against water infiltration;
- The roof deck – this is the structural support system of the roof. It is usually made from wood or from plywood;
- The roof ridge – this is the topmost line of sloping roofs, the place where two roof slopes meet at the top;
- Roof vents – these openings found right under the ridge and at the base of the roof enable roof ventilation by facilitating the movement of air underneath the roof. In demand Colorado Springs roofing companies acknowledge that venting is essential for preventing condensation and roof overheating;
- Roof valleys – the place where two roof sections meet;
- Roof flashing – flashing is the term used for the stripes of durable material, such as metal or rubberized materials, installed around roof openings or wherever two roof sections, on the roof valleys meet to strengthen those areas and to prevent the penetration of water.
Gutters are simple and often neglected components of building envelopes, but they are also essential for maintaining the safety and the durability of the entire building. The gutters are responsible for collecting the water coming from the roof and for directing it away from the building and into the ground to prevent water damage to the roof as well as to the walls and to the foundation. To be able to do their job properly, gutters need to be maintained free of clogs – based on feedback from Colorado Springs roofing company pros, here is how to achieve that cleanliness with a few simple moves:
- Get a scoop, a brush, a bucket and a ladder – these are the tools you will need;
- Put on proper work gear – non-slip boots, work gloves, comfortable work clothes and a protective helmet are essential for safe gutter cleaning;
- Doing the job – climb up on the ladder with your tools, scrape out any debris and goo that you find in the gutter pipes and collect all that dirt into your bucket. Check and clean the downspouts, too – they direct the water into the ground, therefore they should also be clog free;
- Flushing the roof – if you have a hose that is long enough to reach the gutters, flush the pipes with water for even more thorough cleanliness.
Commercial and residential roofs fulfill very similar roles – they both provide the building underneath protection from the elements and they both ensure the thermal balances of the rooms on the building, to mention just the two most important functionalities. However, the requirements towards commercial roofs can be quite different from the expectations that residential roofing systems need to meet. Here are some specific roles for commercial roofs:
- Increased strength – unlike residential buildings, many commercial facilities need roofs that can be safely stepped on and walked on, therefore their support structures need to provide more stability and strength;
- Resistance to chemical spills – many commercial roofs need to be able to resist to chemicals, such as oils and acids, therefore they are made from special materials that provide that kind of resistance;
- Larger surfaces – commercial facilities are usually larger than residential buildings, therefore the roofing designs and materials they use need to be able for cater to that requirement, too;
- Efficient drainage – while the ability to shed water is important for both residential and commercial roofs, the roofs used on commercial buildings are usually flat structures that don’t get the extra help from the roof pitch that residential roofs get. This also means that the drainage system attached to commercial roofs needs to be installed by Colorado Springs commercial roofing contractors in a way to manage the increased workload.
Roof replacement experts are relatively easy to spot. All you have to do is ask your neighbor who installed their shiny new roof, and you’ll already have a lead. However, with roof repair it can be a little trickier, since not all roofers who specialize in a certain type of roof are the best at fixing it, and many of those who can do the best job fixing a roof don’t advertise themselves as much as larger roofing companies.
What you should be looking for is a small, family owned roofing business that handles primarily smaller projects. These roofers, even though they are certified and licensed, and they may have been part of the industry for years, focus primarily on helping people out, rather than trying to make huge profits.
They are the ones who will be friendly from the start, advise you on fixing your roof – if possible –rather than replacing it, and give you an honest, written assessment of how much the project will cost.
You can frequently find Colorado Springs roofing companies online, promoting their services either on social media or on the local map directories. Talk to a few of them, get their quotes, and do a quick background check on each to select the roofer that not only specializes in the type of work you need them for, but can also provide you with an assurance that your roof will be fixed properly.